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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Stateside
5:00 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Could Flint and Saginaw face the same fate as Detroit?

Congressman Dan Kildee
Photo courtesy of the Office of Congressman Dan Kildee

An interview with Michigan Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee.

The Chapter 9 bankruptcy filing by the city of Detroit has some wondering if Detroit is not an isolated incident. Could other financially struggling cities be on the same path?

Yesterday on Stateside we spoke with Eric Scorsone, economist at Michigan State University:

Certainly other cities in Michigan absolutely face these same cost pressures, whether it’s Flint or Lansing or Saginaw. They absolutely face these same problems. And, again, they’re better off relative to Detroit than today. But, they’re still facing these problems and they need to make sure they’re proactive in managing to prevent anything like this.

With that in mind, we turned to Michigan Democratic Congressman Dan Kildee. Kildee represents two of the cities Scorsone mentioned: Flint and Saginaw.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:53 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

What can we expect from Judge Steven Rhodes?

Patrick Gibson Flickr

An interview with Detroit Free Press reporter Brent Snavely.

As Detroit moves into the process of Chapter 9 bankruptcy, one of the most powerful people in the city, arguably the most powerful person in the city, has become the judge to whom the case was assigned.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes will preside over the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history, so many eyes from around the country will be trained on him.

We wanted to learn more about Judge Rhodes and for that, we turned to Detroit Free Press reporter Brent Snavely.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:54 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Assessing the health of Michigan's rivers and inland waters

The Manistee River flowing through the Huron-Manistee National Forest.
USFS

An interview with Laura Rubin, executive director of the Huron River Watershed Council of Southeast Michigan.

It's been nearly a year since we launched Stateside, and we've put a lot of focus and attention on issues regarding our Great Lakes.

Today, we shifted our attention to another essential part of Michigan's water wonderland: our rivers and inland waters. How healthy are they? And what do we need to do as a state to preserve and protect them?

Laura Rubin, executive director of the Huron River Watershed Council of Southeast Michigan, joined us today.

Read more
Politics & Culture
5:50 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Stateside for Monday, July 22nd, 2013

On this Monday, July 22, four days after Detroit made history by filing for Chapter 9 bankruptcy, we spent the first half of the show breaking things down and figuring out where things stand in the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy ever.

And, we looked at what needs to be done to preserve and protect Michigan's rivers and lakes.

But, back to Detroit and what we know right now. A judge in Lansing will take a week to sort through arguments on whether the state Constitution protects Detroit’s pension funds from losses if the city goes bankrupt.

Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemary Aquilina says she will decide next Monday whether Detroit's bankruptcy filing violates the state Constitution, and its protections for pension benefits.

Assuming the Chapter 9 bankruptcy goes forward, Detroit will have to figure out how to reduce billions of dollars of debt. Creditors, of course, will push for the most money they can get, which means they're eyeing some of the city's most valuable and treasured assets.

Stateside
5:38 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Why do so many people love to hate Detroit?

Peter Martorano Flickr

An interview with Michigan Radio’s political analyst Jack Lessenberry and Todd Spangler from the Detroit Free Press Washington bureau.

In the days before and after Detroit filed for bankruptcy, you didn’t have to look too far to read and hear comments about Detroit that range from dumb to mean-spirited to outright vicious.

One has to wonder: Just why did actor Jon Hamm of AMC’s Mad Men have to take a shot at the city of Detroit while hosting the ESPY awards last week, talking about San Francisco beating Detroit in the World Series?

Why did a co-worker flying back to Detroit from an out-of-town visit hear the guys in the row behind her discussing the Detroit bankruptcy to be summed up by one man declaring, “I wish we could just dump Detroit into the lake. We’d all be so much better off.”

A Detroit Free Press reader commented “Way To Go Mo Town!!! We Knew You Could Do It!!! Now, Everybody Gets Nothing!!!”

And the Twittersphere has been mighty busy mocking the Motor City. Just check out #newdetroitcitymottos.

We wanted to go deeper into these attitudes. Would things like this be said, say, if it was Chicago or Atlanta having to file for bankruptcy? How far back does this scorn for Detroit reach? How much of this attitude permeates the halls of Congress?

We were joined today by Michigan Radio’s political analyst Jack Lessenberry and Todd Spangler from the Detroit Free Press Washington bureau.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:33 pm
Mon July 22, 2013

Navigating the 'uncharted territory' of Detroit's bankruptcy

Eric Scorsone, MSU Extension specialist and economist.
Michigan State University

An interview with Eric Scorsone, economist with Michigan State University.

