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
4:35 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Kevyn Orr reaches tentative deal with Detroit's largest employee union

Credit Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is in Lansing today and tomorrow, getting face-time with the lawmakers whose vote is crucial to the so-called grand bargain, the complicated deal to protect city retirees and the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Orr heads to Lansing with a new piece of the puzzle in hand: a tentative five-year deal reached Monday with AFSCME, Detroit's largest employee union.

Detroit News reporter Chad Livengood joined us today to give us an idea of what progress has been made and what lies ahead for the city.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
11:10 am
Tue April 29, 2014

Garrison Keillor celebrates 40th anniversary of A Prairie Home Companion with a new book

You've no doubt heard that saying "Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Lennon used that line in his 1980 song "Beautiful Boy," although it was kicking around for a full two decades before that.

The life of our next guest could serve to illustrate the wisdom of that line. He indeed had "other plans."

As a romantic 20-year-old, he thought about dying young and becoming immortal like Buddy Holly or James Dean or Janis Joplin, with people leaving bouquets at his grave and mourning the loss of his "enormous complicated talent."

But life happened. He didn't die tragically young. And his talent was not lost to the world.

Instead, Garrison Keillor is 71 and about to mark the 40th anniversary of A Prairie Home Companion, a program that reaches some four million listeners on more than 600 public radio stations coast to coast, including, of course, Michigan Radio.

To celebrate this milestone, Garrison Keillor has a new book, The Keillor Reader, a collection of his stories, his essays, poems and so much more. All in one volume.

Garrison Keillor joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:11 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Stateside for Monday, April 28, 2014

Today on our show, legislators are still trying to decide which standardized test should be used to measure student growth in the classroom, which, in turn, determines the fate of Michigan teachers. Brian Smith, MLive's statewide education and courts reporter, joined us today.

We also check out the New Music Ensemble at Grand Valley State University. They're launching a new project called “Music In Our Parks.”

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Stateside
4:11 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Alcoholic's Anonymous celebrates 75 years

The Alcoholics Anonymous logo
Credit User: Vangore / Wikipedia

Seventy-five years ago, one of the most influential books ever written was published. It has sold over 30 million copies. And what's inside this book has changed the lives of millions of people around the world.

The official title of the book is "Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How Many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism" written by the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, Bill Wilson.

Dr. Howard Markel joined us today. He's the director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan. 

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Stateside
3:53 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Chief barista for Zingerman's shares her thoughts on the future of coffee

User: Brother O'Mara flickr

It's pretty tough to imagine an American city that does not have a coffee shop.

For many places, Starbucks blazed the trail, followed by other chains. And, of course, the hip, locally owned coffee shops.

The variety of flavors and roasts has certainly evolved, from the big brands – the Folgers and the Maxwell Houses – to regionally labeled coffees, and now to beans that are sourced from farms, not just from countries.

So, what's in the future for coffee shops, now that so many of us have discovered we can't do without a really fine cup of coffee?

Anya Pomykala is the chief barista at Zingerman's Coffee Company in Ann Arbor. She joined us to share her thoughts.

*Listen to the interview above.

Stateside
3:52 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

An update on the future of standardized tests in Michigan

Credit Alberto G. / Creative Commons

In 2011, state lawmakers passed a measure that was designed to toughen up Michigan's teacher evaluation system. The idea was that a teacher who repeatedly got poor evaluations could be fired.

How do you measure a teacher's effectiveness? 

One big way is to determine how much students learned and grew during the school year, and that is done through academic testing. 

But, three years out, the Legislature hasn't managed to agree on how those evaluations should be conducted, or even which test should be used to measure student growth.

And, left twisting in the wind, are school administrators, principals, and teachers who are wondering which standardized test they're supposed to start giving this fall. 

Brian Smith joined us to give an update on where things stand as this school year winds down. He's the statewide education and courts reporter for MLive.

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
3:52 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

"Music in Our Parks" composes pieces using the sounds of nature

GVSU play one of their "Music in Our Parks" selections.
Credit GVSU / YouTube

After two years of planning, the New Music Ensemble at Grand Valley State University is launching a new project. It’s called “Music in Our Parks.”

The project shows us how nature and landscape affect the process of making music. Here's a video promoting their effort:

Bill Ryan is the director of Grand Valley State University’s New Music Ensemble. He was joined on our program by one of the members of the New Music Ensemble, percussionist and senior music performance major, Josh Dreyer.

