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
5:30 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Detroit Journalism Cooperative will dig into unanswered questions in Detroit

Detroit Skyline
JSFauxtaugraphy/Flickr

What important questions are we, in the media, not asking about Detroit?

 What impacts of the Detroit bankruptcy have flown under the radar? What about questions about life post-bankruptcy – like just how can Detroit rebuild its neighborhoods and create more high-paying jobs? And what does all of that mean for Michigan as a whole? Well, Michigan Radio is partnering with other media organizations in the state to try and find the answers to those questions. And so welcome to the new "Detroit Journalism Cooperative." Lester Graham will be digging into the coverage for Michigan Radio and he joined us today.

Education
5:27 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Report shows Michigan's low-income 4th-graders lag in reading proficiency

KidsCount

A new report finds the state's poorest children have failed to make up any ground in their reading skills in the past decade.

According to the the latest Kids Count report, 81% of low-income 4th-graders in Michigan are not reading proficiently.

Michigan is among six states that have seen no improvement in that rate since 2003.

Jane Zehnder-Merrell is the project director for Kids Count Michigan and she joined us today.

Politics & Culture
5:25 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Stateside for Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014

Hundreds of thousands of people packed Cobo Center in Detroit over the past two weeks for the North American International Auto Show. There were lots of hot cars and new models, but what about actual transportation in the city itself?

On today's show, we'll ask what would better public transportation mean for Detroit – a place so deeply rooted in car culture.

And then, you've no doubt heard that the Super Bowl happens. We'll talk to the Kalamazoo author of "Sportuality." She's pushing for a bit more spirituality in everyday sports.

But first on the show, we talk about a new report that found the state's poorest children have failed to make up any ground in their reading skills in the past decade.

According to the the latest Kids Count report, 81% of low income 4th-graders in Michigan are not reading proficiently.

Michigan is among six states that have seen no improvement in that rate since 2003.

Jane Zehnder-Merrell is the project director for Kids Count Michigan and she joined us today.

*Listen to the audio above.

Stateside
3:27 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

How online technologies influence domestic violence

ahans Flickr

Domestic violence is something that reaches every corner of American life.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence tells us that 85% of the people who suffer violence at the hands of an intimate partner are women.

One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. That’s 1.3 million women each and every year. And most of these women have mobile phones, computers, facebook pages, or some kind of an online presence.

The presence of these information communication technologies presents ever-growing challenges to a survivor trying to stay well away from an abusive partner.

Just how do these technologies influence interpersonal violence?

Jill Dimond is a computer science graduate from the University of Michigan. After she earned her PhD at Georgia Tech, she focused her efforts on what she calls "Human Centered Computing."

That includes forming a worker-owner technology cooperative called Sassafras Tech Collective helping social justice groups, non-profits, artists and others with web and app design and development.

For more information on online safety for survivors of domestic abuse, go to the National Network to End Domestic Violence.

*Listen to the audio above.

Stateside
5:04 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

What's going on with the new bridge to Canada?

http://buildthedricnow.com/

  

Remember all the political wrangling over the "New International Trade Crossing"? After that feverish campaign in the fall of 2012, where Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Maroun failed to convince Michigan voters to give him a monopoly of the Detroit River crossing between Detroit and Canada, and after Canada agreed that it would indeed pay the lion's share of the $2.1 billion it'll cost to complete the bridge – after all of that – why has there been no more movement toward getting the new bridge built? Michigan Radio's political commentator Jack Lessenberry explains what's up. *Listen to the audio above.

Stateside
5:04 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Agema admits 'errors in judgment,' but refuses to resign

State and national GOP chairs have now called on Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema to resign his position.

Agema stirred controversy after making anti-gay and anti-Muslim comments.

Late Friday, Agema issued a statement acknowledging “errors in judgment,” but says he won’t resign.

This has many people asking what Agema’s comments mean for Republicans – particularly for Muslim or gay members of the Republican Party.

Joining us now is Joe Sylvester, chair of the Michigan Log Cabin Republicans. Log Cabin Republicans are people who work within the party to push for equal rights for gays and lesbians.

Stateside
5:04 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

What to watch for in tomorrow night's State of the Union address

2013 State of the Union address
White House YouTube

President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress tomorrow night. It's the President's chance to throw down the gauntlet and outline his agenda for the year ahead.

 What shall we watch for here in Michigan? What shall we expect? We turn to Detroit Free Press Washington reporter Todd Spangler.

