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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Politics & Culture
5:22 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

On today's show: we continue our look at road-funding Michigan.

There's a new proposal out this week in the state House that would shift the way we pay for road and bridge repairs, but can it really pass with both Democratic and Republican support?

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Stateside
5:07 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

'Already Dead Tapes' brings cassettes back to life

Cassette tapes were popular in the 70's and 80's
Wikipedia

As the old saying goes, "everything old is new again."

Case in point, the cassette tape.

Those of us who were music consumers in the 70's and 80's remember those cassettes rattling around in your glove compartment.

They were so much smaller than those clunky eight-track tapes and no skipping or gunk on the needles like your vinyl records.

Many people went through the cassette era  making their own mixes, working from a dual-tape unit and sharing them with friends, family and significant others.

Then came the CD, into prominence in the mid to late 80s. It was great to be able to jump right to the spot you wanted -no more fast forward and rewind.

Soon after the CD, the mp3 became popular and that is when the cassette tape became, for all intents and purposes, extinct.

But recently, the cassette tape is being revived and a Michigan-based recording label called 'Already Dead Tapes' is right out in front of this revival.

The label is run from Kalamazoo by Sean Hartman along with his Chicago-based partner Joshua Tabbia.

Sean and Joshua have said they don't think of Already Dead Tapes as a business because it's a "passion project."

Here is a video of Already Dead Tapes via the Chicago AV Club:

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Arts & Culture
5:13 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Sitting down with Red Tail Ring

Red Tail Ring in the studios at Michigan Radio
Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

We’ve all heard the term “comfort food”. Well how about some “comfort music”?
 
Red Tail Ring  is a duo from Kalamazoo serving up American roots music that harkens back to gentler days, and it’s music that soothes and wraps around you like a shawl.
 
Red Tail Ring is Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo and they join us here in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

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Politics & Culture
5:13 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

There are more than 37,000 homeless students in Michigan. That's up 66 percent in the last four years. On today's show, we ask why is homelessness among students on the rise even as the state economy heads towards recovery.

Later in the hour, we're joined in the studio by Red-Tail-Ring - a Kalamazoo duo serving up American roots music.

We first look at the subject of sick-leave and requiring employers to provide sick-days to their workers.

Lawmakers in Lansing are moving to block local cities and towns from passing any laws requiring businesses to offer sick leave to their workers.

Such laws have been passed in Seattle, San Francisco and several other major cities. The entire state of Connecticut, and New York City are expected to soon pass a sick leave ordinance.

Backers of these "paid sick leave" ordinances say they're designed to protect people in lower-paying jobs - the workers who stand to lose their jobs if they try to call in sick.

Republican Representative Earl Poleski of Jackson is sponsoring one of the bills that would block local governments from putting paid sick leave ordinances into place.

He joined us to talk about his bill.

Arts & Culture
5:12 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

The power of the handwritten letter

The shelves at Open Books. The Chicago nonprofit is working to improve literacy rates in the city.
Open Books

In an era when we dash off a quick email or text message or a tweet, and often just as quickly deleted, the magic of a letter is something that has sadly been eclipsed.

The letter: the construction of thoughts, put down on paper, sometimes typed, sometimes hand-written, with a signature that is distinct and personal. It's something that lives on through the years. You just don't get that with a 140-character tweet.

Today we have a story that proves that letters can pack incredible power long after they have been written, long after the writers have left this earth.

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Politics & Government
5:12 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Blocking cities from adopting paid sick leave ordinances

Chicken noodle soup and medication.
Robert Couse-Baker Creative Commons

Lawmakers in Lansing are moving to block local cities and towns from passing any laws requiring businesses to offer sick leave to their workers.

Such laws have been passed in Seattle, San Francisco and several other major cities. The entire state of Connecticut, and New York City are expected to soon pass a sick leave ordinance.

Backers of these "paid sick leave" ordinances say they're designed to protect people in lower-paying jobs - the workers who stand to lose their jobs if they try to call in sick.

Republican Representative Earl Poleski of Jackson is sponsoring one of the bills that would block local governments from putting paid sick leave ordinances into place.

