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Stateside
2:08 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

Senate may finally vote on Medicaid expansion this week

The Michigan Senate chamber.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

An interview with Rick Pluta, the Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network.

This promises to be an important week for the State Senate. This could be the week the Senate decides whether or not to expand Medicaid to more low-income adults in Michigan.

You may recall, the Senate broke off for its summer break in June without taking a vote on Medicaid, something that so incensed Governor Snyder that he came home early from a trade trip to Israel in order to publicly scold the Senate.

So, two months later, it appears a vote is at hand.

Rick Pluta, the Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
1:25 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

New book explores how one Motown song embodied the spirit of revolution

Writer Mark Kurlansky.
Wikipedia

An interview with writer Mark Kurlansky.

“Dancing in the Street,” written by Mickey Stevenson, Ivy Jo Hunter and Marvin Gaye, and recorded in two takes, less than 10 minutes, by Martha Reeves. For many, that song is Motown.

Little did they know after slapping down Martha’s vocals in that studio in Hitsville on West Grand Boulevard, they had created a song that would come to represent a watershed moment in history--Motown’s history, Detroit’s history, and America’s history.

Writer Mark Kurlansky talks about the story of how this hit Motown song became the rallying point for these important moments in history in his newest book, “Ready For A Brand New Beat: How ‘Dancing in the Street’ Became the Anthem for a Changing America.”

Read more
Stateside
7:06 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Should the Packard Plant be saved?

Albert Duce Wikimedia Commons

An interview with Anya Sirota and Robin Boyle.

Wayne County officials say they soon hope to close a deal with a developer to buy a former car plant: the Packard Plant, a crumbling 35-acre site on Detroit's east side. It's become an iconic image that, to many, represents industrial decay and the decline of a once-proud Detroit.

The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press report the deal between the county and Evanston, Illinois based developer Bill Hults is tentatively set to close next week. Hults wants to convert the 110-year-old facility into a commercial, housing and entertainment complex.

Many hurdles remain for Hults, who hasn't disclosed his partners or completed a project of this size. 

Hults plans to buy the plant for its $1 million unpaid tax bill.

If the deal fails, the complex would be put in a public auction in September.

Read more
Politics & Culture
7:00 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

It's getting close to back-to-school time. So today, we took a look at teachers -- in particular, teacher turnover, and what it can do a student's academic achievement. Teachers leaving their profession costs the nation billions of dollars each year. We ask what can be done to keep teachers teaching.

And, there have been some complaints about the cooler, rainier summer we've been having, but it turns out it's been good for our Great Lakes. Meteorologist Mark Torregrossa joined us today to tell us why.

Also, the historic Packard Plant in Detroit may be converted into a commercial, housing and entertainment complex, but is this feasible?

First on the show, it's Thursday, which means it's time for our weekly check-in with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

And today he's got his eye fixed on the storm clouds that are gathering for the Detroit Institute of Arts. This particular growing cloud comes from Oakland County. 

Daniel Howes joined us today to talk about the troubles the DIA faces.

Stateside
6:04 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

The DIA is facing trouble from Oakland County

user aMichiganMom Flickr

An interview with Daniel Howes.

It's Thursday, which means it's time for our weekly check-in with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

And today he's got his eye fixed on the storm clouds that are gathering over the Detroit Institute of Arts. This particular growing cloud comes from the Oakland County.

Daniel Howes joined us today to talk about the troubles the DIA now faces.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:57 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Great Lakes water levels are improving thanks to cool, wet summer weather

NOAA

An interview with MLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa.

There has been a healthy degree of grousing this year by lovers of hot weather.

We had a cool and rainy spring, and certainly this summer has not been a replay of last year's hot, dry season.

But here's something to think about: the cooler, wetter weather is "good medicine" for our Great Lakes and those all-important water levels.

MLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa joined us today to talk about why.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:50 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

Teacher turnover is harming students, what can be done to keep them in the profession?

