Stateside with Cynthia Canty

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

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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
5:04 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Why do we still care about finding Jimmy Hoffa?

WEWS-TV YouTube

An interview with Jack Lessenberry.

Here we go again.

The backhoe has been working away in a Michigan field surrounded by news trucks, satellite trucks and the breathless attention of local, national, and even overseas reporters.

It's yet another search for Jimmy Hoffa.

Federal agents revived the hunt for the remains of the Teamster president this week, bringing heavy excavation equipment to a field in Oakland Township, north of Detroit.

This time, the tip comes from an aging reputed Mafia captain.

Mr. Hoffa was supposed to be meeting with a New Jersey teamsters boss and a Detroit Mafia boss when he vanished in the summer of 1975 from a Detroit-area restaurant.

So 38 years later, why does anyone still care about where Jimmy Hoffa's body is buried? 

Michigan Radio’s political analyst Jack Lessenberry joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:02 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

New project helps visually impaired individuals through birdsong

The Kirtland's warbler primarily nests in just a few counties in Michigan. The bird's population has been steadily increasing over the last 30 years in Michigan due to intense management practices.
USFWS Midwest

And interview with Donna Posont, the director of Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind.

Helping blind children and adults connect with nature: that's Donna Posont’s mission.

She's the director of a group called Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind and one of their projects is called Michigan Birdbrains. The project involves teaching blind individuals how to identify birdcalls, and then taking them out on nature walks to find the birds. Not only does this help participants gain confidence, but it also promotes environmental consciousness. 

Donna Posont joined us today to discuss the project further.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:01 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Diver discovers a 97-year-old message in a bottle

A message in a bottle.
Flickr

An interview with Dave Leander, a diver and owner of Great Lakes Divecenter.

In 2013, if you want to let the world know you're someplace having a good time, you might whip out your smartphone and tweet it or post a check-in or status update on Facebook.

97 years ago, you might write a message, roll it up, tuck it in a bottle and toss it into the St. Clair River.

That's what a couple of young Detroiters did when they were having fun one summer's day at Tashmoo. That was a very popular amusement part on Harsen's Island on the northern end of Lake St. Clair.

And why do we know about this message in a bottle? Because Dave Leander found the bottle as he was diving in the St. Clair River.

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Politics & Culture
4:59 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, June 18th, 2013

It wouldn't be summer without a search for Jimmy Hoffa. We spoke with Michigan Radio's Jack Lessenberry about why we're still fascinated by the Hoffa disappearance all these years later.

And, we talked about the huge economic changes to mid-America with the author of the new book, "Nothin' But Blue Skies: the Heyday, Hard Times, and Hopes of America's Industrial Heartland."

And, Donna Posont, the director of Opportunities Unlimited for the Blind, joined us to discuss her group’s new project, Michigan Birdbrains.

Also, a diver found a bottle containing a message from nearly 100 years ago at the bottom of the St. Clair River. He joined us to talk about his discovery.

First on the show, the term “economy” is used constantly in news stories or opinion pieces about Michigan, its trials and tribulations, its budding recovery.

But John Austin would like to get us all thinking about the "blue economy," the one that is based on the Great Lakes and water-related industry.

John is the director of the Michigan Economic Center, which is affiliated with the Prima Civitas Foundation, and he joined us in the studio today.

Stateside
5:40 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Michigan's Department of Human Services cracks down on high truancy rates

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

A report from Jake Neher.

With school out for the summer, state officials are already looking for ways to get more students to show up for classes in the fall. The state Department of Human Services wants to expand pilot programs that put more social workers in schools with high truancy rates.

At the same time, DHS has a new statewide policy that threatens to take away welfare benefits from families with kids who persistently miss school.

But, critics say that still means too few families are getting the support they need to avoid losing their cash assistance.

Michigan Public Radio's Jake Neher gave us the full report.

Stateside
5:39 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Is it 'brain drain' or is it wanderlust?

Several Michigan college graduates will take their talents outside of the state.

An interview with writer John Schneider.

Let's turn our attentions to college students, or, more specifically, college graduates.

There has been much talk and hand-wringing about the so-called "brain drain," young people earning a degree at a Michigan college or university and then hitting the road. Heading out of Michigan and taking their talents to places like LA, Chicago, Boston, or New York.

Is that "brain drain" the fault of Michigan's depressed-and-slowly-recovering economy? Or might it just be the age-old truth that young people want to spread their wings?

Writer John Schneider mused upon these questions in a column in this week's Bridge Magazine. It's title "Children's departure is part of the cycle of life."

He joins us today to discuss the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:38 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Online subscription TV could be the way of the future

Dr. Amanda Lotz

An interview with Amanda Lotz, a professor of communications at the University of Michigan.

