Stateside with Cynthia Canty

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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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Politics & Culture
3:26 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

On this Election Day 2013 we focus on women in politics - or, the lack-thereof.

The number of women in the Michigan Legislature is at a 20 year low.

We'll ask why and what the consequences might be, later in the show.

And yoga and gentrification. We'll explore what an increase in yoga studios in a city like Detroit can mean for long-time residents.

But first, plans by a Canadian power company to store nuclear waste underground right near Lake Huron have drawn the attention of some members of Michigan's Congressional delegation.

As we first told you on Stateside this past August, Ontario Power Generation has proposed building a nuclear waste disposal facility at its Bruce Nuclear Power Site. That's near the city of Kincardine, which is located less than a mile from Lake Huron.

If approved, the site would house 52 million gallons of low and intermediate level nuclear waste.

Those expressing alarm about this proposal are Congressman Sander Levin, Gary Peters, John Dingell, and my next guest, Congressman Dan Kildee, Democrat from Flint Township.

Politics & Culture
4:57 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Stateside for Monday, November 4th, 2013

Voters in Detroit go to the polls tomorrow, and no matter who gets elected to be that city's next Mayor, crime will be one of the problems they'll have to tackle. On today's show, we looked past the city's financial struggles to curbing the violence in Detroit.

 And, we found out about a "flipped school" - one of the first in the nation. Students watch lectures at night and do homework during the day in class.  And, a Grand Rapids park millage will take park funding out of the city's general fund. We spoke with one of the supports of the millage to find out why voters should consider it. Also, a Canadian photographer found beauty in the ruins of Detroit. He joined us to talk about his exhibit. 

First on the show, one of the most emotionally charged issues in Michigan in 2013 has been wolves.

After teetering on the brink of extinction, the gray wolf population has rebounded so much so that earlier this year, Governor Rick Snyder signed a law that allows a first-ever state wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula.

That historic hunt begins November 15.

Forty-three wolves can be shot in three UP zones where officials say they have the most problems.

During the legislative debate on the wolf hunt, lawmakers from the UP spoke with passion about the "fear" their constituents had of the wolves, worrying for the safety of livestock, pets, even small children.

Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody spoke with the point man on wolves for the DNR. Adam Bump told Steve that wolves had become very accustomed to life in Ironwood.

"So you have wolves showing up in backyards, wolves showing up on porches, wolves staring at people through their sliding glass doors, while they're pounding on it, exhibiting no fear."

But an MLive investigation into the historic wolf hunt raises some serious questions about the debate, about claims made by opponents, and about the DNR's Bump.

John Barnes is reporting on this for MLive in a series called "Crying Wolf," and he joined us today.

Stateside
4:55 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Macomb County high school see success in 'flipped classroom' education strategy

TeachingWorks, a national organization based at U of M, aims to develop a nationwide system for all teaching programs, so that teachers are prepared the minute they walk into the classroom.
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

There is a high school in Macomb County that has grabbed the attention of educators across the country.

Three years ago, Clintondale High School became the very first in the country to be a "flipped school."

Kids watch teachers' lectures at home as much as they want or need, and class time is when teachers are there to help with what we would otherwise call "homework."

One education expert says maybe online is controversial, but the flipped classroom is a new strategy nearly everyone agrees on. It can be a very good thing for students and teachers.

Read more
Stateside
4:55 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Questioning the claims made by Michigan's wolf hunt advocates

The federal government wants to turn management of gray wolves in the western Great Lakes over to the states.
USFWS

One of the most emotionally charged issues in Michigan in 2013 has been the wolf hunt.

After teetering on the brink of extinction, the gray wolf population has rebounded so much so that earlier this year, Governor Rick Snyder signed a law that allows a first-ever state wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula.

That historic hunt begins November 15.

Forty-three wolves can be killed in three zones in Michigan's Upper Peninsula where officials say they have the most problems.

During the legislative debate on the wolf hunt, lawmakers from the U.P. spoke with passion about the "fear" their constituents had of the wolves, worrying for the safety of livestock, pets, even small children.

Michigan Radio's Steve Carmody spoke with the point man on wolves for the DNR. Adam Bump told Steve that wolves had become very accustomed to life in Ironwood.

"So you have wolves showing up in backyards, wolves showing up on porches, wolves staring at people through their sliding glass doors, while they're pounding on it, exhibiting no fear."

But an MLive investigation into the historic wolf hunt raises some serious questions about the debate, about claims made by opponents, and about the DNR's Bump.

John Barnes is reporting on this for MLive in a series called "Crying Wolf," and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:55 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Grand Rapids millage dedicates funding for parks

Douglas Park in Grand Rapids.
Facebook

Election day 2013 is a big day for those who want to see better parks in Grand Rapids.

A coalition is hoping to get voters to approve a dedicated millage for city parks.

The millage campaign has raised the conversation: just what do people want in their city? And how much are they willing to pay to have a good park system?