He joined us to talk about his bill.

Listen to the full interview above.

Economy
5:12 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Getting through school when you have no home

Poverty has doubled in Livingston County over the last 5 years
SamPac creative commons

If you could walk into any school in Michigan and look around at the students, you might not realize it, but somewhere in there you would see students who are homeless.

There are more than 37,500 homeless students in Michigan, and that's up 66 percent in the past four years. So, even as the economy begins to struggle its way toward recovery in Michigan, we have a rising number of homeless students trying to struggle their way through school.

Joining us to talk about the challenges that homelessness poses to students and to the school districts are Angela Parth, the executive director of "The Connection Youth Services" in Livingston County, and Holly Fiedler, the homeless Liaison and Social Worker at Milan Area Schools.

Listen to the full interview above.

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Stateside
3:39 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Is this normal-ish Michigan weather?

Midwest weather makes 'normal' something hard to define
user thebridge Michigan Radio

Why is it so cold this spring?

Jeff Masters, PhD, Director of Meterology at Weather Underground, tried to shed some light on our slow seasons.

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Stateside
3:29 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

A letter to Congress from 55 state officials demands immigration reform

Rashida Tlaib is one of 55 elected officials from Michigan who called upon Congress for immigration reform

Rashida Tlaib (D) is a state representative from the 6th district and is one of 55 state and local officials who wrote a letter to four big names in Washington D.C.

Tlaib and others called on John Boehner (House Speaker), Nancy Pelosi (House Minority Leader), Harry Reid (Senate Majority Leader) and Mitch McConnell (Senate Minority Leader) to help lead the way on our country's immigration policies.

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Stateside
3:00 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Four short and sweet books you should read this spring

Michigan writer and poet Keith Taylor
Robert Turney

Let's cross our fingers and hope that spring is here to stay. As the grass gets greener and flowers begin blooming, why not welcome the warmer weather with some light spring reading?

Keith Taylor, a poet and writer, as well as a professor at the University of Michigan, has given us a few suggestions for our spring reading lists.

Don't worry, they're short.

"We should be getting outside, and working in the garden...we don't want to start reading Anna Karenina outside right now," Taylor said.

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Politics & Culture
5:03 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, April 11th, 2013

As the national debate over gun control continues, we take a look at just how pervasive gun violence is here in Michigan.

We also look at efforts to regulate Mixed Martial Arts fighting in Michigan.

And zombies are taking over MSU. Students are fighting back... with nerf guns (they work on zombies).

Later in the show, we meet a writer and fisherman who finds his inspiration in the Detroit River.

But first, we check-in with Daniel Howes, columnist at the Detroit News, about Gov. Rick Snyder's relationship with those in his party.

Politics & Culture
5:03 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Diving into Michigan's gun culture

The Lansing library system says Michigan's open-carry of weapons law does not apply to its facilities.
flickr

All this week, Bridge Magazine has run a series of in-depth stories delving into Michigan's gun culture.

Guns in Michigan explores a wide range of questions including what happens at the point where gun rights and public safety intersect?

And how pervasive is gun violence in Michigan?

Pat Shellenbarger wrote the series.

He's a writer based in West Michigan. If his name sounds familiar, it could be because he was a reporter and editor at the Detroit News as well as The Grand Rapids Press and the St Petersburg Times.

He joined us on Stateside today, listen to the audio above.

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Stateside
5:00 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Attention: Zombies infiltrate MSU campus

Spartans are fighting for their lives as zombies raid MSU's campus this week. (Nerf darts are to zombies as silver bullets are to werewolves.)
YouTube

The zombie apocalypse has spread to Spartan Nation.

This week, hundreds of Michigan State students are participating in the third annual "Spartans versus Zombies" game.

Here's an 'informational video':

Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty spoke with Shannon Mazurie, who helped bring the game to campus and is the organizer of this year's event.

Listen to the audio above to find out if and how Spartans are surviving, how zombies "eat" humans, and how Spartans manage to make it to class with zombies chasing them.

