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Issues & Ale

Issues and Ale is an event series from Michigan Radio designed to engage people in conversations about important issues facing Michigan... in an informal atmosphere.  The events are hosted by Michigan Radio reporters and feature experts on the topic. All events are free, and the public is invited to join in the discussion. You can find information on upcoming and past Issues & Ale events on the pages below.

We hold Issues & Ale events at venues all across our listening area. You can share your suggestions for future topics or locations by e-mailing us at marketing@michiganradio.org

Steve Chrypinski / Michigan Radio

Mental illness is an issue that “knows no class, no gender, no race, no geography,” said Joe Linstroth, executive director of Stateside and host of Wednesday night’s Issues & Ale event.

He asked the audience – a full house at Jolly Pumpkin Dexter’s brewery – to raise their hands if they have a personal connection to mental health or mental illness. Most every hand went up.

Issues & Ale: "That’s What They Say" Grammar Night
Wed, April 25, 6:30-8:00 PM
JB’s Smokehouse BBQ
 225 S Canton Center Rd
Canton, MI 48188

If it drives you crazy when someone uses "literally" to mean "figuratively," or have ever wondered how "YOLO", "bracketology," and "bromance" became actual words, then this event is for you. 

When: Wednesday, April 4, 2018
6:30-8 p.m.
Where: Jolly Pumpkin Dexter
2319 Bishop Circle East,
Dexter, Michigan 48130
Host: Joe Linstroth

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

 

The many elections of 2018 could stir up a big political year in Michigan.

Issues & Ale, an event series from Michigan Radio, hit HopCat in Royal Oak Monday night to discuss the political balls up in the air this year – and why they could spell excitement to come.

Monday, Jan 22,  2018
6:30 - 8:00 pm
HopCat
208 5th Ave., Royal Oak, MI 48067

2017 was certainly an eventful year in politics, and 2018 promises to be more of the same. We have a race for governor and every statewide office in Michigan up for grabs, open Congressional seats across metro Detroit, key ballot issues, and national mid-term elections to look forward to.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

Monday night’s Issues & Ale event dove into the complicated world of sports – where players kneel during the national anthem, college students get payoffs, and misinformation swells around concussions and other injuries.

 

Monday, November 20, 2017, 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Zingerman's Greyline 
100 N. Ashley St., Ann Arbor, MI 48104  

What happens when the controversies of politics and the realities of life intersect with the sports we love to watch? Issues like domestic violence, players kneeling for the national anthem, and payoffs to college players have all helped to move stories about our favorite players from the sports page…to the front page.

Join Michigan Radio’s Morning Edition host Doug Tribou as he talks with sports experts about some of the controversies facing the world of sports. Joining Doug will be author and Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon, former NBA player and UM 'Fab Five' member Jimmy King and sports journalist Joanne Gerstner. 

Tony Brown / Michigan Radio

As the sun began to set at Kalamazoo’s Arcadia Brewing on Wednesday night, Michigan Radio’s Doug Tribou started a conversation with pub-goers about the future of public education in our state.

Issues & Ale: The Future of Public Education
Wed, Sept. 27, 6:30-8:00 PM

Arcadia Brewing Co.
701 E. Michigan Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Host: Doug Tribou

Most people would agree that public K-12 education in Michigan is facing challenges – issues like teacher turnover, budget cuts, and reduced enrollment due to the growth of charter schools. And the most recent Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Report ranks Michigan 41st in the country for education outcomes.

Join Michigan Radio’s Morning Edition host Doug Tribou as he talks with education experts about the major challenges facing public schools in Michigan, and potential solutions.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

President Donald Trump has announced the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. If Trump follows through on those plans, the country would pull out of the international agreement in November 2020. So what does that mean for Michigan, both now and in the future?

As part of Michigan Radio’s Issues & Ale event series, climate experts gathered on Tuesday night at Bill’s Beer Garden in Ann Arbor to discuss just that.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

Monday night’s Issues & Ale event plunged back in time to the days surrounding the 1967 rebellion – the historic conflict between citizens and police that led to 43 deaths and thousands of buildings destroyed during five summer days in Detroit.

Tues, Aug. 15, 6:00-7:30 PM
Bill’s Beer Garden
218 S Ashley St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
- Free Admission –
Host: Rebecca Williams: Reporter/Host – The Environment Report

This past June, President Trump fulfilled a campaign promise when he announced that the United States would withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord, and end the implementation of carbon reduction targets set under the Obama administration. What are the implications of this decision on climate policy in the United States? And can local governments and the private sector fill in the void left by the federal government?

Mon, July 17, 2017; 6:30-8:00 PM
Northern Lights Lounge
660 W. Baltimore St
Detroit, MI 48202

Free Admission

Host: Lester Graham

This July marks the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Detroit uprising, a civil disturbance that turned into one of the deadliest and most destructive riots in the history of the United States. The uprising resulted in dozens of deaths, thousands arrested, and National Guard and U.S. Army units deployed to patrol the streets of Detroit.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics team took over a tent at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival last night for an Issues & Ale event.

Co-hosts Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta joined panelists Chris Kolb, president of the Michigan Environmental Council, and Colleen Pero, chief of staff for the Michigan Republican Party, to talk about the latest political news in our state.

In the heat of the afternoon, Pluta began the discussion with a summary of the big news that came out yesterday in relation to the Flint water crisis:

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

President Donald Trump has now been in office for more than 120 days.

