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.

Ian Freimuth / Flickr.com

With a nod to Billy Joel, the Grand Rapids Art Museum is in a "New York State of Mind" these days.

That's thanks to a special exhibition running this summer.

"T.J. Wilcox: In The Air" is a multi-media celebration of the Big Apple's skyline by artist T.J. Wilcox. 

Live from the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
Larry Jonas / Michigan Radio

Stateside with Cynthia Canty went on the road for a live show from the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

The show aired on May 21, 2015 and featured the following guests:

Becky Shink

Our ongoing series "Poetically Speaking" continues. On occasion we will bring you interviews with poets and writers, or we will post a poem, like this one, for your enjoyment.

"This is a poem about the experience of being a parent and a child at the same time and about the envy we can have for our siblings-- the miraculous combination of chemicals that make them them and us... us," writes Stephanie Glazier. 

The Rialto Theatre in Grayling is celebrating its 100th anniversary
Jordan Stancil

Small-town movie theaters are in a fight for their lives.

Hollywood studios are phasing out 35-millimeter film in favor of going digital. This means theaters are feeling the pressure to spend thousands of dollars to upgrade their facilities, or be forced to close their doors.

One such theater is The Rialto, about to mark its 100th anniversary in Grayling. 

Jordan Stancil's great-grandfather founded the Rialto Theater in 1915.

The Rialto ran a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to raise money to upgrade its systems, and Stancil tells us they raised over $100,000 with the support of current and former residents of Grayling.

According to columnist Nancy Kaffer, there are now 500 security cameras operated by private security companies in the downtown Detroit area.
user Tom Page / flickr


As Dan Gilbert keeps buying buildings in downtown Detroit – more than 70, now – we're seeing the prospect of new businesses, new tenants, and new people downtown.

Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer wonders what this means in terms of private security and public space.

A new study from AT&T seeks to explain why we use our phones behind the wheel
user Jason Weaver / flickr


It’s pretty common knowledge that texting while driving is dangerous. But for some reason, many of us still do it.

A study released from AT&T tries to shed some light on just how distracted we are by our smartphones while driving.

On top of texting, the AT&T survey finds 27% of drivers between 16 and 65 admit to Facebooking when they drive, and 14% use Twitter, with a full 30% of those folks admitting they tweet "all the time" while driving.

State House bill 4540 would exempt information regarding energy infrastructure from Michigan's Freedom of Information Act.
user toffehoff / flickr

  

A bill just introduced in the State House would draw a veil over information about oil and gas pipelines, electrical lines and other key pieces of energy infrastructure.

Under House Bill 4540, backed by State Rep. Kurt Heise, R-Plymouth, that information would be exempt from the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, making it no longer available to the public.

Today on Stateside:

An artist, fabric sculptor and dancer, Nick Cave grew up in central Missouri. In 1989, he got a masters degree from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills.
PD Rearick

 Nick Cave has come home to Cranbrook.

The artist, fabric sculptor, and dancer grew up in central Missouri.

In 1989, Cave got a master’s degree from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills.

"Escape Room" games have become quite popular as a video game genre. Escape Michigan is the latest venue that allows you to play the game in real life.
user haru__q / flickr

West Michigan’s first “live escape room,” is opening next month in the town of Walker, near Grand Rapids.

Based on the popular video game genre, players are locked in a room where they have to solve puzzles and link clues to eventually escape.

Michelle and Chris Gerard

Michigan has a long and well-known history of car manufacturing, mining, logging, and agriculture.

But there's something else this state produces: writers. 

Anna Clark's new book explores the lives of ten of Michigan's most notable writers. Michigan Literary Luminaries: from Elmore Leonard to Robert Hayden is a collection of essays that are not just biographies.

Today on Stateside:

State lawmakers want to reform no-fault auto insurance ... and if they pass a bill, they want to make sure voters cannot challenge it. How? By attaching an appropriation! Former congressman Joe Schwarz talks about what's wrong and what's right about the proposal.

Plus ... bird flu has led to the culling of millions of chickens and turkeys in the Midwest. What's in store for Michigan's bird industry? Dr. James Averill tells us it's not a matter of if, but when this disease will impact Michigan.

Did you know? Whenever the governor leaves Michigan, he leaves his powers behind and someone else in charge. So why is Lansing reluctant to tell us that? Dennis Lennox is a  columnist for The Morning Sun. He recently wrote about what he call "Michigan's acting governor mystery."

In 1918, 30,000 U.S. military officers stood in the formation of a shield for a now-famous photograph to help improve public support for World War I. Historian Louis Kaplan explains why the photograph taken at Camp Custer is so important.

There's much attention being paid these days to the DIA's retrospective on Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. And that's got Chris Cook mulling over the Mexican concept of malinchismo. Chris is HOUR Detroit's Chief Wine and Restaurant Critic.

Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987

Imagine choreographing thousands of people into formations to look like famous things like the Liberty Bell, or the Statue of Liberty.

Sound like a stunt? Maybe a little nutty?

Well, that's exactly what Arthur S. Mole and John D. Thomas did in the early 20th century.

Former Congressman Joe Schwarz.
U.S. House of Representatives / Wikipedia

 

    

State lawmakers have hit the accelerator pedal in their effort to reform Michigan's no-fault insurance law. The law provides all victims of catastrophic crashes with a lifetime of unlimited medical benefits. 

The package of bills moved quickly through the state Senate and is now before the state House. 

