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Arts & Culture
3:59 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

What's the 'fat bias,' and do we see it in Michigan?

Melissa McCarthy on the cover of Elle.
Elle Magazine. Elle

An interview with Amanda Levitt.

There was a bit of a stir recently when Elle Magazine came out with its annual "Women in Hollywood” issue.

Four covers were shot with four different stars: Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Penelope Cruz and Melissa McCarthy.

Witherspoon wore a fitted black dress, Woodley wore a swimsuit and Cruz recently gave birth to her second baby, so hers was a close-up face shot. Curvy, full-figured McCarthy was swathed and bundled up in a big coat.

That led to criticism that McCarthy was covered up because she's full-figured — though it should be noted that Melissa McCarthy herself said she was glad to be a part of the cover.

But it does raise the issue of society's attitudes toward overweight or obese people.

35% of the population of Michigan is considered to be overweight, so it’s an issue that affects many in our state.

Is there a bias towards fat people that would not be tolerated elsewhere?

Joining us is Amanda Levitt, a graduate student at Wayne State University. Levitt writes the blog Fat Body Politics.

Listen to the full interview above.

Environment & Science
3:57 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

How one city in Wisconsin may change how we protect the Great Lakes

Lake Michigan.
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

An interview with Noah Hall, a Wayne State University law professor.

A water dilemma is brewing in Wisconsin.

The city of Waukesha (near Milwaukee) is asking for permission to tap into Lake Michigan for drinking water — to the tune of 10.1 million gallons per day.

Waukesha is in a real bind. The aquifer that has provided most of its drinking water for the last century has dropped so far, that the water left behind has unhealthy levels of radium and salt.

So the city of 70,000 is under a federal order to find a new source, and Lake Michigan is just 15 miles away.

But Waukesha has the bad luck to be a mile and a half outside the watershed boundary that encircles the five Great Lakes.

Read more
Stateside
3:56 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Brace yourself — it may be an early winter for Michigan

The South Haven lighthouse, covered in snow.
user Cseeman Flickr

An interview with meteorologist Mark Torregrossa.

As I grabbed my gloves and heavy coat this morning, I noted that the thermometer was 33. Just ten days ago, it was 79 degrees. That’s Michigan's weather for you — always keeping us on our toes.

With talk of snowflakes in Flint and friends in Northern Michigan grumbling on Facebook about predictions of snow on October 22, we wondered: Is Michigan facing an early winter?

Meteorologist Mark Torregrossa joins us to discuss what’s ahead for Michigan weather.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:02 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

The University of Michigan was selected for the 'Gershwin Initiative'

George Gershwin
Flickr user hto2008 Flickr

That's George Gershwin himself at the piano, playing his 1924 composition "Rhapsody in Blue."

As important as George Gershwin and his brother Ira are to the history of American music, there has never been a definitive edition of their joint body of work.

That is about to change.

The entire music world sat up and took great notice of the announcement that the Gershwin family and the University of Michigan have formed a partnership called "The Gershwin Initiative" that will ultimately bring Gershwin's music to students and audiences around the world.

Mark Clague is Associate Professor of Musicology at the U of M School of Music, Theatre and Dance, and he will be the editor-in-chief of the George and Ira Gershwin Critical Edition. He joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
3:37 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Stateside for Monday, October 21st, 2013

There's a labor shortage in West Michigan. Construction jobs are going unfilled. We look at what that means for the housing industry and the economy as a whole. 

And, after this weekend's loss to the Boston Red Sox, Tigers Manager Jim Leyland announced he's stepping down today.

We found out more about the man who led the Tigers to win the last three AL Central Division titles.

Also, George and Ira Gershwin are important figures in the history of American music, but there has never been a definitive edition of their joint body of work, but now the Gershwin family is teaming up with the University of Michigan to change that.

We spoke to the editor-in-chief of the George and Ira Gershwin Critical Edition to find out more.

First on the show, Bridge Magazine is taking a close look at the challenges Michigan faces as we try to improve our education system.

Read more
Stateside
2:13 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

More about Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland

Tiger manager Jim Leyland brought the Detroit Tigers to the American League Championship Series for the last three years.

But Saturday night's elimination in Boston was the "final out" for Jim Leyland. Today he announced he is stepping down as manager.

John Keating, who covers the Tigers for Fox Sports Detroit, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
2:11 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Michigan is experiencing a construction labor shortage

hstreetagent

In the depths of the Great Recession, here are words that we thought we might never hear again - "Help Wanted."

Construction jobs are going begging.

Five years ago, Michigan’s construction industry was fighting to stay alive.

