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Stateside Staff

Downtown Flint.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Stateside is teaming up with MI Curious, folks! MI Curious is Michigan Radio’s project that asks for your questions about our state and its people.

Stateside 3.27.2017

20 hours ago

"Alternative facts" exist amidst scientific research. Today on Stateside, we learn how to figure out what's true. We also hear why local governments and school districts are wrestling with unfunded pension liabilities.

What happens when a city can't keep its promises to retirees?
Ken Teegardin / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

What happens when a city can't keep its promises to retirees?

smussyolay / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Grocery store shelves, restaurant menus and cookbooks are a lot different in 2017 than they were 30 or 40 years ago.

Americans tend to pay a lot more attention to the food we eat and how it's prepared. We know more about fine wines. Many of us seek out organic fruits and vegetables, and are willing to try exotic foods our parents and grandparents couldn't even imagine.

But, at the same time, we've seen the income inequality gap widen. How has "good food" become conflated with high status?

Flickr user chiotsrun / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It's sugaring season in Michigan. Did a mild winter and recent burst of warm weather give maple syrup producers anything to worry about?

The existence of alternative facts in science has also caused confusion in the realm of climate change, where a large portion of the population are skeptical about it, despite overwhelming scientific evidence to support it.
Curran Kelleher / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It was a verbal tug-of-war that thrust the term "alternative facts" into our vocabulary.

NBC's Chuck Todd grilled White House counselor Kellyanne Conway over the Trump administration's insistence on inflating the crowd size at the president's inauguration.

But pushing out "alternative facts" is not new. It's been happening in the scientific arena for decades.

Stateside 3.24.2017

Mar 24, 2017

As funding dries up, how should the state pay for cleanup of polluted sites? We pose that question today on Stateside. And, we turn back the clock by ten years to learn how accusations of porn at the Ann Arbor Film Festival led to a fight for free speech.

COURTESY PHOTO / HOLLAND BPW

Each year the state of Michigan spends about $15 million to clean up abandoned industrial sites. Contamination can threaten water sources and public health.

Now, however, the state is about to run out of money to do that clean up.

President Trump's latest budget proposal calls for eliminating funding for protecting the Great Lakes which includes cleaning up polluted areas,  preventing and controlling invasive species, and restoring habitats to protect native species.
Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget shifts spending from domestic areas to security areas. One of the programs that would be cut under the proposal is the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI).

That money has been used to do the following: clean up polluted areas called Great Lakes Areas of Concern, prevent and control invasive species, reduce nutrient runoff that contributes to harmful blooms of algae (which led to Toledo's water system shut down), and restore habitat to protect native species.

Artwork from the 45th Ann Arbor Film Festival by Brooke Keesling, the creator of "Boobie Girl" which was the Academy Award winning film that was called pornographic by Michigan legislators.
Courtesy of Christen Lien

This year marks the ten-year anniversary of a legal case that challenged free speech.

nico7martin / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

I was sad to hear about Chuck Berry’s death last weekend.

When I worked in St. Louis two decades ago, getting an interview with Berry was a challenge for every reporter in town. He hadn’t given an interview in more than two years when I decided to give it a shot. The owner of a venue where Berry played every couple of months suggested I come to the 40th anniversary of Chuck Berry's Johnny B. Goode. The idea was the club owner would help me get an interview before the show.

crowd of people
GencoSidlePhotos / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

After losing Michigan in a presidential election for the first time since 1988, the Democratic Party is signaling a renewed focus on the state.

Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez will be in Detroit and Flint this weekend on the first leg of a national “Democratic Turnaround Tour.” Other stops on the tour include New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia.

Perez told Stateside that the Democratic Party needs to make a greater effort to connect with voters.

Stateside 3.23.2017

Mar 23, 2017

Today on Stateside, a widow says mental health stigma killed her husband. And, we learn what's left to honor Detroit's Brown Bomber when  Joe Louis Arena is gone.

Nick Savchenko / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A personal tragedy can open your eyes to things that had previously been out of sight and out of mind.

For Abby Dart, it was her husband’s suicide in 2004. That loss opened her eyes to the stigma we’ve built up around mental health problems. She believes that stigma killed her husband Steve.

Courtesy of Chris Lambert

The Next Idea

 

As goes a school, so goes the neighborhood.

 

That’s the idea behind a new project by the group Life Remodeled, said founder and CEO Chris Lambert. Life Remodeled is a non-profit organization that invests about $5 million in a Detroit neighborhood project every year. This year’s project: turn the former Durfee Elementary and Middle School into a “community innovation center.”

Sears, Kmart and other stores like them appear to be on a fast track to extinction.
Nicholas Eckhart / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

They used to be a shopper’s first choice.

These days, Sears and Kmart seem to be on a fast track to extinction.

