Stateside with Cynthia Canty

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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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Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

With Michigan’s hunting season underway, one group of sportsmen is urging their fellow hunters to make a difference with each buck they bag.

Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger connects hunters, processors and charities to help feed the hungry.

But how does a deer taken in Kalkaska wind up on the tables of hungry families?

Neal Easterbook, the vice president of MSAH, talks with us about the group.

Listen to the full interview above.

Casino Connection / Flickr

In 1963, Michigan voters approved a new state constitution which set up the first Civil Rights Commission in U.S. history.

The Commission works to ensure each citizen receives equal protection without discrimination

Today, fifty years after the creation of the Commission, Matt Wesaw runs the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. A former state trooper, Wesaw is the first Native American to lead the Civil Rights Department.

Wesaw met with us in the studio to discuss the future of civil rights in Michigan.

Listen to the full interview above.

When we talk about Detroit's bankruptcy filing, the point seems to almost always be made that this is historic. That Detroit is the largest city in U.S. history to seek bankruptcy protection. But, that was almost not the case. In the mid 1970's New York City was on the brink of financial crisis. On today's show: What can Detroit learn from New York's comeback?

And, as of today, the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers will no longer sell sugar-sweetened drinks. It's a not-too-subtle push to get healthy, but is it taking away our choice as a consumer? Is it going too far?

Also, the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame has just announced its latest list of inductees. We took a closer look at one of these influential Michigan women.

First on the show, Republicans in Lansing are split over whether people who bankroll so-called “issue ads” should be allowed to remain anonymous.

Issue ads attack or support politicians or causes without using what are called “magic words" like “vote for” or "oppose." Unlike campaign ads, the money behind issue ads can be anonymous.

But, late last week, Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson proposed new rules that would require disclosure of issue-ad donations.

Johnson said, too often, issue ads are just thinly disguised political ads, and people should know who is paying for them.

But, many Republicans disagree. In fact, within hours of Johnson's proposal, the GOP-led Senate acted quickly to amend a campaign finance bill that would make Johnson's new rules illegal.

Rich Robinson, Executive Director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, and Jonathan Oosting, Capitol reporter for MLive.com, joined us today.

Peter Martorano / Flickr

In virtually every discussion and report about Detroit's bankruptcy filing, the point is made that this is historic. That Detroit is the largest city in U.S. history to seek bankruptcy protection.

But, that nearly was not the case. New York City was a hairs-breadth away from earning that unenviable distinction in 1975.

We wondered what comparisons could be made between Detroit's crisis today and New York's in the 70's, and if there are lessons Detroit could learn from New York's recovery.

Out next guest has taught at Yale for 46 years, he was part of five New York City governments and he is a noted urban planner, educator and author of The Planning Game: Lessons from Great Cities and The American City: What Works, What Doesn’t.

Alex Garvin joined us today from New York City.

Listen to the full interview above.

Flickr user fimoculous / Flickr

If you find yourself craving an icy-cold cola or some ginger ale, maybe a Frappuccino coffee, should you be able to crack open a can or a bottle when you want? Even if you know it’s not good for you?

The University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers say maybe not. So, starting today, you will no longer be able to indulge that sweet tooth of yours. They will become one of the first in Michigan to stop selling all sugar-sweetened beverages, with the goal of giving us a not-too-subtle nudge over to healthier drinks.

Theresa Han-Markey has been a registered dietician for over 20 years. She is the Bionutrition Manager at the Michigan Critical Research Unit and she’s the Internship Director for Dietetics at U of M. She joined us today to give us a closer look at this sugar crackdown.

Listen to the full interview above.

Michigan Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson.
MI SOS

Republicans in Lansing are split over whether people who bankroll so-called “issue ads” should be allowed to remain anonymous.

Issue ads attack or support politicians or causes without using what are called “magic words" like “vote for” or "oppose." Unlike campaign ads, the money behind issue ads can be anonymous.

But, late last week, Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson proposed new rules that would require disclosure of issue-ad donations.

