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Politics & Culture
5:06 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

Three more Michigan communities have voted to decriminalization small amounts of marijuana. But, one former Ambassador says there are international implications to this decision. We find more on today's show.

And we speak to a Michigan professor who has spent the past decade putting together what's being called the most thorough reference on Buddhism to ever be produced in English.

A pop history quiz for you: which state was the very first to recognize the importance of civil rights - important enough to create a Civil Rights Commission whose mission was ensuring each citizen receives equal protection without discrimination?

The answer: Michigan. It was 1963 when Michigan voters approved the plan to set up the first Civil Rights Commission in American history. 50 years later, the newest director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights is a former state trooper, and the first Native American to lead the Civil Rights Department.

Culture
5:04 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Buddhism's growing place in our culture

Donald Lopez, author of a new Buddhist reference book.
Myra Klarman

There is no questioning the data: Buddhism is a force to be reckoned with. Estimates of the number of practicing Buddhists around the world ranges from 350-million all the way up to 1.6 billion.

 Buddhism is also recognized as one of the fastest-growing religions in the world. A University of Michigan professor has spent the past 12 years putting together what's being hailed as the most authoritative and comprehensive reference on Buddhism ever produced in English. It is "The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism," co-authored by Robert Buswell of UCLA, and Donald Lopez. He is the Chair of the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and he is a Distinguished Professor of Buddhist and Tibetan Studies at the University of Michigan.

Read more
Stateside
5:01 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Tolerance for marijuana use in Michigan is increasing

A marijuana plant.
USFWS

One of the more intriguing results of the recent elections here in Michigan centered on marijuana.

Voters in Ferndale, Jackson and Lansing voted to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, and by large margins: Each passed with more than 60% of the vote. Voters in Grand Rapids, Ypsilanti, Flint and Detroit have passed similar proposals in recent years.

On the state level, Michigan voters approved legalizing medical marijuana in 2008. And a recent EPIC-MRA poll found nearly 80% of Michigan voters support ending criminal penalties for pot-related charges.

What’s behind this greater tolerance towards marijuana? And what could come from relaxing pot restrictions?

We talked with Melvyn Levitsky, a professor of International Policy and Practice at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy. The former U.S. ambassador to Bulgaria and Brazil, Levitsky also served as Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics Matters.

Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
5:00 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

People will share their failures on a Detroit stage this Thursday

The background for FAILURE:LAB.
FAILURE:LAB FAILURE:LAB

Bill Gates once declared, “It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

Of course, we all fail at times. But many of us try to cover those mistakes up, or at the very least, choose not to broadcast our failures.

One Michigan group is looking to change that — not only talking about our shortcomings and errors, but sharing them on a stage. FAILURE:LAB brings together storytellers, talking about when they’ve failed, and gives the audience a chance to reflect on the stories told. Because according to the folks at FAILURE:LAB, failure can help inspire us to take intelligent risks.

FAILURE:LAB is coming to Detroit this Thursday. We talked to Austin Dean, co-founder of the group, about what FAILURE:LAB is, and what it can do for audience members and storytellers alike. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
4:54 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Students say learning an instrument drives their success

Do piano lessons lead to a more successful career outside of music?
user MIKI Yoshihito Flickr

A recent essay in The New York Times poses an intriguing question: Is music the key to success?

A striking list of notables from many different fields have one thing in common: they all played some sort of musical instrument. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who played clarinet and saxophone, Microsoft co-founder and guitarist Paul Allen, and Condoleeza Rice, who trained to be a concert pianist before becoming our 66th Secretary of State all have linked their music training to their professional accomplishments.

We wanted to take a closer look at the impact playing music can have on the way we learn and how we work.

We talked to Siobhan Cronin, a Masters student at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Cronin, who studied economics, French and music as an undergrad, is now working on her next degree in violin and viola performance.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:51 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

How Michigan hunters help solve the state’s hunger problem

A man hunting.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

With Michigan’s hunting season underway, one group of sportsmen is urging their fellow hunters to make a difference with each buck they bag.

Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger connects hunters, processors and charities to help feed the hungry.

But how does a deer taken in Kalkaska wind up on the tables of hungry families?

Neal Easterbook, the vice president of MSAH, talks with us about the group.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:45 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Protecting people's civil rights in Michigan

Matt Wesaw, executive board director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.
Casino Connection Flickr

In 1963, Michigan voters approved a new state constitution which set up the first Civil Rights Commission in U.S. history.

The Commission works to ensure each citizen receives equal protection without discrimination

Today, fifty years after the creation of the Commission, Matt Wesaw runs the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. A former state trooper, Wesaw is the first Native American to lead the Civil Rights Department.