It was 2007 when Amanda Lotz of the University of Michigan wrote a book entitled "The Television Will Be Revolutionized." The professor of communication studies predicted that eventually TV will move from the broadcast network format we grew up with to an online subscription format.

Well, if you are one of the many fans of the series "Arrested Development," you are celebrating the resurrection of the wildly popular series which began on Fox and was canceled by Fox, and has now been revived by Netflix in online subscription format.

Amanda Lotz, University of Michigan professor of communications studies, joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:36 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Grand Rapids and DC musicians team up to release a new album

Phil Stancil and Matt Warn
Facebook

An interview with Phil Stancil and Matt Warn.

Midnight Faces is a music duo consisting of Phil Stancil - he's been playing around Grand Rapids since he was in grade school - and Matt Warn - a product of the Philadelphia music scene who now lives in Washington DC.

The pair has been able to work around that distance between Grand Rapids and D.C. to come up with their debut full-length album and gear up to play dates in the U.S. and possibly Japan.

Phil Stancil and Matt Warn joined us from Grand Rapids.

Their website is midnightfaces.com and their album "Fornication" will be released June 18th. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:35 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Taking a look at Michigan's worst examples of government spending

Crain's Detroit Business writer Bill Shea
Twitter

An interview with Crain's Detroit Business writer Bill Shea.

Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano has hit the pause button on the project to build a new Wayne County jail in downtown Detroit.

The reason?

The still-unfinished 2,000-bed jail could cost up to $91 million over its $220 million budget. So the county is now considering cutting its considerable losses and leasing a former state prison on Mound Road on Detroit's East Side.

Crain's Detroit Business writer Bill Shea got us thinking about this sorry episode in government spending, and the word "boondoggle" came to mind.

His story in Crain's is headlined "Many dollars, little sense: Projects that seemed like good ideas at the time," and he joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:33 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Campaign to bring the 2014 X-Games to Detroit

Flickr

An interview with Kevin Krease and Garret Koehler.

Bring the X-Games for 2014 to Detroit.

That's what an impassioned pair of Detroit boosters is saying to ESPN.

They've launched an all-out campaign to get the sports network to choose the Motor City over three other contenders for the summer 2014 X-Games, which are ESPN's extreme sports answer to the Olympics.

Kevin Krease and Garret Koehler are the ones responsible for this bid to win over ESPN.

The two joined us in the studio to talk about their campaign.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:30 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Stateside for Monday, June 17th, 2013

On today's show: Boondoggles.

We took a look back at some of Michigan's sorriest episodes in government spending.

And, we spoke with the members of the duo Midnight Faces, a Grand Rapids band taking a new approach to music from the '80's.

And, Dr. Amanda Lotz joined us in the studio to discuss the future of television now that services such as Netflix have become increasingly popular.

Also, a campaign has started to bring the summer 2014 X-Games to Detroit. We spoke with the guys responsible for starting the campaign about why they think Detroit should be chosen to host the event.

First on the show, with school out for the summer, state officials are already looking for ways to get more students to show up for classes in the fall. The state Department of Human Services wants to expand pilot programs that put more social workers in schools with high truancy rates.

At the same time, DHS has a new statewide policy that threatens to take away welfare benefits from families with kids who persistently miss school.

But, critics say that still means too few families are getting the support they need to avoid losing their cash assistance.

Michigan Public Radio's Jake Neher gave us the full report.

Stateside
5:21 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

New art exhibit explores Michigan's design history

The Cranbrook Art Museum
cranbrookart.edu

Close your eyes for a moment and think about America in 1962. What images come to mind?

Chances are, those images, whether furniture, architecture, or cars, have roots right here in Michigan.

A major exhibition that's begun at the Cranbrook Art Museum in Bloomfield Hills explores Michigan's major role in what America looked like in the mid-20th Century. And much of that design is linked to Cranbrook. It's called "Modern Michigan: Design that Shaped America."

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Stateside
5:20 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Detroit's 'Day of Reckoning' is at hand

Detroit skyline seen from Windsor, Ontario, across the Detroit River.
Bernt Rostad creative commons

An interview with Daniel Howes.

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time to check-in with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

The theme for today's conversation seems to be: the Day of Reckoning is at hand.

Tomorrow, Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr is going make a pitch to 150 representatives and creditors to try to win concessions from them. The pitch could very well be the precursor to the city filing Chapter Nine bankruptcy.

Daniel Howes joined us to discuss the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:19 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Man Medals: A unique way to show appreciation

Jim O'Brien, the founder of Man Medals
LinkedIn

An interview with Jim O'Brien, the founder of the Man Medals.

As Father's Day is just around the corner, are you thinking about what to get that special man in your life?

Well, ask virtually any wife and chances are she'll tell you that when the man of the house steps outside his designated "manly chores" and does something that would be considered to be in her domain, that man wants praise and plenty of it.

