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Politics & Culture
5:12 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Stateside for Monday, August 5th, 2013

When it comes to economic growth and finding an economic partner, it seems Michigan and China have a serious relationship. Last year, Michigan exported more than $3 billion worth of goods and services to China, only behind Canada and Mexico. We took a look at these economic ties and what they mean for the future.

And, we met a 17-year-old who is trying to keep her community clean, one trash bag at a time.

Also, we spoke with Bruce Katz, vice president of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program and co-author of the new book “The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros are Fixing our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy,” about rebuilding Detroit.

First on the show, tomorrow is primary election day. Detroit's primary is getting most of the attention, but there are local elections happening in many areas of the state on Tuesday.

In Flint, voters are choosing among two dozen candidates to fill largely powerless city council seats.

Flint has been under the control of an emergency manager since December of 2011. But while Flint city council members wield little power now, that may soon change.

Flint is taking steps to come out from under state oversight and that could happen late next year, so the Flint city council members elected from the field of Tuesday’s primary candidates may eventually have actual power to shape their city.

Voters are also casting primary ballots in parts of Lansing, Jackson, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor.

In all, voters in more than 50 Michigan counties will be casting ballots on Tuesday.

In Detroit, the stakes have never been higher because of the bankruptcy.

Detroit Free Press editorial writer Nancy Kaffer joined us today to give us a preview of the election.

Stateside
3:11 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Oakland County teen gets recognized for her efforts to clean up her community

http://www.actionfornature.org/

An interview with Brianna Moore, winner of an International Young Eco-Hero Award.

When you're walking in your favorite park, what do you do when you see trash? Plastic bags, empty bottles, and cigarette butts?

Chances are most of us would shake our heads in dismay at the nerve of someone who would deliberately litter like that and keep on walking.

We wanted you to meet an Oakland County teenager who doesn't just keep on walking. She puts on her rubber gloves and picks up other peoples' trash.

17 year old Brianna Moore has just been recognized by a San Francisco group called "Action For Nature." They've given Briana an International Young Eco-Hero Award for her efforts to clean up her community.

Brianna Moore joined us today from her home in Oak Park.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:41 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, August 1st, 2013

People around the world and right here in Michigan are rethinking money in order to ease financial woes, and they're doing it with local currency. On today's show we found out what it is, and where it's working.

And, we headed up north to a resort town where a vacation can lead to putting down roots and building a business.

Also, one of the co-founders of The Artist Lounge joined us to tell us about how her business is breathing new life into Pontiac.

And, the Farm Bill and food stamp programs expire at the end of September. We took a closer look at what this means for Michiganders receiving federal food assistance.

Also, we spoke with Micki Maynard about what she thinks the future of personal transportation will look like.

First on the show, a State Senate panel has voted to make more than 300,000 Michiganders eligible for Medicaid in 2014. And that's not all: the GOP-led Government Operations Committee said yes to two alternative plans.

So, from the Senate ticking off Governor Snyder by adjourning without voting on the House-passed Medicaid expansion plan to this Senate Panel serving up not one, not two, but three Medicaid proposals, it's a lot to keep track of.

We turned to Michigan Public Radio Network's Lansing reporter Jake Neher for a little help in sorting this all out.

Stateside
5:36 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Artist Lounge creator wants to use art to improve Pontiac community

Wendelin Wilson and Wendy Fournier, founders of The Artist Lounge.
Facebook

An interview with Wendy Fournier, co-founder of The Artist Lounge.

Bringing new life back into downtown Pontiac one brushstroke at a time.

That’s the mission of a new business called “The Artist Lounge,” which strives to use the power of art to touch lives and boost an Oakland County city that has had its share of struggles.

Wendy Fournier is the co-founder of The Artist Lounge on Saginaw Street in downtown Pontiac. She joined us today to talk about what The Artist Lounge offers to people in the Pontiac area.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:30 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Bay Bucks: The local currency of Traverse City

The front and back of a 20 Bay Bucks note.
deepwoodpress.com

An interview with Dena Ames, a Traverse City resident.