No matter who is commenting or offering expert opinion on the Detroit bankruptcy, everyone seems to agree on the fact that this is "uncharted territory." And that's about all they can agree on.

Take the speed of the bankruptcy: you can find experts who predict a slow, tortuous process. And just as easily, you'll find predictions that Kevyn Orr will move this bankruptcy faster than anyone expects.

And, did Kevyn Orr and Governor Snyder have any other options to help Detroit back to financial stability?

And what does this all mean for other cities in Michigan and the state's economy?

So many questions, so many opinions. That's why we were very glad to welcome into the studio Eric Scorsone, economist with Michigan State University and an expert on the ins and outs of government finances.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:41 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

European car sales are dropping and that's bad news for Ford, GM, and Chrysler

GM sells the Opel Corsa GSi in Europe. General Motors CEO Daniel Akerson says the company's European car business is not for sale.
GM Europe Flickr

An interview with Russell Padmore and Michele Krebs.

The latest word on new car sales in Europe is not anything that's bringing cheer at GM, Ford and Chrysler headquarters.

New car sales in Europe have just suffered their worst June in 17 years, and the six-month number is the worst in 20 years.

Reporter Russell Padmore from the BBC in London joined us today to give us a look at what's behind this protracted free fall in European car sales.

And what do these European car sales numbers mean to folks at the Ren Cen in Detroit, Glass House in Dearborn, or the Tech Center in Auburn Hills? In other words, how are the poor sales in Europe affecting GM, Ford and Chrysler?

For that we turned to auto analyst Michele Krebs who’s with Edmunds.com.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:35 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Michigan's craft beer industry is growing, calling for stricter water control measures

Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

An interview with Scott Graham and Jason Spaulding.

Michigan loves its beer.

That's just about the only conclusion you can make about the news that Michigan is number five in the nation in the number of breweries and eighth in craft beer output.

Scott Graham is the executive director of the Michigan Brewers Guild, and he joined us today to talk about the industry’s growth.

And, we also spoke with a Michigan brewer who is calling for tougher clean water standards.

A dispute is bubbling and brewing between environmentalists and business groups over whether to expand wetlands and waterway protections, long-delayed updates of the federal Clean Water Act.

The environmentalists hope these updates will give the EPA more muscle with which to protect our waters.

Many Michigan business groups take the position that this would be costly and would not pack much benefit.

Joining the side of the environmentalists are 20 craft beer brewers, including seven from Michigan. They've written to President Obama to argue that pure clean water is essential to making good beer.

Among the Michigan brewers pushing for stricter water control measures is Jason Spaulding, owner of Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids. He joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:28 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Photography exhibit shows connections between Detroit and the ancient city of Petra

Petra was established in 312 BC.
Chris Yunker Flickr

An interview with photographer Susan Webb.

To study archeology means to study the activity of humans in the past.

What can we learn from studying the buildings, the artifacts, the cultural landscapes of past civilizations? And how far back in the past do you go? Many centuries ago? Or just a few decades?

Based on a special exhibition that’s in its final few days at the Kelsey Museum of Archeology, perhaps the answer is both.

Photographer Susan Webb’s exhibit “Red Rock and Rust Belt” shows the connections between two cities that are separated by thousands of miles and many centuries: the ancient site of Petra established around 312 B.C. in what is now Jordan -- and Detroit, especially the Detroit of the industrial 20th century.

What can we learn by studying these two cities in side-by-side photographs?

Susan Webb, who has basically had a camera in her hand since her Dad gave her a Kodak Brownie when she was just eight, joined us today to talk about her exhibit.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:06 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

A state House panel in Lansing has kicked off a series of hearings on Common Core. You may have been hearing about the Common Core lately. They're a set of nationwide school standards put together by the National Governors' Association and they're being debated around the nation. We spoke with Michigan School Board President John Austin, a supporter of Common Core, and state Representive Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills), an opponent of the standards.

And, Michigan is seeing a lot of growth in its craft beer industry. We took a look at what’s behind this growth and what some Michigan brewers are doing to protect our waters.

Also, photographer Susan Webb joined us today to talk about her exhibit in the Kelsey Museum of Archeology, which links 20th century Detroit to the ancient city of Petra.

