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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5:08 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Governor Snyder leaves for trade mission to China and Japan

Official portrait

Earlier today, Rick Snyder landed in China for his third trade trip since becoming Michigan's governor.

He has scheduled stops in China and Japan during the week-and-a-half-long mission that starts today, and he's accompanied by at least 15 representatives from Michigan companies.

It's all part of the on-going effort to attract Asian investment in Michigan and strengthen trade relationships.

Snyder isn't guaranteeing that jobs will be created from this trip, but says he feels good that new business will occur as a result of the face-to-face meetings.

The Governor is also turning to tourism, putting an emphasis on selling "Pure Michigan" as a destination to Chinese tourists.

The trip is being paid for by donations to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, not by taxpayers.

Tom Watkins has been instrumental in strengthening ties between Michigan and China, and has traveled to China dozens of times since his first trip in 1989. He joined us today to talk about this trade mission.

Listen to the full interview above.

5:07 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

How has this summer treated Michigan farmers?

This was taken at the Allendale Farmers Market summer 2008.
user tami.vroma Flickr

The end of summer is at hand and we wanted to find out how the year treated Michigan farmers so far.

They were slammed in 2012 by a cold, wet spring and a hot, dry summer.

Earlier this summer we spoke with Macomb Township farmer Ken DeCock to see how things were going for him and got mixed reviews. So we wanted to check in with him to get an end-of-summer view.

He joined us today from Boyka's Farm Market in Macomb Township. Tree fruit specialist William Shane with the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center also joined us.

Listen to the full interview above.

5:07 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Poor air quality in Michigan is not limited to areas of industry

DTE's St. Clair Power Plant in East China, Michigan.
user cgord wikimedia commons

If we asked you to name the areas in Michigan most likely to have poor air quality, chances are pretty good you'd start with the Detroit area, or southeast Michigan. Certainly with all of the vehicles, the industry, and the dense population, it's not too surprising that the Detroit area most often has the most polluted air.

But some of the most beautiful, most scenic areas of Michigan also suffer from poor air quality.

MLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa joined us today to help is find out where and why this is happening.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
5:06 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Sander Levin on the situation in Syria

Congressman Sander Levin

Speaking in Sweden today, President Obama said responding to the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syria's government is the "moral thing to do."

The President is on a three-day trip in Sweden and Russia for the G-20 summit as senior officials in his administration are working to get support for intervention in Congress.

So, let's continue to get the view from Michigan's Congressional delegation.

Yesterday on Stateside we heard from Republican Congressman Justin Amash and Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow.

Today, we turned to Democratic Representative Sander Levin.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Government
5:52 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Some of Michigan’s preschoolers are paying the price as federal sequester cuts sink in. On today’s show we take a look at what the cuts mean to families who rely on Head Start in Michigan.

Later in the hour, we speak with Blaine Pardoe, author of the new book Murder in Battle Creek: The Mysterious Death of Daisy Zick.

But first, Congressional leaders met today with President Obama to talk about the situation in Syria. Over the weekend, the President called for the United States to take action against Syria for their alleged chemical weapons use.  But the President said he wanted Congressional support for the action first.

Also, we hear from Congressman Justin Amash of west Michigan about his thoughts on the situation in the Middle East.

Finally, the Capuchin Soup Kitchen has been in continuous operation on Detroit's East side since the Great Depression starting in 1929, and the friars' mission in the city dates back even further to 1883. Brother Jerry Smith, director of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen discusses how the face of poverty has changed over 130 years.

5:46 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Michigan's preschoolers affected by federal cuts to Head Start

Washtenaw County voters approved a millage for special education in yesterday's election.
WoodleyWonderWorks Flickr

Robin Bozek and Mary DeLuca interview for 9/3/2013

These are trying times for families who rely on Head Start to give their preschoolers the big boost that can make the difference between success and failure in school.

That's because the federal sequester cuts have made a big hit on the number of slots available to preschoolers. 

Nationwide, 57,000 kids have lost access to Head Start. And the threat of deeper cuts looms when the debt ceiling rears its head again this fall in Washington.