Now it’s on the rebound, but home builders say they need more workers. And they’re not finding enough folks apparently willing to put in a hard day’s work on a construction site. The Grand Rapids Community College's residential construction program only drew five students.

What’s with the construction labor shortage?

John Bitely is the President and Owner of Sable Homes in Grand Rapids, and he joined us today along with Donald Grimes. Grimes is a senior research associate with the University of Michigan, specializing on economic forecasting and regional economic development in Michigan.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
1:30 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

How do Michigan students measure up compared to the rest of the nation?

O.k., o.k., we know this one is empty, but some high school students in the Detroit Public Schools say their classroom are far from empty.
User Motown31 Creative Commons

This fall, Bridge Magazine is taking a close look at the challenges Michigan faces as we try to improve our education system.

The starting point for all of this is where Michigan students stand as compared to students across America, and then how students in the U.S. compare to other nations.

American students rank 17th in reading, 23rd in science and 31st in Math, which puts us behind students in countries such as Poland and Slovenia.

As for Michigan, we're somewhere in the middle of the U.S. 'pack.' Education week ranked Michigan's K-12 education system 24th. And the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam found Michigan kids are 39th in 4th-grade math and 30th in 8th Grade reading.

This begs the question: how well are students in Michigan prepared for the good education that is needed to enter the middle class?

Bridge Magazine Senior Writer Ron French is seeking the answer in his series of special reports for Bridge Magazine. He joined us today to tell us more.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:00 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

How do Michigan Catholics view Pope Francis?

Pope Francis.
Christus Vincit Flickr

It has been seven months since the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen as the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

He took the name Francis. And since then, the Argentinean pontiff has caught the world's attention, ruffling more than a few conservative feathers with his words on abortion and gay rights, attempts to reform the way the Vatican runs, and how the Catholic Church connects with the people.

We wondered how much impact Pope Francis is having on Catholics in Michigan, and how he’s seen by members of other religions.

We began the conversation with Dave Willey, the Rome correspondent for the BBC.

Then, we hear from Jesuit priest Father Karl Kiser, and Baptist minister Ural Hill.

Read more
Stateside
3:45 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

The shutdown is over - but what happens next?

The U.S. Capitol.
U.S. Congress congress.gov

 Audio FileAn interview with David Shepardson the Washington reporter for the Detroit News.Edit | Remove

Last night, the U.S. House approved a Senate-backed plan to reopen the federal government, bringing an end to the 16-day partial government shutdown. The U.S. government is once again open for business — at least until mid-January.

Last night's vote ended the shutdown through January 15, and raised the debt ceiling till February 7 (and perhaps a month longer).

But that vote divided Michigan's Republican members of Congress.

Joining us from Washington, D.C. is David Shepardson, the Washington reporter for the Detroit News. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
3:43 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

How can we ensure good governance in Detroit?

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
AP file photo Associated Press

An interview with U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara L. McQuade.

Last week, as Federal Judge Nancy Edmunds sentenced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to 28 years in what became an historic case of corruption, she decried the lack of transparency and accountability that surrounded Kilpatrick’s administration.

“So much business was being done behind closed doors without anyone looking into it until the press got into it and opened the door to what was transpiring in City Hall,” Edmunds said in the courtroom.

The voters of Detroit handed their trust to Kwame Kilpatrick, and as a jury found, he turned that trust into a vehicle to feed his greed — using the office of Detroit’s mayor as his personal piggy bank.

Now that chapter is over, Detroiters are preparing to elect a new mayor. So, what better time for the first-ever Leadership Summit on Good Governance for Detroit?

The summit convener, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara L. McQuade, joined us in studio to discuss securing good governance in southeast Michigan.

To learn more about the conference, follow this link.

Listen to the full interview above. 

Environment & Science
3:38 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

This contest is giving Michigan drivers the chance to be highway planners

A highway.
user Joe Shlabotnik Flickr

An interview with Sarah Szurpicki.

So there you are, driving to and from work or school every day.

Chances are, there's probably a stretch of highway you drive that seems particularly soul-numbing and doesn't let you get any sense of place or community.

If you could design a highway, what would it look like? And could it improve, rather than just carve up your city?

That's the idea behind Highways for Habitats, a contest being run by the Michigan Municipal League's Let's Save Michigan Initiative.

Sarah Szurpicki is a project coordinator with the Let's Save Michigan Initiative, and she's been involved in many efforts to revitalize cities in the Great Lakes region. She joins us today to discuss the contest that would allow drivers to play transportation planner. 

Listen to full interview above. 