*Listen to the interview above.

Environment & Science
5:37 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Lester Graham's upcoming documentary, "Growing up in Poverty and Pollution"

Brianna Allgood gets a checkup on her asthma.
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Children growing up in poverty face huge challenges. One challenge that might not come to the top of the mind, though, is pollution.

As part of Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project, reporter Lester Graham spent the past three months exploring the problem.

His documentary, "Growing up in Poverty and Pollution," will air tomorrow at 3 p.m. on Michigan Radio.

Lester joined us today to talk about his project.

*Listen to the audio above.

Stateside
5:35 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Stryker of the Detroit Free Press talks DIA art and bankruptcy

Detroit Institute of Arts
Credit Photo courtesy of the DIA

As Detroit's bankruptcy battle continues to unfold, a question remains: what will happen to the city-owned pieces at the Detroit Institute of Arts?

The city recently reached a tentative agreement with its retirees and pensioners. Could the agreements impact the possible sale of DIA work to satisfy Detroit's bondholders and other creditors?

Mark Stryker explored that question in The Detroit Free Press and we spoke with him today.

*Listen to the audio above.

Politics & Culture
5:35 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Stateside for Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Now that it appears Detroit pensioners will not have to take a big hit to their monthly checks because of the bankruptcy, should the city's other creditors expect a better deal than Kevyn Orr first offered?

Today we explored how those questions might affect the fate of the treasures at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Then we spoke with Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham about his documentary that explores the challenges faced by Michigan children who are growing up in poverty and pollution.

First on today’s show, we received an update on the state’s controversial Education Achievement Authority. That’s the state-run authority meant to turn around some of Michigan’s lowest-performing schools. Michigan Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville hopes there will be a final vote this week on a bill to expand the EAA. Right now, the EAA runs 15 schools in Detroit. The bill would pave the way for it to expand up to 50 schools statewide.

Michigan Public Radio Network’s Lansing reporter Jake Neher joined us to talk about the latest happenings in Lansing.

Stateside
5:32 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Detroit watches as Delaware Art Museum sells pieces to repay debts

The Rivera court in the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Credit Maia C/Flickr

The reality of worried creditors eyeing the treasures at the DIA has the museum world watching very closely.

There are few people who want to see the museum's art leave Detroit.

But in the face of monstrous debt, should it be a case of "hands off the art"?

Recently, the Delaware Art Museum announced it had decided, "with heavy hearts, but clear minds" to sell up to four works from its collection to repay debt from an expansion and thus, keep its door open.

We wanted to get a museum expert's view in this debate, so we welcomed the director of the University of Michigan's Museum Studies Program, Ray Silverman.

Listen to the full interview.

Stateside
5:31 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Filmmakers will capture "one day in Detroit" this Saturday

Screen shot from a "One Day" film.
Credit onedayindetroit.org

On Saturday, hundreds of folks with cameras in hand will descend upon Detroit.

Their mission is to document stories that most affect the future of the city. The stories they capture will become part of a TV series on the future of the American city.

It's called “One Day in Detroit: Your Day, Your City, Your Future.”

Detroit is one of 11 cities across America to be a part of this "One Day" event.

The co-founder and executive producer of One Day on Earth, Brandon Litman, joined us today. And we also welcomed Stephen McGee, the local producer of “One Day in Detroit.”

*Listen to the audio above.

Politics & Culture
4:27 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Stateside for Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Big news out of Washington, D.C. today: The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld Michigan’s ban on race- and gender-based affirmative action. The Court's majority held that Michigan voters were within their rights to amend the state constitution to ban the college admission policies. We dove into the decision on today's show.

Then, we checked in with Michigan Radio's auto-beat reporter Tracy Samilton about big changes that are likely in the leadership at Ford.

And, on this Earth Day, what moths can tell us about the world's changing climate.

Also, we spoke with author Joseph Tirella about his book Tomorrow-Land: The 1964-65 World's Fair and the Transformation of America.

First on the show, it's taken months of bargaining, bickering and posturing, but there have been promising advances in the Detroit bankruptcy journey.

Pieces are starting to fall into place that could complete the so-called "grand bargain" that would protect the DIA collection and soften the blow for Detroit's retirees.

First came word of a tentative deal between the city and its pensioners. A day later, the board that represents police and fire retirees gave unanimous approval to the deal.