Robin Bozek, the executive director of Michigan Head Start Association and Mary DeLuca, the  Head Start director for the Community Action Agency of Jackson joined us in the studio to talk about how Michigan’s preschool kids are affected by the budget cuts.  

Listen to the story above.

Politics & Government
5:40 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Syria's relevance to American citizens

The Washington Post (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

Sebastian Usher interview for 9/3/2013

People in the U.S. and around the world are watching the conflict unfold in Syria.  To many Americans, it feels tragic, but not like a direct threat to our national security.  

So, what’s the significance for everyday American citizens?  The BBC’s Sebastian Usher puts the Syrian conflict into context for us. 

Listen to the story above.

Arts & Culture
5:36 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

Capuchin Soup Kitchen serving Detroit for 130 years

Brother Jerry Smith interview for 9/3/2013

In the ongoing effort to help struggling men, women and children in Michigan's cities, there is one group who's been reaching out to the needy for generations.

The Capuchin Soup Kitchen has been in continuous operation on Detroit's East side since the Great Depression of 1929, and the Capuchin friars' ministry in Southeast Michigan goes back even further to 1883. That's 130 years of day-in, day-out work.

We wanted to find out whether the face of poverty and need in Southeast Michigan has changed over so many decades.  Brother Jerry Smith joined Cynthia Canty to speak about the Capuchins’ continuing mission to serve Detroit's disadvantaged people.  

Listen to the story above.

Arts & Culture
6:15 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

The Living Room: Baring it all on summer vacation

Shannon & Karen Czarnik.

As the summer winds down, storyteller Allison Downey of our Living Room series shared a story with us about baring it all during summer vacation on the Great Lakes.

Karen Czarnik is a storyteller and artist from Commerce Township. She produces the Red Thread Stories Slam.  Last year, she was awarded the first place prize at the National Storytelling Network’s Storytelling Slam.

The Living Room is produced by Western Michigan University Professor Allison Downey and Independent Producer Zak Rosen.

Listen to the story above.

Arts & Culture
5:50 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Roots of Labor Day in Detroit reach back to before the Civil War

Labor Day Parade in 1960.
The Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation & Archives

As we prepare to mark the end of summer with Monday's Labor Day holiday, we wanted to take a look back at this holiday because its roots -- at least in Detroit -- reach all the way back to before the Civil War.

Joining us is our favorite source for these moments when we look back in time - writer Bill Loomis.

Listen to the audio above.

Politics & Government
5:28 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Detroit featured on MSNBC's 'Morning Joe' today

Screen grab from 'Morning Joe'

It's Thursday, our day to meet up with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes. Today we spoke with him about how Detroit got the spotlight for the three hours of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" today. The show was broadcast live from the Ford Flat Rock Assembly Plant to highlight the fact that Ford is switching production of its Fusion from Mexico to Flat Rock - spending $550 million to tune-up the Flat Rock plant, and adding 1,400 jobs at the plant. 
Read more
Politics & Culture
5:17 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Some schools in Michigan are going all out trying to entice parents to enroll their kids with incentives and gimmicks. That's because more students means more per-pupil funding -- but with gift cards, Kindles, and even a car? On today's show, we asked when is enough enough? And, then, with the long-labor day weekend soon upon us, we looked back and learned how Labor Day was celebrated in Michigan in the 1800s. But first, we met up with Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes and spoke with him about how Detroit got the spotlight for the three hours of MSNBC's "Morning Joe" today.

Read more
5:08 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Slowing down climate change, one cloned tree at a time

A stand of red pine trees in the Huron-Manistee National Forest.
Photo courtesy of Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service

David Milarch co-founded Archangel Ancient Tree Archive in 2008. 

His vision?

To spread the genetics of the world's remaining ancient forests. His work attracted the attention of journalist and science writer Jim Robbins, and the result was the book The Man Who Planted Trees: Lost Groves, Champion Trees and an Urgent Plan to Save the Planet.

To listen to the interview, click the link above.

5:04 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Development group having success in attracting new residents to Detroit

The offices of the Grandmont Rosedale Development Corporation.
GRDC Facebook

It's no secret that the Great Recession took a huge toll on Michigan's population.

Our state population dropped for six straight years, leveled out from 2010-2011, and increased slightly from 2011-2012.

