Stateside Staff

U.S. Congress / congress.gov

We are just hours away from what appears likely to be a partial government shutdown.

The U.S. Senate, controlled by Democrats, and the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives, have been unable to come to an agreement on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government.  If no agreement is reached today, which appears likely, the government begins shutting down at midnight.

David Shepardson, Washington D.C. based reporter for the Detroit News, joined us today from Washington.

Listen to the full interview above.

Flickr user rutty / Flickr

Ever since the rise of Facebook we’ve heard the warning: be careful about what you put on Facebook, watch what you post online. What if a prospective employer checks out your Facebook page and sees something that tanks you for that new job?

But, in his recent article in Crain’s Detroit Business, writer Chris Gautz tells us it’s the employer who needs to tread lightly and carefully in looking at social media, or the online presence of potential hires, and he warns companies to be careful in taking action against employees for their Facebook or Twitter postings.

Chris Gautz joined us today to tell us more.

Listen to the full interview above.

Flickr user Needle / Flickr

Clay Harrell has made saving pinball machines from the scrap heap his mission.

He has been collecting, repairing, and restoring pinball machines -- rescuing unwanted old machines and bringing them back to their former glory.

Now he’s moving his formidable pinball collection into a vacant VFW Hall in Green Oak Township in Livingston County. There he plans to create a private museum of pinball machines.

Clay Harrell joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Special Education students and their families in Michigan are about one month into the new school year and they're feeling the impact of the federal sequester cuts. Today, we looked at the cuts to special ed funding and find out what it means to schools and students.

 

And, a look at social media etiquette and your job--what's allowed and what's not.

And, one Detroit musician, and AP reporter, talks about his family's deep roots in Motown.

Also, we spoke with one man who has made it his mission to save pinball machines from the scrap yard. He plans to open up a private pinball museum.

First on the show, we are just hours away from what appears likely to be a partial government shutdown.

The U.S. Senate, controlled by Democrats and the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives, have been unable to come to an agreement on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government.  If no agreement is reached today, which appears likely, the government begins shutting down at midnight.

David Shepardson, Washington D.C. based reporter for the Detroit News, joined us today from Washington.

user BES Photos / Flickr

The start of the new school year has brought unpleasant and unwelcome surprises for the parents of Michigan children with special needs.

That's because the federal sequester has hit special education, in the words of our next guest, "like a ton of bricks."

A new round of special ed cuts were forced by a 5% reduction in federal funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and now parents and special education students are seeing what that means.

With some 6.5 million disabled children from ages 3 to 21 getting services funded by the IDEA, this is something being felt across the country.

Marcie Lipsitt is the co-chair of the Michigan Alliance for Special Education. As the mother of a son with special needs, she has been a state and national advocate for disabled children. She joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Twitter

His name is Jeff Karoub. You've heard him here on Stateside in his role as an Associated Press reporter covering the Detroit area.

But today, we met a "different" Jeff Karoub. We met the singer-songwriter-musician who has just won a grant from the Knight Foundation for a project he calls "Coming Home To Music."

Jeff Karoub joined us in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Gerald Rosen, the bankruptcy judge in charge of mediation, issed the order today.
Detroit Legal News

Many of us have not noticed the sequestration cuts by Congress, but they’re being felt within the federal court system. Eighty-seven judges have signed a letter outlining the problems caused by the cuts and they’ve sent it to Congress.

One of those judges is the Chief Judge for the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan.

We spoke with him today about how the cuts are being felt. Listen to our conversation with him above.

Ricardo Giaviti / Flickr

Without a doubt, the automakers of Detroit are healthier, but in the midst of better cars and trucks and much better sales is some machinations with Chrysler.

When Fiat, led by Sergio Marchionne, allied itself with Chrysler, it seemed to solve problems for both companies. But Marchionne has a rocky relationship with Chrysler workers represented by the United Auto Workers.

Now, Chrysler’s retiree health care trust is offering $100 million worth of shares in filing for an initial public offering in the U.S. They want to take Chrysler public. That really messes with Marchionne’s plans to merge Chrysler and Fiat.

Detroit News columnist Daniel Howse wrote about that today and joined us today.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

White House officials are meeting with Detroit and Michigan officials tomorrow and the feds are expected to bring some money.

It’s not being called a Detroit bailout, but it is expected to include federal and private funds to help Detroit demolish abandoned buildings, support police and some transportation projects.

The Detroit Free Press has been reporting on efforts to leverage as much federal help as possible. Todd Spangler with the Freep joined us today.

One of the problems Detroit has had is getting grants -- not keeping within the requirements of the grant and having to send money back to Washington. Part of the meeting tomorrow at Wayne State University is to help Detroit handle the grant money better and to take advantage of other money that might be available to help- without crossing that line of being a bailout. 