Research has found that nearly 50% of new teachers leave within five years.
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

An interview with Randi Stanulis, an associate professor of education at Michigan State University.

It's late August, and parents are taking their kids on back-to-school shopping trips. There are conversations and speculation about teacher assignments, and in some cases, questions about whether teachers will be returning in the fall.

When teachers leave a school, it hits students hard. A researcher from the University of Michigan and his colleagues studied data over an each year period and found teacher turnover harms student learning, especially in math and English.

A study by the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future estimates that teachers dropping out of the profession cost the nation around $7 billion a year.

Trying to keep teachers in the classroom and in the profession is Randi Stanulis’s mission. She is an associate professor of education at Michigan State University and she directs a teacher mentoring program that some say could ultimately serve as a national model.

Randi Stanulis joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:53 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Controversy surrounds the results of Detroit's mayoral primary

Jocelyn Benson, dean of the Wayne State University Law School.
Photograph courtesy of the votebenson.com website

An interview with Jocelyn Benson, interim dean of Wayne State University's law school.

As you've likely heard by now, a state election panel will have to decide the official outcome of Detroit's mayoral primary. That's because Wayne County's election board refused to certify the election. It should be noted that the county election board acted on the very last day before the deadline to certify the election.

The controversy centers on some 20,000 write-in votes that may have been incorrectly marked by Detroit poll workers.

Former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan appeared to win the primary handily over Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

Despite running as a write-in candidate, Duggan won by about 16 points, according to unofficial results.

But if these almost 20,000 write-in votes get thrown out, the two winners would switch places, with  Napoleon coming out on top, and former Detroit Medical Center Mike Duggan finishing second.

Whatever the outcome, Duggan and Napoleon will face off in November.

But this drama raises many concerns, including the ability of Detroit poll workers to do their jobs properly, whether there needs to be a recount, and whether---as suggested by Benny Napoleon--the U.S. Department of Justice needs to babysit the big November election.

Jocelyn Benson, interim dean of Wayne State University's law school and an expert in Michigan's constitutional and election law, joined us today to help us sort this all out.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:48 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

The best Gibson guitars were made by the 'Kalamazoo Gals'

The 1944 Gibson workforce.
Dr. John Thomas

An interview with Dr. John Thomas and Kalamazoo Gal Irene Stearns.

The “Banner” Gibson guitar is considered one of the finest acoustic guitars ever made.

Over 9,000 of these Banners were carefully built during World War II.

But Gibson company records show the company had shifted to producing goods for the war effort and not instruments, and most of the men who made those Gibsons at the headquarters in Kalamazoo were off fighting the war.

So who made these guitars that are still prized 70 years later?

That question and his love of guitars drove Connecticut law professor Dr. John Thomas to discover the remarkable answer, which he turned into a book called “Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Women and Gibson’s Banner Guitars of World War Two.”

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Stateside
5:44 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

What's the view of Detroit from 'Up North?'

user: jodelli Flickr

An interview with Ken Winter and Jack Lessenberry.

In the five weeks since Detroit filed for bankruptcy, there has been much conversation, much reporting, much editorializing.

What does it mean? Who will be affected? How can Detroit turn itself around? A lot of opinions, and a lot of views.

One view we have not gotten yet on Stateside is the view of the Detroit bankruptcy from "Up North."

That's something we remedied today as we welcomed Ken Winter, former editor and publisher of the Petoskey News-Review and member of the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame.

And, freshly returned from his trip to the Upper Peninsula, where he was able to get an up-close take on the UP's view of Detroit, Michigan Radio's political analyst Jack Lessenberry also joined the discussion.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:42 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

The Upper Peninsula has its own poet laureate

Russell Thorburn
http://outreach.ewu.edu

An interview with Russell Thorburn, the Upper Peninsula's poet laureate.

In the entire history of Michigan, there has been only one state poet laureate: Edgar Guest.

