Stateside with Cynthia Canty

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

Conversations about what matters in Michigan.

Stateside with Cynthia Canty 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 with Cynthia Canty focuses on topics and events that matter to people all across the state.

Andrea Claire Maio

Where do students in a neighborhood struggling with blight, drugs, and gangs turn?

If you're talking about students at Cody High School in Detroit, it’s to Coach Jimmie Knight.

Christine Rhein is the author of Wild Flight (Texas Tech University Press), a winner of the Walt McDonald Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in many literary journals, including Michigan Quarterly Review, and have been featured at Poetry Daily and The Writer’s Almanac

"I wrote this poem in response to the heroic work accomplished at Gene Codes Corporation, in Ann Arbor, following 9/11," she says. "The poem, a weaving of programming language with poetic language, explores the event’s impact on the software developers and beyond."

Today on Stateside:

Mark Grebner, President of Practical Political Consulting, talks about the expected voter turnout for Proposal 1 next week and what that could mean for proponents.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts joins us to discuss the city’s plans to swap out all of its streetlights for LEDs, with hopes of reaping economic, safety, and environmental benefits.

Trumbull Ave. is a new collection of poetry set in Detroit. We talk with poet Michael Lauchlan about his new book.

The rumor that Governor Snyder will run for president is out there and Michigan Radio’s political analyst Jack Lessenberry tries to reveal the rumor’s origins and any possibility of truth.

Michigan Radio’s Jennifer Guerra talks about her special State of Opportunity documentary, Mr. Knight’s Neighborhood, which describes Coach Jimmy Knight’s role as “King of Second Chances” for kids at Cody High School in Detroit.

Wayne State University Press

From a drive along Trumbull Avenue in 1981, to a despairing young mother in the depths of the Depression, to the backyard ice rink of a boyhood home.

These are just a few of the stories that poet Michael Lauchlan explores in his new collection, Trumbull Ave(Wayne State University Press).

Lauchlan brings a wide range of work and life experiences to his writing. He has lived in and around Detroit, he’s been a builder, he’s helped staff a non-profit, and he’s currently an English teacher at University of Detroit Jesuit High School.

Trumbull Avenue, the place,  Lauchlan said, was the “core” of his life in the 1980s. The Day House, a shelter for women in Detroit, is found on this avenue. The spirit of the Catholic worker, who helped inspire the opening of the shelter, is found on this avenue. It was on this avenue that Lauchlan and others did all of their community work, he said.

For these reasons, Trumbull Avenue permeates his poetry.

“I think my preoccupation is with the lives of a place and I think the job of a poet is to let a place speak,” he said. “And I think it’s been that way for thousands of years, so that’s my preoccupation.”

FLICKR USER SECRETLONDON123 / FLICKR

A week from today we’ll know the results of Proposal 1, the ballot measure that changes how fuel is taxed in Michigan to fund road repairs. It also increases the sales tax from 6% to 7%. Some of the extra revenue would go to schools.

It’s a controversial measure. There are vocal supporters and vocal opponents, but what will that actually mean in terms of voter turnout?

Snyder endorsed the report from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget indicating a notable decrease in unemployment in Michigan over the past month.
gophouse.com

There is continuing speculation about whether Gov. Rick Snyder will run for president. Recent trips around the country to sell Michigan’s story have only fanned the rumor flames that Snyder is, indeed, considering a run.

The facts as they stand now are as follows: the governor is making trips across the country, talking up Michigan. He’s been in places like California and Washington D.C, neither of which are typical early indicators of a run, as Ohio or New Hampshire might be.

FLICKR USER RAY DUMAS / FLICKR

Things are going to be brighter in Warren. Literally.

The Macomb County city plans to swap out all of its streetlights to LED. DTE Energy Co. says this will be the largest collaborative municipal LED conversion yet.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said that in total, the city has around 11,000 streetlights. Of those 11,000 , 6,329 are mercury vapor lights.

Today on Stateside:

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on the challenge to same-sex marriage bans in Michigan and three other states. Michigan Radio's It's Just Politics co-host Rick Pluta reports.

U of M's music department makes a flute-like musical instrument using the stalk of a dead giant agave plant. Professor Michael Gould explains. 

Luca Nonato / Flickr

His name is Richard Wershe Junior.

Doesn’t ring a bell?

Try the name the media slapped on him when he got a life sentence at the age of 17, after police busted him with 17 pounds of cocaine: White Boy Rick. It stuck. That was in 1988.

FLICKR USER SYLS / FLICKR

It’s almost Shakespearean: A powerful leader, pushed out because he pushed for the ouster of another powerful leader.

Alas, this is not the Bard’s story. This is about Volkswagen.

“Oh man, this is potentially the end of a very long era at Volkswagen, which is now I think the largest automaker in the world, and certainly the largest in Europe,” Detroit News Columnist Daniel Howes said.

Listen above to the story of Ferdinand Piëch, Volkswagen AG’s legendary boss.

Hilary Dotson / flickr

All through April, in honor of National Poetry Month, we’ve been exploring Michigan’s poets with our series "Poetically Speaking."

But now, we turn to those of you who hear poetry and shrug. Those of you who never think to open a book of poetry. Those of you who say, “I just don’t get it.”

A Minute with Mike: An Ode to Bad Poetry

Apr 28, 2015

Oh, Bad Poetry, 

Why are you written?

Why are you listened to? 