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

You might have heard about the Common Core education standards and maybe a bit about the fuss over these new standards. We wanted to get a little more information about what’s going on.

We talked to Michael Brickman, the national policy director at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education policy think tank. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

Adrian Clark / Flickr

As Medicaid expansion is coming, we’re starting to get a better picture of who will be covered. Much of Medicaid now is spent on people in nursing homes. But the expansion will include a lot of younger people, low-income workers.

A new study from the University of Michigan Medical School looks at the likely demographics and Tammy Chang, the lead author of that study, joined us in the studio to discuss the new faces of Medicaid. 

Listen to the interview above. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Legislature is considering bills that would overhaul auto insurance in the state.

There are several aspects to this. Jake Neher with the Michigan Public Radio Network joined us today to help us wade through what has been proposed. 

Listen to the full interview above.

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Imagine for a moment, you’re a student at the University of Michigan. A music student. And you compose a piece and suddenly find a major orchestra decides to perform your work. Kind of a dream come true, huh?

Well, that’s the reality Patrick Harlin is living. He is working on his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at U of M, and his composition “Rapture” will be performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra later this month.

Patrick Harlin joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

http://dept.stat.lsa.umich.edu/

The MacArthur Foundation has announced its “genius grants.” Twenty-four people who the Foundation want to recognize as exceptionally creative individuals who already have a track record of achievement and the potential for even more significant contributions in the future.

One of those 24 is Susan Murphy, a Professor of Statistics at the University of Michigan.

She joined us today to talk about her work and how she plans on using the money.

Listen to the full interview above.

Flickr user drinksmachine / Flickr

Police and prosecutors in Michigan have a new tool in their collective tool bag to help them punish shoplifters.

It's no small problem in this country. The National Retail Federation figures retailers lose upwards of $34 billion each year to retail theft or what's called "shrink." More than half of that is caused by sticky-fingered shoppers or dishonest employees, and the NRF figures that costs you up to $500 each year.

Now, shoplifters in Michigan face the prospect of prison time and fines.

Shoplifting has been moved up from a misdemeanor to a felony called "Organized retail crime" punishable by up to five years in prison or a fine of $5,000, or both.

Can we expect this new law to slow down shoplifters? And what about Michigan's already-overcrowded prisons?

Jeffrey Morenoff is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan, and he joined us today to discuss the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

jdurham / mourgeFile

When was the last time you got a hand-written note in the mail?

When was the last time you wrote a note in cursive?

The recently approved Common Core standards don't include a requirement to teach children cursive. That’s prompted a question. Do we need cursive or is it merely an antiquated writing style that’s not all that useful anymore?

Gerry Conti is a neuroscientist and occupational therapist and an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Once elected, a politician is supposed to work with colleagues to design policy to help government operate efficiently and serve the people. Since legislators represent different geographical areas of people, they often have to compromise.

That’s where moderates are key. They are not so steeped in ideology and are willing to find common ground that leads to compromise.

These days, that sounds rather quaint. Moderates are rare animals.

Listen to what Ken Sikkema, Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants and former Republican state Senate majority leader, and Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Radio's political analyst, think about these rare birds in today's politics.

Listen to the full interview above.

So, whatever happened to moderates in politics? It seems everyone is an ideologue and "compromise" is a dirty word. On today's show, we talked to a former Republican leader who says the disappearance of the moderate is becoming a real problem in his party.

And, we talked with a "genius."

The MacArther Foundation has announced this year's "genius grants," and one of the 24 who has been recognized as an exceptionally creative individual is from the University of Michigan.

And, the new Common Core Curriculum does not require that kids learn cursive, but is that really what is best?

Also, shoplifting is now a felony in Michigan. What does this mean for consumers and shop owners?

And, a music student at the University of Michigan will have his work performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. We talked to him about his piece.

First on the show, the Michigan Legislature is considering bills that would overhaul auto insurance in the state.

There are several aspects to this. Jake Neher with Michigan Public Radio Network joined us today to help us wade through what has been proposed. 

Flint, Mich.
Flint Michigan / Facebook.com

Flint gets more than its fair share of bad press because of the crime rate and the city’s financial struggles. But, Flint is also known for urban redevelopment at a scale not known by many other cities. Land use is changing. Vacant industrial areas and foreclosed properties are being purchased, abandoned buildings demolished and the area turned into a greenway.

Doug Weiland, the executive director of the Genesee County Land Bank, and Robert McMahan, President of Kettering University in Flint, joined us today to talk about changing the landscape in Flint.

Listen to the audio above.

taliesin / Morgue File

A federal judge recently called the New York City police force’s ‘stop and frisk’ practice unconstitutional and discriminatory.

