Stateside Staff


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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

5:26 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Gov. Snyder officially kicks off his re-election campaign

From Gov. Snyder's Super Bowl ad.

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.

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.

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.

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
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.

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.

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.

5:34 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

What's happening with public transportation in Southeast Michigan?

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.

5:30 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Detroit Journalism Cooperative will dig into unanswered questions in Detroit

Detroit Skyline

What important questions are we, in the media, not asking about Detroit?

 What impacts of the Detroit bankruptcy have flown under the radar? What about questions about life post-bankruptcy – like just how can Detroit rebuild its neighborhoods and create more high-paying jobs? And what does all of that mean for Michigan as a whole? Well, Michigan Radio is partnering with other media organizations in the state to try and find the answers to those questions. And so welcome to the new "Detroit Journalism Cooperative." Lester Graham will be digging into the coverage for Michigan Radio and he joined us today.

5:27 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Report shows Michigan's low-income 4th-graders lag in reading proficiency


A new report finds the state's poorest children have failed to make up any ground in their reading skills in the past decade.

According to the the latest Kids Count report, 81% of low-income 4th-graders in Michigan are not reading proficiently.

Michigan is among six states that have seen no improvement in that rate since 2003.

Jane Zehnder-Merrell is the project director for Kids Count Michigan and she joined us today.

3:27 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

How online technologies influence domestic violence

ahans Flickr

Domestic violence is something that reaches every corner of American life.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence tells us that 85% of the people who suffer violence at the hands of an intimate partner are women.

One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. That’s 1.3 million women each and every year. And most of these women have mobile phones, computers, facebook pages, or some kind of an online presence.

The presence of these information communication technologies presents ever-growing challenges to a survivor trying to stay well away from an abusive partner.

Just how do these technologies influence interpersonal violence?

Jill Dimond is a computer science graduate from the University of Michigan. After she earned her PhD at Georgia Tech, she focused her efforts on what she calls "Human Centered Computing."

That includes forming a worker-owner technology cooperative called Sassafras Tech Collective helping social justice groups, non-profits, artists and others with web and app design and development.

For more information on online safety for survivors of domestic abuse, go to the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

*Listen to the audio above.

5:04 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

What's going on with the new bridge to Canada?


Remember all the political wrangling over the "New International Trade Crossing"? After that feverish campaign in the fall of 2012, where Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Maroun failed to convince Michigan voters to give him a monopoly of the Detroit River crossing between Detroit and Canada, and after Canada agreed that it would indeed pay the lion's share of the $2.1 billion it'll cost to complete the bridge – after all of that – why has there been no more movement toward getting the new bridge built? Michigan Radio's political commentator Jack Lessenberry explains what's up. *Listen to the audio above.

5:04 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Agema admits 'errors in judgment,' but refuses to resign

State and national GOP chairs have now called on Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema to resign his position.

Agema stirred controversy after making anti-gay and anti-Muslim comments.

Late Friday, Agema issued a statement acknowledging “errors in judgment,” but says he won’t resign.

This has many people asking what Agema’s comments mean for Republicans – particularly for Muslim or gay members of the Republican Party.

Joining us now is Joe Sylvester, chair of the Michigan Log Cabin Republicans. Log Cabin Republicans are people who work within the party to push for equal rights for gays and lesbians.

5:04 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

What to watch for in tomorrow night's State of the Union address

2013 State of the Union address
White House YouTube

President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress tomorrow night. It's the President's chance to throw down the gauntlet and outline his agenda for the year ahead.

 What shall we watch for here in Michigan? What shall we expect? We turn to Detroit Free Press Washington reporter Todd Spangler.