Perhaps the audience is held captive out of perceived rudeness at a coffee house or locked in 

a car barreling down the highway with the radio just out of reach. Wink wink nod nod.

Kimberly Springer

Newspapers in Michigan are declining. But, one newspaper editor in Ann Arbor isn’t worried.

Lucy Tobier is the editor of The Murray Ave. Times, a monthly newspaper. When Tobier started producing the paper, she was eight years old. Now, she’s 10.

Robert Turney

One of our favorite Stateside visitors is poet and writer Keith Taylor. He stops by each season to share his "reading picks" from Michigan writers.

But, it's time to turn the tables on Keith Taylor.

His new chapbook of poetry and prose is called Fidelities.

Today on Stateside:

Rick Pluta of the Michigan Public Radio Network explores what we can expect to hear tomorrow from the Supreme Court justices on Michigan’s historic same-sex marriage case.

Michigan Radio's It's Just Politics co-host Zoe Clark speaks with Stateside's Cynthia Canty about why lawmakers are staying mum on the May 5 road-funding vote. 

The Michigan meridian is clearly visible in the map of Native American land cessions in Michigan.
wikimedia commons

This month marks the 200th birthday of something that helped make Michigan the state we know today.

It's the bicentennial of the Michigan meridian.

That north-south line was the reference point for the Michigan Survey. Every single piece of property in Michigan is defined by that meridian and two east-west baselines.

A majority of Michigan's 148 state legislators did not respond to an Associated Press survey asking them how they'll vote on next Tuesday's road-funding ballot proposal.

As Dave Eggert with the Associated Press reports:

Thirty-one, or 21 percent, of the Republican-controlled Legislature's 148 members sent back responses to a short email with three questions. The vast majority — 23 — came from among 58 Democrats, with all but one saying they would vote for the constitutional amendment. Of the eight Republicans who answered out of 90, three were in support.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Next Idea 

As we near the vote to raise the sales tax to fund our abysmal roads, we’ve heard this question come up quite a bit these last few months:

“Why couldn’t the Legislature just do the job they were elected to do instead of passing responsibility off to the voters?”

The short answer -- and you’re not going to like this -- is that it is not their fault.

It’s ours.

Designers, engineers connect poetry to safer batteries

Apr 23, 2015
Max Shtein

The Next Idea

This summer, as the latest installment in the Jurassic Park franchise hits movie theaters, we’ll be confronted with a larger-than-life, in-your-face reminder of the dark side of innovation, as a bunch of scientists yet again get so caught up in their inventiveness that they fail to imagine the consequences.

  Today on Stateside:

  • Our latest essay for The Next Idea explores the concept of "responsible innovation" through haiku, the traditional Japanese poetry of three lines with five, seven and five syllables.
  • Vintners in Michigan could have another disaster on their hands this year. Interlochen's Peter Payette reports.
  • Our Poetically Speaking series continues with Margaret Noodin’s Weweni, a collection of poems in Anishnaabemowin and English.
Troye Fox / UWM Photography

Margaret Noodin has made it her life’s work to fight for the future of the ancient Native American language Anishnaabemowin.

This is the language of “the People of the Three Fires”—the Odawa, Potawatomi and Ojibwe. These people came to the Great Lakes thousands of years ago.

Benjamin Foote

The debut album by Grand Rapids indie rock and soul band Vox Vidorra explores race, inequality, love and religion.

Molly Bouwsma-Schultz is Vox Vidorra’s lead singer and lyricist. 

Today on Stateside:

  • Governor Rick Snyder explains Proposal One, the plan that would increase road funding by increasing the state’s sales tax.
  • In working towards the New International Trade Crossing Bridge, the relationship between the United States and Canada is being put to the test, as Michigan Radio’s political analyst Jack Lessenberry discusses.

  • John Truscott, who sits on the commission that governs the state Capitol Building, talks about reopening the building to the public on Saturdays.

Thetoad / Flickr

Nearly 20 years ago, in the midst of a deep budget crunch, the state decided to close the Capitol to visitors on the weekends.

But now, as of June 6, you’ll be able to again visit the state Capitol on Saturdays.

FLICKR USER U.S. EMBASSY, JAKARTA / FLICKR

The relationship between the United States and Canada has been a figurehead of sorts for international cooperation and friendship between two neighbors.

Efforts to get the New International Trade Crossing Bridge up and running, however, continues to test that international friendship.

Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Radio’s political analyst, recently wrote an opinion piece for Dome headlined, “Cross-Border Chivalry on Life Support.”

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Three weeks from now, we will know the fate of Proposal 1, the plan that would raise around $1.2 billion for road funding by increasing the state’s sales tax. It would also raise money for schools and restore the earned income tax credit for low- to moderate-income families to the 2011 level.

As part of our series Poetically SpeakingScott Beal brings us “American Spring,” his brand-new poem that explores the current tensions surrounding police violence in America.

Flickr user Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr

The landmark 2012 Clean Air Act was the nation's first action focusing on greenhouse gases, with the goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2025.

Margo Oge was the Environmental Protection Agency's director of the Office of Transportation Air Quality and she helped to shape the Clean Air Act.

NPS Climate Change Response on Flickr / Flickr

When we talk about climate change and what it's doing to our world, we often talk about melting ice at the polar cap and rising sea levels.

But there is something else happening as well: The permafrost is melting. And as it does, it is releasing even more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Today on Stateside:

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