Steve Faber is the executive director of the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and he's a member of "Neighbors for Parks, Pools and Playgrounds," the citizen advocacy group proposing this millage. He joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:53 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

What is driving the violence in Detroit and Flint?

Joy VanBuhler Flickr

Election Day 2013 is close at hand.

And that's when Detroit voters will decide whether their next Mayor will be Mike Duggan or Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon.

The winner of the election will inherit the huge challenge of what to do about the crime rate in Detroit.

At least 386 people were murdered in the city last year, and recent FBI statistics put Detroit neck and neck with Flint for the top spot of most violent cities in America.

The high crime rate means those folks who can are getting out of these cities, which makes the economic downward spiral even worse.

What can be done? And do we really know what is driving the violence in cities like Detroit and Flint?

Michigan State University sociologist Dr. Carl Taylor joined us today from East Lansing. His new book "Third City" looks at the challenges in post-industrial Detroit and Michigan. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:52 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

Canadian photographer finds art in Detroit's decaying buildings

A photo from Jarmin's Detroit exhibit.
Philip Jarmin Facebook

Anyone who has spent time driving around the city of Detroit has seen ruined buildings. They can be found just about everywhere within the city limits.

Among those decaying buildings can be found some of the finest examples of early 20th century architecture, the kinds of buildings that remind us that Detroit was once known as the “Paris of the Midwest.”

Canadian photographer Philip Jarmain first discovered these disintegrating beauties while he was a student at the University of Windsor. And ever since 2010, Philip Jarmain has been documenting these vanishing early 20th century buildings.

Twenty of his fine art prints were recently on exhibit at the Meridian Gallery in San Francisco, with interest in these large format architectural photographs certainly fueled by the headlines surrounding Detroit’s bankruptcy filing.

The exhibit was called American Beauty: The Opulent Pre-Depression Architecture of Detroit.

Philip Jarmain joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Arts & Culture
4:31 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Want history, architecture and beheadings? Try Detroit's haunted bike tour

Outside Wheelhouse Detroit.
Mercedes Meija Michigan Radio

Wheelhouse Detroit, a bike shop right next to the Renaissance Center, puts on all sorts of guided bike tours through the city — tours of churches, urban agriculture, and painted murals. But for those looking for something, well, a little more creepy, the shop also offers a haunted bike tour that takes brave riders through cemeteries, ghostly spots, and long-gone homes with a murderous past.

The ride takes you to the cozy, produce-filled confines of Eastern Market down to St. Aubin Street, which, as the tour guides will tell you, was once a hot spot for the Purple Gang, a gang of bootleggers and hijackers who ran booze from Canada to Detroit. The gang, which got its start when Michigan banned alcohol in 1917, remained active up until the early 1930s.

Read more
Politics & Culture
4:29 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Governor Snyder and Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr both took the stand this week at Detroit's bankruptcy eligibility hearings. That's as business leaders met in the city to discuss the future. We'll take a look at these two contrasting events later on today's show.

And, just how was Halloween celebrated decades and decades ago in Michigan? We'll find out.

Also, starting tomorrow, families who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, are going to have to tighten those proverbial belts even more.

That's because a temporary boost in the food stamp funding is expiring as of November 1, and that means SNAP recipients will see their benefits shrink.

Melissa Smith is a Senior Policy Analyst for the Michigan League for Public Policy.

Listen to the audio above.

Stateside
4:10 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Forecaster says get your snow shovels ready

If you are in a part of Michigan that gets lake effect snow, you might want to get your snow shovel out from the back of the garage.

 MLive Meteorologist Mark Torregrossa thinks we could be in for an early dose of lake effect snow.

Stateside
4:01 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

What business leaders have to say about Michigan's economy

Detroit skyline.
user: jodelli Flickr

This week, the Business Leaders for Michigan, the state’s most prominent business roundtable, met in Detroit.

The group offered an in-depth “report card” of how Michigan is recovering from the implosion suffered during the recession. They also outline what it’ll take to boost Michigan’s presence as a money-generating state.

We talked with Daniel Howes, a business columnist with the Detroit News, about Michigan's current business climate — and where things go from here.

Stateside
4:00 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Cuts to food stamps will reach low-income Michiganders this week

Michiganders who rely on food stamps to grocery shop will be impacted by cuts to the SNAP program.
Pneedham Flickr

  Starting this Friday, families who rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are going to have to tighten their belts even moreA temporary boost in food stamp funding will expire on November 1, meaning SNAP recipients will see their benefits shrink.

What does that mean here in Michigan in terms of dollars and cents? Is the economy recovering enough in Michigan that people will be able to weather the loss in benefits?

Melissa Smith is a Senior Policy Analyst for the Michigan League for Public Policy. She talked with us about the impact of the food stamp cuts in the state.

Listen to the audio above.

Stateside
3:09 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

New MSU exhibit presents hundreds of Alan Lomax Michigan folksongs

Alan Lomax
Wikipedia

 Famed folklorist Alan Lomax prowled through Michigan on his legendary 10 year cross-country trip, collecting American folk music for the Library of Congress. In that collection is a lively reel by a fiddler named Patrick Bonner recorded on Beaver Island, Michigan in 1938.

