Stateside Staff

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There is certainly no shortage of reporting, discussion and conversation about what should happen to breath new life into Michigan's economy.

Most of this conversation seems to revolve around the thought of legislatures, policy makers, and Governor Snyder.

But what do Michiganders think should happen to help restore the economy and what do you want to see as a Michigan citizen?

On the Detroit set of Paramount Pictures’ "Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon."
Robert Zuckerman / Michigan Film Office

How much support should the state of Michigan give to the film industry and filmmakers?

Governor Snyder's recent budget proposal contained $25-million in tax credits for film makers.

That's a 50 percent cut from the present  film credit cap of $50 million.

Some lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, a fellow Republican, say that is one bad plan.

He says it will drive the film industry out of Michigan.

Take a listen to our interview with the Director of the Michigan Film Office, Margaret O'Riley, above.

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The Mayor of Flint says it's time to say goodbye to its emergency manager and make Flint the first city in Michigan to have a transition team appointed under the new emergency manager law, a team that would guide Flint back to being run by its mayor and city council

That was one of the key messages as Flint Mayor Dayne Walling delivered his State of the City message last night - his fourth State of the City address.

Mayor Dayne Walling joined us from Flint. You can listen to our interview with him above.

On today's show, medical marijuana dispensaries - we spoke with a Republican lawmaker who wants local communities to decide whether or not dispensaries should be allowed.

And demographer Kurt Metzger has crunched the numbers and says Michigan is in the middle of an "anti-baby-boom." We'll find out what this means for us as a state.

But first, we spoke with the Mayor of Flint who says it's time to say goodbye to its emergency manager, and make Flint the first city in Michigan to have a transition team appointed under the new emergency manager law, a team that would guide Flint back to being run by its mayor and city council.

That was one of the key messages as Flint Mayor Dayne Walling delivered his State of the City message last night. It was his fourth State of the City address.

The state has kicked off a new, one-year study to find out if Michigan is on track to meet it's benchmark of getting 10 percent of it's energy from renewable sources by 2015.

On today's show, we take a look at the state of renewable energy in Michigan.

And the subject of minimum wage is on the front burner these days, both nationally, and in Lansing.

President Obama announced in his State of the Union address that he wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour, and there's a proposal afoot in Lansing to boost the state minimum wage to $10 an hour. MPRN's Lansing reporter Jake Neher and MSU's Charley Ballard talk with us about minimum wage in Michigan.

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The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

Earlier this month, the State Supreme Court handed down a ruling that is being interpreted as making medical marijuana dispensaries illegal.

That February 8 ruling has marijuana users and the dispensaries essentially going "underground," relying on word of mouth.

Now comes a new chapter in Michigan's Medical Marijuana story.

State Representative Mike Callton, a Republican from Nashville in Southwest Michigan is sponsoring a bill that would let local communities decide whether or not to allow medical marijuana dispensaries.

His House Bill 4271 is being called "The dispensing bill".

State Representative Mike Callton joined us over the phone to tell us more about the bill and why he is supporting it.

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Today is the day the State will released the results of its emergency review into Detroit's finances.

Since late last year, a six-member team has taken what's been called "a deep dive" into the city's records to determine just how massive Detroit's money troubles are.

Is getting this report card going to lead to any better cooperation between Mayor Bing and City Council members?

Does the review team offer suggestions for action, or does it just present "the facts" and let the Governor draw his own conclusions?

Michigan Public Radio Network's Lansing bureau chief Rick Pluta talked to us about what to expect from the report.

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The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

Almost everyone who goes online and searches for some bit of information knows about Wikipedia.

For a lot of us it is a great way to answer trivia questions, or settle those friendly arguments among friends over any topic.

But this free encyclopedia that anyone can edit has not been widely accepted in the world of academia. Largely because it is a free encyclopedia that anyone can edit.

In recent years, Wikipedia has gained a new respectability in the world of academia and cultural institutions.

Why is this, and what might it mean in bringing the treasures of those cultural institutions to a wider audience?

We sat down with Professor Cliff Lampe from the School of Information at the University of Michigan and Michael Barerra, who became one of the first "Wikipedians" in residence at the Gerald R. Ford Library.

They told us what this means for the way we gather information in the digital age.

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Michigan needs babies and it needs the women who are willing to have them.

That's the takeaway after demographer Kurt Metzger crunched the numbers and analyzed the state's birthrate.

What is going on with this "anti-baby boom," and what might this mean for us as a state?

Kurt Metzger is the  director course at Data Driven Detroit. He joined us from his Detroit office to tell us about the drop in the birthrate and how it affects our state.

You can listen to our interview with him above.

The ArduCopter from DIY Drones can take pictures in the sky.
DIY Drones

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

When you hear about unmanned aircraft your first thought might be "drones."

There is plenty of debate about using unmanned aircraft for spying and lethal attacks, but there are other uses for unmanned aircraft, and that’s what we are going to take a look at right now.

The University of Michigan is teaming up with the Michigan Unmanned Aerial System Center Project in Alpena, Michigan. 

The Michigan Economic Development recently pledged a half million dollars to the research test site and fly zone for unmanned aircraft systems.