Detroit’s ‘stop and frisk’ policy is based on the same advice of consultants at the Manhattan Institute who advised New York.

Despite the judge’s findings, Detroit Police Chief James Craig says the ‘stop and frisk’ in will continue and that the police in Detroit adhere to the best policing practices as called for under a consent agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has called on the Detroit Police to end the practice. In a three page letter the ACLU called ‘stop and frisk’ a prescription for an avoidable local disaster.

Mark Fancher of the ACLU joined us today. Click on the link above to listen to our conversation with him.

Congress is the holder of the purse and we’ve been hearing a lot about that recently. The sequester, a possible partial government shutdown, the looming debt ceiling. And, really, there are no signals from the Democrats or the Republicans that anyone intends to budge from their positions.

Former Michigan Congressman Bob Carr with the "Campaign to Fix the Debt" joined us today.

Listen to the audio above to find out about the "Campaign to Fix the Debt," and what Carr thinks about the current gridlock in Congress.

This spring the President of the University of Michigan, Mary Sue Coleman, announced she is leaving that post .

The U of M Board of Regents appointed a Presidential Search Advisory Committee this summer and this time it does not include a student.

Matt Nolan is an attorney and the director of Dow Corning’s Political Action Committee. He is the former Michigan Student Assembly president.  And he sat on the search advisory committee that chose Coleman to be President.

In fact, most searches for president of a major university includes a student representative.

The seven people on the Committee are faculty members, although some of them also hold administrative positions.  What are they going to be missing that a student might notice during a search like this?

Listen to the interview above to hear the answer.

Listen to the audio above.

courtesy of FreeAmir.org

A man from Flint, Michigan has been held prisoner in Iran for two years.

Amir Hekmati traveled to Iran to visit his grandmother in 2011. He was seized by the Iranian government and imprisoned. They accuse Hekmati –a former Marine- of spying for the CIA. He and the U.S. Government deny it.

Democratic U.S. Representative Dan Kildee (D-MI), has been leading an effort calling for Amir Hekmati to be released. Kildee joined us on Stateside today.

Listen to the full interview above. 

In a few weeks, a U.S. District judge will hold a hearing on a Michigan case that challenges the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage. On today's show: we explored the implications the case could have in Michigan and across the nation.

Also on today's show, Michigan wines are really making a name for themselves outside of the state. We talked to a connoisseur who isn't the least bit surprised by that news. And, according to a new report, lobbyist spending on free lunches for legislators has gone up. We spoke to Rich Robinson of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network to see what else they are spending on. Also, The Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference was this past weekend. It's Just Politics co-hosts Rick Pluta and Zoe Clark joined us to talk about what happened there.

DeBoer Rowse Adoption Legal Fund

On October 16th,  U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman will be hearing a case, which challenges Michigan’s Constitutional ban on gay marriage.

The case didn’t start out that way. It started out as a court case to simply protect the futures of these three little kids who really don’t understand such things as government and lawyers and courts. They only know they have a happy home with their two moms.

DeBoer and Rowse wanted to jointly adopt their kids to better protect their futures. The State of Michigan argued, no way. They can’t. They’re not married.

Their case has become the most anticipated development in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people’s rights in Michigan. They’re involved in a Federal court case that challenges the state’s Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

http://gophouse.org/

There’s a new report on lobbyists’ spending in Lansing. The Michigan Campaign Finance Network has looked at the numbers, and the big change: free lunches for legislators are up 48% from 2012.

Rich Robinson of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network joined us today to talk about what he’s found.

Listen to the full interview above.

SteveBurt1947 / Flickr

The co-hosts of It’s Just Politics were hanging out with lots of Republicans this weekend - around 1,500, in case you were wondering. 

Rick Pluta, Capitol Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network and our own political junkie here at Michigan Radio, Zoe Clark joined us today to talk about what they learned at the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference that took place over the weekend.

Listen to the full interview above.

user farlane / flickr

Go to New York. Visit a nice restaurant. And, you just might find yourself looking over the wine list and find an entry that might be surprise you. A Michigan wine.

The Chief Restaurant Critic and Wine Writer for Hour Magazine, Chris Cook recently wrote about that surprise, and he joined us today to talk Michigan wines.

Listen to the full interview above.

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/

A brand-new report card has been released from the bipartisan Commonwealth Fund.

The report examines just how well the health care systems in each of the 50 states are working. The conclusion: if you live in a state that generally does poorly in health care, it doesn't necessarily matter what your income level is. High-income people who live in these poorly-performing states are worse off than low-income people who live in states with high health scores.

Cathy Schoen is senior vice president at The Commonwealth Fund and the author of the new report. She spoke with Cyndy Canty, host of Stateside, earlier in the day.

Listen to the full interview above.

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