"The Fist" of Joe Louis is one of two symbols of the iconic boxing champion that currently exist in Detroit.
Alexander Day / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The clock is ticking on Joe Louis Arena.

The Detroit Red Wings' final season at the Joe is down to just a handful of games. Next season finds them on the ice in the $600 million Little Caesars Arena.

After a handful of music and sporting events, that's it for Joe Louis Arena. It will be torn down for a new riverfront development.

Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley joined Stateside to talk about question she wants answered: After the arena is torn down, how will the city of Detroit honor such an iconic figure in the city's – and the country's – history? 

Kris Draper played 17 seasons and won four Stanley Cups with the Detroit Red Wings.
Dinur / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It's been called "Brawl in Hockeytown." Some call it "Fight Night at the Joe."

On March 26, 1997, Darren McCarty of the Detroit Red Wings punched, then kept on punching, Claude Lemieux of the Colorado Avalanche.

The reason for that fight happened 301 days earlier in Game 6 of the 1996 Western Conference Finals when Lemieux hit Wings center Kris Draper from behind, sending Draper face-first into the bench and smashing his face (see video below). He suffered a broken orbital bone, a broken cheekbone, a broken nose, a broken jaw and a concussion. 

Stateside 3.22.2017

Mar 22, 2017

Today on Stateside, Detroit's safe haven for asylum seekers gets a reprieve from the federal government. Also today, an expert explains why pumping billions into infrastructure, without steady growth, is just a "Ponzi scheme."

people praying on yoga mat
Courtesy of Freedom House

It was a close call for Freedom House, the one-of-a-kind Detroit shelter that provides housing, legal aid and a host of other services to help asylum seekers.

Its doors were in danger of closing after its annual grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) was slashed by more than half.

What if the issue with our infrastructure isn't that we're not spending enough, but that we've already spent too much and spent it the wrong way?
Wikimedia Commons

Across our state and across our country, we're talking about infrastructure: How it's failing, what that means, and what it's going to cost to fix.

What if the issue with our infrastructure isn't that we're not spending enough, but that we've already spent too much and spent it the wrong way?

A 2015 survey found that many police agencies devote significantly more time to firearms training than de-escalation techniques.
Flickr - Oregon Department of Transportation / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

When police officers are faced with potentially dangerous situations, the initial reaction is often to draw their weapon. 

That, after all, is what their training suggests they do: A 2015 survey of training curriculum at more than 280 police agencies found that the typical agency devoted 58 hours to firearms training and 49 hours to defensive tactics, compared with 10 to communication and just eight to de-escalation.

This type of training, and the warrior mentality it creates, has been at the root of deadly confrontations between police and the people they're arresting in recent years.

Courtesy of Charlotte vanOyen Witvliet

To many, it seems like these are angry, unhappy times in America, and in our world.

The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World offers an antidote. It brings us wisdom from two of the world’s leading spiritual leaders – Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama.  

It chronicles a conversation between the two leaders – sharing their stories and best teachings for creating long-lasting joy and happiness. The book pairs their thoughts with scientific research into happiness.

Stateside 3.21.2017

Mar 21, 2017

Today on Stateside, a new survey finds that Michigan residents have "alarmingly" low trust in state government. And, from band kid to All-Pro lineman, former Lion Lomas Brown discusses his memoir.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

How much do you trust state government and its ability to do its job?

Laurel Premo and Anna Gustavsson
Courtesy of Premo & Gustavsson

 

Take fiddle and banjo tunes of the United States and mix them with the music and dance tunes of Sweden, and there you have Premo & Gustavsson.

Our Songs from Studio East series explores music that combines both contemporary and traditional music from around the world. Premo & Gustavsson fit that bill perfectly.

Lomas Brown
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

 

From a band kid growing up in Florida to a fearsome offensive tackle who played 18 seasons in the NFL, including 11 years with the Detroit Lions, Lomas Brown has a story to tell.

He was named to the Pro Bowl for seven straight seasons. And he got a Super Bowl ring with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Rick Pluta / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Women's Hall of Fame welcomed its latest group of honorees late last year.

Among the five contemporary honorees was Olivia Letts. She was the first African-American teacher hired by the Lansing School District. She started that job in 1951 and from there, Letts spent her life as an advocate for education, community service and civil rights.

Stateside 3.20.2017

Mar 20, 2017

Today on Stateside, we hear about a mother's fight to improve Michigan's low vaccination rates after losing her daughter to whooping cough. And, an author describes how she freed herself from an "OCD prison." She offers advice to others trying to do the same.

Veronica McNally's daughter Francesca was just 12 weeks old when started to show signs of whooping cough. Nine days later, she passed away.
Courtesy of Veronica McNally

Baby Francesca was just 12 weeks old when she came down with a cough. Nine days later, she died of pertussis, better known as whooping cough.

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