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.

Today on Stateside:

  • Charlie Moret, president of Invest Michigan, talks about his “fresh view” on the Michigan startup community in The Next Idea.
  • Randy Olson, a computer science doctoral candidate from Michigan State University, joins us to describe his “Pure Michigan Road Trip, Optimized.”

  • Finland Calling, the nation’s only Finnish-language program in the United States, is coming to an end, and host Carl Pellonpaa is here to talk.

FLICKR USER SOURTHERNTABITHA / FLICKR

Five years ago today, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law. It’s the law widely known as “Obamacare.”

The University of Michigan’s Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation decided to see what Obamacare has meant for Michigan and the results of their survey are out today.

If Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, had to grade the ACA, it would earn “certainly no lower than a B.”

Flickr

The Next Idea

Michigan will never be the next Silicon Valley.

Michigan can't compete with the allure of the Coasts, or even Chicago, for the nation's best talent.

Michigan investors and politicians are too conservative to support true innovation.

Here's the "optimized" road trip.
Google Maps

According to Randy Olson, 2,098 miles and 43 stops is the perfect road trip around Michigan.

Olson – who’s about to graduate from Michigan State University with a doctorate in computer science – used his computer magic to create what he calls, “Pure Michigan Road Trip, Optimized.”

FLICKR USER DENNIS JARVIS / FLICKR

The Upper Peninsula is facing the end of an era. After 53 years, Finland Calling, the only Finnish-language program in the United States, is coming to an end.

Marking the retirement of host Carl Pellonpaa, the final show will be on March 29.

Flickr user Adam Fagen / Flickr

Since it was launched in 2013, the anonymous application Yik Yak has spread across college campuses. Messages are sorted by geographic location and only posts within a mile and a half radius appear.

So it's perfect for saying what you want, about whom you want without anyone knowing it's you, and that is posing problems and challenges for schools around the country.

Today on Stateside:

  • Detroit News Business columnist Daniel Howes discusses a pay raise Detroit officials.
  • Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon talks about Michigan State’s chances in the March Madness tournament.
  • Comedian Loni Love describes her time growing up in the Brewster Projects in Detroit.
  • We take a look back a master musician, composer, writer and artist Yusef Lateef’s legacy.
  • Democratic State Representative Jeremy Moss tells us why a group of Democratic lawmakers has chosen now to introduce bills to repeal Michigan’s ban on same sex marriage.
  • Kristen Moore of the Michigan chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America discusses how to reduce gun violence against women in the state.
  • Chris Cook of Hour Detroit Magazine shares a trick he learned to get rid of the smell of cork taint in wine.

Wikimedia Commons

Democratic lawmakers in Lansing are proposing a group of bills that would repeal Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage.

This legislation comes a little over a month before the Supreme Court will take up the Michigan case on the legality of same sex marriage.

State Rep. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield, says they are introducing these bills now because Sunday marks the one-year anniversary of 300 same sex couples who were married in Michigan.

Daniel Weber / Flickr

Earlier this month, we spoke with gun instructor Rick Ector about the increase in the number of women in Michigan with concealed pistol licenses, or CPLs.

Kristen Moore of the Michigan Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America wanted to continue the conversation by exploring the role that firearms play in violence against women.

LEG Management

The first federally-funded housing projects for African-American families were built in Detroit in the 1930s. They were the Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects, located on Detroit’s near-east side.

If you want to hear why they were built, listen to our recent story here. Mary Wilson from The Supremes tells us about what she learned from growing up in the projects, in a story you can listen to here

For the most part, former residents who lived in the area in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s speak highly of their time in the projects. But life in the Brewsters got much tougher in the 1970s and '80s.

Detroit City Council
Detroit City Council / Facebook

The Detroit bankruptcy is over, and now Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones and City Clerk Janice Winfrey want pay raises.

The request came just about the time city pensioners started feeling the cuts to their health care and pensions exacted by the Detroit bankruptcy.

FLICKR USER HEINRICH KLAFFS / FLICKR / Yusef Lateef visualized his music in his drawings, said Alhena Katsof, curator of "Yusef Lateef: Towards the Unknown."