For many cities and neighborhoods, the post-recession challenge is getting new residents back into vacant homes.

One Detroit neighborhood is succeeding in that challenge: the Grandmont-Rosedale area, which is actually made up of five smaller areas on Detroit's West Side.

Read more
Politics & Culture
4:22 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Today on the show, high schools across Michigan are turning out fewer graduates. With the graduate pool shrinking, colleges and universities are searching for ways to make up the gap.

And, then, rebounding home values in Michigan mean more people are able to tap into quick cash through home equity loans., but that might not necessarily be such a good thing.

But first we start in Lansing. That's where last night, the state Senate approved legislation to extend Medicaid benefits to hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents.

The measure initially failed when it didn’t get the 20 votes needed to pass. But, then, the chamber agreed to reconsider the bill, and it passed with Republican Senator Tom Casperson switching his vote to ‘yes.” Governor Snyder praised the Senate yesterday for moving the bill forward.

3:55 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Fewer high school graduates means creative adjustments for colleges

There are fewer high school graduates, which means colleges have to fight over students
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Colleges and universities in Michigan have been grappling with ways to fill the revenue hole after the state Legislature cut funding for higher education. 

But now there's another problem -- fewer students. 

Brian Prescott is the director of Policy Research at the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education. The Commission recently released a major report called "Knocking at the College Door," which found that Michigan was second only to California in the decreasing number of high school graduates. 

Prescott said that's because the children of baby boomers have graduated high school, so future graduating classes are becoming smaller. 

Read more
3:02 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Detroit's new festival focuses on sports, noise, idea and form

Kevin Krease, Founder & Director of Action Sports Detroit

Sports, noise, idea and form. Those are the core components of a new festival that could be created in Detroit.

After Detroit lost its bid for the X-Games, the guys who led Detroit's X-Games campaign decided to come up with a new idea for the city. 

Kevin Krease and Garret Koehler of Action Sports Detroit are integrating food, art, music and sports into their project. The festival, called Assemble, would be one week long.

One of their biggest goals is to make Detroit home to the premier BMX and skate competition in the United States.

To hear the full interview, click the link above.

2:32 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

Home prices are 'going strong,' which means more home equity loans for homeowners

Home prices are on the rise. Maybe not for these two, though.
JasonParis Flickr

We see Michigan home prices, by and large, climbing back up from the depths of the Great Recession. 

Detroit-area home prices were 16% higher since less than one year ago. That's according to the Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller home price index. That means that home prices in the six counties of southeast Michigan are higher than they've been since 2008. 

Rebounding home values means that more people are able to tap into cash through home equity loans. But, if you're eyeing a home equity loan, be careful.

That's the advice from Detroit Free Press personal finance columnist Susan Tompor.

To listen to the audio interview, click the link above.

1:56 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

So, what happens next with Medicaid expansion?

Yesterday the Senate passed a Medicaid expansion bill
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

Yesterday, the state Senate approved legislation to extend Medicaid benefits to hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents. The measure initially failed when it didn't get the 20 votes needed to pass.

Later, the chamber agreed to reconsider the bill, and it passed when Republican Senator Tom Casperson switched his vote to 'yes.' 

Now, the bill is going back to the House before it's sent to Governor Snyder. 

Rick Pluta is the Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He explained the potential timeline for when the House could vote on it, and when the bill (if passed) could take effect. 

To listen to the full interview, click the link above.

Politics & Culture
3:43 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

The Pentagon is proposing to cut back production of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. We looked at what that could mean for the Michigan companies that make parts for the Bradley.

And, who wins and who loses when a major freeway is widened through urban neighborhoods?

And we looked at the local food scene in Grand Rapids to see just how food builds a sense of place.

Also, a dead zone has developed in Green Bay. What is causing it and is there anything we can do to fix it?

First on the show, There's been lots to celebrate in terms of sales for the U.S. car makers, bouncing back in a big way from their near-death experiences.

But those strong sales have the auto companies and their suppliers boosting production at a fast rate. And that could be having an unwanted effect---declining customer satisfaction with the vehicles they're turning out.

Claes Fornell, founder of the American Customer Satisfaction Index, joined us today to talk about the latest survey results.