Stateside with Cynthia Canty

Monday through Thursday @ 3:00 p.m. & 10 p.m.

                            About | Cyndy | Staff | Podcast | Suggest A Topic 

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.

Keep in touch with Michigan Radio's Stateside with Cynthia Canty on Facebook or Twitter 

Genre: 

Pages

Stateside
2:11 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

Michigan is experiencing a construction labor shortage

hstreetagent

In the depths of the Great Recession, here are words that we thought we might never hear again - "Help Wanted."

Construction jobs are going begging.

Five years ago, Michigan’s construction industry was fighting to stay alive.

Now it’s on the rebound, but home builders say they need more workers. And they’re not finding enough folks apparently willing to put in a hard day’s work on a construction site. The Grand Rapids Community College's residential construction program only drew five students.

What’s with the construction labor shortage?

John Bitely is the President and Owner of Sable Homes in Grand Rapids, and he joined us today along with Donald Grimes. Grimes is a senior research associate with the University of Michigan, specializing on economic forecasting and regional economic development in Michigan.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
1:30 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

How do Michigan students measure up compared to the rest of the nation?

O.k., o.k., we know this one is empty, but some high school students in the Detroit Public Schools say their classroom are far from empty.
User Motown31 Creative Commons

This fall, Bridge Magazine is taking a close look at the challenges Michigan faces as we try to improve our education system.

The starting point for all of this is where Michigan students stand as compared to students across America, and then how students in the U.S. compare to other nations.

American students rank 17th in reading, 23rd in science and 31st in Math, which puts us behind students in countries such as Poland and Slovenia.

As for Michigan, we're somewhere in the middle of the U.S. 'pack.' Education week ranked Michigan's K-12 education system 24th. And the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam found Michigan kids are 39th in 4th-grade math and 30th in 8th Grade reading.

This begs the question: how well are students in Michigan prepared for the good education that is needed to enter the middle class?

Bridge Magazine Senior Writer Ron French is seeking the answer in his series of special reports for Bridge Magazine. He joined us today to tell us more.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:00 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

How do Michigan Catholics view Pope Francis?

Pope Francis.
Christus Vincit Flickr

It has been seven months since the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen as the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

He took the name Francis. And since then, the Argentinean pontiff has caught the world's attention, ruffling more than a few conservative feathers with his words on abortion and gay rights, attempts to reform the way the Vatican runs, and how the Catholic Church connects with the people.

We wondered how much impact Pope Francis is having on Catholics in Michigan, and how he’s seen by members of other religions.

We began the conversation with Dave Willey, the Rome correspondent for the BBC.

Then, we hear from Jesuit priest Father Karl Kiser, and Baptist minister Ural Hill.

Read more
Stateside
3:45 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

The shutdown is over - but what happens next?

The U.S. Capitol.
U.S. Congress congress.gov

 Audio FileAn interview with David Shepardson the Washington reporter for the Detroit News.Edit | Remove

Last night, the U.S. House approved a Senate-backed plan to reopen the federal government, bringing an end to the 16-day partial government shutdown. The U.S. government is once again open for business — at least until mid-January.

Last night's vote ended the shutdown through January 15, and raised the debt ceiling till February 7 (and perhaps a month longer).

But that vote divided Michigan's Republican members of Congress.

Joining us from Washington, D.C. is David Shepardson, the Washington reporter for the Detroit News. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
3:43 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

How can we ensure good governance in Detroit?

Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
AP file photo Associated Press

An interview with U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara L. McQuade.

Last week, as Federal Judge Nancy Edmunds sentenced former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to 28 years in what became an historic case of corruption, she decried the lack of transparency and accountability that surrounded Kilpatrick’s administration.

“So much business was being done behind closed doors without anyone looking into it until the press got into it and opened the door to what was transpiring in City Hall,” Edmunds said in the courtroom.

The voters of Detroit handed their trust to Kwame Kilpatrick, and as a jury found, he turned that trust into a vehicle to feed his greed — using the office of Detroit’s mayor as his personal piggy bank.

Now that chapter is over, Detroiters are preparing to elect a new mayor. So, what better time for the first-ever Leadership Summit on Good Governance for Detroit?

The summit convener, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan Barbara L. McQuade, joined us in studio to discuss securing good governance in southeast Michigan.

To learn more about the conference, follow this link.

Listen to the full interview above. 

Environment & Science
3:38 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

This contest is giving Michigan drivers the chance to be highway planners

A highway.
user Joe Shlabotnik Flickr

An interview with Sarah Szurpicki.

So there you are, driving to and from work or school every day.

Chances are, there's probably a stretch of highway you drive that seems particularly soul-numbing and doesn't let you get any sense of place or community.

If you could design a highway, what would it look like? And could it improve, rather than just carve up your city?