First on the show, the latest word on new car sales in Europe is not anything that's bringing cheer at GM, Ford and Chrysler headquarters.

New car sales in Europe have just suffered their worst June in seventeen years, and the six-month number is the worst in 20 years.

Let's look at what's behind this protracted free fall in European car sales.

Reporter Russell Padmore from the BBC in London joined us today.

And, what do these European car sales numbers mean to folks at the Ren Cen in Detroit, Glass House in Dearborn, or the Tech Center in Auburn Hills? In other words, how are the poor sales in Europe affecting GM, Ford and Chrysler?

For that we turn to auto analyst Michele Krebs who’s with Edmunds.com.

Stateside
3:41 pm
Wed July 17, 2013

The Common Core hearings have begun, but just what are these standards?

State Representive Tom McMillin opposes the Common Core standards.
Michigan House Republicans

This week, a state House panel in Lansing kicked off a series of hearings on Common Core. You might have been hearing about the Common Core lately. It's a set of nationwide school standards put together by the National Governors Association and being debated around the nation.

State lawmakers recently passed a budget that bars the Michigan Department of Education from implementing the standards.

Supporters of the standards - including Governor Rick Snyder and State Superintendent Michael Flanagan - say Common Core is essential to making sure students in Michigan are ready for college and careers.

Opponents say the standards strip local control and were developed without transparency.

We sat down with Michigan School Board President John Austin, a supporter of Common Core, and State Representative Tom McMillin, an opponent of the standards.

But first, let's get a better understanding of just what these standards are.

Michelle Richard, Senior Consultant at Public Sector Consultants, specializing in education policy and research, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:37 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

An unhappy statistic: Child abuse is on the rise in Michigan. So, why has state-funding for prevention been cut? We found out more on today's show.

And, in case you hadn't noticed - it is hot out there. But, are these temperatures rivaling those of past record-making days?

And, three ordinary guys are pooling their resources in order to save Detroit’s GAR building from the wrecking ball.

Also, we spoke with Dr. Ryan Shinska, a graduate from the University of Michigan’s dental school, about his plan to move to Uganda to open a dental clinic.

First on the show, numbers show that more of us are climbing aboard Amtrak trains than ever before.

The three lines that Amtrak runs in Michigan are often packed, especially the Detroit to Chicago Wolverine Line.

Come this October, the State of Michigan's tab for Amtrak will jump. The subsidy will go from 8 million a year to around 25 million. That's around a 200% jump.

Why is that happening? What does this mean for you, the taxpayer, and for Amtrak and its passengers?

Adie Tomer is with the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program, and he joined us today from Washington.

Stateside
5:35 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Michigan's Amtrak subsidy will see a huge jump in October

Gary Cooper Flickr

An interview with Adie Tomer of the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program.

There's no doubt about it, more of us are climbing aboard Amtrak trains than ever before.

The three lines that Amtrak runs in Michigan are often packed, especially that Detroit to Chicago Wolverine Line.

Come this October, the State of Michigan's tab for Amtrak will jump. The subsidy will go from $8 million a year to around $25 million.

Why is that happening? What does this mean for you, the taxpayer, and for Amtrak and its passengers?

Adie Tomer is with the Brookings Institution's Metropolitan Policy Program and he's a member of the Metropolian Infrastructure Initiative.

He joined us today from Washington.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:31 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

How does this week measure up in Michigan's weather history?

Flickr

An interview with MLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa.

No matter where you go in Michigan this week, it seems the hot weather is a prime topic of conversation.

When you pop your head out of the door first thing in the morning and it's already 83 degrees and there's nowhere to go but up, that is some hot weather.

We wondered how this week fit into Michigan's "hot weather history," so we turned to MLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa. He also has the website farmerweather.com which will give you everything you want to know about the weather.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:27 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Michigan dentist plans move to 'bring good dental health to the people of Uganda'

Dr. Ryan Shinska will head to Uganda to begin treating the children and adults in Jinja, a city about 54 miles outside of Kampala.
http://hopesmilesuganda.com/

An interview with University of Michigan Dental School graduate Dr. Ryan Shinska.

It wasn't so long ago that Ryan Shinska was quarterbacking his high school football team in Richmond in Macomb County.

Then it was off to Ann Arbor to the University of Michigan. Three years ago, he graduated from U of M's dental school.

And today, Dr. Ryan Shinska is a man with a self-declared mission: to end dental pain and bring good dental health to the people of Uganda.