Now, Alan Lomax’s hundreds of Michigan recordings are being presented in a traveling exhibition from Michigan State University. It’s called Michigan Folksong Legacy: Grand Discoveries from the Great Depression.

Read more
Stateside
10:15 am
Thu October 31, 2013

The history of Halloween in Michigan

Flickr user Terry.Tyson Flickr

 You drive around most neighborhoods these days and there is absolutely no doubt we love Halloween.

Once upon a time, you carved a pumpkin, popped in a candle and put it on your porch to greet trick or treaters.

Now, homes are decked out with giant webs and big spiders, ghouls and witches, and don't forget the lights. Halloween is now second only to Christmas for consumer spending.

Just when and where did this all begin? And how far back does Halloween go here in Michigan?

We turn to historian and contributor to the Detroit News Bill Loomis for the answers. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:22 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Michigan is home to five national parks and there are lots of open spaces where you can camp, hunt and enjoy nature. But, yesterday, an Oklahoma Senator recently said two Michigan landmarks are a prime example of wasteful federal spending. We found out what’s behind the senator’s reasoning and whether there is some truth to his concerns.

 Then, we took a look at a new proposal by a group of Democrats in the Michigan House that would require the state to determine the actual cost of educating a public school student in Michigan. That got us thinking, shouldn't we already know?  We also spoke with Michigan writer Donald Lystra about his new collection of short stories. And, Ann Arbor now has its own Death Café, organized by funeral home guide Merilynne Rush. She stopped by to tell us more about it. But, first on the show, ever since the government unveiled its healthcare.gov website, the headlines surrounding the Affordable Care Act have been about the problems with the way the site was designed and the extreme difficulty Americans have had in getting on the exchange. But what about the Americans that don't need healthcare.gov? The ones who already have plans? To those consumers, President Obama has been saying this since 2009:

“If you like your current insurance, you will keep your current insurance. No government takeover, nobody’s changing what you’ve got if you’re happy with it.”

So why, then, then are some 2 million Americans - about 140,000 in Michigan - getting cancelation letters from their insurers over the past couple of weeks?

Marianne Udow-Phillips directs the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, a non-profit partnership between the University of Michigan and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan. She joined us today.

Stateside
4:06 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Michigan author publishes new collection of short stories

Donald Lystra
Facebook

Short stories are in the spotlight in the literary world after Canadian writer Alice Munro recently won the 2013 Nobel Prize in literature. She's widely considered to be the "master of the short story."

The Michigan writer Donald Lystra is just out with his collection of short stories called "Something That Feels Like Truth."

Donald Lystra is an engineer who turned to writing later in life. His debut novel "Season of Water and Ice" won the Midwest Book Award and the Michigan Notable Book Award.

Donald Lystra joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
4:04 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Oklahoma senator points to two Michigan national parks as examples of 'wasteful' federal spending

Isle Royale nature trail.
Wikipedia

Two Michigan landmarks have been targeted by a Republican senator as prime examples of wasteful federal spending.

Each year, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) issues a report on what he feels are the most egregious examples of government waste.

This report points to Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior and Keweenaw National Historical Park in the UP as "wasteful" and not worthy of preservation.

Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press Washington reporter joined us today to tell us what’s behind Sen. Coburn’s reasoning.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
3:31 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Why are millions of Americans losing health care coverage?

user mudowp Twitter

Ever since the government unveiled its healthcare.gov website, the headlines surrounding the Affordable Care Act have been about the problems with the way the site was designed and the extreme difficulty Americans have had in getting on the exchange to shop for health insurance.

But, what about the Americans that don't need healthcare.gov? The ones who already have plans? Some 14 million consumers buy their own insurance individually.

And to those consumers, President Obama has been saying this since 2009:

“If you like your current insurance, you will keep your current insurance. No government takeover, nobody’s changing what you’ve got if you’re happy with it.”

So why, then, are some 2 million Americans - about 140,000 in Michigan - getting cancelation letters from their insurers?

Marianne Udow-Phillips directs the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, a non-profit partnership between the University of Michigan and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan. She joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
3:27 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Ann Arbor has its own Death Cafe

Merilynne Rush
LinkedIn

It's probably safe to say most of us shy away from thinking about and talking about death.

As medical science has developed the technology to keep us alive longer it seems we have become more and more squeamish about death itself, even though - you got to admit - it is the one thing in life that happens to each and every one of us.

There is a movement trying to change that: the Death Café. Merilynne Rush is a home funeral guide, and she has brought the Death Café to Ann Arbor.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
3:25 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

How much does it cost to educate a student in Michigan public schools?

Last month, the Michigan House Democrats School Reform Task Force unveiled a new proposal that would require the State Department of Education to determine the actual cost of educating a public school student in Michigan.

That got us wondering: do we really not know how much it costs to educate a student in our state? And if so, why not?

Michael Addonizio is a professor of education at Wayne State University, and he joined us in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

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