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.

The primary election for Grand Rapids' new mayor will take place next Tuesday
All photos courtesy of candidate Facebook pages

Grand Rapids voters will be electing their first new mayor in more than 10 years, and the primary is a week from tomorrow.

Current Mayor George Heartwell is being term-limited out after serving in office for more than a decade.

Michigan House Republicans

A counterpoint to this essay can be found here

The Next Idea  

If the Michigan AFL-CIO or the Michigan Chamber of Commerce were each drafting a proposed constitutional amendment to “reform” redistricting, it would be met with media derision, with each eventual proposal seen as favoring one political party over the other.

But, when the League of Women Voters, Common Cause, and the Michigan Campaign Finance Network announce that they are part of a Collaborative working to draft an amendment, no similar skepticism has yet arisen. 

Screenshot from Venmo.com

Venmo is a payment application with a social media aspect built-in. Users can easily transfer money to others who use the app, and anyone who is Facebook friends with them can see what the transaction is for.

But the app is attached to users’ bank account, debit card or credit card, and its safety has been continually questioned.

Two of Stateside's interns brought up the application's popularity at the daily production meeting, and host Zoe Clark was taken aback. Why would people want to see what others are doing with their money?

Today on Stateside:

Fiat Chrysler is rushing to assure customers that it does have a software fix to prevent hacking into the Jeep Cherokee and other vehicles, as demonstrated for Wired by two hackers. Paul Eisenstein joins us to talk about this development.

Traverse City Rotary Club / flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM


Governor Snyder has made it official: Wayne County is in a state of financial emergency.

County Executive Warren Evans had asked for the declaration.

Wayne County faces a projected budget shortfall of $171 million by 2019.

Lylah's first full test run with the Angel Arms Exoskeleton prototype
screenshot

Sometimes the best way to approach an engineering problem isn’t complicated or costly.  

Two Grand Valley State mechanical engineering students took a step back and simplified a way to help a little girl use her arms.

Ara Howrani

Jill Jack has been making albums for more than two decades. This year she was named "Americana Songwriter of the Year" at the Detroit Music Awards.

She will be performing at the Ark in Ann Arbor as part of the venue's 50th anniversary Made in Michigan showcase happening on Saturday, July 25.  

Jack talks with Stateside's Mercedes Mejia about her first gig at The Ark, about her latest music and how giving up playing at bars actually helped her career.

Casey Maxon

What better way to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Great American road trip than to recreate that very first journey.

Mark Gessler and Casey Maxon of the Historic Vehicle Association are traveling across the country in a restored 1915 Ford Model T touring car, following in the path of 21 year old Edsel Ford, son of Henry Ford.

Historical Association of South Haven

The Titanic and the Lusitania. Those ships are known around the world because of the horrific loss of life when they sank in the Atlantic.

But do we know the name Eastland?

It was 100 years ago this week when the steamer Eastland capsized at its dock in the Chicago River. 844 passengers died in that disaster and the majority of the dead were under the age of 25.

Today on Stateside:

What would things be like if the people of a community got to see and interact with their police officers in relaxed, friendly settings every day, and not just in crisis or crime? Kalamazoo’s Department of Public Safety is rolling out the Community Policing Special Unit to find out

Detroit turns 314 this week! The Detroit Drunken Historical Society is putting on Fête d'Anniversaire, a birthday party celebrating the folklore of Detroit’s French roots.

Minor league baseball is coming to Metro Detroit. Andy Appleby is the founder of the United Shore Professional Baseball League, and he joins us to talk about their plans in Utica.

This year, legendary producer, director and “king of B-movies” Roger Corman will receive the Michigan Filmmaker Award at the Traverse City Film Festival. He sits down with us today to talk about his life and career.

The music industry sure has changed a lot over the last half century, but one venue in downtown Ann Arbor has survived it all. The Ark is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and Michigan Radio’s Emily Fox brings us the story of how its leadership plans to keep it around for the next 50 years.

Downtown Kalamazoo.
Michigan Municipal League / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM


What would it be like if the people of a community saw their police officers not just in crisis or in response to a crime, but in relaxed, friendly settings around town each and every day?

And what if, instead of seeing people at their worst moments, officers got to enjoy pleasant, laid-back interactions with the community?

flickr user Darren Whitley / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Metropolitan Detroit is getting a brand new baseball league.

The United Shore Professional Baseball League is preparing for its inaugural season in the summer of 2016, and a big part of that is a new baseball stadium now under construction in Utica.

Wikimedia Commons

Detroit turns 314 years old this week, and the Detroit Drunken Historical Society is throwing a birthday party to celebrate the folklore of Detroit's French past.

The birthday celebration takes place this Saturday at the Jam Handy Building from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

Michael Hacala

The music industry has changed a lot over the past half-century, but a music venue in Ann Arbor that focuses on folk music has been able to survive through all those changes.

As The Ark celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, its leadership is now looking to the next generation of folk musicians to keep the venue around for the next 50 years.


A scene from Roger Corman's 1961 comedy horror "Creature from the Haunted Sea"
flickr user poppet with a camera / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

This year’s Traverse City Film Festival will include a very special moment.

Legendary producer, director, actor, and screenwriter Roger Corman will receive the Michigan Filmmaker Award.

Today on Stateside:

Since the Great Recession, Michigan has seen unemployment numbers drop to their lowest level in a decade. Auto sales and profits are booming, construction is up, and houses are selling again. But the 2015 Kids Count Data Book out today finds the rising tide of recovery has not lifted all boats, especially here in Michigan.

