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Stateside
5:35 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Michigan company towns: The mixed blessing of having a single major employer

Richard Longworth, author and senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
http://www.richardclongworth.com/

An interview with George Erickcek and Richard Longworth.

When you hear the term “company town” you might think of DOW and Midland, Ford and Dearborn, Kellogg and Battle Creek, or Whirlpool and Benton Harbor. But too many cities in Michigan have realized just how dependent they are on a single industry when the major employer shuts its plant down - just think of GM and Flint, or the Ford plant in Monroe, or any other number of towns that have lost major employers during Michigan’s so-called lost decade.

Mid-sized and smaller towns have known for some time that they need to diversify the employment base, but that’s a job with a lot of obstacles.

George Erickcek, a senior regional analyst with the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, and Richard Longworth, a senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and author of the book “Caught in the MiddleAmerica's Heartland in the Age of Globalism," joined us today.

Politics & Culture
5:30 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

We continued our look at energy in Michigan on the show. Today, it's all about fracking. Horizontal hydraulic fracturing has led to an abundance of natural gas, but it is also raising a lot of concerns, both in the U.S. and Europe. We spoke with Andy Hoffman, Abrahm Lustgarten, and Russell Padmore about the risks.

And, you've heard of Benton Harbor and Whirlpool, Battle Creek and Kellogg - we explored "company towns" and what they mean for the Michigan economy.

First on the show, the Michigan Campaign Finance Network today released its 2012 Citizen’s Guide to Michigan Campaign Finance entitled “Descending into Dark Money.”

I’m sure you’ll be just shocked, shocked I tell you - to learn record amounts of money were spent with even less accountability for who was spending that money. 

Rich Robinson with the Michigan Campaign Finance Network joined us in the studio today to discuss the issue. 

Stateside
6:16 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Michigan kids are in bad shape when it comes to economic well-being

Poverty has doubled in Livingston County over the last 5 years
SamPac creative commons

An interview with Patrick McCarthy, the President and Chief Executive author of Kids Count.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation has issued its annual Kids Count report on the well-being of children across the nation. In Michigan, the outline is a mixed bag, but overall Michigan is last among Great Lakes states for child well-being.

There were improvements in how well kids are doing in school, some improvements in the area of the health of kids and the number who have health insurance, but in every category of economic well-being, children in Michigan are in worse shape.

Patrick McCarthy is the President and Chief Executive author of Kids Count, and he joined us today to discuss the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
6:11 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Retrofitting a 112-year-old house with solar panels

Matthew Grocoff

An interview with Matthew Grocoff of Greenovation TV.

Recently scientists issued a statement indicating the world's atmospheric carbon dioxide level had reached 400 parts per million. Prior to the industrial revolution the level was 280 parts per million.

For those concerned about climate change, this is an alarming threshold. We don’t know yet what it will mean in the coming decades, but the last time the CO2 level was this high in the atmosphere about two and a half million years ago, the Earth was a much warmer, much different place.

Those who have been concerned about climate change have been talking about this and some have taken action. One of those people lives here in Michigan.

Read more
Stateside
6:08 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Michigan organization combines faith with environmental stewardship

The Michigan Interfaith Power and Light solar team.
Facebook

An interview with Julie Lyons Bricker of Michigan Interfaith Power and Light.

It’s been written "you will know them by their fruits." And what some congregations of faith are harvesting these days is energy - saving energy, and producing energy from the sun and from the wind.

Julie Lyons Bricker is the executive director of Michigan Interfaith Power and Light, an organization that aims to get Michigan faith communities involved with promoting and implementing energy efficient practices. 

Bricker joined us in the studio today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
6:06 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Michigan House Democrats introduce new same-sex marriage bills

LGBT rainbow flag flapping in the sun
user Marlith Flickr

An interview with Rick Pluta.

This morning, some Michigan House Democrats gathered on the front lawn of the Capital to explain some new bills that would allow marriage for people who are gay or lesbian.

Polls of Michigan citizens indicate a growing number of people say it’s time for marriage equality for LGBT folks - about 57% approve.

That’s quite a turnaround. Just nine years ago the people of Michigan approved a state constitutional amendment specifically banning gay marriage. It passed by nearly 59%.

In the midst of this, we’re waiting for decisions on two gay rights issues in the U.S. Supreme Court. To help wade through all this and what it means is Rick Pluta, capital bureau chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
6:03 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Evaluating Michigan's anemic job growth

A job search workshop
flickr user Daniel Johnson Flickr

An interview with Charles Ballard and Rick Haglund.

The Snyder administration has maintained its "relentless positive action" to reinvent Michigan. Lansing restructured taxes to give businesses better than a billion dollar tax break to encourage job growth in Michigan, and Gov. Snyder approved the right to work law which proponents insist will bring jobs to Michigan.

There has been some growth in jobs, but it’s been kind of anemic.

Charles Ballard, a professor of economics at Michigan State University, and Rick Haglund, a freelance writer for Bridge Magazine, MLive, and a blogger at MichEconomy.com, joined us today to discuss the issue. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:56 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Stateside for Monday, June 24th, 2013

We begin a week-long look at energy in Michigan. Today, we focused on solar energy and what it could mean for our state.