Wesaw met with us in the studio to discuss the future of civil rights in Michigan.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:02 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Stateside for Monday, November 18th, 2013

When we talk about Detroit's bankruptcy filing, the point seems to almost always be made that this is historic. That Detroit is the largest city in U.S. history to seek bankruptcy protection. But, that was almost not the case. In the mid 1970's New York City was on the brink of financial crisis. On today's show: What can Detroit learn from New York's comeback?

And, as of today, the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers will no longer sell sugar-sweetened drinks. It's a not-too-subtle push to get healthy, but is it taking away our choice as a consumer? Is it going too far?

Also, the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame has just announced its latest list of inductees. We took a closer look at one of these influential Michigan women.

First on the show, Republicans in Lansing are split over whether people who bankroll so-called “issue ads” should be allowed to remain anonymous.

Issue ads attack or support politicians or causes without using what are called “magic words" like “vote for” or "oppose." Unlike campaign ads, the money behind issue ads can be anonymous.

But, late last week, Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson proposed new rules that would require disclosure of issue-ad donations.

Johnson said, too often, issue ads are just thinly disguised political ads, and people should know who is paying for them.

But, many Republicans disagree. In fact, within hours of Johnson's proposal, the GOP-led Senate acted quickly to amend a campaign finance bill that would make Johnson's new rules illegal.

Rich Robinson, Executive Director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, and Jonathan Oosting, Capitol reporter for MLive.com, joined us today.

Stateside
5:02 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Detroit almost wasn't the largest city to file for bankruptcy

Peter Martorano Flickr

In virtually every discussion and report about Detroit's bankruptcy filing, the point is made that this is historic. That Detroit is the largest city in U.S. history to seek bankruptcy protection.

But, that nearly was not the case. New York City was a hairs-breadth away from earning that unenviable distinction in 1975.

We wondered what comparisons could be made between Detroit's crisis today and New York's in the 70's, and if there are lessons Detroit could learn from New York's recovery.

Out next guest has taught at Yale for 46 years, he was part of five New York City governments and he is a noted urban planner, educator and author of The Planning Game: Lessons from Great Cities and The American City: What Works, What Doesn’t.

Alex Garvin joined us today from New York City.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:02 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

University of Michigan Health Services to stop selling sugary drinks

Flickr user fimoculous Flickr

If you find yourself craving an icy-cold cola or some ginger ale, maybe a Frappuccino coffee, should you be able to crack open a can or a bottle when you want? Even if you know it’s not good for you?

The University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers say maybe not. So, starting today, you will no longer be able to indulge that sweet tooth of yours. They will become one of the first in Michigan to stop selling all sugar-sweetened beverages, with the goal of giving us a not-too-subtle nudge over to healthier drinks.

Theresa Han-Markey has been a registered dietician for over 20 years. She is the Bionutrition Manager at the Michigan Critical Research Unit and she’s the Internship Director for Dietetics at U of M. She joined us today to give us a closer look at this sugar crackdown.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:01 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Should donations to 'issue advertisements' be disclosed?

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson proposed new rules to disclose who is paying for issue ads.
MI SOS

Republicans in Lansing are split over whether people who bankroll so-called “issue ads” should be allowed to remain anonymous.

Issue ads attack or support politicians or causes without using what are called “magic words" like “vote for” or "oppose." Unlike campaign ads, the money behind issue ads can be anonymous.

But, late last week, Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson proposed new rules that would require disclosure of issue-ad donations.

Johnson said, too often, issue ads are just thinly disguised political ads, and people should know who is paying for them.

But, many Republicans disagree. In fact, within hours of Johnson's proposal, the GOP-led Senate acted quickly to amend a campaign finance bill that would make Johnson's new rules illegal.

Rich Robinson, Executive Director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, and  Jonathan Oosting, Capitol reporter for MLive.com, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:01 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

France has introduced a tax on soda to help combat obesity and diabetes

Flickr user Vox Efx Flickr

French women don't get fat, so said French writer

Mireille Guiliano in her infamous cookbook.

But that didn’t stop French authorities from introducing a new tax on soda in order to combat obesity and diabetes.

While obesity has more than doubled in France over the past 15 years and continues to rise, the country still has far fewer obese people than the U.S.

David Chazan prepared this report from Paris as the law was enacted last year.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:59 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

The Michigan Women's Hall of Fame has some new inductees

Elizabeth “Bessie” Eaglesfield
The Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council

The Michigan Women's Hall of Fame has just announced its latest list of inductees. Among them are six contemporary women and three women from Michigan's past.