Michigan Radio's Lester Graham spoke with Professor Ella Atkins of the University of Michigan Aerospace Engineering about the new site.

Nio_nl / Flickr

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

Here’s an alternative energy source you may not think about everyday - sour milk, rejected batches of baby food, restaurant grease, hog and pig manure.

You get the picture, but when you mix all those ghastly ingredients together you can get energy.

In this segment of Stateside, we interviewed Dana Kirk from the Anaerobic Research and Education Center at Michigan State University.

He spoke with us about the prospects for being able to power your house with waste.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

The 8th Winter Beer Fest is happening in Grand Rapids this weekend.

Tickets sold out in only about 13 hours. That  got us wondering about the craft beer industry in Michigan.

After some research, we discovered that Michigan ranks fifth in the nation in number of breweries, microbreweries and brew pubs.

We had President and CEO of Founders Brewing Company, Mike Stevens join us and speak on the subject of beer.

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The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

The subject of minimum wage is on the front burner these days nationally, and in Lansing.

President Obama announced in his State of the Union address that he wants to raise the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour.

And now, there's a proposal afoot in Lansing to boost the state minimum wage to $10 an hour.

We had MPRN's Jake Neher and Michigan State University economics professor Charley Ballard tell us just what would the impact be on Michigan's economy, its businesses and its workers, if the minimum wage was boosted.

Mark Gstohl / Flickr

We now bring you stories for Valentine's Day from Michigan storyteller, Allison Downey.

Allison Downey is an associate Professor at Western Michigan University.

Jo Feldman and Mike Marunowski wrote and performed our fictional bar scene.

The young children you heard at the beginning of the segment are students from the Learning Village Preschool in Kalamazoo.

Zak Rosen produced our segment.

Special thanks to Kyle Norris and Peggy Watson for their production help.

Paul Papadimitriou / Flickr

We talked with Marvin Gaye's little sister about a stage performance ("My Brother Marvin") on his life.

Take a listen to our conversation above.

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Universities across the country are opening up campus housing to transgender students and it's happening right here in Michigan.

The University of Michigan housing has announced it will set aside a block of gender neutral rooms for transgender and gender non-conforming students in the fall of 2013, as a part of the gender inclusive living experience.

We speak with Amy Navvab, a student at the University of Michigan and Chair of the Open Housing Initiative, and Amanda Hobson, Residential Coordinator at Ohio University where gender neutral housing is already available to students.

Listen to the interview above.

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Last night, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing reaffirmed the city’s financial troubles, outlined some of the ways his administration has worked to cut costs and still maintain basic city services and introduced programs to demolish the Brewster projects and establish a Detroit Blight Authority.

The Mayor said the story of Detroit is not all doom and gloom and quote, "we can’t – we won’t give up on our city," he said.

Mayor Bing joined us today.

And we talked with Michigan Radio's Detroit reporter Sarah Cwiek about Bing and his speech.

Take a listen to our conversation with him above.

On today's Stateside:

  • Last night Detroit Mayor Dave Bing reaffirmed the city’s financial troubles, outlined some of the ways his administration has worked to cut costs and still maintain basic city services. He introduced programs to demolish the Brewster housing project and establish a Detroit Blight Authority. The Mayor said the story of Detroit is not all doom and gloom and quote, “We can’t – we won’t give up on our city.”
  • And universities across the country are opening up campus housing to transgender students and it's happening right here in Michigan. We'll talk about gender inclusive campus housing.
  • And, we'll be talking with Marvin Gaye's little sister about a stage performance on his life.
  • And, it's Valentines Day! We'll bring your stories of love and disappointment.
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The Syrian conflict seems distant to most of us, but one of the opposition leaders lives here in Michigan.

She's one of the few women within the effort seeking to overturn the Assad regime.

Click the audio above to hear our conversation with her.

Lester Graham fills in for Cyndy. He talks the "State of the Union" and global warming with Donald Scavia, Donald Scavia is the Director of the University of Michigan Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute.

And he talks "State of the City" of Detroit with Daniel Howes of the Detroit News, and Michigan Radio political analyst Jack Lessenberry.

Click the audio above to hear their conversation.

Today on Stateside, Lester Graham fills in for Cyndy. He talks the "State of the Union" and the "State of the City" of Detroit with Daniel Howes of the Detroit News, and Michigan Radio political analyst Jack Lessenberry.

Also, yesterday we talked to a policy expert, a teacher educator and a high school principal about how to hold teachers accountable and get them better prepared for the classroom. Today, we talk to a "Teacher of the Year" finalist about education in Michigan.

And, dog sledding in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Get ready for the UP 200!

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

After the Center for Michigan released its big report on public education in Michigan last month, one of the big themes that emerged for discussion was how to evaluate teachers, and how to better prepare teachers to do their jobs.

We wanted to bring a teacher into the discussion, so we brought in Robert Stephenson.

He taught elementary school for 18 years in Okemos, and he is currently an administrator at Donley Elementary School in East Lansing.

Robert Stephenson was also one of the top five finalists for National Teacher of the Year in 2010.