And, we turned to Lansing where some Democrats in the state House are introducing legislation to allow gay marriage in Michigan.

Also, we spoke with Charles Ballard and Rick Haglund about whether Michigan is going to make an economic comeback.

First on the show, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has issued its annual Kids Count report on the well-being of children across the nation. In Michigan, the outline is a mixed bag, but overall Michigan is last among Great Lakes states for child well-being.

There were improvements in how well kids are doing in school, some improvements in the area of the health of kids and the number who have health insurance, but in every category of economic well-being, children in Michigan are in worse shape.

Patrick McCarthy is the President and Chief Executive author of Kids Count, and he joined us today to discuss the issue.

Stateside
5:39 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Detroit's possible bankruptcy may hit city retirees the hardest

Peter Martorano 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.

As the story of Detroit's possible---and many say likely---bankruptcy continues to unfold, we keep hearing that many people are going to feel financial hardship.  And when you look at all the possible parties who will be feeling the pain, it seems that some of the most vulnerable are city retirees.

Daniel Howes joined us in the studio today to discuss what bankruptcy will mean for Detroit residents.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:38 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Michigan poet builds his own Stonehenge

A gathering at Terry Wooten's Stone Circle
Facebook

An interview with poet and educator Terry Wooten.

Across the world ancient cultures built impressive stone circles, think Stonehenge in England, the Dromberg Stone Circle in West Cork Ireland, or the stone circle at Beaver Island.

No one knows exactly their significance. But, whether they were used as burials, for community gatherings or connected to agricultural events, like the summer solstice, people will always wonder why they exist.

Today, stone circles have appeared across the U.S., mainly to pay homage to our ancient ancestors. And, one of those exists here in Michigan.

Poet and educator Terry Wooten built his own stone circle nearly 30 years ago, designed to capture the atmosphere of ancient cultures. It's located north of Traverse City.

Terry joined us today to tell us all about it.

For more information, visit Terry's website: http://terry-wooten.com/

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:37 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

New book helps answer questions about a mysterious Lake Michigan plane crash

Shipwreck explorer and author Valerie van Heest
michiganshipwrecks.org

An interview with shipwreck explorer and author Valerie van Heest.

It was 63 years ago when Northwest Flight 2501 took off from La Guardia in New York on a non-stop flight to Minneapolis.

Flight 2501 never made it to its destination. The DC-4 prop liner vanished in a storm over Lake Michigan off the coast of South Haven. The 55 passengers and crew of three were lost.

That crash has become one of the great mysteries of the Great Lakes.

Shipwreck explorer and author Valerie van Heest has joined forces with popular author Clive Cussler, trying to figure out what happened to Flight 2501. Her new book "Fatal Crossing" is out from In-Depth Editions.

Read more
Stateside
5:36 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

The Living Room: Beyond the dream, 50 years later

Twitter

The Living Room is our on-going storytelling series produced by Allison Downey and Zak Rosen. Today's show: Beyond the Dream, 50 years later.  

August 28th marks the 50th anniversary of what might be the most celebrated political gathering in our nation's history. Close to a quarter of a million people poured onto the Washington Mall to show their solidarity with the growing Civil Rights Movement. It was The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The March might be best known as the venue where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his now iconic I Have a Dream Speech.

But he didn't debut the speech in Washington D.C.

King gave an earlier version of his now famous speech in Detroit, on June 23rd of 1963. Some Detroiters contend that the events of that weekend are just as relevant, if not more so, than the March on Washington.

The Detroit Walk to Freedom was organized by the The Detroit Council for Human Rights. It was conceived as a way to commemorate the race riot that took place in the city 20 years earlier. But it was also an event to protest the current state of race and economic relations both in the urban north and the American south.

Living Room Producer Zak Rosen spoke with a handful of Detroiters who were at the gathering in June of '63.

For more information on the commemorative marches taking place in Detroit, visit the following websites:
http://moratorium-mi.org/50th-anniversary-march-in-commemoration-of-the-great-march-to-freedom-saturday-june-22-9-am/

http://www.freedomwalkdetroit.com/

To hear the full story, click the audio above.

Politics & Culture
4:58 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, June 20th, 2013

It'll be 50 years ago in August when Martin Luther King Jr. gave his now iconic "I have a Dream Speech." But King gave an earlier version of that speech on June 23rd, 1963 in Detroit. We took a look back to the events during that address that some Detroiters say was just as important as the March on Washington.

And, as the first day of summer rears its head, Michigan Radio's sports commentator joined us to remember summers past.

And, we spoke with a Michigan poet who has built his own version of Stonehenge just north of Traverse City.

Also, author and shipwreck explorer Valerie Van Heest joined us to discuss the mystery behind a plane crash that occurred over the Great Lakes 63 years ago.

First on the show, it's Thursday. Time for our weekly check-in with Detroit News Business Columnist Daniel Howes.

As the story of Detroit's possible---and many say likely---bankruptcy continues to unfold, we keep hearing that many people are going to feel financial hardship.  And when you look at all the possible parties who will be feeling the pain, it seems that some of the most vulnerable are city retirees.

