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Stateside
4:42 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Why is Detroit lacking in French influence?

Hurlbut Memorial Gate Detroit MI
Andrew Jameson wikipedia.org

A few centuries ago it was not uncommon to hear Detroit referred to as "The Paris of the Midwest."

Just look at the history of Detroit and you can see that there are good reasons to link Detroit and France. The city’s early settlers were, by and large, French and French Canadian. But unlike, say, Quebec, Montreal, or New Orleans, there is no special "French feel" to Detroit beyond some French street names.

We wondered why Detroit's modern identity is so lacking in that French influence. For some insights, we turned to Guillaume Teasdale, a history instructor at the University of Windsor.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:28 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Stateside for Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014

It’s official.

The country will have a farm bill. Tomorrow, President Obama plans to sign the nearly $1 trillion bill into law on his trip to East Lansing.

On today’s show we’ll take a closer look at the farm bill and explore what this all means to Michigan farmers.

Then later in the hour, Michigan has the country’s fourth-highest unemployment rate, and is 49th in job growth.

Why is Michigan doing so badly? And are we prepared to change?

But first on today's show, we talk about Gov. Rick Snyder's budget proposal for the next fiscal year. He delivered his proposal today.

The $52 billion budget calls for a small increase to maintain the state's roads and bridges, increases in education funding, and a plan to restore an income tax credit to some homeowners.

Chris Gautz, capitol correspondent for Crain's Detroit Business, was at the budget presentation today and he joined us.

Stateside
4:31 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Stateside for Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014

As Detroit continues the process of bankruptcy, there's lots of talk about turning over a new leaf in the city, a rejuvenation. But headlines have recently turned to the legal troubles of City Councilman George Cushingberry. On today's show: Can Detroit change its image if there are still leaders courting controversy?

 Then, we spoke to an artist who's trying to change the way we think about abortion and issues of contraception through art. And, we want everything modern medicine can offer, but as taxpayers we want health care costs controlled. Is there a way we achieve both goals?  First on the show, as Gov. Snyder prepares to reveal his 2014-15 budget tomorrow morning, there will be many eyes fixed on how much he proposes to put into K-12 education.
 

In the “Comeback Kid” Snyder campaign ad unveiled during the Super Bowl, amidst the talk of jobs was the claim “education funding’s up”. Yet many of his critics claim the governor cut $1 billion from K-12 education.

So what’s the truth about education funding? And what should we expect to see for schools in the about-to-be released budget?

Detroit Free Press Lansing reporter Paul Egan joined us today.

Stateside
4:30 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Can we get the best medical treatment while controlling health care costs?

401(k) 2013 Flickr

What's your reaction when the conversation turns to America's soaring health care costs – when you hear that by 2020, just six years from now, our health care spending will hit $4.5 trillion?

Maybe it's all too big, too "macro" for us to absorb on a personal level.

So try this: Should your 92-year-old grandmother undergo coronary artery bypass graft surgery –surgery that costs upwards of $20,000?

What about a girl who's 17 years old? Her leukemia treatments aren't working. Her liver is failing, other organs are failing, she is near death and her family is demanding a liver transplant, which the surgeon proposed, but the HMO refuses to authorize?

These are real-life dilemmas facing doctors, patients, and us.

We want everything modern medicine can offer, but as taxpayers we want health care costs controlled.

Can we achieve both goals?

Leonard Fleck, a professor of philosophy and a medical ethicist from Michigan State University, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:18 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

How have George Cushingberry's actions affected Detroit?

Detroit City Council President George Cushingberry.
http://www.michiganlcv.org/

When Detroit City Council President Pro-Tem George Cushingberry was stopped by police last month after leaving a northwest Detroit strip club, police found an open glass of alcohol, an empty bottle of booze, a lit marijuana cigarette, and expired vehicle registration.

Far from expressing any acts of contrition, Cushingberry claimed he had been stopped "for driving black." It should, however, be noted that the two officers were African-American and Arab-American.

This has caused many in Detroit to do a collective "facepalm," as in, "Oh no, not again!"

Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley and blogger and author Karen Dumas joined us today to talk about what this all means for the city in practical terms, and in terms of the image of its leadership.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:17 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

What will the budget proposal tomorrow mean for K-12 education?

As Governor Snyder prepares to reveal his 2014-2015 budget tomorrow morning, there will be many eyes fixed on how much he proposes to put into K-12 education.

In the “Comeback Kid” Snyder campaign ad unveiled during the Superbowl, amidst the talk of jobs was the claim “Education funding’s up.” Yet many of his critics claim the Governor cut one billion dollars from K-12 education.