That's the idea behind Highways for Habitats, a contest being run by the Michigan Municipal League's Let's Save Michigan Initiative.

Sarah Szurpicki is a project coordinator with the Let's Save Michigan Initiative, and she's been involved in many efforts to revitalize cities in the Great Lakes region. She joins us today to discuss the contest that would allow drivers to play transportation planner. 

Listen to full interview above. 

Stateside
3:37 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Keeping up with the Detroit bankruptcy trial

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr.
Detroit Free Press video Detroit Free Press

An interview with the Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes.

    

Today, we’re checking in with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes, discussing what’s going on with the Detroit bankruptcy trial.

According to Howes, two phrases for us to consider this week are “status quo” and “collateral damage.”

How has the status quo failed? And what collateral damage would happen if Judge Steven Rhodes approves the Chapter 9 petition?

Listen to the full interview above. 

Politics & Culture
5:12 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

When you grab a bottle of water at the grocery store, do you ever wonder where that water came from.

And do you really know the quality of that water? We found out if it's really better than what comes out of your tap.

And, as the use of meth makes headlines across the state, we talked to one woman about her recovery and what she's doing for other addicts.

And, we traveled to the Headlands International Dark Sky Park near Mackinac City, one of only 10 designated sky parks in the entire world.

Also, musician Matt Jones talked about his newest work and overcoming a challenging year.

First on the show, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed (D-Nev.) says a bipartisan deal has been reached, a deal that would avoid a U.S. default and it would end the partial government shutdown. 

Speaking on the senate floor, Reed thanked Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for working out the agreement, an agreement to reopen the government through January 15th and increase the nation’s borrowing authority through February 7th. 

Now though the deal’s in place the House and Senate still need to vote to approve the legislation.

Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow joined us today to give us her perspective on the issue.

Stateside
5:05 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Debbie Stabenow on the government shutdown

Senator Debbie Stabenow
Photo courtesy of www.stabenow.senate.gov

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed (D-Nev.) says a bipartisan deal has been reached, a deal that would avoid a U.S. default and it would end the partial government shutdown.

Speaking on the senate floor, Reed thanked Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for working out the agreement, an agreement to reopen the government through January 15th and increase the nation’s borrowing authority through February 7th.

Now that the deal’s in place the House and Senate still need to vote to approve the legislation.

Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow joined us today to give us her perspective on the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
2:57 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Sterling Heights has a multilingual driving school

Anyone who lives in Michigan knows you are at a real disadvantage if you don’t have a driver’s license.

But, let’s say you are an Iraqi who has fled to the U.S. to escape the violence. You’re trying to launch your new life here and you need a way to get to a job or get your kids to school. You need a driver’s license, but you haven’t lived here long enough to get fluent in English. So how do you get on the road?

That’s where you might turn to John Bitti. He runs the Madamma Driving School in Sterling Heights, and he teaches would-be drivers in English, Arabic, or Chaldean. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:08 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

What's going on with the affirmative action ban?

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette
(courtesy Michigan Attorney General's office)

It's called Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.

That's the case that has once again put Michigan in the spotlight of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Michigan's attorney general Bill Schuette was at the nation's highest court, defending the constitutionality of Proposal 2, which bans the use of affirmative action in admissions at public universities in Michigan, a constitutional amendment that passed by 58% of the state's voters in 2006.

Michigan Public Radio Network Lansing Bureau Chief, Rick Pluta has been covering today's arguments before the Supreme Court and he joined us today from Washington.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:17 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

The Upper Peninsula offers a lot of 'culinary glory'

Michael Stern
Twitter

It’s time to talk food, and who better to turn to than Michael Stern of Roadfood.com?

He and his wife Jane drive around the country searching for good food and exploring popular culture, and sharing the news with the rest of us through their writing and conversations on public radio's The Splendid Table.

Michael Stern joined us today to tell us what is cooking in the Upper Peninsula along U.S. Highway 41, starting in Marquette and working up to Copper Harbor.

Michael's piece in  Saveur Magazine is called "Upper Crust: The Culinary Glovry of Michigan's Route 41."

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:14 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Michigan Amtrak is getting faster and better

The federal government is investing billions to improve rail lines across the country. Will it translate into more riders?
Terry Cantrell Creative Commons

“Let’s take the train.” It seems more and more of us are saying those words these days.

A record 793,000 passengers hopped aboard Amtrak’s three Michigan routes last year and revenue grew to $27.8 million. And there are some changes coming down the track that should make the traveling faster and better for train passengers in Michigan.

Tim Hoeffner, rail director at the Michigan Department of Transportation, joined us today. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:12 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Sander Levin on the government shutdown

Congressman Sander Levin
http://www.house.gov/levin/

Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress are still at odds over federal spending, on this, the 14th day of the partial government shutdown.

