Stateside Staff

Irene Butter speaks to 400 students in Germany about her life in Germany and the Netherlands when the Nazis where in power.
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She was born in Germany, but as life for Jews in Germany became more dangerous through the 1930s, she and her family moved to the Netherlands – to Amsterdam, in the same neighborhood as a young girl named Anne Frank.

And like Anne Frank, she was captured by the Nazis and taken to the notorious Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

But unlike Anne, young Irene Butter survived the camp.

Today, Dr. Irene Butter is a professor emeritus at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health.

Her life has been a remarkable journey, knit together by Irene's decision that she was going to live as a Holocaust survivor, not as a victim.

Irene Butter is the subject of the  film "Never a Bystander," by Ann Arbor filmmaker Evelyn Neuhaus.”

Irene Butter and Evelyn Neuhaus joined us today on the show.

*Listen to our interview above.

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The upcoming August primary ballot will feature something not usually seen on August primary ballots: a statewide ballot proposal, something we haven't seen in August since 2002.

This ballot proposal will ask you to decide the fate of a reform of Michigan's industrial personal property tax, but there is a pretty significant hurdle that backers have to face: that icky little three-letter word – tax.

Chris Gautz, reporter for Crain's Detroit Business, joined us to talk about all this.

*Listen to our interview above.

Michigan could become the first state to adopt a roadside saliva test for marijuana impairment if lawmakers pass a package of bills introduced in both the state House and Senate.

Critics dispute the accuracy of the tests – expressing concern for medical marijuana users. State Rep. Dan Lauwers, R-St. Clair County, sponsored the legislation.

Then we talk about what needs to happen in the education process to correct the imbalance between specialists and primary care physicians.

Also,  the upcoming August primary ballot will feature something not usually seen on August primary ballots: a statewide ballot proposal, something we haven't seen in August since 2002.

This ballot proposal will ask you to decide the fate of a reform of Michigan's industrial personal property tax, but there is a pretty significant hurdle that backers have to face – that icky little three-letter word: tax.

Chris Gautz, reporter for Crain's Detroit Business, joined us to talk about all this.

*Listen to the show above.

State lawmakers are waist-deep in the big budget process. The mission is to iron out differences in what the governor wants, and what the House and Senate are willing to give. 

Then, John U. Bacon discussed the debate over whether college athletes should be recognized as school employees, and be allowed to unionize. 

Next, the Detroit Red Wings are getting a new home in 2016, and Joe Louis Arena may be no more. What will happen to the riverfront property the arena stands on now? 

The Center for Michigan has been listening to what voters are saying, and has compiled a citizen's agenda for the 2014 elections. 

The CDC has said that there is a high rate of heart attack and heart disease in the Upper Peninsula. We looked at what these rates say about health care and health habits in the UP. 

Polling place.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There are plenty of issues on the minds of Michigan voters as we look to the November elections: education, college, poverty, how to spend public dollars, our economy, our quality of life. 

The Center for Michigan has been listening to what voters are saying. The result is Michigan Speaks: The Citizen's Agenda for the 2014 election. 

It's being released today.

Here to tell us what the voters are thinking about and hoping for is Phil Power, founder of the Center for Michigan. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

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There's some pretty unsettling data that has come out about the health of the people who call the Upper Peninsula home. 

The Centers for Disease Control numbers say heart attack rates for the entire western and eastern UP for 2008-2010 are right up there at the highest level for the top five categories the CDC tracks.

What does the high rate of heart attack and heart disease say about health care and health habits in the UP? And what can bring those high rates down?

Dr. Teresa Frankovich, medical director for the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department, joined us. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

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Now that the Detroit Red Wings are going to get a new home in 2016, Joe Louis Arena seems destined for the wrecking ball. 

And that is focusing fresh attention on Detroit's riverfront, as the city searches for a new use for that riverfront site. 

There could be some valuable lessons Detroit could learn from Buffalo, which is doing more than just about any Great Lakes City to reconnect with its waterfront after generations of industrial abuse and neglect. 

Writer Edward McClelland spelled out the story of the ongoing process of reclaiming Buffalo's waterfront in a story for Belt Magazine. He joined us to discuss what Buffalo is doing, and what Detroit could do. 

Listen to the interview above. 

Northwestern's Kain Colter is tackled during a game with Army in 2011. Colter has argued the players should be allowed to form a union.
West Point / Flickr

Earlier this spring, the National Labor Relations Board made big headlines when it granted Northwestern University football players permission to unionize if they chose to. 

That decision has opened up a big national discussion and debate over whether college athletes should be recognized as school employees. 

So we wanted to bring in sports commentator and coach, John U. Bacon. His most recent book is Fourth and Long: the Fight for the Soul of College Football

Listen to the full interview above. 

Capitol Building, Lansing, MI
Matthileo / Flickr

State lawmakers are waist-deep in the big budget process. The mission is to iron out the differences in what the governor wants and what the House and Senate are willing to give.

It's looking like many differing views add up to lots of haggling, lots of need for compromise, and it has one State Senator talking like Mr. T as Clubber Lang in Rocky 3. 