There's something to this: a Pew Research Center survey finds, of the predictors for a successful marriage, sharing household chores is Number Three on the list, just behind faithfulness and a happy sexual relationship.

All of this inspired a Waterford man to put on his "entrepreneur's hat" and come up with a new business: Man Medals, a witty but pointed way for her to dish out praise to him, and for him to take a bow for helping out.

Jim O'Brien is the founder of the Man Medals, and he joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:18 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Annual Pew legislative review shows that one-party states get a lot done

The state legislature has approved changes to some public employee health benefits.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

An interview with Scott Greenberger, an editor for Stateline.

One of the criticisms frequently aimed at Congress is that "gridlock" where decisions come slowly, if at all, as both sides draw their respective lines in the sand, and there's just not much compromising.

That is not the case with state legislatures across the country where, thanks to one-party control in 37 states, we're seeing action and lots of it.

Stateline is an independent, non-partisan news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts. This week it released its annual review of state legislatures, giving us a look at the major budget and policy developments at all 50 state capitols.

Scott Greenberger, an editor for Stateline, joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:16 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, June 13th, 2013

Close your eyes for a moment and think about what America looked like, say, in 1962, the furniture, the architecture, the cars. We explore the huge role Michigan had in mid-20th century design.

And, before National Fudge Day--yes there is such a thing--we take a trip to Mackinac Island, which has a pretty legitimate claim as the modern day Capital of Fudge.

And, we interviewed an entrepreneur from Waterford who has developed a unique way for women to show appreciation for the men in their lives.

Also, we took a look at the recent Pew research report.

First on the show, we turned to Detroit News Columnist Daniel Howes for our weekly Thursday check-in.

The theme for today's conversation seems to be: the Day of Reckoning is at hand for Detroit.

Stateside
5:37 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Hamtramck is no stranger to hardship, according to a city native

Andrew Jameson Wikimedia commons

An interview with Greg Kowalski, chairman of the Hamtramck Historical Commission.

One of the cities that has been in the headlines of late is Hamtramck. The 2.1 square mile city within the city of Detroit is facing a financial emergency and the prospect of once again being under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager.

But facing tough times is nothing new to this tiny but tough enclave. And, starting from its beginning as a home for Polish immigrants, Hamtramck continues to be one of the most diverse communities in the entire state.

We wanted to find out more about the unique history of Hamtramck, and so we turned to someone who was born in Hamtramck.

Greg Kowalski’s family roots in the city go back to when his grandfather first arrived, and he's the chairman of the Hamtramck Historical Commission. He joined us today to discuss Hamtramck’s unique past.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:35 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

It's 2013, why don't we have jet packs yet?

A rocket belt pilot
Wikipedia

An interview with author Steve Lehto.

Ask any baby boomer who grew up watching science fiction movies after school or The Jetsons on the Saturday morning cartoons: strapping on a jet pack and zipping through the sky seemed like a done deal.

So why are we in 2013 still waiting to fly like a bird? We got astronauts on the moon. We've got an orbiting space station. Where are the jet packs?

That's the question Steve Lehto asks in his new book "The Great American Jet Pack: The Quest for the Ultimate Individual Lift Device" published by the Chicago Review Press.

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Stateside
5:29 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

The line between innovation, technology, and moral standards

Dr. Cynthia Finelli
engin.umich.edu

An interview with Dr. Cynthia Finelli.

Engineering and technology touch our lives every minute of every day. As we move into this 21st Century, technology is progressing at rates that are faster than most anyone could have imagined.

But as engineers design this new technology, what's happening at the intersection of "technology" and "ethics?” And what's the price we pay when engineers overlook that "moral compass?"

These are questions Dr. Cynthia Finelli is focused on as she helps train the engineers of the future.

Dr. Cynthia Finelli is the director of the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching in Engineering and she's a research associate professor at the University of Michigan.

And she's part of a team called E3, which stands for "Exploring Ethical Decision-Making in Engineering," a group of engineering teachers from many colleges and universities. These teachers study engineering ethics.

Dr. Cynthia Finelli joined us in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:12 pm
Wed June 12, 2013

Baby boomers hold the 'key to success' for automakers

Analysts say car sales are climbing.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

An interview with John Wolkonowicz, an independent auto analyst.

When you look at much of popular media these days, it often feels as though the advertisers of America are eyeing that young audience. If you're over 55, you could certainly be forgiven for getting the idea that advertisers and agencies don't much care what you want to buy.

Well, a new study by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute proves that, at least when it comes to buying cars, it's those often overlooked, sometimes-invisible over 55's who are doing much of the buying.

The study found the 55-to-64 year old baby-boomers are 15 times more likely to buy a new car or truck than the 18-to-24 year olds.

John Wolkonowicz, an independent auto analyst, joined us from Boston today to talk more about why baby boomers seem to hold the key to success for automakers.

Listen to the full interview above.

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