The report from the Center for Michigan took the thoughts and opinions of people all over the state.

Four out of every five people say they want teachers to be better prepared for the classroom, and two out of three said "we need to hold teachers more accountable."

We asked Stephenson about teacher evaluation, and about what's  missing when it comes to preparing teachers to stand in front of that classroom.

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The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

Last month, The Center for Michigan, a non-partisan, non-profit think tank, released its major report on K-12 public education in our state.

It was the largest effort ever to collect and analyze what the public thinks about Michigan schools and teachers.

As we heard here on Stateside, that report was based on hundreds of meetings with people all over the state.

And emerging from those discussions was a clear theme: the best way to improve Michigan schools is to improve the skills of the person standing at the front of the classroom.

Two-thirds of Michiganders say we need to hold teachers more accountable.

Four out of every five say they want teachers to be better prepared for the classroom.

Cyndy spoke with a high school principal, an education expert and a professor of teacher education to make sense of these statistics.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

Lester Graham is filling in for Cynthia Canty on today's Stateside.

In her recent report, Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith found that teachers in the new charter school system in Muskegon Heights were hired without teacher certification.

The entire public school system in Muskegon Heights was recently turned over to a private company.

While there are teachers who do have certification, there are others who do not.

The question is, what will happen with those teachers that have not been certified?

We sat down with reporter Lindsey Smith, who joined us from Grand Rapids.

She told us how it became evident that there were uncertified teachers working in the school system. She also tells us what it was like speaking to the parents in Muskegon Heights and their reactions.

On today's show, Michigan Radio's Lester Graham fills in for Cyndy.

We talk with Lindsey Smith who filed an investigative report today for Michigan Radio. She found some teachers in one already troubled school district are not certified to teach in Michigan.

And speaking of teachers, two-thirds of people in Michigan believe we need to hold teachers more accountable. That's according to a new report from the Center for Michigan. We'll talk to education leaders about that report.

And supply, demand, and distribution of medical marijuana in Michigan. The courts, the legislature, and the patients who rely on the relief are all debating recent developments.

The 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid.
Ford Motor Company

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

The auto industry seems to be coming back to life, but there does not seem to be much buzz surrounding alternative energy vehicles, and that's being reflected in sales.

January figures were anemic at best for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.

The Obama Administration predicted a million electric cars would be on our highways by 2015.

Today there are barely 30,000.

Just why aren't these vehicles catching on with the public?

And is there anything the automakers can do to make those EVs and plug-ins more appealing?

Cindy talked with Sean McAlinden, Executive VP of Research and Chief Economist at the Center for Auto Research, and David Shepardson, the Washington Bureau Chief for the Detroit News.

On today's show, we look at sales of alternative energy vehicles in this country. As much as the government wants to get us into electric vehicles and other alternative energy vehicles, the American consumer isn't warming up to them.

What keeps us from embracing the electric car?

And we talk about our special series of reports exploring the schools and the educational opportunities in Stockbridge, Michigan. It's part of Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project.

But first, Detroit's Mayor will be delivering his State of the City address this coming Wednesday night, but even as Dave Bing prepares his speech the time may near for Governor Snyder to lower the proverbial boom and announce the appointment of an emergency manager for Michigan's biggest city.

Detroit News editorial writer Nolan Finley joined us to talk about his Sunday column that points to action from Lansing sooner rather than later. We asked him about the latest he's hearing from Lansing.

There are two ways you can podcast "Stateside with Cynthia Canty"

a2datadive.org / A2DataDive

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

When it comes to data and knowing just what to do with it, it seems there are two camps in this world. 

Those who can plunge into mining, parsing, analyzing and figuring out how to really use data, and those who are fairly clueless when it comes to crunching data.
 
Luckily for some non-profit groups in the Ann Arbor/ Detroit area, those types aren’t just smart, they are nice, and willing to help.
 
Thanks to some hard-working grad students at the U-M School of Information. The A2 Data Dive is coming up this weekend on the Central Campus of the University of Michigan.
 
Co-founders, Claire Barco and  Nikki Roda tell us more about the A2 Data Dive.

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The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

Bill Ryan is one of the leading lights on the new music scene.

Ryan leads 'Billband' and is also a music educator at Grand Valley State University.

It has been nine years since the last CD release from Billband, but Ryan continues to make his mark on contemporary music with his teaching at GVSU, and with the GVSU New Music Ensemble.

He's put Grand Valley on the map for those who follow and love contemporary music.

And now, after nine years, Billband has a new release. It's called Towards Daybreak with emotive, postminimalist  new music.
 
Bill Ryan joined us from Allendale and Grand Valley State.

user amtrak_russ / Flickr

The following is a summary of a previously recorded interview. To hear the complete segment, click the audio above.

More and more of us not just here in Michigan, but across the nation, are traveling by train and turning to Amtrak.

Its trains carried 31.2 million passengers in its fiscal year that ended last September.

Here in Michigan, a record-setting 793,000 people traveled on Amtrak's three routes, bringing in all-time high revenues of $27.8 million in Michigan.

What's behind our growing affection for the train?

Adie Tomar is a researcher with the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think tank.

He joined us from Washington.

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