But, the Upper Peninsula can boast of having a poet laureate. Recent voting in a grassroots campaign gave that honor to Russell Thorburn.

Russell Thorburn joined us today to talk about what this honor means to him professionally and personally.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:39 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

On today’s show we explored the differences residents in the UP have as compared with "trolls," you know, residents under the Mackinac Bridge.

How do perspectives about our state change depending on where we live?

And, we got the story behind Banner Gibson guitars in Kalamazoo and the women who made them.

Also, the UP’s own poet laureate joined us to talk about the rise in regional poet laureates, as well as what that honor means to him.

First on the show, as you've likely heard by now, a state election panel will have to decide the official outcome of Detroit's mayoral primary. That's because Wayne County's election board refused to certify the election. It should be noted that the county election board acted on the very last day before the deadline to certify the election.

The controversy centers on some 20,000 write-in votes that may have been incorrectly marked by Detroit poll workers.

Former Detroit Medical Center CEO Mike Duggan appeared to win the primary handily over Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

Despite running as a write-in candidate, Duggan won by about 16 points, according to unofficial results.

But if these almost 20,000 write-in votes get thrown out, the two winners would switch places, with  Napoleon coming out on top, and former Detroit Medical Center Mike Duggan finishing second.

Whatever the outcome, Duggan and Napoleon will face off in November.

But this drama raises many concerns, including the ability of Detroit poll workers to do their jobs properly, whether there needs to be a recount, and whether---as suggested by Benny Napoleon--the U.S. Department of Justice needs to babysit the big November election.

Jocelyn Benson, interim dean of Wayne State University's law school and an expert in Michigan's constitutional and election law, joined us today to help us sort this all out.

Stateside
5:31 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Creditors, unions, and retirees file formal complaints against Detroit's bankruptcy eligibility

Peter Martorano Flickr

An interview with Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek.

Does Detroit qualify for bankruptcy protection? That’s the question Judge Stephen Rhodes of federal bankruptcy court will have to decide later this fall. Monday was the last day for creditors, unions and retirees to file formal challenges to Detroit’s eligibility for bankruptcy protection.

Now that the eligibility objection deadline has come and gone, we wanted to get an idea who objected, why, and what happens next.

Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek joined us today from Detroit.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:24 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The deadline to formally object to Detroit's bankruptcy filing has come and gone as yesterday was the deadline to file challenges to the city's eligibility for Chapter 9 protection. On today's show: we took a look at the objections and where things go from here.

Also, emergency manager Kevyn Orr has requested that the collection of city-owned art at the DIA be formally appraised. What does this mean for the museum, the city of Detroit, and the art world?

And, the Amish community in North America has grown 20% over the past five years. We explored what's behind the growth.

First on the show, after nearly 5 years, the city of Pontiac's financial emergency is officially resolved.

Emergency manager Lou Schimmel resigned yesterday, but the state will still have a heavy hand in the city's finances.

A Transition Advisory Board appointed by Governor Snyder will have to approve all major budget decisions.

Lou Schimmel joined us today.

Stateside
5:22 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

A closer look at Amish communities in America

Is this what you picture when you think of the Amish?
Beechwood Photography Flickr

An interview with Gertrude Enders Huntington and Steve Nolt.

When you think of "The Amish," what comes to mind?

Horses? Buggies? Long dresses and bonnets? Long beards? No electricity?

Well, yes, there is all of that. But there is so much more to the Amish in America, and here in Michigan, where the Amish population numbers around 11,000.

We wanted to find out more about the Amish, especially what the rest of us might learn from them. Consider this: how does a one-room Amish schoolhouse going only to eighth grade, with only a battery-powered clock in the way of "technology," how do these schools turn out highly successful entrepreneurs whose firms gross annual sales in the million-dollar range?

Gertrude Enders Huntington is a retired professor from the University of Michigan. She is the co-author of "Amish Children: Education in the Family, School, and Community."

Steve Nolt is a professor of history at Goshen College in Indiana and co-author of "The Amish," the companion book to the American Experience documentary on PBS.