Today on Stateside, we talked with currency expert, journalist, and author Jacqui Dunne about local currencies. In case you're still a little unclear as to how a local currency would work in everyday life, we found out more about it.

Dena Ames is a Traverse City resident. She works at Oryana Natural Food Market where they use and exchange a local currency called Bay Bucks.

Dena Ames joined us today from Traverse City to talk about how Bay Bucks are helping the local economy.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:26 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

The future of personal transportation might not include cars

Micki Maynard

An interview with writer Micki Maynard.

What does the future hold for the way we get from Point A to Point B?

Writer Micki Maynard is looking at what's happening all around the country in terms of personal transportation and she sees big changes on the way.

Micki is the former Detroit bureau chief for the New York Times and she has authored four books, including "The End of Detroit: How the Big Three Lost Their Grip on the American Car Industry."

And now she's got a new project in the works, a proposed e-book called "Curbing Cars."

Micki Maynard joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:08 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Senate panel approves Medicaid expansion, as well as alternative plans

The Michigan Senate
user cedarbenddrive Flickr

An interview with Michigan Public Radio Network's Lansing reporter Jake Neher.

A State Senate panel has voted to make more than 300,000 Michiganders eligible for Medicaid in 2014. And that's not all: the GOP-led Government Operations Committee said yes to two alternative plans.

So, from the Senate ticking off Governor Snyder by adjourning without voting on the House-passed Medicaid expansion plan, to this Senate Panel serving up not one, not two, but three Medicaid proposals, it's a lot to keep track of.

We turned to Michigan Public Radio Network's Lansing reporter Jake Neher for a little help in sorting this all out.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:02 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

What does the Farm Bill mean for Michiganders receiving food assistance?

Funding for the food stamp program is part of the federal Farm Bill.
Brandon Shigeta Google images

An interview with Melissa Smith, a senior policy analyst for the Michigan League of Public Policy.

The federal Farm Bill is the focus of the latest political battle on Capitol Hill. And in that fight rests the future of SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

1.7 million people here in Michigan and 47.5 million people nationwide receive federal help to buy food. Spending and participation in the food stamp program is at an all-time high.

Funding for the food stamp program is part of the big five-year Farm Bill. Both the House and Senate have approved Farm Bills, but there's a big gulf between the two versions.

The Senate's version would cut about $4 billion from food assistance programs. Senate Democrats say that would root out waste but not strand people in need.

The House version would have cut much deeper, around $20 billion. House Republicans say now that the economy is recovering, food assistance can be cut back, and they maintain that President Obama's expansion of food aid during the recession went well beyond what was truly needed. GOP House leaders stripped food aid out of its farm bill to get it passed.

So now what? The clock is ticking, because the Farm Bill and food stamp programs expire at the end of September.

What does this all mean for those Michiganders who receive federal food assistance?

Melissa Smith is a senior policy analyst for the Michigan League of Public Policy, a Lansing-based group that focuses on social services. She joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:53 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Local currency one answer to Detroit's problems?

Currency expert, journalist, and author Jacqui Dunne.
Twitter

An interview with Jacqui Dunne, a currency expert and a journalist.

As Detroit makes unhappy history by becoming the biggest city in American history to file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection, the focus has been on money and how the city doesn't have enough of it to meet its crushing obligations.

There are financial experts who believe the troubles facing Detroit and many other cities and states is a warning, a warning that we as a society need to rethink our monetary system and look at the advantages of a local currency.

What's wrong with our current money system? And how would local currencies help solve many problems?

We turned to the co-author of the book "Rethinking Money: How New Currencies Turn Scarcity Into Prosperity" for answers. Jacqui Dunne is a currency expert and a journalist.

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Politics & Culture
6:16 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

The FBI has just completed a nationwide sweep resulting in the arrest of 150 pimps and the rescue of 105 children who had been forced into prostitution. We took a closer look at human trafficking in our state.