Daniel Howes joined us in the studio today to discuss what bankruptcy will mean for Detroit residents.

Stateside
5:33 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is seeing a lot of success

Andy Buchsbaum
National Wildlife Federation

An interview with Andy Buchsbaum, the director of the National Wildlife Federation's regional Great Lakes Office.

We have some encouraging news from the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. They've just released an interactive map that pinpoints success stories across the region efforts to restore the lakes with projects funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Let's get an idea of what these success stories are and the challenges to the lakes that still remain.

For that we turn to Andy Buchsbaum, the director of the National Wildlife Federation's regional Great Lakes Office. He joined us in the studio today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:30 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Mike Duggan decides not to appeal in court, drops out of mayor's race

Mike Duggan

An interview with Detroit Free Press editorial writer Nancy Kaffer.

It's official: one of the front-runners in Detroit mayor's race has bowed out, undone by a basic timing error.

Mike Duggan announced that he will not appeal a court ruling that tossed him off the primary ballot because he'd turned in campaign signatures two weeks before what would have been the one year mark of his residency in Detroit. The city charter requires candidates to have lived in the city for a full year.

Detroit Free Press editorial writer Nancy Kaffer joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:28 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Pinpointing the first Michiganders

Bill Lovis is a professor and curator of anthropology at MSU.
http://anthropology.msu.edu/

An interview with Bill Lovis, a professor and curator of anthropology at Michigan State University.

We live in a complex world of technology, of instant communication with just about any spot in the world.

So it is all too easy for us to lose track of our roots, our history.

Who were the first people to call Michigan "home" and what can we learn from those first Michiganders?

Bill Lovis is a professor and curator of anthropology at Michigan State University.

“They came from the South,” Bill said of the first state inhabitants.

Around 12,000 years ago, Michigan was under ice, with several lobes of glaciers covering the state. As the ice receded and melted, people moved up into the state and the Great Lakes began to form.

It was still several thousands of years before Michigan’s terrain began to resemble what it is today. Glaciers left the land very cold, barren, and wet, and it took a long time for forestation to begin. The earliest inhabitants were families who moved across this landscape going from resource to resource.

While these early settlers maybe seem very distant to modern Michiganders, they still touch our lives today.

“Anyone who has a corncob with their braut in the summer is being impacted by Native American society,” said Bill. “The food crops are exceptionally important contributions to the world economy.”

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:24 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

How the Farm Bill impacts all of us

Professor David Schweikhardt
http://www.aec.msu.edu

An interview with David Schweikhardt, a professor in the Michigan State University Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics.

Its official title is the "Senate Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act," but feel free to call it "The 2013 Farm Bill." It was passed last week by the Senate on the wings of strong bipartisan support by a vote of 66-27.

This nearly $1 trillion bill has been over a year and a half in the making. Not only does it slash $24 billion from agriculture programs, but it makes substantial changes in the way the federal government spends on efforts like the federal food assistance program.

To get a sense of what's in the Senate farm bill and how it matters to each of us, we turned to David Schweikhardt. He's a Professor in the Michigan State University Department of Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics, and he joined us in the studio today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:23 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Stabenow addresses concerns surrounding the Farm Bill

Stabenow says Michigan can still benefit from the auto industry
Office of Senator Stabenow

An interview with Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow.

The Farm Bill would cut the funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, by more than $4 billion over the next 10 years. And the House version of the bill has about five times as many cuts.

Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow is the head of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, and the champion of the Farm Bill.

The Senator joined us today to discuss some of the concerns surrounding this bill.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:21 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Farm Bill cuts food stamp funding by over $4 billion

1.7 million people in Michigan receive federal food assistance.
Brandon Shigeta Google images

An interview with Terri Stangl, the executive director of the Center for Civil Justice in Flint.

Even as more Americans than ever before rely on food stamps, the Farm Bill just passed by the Senate would cut the funding to SNAP by more than $4 billion over the next 10 years.

The House version of the bill includes $20 billion in cuts.

Nationwide, more than 47 million people receive federal food assistance and 1.7 million in Michigan. So, we wondered what these possible cuts mean to them.

Terri Stangl is the executive director of the Center for Civil Justice in Flint, and she joined us today to discuss the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:04 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

The U.S. Senate has passed its 2013 Farm Bill, a huge piece of legislation - totaling almost a trillion dollars. We'll found out just what's in the bill, and why, as Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow likes to say, "Michigan is written into its every page."

And, we got an update on the Detroit mayoral race after one of the front-runners got kicked off the ballot.

First on the show, we continue our look at the Great Lakes. Yesterday, we talked about the state's "blue" economy, using our water resources to create jobs and boost industry here in Michigan.

So, today, let's turn to some encouraging news about our lakes from the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. They've just released an interactive map that pinpoints success stories across the region, efforts to restore the lakes with projects funded by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

To get an idea of what these success stories are and the challenges to the lakes that still remain, we turned to Andy Buchsbaum, the director of the National Wildlife Federation's regional Great Lakes Office.

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