We took a closer look at one of those women from the past. Elizabeth Eaglesfield broke ground as one of the first female lawyers in Michigan history, but she didn't stop there. 

Just wait till you hear more about her remarkable life and career.

Joining us was Jo Ellyn Clarey of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, who nominated Elizabeth Eaglesfield.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:43 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Great Lakes states average about a 30% rate of recycling. Michigan's recycling rate is somewhere around 14%. We talk about why Michigan is lagging when it comes to recycling.

 And we speak to a former aid in the Nixon administration who has a new idea for a political party. Also, it's Thursday and that means it's time for our weekly check-in with Detroit News Business Columnist Daniel Howes. He's been busy digging up a story that could prove to have a major impact on the future of the DIA, the future of Detroit's retired workers, and the future of the bankruptcy proceedings.

Stateside
4:32 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Will "issue ads" be subject to campaign finance laws in Michigan?

Michigan's Secretary of State is proposing an end to secretly funded political ads.

Republican Ruth Johnson proposed a new rule today to require sponsors of so-called "issue ads" to file reports with the state and meet current campaign finance requirements. Currently, ads only urging voters to support or oppose a specific candidate are subject to disclosure requirements. Issue ads define a candidate's suitability for office without directly urging a "yes" or a "no" vote, and they're exempt from disclosure requirements. Chris Gautz, Capitol Correspondent for Crain's Detroit Business, joined us today.

Read more
Stateside
4:28 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Why do we have the lowest recycling rate in the Great Lakes region?

A recycling sorter.
skatebiker Wikimedia Commons

The state’s paltry recycling numbers have caught the attention of Gov. Rick Snyder, who’s pinpointing recycling as a top priority. The Department of Environmental Quality is trying to come up with a proposal to expand recycling in Michigan.

“If we could accomplish our 50 percent recycling goal, the value of that material if diverted from the landfill is about $500 million dollars a year,” said Kerrin O'Brien, the executive director of the Michigan Recycling Coalition.

O’Brien talked to us in the studio along with Barry Rabe, professor of Environmental Policy at the University of Michigan, where he directs the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy.

Click on the audio link above to listen to the full interview.

Stateside
4:20 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Could a private fund save both the DIA and public pensions?

The Detroit Institute of Arts
Flickr

If anything’s clear coming from Detroit’s bankruptcy case it is this: the city needs new solutions.

Daniel Howes, Detroit News business columnist, wrote his column today on a proposal from Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen. Rosen is proposing a new private fund that could have a major impact on the future of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the city’s retired workers and bankruptcy proceedings.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:32 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, November 13, 2013

On the show today, a surprising new study shows binge drinking is up among high school students, and that's not all. It's a rising problem across the Midwest.

 Then, a very personal story from a filmmaker who overcame being a bully, and how her mission to educate kids and parents resulted in a powerful film. And, we took a look at Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger's visit to Detroit and what he learned while there. 

First on the show, As Detroit's troubles and "dirty laundry" have been aired out on a world-wide stage, there has been plenty of finger-pointing and judging of the city's leaders, employees, retirees and citizens.

But a new analysis from Michigan State University suggests we might want to hold up on judging Detroit and take a look at our own cities and towns.

That MSU report finds cities all around Michigan face the very same mountain of "legacy" debt that toppled Detroit.

Study co-author Eric Scorsone joined us today.

Stateside
4:30 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

New MSU report says other Michigan cities might be in the same trouble as Detroit

Eric Scorsone, MSU Extension specialist and economist.
Michigan State University

As Detroit's troubles and "dirty laundry" have been aired out on a world-wide stage, there has been plenty of finger-pointing and judging of the city's leaders, employees, retirees and citizens.

But a new analysis from Michigan State University suggests we might want to hold up on judging Detroit and take a look at our own cities and towns.

That MSU report finds cities all around Michigan face the very same mountain of "legacy" debt that toppled Detroit.

Study co-author Eric Scorsone joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:24 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

How has retirement changed in Michigan?

Flickr user SalFalko Flickr

It used to be a worker could set his or her sights on retiring at age 65, get that gold watch and join the ranks of the retired.

No longer.

From longer life expectancy to the baby-boomers whose investments and house values were tanked by the Great Recession, to younger workers being squeezed out by older workers who are hanging on to their jobs longer, retirement in America has changed.

The American Retirement Initiative has come about to help lead the conversation about how to improve retirement planning for all of us.

It’s headed up by a Michigander who got his undergrad in economics and graduate business degrees from the University of Michigan. Keith Green is the President at the American Retirement Initiative and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

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