Stateside Staff

Michigan state Capitol
Flickr user J. Stephen Conn / Flickr

There's now a new backdrop for Mental Health Awareness Month: the debate over whether to privatize Michigan's $2.4 billion mental health system. 

 

Governor Snyder's 2017 budget calls for turning over state funding and management to Medicaid HMOs.  The Michigan Association of Health Plans has been lobbying for the switch. Meanwhile, the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards is digging in to fight it. Robert Sheehan, CEO of the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards, joined us on Stateside to discuss the issue.

FLICKR USER MR_WAHLEE https://flic.kr/p/djGtgH

The word has come from Washington: By year's end, new federal rules could bring overtime protection to more than four million American salaried workers – more than 100,000 of them in Michigan. Salaried employees earning up to $47,476 dollars a year will be paid time and a half when they work more than 40 hours a week. This is compared to the current law that states salaried employees must make less than $24,000 to receive overtime.

 

Stateside 5.18.2016

May 18, 2016

Today, we examine new federal rules that would expand overtime protection. And, we look at how skin-to-skin contact could benefit mothers and babies. 

A fire
flickr user Matt MacGillivray / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It's back to the drawing board for the city of East Lansing. 

District court judge Andrea Larkin has ruled that a 1999 ordinance aimed at cracking down on fires after big games at Michigan State University is unconstitutional.

The ordinance made it illegal to be or stay within 300 feet of a fire unless you are helping to put it out before emergency help arrives. 

the city of Flint
wikimedia user Flintmichigan / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The flood of headlines coming out of the water crisis in Flint comes down to a basic problem: The city was starved for cash. And that led to the series of bad decisions that in turn led to the catastrophe of lead-poisoned water. 

But Flint isn’t the only city caught in a cash crunch. All across the state cities are starved for cash. Most of them not because of something the city has done, but because of things the state has done.

dictionary definition of tax
Flickr user Alan Cleaver/Flickr

The so-called "dark store" approach to valuing property — an approach which allows stores to base their property taxes on the stores that have closed around them — has allowed big box stores in Michigan to cut their taxes by at least $100 million. It has left communities around the state struggling to find the money they need to pay for municipal services.

 

Some politicians, including state Rep. David Maturen, R-Vicksburg, hopes to close the dark store tax loophole with bipartisan legislation, House Bill 5578.

Under Michigan law, Governor Snyder is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.
Flickr user Michigan Municipal League / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There is only one state in the entire country where, under the law, the governor is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

You guessed it: it's Michigan.

Stateside 5.17.2016

May 17, 2016

On today's show, we learn about "Flint syndrome" and what it means that cities all across the state are starved for cash. 

It's Just Politics Logo
It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

The state’s revenues are going to be lower than expected this year. Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics team, discuss why that is, and what it means for the state’s hot-button issues.

Pluta said the economy is recovering, but not as quickly as anticipated.

“And so what we’re seeing is, in particular, corporate income tax and state sales tax revenues are coming in less than expected,” he said.

This is happening as “some big new demands are being made on the state,” Pluta said, those being infrastructure issues and Detroit Public Schools deficits.

person using a computer
flickr user Christopher Schirner / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

You may have seen recent news stories describing some U.S. hospitals being hit by malware attacks. 

This "ransomware" works by locking up computers until an amount of money, usually in the form of bitcoins, is paid to the hacker. 

When hospitals are hit, patient records can be in danger.

Stateside 5.16.2016

May 16, 2016

Today, we look at how self-driving vehicles could benefit people with disabilities. And, we find out how and why that AMBER Alert woke you up at night.

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland
Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers have the fourth-highest payroll in major league baseball, behind the Los Angeles Dodgers, the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Despite this, the Tigers have lost 11 out of their last 13 games.

 

It's Just Politics Logo
It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

We check in with Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics team for a roundup of the past week’s political news.

Rick Pluta and Zoe Clark talk about the large pool of money the state house and senate are at odds over for Detroit Schools. They also discuss “rebuttable presumption” and whether or not petition signatures that are more than 180 days old should be counted.

candicemiller.house.gov

Michigan Congresswoman Candice Miller surprised many last May when she announced she would retire from Congress. But she surprised even more folks in March when she announced she would run for Macomb County public works commissioner. She will challenge Anthony Marrocco, the longtime county public works commissioner, this fall.

Miller joined Zoe Clark on Stateside to explain why she decided to leave Washington to run for office as a county public works commissioner. 
 

Stateside 5.13.2016

May 13, 2016

In our latest edition of Songs from Studio East, band members of the olllam discuss the origin of their music. It is infused with "liberated" Irish sounds.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan has its fair share of magnificent architects, one of whom is Minoru Yamasaki.

Author John Gallagher recently wrote a book about Yamasaki. He joined us today on Stateside.

Yamasaki lived during World War II, when life for many Japanese Americans was not easy. Some suffered in internment camps, and Yamasaki too faced discrimination.

“And yet he was so good at what he did and so brilliant that he got these sort of high-end commissions, you know, from early on designing a naval base for the military at the height of World War II,” Gallagher said.

After the war, Yamasaki moved to Detroit. Gallagher said he quickly became “the new modernist designer” in the city and its suburbs. He is known for buildings like the McGregor Memorial Conference Center at Wayne State and the One Woodward building.

Gallagher said Yamasaki's buildings feel connected to nature.

“Whenever you’re in one of them you begin to sense what he was trying to do, creating these oasis of tranquility for the people who would use his buildings,” he said.

As part of Michigan Radio’s Songs from Studio East series, this year we are exploring music that combines both contemporary and traditional music from around the world.

Today we met Ann Arbor native Tyler Duncan and Irishman John McSherry. 