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

With unemployment down, U.S. car and truck sales up, and consumer sentiment indices up, all the traditional signs point to an improving economy.

So why is it that many of us aren't feeling this prosperity?

Tom Walsh dug into this question for the Detroit Free Press.

Michigan has a 15% residential recycling rate, compared to 30% in neighboring states
flickr user Redwin Law / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

There’s a first-of-its-kind study happening in West Michigan that hopes to determine if we’re throwing away money each time we haul the trash to the curb.

Researchers are picking through landfills in Kent, Muskegon, and Ottawa counties, searching for recyclables that are getting tossed in the trash.

Shelly Sulser

What makes someone want to live on an island?

Loreen Niewenhuis pondered this question in her book, A 1,000 Mile Great Lakes Island Adventure, which recounts her journey traveling to many of the islands in each of the Great Lakes. This is the third in her Great Lakes Adventure series and the last time she spoke with us she had just completed hiking the shorelines of all five Great Lakes.

an island from above
Flickr user Steven Tomsic / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Official at the Department of Natural Resources are inviting the public to comment on a draft plan for managing Lake Michigan islands.

“We are looking at developing a collaborative effort where we involve island residents and local governments and tribal governments and other interested stake holders in helping us, in the future, set priorities and then more importantly execute priorities. We can't do this ourselves, for some of this work we are outlining,” said Keith Kintigh, a field operation manager for the DNR. 

MCity is open to researchers and is a key step toward getting autonomous vehicles ready for real roadways
Ford Motor Company

The University of Michigan has just opened a brand-new testing facility for autonomous vehicles, or “AVs.”

MCity will test the AV technology in a very realistic off-roadway environment, a key step before connected and automated vehicles and systems are deployed on actual roadways.

Autonomous vehicles are something of a rarity. Companies like Google are running some tests on real roads, but seeing one on the road is a little like spotting a hummingbird in your yard: a brief, fascinating sight, sparking curiosity as you watch it disappear into the world.

Wikimedia Commons / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

This week marks the 94th anniversary of the birth of one of the most determined and important women in medical science: Rosalyn Yalow.

While many people may not know her by name, countless patients have benefited from her research.

"She's one of the unsung heroes of modern radiation medicine," says University of Michigan medical historian Dr. Howard Markel.

Today on Stateside:

The Kalamazoo Promise is working, so why is it only in Kalamazoo? Jeff Degraff looks at what good the Promise has done, and tells about how much further it could be taken.

The University of Michigan has just opened a brand new testing facility for autonomous vehicles. Kevin DeSouza sits down to talk to us about the future and impact of self-driving vehicles.

Sen. Gary Peters and Cynthia Canty in the Stateside stdio
Amber Moon

Sen. Gary Peters, D-MI, has often reached out through the phone line to talk with us here on Stateside, but today he joined us in-studio to discuss petroleum coke, the Iran nuclear deal, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, and life as the only Democratic freshman in the U.S. Senate.

Flickr user farlane / http://michrad.io/1lxrdjm

Could low-alcohol wines that still pack full, rich flavor be on the horizon for Michigan?

HOUR Detroit Magazine's chief wine and restaurant critic Chris Cook says Michigan's flavor patterns do better with less alcohol, but balancing the two can be difficult.

A Minute with Mike: On driverless vehicles

Jul 20, 2015

Despite the growing convergence of cars and computers, motorists still have to pump gas, at times haggle with the local mechanic down the street, or continuously watch the road for massive pot-holes and their fellow aggressive drivers.

Well, car and software companies are working hard on tackling that issue by building -- Are you ready!?!! 

flickr/michigancommunities / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Next Idea

When I was ten years old, Kalamazoo was voted the All-American city by the National Civic League. We deserved it. We made the greatest guitars, the finest fishing rods and reels, and the best medicines, truck transmissions and automobile chassis in the world. Our downtown mall was featured in Look Magazine like it was a fabulous resort in Europe.

By the time I was 20 things had changed considerably. The venerable companies that had prospered for 100 years and given Kalamazoo its celebrated reputation began to wane, leave or fail altogether. There were cheaper, warmer and newer places to relocate. Many businesses did just that, and many people followed them.

Today on Stateside:

Eastern Michigan University and Oakland University have raised tuition above the state’s dictated cap. The Detroit Free Press’s David Jesse tells us about the decision and how it will affect the schools and their students.

The Hubble Space Telescope has allowed scientists to peer deep into space since 1990, expanding our understanding of the universe. But there’s still so much we don’t know. Brian O’Shea joins us to talk about finding out how big our universe really is.

Eastern Michigan University isn't the only school in Michigan bucking funding incentives
flickr user krossbow / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM


The battle between Michigan’s public universities and state lawmakers over funding has ramped up in recent weeks.

Both Eastern Michigan University and Oakland University have busted state-imposed tuition caps, deciding that the state’s “reward” for not raising tuition just wasn’t worth it.

The universities raised their tuition for the upcoming school year by 7.8% and 8.48% respectively.

Darius Simpson and Scout Bostley perform "Lost Voices" at the 2015 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational
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Darius Simpson and Scout Bostley’s performance poem “Lost Voices” took third place at the 2015 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational.

Speaking in each other’s voices, the two Eastern Michigan University students tear into reproductive rights, racism, white privilege, and more.

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