They both joined us today to take a closer look at the Amish community.

Read more
Stateside
4:49 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Kevyn Orr requests formal appraisal of the DIA's collection

Flickr

An interview with Detroit Free Press staff writer Mark Stryker.

The eyes of the art world are trained on Woodward Avenue in Detroit, on the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Christie's Auction House is formally appraising the city-owned works at the DIA at the request of emergency manager Kevyn Orr.

The very hint of the idea that pieces in the DIA collection could be sold off to satisfy Detroit's creditors has had the impact of a tsunami in the art world.

The DIA says the collection doesn't belong to the city, it belongs to the public, and thus, is protected by a public trust. These are all questions federal judge Steven Rhodes will eventually decide.

So now, with this appraisal, there's this for the art world and art patrons to consider: when Christie's delivers its report to Orr, it will be the first time the public gets an idea of the market value of thousands of pieces of art at a world-class museum.

Detroit Free Press staff writer Mark Stryker recently wrote an article about the appraisals, and he joined us today to talk about what this means for the DIA, the city of Detroit, and for the art world.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:47 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

Pontiac emergency manager Lou Schimmel is out of office

An interview with Pontiac's former emergency manager Lou Schimmel.

After nearly five years, the city of Pontiac's financial emergency is officially resolved.

Emergency manager Lou Schimmel resigned yesterday, but the state will still have a heavy hand in the city's finances.

A "transition advisory board" appointed by Governor Snyder will have to approve all major budget decisions.

Lou Schimmel was appointed to that board. He joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:37 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Governor Snyder's NERD fund is seeing a sharp decrease in contributions

michigan.gov

An interview with Jonathan Oosting, a reporter for MLive.com.

Donations to Governor Snyder’s civic fund decreased last year by a lot. The 501(c)4 known as The New Energy to Reinvent and Diversity Fund – or “NERD Fund” for short – received $1.3 million in 2011, but in 2012 , the number was $368,000.

Jonathan Oosting is with MLive.com. He reports, “the NERD fund earns tax-exempt status by purporting to 'promote charitable causes including lessening the financial burdens of government in the state of Michigan.'”

Oosting joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:34 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Why the Detroit Public School bond offering is worth a look to investors

O.k., o.k., we know this one is empty, but some high school students in the Detroit Public Schools say their classroom are far from empty.
User Motown31 Creative Commons

An interview with Josh Gonze of Thornberg Investment Management.

So, investors, who's willing to bite? Who is willing to buy bonds from a troubled school district being run by an emergency manager located in a city run by an emergency manager, a city that just made history with its bankruptcy filing?

It's easy to understand why investors may run the other way from the Detroit Public Schools' bond offering.

But Josh Gonze says "not so fast!" He is a municipal bond portfolio manager who thinks the Detroit Public Schools bond offering tomorrow has something to offer an investor.

Josh Gonze is with Thornberg Investment Management based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:31 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

'Canoeing Michigan Rivers' gets an update

The case involved a potential discharge into the AuSable River. The Michigan Supreme Court has limited the ability to sue the state over environmental permits.
wikimedia commons

An interview with author Jerry Dennis.

When you talk about the outdoor offerings of Pure Michigan, you just cannot overlook her rivers.

For every person who can’t wait to get to the lake, put in the boat and go sailing or water skiing, there’s someone else who can’t wait to get to the river and put that paddle into the water. Some of Cynthia Canty’s best memories of Michigan summers were the days she spent canoeing along the Manistee River, thanks to the little cottage her family had right along the river’s banks, not too far from Kalkaska.

The “bible” for Michigan paddlers is, without a doubt, the book “Canoeing Michigan Rivers” by Jerry Dennis and Craig Date. It was first published in 1986. 

Now they’ve released the updated edition of “Canoeing Michigan Rivers.”

Jerry Dennis joined us today from Traverse City.

Listen to the full interview above.

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