In weekend discussions, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell could not reach a deal to raise the nation's borrowing authority. Stocks are lower as the nation moves to a potentially disastrous default on its debt.

Democratic Congressman Sander Levin joined us today to talk about the latest in the impasse.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:09 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Stateside for Monday, October 14th, 2013

Canada is dumping its garbage in Michigan. We took a look at why it's so cheap to haul trash over the border and the political reasons making it hard to stop.

And, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of the drive-in movie theater. Did you know Michigan once had more than 100 drive-ins? Today just a hand full are still in operation.

Also, Amtrak is making some improvements. We spoke with Tim Hoeffner of the Michigan Department of Transportation about what Michigan train passengers can expect.

And, Michael Stern from Roadfood.com, and frequent guest on The Splendid Table, stopped by to tell us about his recent trip to the Upper Peninsula and the culinary marvels he found up there.

But, first on the show, Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress are still at odds over federal spending on this, the 14th day of the partial government shutdown. In weekend discussions, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell could not reach a deal to raise the nation's borrowing authority. Stocks are lower as the nation moves to a potentially disastrous default on its debt. Democratic Congressman Sander Levin joined us today to talk about the impasse.

Stateside
2:55 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Will Gov. Rick Snyder testify in the Detroit bankruptcy case?

Gov. Rick Snyder.
Governor Rick Snyder's website

An interview with Daniel Howes.

This week, Gov. Rick Snyder became the state’s first sitting governor to testify under oath in a case.

On Wednesday, Snyder sat through more than three hours of questioning surrounding the Detroit bankruptcy case. Today brought depositions from State Treasurer Andy Dillon and top Snyder advisor Richard Baird.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes recaps what’s happening in the case, and whether we can expect to see the governor called in to testify in the bankruptcy court trial, which begins on Oct. 23.

Listen to full interview above. 

Arts & Culture
2:53 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Artists find inspiration in the land

Dave Fischer's "Metal and Wood Border" sculpture
Dave Fischer

A new art show is the product of an interesting collaboration between artists and land owners. It will be at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor from October 12th until November 10th.

It's sponsored by The Legacy Land Conservancy and it's also a fundraiser for the non-profit. The organizers were hoping to find a way to help people learn more about the protected land that the organization helps secure.

Read more
Stateside
2:51 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

When Gerald Ford demanded answers for UFO sightings in Michigan

An interview with Dr. Rudi Lindner.

If you are a baby-boomer who grew up in Michigan, chances are good you remember a particular point in time when you were out in your backyard, peering into the night sky, searching for UFOs.

For one week in March 1966, Michigan was awash with reports of UFO sightings. Scores of people called police to report suspicious items in the sky. Ultimately, the Air Force dismissed these sighting as nothing more than "swamp gas,” causing then-Congressman Gerald Ford to fire off an indignant statement, declaring people deserved a better explanation than something as laughable as swamp gas.

Dr. Rudi Lindner is a professor of History and Astronomy at the University of Michigan. He teaches a class called "Discovery of the Universe" that includes the history of UFOs. He joined us in studio to Michigan’s close encounters with the third kind. 

Read more
Stateside
2:03 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

The Can Kicks Back visits Ann Arbor to teach young Americans about the national debt

The Can Kicks Back mascot
Facebook

Hands up everyone, who has just about had it with that expression “kicking the can down the road,” particularly as it is used over and over in talking about the national debt? Kicking that proverbial can down the road is why America is facing such a crisis with our national debt.

A group of concerned young Americans is hoping to inspire other millennials to learn more about the national debt and, in their words, “to reclaim the American dream,” so they formed a group called The Can Kicks Back.

Tonight they will be in Ann Arbor as part of what they’re calling the Generational Equity Tour, a very carefully nonpartisan event.

Nick Troiano is co-founder and national field director of The Can Kicks Back, and he joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Investigative
12:10 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Voices from the fields: Migrant workers in Michigan

Elizalde Ramirez Vasquez is a migrant worker who goes to Michigan State University.
courtesy photo

From urban farming in Detroit, the Traverse City Cherry Festival, to farmers markets in hundreds of Michigan cities, this state prides itself on its agriculture.

And we should.

We are the most agriculturally diverse state, behind only California. And after manufacturing, agriculture is the state’s largest industry.

But when you see that Michigan seal on apples and blueberries and cherries in the grocery store, do you ever wonder who are the faces and voices behind these products?

In this documentary, we’ll hear from these farm workers that bring these fruits and vegetables to our tables.

We’ll hear about the struggle for fair wages, good housing and how the immigration debate can affect the lives of the 94,000 migrant workers and their families in Michigan.

Below is the full audio of the documentary

Full documentary audio

Pages