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Stateside

Monday through Friday @ 3:00 p.m. & 10 p.m.

Conversations about what matters in Michigan.

Stateside covers a wide range of Michigan news and policy issues — as well as culture and lifestyle stories. In keeping with Michigan Radio’s broad coverage across southern Michigan, Stateside focuses on topics and events that matter to people all across the state. Stateside is hosted by Cynthia Canty (Mon-Thu) and Lester Graham (Fri). 

To find audio for the full show you can subscribe to our podcast or go here.

Germán Poo-Caamaño / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Just a few short years ago, the future of independent bookstores looked bleak. First, they were undercut by big box stores like Barnes & Noble and Borders, which could often offer both lower prices and a greater selection. Then, Amazon arrived on the scene, upending the book-selling business with all the grace of a gorilla reorganizing a library.  

Today, Borders is gone, Barnes & Noble is downsizing, and independent bookstores?

You could say they've turned a new page.

That's the message of Amy Haimerl​'s recent story for the New York Times. An author and Michigan native, Haimerl told Stateside that, far from merely surviving the tumult of recent years, independent bookstores are thriving.

Courtesy of Amer Zahr

 

The election of Donald Trump worries a lot of people.

Some women, immigrants, and Muslims are wondering if Trump’s presidency will be anything like his campaign rallies, and what that might mean for their lives.

In the wake of his election, we’ve seen a couple dozen disturbing events across Michigan.

A man beat up a cab driver of East African descent, yelling again and again, “Trump!”

Students at a middle school chanting “Build the wall,” while surrounding Latino students.

A white man threatened to set a Muslim woman on fire if she didn’t remove her head covering.

Amer Zahr is a Palestinian American who lives in Dearborn. He’s a comedian, professor and speaker. He’s also the author of The Civil Arab.

Benjaman James

After college graduation, Traverse City native and musician Benjaman James had a big decision to make: get a job that pays the bills, or pursue a career in music.  

Benjaman got a degree from Michigan State University’s college of engineering. After graduation he started the band “Old Mission Collective.”

As the group continued to gain traction, members came and went, but he says he became the only common member in the band. So he decided to go solo.

Now, Benjaman James is out with a new EP titled “Growing Pains" out December 3. 

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

December 5 is Repeal Day.

“Repeal Day is sort of an invented holiday,” explained Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings. In recent years, bars, brew houses, and the drinking public have embraced the repeal of the 18th Amendment, which brought in the era of Prohibition.

On December 5, 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the 21st Amendment, doing away with Prohibition. He famously said, “What America needs now is a drink.”

Davies said the characters in his book all "struggle with the burden of representation. How do these individual Chinese and Chinese-Americans somehow represent or speak for a group, and it’s an impossible burden.”
flickr user futureatlas.com / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

It’s been nearly ten years since Peter Ho Davies came out with his first novel, The Welsh Girl. It was long-listed for the 2007 Man Booker Prize.

Now, Davies is out with his second novel: The Fortunes.

He offers four linked stories that explore what it means to be Chinese in America over the past century and a half. Three of the stories are built around people and events that actually happened.

A Senate committee approved a bill that would end pensions for incoming new teachers in Michigan. They would be put into market-based 401 (k)-style plans.
Matthileo / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

The lame-duck session in Lansing has been quacking along at a fast pace.

Yesterday, a Senate committee approved a bill that would end pensions for incoming new teachers in Michigan. The pensions would be put into market-based 401 (k)-style plans.

Senator Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, who represents the 34th District, which includes Muskegon, joined Stateside to talk about it. Hansen was one of the two Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee, along with Mike Nofs, who voted against the effort.

Voting in Michigan.
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

For county clerks all over Michigan, the presidential vote recount has them scrambling to hand-count some 4.8 million ballots in less than two weeks.

Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum took a few minutes away from the scramble to discuss the process on Stateside.

Volunteers cleaned the aquarium's glass tile ceiling.
Courtesy of Belle Isle Aquarium

 

One of Detroit’s gems, the Belle Isle Aquarium, had been open since 1904 until the cash-starved city shut the place down in 2005 and shipped all 4,000 fish elsewhere.

But people who love the aquarium took action, and as a result a reclaimed Belle Isle Aquarium is free and open to everyone.

General manager Fred Huebener joined us today.

The ProNav Angler mobile app allows you to set a route and let your trolling motor do the driving so you can focus on fishing.
ProNav Marine

The Next Idea

At this time of the year, we're hearing a lot about the economic power of hunting in Michigan. But it turns out that fishing packs an even larger economic punch. Fishing brings in about $2.4 billion to the state.

Our latest guest on The Next Idea has helped to create something to help anglers come away happy when they set out on the water. And it comes from an unexpected source: your smartphone.

Ford autonomous test vehicle
Ford Motor Company

 

In the race to develop self-driving technology, Michigan and Silicon Valley are not the only games in town.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes is just back from Pittsburgh, where he got to take a look at what they’re working on down in Steel City.