The legislation would limit what hospitals could charge insurance companies. The overhaul would also cap what insurers can be charged for in-home care for people who have been severely injured in car accidents. 

Quick fix / flickr.com

It's a question that will attract more attention than it might have before Detroit's bankruptcy raised the spectre of selling off the Detroit Institute of Arts  collection to help pay down the city's crushing debt.

Fortunately, the DIA survived unscathed, thanks to $100 million raised by long-time donors.

Today on Stateside:

Democrats and some Republicans are criticizing the state Senate for voting today to repeal prevailing wage requirements. Michigan Public Radio’s Jake Neher reports.

The Porous Borders Festival celebrates the vibrant border between Detroit and Hamtramck. We speak with Hinterlands co-director Liza Bielby. 

Today on Stateside:

As high-flying ideas go, it was intriguing one: a business district stretching ten miles between Detroit Metro and Willow Run airports. Backers said it would create 64,000 jobs and attract investment. That was 13 years ago, and no district has materialized. Detroit Free Press Columnist Tom Walsh has been digging into what happened.

Hand-washing is a common hygienic practice that became popularized in the mid-19th century.
user Sarah Laval / Flickr

It’s easy to take for granted the leaps and bounds medical science has made in the last two centuries.

Rene Laennec invented the stethoscope in 1816. 1818 saw the first successful blood transfusion performed by James Blundell. In 1842 Crawford Long performed the first surgical operation using anesthesia.

E-commerce could soon replace trips to the produce department.
user ornello_pics / flickr

Online shopping for groceries and consumer packaged goods is lagging way behind other forms of online shopping.

Amitabh Sinha is a professor of technology and operations at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. He’s been studying e-commerce of groceries, and he thinks grocery chains and retailers that don't get onboard with e-commerce could go the way of Circuit City or Borders.

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-400 sits on the tarmac at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.
user redlegsfan21 / flickr

On paper, it's a pretty good idea: a business district stretching ten miles between Detroit Metro and Willow Run airports.

It would attract investment money, backers said. It would create 64,000 new jobs for Southeast Michigan.

Nicholas Williams

Next month marks the one year anniversary of the opening of the Ann Arbor Skatepark.

With spring weather, skateboarders from all over the city are busting kick flips and shredding the bowls. 

Nicholas Williams stepped on his skateboard and strapped on a microphone to bring us these sounds and stories from the park.

The herring gulls of Bellow Island played a large role in the US government's decision to ban the use of DDT.
user Steve Voght / flickr

    

If there's one pesticide most everyone can name, it's DDT.

When the U.S. government banned DDT in 1972, it was seen as a great victory for the environment.

But you might be surprised to learn that tiny Bellow Island (colloquially known as Gull Island, off the shore of Northport in Leelanau County) played a huge role in convincing the government to ban DDT.

Today on Stateside:

It's been 50 years since there was a top-to-bottom review of our criminal justice system. U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., is co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill that would create a National Criminal Justice Commission to conduct this review.

We’re all used to Michigan weather wildly fluctuating, but it can still be hard to know what to plant and when. MLive and farmerweather.com meteorologist Mark Torregrossa gives us some tips.

Joel Mabus is a maverick in the folk music world, with a career so eclectic and varied he defies any easy pigeonhole.
Jeff Mitchell

Joel Mabus grew up writing, singing, and playing the blues in Southern Illinois.

Though he grew up in the midst of Beatlemania, Mabus always felt drawn to the tunes of Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs, among others.

He now lives in Portage, outside Kalamazoo, and has just released his new album, A Bird In This World.

Ford Motor Company

Automakers spend money and time developing high-tech car features, hoping to make their offerings stand out from the pack.

But are those automakers on the same page as consumers? A study released by JD Power & Associates, a research firm, says consumers are most interested in technology that makes us safer. 

Lawrence Porter

A leading U.S. Socialist says the party is connecting with young voters on issues like income inequality.

Lawrence Porter is the assistant national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party. He says socialism holds appeal for the generation s that grew up watching their country constantly at war, and that are now shouldering crushing student loan debt.

Today on Stateside:

  • With the defeat of last week's ballot proposal for road funding, lawmakers in Lansing are looking to billions of dollars in restricted funds. Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta explain if – and how – lawmakers will go after protected money in the state budget. 
  • A leader of the Socialist Equality Party talks about connecting with younger voters on issues like police brutality and college loans.   
  • We talk to two Michigan writers who just got accepted for a first-of-its-kind Artist-in-Residence program at the Gettysburg National Military Park. 
  • Who does Google think you are? Michigan Radio's Kimberly Springer shows us how to find out. 
  • Is the media to blame for how we talk about climate change? According to a new study by the University of Michigan, public attitudes vary on climate change based on political news platforms.
Jinx! / Flickr

Our special series "Poetically Speaking" highlighting poets and poetry in Michigan continues. 

Julie Babcock grew up in the late 70's and early 80's when playgrounds were full of sharp, hot metal and asphalt. 

At the Gettysburg National Military Park.
user praline3001 / flickr.com

Michigan poets and multimedia artists, Michelle Bonczek Evory and Robert Evory, will be the first artists-in-residence at the Gettysburg National Military Park. 

The program invites artists to immerse themselves in the park's historical landscape and expand their own creative pursuits to inspire and engage new audiences.

Costa Sirdenis

When the City Meets the Sky is the latest album from the Marcus Elliot Quartet, dedicated to Detroit and to the leaders who helped shape the next generation of jazz musicians. 

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