Now it's on to the next hurdle: getting state lawmakers to approve Michigan's share of the grand bargain – $350 million.

Chris Gautz, Capitol Correspondent of Crain's Detroit Business, joined us today.

Stateside
4:17 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

What can Finnish moths tell us about climate change?

Mark Hunter
Credit webapps.lsa.umich.edu/

Today marks the 44th anniversary of Earth Day. Many consider April 22, 1970 to be the birth of the modern environmental movement.

At that time, Earth Day organizers had an advantage: The environmental problems were highly visible, tangible problems that people came up against in their daily lives, such as toxic effluent from factories spilled into streams and rivers. Kids couldn't swim in lakes and rivers because they were too polluted.  Parks and highways were strewn with trash and air pollution made people sick.

You could draw a direct connection between these problems and the need for environmental action to improve the quality of life for everyone.

Many of today's biggest environmental concerns seem more abstract even though they are perhaps even more threatening than the burning river in Cleveland. Global warming is one example.

That's why a study by our next guest caught our eye. He found that what is happening to moths in Finnish Lapland suggests that we're underestimating the impacts of climate change because much of the harm is hidden from view.

Mark Hunter is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Michigan, and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:16 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

U.S. Supreme Court upholds Michigan's affirmative action ban in college admissions

Credit U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s ban on race- and gender-based affirmative action in college admissions today.

A six-to-two majority on the Court held that Michigan voters were within their rights to amend the state constitution to ban the admission policies.

Rick Pluta is Lansing bureau chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network, and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:06 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Will state lawmakers approve the Detroit bankruptcy "grand bargain?"

Credit Peter Martorano / Flickr

It's taken months of bargaining, bickering and posturing, but there have been promising advances in the Detroit bankruptcy journey.

Pieces are starting to fall into place that could complete the so-called "grand bargain" that would protect the DIA collection and soften the blow for Detroit's retirees.

First came word of a tentative deal between the city and its pensioners. A day later, the board that represents police and fire retirees gave a unanimous approval to the deal.

Now it's on to the next hurdle: getting state lawmakers to approve Michigan's share of the grand bargain –$350 million.

Chris Gautz, Capitol Correspondent of Crain's Detroit Business, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:05 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Detroit Big Three ruled the 1964 World's Fair; what's changed in the last 50 years?

Tomorrow-Land: The 1964-65 World's Fair and the Transformation of America.
Credit Twitter

The 1964 World's Fair opened its door to an eager public 50 years ago this day at the Flushing Meadows Corona Park, in New York City.

And it is no exaggeration to say that cars ruled that World's Fair. Detroit's Big Three worked very hard to grab the world's attention.

We talk about what those messages were and how the Detroit Three weren't just selling cars, they were pushing a lifestyle and a political system.

Joseph Tirella, author of Tomorrow-Land: The 1964-65 World's Fair and the Transformation of America, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:05 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Mark Fields to take the place of Alan Mulally as Ford CEO

Alan Mulally
Credit Ford Motor Company

All signs point to a big change at Ford Motor Company.

Although the automaker has not made an official announcement, there is much speculation today that CEO Alan Mulally is reportedly ready to retire before the year is out and COO Mark Fields will ascend to the top spot.

Michigan Radio's auto reporter Tracy Samilton joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:04 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Stateside for Monday, April 21, 2014

We know it's there. It seems like it’s everywhere - money in political campaigns. And now with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission, we're going to see even more of it.

Today we look at what elections in Michigan will look like post-McCutcheon.

And we spoke with author Vic Strecher. He lost his daughter Julia to heart disease when she was 19. That loss sent him on a voyage through philosophy, biology, psychology, literature, neuroscience and Egyptology.

We delved into his new book “On Purpose” later in the show.

But first we spoke with Michigan Radio’s political analyst, Jack Lessenberry about the upcoming elections.

We are a little more than four months away from the statewide primaries, the statewide Republican and Democratic conventions, and some seven months away from the general election in November. Among many local and Congressional races, that's also when Michiganders will go to the polls to vote for Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State. 

Stateside
5:04 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Jack Lessenberry gives us a preview of this year's election

Polling place.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today we spoke with Michigan Radio’s political analyst, Jack Lessenberry, about the upcoming elections.

We are a little more than four months away from the statewide primaries, the statewide Republican and Democratic conventions, and some seven months away from the general election in November. Among many local and Congressional races, that's also when Michiganders will go to the polls to vote for Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State. 

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