Despite being an ocean away, they play in a band together, called the olllam. The two have toured across the U.S. and in Europe producing a fusion of pop, rock and Irish music.

Duncan's musical career has included a variety of genres, like pop, rock and electronic. He has won international awards for playing traditional Irish instruments, like the uilleann pipes, a lighter version of Scotland's bagpipes, and whistles, a staple in Irish music. 

He discovered Irish music when he was 11, when his aunt gave him a VHS copy of Riverdance​. A pipe solo in the middle of the show grabbed his attention.

"As a kid I just was like, 'Woah, what is that? What is that instrument?'" he said. "And that got me really interested in the pipes."

Years later, as a 13-year-old Duncan moved to Ireland for a year with his family. His father took a sabbatical there.

He was given a tape he loved, which he later learned featured John McSherry, a rising star in the traditional Irish music scene. Then, when Duncan was in western Ireland, he had a chance to meet that musician.

He said it was a "serendipitous" meeting at a jam session in Milltown. Someone told Duncan that McSherry was at the bar. So Duncan started to stare. When McSherry's girlfriend noticed, the two introduced themselves.

That was the origin of the friendship that lead to the olllam.

Stateside 5.12.2016

May 12, 2016

Stateside goes on the road for a live show from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.  

Jodi Westrick

The story of post-bankruptcy Detroit has largely been dominated by what's happening in downtown, Midtown and Corktown.

Businessman Dan Gilbert continues to reinvent and reshape downtown by buying buildings that have often sat empty for years. This week, Gilbert added the old Grinnell and Sanders buildings to his portfolio, which now stands at more than 80 buildings he owns or controls. 

Jodi Westrick

The Next Idea

If everyone knows of 20th century Detroit as the Motor City, what's Detroit's identity today and what should it be for the future? Every Thursday on our Next Idea segment, we look at the innovations and we look at the new ideas that could reshape Michigan. 

Jodi Westrick

Today’s show was broadcast from the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

Dr. Charles H. Wright was a physician, a gynecologist and obstetrician. Through the years he delivered 7,000 babies in Detroit alone. He also founded the museum in his office by first collecting small items.

The 22,000-square-foot museum holds the largest exhibit dedicated to the history of African Americans.

Stateside's Cynthia Canty spoke with curator Patrina Chatman.

Lester Graham

Dearborn has become a flashpoint for many people in America. Anti-Islam protestors carrying weapons have rallied in the city. The Arab American National Museum has responded by inviting people to better understand the city through food. Lester Graham recently joined a group going on a food tour called “Yalla Eat!

Jodi Westrick

There are big differences between the state House and Senate on what to do next about the budget crisis facing Detroit Public Schools. 

The district needs a massive influx of state aid to stay open next school year. DPS interim superintendent Alycia Meriweather joined Cynthia Canty on today’s Stateside to explain how she hopes to elevate the quality of education for all Detroit public school students.

Terrance Heath/flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Are you unable to resist making judgments about the person who makes a grammar mistake?

Ah, wait till you hear about some interesting new research from the University of Michigan.

It gives us some insight into the personality of the critic.

Robin Queen is professor and chair of the Linguistics Department at the University of Michigan and co-author of the new study along with Julie E. Boland, professor of psychology and linguistics. 

Stateside 5.11.2016

May 12, 2016

Free Press reporter Keith Matheny and Enbridge’s Jason Manshum talked about a 1980 oil spill in the U.P. and whether more spill sites should be reexamined.

flickr user volkspider / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Does a typo or grammatical error really bug you?

Are you unable to resist making judgments about the person who committed that linguistic faux pas?

Well, some interesting new research from the University of Michigan might just teach you a thing or two about yourself. 

Robin Queen is professor and chair of the Linguistics Department at U of M. Queen joined Cynthia Canty on Stateside to offer some insight into the personality of the critic. 

Senators Jim Stamas and Jim Ananich at a hearing on the Flint water health emergency with local officials and members of the public at the University of Michigan
senatorjimstamas.com / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The legislative committee in charge of examining what went wrong with the Flint water crisis has concluded.

When Midland Republican Sen. Jim Stamas was appointed chairman, he promised to take testimony on the mistakes that led to the Flint water disaster "at all levels of government,"and to ensure that something like this never happens again. 

However, neither Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder nor any of the former emergency managers in charge of the city of Flint were called to testify. 

The Asian Tiger Mosquito is a carrier of Zika virus
flicker user coniferconifer / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The state of Michigan is beginning diagnostic testing for three viral diseases: Zika, dengue, and chikungunya.

Each of these is carried by mosquitos, which many Michiganders know are all too common in the summertime. 

Dr. Eden Wells, the chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, joined Stateside to tell us more about the testing and how concerned Michiganders should be.

flickr user amboo who? / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Gender identity has become a big issue in the public discourse over the last few years. There has been a heated debate over legislation involving so-called "bathroom bills" and others involving the fight for legal protections for members of the LGBTQ community.

Members of Parliament in the United Kingdom are saying that Britain has a long way to go before transgender people achieve equality. Some MPs are seeking to follow the Republic of Ireland's lead and pass laws that would allow people to declare which gender they are, regardless of what doctors or anyone else says.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero has not spoken about why Lansing's former city attorney Janene McIntyre resigned, nor why she was given $160,000 in salary and accrued benefits upon doing so.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There are still unanswered questions and a growing pile of legal bills swirling around the sudden resignation of Lansing's former city attorney.

Janene McIntyre resigned March 4, but was still paid $160,000 in salary and accrued benefits. Now legal costs related to the separation are mounting.

In the meantime, neither McIntyre nor Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero will say why she left and why she was given such a generous payout. 

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