Politics & Culture
5:03 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Stateside for Monday, Jan. 27, 2014

President Obama is set to deliver his sixth State of the Union address tomorrow evening. From the auto industry to the Great Lakes, just what should you be listening for?

And there was a lot of talk about a new bridge between Detroit and Canada, but has the momentum slowed down? We'll ask Michigan Radio's political commentator Jack Lessenberry about the holdup on the New International Trade Crossing.

And the state and national GOP chairs have now called on Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema to resign his position.

Agema stirred controversy after making anti-gay and anti-Muslim comments.

Late Friday, Agema issued a statement acknowledging “errors in judgment,” but says he won’t resign.

This has many people asking what Agema’s comments mean for Republicans, particularly for Muslim or gay members of the Republican Party.

Joining us now is Joe Sylvester, chair of the Michigan Log Cabin Republicans. Log Cabin Republicans are people who work within the party to push for equal rights for gays and lesbians.

Stateside
4:59 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Former Red Wing star Darren McCarty pulls no punches in new book

He calls himself a "hockey rock star" – and he's earned the right to do just that.

Whether it was his 15 seasons as an NHL enforcer, the four Stanley Cups he won with the Red Wings, the legendary "Fight Night at the Joe" when he took down Claude Lemieux of the Avalanche, or his rock band "Grinder," Darren McCarty has played hard and lived hard, coping with family issues and addiction even as he skated to NHL stardom wearing  No 25.

He tells his story in an autobiography called "My Last Fight: The True Story of a Hockey Rock Star," written with the help of journalist Kevin Allen.

And, just like Darren on the ice, this book pulls no punches.

Stateside
4:58 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Proposal would loosen Michigan's ban on smoking in restaurants, bars and public venues

A spokesman says 700 bars protested the state's smoking ban on New Year's Eve.
user capl@washjeff.edu creative commons

State Rep. Tom McMillin, R-Rochester Hills, wants to loosen Michigan's smoking ban. Since 2010, Michigan has had a ban on smoking in restaurants, bars, and public venues.

House Bill 5159 would give these businesses the green light to allow smoking on patios and other outdoor areas.

Detroit Free Press columnist Brian Dickerson has some strong thoughts about this proposal from Rep. McMillin.

Stateside
6:12 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Gov. Snyder proposes cash infusion to save Detroit Institute of Arts

user aMichiganMom Flickr

Big news out of Lansing yesterday: Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed committing up to $350 million of state money to guarantee city of Detroit pension benefits and to keep Detroit Institute of Arts art off the auction block.

Big news, but not altogether surprising.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes has been writing about this possible cash infusion for weeks now. He joined us today to discuss the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
6:10 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

What does SNAP funding cut mean for people in Michigan?

Terri Stangl
Twitter

Even as more Americans than ever before rely on food stamps, the Farm Bill just passed by the Senate would cut the funding to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by more than $4 billion over the next 10 years. The House version of the bill includes $20 billion in cuts.

Nationwide, more than 47 million people receive federal food assistance, and 1.7 million in Michigan. So, we wondered what these possible cuts mean to them.

Terri Stangl is the executive director of the Center for Civil Justice in Flint, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
6:05 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Michigan's unemployment rate is falling, but is that indicative of the economy overall?

Michigan State University Professor of Economics, Charles Ballard. Ballard says, "if you compare apples to apples, most state employees are not highly compensated compared to their private sector counterparts."
MSU

Michigan's unemployment rate dropped to 8.4% last month. That December number brings the state's 2013 average jobless rate to 8.7%.   

That's down from 8.9% the year before.

And that means Michigan's annual jobless rate has gone done now for three years in a row.

But are these numbers a good indication of how Michigan's overall economy is fairing?

Charles Ballard, professor of economics at Michigan State University, joined us today to help answer that question.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:02 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Stateside for Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014

Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed committing up to $350 million of state money to guarantee city of Detroit pension benefits and to keep Detroit Institute of Arts' art off the auction block. On today's show, we spoke to Daniel Howes about what this cash infusion would mean. 

And, the recently passed farm bill is cutting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) funding by more than $4 billion over the next 10 years. We looked into how this cut will affect people in Michigan who rely on food assistance.

Also, we heard Andy Soper's  story of failure from Failure:Lab Grand Rapids.

First on the show, Michigan's unemployment rate dropped to 8.4% last month. That December number brings the state's 2013 average jobless rate to 8.7%.   

That's down from 8.9% the year before.

And that means Michigan's annual jobless rate has gone down now for three years in a row.

But are these numbers a good indication of how Michigan's overall economy is faring?

Ballard joined us today to help us answer that question.