Yusef Lateef – a master musician, composer, writer and artist – died in 2013. However, his history lives on in Detroit, the city where he came of age musically and otherwise. He went on to become one of the first artists to combine jazz with world music.

This Friday, an exhibition called Yusef Lateef: Towards the Unknown will open in the Trinosophes art space on Gratiot in Detroit. It will run through May 10. 

Rebecca Mazzei, co-owner of Trinosophes, thinks the exhibition will be important for all people to see – whether they’re familiar with Lateef’s work or not. She said the exhibit will speak to “why he was so important to the city and why the city was so important to him,” though she added that he also brought some “important cultural movements to the national scene as well.”

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan Radio’s political junkie Zoe Clark and Michigan Public Radio Network’s Bureau Chief Rick Pluta – who together host “It’s Just Politics” – say Democrats are asking that state government be a bit more transparent. They’re talking Freedom of Information Act reforms.

Today on Stateside:

  • Rick Pluta of Michigan Public Radio Network and Zoe Clark of Michigan Radio talk about what's going on in Lansing.
  • Former residents of the Brewster-Douglass housing projects talk about what it was like growing up in the Detroit housing.

  • The Freep Film Festival's artistic director, Kathy Kieliszewski joins us to talk about the festival, which begins its four-day run tomorrow.

Ian Britton / Flickr

You might have seen reports about a small town, fewer than 300 people, with a force of 110 reserve police officers. How and why is this happening in Oakley, Michigan?

Oakley, Michigan, according to reporter Ryan Felton from Metro Times, is "a textbook definition of a small town.” 

A Minute with Mike: What's in a name?

Mar 18, 2015

Like most of you listening, I am proud of being from Michigan. Trips up north, long summer sunsets and the joy of boating across a lake are experiences many of us hold dear. 

But there's one thing about being from Michigan I find quite disconcerting: being called a Michigander.

FLICKR USER KENNETH GARCIA / FLICKR

Local government officials believe they and their colleagues are pretty ethical. They seem to feel differently about state officials, however.

Those are some of the findings of the latest Michigan Public Policy Survey by the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy at the University of Michigan.

FLICKR USER JOANNA BOURNE / FLICKR

Interested in Michigan craft beer? If so, you may have heard about a certain trademark dispute: the larger Bell’s Brewery filed a complaint against the fledgling Innovation Brewing. Bell’s believes Innovation’s name is too similar to Bell’s trademark, “Bottling innovation since 1985.”

Nationaal Archief (Dutch National Archives)

Today on Stateside, we’re getting the inside scoop from former residents of the Brewster-Douglass housing projects about what it was like growing up in the Detroit projects. 

Their answers are overwhelmingly positive.

Ruby Straughter lived in the Brewster-Douglass projects from 1957 to 1972. She remembers people in the projects taking good care of each other.

“If a family couldn’t pay rent, neighbors would throw a rent party and they’d give the money to whomever needed the rent paid.”

She says no one ever went hungry or made fun of anyone else for being poor. Straughter remembers parents were strict with their own kids, and looked out for other people’s children as well.

There was also lots and lots of singing in the Brewsters. People sang four-part harmonies on street corners, in the parks, on porches and in the stairwells, where the echo was best.

But why was music such a huge part of living there? 

Flickr user University of Wisconsin Sea Grant/Water Resources / Flickr

The Freep Film Festival begins its four-day run tomorrow.

This will be the festival's second year. It will open with a double feature of films from two of the Detroit Free Press' own videographers and photographers.

The first is Fire Photo 1. It revolves around Bill Eisner who has been the unofficial photographer for the Detroit fire department for over 50 years.

Here's a trailer:

Flickr user Betsy Weber / Flickr

Ticket scalping, or reselling concert or sports tickets for more than their face value, is illegal under state law. State Rep. Tim Kelly, R- Saginaw Twp., wants to change that.

He reintroduced a bill this month to lift the ban on scalping after a similar effort stalled last year when the legislation didn't pass the state Senate.