To assess how Trump’s presidency has gone so far, Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Radio’s senior political analyst, hosted Issues & Ale-President Trump: A Michigan Report Card.

Ann Arbor Summer Festival
Top of the Park – Annex Tent
Wed, June 14, 5:30-7:00 pm

2017 has already been an eventful year in politics, with the start of the Trump presidency, a single party controlled yet divided Congress, and lots of action in the state legislature. Join Michigan Radio’s “It’s Just Politics” team of Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta and other political pundits for this special Issues & Ale event under the Annex Tent at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival as we discuss what it all means for Michigan. 

Issues & Ale–President Trump: A Michigan Report Card
Monday, May 22 - 6:30-8:00 PM
Celebration Cinema North

2121 Celebration Drive NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Host: Jack Lessenberry

The first several months of Donald Trump’s presidency have passed, and it’s been eventful so far. Join Michigan Radio’s senior political analyst Jack Lessenberry and a panel of political experts as we take a look at the Trump administration’s plans and actions so far, and the impact they may have on Michigan.

Planned panelists include:

- TJ Bucholz, Democratic strategist and President & CEO of Vanguard Public Affairs

- Scott Hagerstrom, Michigan state director for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign

- Cheyna Roth, Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network

- Gleaves Whitney, presidential historian and director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

The Environment Report's Rebecca Williams kicked off Tuesday night’s Issues & Ale event at Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo with this question:

Where do you get your drinking water?

Laura Nawrocik / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Michigan Radio's Issues & Ale series will stop at Bell's Brewery on Tuesday, April 25 from 6:30-8 p.m. to talk about the challenges facing Michigan's drinking water. 

From water diversion and pollution to our aging infrastructure system, the Environment Report's Rebecca Williams will lead a panel of experts through a conversation about some of the biggest threats.

We want to make sure that conversation answers your biggest questions. So what do you want to know about drinking water in Michigan? 

ABC Microbrewery / Instagram

State of Opportunity took Michigan Radio’s Issues & Ale stage for the final time last night at Ypsilanti’s ABC Microbrewery.

The project wraps up at the end of April after five years of stories about the barriers to success low-income kids and their families face in Michigan.

Issues & Ale: Protecting Our Drinking Water
Tues, April 25, 6:30-8:00 PM
Bell’s Brewery

355 E. Kalamazoo Ave, Kalamazoo, MI 49007
- Free Admission –
Host: Rebecca Williams: Reporter/Host – The Environment Report

Michigan is fortunate to have an abundance of freshwater, both above and below the ground. But there are threats to this huge water supply including pollution, water diversion and an aging infrastructure system. Join Rebecca Williams of The Environment Report as she hosts this panel discussion on the challenges facing Michigan’s fresh water supply.

Issues & Ale: Moving the Needle on Poverty – A State of Opportunity Re-cap
Tues, April 11, 6:30-8:00 PM
Arbor Brewing Company Microbrewery

720 Norris Street, Ypsilanti, MI 48198
- Free Admission –

Host: Michigan Radio Senior Editor Sarah Hulett

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The possessive “s” could be in danger.

At least, that’s what linguist Anne Curzan says. 

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

“In flux.”

“Dynamic.”

“Amazing.”

“Blurry.”

That’s how Monday night’s Issues & Ale panelists described journalism in today’s ecosystem.

Issues & Ale: That’s What They Say
Mon, Feb 20, 7:00-8:30 PM
Pretzel Bell – Captain’s Room
226 S. Main St,
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Does it drive you crazy when someone uses "literally" to mean "figuratively," or "impact" as a verb, or "they" as a singular pronoun? And how did "YOLO", "bracketology," and "ginormous" become actual words?  

Issues & Ale: The State of Journalism
Mon, Feb. 13, 6:30-8:00 PM
HopCat, 4265 Woodward Ave,
Detroit, MI 48201
Free Admission

Host: Zoe Clark
Panelists: Rick Pluta: Michigan Public Radio Network
Chad Livengood: Crain’s Detroit Business
Chastity Pratt Dawsey: Bridge Magazine
Lee Wilkins: Department of Communication, Wayne State University  

America’s news media landscape has changed dramatically over the past several years. Newspaper circulation continues to decline and many newsrooms of all types are cutting reporting staff. 

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

One of the most divisive elections in our country’s history is now in the rear-view mirror.

At Monday night’s Issues & Ale Pundit Summit, we debriefed and began to look forward into the new political climate established on Nov. 8.

Issues & Ale: Pundit Summit
Monday, Nov 21, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Lansing Brewing Company
518 E. Shiawasee
Lansing, MI 48912
Register here

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

With a week to go before election night, discussing politics over drinks seemed a good idea Tuesday night.

That’s when Michigan Radio held its final Issues & Ale election preview event before the fateful Nov. 8.

The event took place at HopCat in Detroit and Michigan Radio’s senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry hosted.

Panelists were Brandon Dillon, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, Aaron Foley, editor of BLAC Detroit Magazine, Republican consultant Stu Sandler and Zoe Clark, co-host of Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics.

While conversation moved through various topics, all of which related to the ballot Michigan voters will see next Tuesday, one idea continued to take the forefront: the polarization this election has caused between people in this country.

Lindsey Scullen / Michigan Radio

On Monday night, Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics team hit the road again for the second Issues & Ale election preview event of the season.

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