Stateside with Cynthia Canty

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

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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 will focus on topics and events that matter to people all across the state.

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Stateside
5:11 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Michigan fiber mill provides yarn for Olympic closing ceremonies sweaters

American athletes will be wearing these during the closing ceremonies.
Facebook

The Winter 2014 Olympics began today in Sochi, Russia. America's athletes will once again be sporting designs by Ralph Lauren.

 

What you might not know is that the sweaters and caps they'll be wearing for the closing ceremonies will be made from yarn produced in Michigan.

Debbie McDermott is a shepherd, a spinner and a fiber artist. She owns Stonehedge Fiber Mill in East Jordan, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:09 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Mobile and Web app helps feed hungry children in Grand Rapids

Web designer, Adam Salois (left), and Managing Director, Jonathan Kumar (right).
Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

Using the power of social media to do good – in this case, ordering a dessert or an appetizer and, in doing so, helping to feed a hungry child.

Our next guest has accomplished that with a mobile and Web app called FoodCircles currently up and running in Grand Rapids.

Jonathan Kumar is the managing director of FoodCircles and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:07 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

How can our voting system be improved?

The Secretary of State says 95.5% of eligible voters are registered
Lars Plougmann Creative Commons

During his recent State of the Union speech, President Obama made passing mention of our voting system.

"Citizenship means standing up for everyone’s right to vote. Last year, part of the Voting Rights Act was weakened.  But conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats are working together to strengthen it, and the bipartisan commission I appointed last year has offered reforms so that no one has to wait more than a half hour to vote.  Let’s support these efforts.  It should be the power of our vote, not the size of our bank account, that drives our democracy."

So, the voting system is on the president's mind. So, too, is it on the mind of Michigan Radio's political commentator Jack Lessenberry. He joined us today to discuss the problems he has noticed with our voting system.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:04 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Democrats split over the new farm bill

Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI)
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

When President Obama visits Michigan tomorrow, he will sign into law the new, massive farm bill. After years of debate, both the House and Senate passed the almost $1 trillion measure.

And, as usual in Congress, the legislation saw a split between Michigan's delegation, but not just the same old Republican vs. Democratic split.

Out of Michigan's five Democratic U.S. Representatives, two voted against the bill, three in favor of it.  One of the Democrats who voted for the bill was Congressman Dan Kildee of Flint, and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:59 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

How successful was the War on Poverty?

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

It has now been 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty.

There is a popular perception that President Johnson's War on Poverty failed. Critics point to the official poverty rate and say it has scarcely budged from 1964 to 2014, despite the $15 trillion spent in those 50 years.

But a University of Michigan economist is challenging that view. She is co-author of a new paper that analyzes spending during the Johnson Administration, and she believes it is wrong to call the War on Poverty a failure.

Martha Bailey joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:56 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Stateside for Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014

After years of debate, Congress has sent the almost $1 trillion farm bill to President Obama, and, as usual, opposition to the legislation was a left-right affair. On today's show: Congressman Dan Kildee of Flint joins us to talk about why he voted in favor.

Then, Michigan Radio’s political commentator Jack Lessenberry explained why fixing Michigan’s voting system may be harder than you think.

And, medical students are reaching out to provide health care to uninsured people. We spoke with one of these students about free student-run medical clinics.

And, a new mobile and Web app is providing food for hungry children in Grand Rapids.

Also, we spoke to an economist from the University of Michigan about the success of Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty.

And, the owner of Stonehedge Fiber Mill in East Jordan, Michigan, joined us today to tell us about how she was approached to provide yarn for the Ralph Lauren Olympic closing ceremonies sweaters. 

First on the show, it's Thursday, which means it's time for our weekly check-in with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

He's been going through Gov. Snyder's proposed budget for the new fiscal year and has decided the governor's got something going for him: what President George Herbert Walker Bush called "The Big Mo."

Daniel Howes joined us today to discuss the issue.

Stateside
4:52 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Daniel Howes on Snyder's new state budget

Governor Rick Snyder delivering his State of the State address Wednesday night.
gophouse.com

It's Thursday, which means it's time for our weekly check-in with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

He's been going through Gov. Snyder's proposed budget for the new fiscal year and has decided the governor's got something going for him: what President George Herbert Walker Bush called "The Big Mo."

Daniel Howes joined us today to discuss the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:29 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Looking at the long range economic outlook for Michigan

Kettering University junior Steve Needham at the Innovation Center.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Today we looked at the long-range forecast for Michigan as a whole and what it will take in terms of policy decisions and education to keep Michigan from having a future as dark and dismal as a Dickens novel.