Stateside
5:00 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

A recent fighter's death inspires proposal to regulate mixed martial arts fighting

Mixed martial arts can be dangerous, especially among amateurs
mickepe MorgueFile

Mixed martial arts can be traced far into the history of sport fighting. The full contact sport has competitive roots in Brazil and Japan and allows players to hit and strike one another when standing or on the ground, much like wrestling.

Last Saturday, a 35-year-old mixed martial art fighter died after an amateur fight in Port Huron.

Following the death, State Representative Harvey Santana (D-Detroit) from the 9th district in Detroit was able to push a package of reform bills through the House that would finally regulate amateur MMA fights in the state of Michigan.

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Stateside
5:00 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

The latest on Snyder and the Republican party

Rick Snyder's proposals clashed with Republicans in the capitol
Tiberius Images / Flickr

Let's talk relationships - political relationships.

Governor Snyder wants $1.2 billion a year for rebuilding of Michigan roads. He has also proposed increased gas taxes and vehicle registration fees, which haven't gone over well with state Republicans.

He's also said he wants to expand Medicaid using money from the federal government under provisions in the Affordable Care Act, which hasn't been warmly received by Republicans either.

So where does this rift leave the Republican party, and what does it say about Governor Snyder and his leadership style?

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Stateside
3:21 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Can Detroit be the next 'Comeback Kid'?

Kate Sumbler Flickr

Who doesn't love that quintessential story of the underdog who battles and claws his or her way out of some apparently impossible challenge. David and Goliath,  Rocky Balboa, the 'Miracle on Ice' are all great underdog stories that never cease to captivate the minds of people.

Will Detroit be the next great underdog story to make the list?

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Stateside
2:54 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Fred Durhal is 'not for sale' when it comes to new bridge

Last May, Snyder made an agreement with Canada to build a new bridge over the Detroit
J. Stephen Conn Flickr

When Governor Rick Snyder came into office, one of the priorities of his campaign was to build a new international bridge to span the Detroit River.

Snyder's proposal for the  bridge - from Detroit to Windsor - was denied time and again by Michigan's state Legislature. Democrats in the State House and Senate were against the idea, as were many members of the Governor's own party. 

But last May Snyder made an agreement with Canada in which Canada would pay for the construction of the new bridge - without the consent of Michigan Legislature. 

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Stateside
7:28 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Michigan Lawmakers are back in session

The legislature will vote on changes to health care benefits for public employees tomorrow.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

After a two week recess state lawmakers are back in Lansing. Here is a quick look into what ­­­ exactly the Legislature will be focusing on now that they are back in session.

This session will mark the return of the controversial no fault auto insurance policy.

Republican lawmakers, including Governor Rick Snyder, want to place a cap on benefits for individuals who receive serious injuries in auto accidents.

Michigan is the only state that provides unlimited health benefits to those who have suffered serious injuries. 

Republicans and insurance companies argue that is why insurance rates are so high in Michigan. Republicans have mentioned that the possible cap could be around $50,000.

Changing this policy has stalled regularly in the Legislature in the past.

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Stateside
7:22 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

The latest buzz about Michigan bees

Less bees means less pollination and less honey
Photo by Julie Grant

A recent survey released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that the state of Michigan has slipped from seventh to ninth place in national honey production. 

But what is even more worrisome are the declines in honeybee populations. Bees are vital for agriculture throughout the country. When there are fewer bees to pollinate crops, there are fewer crops. 

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Stateside
4:37 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

New study found that adults text more than teenagers while driving

Texting while driving is more common among adults than teenagers
C. Todd Lopez Photo courtesy of U.S. Army

When you think about someone texting and driving, who comes to mind? A teenager? If you said yes, you're wrong.

A survey conducted by AT&T as a part of the "It Can Wait" campaign found that 98% of adults that they surveyed admitted that they texted while driving.  In contrast, 48% of teenagers said they texted while driving.

The AT&T study also found that 60% of adults surveyed said that they didn't text while they were behind the wheel three years ago. 

What's going on with drivers in America? Is it smartphones? Or are we becoming more reckless drivers?

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