Kathy Gray of the Detroit Free Press joined us to explain why Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Roger Kahn is predicting "pain". 

Listen to the story above.

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The 45-day wolf hunting season that began November 15 inflamed passions, both pro and con.

Now that the first-ever wolf hunt is wrapped up, what were the results?

John Barnes explored the impact of the hunt in a recent piece for MLive, which breaks down the ages of the 22 wolves killed over the course of the hunt. He joined us on Stateside today (you can listen to the audio above).

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If you've been wondering why your favorite pine tree has been turning brown as the weather warms up, you can stop wondering and start blaming winter.

Bert Cregg is an associate professor in the horticulture department at Michigan State University. He joined us to explain what the snow, cold and wind has done to our conifer trees. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

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There is a distinct health care trend happening in Michigan. For-profit health care systems are taking over community hospitals.

The question has become, is this a way for a community hospital to stay alive, or even for it to expand and modernize? Or is it a trend where "bottom-line thinking" is going to affect patient costs and quality of care? 

Writer Julie Edgar explored these questions in her recent article for Bridge Magazine, and she joined us to discuss. 

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It began as a series of annual workshops for K-12 students who were visually impaired to introduce them to art, and to help them experience the joy of creating. 

That was 15 years ago. Those workshops became engagement courses where University of Michigan Art and Design students worked closely with people who are visually impaired. 

Bringing the low vision and sighted communities together to discover the joy of creating art was the idea of internationally renowned ceramic artist, Sadashi Inuzuka. He is the Arthur Thurnau Professor at the Penny W. Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan, and he joined us to discuss the program. 

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Even before Detroit got itself an emergency manager and became the biggest city in American history to declare bankruptcy, the headlines and images coming out of the Motor City have been pretty grim. 

And, as travelers abroad are discovering, that has led to all kinds of encounters with "the locals" when they discover you're from Detroit. 

So, do you tell them that you're from Detroit, or do you hide it?

That's the question posed by Detroit Free Press travel writer Ellen Creager. 

A wave of nonprofit community hospitals has been selling out to large health care systems over the past four years.

For-profits promise to bring a significant amount of cash to hospitals and the people who live around them, but what does consolidation mean for what you will pay for health care?

We look at recent hospital acquisitions in Michigan.

Also on today’s show, a renowned artist who is legally blind has been helping visually impaired kids in the Detroit area discover that they can make art. As his 15-year involvement with the program comes to a close, we talk to University of Michigan professor Sadashi Inuzuka about the future of the art workshops.

But first on the show today, new data is out on Michigan's first, and very controversial wolf-hunting season. Mlive’s John Barnes dug through the results.

*Listen to the show above.

Federal money may be on the table for helping Detroit get back on its feet. Detroit Free Press Washington, D.C. reporter Todd Spangler joined us.

Writer Anna Clark has identified Kalamazoo as an up-and-coming literary hotspot in Michigan, and she joined us to tell us why. 

After 10 years, Michigan's state librarian, Nancy Robertson, is retiring. She shared what she thinks will be the future of libraries in the state. 

University of Michigan's Shapiro Undergraduate Library has come up with an inventive plan to help solve students' sleep deprivation: a newly installed napping station for students trying to get some rest during long days and nights of studying. 

Ford Motor Company announced today that CEO Alan Mulally is retiring, and COO Mark Fields will be  his successor. 

  The excitement of a dream vacation in a faraway land can lose its luster if you get there and find yourself fogged-in by jet lag. 

Certainly, if a big business meeting is the purpose of your trip, you want to land and be as mentally "on your game" as possible. 

Now, thanks to University of Michigan researchers, there's an app for that.

It's called Entrain, and it crunches the numbers to help you minimize that jet lag. 

Daniel Forger, professor of mathematics and computational medicine, joined us to talk about the app. 

Listen to the full interview above.

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For those students studying in the University of Michigan's Shapiro Undergraduate Library, relief is not far away.

The Central Student Government has implemented its first napping station.

The idea is geared toward those who are studying hard for tests but live too far from the library to run home for a quick nap. It was pitched to CSG by engineering junior Adrian Bazbaz, who was interviewed for an article in the Michigan Daily

user: Ford Motor Company / Flickr

It was perhaps the worst-kept secret in recent business history: Ford Motor Company has made it official today that their CEO Alan Mulally, is retiring July first. 

His successor, as expected, will be COO Mark Fields. 

Detroit News Business Columnist Daniel Howes sat down with Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford shortly after this morning's announcement.

Howes joined us to talk about the timing of the announcement, and that conversation with Bill Ford. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

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What city would get your vote as one of Michigan's literary hot spots? 

Writer Anna Clark would give her vote to Kalamazoo. Her recent story in the Detroit Free Press is titled Kalamazoo quietly emerging as a literary hot spot.

She joined us today to tell us why. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

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The State Legislature created the Library of Michigan 32 years ago to collect and preserve Michigan publications, conduct research and to support libraries statewide. 

