Stateside Staff

Flickr user Pictures of Money/Flickr / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Anna Clark is a freelance journalist who lives in Detroit. She owns a 2007 Ford Focus and has never had to make an auto insurance claim. 

But she's preparing to move out of Detroit, to Ann Arbor, and just recently learned her insurance is going to drop by a staggering amount.

"You'd think I might be delighted that I suddenly have this much extra money per month that I'm not paying on insurance for the next year, but I was actually horrified," Clark said. 

Stateside 7.26.2016

Jul 26, 2016

Today, we wonder why some Democrats still aren't on board with Hillary Clinton. And we hear from a group dedicated to reforming campaign finance.

A protestor calls for campaign finance reform during the 2011 Occupy Boston movement
flicker user Massachusetts Cop Block / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

As you watch the political conventions and decide which candidates will get your vote, here's something you'll want to think about: Who helped to pay for all of that campaigning? And what happens when that newly elected or re-elected member of Congress gets back to Washington?

According to the group Issue One, members of Congress spend more than half of their time raising money, not governing.

And in 2010, just .26% of the population accounted for over two-thirds of contributions to congressional campaigns.

How can we fix America's campaign finance system?

Max Nussenbaum is the CEO of Castle, a company looking to make property management simpler and more efficient
Courtesy of Generation Startup

What's the barrier between you and the life you truly want to lead?

That's one of the questions Cheryl Miller Houser explores as co-director of the new documentary film Generation Startup.

It follows some young entrepreneurs as they build startups in Detroit. They try, stumble, learn, and try again.

Despite public outcry, Rep. Debbie Dingell does not believe this year’s Democratic primaries were rigged by the DNC.
Atlantic Council / Flickr

Are Bernie Sanders supporters ready to back Hillary Clinton as the Democrat’s presidential nominee? The answer seems unclear, as the Democratic National Convention’s opening ceremony had mixed responses coming from the crowd on Monday.

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell welcomed last night’s DNC discourse with open arms because of its unscripted nature.

Courtesy of Cheryl Angelelli

 

Today marks the 26th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibited discrimination against people with disabilities — people like Cheryl Angelelli. A former Paralympic swimmer, Angelelli holds four Paralympic medals and won seven world championships.

 

Now, Angelelli is taking her talents to the dance floor. This week, she’s competing in the Dancing World Championships in Las Vegas. She and her partner Tamerlan Gadirov won a medal last night at the championships.

Stateside 7.25.2016

Jul 25, 2016

 

Today, we hear from the Genius of the Year, who says autistic people like him are an "untapped resource." And, M I Curious question asker Don Williams hears an answer to his question: Why do mental health resources vary so widely across the state?

Garden Fresh

You may not know Dave Zilko's name, but you've probably seen his products in your grocery store.  Zilko is the former vice chairman of Garden Fresh Gourmet. He and business partners Jack and Annette Aronson took a scrappy little Oakland County company that was deep in debt and turned it into the number one brand of fresh salsa in North America, with revenues topping $100 million.  Last June, Garden Fresh was sold to Campbell Soup Company for $231 million.

Jeffery Allen Ford writes: "Psychological experts have determined that Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Sir Isaac Newton, Thomas Jefferson, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Michelangelo were all extremely high-functioning individuals with autism."
Courtesy of Jeffery Allen Ford

The Next Idea

We in Michigan usually take great pride in our state's natural beauty and precious resources. So, I find it incredibly disheartening that one of our state's most beautiful and precious resources – its autistic community – is largely misunderstood, marginalized and woefully under-valued.

Flickr user 401(K) 2012/Flickr

 

Don Williams of Holland posed this question to our M I Curious team:

Why are public resources for mental health issues very uneven between Michigan counties?

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

 

Michigan will be in the national spotlight this week during the Democratic National Convention.

U.S. Senator Gary Peters will serve as a co-chair at the convention and speakers from the state will include former Governor Jennifer Granholm and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. Also on that list is Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, who will speak Wednesday night. Weaver joined us today to discuss the upcoming convention, her speech and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Stateside 7.22.2016

Jul 22, 2016

Today, we hear how Jose Cuervo's tequila could play a role in making Ford cars lighter. And, could data equality on the internet bring unintended consequences? 

Trump supporter to the rescue!
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

One of the oddities of watching an event like the Republican National Convention on TV is not being able to see and feel the environment.

Downtown Flint.
flickr user Tony Faiola / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Flint is in the news a lot these days. Lead contamination of the water; people getting sick, some dying from Legionnaires' disease; one of the most violent cities in the country. 

But Flint is home to nearly 100,000 people.

A new book tells the story of some of those who've made Flint their home. It's called Happy Anyway: A Flint Anthology. The collection of stories was edited by Scott Atkinson

Activists gather along President Obama's motorcade route in Los Angeles on July 23, 2014, to push for net neutrality.
flickr user Free Press/Free Press Action Fund / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

When a federal court of appeals upheld net neutrality, a lot of people applauded. Equal access to the internet for everyone seems right.

Right?

Well, there are some concerns. Not all internet use is the same.

polling place sign
Michael Dorausch / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

You can vote a straight ticket ballot in November. Maybe.

A federal judge is blocking the Michigan law that banned straight party voting. 

But, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson will appeal the decision, probably early next week.