Stateside
2:15 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

What's your biggest failure? Andy Soper shares his on Failure:Lab

Andy Soper in the promotional video for his Failure:Lab story.
YouTube

Andy Soper from Failure:Lab Grand Rapids.

Failure:Lab is a new event that's been happening in Michigan and is spreading outside the state.

It's a program designed to get us thinking about the meaning of failure, to realize that failure happens to everyone and perhaps to inspire us to take intelligent risks.

From their website:

Each storyteller shares a personal failure in under nine minutes. The storyteller doesn’t share a lesson, blame-shift, or talk about where they are now.

Today on Stateside we hear from Andy Soper. He works with the Manasseh Project, developing programs to address the commercial sexual exploitation of minors.

After graduating from Bowling Green State University and without a job, he decided to join the Army – an experience that did not end well.

This is the story that Soper shared at Failure:Lab Grand Rapids on May 23, 2013 at Wealthy Theatre:

Stateside
4:51 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Group of doctors gets together to try to stop gun violence

Daniel Weber Flickr

"Children deserve to feel safe wherever they live, play and learn."

Those words came from the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics just a few days after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School and they sum up the feelings of some physicians from coast to coast.

There's a new group in Michigan trying to bring attention to gun violence. The group is made up of doctors.

Stateside's Cynthia Canty recently spoke with Dr. Jerry Walden, a family practice physician who was named "Family Physician of the Year" by the Michigan Academy of Family Practice.

Dr. Andy Zweifler, an internist and an emeritus professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School is also a member of the group Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence.

They joined us today.

*Listen to the interview above.

Stateside
4:37 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Giving DIY satellites a push in space

A rendering of the Cubesat Ambipolar Thruster being developed by U of M researchers
PEPL University of Michigan

Technology has opened the doors in recent years for do-it-yourselfers to complete scientific projects without help from universities or government agencies. But space exploration is one field that has remained largely out of reach for amateur scientists who don’t have NASA-sized budgets.

One way space enthusiasts have found to get more involved in the last few years is by building little satellites themselves, called cubesats.

Basically just metal boxes about the size of a loaf of bread, cubesats are popular in the DIY space community because they can be built cheaply with off-the-shelf parts and can be stuffed with cameras and all sorts of other instruments depending on the builders’ interests.

They’re usually put together by groups of amateurs or classes who pay to have their cubesat catch a ride on bigger rocket missions and once they’re dropped off, they stay in orbit and transmit pictures or other data back down to Earth.

Now, researchers at the University of Michigan say they are working to expand the scientific capabilities of cubesats by giving them a push in new directions, literally.

They want to take the plasma propulsion systems that power big spacecraft, like communication satellites, and shrink them down so that amateurs can send their cubesats into new orbits or even off into the solar system.

*Listen to the full story above

Stateside
4:35 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Lawmakers in Lansing debate how best to evaluate teachers

The chamber of Michigan's House of Representatives.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

Lawmakers are in the midst of a debate over how teachers in Michigan should be evaluated.

Hearings were held today at the Capitol and the Michigan Public Radio Network's Jake Neher was there. He joined us today.

*Listen to the audio above.

Stateside
4:28 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

How will Michigan's new abortion law work?

In December, State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer gave a speech about her own experience with rape during the debate over the abortion rider bill.
http://whitmer.senatedems.com/

On the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade – the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that legalized abortion nationwide – women's reproductive rights remain in the political spotlight.

Let's turn our attention to that subject here in Michigan. It was mid-December when state lawmakers approved a controversial law requiring consumers to buy separate policies for abortion coverage.

This means a person has to buy a rider before knowing they need an abortion; they would not be able to buy a rider after getting pregnant. And the law does not include exceptions for rape or incest.

The law goes into effect in March, and there’s confusion over just how this is supposed to work.

Marianne Udow Phillips is director of The Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation at the University of Michigan. She talks to us today and explains what the new law means.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:26 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Stateside for Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014

On the 41st anniversary of Roe v Wade, women's reproductive rights are in the spotlight here in Michigan. Insurance providers and consumers are trying to understand Michigan's new, controversial law requiring separate policies for abortion coverage.

 On today's show we'll get a better of understanding of how the new law is supposed to work. And we'll travel to space! OK, maybe that's overselling it, but we will meet a group of researchers who want to make it easier for do-it-yourself space exploration. First, we go to Lansing where lawmakers are in the midst of a debate over how teachers in Michigan should be evaluated. Hearings were held today at the Capitol and the Michigan Public Radio Network's Jake Neher was there. He joined us today.

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