For the past 10 years, Michigan's state librarian has been Nancy Robertson, but now she is retiring. She joined us to speak about the future of libraries in Michigan, and the role of Michigan's state library. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Kevyn Orr has wrapped up his two days of meeting with lawmakers in Lansing. His goal was to win support for some $350 million as the state's share in the so-called grand bargain. 

We shift our focus to money not from the state capitol, but the nation's capitol. 

Republicans, even some Democrats, are dead-set against the idea of a federal bailout for Detroit. GOP Senator David Vitter of Louisiana tried and failed last fall to get a law passed to prevent federal money from ever going to the city. 

But are the tides changing? 

The Obama Administration and Michigan officials are now in talks to give Detroit $100 million federal dollars for blight remediation, and just last week Treasury Secretary Jack Lew visited Detroit. 

Detroit Free Press Washington, D.C. reporter Todd Spangler joined us.

Listen to the full interview above. 

It has been 20 years since Michigan passed Proposal A - the then-new system for school funding. But two decades on – there’s lots of agreement that Prop A needs to be overhauled.

Today on Stateside, we took a look at reforming K-12 education spending in Michigan.

Also during today’s show we hear about the weather. After the bitter winter, one forecaster says we should probably expect a cooler and wetter summer.

And “stop employment discrimination against gays.” That is the challenge coming from the Business Leaders for Michigan. As part of its 2014 Michigan Turnaround Plan, the group is challenging Michigan leaders to pass an anti-discrimination law that includes protections for LGBT workers - something the state's current Elliott-Larsen Civil  Rights Act does not provide.

The President and CEO of the Business Leaders for Michigan, Doug Rothwell, joined us today.

There’s been a lot of media attention surrounding Los Angeles Clippers' owner Donald Sterling. His racist remarks have triggered outrage from NBA players and fans. 

But not too long ago in the world of sports, gay athletes seemed to be getting all the attention. Earlier this year, NBA star Jason Collins announced that he is gay, becoming the first openly gay player in the NBA.

Then, Michael Sam of the University of Missouri came out and became the first publicly gay player on a fast-track to the NFL. But they are certainly not the first athletes to come out.

There are many female athletes who have come out, but that news barely makes a ripple. Dr. P.J. McGann specializes in gender, sexuality and sports at the University of Michigan Sociology department.

She's currently writing a book titled: “The Ballfields of Our Hearts: Tomboys, Femininity, and the Gendered Body."

She joined us today.

*Listen to the interview above.

Could tobacco settlement money help the DIA?
DIA

Should money from a national tobacco settlement go toward fighting tobacco use and improving our health?

Or can the state raid that tobacco settlement "piggy bank" to help save works from the Detroit Institute of Arts works and help City of Detroit retirees?

That's the question Gary Heinlein addressed in a recent story for the Detroit News.

Heinlein joined us today.

*Listen to our conversation with her above.

In the classroom.
Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

The way Michigan schools are funded is complex and emotionally charged.

Proposal A was passed in 1994. It was a new system for funding schools. It stopped the use of local property taxes as a source of school funding. Instead, it created a new state education tax, and it boosted the state sales tax from four to six cents on the dollar. The extra two cents goes to the school aid fund.

Twenty years after the changes, one thing many Michiganders agree on is that it's time to overhaul Proposal A, but there are many views on how to do that.

This week, Bridge Magazine is featuring a series of reports by Chastity Pratt Dawsey looking at how we fund schools in Michigan.

Dawsey joined us today.

*Listen to our conversation with her above.

Gilmore Festival posters.
Gilmore Festival / Facebook

Even though life took him in a somewhat different direction, Irving S. Gilmore has turned Kalamazoo into a place that truly celebrates piano music.

The Gilmore International Keyboard Festival is in full swing and runs till May 10.

Dan Gustin, the director of the Gilmore, joined us today.

*Listen to the full interview above.

Helium weather balloon being launched in a field
Wolke Benutzer

It feels like we've finally emerged from the record-setting cold winter, doesn't it? So, as we look ahead to spring and summer what's in store? Mark Torregrossa is MLive meteorologist and he joined us today.

*Listen to the full interview above.

Doug Rothwell is president and CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan.
Business Leaders for Michigan.

There is a growing chorus in Michigan to stop employment discrimination against gays.

The latest challenge is coming from Business Leaders for Michigan.

As part of its 2014 Michigan Turnaround Plan, the group is challenging Michigan leaders to pass an anti-discrimination law that includes protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender workers.

Current state law does nothing to protect against this type of discrimination.

In Michigan, it is completely legal to discriminate against LGBT people.

Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham explained why this type of discrimination is legal in the state:

Farm in rural Michigan
user acrylicartist / MorgueFile.com

One of the most important aspects of the Affordable Care Act is consumer choice. More choice leads to more competition among insurers, and that can mean lower costs to consumers.

But, as Michiganders shopped for health coverage on the federal marketplace, the amount of choice was not even.

If you lived in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb Counties, you got to choose from 55 insurance plans. If you lived in Delta County in the Upper Peninsula, you were only offered 5 plans, all of them from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Josh Fangmeier is a health policy analyst with the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation. He joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

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