  Today on Stateside:

  • State Representative Brandon Dillon, D-Grand Rapids, explains the bill he introduced that would stop FOIA exemptions for the governor and legislators.
  • We look at why the Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects were built in the 1930s in Detroit.
  • Detroit News’ Bill Loomis explains the history of St. Patrick’s Day in Detroit.
  • This year a house on the outskirts of Austin’s South by Southwest Festival will feature creative design products and people from Michigan.
  •  State Representative Tim Kelly, R-Saginaw, tells us why he wants to lift the ban on ticket scalping.
  • Roosevelt elementary is starting to introduce project-based arts education to accompany their focus on science, technology, engineering and math. We discuss how this could be the future for all of Michigan.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Recently, industrial designer Jeff DeBoer wrote an essay for The Next Idea raising the idea of making Michigan "the design Mecca of the world."

And he believes the key to that is to make art as important as the science, technology, engineering and math classes currently occupying much of the nation's attention.

madonna on stage illuminated by spotlights
Flickr user M Prince Photography / Flickr

In a recent interview, Madonna called the people of her hometown Rochester Hills "basic, provincial-thinking people."

Mayor Bryan Barnett decided her statement went too far, so he crafted an open letter response that's now being shared all over the Internet.

Emil Lorch collection/Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan

All this week on Stateside, we’re looking at the history of the Brewster-Douglass Housing Projects in Detroit. If you’ve ever wondered about why they were created or what it was like to live in them, we’d love to fill you in with our three-part series. Here's part one:

If you remember the projects, you might picture the six identical high-rises on the city’s near east side. Those were the Frederick-Douglass Towers, and they were built in the 1950s and finally destroyed in 2014.

Flickr user Lotus Carroll / Flickr

The South by Southwest conference taking place in Austin, Texas right now showcases some of the most creative, leading-edge thinkers, musicians, writers and artists.

Joe Voss with Creative Many Michigan, previously known as ArtServe Michigan, wants to make sure Michigan's creativity is on display there. The organization's mission is to develop creative people, places and an economy that will boost the state.

Michigan State Capitol Building
Nikopoley / Wikimedia Commons

In Michigan, the Governor’s Office and state legislators are not subject to Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act.

State Representative Brandon Dillon,  D-Grand Rapids, wants to change that.

Dillon says he believes that the Governor's Office and state legislators should be subject to the same laws as other elected officials, such as school board members, city commissioners, county commissioners and many more, who aren't protected under the exemption.

FLICKR USER 21INNOVATE / FLICKR

 In the spirit of the Irish on this St. Patrick’s Day, let’s peek back through their history in Detroit, where the Corktown neighborhood wears its Irish heritage proudly.

In an article for the Detroit News entitled, Irish helped form Detroit for centuries, Bill Loomis sifts through the several “waves” of Irish immigrants to Detroit, the first of which came in the early 1800s.

   Today on Stateside:

  • Assistant professor of sports management at the University of Michigan’s School of Kinesiology Dae Hee Kwack says you may have better odds with your March Madness bracket by making your picks with a coin flip.
  •   Writer Ilene Wolff talks about her story for the latest edition of DBusiness, in which she pays tribute to some venerable long-time Michigan businesses.
  • Action Baby Carriers are made in Michigan and Andrea Govender chats about their design, manufacturing process, and her goals for the company.
  • Detroit Free Press Lansing Bureau reporter Kathy Gray discusses the long list of bills and resolutions introduced thus far in March.
  • PJ Ryder from PJ’s Lager House in Detroit’s Corktown talks about the recent car thefts, the precautions he’s taken for his business, and suggestions he has for people parking in Detroit.

FLICKR USER FOXXYZ / FLICKR

Now that spring is in the air, many people around the state may be planning a visit to Detroit – maybe to watch the Wings (hopefully) in the playoffs, to catch a Tigers' game, or maybe to tour the DIA. 

As Detroit has emerged from the largest municipal bankruptcy in United States’ history, there's been a strong narrative of a new Detroit, attracting energetic entrepreneurs and business owners.

This includes a growing bar and restaurant district along Michigan Ave. in Corktown, just west of Downtown.

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