And, we spoke with Leigh Ann Ulrey, one of 30 college graduates to be selected for the Challenge Detroit program.

And, a new House bill could eliminate state income tax. State Representative Bob Genetski joined us to talk about why he thinks income tax is unnecessary.

Also, self-driving cars could be available to consumers within the next 2-3 years, according to Google. We found out what the future of transportation might look like.

First on the show, there was an important handshake this afternoon in Lansing.

UAW President Bob King shook hands with state government officials to officially launch the start of contract talks.

UAW Local 6000's contract with the state expires at the end of 2014. But the state needs to finalize the next contract by the end of this year in order to get it funded in next year's budget. Local 6000 represents 17,000 state employees.

Let's look at what the big issues might be in the negotiations.

Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network's Lansing bureau chief, joined us today.

Stateside
6:14 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

2013 labor negotiations started in Lansing today

UAW President Bob King (far left) looks on as UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada shakes hands with Michigan State Employer Jan Winter (right). The UAW is one of six state employee unions bargaining for a new contract that would take effect in 2015.
Rick Pluta Michigan Public Radio

An interview with Rick Pluta.

There was an important handshake this afternoon in Lansing.

UAW President Bob King shook hands with state government officials to officially launch the start of 2013 labor negotiations.

UAW Local 6000's contract with the state expires at the end of 2014. But the state needs to finalize the next contract by the end of this year in order to get it funded in next year's budget. Local 6000 represents 17,000 state employees.

Let's look at what the big issues might be in the negotiations.

Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network's Lansing bureau chief, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
6:11 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

The self-driving car is no longer a thing of fiction

A Google driverless car.
Wikipedia

An interview with Dr. Peter Sweatman and Richard Wallace.

Are you ready to let your car do the driving?

Once we thought of the self-driving car as something from science fiction. But technological breakthroughs have been coming at ever-increasing speeds.

Google expects its driverless car will be ready for consumers in the next 3-5 years. GM thinks intelligent vehicles will be on the roads by 2020. Ford predicts 2025.

And researchers at the University of Michigan are making sure the Great Lakes State is front-and-center in developing and testing the connected vehicle technology that is essential to the self-driving car.

The director of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Dr. Peter Sweatman, and Richard Wallace, the director of Transportation Systems Analysis for the Center for Automotive Research, joined us today to talk about the future of transportation.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
6:07 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

New bill could eliminate Michigan income tax

State Representative Bob Genetski
Photo courtesy of Rep. Genetski's office

An interview with State Representative Bob Genetski.

How would you like to say farewell to the state income tax?

State Representative Bob Genetski is a Republican from Saugatuck, and he thinks we should do just that.

He has introduced House Bill 4898, which Representative Genetski is calling the “Taxpayer Freedom Act,” and it would allow voters to decide whether to keep the state income tax or get rid of it.

Representative Bob Genetski joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
6:06 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Challenge Detroit program combats Michigan 'brain drain'

Leigh Ann Ulrey speaks about her experiences at Compuware.
Facebook

An interview with Leigh Ann Ulrey, one the fellows from the 2012-2013 Challenge Detroit program.

There’s been a lot of attention paid to the problem of Michigan’s brain drain, how to keep college graduates in Michigan, applying their talents and energies to issues and challenges that are here at home instead of heading out of state.

We discovered an intriguing program offering a strategy to keep tomorrow’s leaders in the state. It’s called Challenge Detroit. It’s a leadership and professional development program that’s currently in its first year.

Leigh Ann Ulrey was one of the 30 graduates chosen out of hundreds of applicants to be part of the 2012-2013 Challenge Detroit program. She is a culture community and diversity specialist at Compuware in downtown Detroit. She joined us today from the Compuware headquarters.

Listen to the full interview above.

Investigative
3:10 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Human trafficking: Insight from those who represent victims after they're rescued

18 arrests were made in a national sweep recently.
user: The Ohio State University Flickr

The FBI recently completed a national sweep that led to the arrests of 150 pimps and the rescue of 105 children who were forced into sex slavery. The sweep was called the Innocence Lost National Initiative.