Ryan will move to Uganda on July 25th to open a dental clinic there. His journey from U of M student to opening a clinic to serve the poor in one of the world's poorest countries is worth exploring and sharing.

Dr. Ryan Shinska joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:13 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Child abuse is on the rise in Michigan, economic conditions might be to blame

The types of child abuse from Childhelp-USA.
childhelp-usa.com

An interview with Jane Zehnder-Merrell and Cathy Weissenborn.

Child abuse is on the rise in Michigan.

That's not just opinion or speculation.

As recently as 2006, Michigan's rate of child abuse and neglect was below the national average.

Today, it is more than 50% higher than the national rate.

And this surge in child abuse comes exactly as state spending on abuse and neglect prevention has been cut sharply.

Why are child abuse and neglect rates so high in Michigan?

For the answer we turn to Jane Zehnder-Merrell, the project director for Kids Count in Michigan at the Michigan League for Public Policy, and Cathy Weissenborn, the President of CARE House of Oakland County, the Child Abuse and Neglect Council of Oakland Count.

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Stateside
3:14 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

It was built in Detroit for Civil War Union Army veterans, now some are working to save it

The Grand Army of the Republic Building.
historicdetroit.org

If you've ever driven on Grand River on Detroit's West Side, chances are you've spotted it. The building that looks like a small castle right there on the corner of Grand River and Cass with those crenelated turrets looking like something out of medieval England or France.

The building was a used as a meeting space for a fraternal organization formed for Civil War Union Army veterans - the Grand Army of the Republic. When its last living members were dwindling, the organization left the building.

Fans of the Grand Army of the Republic building will be heartened to hear that it has some champions: three men who are doing their best to save it from the sad list of Detroit's architectural gems that have been allowed to decay or have fallen to the wrecker's ball.

And these three do not have deep-pockets.

Dan Austin is a writer for the Detroit Free Press, and he also runs the Detroit architectural resource HistoricDetroit.org.

He joined us today to talk about the building.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:37 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Can Governor Snyder force the Legislature into a special session to pass Medicaid expansion?

Gov. Snyder Facebook

An interview with Rick Pluta and Zoe Clark.

The debate over expanding Medicaid in Michigan continues.

Governor Snyder is still pushing for the state Senate to vote on the legislation. It would expand Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of low-income adults in Michigan. The state House has already approved it.

Over the weekend, Mark Schauer waded into the debate. Schauer, a Democrat, is running for Governor in 2014.

He said on Saturday that he does not understand why Governor Snyder is not calling the Legislature into a special session.

Rick Pluta and Zoe Clark, Michigan Radio’s “It’s Just Politics” team, joined us today to answer Mark Schauer’s question.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:35 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

With changing climate, Michigan might experience more heat waves and other health concerns

Marlana Shipley Flickr

An interview with Ilene Wolff.

If you are not a fan of hot weather, this is not a week you're going to enjoy. Temperatures will be in the 90s and the high humidity means it's going to feel like it's over 100 all week long.

Weather and public health experts tell us we in Michigan had better get used to heat waves like this, because this is our future, and that is raising many health concerns.

The current issue of Hour Detroit has a story that looks at what those health concerns are: it's called "Warning on Warming” by Ilene Wolff.

She joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:26 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Former University of Michigan student speaks about overcoming her methamphetamine addiction

Jen Cervi is the founder of the Collegiate Recovery Program.
http://www.facesandvoicesofrecovery.org/

An interview with Jen Cervi, founder of the Collegiate Recovery Program.

Three of the five men linked to the biggest meth bust in Michigan have been sentenced to federal prison.

It began with a traffic stop in Paw Paw, which led police to discover more than 20 pounds of pure methamphetamine from the vehicle and from a pole barn in Van Buren County.

U.S. Homeland Security believes methamphetamine was being smuggled into the country in hidden compartments of vehicles and then sold in West Michigan.

And crime reports show that southwest Michigan counties top the state list for meth lab busts, while burns from explosions and spills from cooking meth are on the rise in Kalamazoo County, and meth cases crowd court dockets in southwest Michigan.

Jen Cervi founded the Collegiate Recovery Program while she was a student at the University of Michigan. Today she's a substance abuse coordinator at Michigan Ability Partners.

And Jen Cervi is a recovering meth addict. She has been sober since May 13, 2006.

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