The U.S. District Judge who's blocking the law, Gershwin Drain, wrote an opinion which indicated this would present a disproportionate burden on African American's right to vote. 

Ford Motor Company

Using plants to make plastics is an idea that’s been around for a while. Henry Ford produced an experimental car with a soybean plastic exterior in 1941.

Now, 75 years later, Ford is looking to make car parts out of another plant, a plant that’s best known for being an ingredient in Tequila.

VictorySwim105 Facebook page

 

Imagine plowing through the water for nearly 40 hours.

That's what Oakland County resident Adam Ellenstein will do next Monday and Tuesday.

 

Ellenstein is an ultra-distance athlete. He'll be going for the Guinness World Record for fastest north-to-south non-stop swim of Okanagan Lake in British Columbia.

Stateside 7.21.2016

Jul 21, 2016

Today, we hear how the West Nile virus spreads more easily during dry, hot summers like this one. And, we talk to an artist taking cities "from blight to bright" with street art.

General Motors headquarters
FLICKER USER THOMAS HAWK https://flic.kr/p/nUAw76

General Motors earnings are up by 157%. They made $2.87 billion in the second quarter of this year.

This is up from $1.1 billion last year.

“General Motors continues to be on a roll,” said Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

Howes said CEO Mary Barra is now trying to convince the investment community General Motors is an “earning machine.”

Mural by artist Otto Schade
Jason Ostro

The Next Idea

Take an abandoned, unloved alley. 

Clear away the trash and debris, and then turn artists loose with their paint and brushes to transform those alleys and, in turn, the neighborhood.

Jason Ostro did just that.

The Michigan-born artist cleaned up the area around his Los Angeles art gallery, the Gabba Gallery.

The Gabba Alley Project L4 is four decaying alleys transformed into works of art.

Now he's launched the Gabba Alley Project Detroit, recently painting his first mural in an alley in Detroit's Midtown.

Stateside 7.20.2016

Jul 20, 2016

Today, we reflect on the life of Michigan gay rights activist Jeff Montgomery. And, we learn that recovering addicts have options outside of AA and NA.

Chris O'Droski and Caitlin Darfler told us that many people struggling with addiction simply don't know there are alternative to Alchoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous
flickr user Chris Yarzab / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

"Minding Michigan" is Stateside's ongoing series that examines mental health issues in our state. 

When it comes to finding a pathway to helping an addict to recovery, most people and most courts think of Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

The popular view is that AA and NA are the only ways for someone to get clean and sober, and stay that way.

But there are other options, organizations like SMART Recovery, LifeRing Secular Recovery and the Buddhist Recovery Network

For some, these alternatives can do what AA and NA could not.

flickr user Gage Skidmore / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

It's the mid-way point for the Republican National Convention.

 

And now you can peel away that word "presumptive" when talking about Donald Trump. Because after last night, he is now officially the GOP Presidential nominee.

 

Judi Schwalbach is the former mayor of Escanaba. She's a delegate representing the 1st Congressional District at the convention.

 

Schwalbach voted for Gov. John Kasich during the primary. However, Trump won her district.

Jeff Montgomery at the The NAMES Project's AIDS Quilt Memorial Display Candlelight Vigil in October, 1992
flickr user Elvert Barnes / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Jeff Montgomery was one of Michigan's first leading gay-rights activists. 

A personal tragedy drove him to become a fierce advocate for LGBT rights in Michigan and found the Triangle Foundation, which later became a part of Equality Michigan

Montgomery died this week in Detroit.

Stateside 7.19.2016

Jul 20, 2016

Today, the creative and legal way some cash-strapped Michigan cities are raising money despite Proposal A and the Headlee Amendment. And, we go back nearly 30 years when Michigan coach Bo Schembechler asked questions that got the FBI to start investigating doping in sports.

To find individual interviews, click here or see below:

A protester holds an anti-Donald Trump sign outside the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on Monday.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

If you count yourself as a supporter of Hillary Clinton, how many Donald Trump supporters do you know?

Or, on the flip side, if you support Trump's bid for the presidency, how many Clinton supporters do you know?

Flickr user Michigan Municipal League/Flickr

These are trying times for cities in Michigan, thanks in large part to big cuts in state revenue sharing and real estate values that cratered during the economic meltdown.

On top of all that, Proposal A and the Headlee Amendment limits local municipalities' ability to collect taxes.

As a result, many communities say they're out of options. They can't cut any deeper and they can't raise the money needed to provide operations. 

Public finance expert Michael McGee has come up with a possible solution: a legal "toolbox" that could allow cities to band together and put up a millage to pay for essential services. 

Bryan Weinert told us Michiganders are throwing away some $350 million worth of recyclable material every year
Mike Blank / Michigan Radio

Do you have any idea how much money we are throwing away with that all that garbage that's going into our landfills?

Tomorrow, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will hold a public meeting in Lansing to figure out how to rethink the way we deal with garbage and trash.

At the meeting, members of the public will get a chance to weigh in on the first major revision of our trash disposal and recycling laws since the 1990s.

Stateside 7.18.2016

Jul 18, 2016

Today, on The Next Idea, we hear how a competition stimulates entrepreneurs during the startup phase of their business. And, we talk with Laith Al-Saadi about life during, and after, "The Voice."

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