There were ten children (as young as 13-years-old) rescued in Detroit and 18 arrests were made, which put the city in the number two slot in the national sweep's ranking.

Elizabeth Campbell, a staff attorney for the Human Trafficking Clinic at the University of Michigan, wasn't surprised by those numbers, even though they were higher than many of the cities that were included. 

"Every American community has this problem, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I'd like to believe that [higher numbers in Michigan] are because we have great cooperation with law enforcement, but we also have certain factors that have made us susceptible to such operations."

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Stateside
5:35 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

What is causing the unseasonably cool weather?

bucklava flickr

An interview with meteorologist Mark Torregrossa.

The weather has been really nice lately –maybe a little cool at night- but this is July, people. What happened to the dog days of summer? One week of hot weather and then fall?

It’s time for an expert to weigh in, and that’s why we called MLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa. He joined us today to talk about the unseasonably cool weather. Listen to the full interview above.

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Stateside
5:33 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Detroit and other Michigan municipalities are behind in pension and retiree health care obligations

A hospital wing
Clarita MorgueFile

An interview with Anthony Minghine, the chief operating officer of the Michigan Municipal League.

By now you’ve heard a bit about Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing. About half of Detroit’s nearly $20 billion in debt is due to shortfalls in the funds for retiree’s benefits. According to emergency manager Kevyn Orr’s estimates, the pension funds are behind by about $3.5 billion and behind in retiree health care funds by about $5.7 billion.

Detroit is not unique in its unfunded pension and retiree health care obligations. Other municipalities in the state are also behind.

Anthony Minghine is the chief operating officer of the Michigan Municipal League.  He joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:08 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Detroit native finds the silver lining in bankruptcy

Some people, like Matthew Naimi, see bankruptcy as an opportunity to address what's wrong with Detroit.
Sam Beebe Ecotrust

An interview with Matthew Naimi, the founder of the non-profit Recycle Here in Detroit.

An opinion piece caught our attention in the wake of the Detroit bankruptcy filing. The headline of the piece in the online magazine site Model D reads “Bankruptcy, the beginning of another opportunity.”

The author was Matthew Naimi, founder of the non-profit Recycle Here in Detroit. He describes bankruptcy as a chance to finally address the city’s dysfunction.

Naimi joined us today to discuss his piece.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:05 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Michigan authors are making stops on the fourth annual Upper Peninsula book tour

Flickr/Sarah Sosiak

An interview with Michigan authors Bonnie Jo Campbell and Ron Riekki.

A group of Michigan writers is headed to the Upper Peninsula where they are going to spend a couple of weeks making stops to talk about books, writing, and presumably talking a little bit about Michigan.

On the tour is Bonnie Jo Campbell, a Michigan author. Her works include the bestselling novel Once Upon a River and American Salvage, a collection of short stories. Ron Riekki, is also a Michigan author and the project director of the book tour.

They both joined us today to talk about the fourth annual Upper Peninsula book tour.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:04 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

What is happening with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act?

Michigan Health Insurance Program is offering more options to people with pre-existing conditions.
user striatic Flickr

An interview with Helen Levy and Thomas Buchmueller about the Affordable Care Act.

Few things have been more politicized than the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

There’s a lot of misinformation and disinformation about the insurance program. We’re going to try to put politics aside and find out just what’s happening now and what will happen as it continues to be phased in.

Helen Levy is a professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, the Institute for Social Research, and the Ford School of Public Policy. Thomas Buchmueller is a health economist and professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

They joined us today to talk about the insurance program.

“The goal is to reach as many as we can of the approximately 50 million people who have no health insurance. And so the way we’re trying to do that is by expanding access to individual health insurance coverage for people who could by their own coverage but don’t have an employer policy,” said Levy. “And we are also trying to target the uninsured and give them coverage by expanding the Medicaid program in some states.”

It is currently unknown as to whether or not Michigan will be one of those states.

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