So what’s the truth about education funding? And what should we expect to see for schools in the about-to-be released budget?

Detroit Free Press Lansing reporter Paul Egan joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:17 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

New art series presents abortion and contraception as part of human history

4000 Years for Choice exhibit in the Lane Hall Gallery.
Facebook

Can art and history change the tone of the conversation in the pro-choice movement?

Artist and activist Heather Ault believes they can.

Heather is the founder of 4000 Years for Choice. She's created an art series that presents abortion and contraception as a part of human history, a history of women seeking to control their reproduction.

Her posters are currently on exhibit at the Lane Hall Gallery on the University of Michigan campus.

Heather Ault joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Made In Michigan
1:46 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Snowboarding had its beginning in a Muskegon, Michigan garage

Sherman Poppen, the inventor of the "snurfboard."
Screen capture from YouTube

The Sochi Winter Olympics are just days away.

One of the most popular competitions is undoubtedly snowboarding, which joined the pantheon of Olympic winter sports in 1998. 

But there might have been no Shaun White, the "Flying Tomato," grabbing Olympic gold for the U.S. without a man from Muskegon looking to give his little girls a reason to play outside in the snow.

The snowboard is another "Made In Michigan" story.

Listen to Sherman Poppen explain how the snowboard started.

"I took these two small skis and put them side by side and put a brace across them to hold them together, and something to put your foot against," said Sherm Poppen.

Poppen was the dad who got creative in his Muskegon garage some 48 years ago. "We literally started sliding down a hill standing up."

His wife named the new toy "snurfer" by combining the words "snow" and "surf."

Fourteen years later, Jake Burton Carpenter came to a contest in Michigan and saw the snurfers. He then went back to Vermont to make his own "snurfboards." 

"I wrote him saying the word 'snurf' and any derivative thereof belongs to Sherman Poppen and if you want to keep making these things you're going to have to pay him a royalty," Poppen said.

"That was probably one of the dumbest things I ever did, because he stopped making 'snurfboards' and started making 'snowboards.'"

Here's a longer interview with Poppen:

We want to hear from you. What surprising things do you know of that were invented or made in Michigan? We want to feature them as part of our "Made in Michigan" series.

Stateside
5:55 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

How has NAFTA affected Michigan?

President Bill Clinton signing the North American Free Trade Agreement into Law. Al Gore is pictured besides him.
White House

It’s been 20 years since the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect. It drastically changed the economic relationship between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

While signing the bill into law, then-President Clinton said, “NAFTA means jobs. American jobs, and good-paying American jobs.”

So, let’s spend the next little while taking stock of NAFTA, and what it’s meant particularly to Michigan, it’s economy, the auto industry, and the state’s workers.

Patrick Anderson, the CEO of the Michigan-based Anderson Economic Group, and Harley Shaiken, a professor at the University of California Berkeley who specializes in labor and the global economy joined us today. 

Stateside
5:29 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

What do local leaders think about Detroit's bankruptcy now?

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr has submitted a so-called “plan of adjustment” to Detroit creditors.

It’s been about six months since Orr filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy for the city.

So, more than half a year later, what do local leaders in Michigan think about the bankruptcy?

Tom Ivako joined us today. He’s with the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan.

*Listen to the audio above.

Stateside
5:28 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Midland, Michigan company puts snow on the ground for the Olympics in Sochi

Location of Sochi, Russia, where Michigan snowmakers are helping out.
Screenshot from Google Maps

When the Winter Olympics begins in three days, there will be snow on the ground in Sochi, Russia in part thanks to our next guest.

Joe VanderKelen, President of SMI Snowmakers in Midland, Michigan joined us today.

*Listen to the interview above.

Stateside
5:26 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Gov. Snyder officially kicks off his re-election campaign

From Gov. Snyder's Super Bowl ad.
YouTube

Governor Snyder is officially launching his re-election bid today. That’s after a 60-second ad that ran throughout much of the state last night during the Super Bowl. 

In the ad, the Governor is touted as the “Comeback Kid” and there's a heavy focus on his economic policies.

Gov. Snyder joined us today on Stateside.

*Listen to the interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:23 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Stateside for Monday, Feb. 3, 2014

Governor Snyder is officially launching his re-election bid today. That’s after a 60-second ad that ran throughout much of the state last night during the Super Bowl. 

In the ad, the Governor is touted as the “Comeback Kid” and there's a heavy focus on his economic policies.

On today’s show, we talk with Gov. Snyder about his campaign launch, and we turn to Michigan Public Radio’s Rick Pluta to talk about the politics behind the ad, about Snyder’s re-election bid, and his likely Democratic opponent Mark Schauer.