Johnson said, too often, issue ads are just thinly disguised political ads, and people should know who is paying for them.

But, many Republicans disagree. In fact, within hours of Johnson's proposal, the GOP-led Senate acted quickly to amend a campaign finance bill that would make Johnson's new rules illegal.

Rich Robinson, Executive Director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, and  Jonathan Oosting, Capitol reporter for MLive.com, joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Flickr user Vox Efx / Flickr

French women don't get fat, so said French writer

Mireille Guiliano in her infamous cookbook.

But that didn’t stop French authorities from introducing a new tax on soda in order to combat obesity and diabetes.

While obesity has more than doubled in France over the past 15 years and continues to rise, the country still has far fewer obese people than the U.S.

David Chazan prepared this report from Paris as the law was enacted last year.

Listen to the full interview above.

The Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council

The Michigan Women's Hall of Fame has just announced its latest list of inductees. Among them are six contemporary women and three women from Michigan's past.

We took a closer look at one of those women from the past. Elizabeth Eaglesfield broke ground as one of the first female lawyers in Michigan history, but she didn't stop there. 

Just wait till you hear more about her remarkable life and career.

Joining us was Jo Ellyn Clarey of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, who nominated Elizabeth Eaglesfield.

Listen to the full interview above.

Great Lakes states average about a 30% rate of recycling. Michigan's recycling rate is somewhere around 14%. We talk about why Michigan is lagging when it comes to recycling.

 And we speak to a former aid in the Nixon administration who has a new idea for a political party. Also, it's Thursday and that means it's time for our weekly check-in with Detroit News Business Columnist Daniel Howes. He's been busy digging up a story that could prove to have a major impact on the future of the DIA, the future of Detroit's retired workers, and the future of the bankruptcy proceedings.

Michigan's Secretary of State is proposing an end to secretly funded political ads.

Republican Ruth Johnson proposed a new rule today to require sponsors of so-called "issue ads" to file reports with the state and meet current campaign finance requirements. Currently, ads only urging voters to support or oppose a specific candidate are subject to disclosure requirements. Issue ads define a candidate's suitability for office without directly urging a "yes" or a "no" vote, and they're exempt from disclosure requirements. Chris Gautz, Capitol Correspondent for Crain's Detroit Business, joined us today.

skatebiker / Wikimedia Commons

The state’s paltry recycling numbers have caught the attention of Gov. Rick Snyder, who’s pinpointing recycling as a top priority. The Department of Environmental Quality is trying to come up with a proposal to expand recycling in Michigan.

“If we could accomplish our 50 percent recycling goal, the value of that material if diverted from the landfill is about $500 million dollars a year,” said Kerrin O'Brien, the executive director of the Michigan Recycling Coalition.

O’Brien talked to us in the studio along with Barry Rabe, professor of Environmental Policy at the University of Michigan, where he directs the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy.

Click on the audio link above to listen to the full interview.

The Detroit Institute of Arts
Flickr

If anything’s clear coming from Detroit’s bankruptcy case it is this: the city needs new solutions.

Daniel Howes, Detroit News business columnist, wrote his column today on a proposal from Chief U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen. Rosen is proposing a new private fund that could have a major impact on the future of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the city’s retired workers and bankruptcy proceedings.

Listen to the full interview above.

On the show today, a surprising new study shows binge drinking is up among high school students, and that's not all. It's a rising problem across the Midwest.

 Then, a very personal story from a filmmaker who overcame being a bully, and how her mission to educate kids and parents resulted in a powerful film. And, we took a look at Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger's visit to Detroit and what he learned while there. 

First on the show, As Detroit's troubles and "dirty laundry" have been aired out on a world-wide stage, there has been plenty of finger-pointing and judging of the city's leaders, employees, retirees and citizens.

But a new analysis from Michigan State University suggests we might want to hold up on judging Detroit and take a look at our own cities and towns.