Stateside
3:37 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Keeping up with the Detroit bankruptcy trial

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.
Detroit Free Press video Detroit Free Press

An interview with the Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes.

    

Today, we’re checking in with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes, discussing what’s going on with the Detroit bankruptcy trial.

According to Howes, two phrases for us to consider this week are “status quo” and “collateral damage.”

How has the status quo failed? And what collateral damage would happen if Judge Steven Rhodes approves the Chapter 9 petition?

Listen to the full interview above. 

Politics & Culture
5:12 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

When you grab a bottle of water at the grocery store, do you ever wonder where that water came from.

And do you really know the quality of that water? We found out if it's really better than what comes out of your tap.

And, as the use of meth makes headlines across the state, we talked to one woman about her recovery and what she's doing for other addicts.

And, we traveled to the Headlands International Dark Sky Park near Mackinac City, one of only 10 designated sky parks in the entire world.

Also, musician Matt Jones talked about his newest work and overcoming a challenging year.

First on the show, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed (D-Nev.) says a bipartisan deal has been reached, a deal that would avoid a U.S. default and it would end the partial government shutdown. 

Speaking on the senate floor, Reed thanked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for working out the agreement, an agreement to reopen the government through January 15th and increase the nation’s borrowing authority through February 7th. 

Now though the deal’s in place the House and Senate still need to vote to approve the legislation.

Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow joined us today to give us her perspective on the issue.

Stateside
5:05 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Debbie Stabenow on the government shutdown

Senator Debbie Stabenow
Photo courtesy of www.stabenow.senate.gov

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed (D-Nev.) says a bipartisan deal has been reached, a deal that would avoid a U.S. default and it would end the partial government shutdown.

Speaking on the senate floor, Reed thanked Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for working out the agreement, an agreement to reopen the government through January 15th and increase the nation’s borrowing authority through February 7th.

Now that the deal’s in place the House and Senate still need to vote to approve the legislation.

Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow joined us today to give us her perspective on the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
2:57 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Sterling Heights has a multilingual driving school

Anyone who lives in Michigan knows you are at a real disadvantage if you don’t have a driver’s license.

But, let’s say you are an Iraqi who has fled to the U.S. to escape the violence. You’re trying to launch your new life here and you need a way to get to a job or get your kids to school. You need a driver’s license, but you haven’t lived here long enough to get fluent in English. So how do you get on the road?

That’s where you might turn to John Bitti. He runs the Madamma Driving School in Sterling Heights, and he teaches would-be drivers in English, Arabic, or Chaldean. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:08 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

What's going on with the affirmative action ban?

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette
(courtesy Michigan Attorney General's office)

It's called Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.

That's the case that has once again put Michigan in the spotlight of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Michigan's attorney general Bill Schuette was at the nation's highest court, defending the constitutionality of Proposal 2, which bans the use of affirmative action in admissions at public universities in Michigan, a constitutional amendment that passed by 58% of the state's voters in 2006.

Michigan Public Radio Network Lansing Bureau Chief, Rick Pluta has been covering today's arguments before the Supreme Court and he joined us today from Washington.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:17 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

The Upper Peninsula offers a lot of 'culinary glory'

Michael Stern
Twitter

It’s time to talk food, and who better to turn to than Michael Stern of Roadfood.com?

He and his wife Jane drive around the country searching for good food and exploring popular culture, and sharing the news with the rest of us through their writing and conversations on public radio's The Splendid Table.

Michael Stern joined us today to tell us what is cooking in the Upper Peninsula along U.S. Highway 41, starting in Marquette and working up to Copper Harbor.

Michael's piece in  Saveur Magazine is called "Upper Crust: The Culinary Glovry of Michigan's Route 41."

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:14 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Michigan Amtrak is getting faster and better

The federal government is investing billions to improve rail lines across the country. Will it translate into more riders?
Terry Cantrell Creative Commons

“Let’s take the train.” It seems more and more of us are saying those words these days.

A record 793,000 passengers hopped aboard Amtrak’s three Michigan routes last year and revenue grew to $27.8 million. And there are some changes coming down the track that should make the traveling faster and better for train passengers in Michigan.

Tim Hoeffner, rail director at the Michigan Department of Transportation, joined us today. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:12 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Sander Levin on the government shutdown

Congressman Sander Levin
http://www.house.gov/levin/

Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress are still at odds over federal spending, on this, the 14th day of the partial government shutdown.

In weekend discussions, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell could not reach a deal to raise the nation's borrowing authority. Stocks are lower as the nation moves to a potentially disastrous default on its debt.

Democratic Congressman Sander Levin joined us today to talk about the latest in the impasse.

Listen to the full interview above.

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