Two writers who've explored these questions for Bridge Magazine joined us today: Ron French and Nancy Derringer.

*Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:28 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Gov. Snyder reveals new state budget

Michigan State Capitol Building
User: mattileo/flickr

  Gov. Rick Snyder has delivered his budget proposal for fiscal year 2015.

The $52 billion budget calls for a small increase to maintain the state's roads and bridges, increases in education funding, and a plan to restore an income tax credit to some homeowners.

Rick Snyder has delivered his budget proposal for fiscal year 2015.

The $52 billion budget calls for a small increase to maintain the state's roads and bridges, increases in education funding, and a plan to restore an income tax credit to some homeowners.

We spoke with Chris Gautz, Capitol correspondent for Crain's Detroit Business and Jonathan Oosting, Capitol reporter for MLive.  

Stateside
4:42 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Why is Detroit lacking in French influence?

Hurlbut Memorial Gate Detroit MI
Andrew Jameson wikipedia.org

A few centuries ago it was not uncommon to hear Detroit referred to as "The Paris of the Midwest."

Just look at the history of Detroit and you can see that there are good reasons to link Detroit and France. The city’s early settlers were, by and large, French and French Canadian. But unlike, say, Quebec, Montreal, or New Orleans, there is no special "French feel" to Detroit beyond some French street names.

We wondered why Detroit's modern identity is so lacking in that French influence. For some insights, we turned to Guillaume Teasdale, a history instructor at the University of Windsor.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:28 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Stateside for Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014

It’s official.

The country will have a farm bill. Tomorrow, President Obama plans to sign the nearly $1 trillion bill into law on his trip to East Lansing.

On today’s show we’ll take a closer look at the farm bill and explore what this all means to Michigan farmers.

Then later in the hour, Michigan has the country’s fourth-highest unemployment rate, and is 49th in job growth.

Why is Michigan doing so badly? And are we prepared to change?

But first on today's show, we talk about Gov. Rick Snyder's budget proposal for the next fiscal year. He delivered his proposal today.

The $52 billion budget calls for a small increase to maintain the state's roads and bridges, increases in education funding, and a plan to restore an income tax credit to some homeowners.

Chris Gautz, capitol correspondent for Crain's Detroit Business, was at the budget presentation today and he joined us.

Stateside
4:31 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Stateside for Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014

As Detroit continues the process of bankruptcy, there's lots of talk about turning over a new leaf in the city, a rejuvenation. But headlines have recently turned to the legal troubles of City Councilman George Cushingberry. On today's show: Can Detroit change its image if there are still leaders courting controversy?

 Then, we spoke to an artist who's trying to change the way we think about abortion and issues of contraception through art. And, we want everything modern medicine can offer, but as taxpayers we want health care costs controlled. Is there a way we achieve both goals?  First on the show, as Gov. Snyder prepares to reveal his 2014-15 budget tomorrow morning, there will be many eyes fixed on how much he proposes to put into K-12 education.
 

In the “Comeback Kid” Snyder campaign ad unveiled during the Super Bowl, amidst the talk of jobs was the claim “education funding’s up”. Yet many of his critics claim the governor cut $1 billion from K-12 education.

So what’s the truth about education funding? And what should we expect to see for schools in the about-to-be released budget?

Detroit Free Press Lansing reporter Paul Egan joined us today.

Stateside
4:30 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Can we get the best medical treatment while controlling health care costs?

401(k) 2013 Flickr

What's your reaction when the conversation turns to America's soaring health care costs – when you hear that by 2020, just six years from now, our health care spending will hit $4.5 trillion?

Maybe it's all too big, too "macro" for us to absorb on a personal level.

So try this: Should your 92-year-old grandmother undergo coronary artery bypass graft surgery –surgery that costs upwards of $20,000?

What about a girl who's 17 years old? Her leukemia treatments aren't working. Her liver is failing, other organs are failing, she is near death and her family is demanding a liver transplant, which the surgeon proposed, but the HMO refuses to authorize?

These are real-life dilemmas facing doctors, patients, and us.

We want everything modern medicine can offer, but as taxpayers we want health care costs controlled.

Can we achieve both goals?

Leonard Fleck, a professor of philosophy and a medical ethicist from Michigan State University, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:18 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

How have George Cushingberry's actions affected Detroit?

Detroit City Council President George Cushingberry.
http://www.michiganlcv.org/

When Detroit City Council President Pro-Tem George Cushingberry was stopped by police last month after leaving a northwest Detroit strip club, police found an open glass of alcohol, an empty bottle of booze, a lit marijuana cigarette, and expired vehicle registration.