That MSU report finds cities all around Michigan face the very same mountain of "legacy" debt that toppled Detroit.

Study co-author Eric Scorsone joined us today.

Michigan State University

As Detroit's troubles and "dirty laundry" have been aired out on a world-wide stage, there has been plenty of finger-pointing and judging of the city's leaders, employees, retirees and citizens.

But a new analysis from Michigan State University suggests we might want to hold up on judging Detroit and take a look at our own cities and towns.

That MSU report finds cities all around Michigan face the very same mountain of "legacy" debt that toppled Detroit.

Study co-author Eric Scorsone joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Flickr user SalFalko / Flickr

It used to be a worker could set his or her sights on retiring at age 65, get that gold watch and join the ranks of the retired.

No longer.

From longer life expectancy to the baby-boomers whose investments and house values were tanked by the Great Recession, to younger workers being squeezed out by older workers who are hanging on to their jobs longer, retirement in America has changed.

The American Retirement Initiative has come about to help lead the conversation about how to improve retirement planning for all of us.

It’s headed up by a Michigander who got his undergrad in economics and graduate business degrees from the University of Michigan. Keith Green is the President at the American Retirement Initiative and he joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Michigan Municipal League / Flickr

Late last month, on October 28th to be precise, the Speaker of Michigan’s House traveled from Lansing to Detroit. Not for a political meeting, or a dinner, or a ball game.

Jase Bolger (R-Midland) came at the invitation of a Detroit lawmaker to see for himself what people in Detroit face day-in and day-out.

And it would seem that what he saw and heard left its mark.

Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley has written a series of columns about this apparent enlightenment of House Speaker Bolger, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

NCWD/youth

As social media has embedded itself into our lives, so too has the national conversation about bullying.

Facebook, Twitter and other forms of social media have given bullies boundless opportunities to torture their victims. What used to be something that happened in school halls and classrooms now finds its way into every corner of the lives of our young people.

One of the voices that has joined this conversation about bullying is that of a Michigan filmmaker. Her newest film, shot in Oakland County, is called "The Bully Chronicles."

It brings us the story of teen bullying through the eyes of the bully, and she recently turned to the Huffington Post, where she wrote to the teens accused of bullying a 12-year-old Florida girl to the point where she committed suicide by jumping off a tower.

Her post was headlined "From One Bully To Another: An Open Letter to Rebecca Sedwick's Bullies."

Amy Weber joined us in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

There has been much attention and concern about binge drinking among college-age students.

But what about high school students?

That's what the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research wanted to learn about.

As part of its annual Monitoring the Future Study, researchers collected data from more than 16,000 high school seniors. They were surveyed between 2005-and-2011.

And what they learned should be a true warning to parents of high schoolers.

Developmental psychologist Megan Patrick was the lead author of this study, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

historicdetroit.org

It was one of the more memorable vacant buildings in downtown Detroit, but its days of being vacant and decaying are, happily, in the past.

The historic Grand Army of the Republic Hall at Cass and Grand River is getting a new lease on life thanks to brothers Tom and David Carleton and their partner Sean Emery.

They bought the little castle-like building in 2011 from the City of Detroit for $220,000 and started cleaning and restoring it at once.

Now this architectural gem will be home to the partners’ media production firm Mindfield.

It stands as an example of an historic building being saved, not by a tycoon with very deep pockets, but some small business owners with a vision.

One of those partners, Tom Carleton, joined us today.

*Listen to the interview above.

University of Michigan Health System / University of Michigan

There’s little doubt that music can influence our emotions in powerful ways. From pumping us up, to soothing and comforting — music can take us there.

And that’s what Ann Arbor-based singer-musician and social worker Betsy Beckerman hopes to do. She’s a bedside musician, offering her guitar and voice to patients of all ages at the University of Michigan Hospital. 

Beckerman’s work is part of the Gifts of Art program at the University’s Health System, and it’s one of the best examples in the nation of what’s known as “arts in healthcare.”

Betsy Beckerman joins us in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

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