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein today made an official request for a recount of votes in Michigan.

Michigan Radio's Capitol Bureau Chief Rick Pluta was at today's announcement. He joined Stateside from Lansing to explain the news.

Pluta said at the announcement, the Stein campaign again echoed what they’ve been saying all along.

Self-driving technologies like Tesla's Autopilot mode are limited by the sensors they use to detect obstacles on the road.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

It's a persistent message: Self-driving cars are coming. Yet, before the roads are filled with cars steered entirely by computers, there’s much work to be done — especially when it comes to safety.

A grim reminder of that happened this past May when a man driving a Tesla became the first to die while using autopilot mode. He was watching a DVD when his car plowed into a tractor-trailer that was crossing its path.

That accident sent a message to the engineers who are developing this technology: get it right and make it safe.

L. Brooks Patterson defended James Simpson's invitation, saying Simpson was asked to speak specifically because he's provocative.
screen grab of Oakland Co. video

 


According to its website, the Oakland County Business Roundtable began in 1993 as a space for business leaders to “engage” with county leaders on “issues that will enable them to prosper.”

For next month’s lunch meeting, County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has invited writer James Simpson to be the keynote speaker.

Campaign representatives will look at ballots, but they're not allowed to touch them.
flickr user Michael Dorausch / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

There’s so much at stake in a recount. So much that must be done correctly, and with the Electoral College vote looming, the clock is ticking.

Melvin “Butch” Hollowell knows what that’s like. Currently the corporation counsel for the city of Detroit, he’s worked on many crucial recounts: the Bush-Gore recount in Florida in 2000, the 2005 recount of the Detroit mayoral election between Kwame Kilpatrick and Freman Hendrix, the 2013 recount involving Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, and more.

"354,000 people signed their name on a petition to vote on this issue. They were ignored. I think that's unconscionable," Jamison said.
flickr user Dank Depot / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 


From an early-morning fixture on Detroit television to an advocate for legalized marijuana in Michigan, Anqunette Jamison has made quite a transition.

The former Fox 2 Detroit anchorwoman walked away from her TV job to become a volunteer for MI Legalize, one of the groups that’s been fighting to put the question of legalization before Michigan voters.

She’s got a very personal stake in the fight for legalization: Jamison uses marijuana to help with her multiple sclerosis.

State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today is the official start of the lame-duck period for Michigan’s 98th Legislature.

Some of us remember the frenetic pace of the lame-duck in 2012, when state lawmakers passed something like 300 bills. That included "right to work" and a new emergency manager law to replace the one voters had just repealed.

Zach Gorchow, editor of Gongwer News Service, joined Stateside to discuss what’s on the to-do list this year during lame duck.

Lomas Brown
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

 

From a band kid growing up in Florida to a fearsome offensive tackle who played 18 seasons in the NFL, including 11 years with the Detroit Lions, Lomas Brown certainly has a story to tell.

He was named to the Pro Bowl for seven straight seasons. And he got a Super Bowl ring with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Brown first came to Michigan when he was drafted by the Lions in 1985. Despite the snow and cold winters, he’s still here in the Detroit area.

His new memoir, co-authored with Mike Isenberg, is titled, If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Lions: Stories from the Detroit Lions Sideline, Locker Room and Press Box.

John Hanson

 

It’s holiday music for people who maybe aren’t really feeling the holiday spirit.

May Erlewine is getting ready to drop her new EP The Little Things with a tour of winter dance parties all around the state.

The EP’s full of holiday music that works for everyone, but is especially good for anyone who’s having a hard time grooving with the “tidings of comfort and joy” of traditional holiday tunes.

"Fun Home" was nominated for 12 Tony Awards and won five.
Sarah_Ackerman / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Tony-award winning musical Fun Home opens tonight at Detroit's Fisher Theatre for a two-week run. Fun Home was adapted from Alison Bechdel's graphic novel, telling the story of her relationship with her gay dad and coming to terms with her own identity as a lesbian.

The musical got a very warm welcome when it finally got to Broadway. It was nominated for 12 Tony Awards and the show won five of them.

A few of those Tonys went to Michigan native Lisa Kron. She grew up in Lansing and is a playwright, actor and co-founder of the theater group Five Lesbian Brothers.

Joshua Johnson
Stephen Voss / NPR

 

After a 37-year run, Diane Rehm is retiring.

She’d served notice to her legions of loyal listeners that she would see out the election and then step away from The Diane Rehm Show.

Much as Garrison Keillor hand-picked his successor Chris Theil for A Prairie Home Companion, Rehm personally selected her own: radio journalist Joshua Johnson.

Johnson sat down with us today to talk about how he plans to follow in Rehm’s shoes and what he plans to do with his new show, 1A.