Far from expressing any acts of contrition, Cushingberry claimed he had been stopped "for driving black." It should, however, be noted that the two officers were African-American and Arab-American.

This has caused many in Detroit to do a collective "facepalm," as in, "Oh no, not again!"

Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley and blogger and author Karen Dumas joined us today to talk about what this all means for the city in practical terms, and in terms of the image of its leadership.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:17 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

What will the budget proposal tomorrow mean for K-12 education?

As Governor Snyder prepares to reveal his 2014-2015 budget tomorrow morning, there will be many eyes fixed on how much he proposes to put into K-12 education.

In the “Comeback Kid” Snyder campaign ad unveiled during the Superbowl, amidst the talk of jobs was the claim “Education funding’s up.” Yet many of his critics claim the Governor cut one billion dollars from K-12 education.

So what’s the truth about education funding? And what should we expect to see for schools in the about-to-be released budget?

Detroit Free Press Lansing reporter Paul Egan joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:17 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

New art series presents abortion and contraception as part of human history

4000 Years for Choice exhibit in the Lane Hall Gallery.
Facebook

Can art and history change the tone of the conversation in the pro-choice movement?

Artist and activist Heather Ault believes they can.

Heather is the founder of 4000 Years for Choice. She's created an art series that presents abortion and contraception as a part of human history, a history of women seeking to control their reproduction.

Her posters are currently on exhibit at the Lane Hall Gallery on the University of Michigan campus.

Heather Ault joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Made In Michigan
1:46 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Snowboarding had its beginning in a Muskegon, Michigan garage

Sherman Poppen, the inventor of the "snurfboard."
Screen capture from YouTube

The Sochi Winter Olympics are just days away.

One of the most popular competitions is undoubtedly snowboarding, which joined the pantheon of Olympic winter sports in 1998. 

But there might have been no Shaun White, the "Flying Tomato," grabbing Olympic gold for the U.S. without a man from Muskegon looking to give his little girls a reason to play outside in the snow.

The snowboard is another "Made In Michigan" story.

Listen to Sherman Poppen explain how the snowboard started.

"I took these two small skis and put them side by side and put a brace across them to hold them together, and something to put your foot against," said Sherm Poppen.

Poppen was the dad who got creative in his Muskegon garage some 48 years ago. "We literally started sliding down a hill standing up."

His wife named the new toy "snurfer" by combining the words "snow" and "surf."

Fourteen years later, Jake Burton Carpenter came to a contest in Michigan and saw the snurfers. He then went back to Vermont to make his own "snurfboards." 

"I wrote him saying the word 'snurf' and any derivative thereof belongs to Sherman Poppen and if you want to keep making these things you're going to have to pay him a royalty," Poppen said.

"That was probably one of the dumbest things I ever did, because he stopped making 'snurfboards' and started making 'snowboards.'"

Here's a longer interview with Poppen:

We want to hear from you. What surprising things do you know of that were invented or made in Michigan? We want to feature them as part of our "Made in Michigan" series.

Stateside
5:55 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

How has NAFTA affected Michigan?

President Bill Clinton signing the North American Free Trade Agreement into Law. Al Gore is pictured besides him.
White House

It’s been 20 years since the North American Free Trade Agreement went into effect. It drastically changed the economic relationship between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico.

While signing the bill into law, then-President Clinton said, “NAFTA means jobs. American jobs, and good-paying American jobs.”

So, let’s spend the next little while taking stock of NAFTA, and what it’s meant particularly to Michigan, it’s economy, the auto industry, and the state’s workers.

Patrick Anderson, the CEO of the Michigan-based Anderson Economic Group, and Harley Shaiken, a professor at the University of California Berkeley who specializes in labor and the global economy joined us today. 

Stateside
5:33 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Jerry Sprague quits his job and follows his passion to play music

Jerry Sprague with his grandsons.
Facebook

In 1985 Jerry Sprague quit his job and decided to follow his passion. That passion is music.

But, Sprague isn’t the only person in his family with that passion.

He’s is in a band with his grandsons.

*Listen to the interview above.

Stateside
5:29 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

What do local leaders think about Detroit's bankruptcy now?

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr has submitted a so-called “plan of adjustment” to Detroit creditors.

It’s been about six months since Orr filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy for the city.

So, more than half a year later, what do local leaders in Michigan think about the bankruptcy?

Tom Ivako joined us today. He’s with the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan.

*Listen to the audio above.

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