Stateside
4:50 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Republican Rep. Bill Huizenga reacts to the State of the Union

Republican Congressman Bill Huizenga
US Congress

Now we talk State of the Union. After President Obama’s State of the Union address, we got some reactions from Michigan's members of Congress. Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee weighed in on today's show, as did Republican Congressman Bill Huizenga.

*Listen to the audio above.

Stateside
4:36 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Preservationists hope to influence demolition decisions in Detroit

The historic Albert Kahn structure that once housed the Detroit News.
Credit Goldnpuppy Wikimedia Commons

As Michigan cities age and populations shrink, some say that demolishing  abandoned buildings is essential to reviving these cities and stabilizing neighborhoods.

Take Detroit, for instance. One estimate puts the number of buildings set to be demolished at 10,000.

But amid the demolition, is there room to preserve historic structures? How do we determine what should be torn down and what's worth rescuing and restoring?

To help answer those questions, Preservation Detroit and the Michigan Historic Preservation Network just completed a survey of six historic areas in Detroit. They're hoping to bring a preservationist's point of view to decisions about blight and demolition.

Emilie Evans is a preservation specialist with the Michigan Historic Preservation Network, and she joined us today.

*Listen to the story above.

Stateside
4:18 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Stateside for Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014

Thousands and thousands of buildings are set to be demolished in Detroit. Many argue this is needed in order to revive neighborhoods and the city.

 But, what about historic structures? Places with deep-rooted meaning in Detroit? On today's show, we ask if there is room to preserve history. And then we sit down with The Appleseed Collective, the Michigan-based folk-group has a new album out, and we'll get a live performance in Studio East.  But first on the show, we talk State of the Union. After President Obama’s State of the Union address, we got some reactions from Michigan's members of Congress. Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee weighed in on today's show, as did Republican Congressman Bill Huzeinga.

Read more
Stateside-Failure:Lab
3:34 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Poet shares her story of failure, losing a son

Jessica Care Moore telling her story of failure.
Failure-Lab YouTube

The audio for Jessica Care Moore's Failure:Lab story

Jessica Care Moore is an internationally renowned poet, publisher, activist, playwright, and frankly a flat-out rock star.

She is a five-time "Showtime at the Apollo" winner and has been featured on the album "Nastradamus" as well as Def Poetry Jam.

This is the story that Jessica shared at Failure:Lab Detroit on Nov. 21, 2013, at the Detroit Opera House.

Stateside
5:40 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Are more of us making do without a car or truck?

Are more people walking?
user cme wikimedia commons

Are Americans driving less?

Some interesting statistics from the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute finds that from coast to coast, more of us are making do without a car or truck.

So, what's changing in the way younger Americans look at cars?

We're joined by Bridge Magazine writer Rick Haglund, who recently explored these questions in a piece titled "As Detroit auto show revs, America cools to car culture."

And we're joined by writer Micki Maynard, founder and editor in chief of Curbing Cars, a website that chronicles changing attitudes towards transportation. She's also a former Detroit bureau chief for The New York Times.

*Listen to the audio above.

Stateside
5:36 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Embracing the spiritual side of sports

YMCA of Western North Carolina flickr

Super Bowl Sunday is days away, and when you think about the atmosphere at any given sports event – be it the Super Bowl, a Red Wings game, or even your child's grade-school team – chances are the atmosphere is one of fierce competition.

Think of the crowd and the chants. You know, "Beat 'em, beat 'em, let's deFEAT 'em." But my next guest is asking us to look at sports in another light – in a spiritual light.

Jeanne Hess has been the head coach of Kalamazoo College's Volleyball team for some 30 years, and is an associate chaplain. Her book is called, "Sportuality: Finding Joy in the Games."

Jeanne Hess joined us on Stateside today.

*Listen to the audio above.

Stateside
5:34 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

What's happening with public transportation in Southeast Michigan?

m-1rail.com

Anyone who has spent time in Chicago, New York or Washington knows the value of a good public transportation system – something that has been woefully lacking in southeast Michigan.

But there are hopeful signs: the M-1 rail along Woodward in Detroit, talk of an Ann Arbor-Detroit commuter line and planned improvements on the Pontiac-Chicago Amtrak line.

Couple this with the fact that, according to the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute, 26% of households in Detroit do not have a car.

That leads to the question: What would better public transit options mean to Detroit – a city so deeply-rooted in the car culture?

Richard Murphy is the programs director of the Michigan Suburbs Alliance. He just finished his term on Southeast Michigan's Regional Transit Authority Board. We spoke with him today.

*Listen to the audio above.

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