“It’s OK to look for that rustic experience, but maybe at the same time you’re not completely willing to leave those modern comforts behind," Hogue told us.
flickr user Terry Bone / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

Michigan outdoors and camping: the two are practically synonymous.

We’ve got something like 13,500 campsites in Michigan, more than any other state.

But how much are we really communing with nature when we camp when we hook up to electricity, boot up the wi-fi and set out our folding chairs under the awning?

Architect Martin Hogue has spent a lot of time exploring just what camping really means in 2016. His exhibit 925,000 Campsites: The Commodification of an American Experience is now running through the end of the year at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield.

A peek into the LEGO castle
Courtesy of Play-Place for Autistic Children's Facebook page

The Next Idea

“Inclusion. Acceptance. Support.”

That’s the mission of Play-Place for Autistic Children.

It’s a 25,000 square foot facility in Sterling Heights in Macomb County, and there’s no place like it elsewhere in the country.

Play-Place is a nonprofit that gives kids who are on the autism spectrum a safe, fun, comfortable place to hang out and play with others.

For parents and caregivers, it’s a place to find “me-too” conversations with someone who is also going through the challenges presented by autism.

Fans blew up the internet this weekend with their video and screenshot analysis of whether or not J.T. Barrett of Ohio State got the first down in the second overtime against Michigan. The referees ruled he did.
Twitter: @Bluekts_ @nlwolfe80 @TheGambler100

Aside from Western Michigan beating Toledo to finish the regular season undefeated, and Eastern Michigan clinching their first bowl game in nearly 20 years earlier in the week, it was a pretty rough week for most Michigan college football fans.

John U. Bacon joined Stateside for his weekly sports roundup and it was all about football.

On Thursday, the eyes of the nation were on the Detroit Lions coming back to win in the fourth quarter for the seventh time this season. When the dust settled, the Lions were all alone in first place in the NFC North with a one game lead over the Minnesota Vikings (and Detroit owns the tiebreaker over Minnesota after winning both games this year). 

Two days later, the eyes of the nation were fixed upon "The Game" between Michigan and Ohio State and it lived up to the hype.

This afternoon, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers will, in all likelihood, certify the results of the November 8th election - bringing Campaign 2016 to an official close and opening the door to Recount 2016.

Unprecedented

Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania are about to become the center of the U.S. political universe as the Green Party and its presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, try to upset the order of things and make elections officials in those three states go back and check their work.

flickr user Satya Murthy / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0


The holidays can be a happy time, but gathering family members around the Thanksgiving table can also resurrect tensions and old resentments.

When it is complete, Afterhouse will support the cultivation of crops such as figs and pomegranates.
Steven Mankouche

The Next Idea

It wasn’t too long ago that the house located at 3347 Burnside St. in northeast Detroit was a true eyesore.

Long since abandoned, it had been damaged beyond repair by fire and vandalism. There were boards over the windows and spray-paint on the walls—all the telltale signs of the kind of blight that has afflicted neighborhoods throughout Detroit.

Michigan Bookmark is a series that features Michigan authors reviewing Michigan books.

On July 8, 1850, with a crimson robe and a paper crown, James Jesse Strang was crowned King of Beaver Island.

His coronation completed his youthful ambition to enter into royalty, but it would also result in his assassination.

In Don Faber’s well-researched book, James Jesse Strang: The Rise and Fall of Michigan’s Mormon King, the author declared that he wanted to present “the historical Strang, stripped of myth, demonization, and popular fancy.”

“The more women I talked to about their experiences with fear of childbirth, the more we sort of realized their fears were a very rational response to a pretty broken system,” Lee Roosevelt told us.
Public Domain / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A new University of Michigan study is the fourth in the country to look at fear of childbirth and how that fear might affect outcomes for mother and baby. However, it is the first qualitative study and the first to include any people of color or lesbian women.

The study was conducted by Lisa Kane Low, president of the American College of Nurse Midwives, and Lee Roosevelt, a nurse midwife and Clinical Assistant Professor at the Michigan School of Nursing. 

“As far as we're concerned here in Michigan, there's no suggestion or allegation that there were any hacks or any attempts to that," Woodhams said.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Yesterday, New York Magazine published an article that quickly went viral. It's entitled "Experts Urge Clinton Campaign to Challenge Election Results in 3 Swing States."

One of those swing states mentioned in the piece is Michigan, and one of the experts cited is J. Alex Halderman, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Computer Security and Society.

Fred Woodhams from the Secretary of State's office joined Stateside to discuss the likelihood of election hacking in Michigan. 

Betsy DeVos.
BetsyDeVos.com

President-elect Donald Trump has selected longtime school choice advocate Betsy DeVos to head the U.S. Department of Education. (Presidential cabinet picks are subject to Senate confirmation. See who Trump has picked for his cabinet so far with WaPo's cabinet tracker.)

Trump’s stance on education policy has, thus far, been difficult to discern. His pick of DeVos indicates how his administration likely sees education policy going forward.

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