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
3:49 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

March Madness has begun!

The University of Michigan basketball team plays Bryant, December, 2010
Cseeman Flickr

March Madness here!

For many of us, it's like Christmas in March. Sixty-eight teams vying to make it to that Final Four.

For others, it's time to say goodbye to the sports fans in your house, and prepare for three weeks of non-stop college hoops on the TV.

Maybe while you're reading a book or watching another TV in another room.

When it comes to March Madness, most people talk brackets.

The odds of picking a perfect bracket in the annual NCAA men’s basketball tournament are one in 9.2 quintillion (that's 18 zeros).

That's  according to calculations by Jeff Bergen who's a mathematics professor at DePaul University.

Michigan and Michigan State both play today at the Palace of Auburn Hills.

They've both spent most of the season in the Top 10.

Michigan in the #1 spot for a while. Michigan State in the Top 5 for a while.

The Big Ten Championship tournament last weekend was disappointing for both.

But what makes March Madness different from the World Series? Or the run to the Super Bowl? Or the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs?

Today we talked March Madness with our sports commentator John U Bacon.

He'll gave us the scoop on how the Big Ten teams will fare in the tournament, and who from the Michigan and Michigan State teams will make it to the NBA.

To hear the full report, click the link above.

Stateside
5:31 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

New challenges to Michigan's new emergency manager law

Is Snyder's Emergency Manager law constitutional?
Tiberius Images / Flickr

Organizations are filing legal actions against the state's new emergency manager law.

One of the very vocal groups opposed to the law is the Maurice and Jane Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice. 

"At its most basic level, we believe that there's a fundamental right in this country, that if you're going to have a government, that government has to be an elected body and a representative government," said John Philo, the legal director at the Sugar Law Center.

"Under [the emergency manager] law, the emergency management becomes the governing body. It's important to keep in mind that the law doesn't confine their governments to financial matters. The problem with this law is that you're giving full governing power, not just finances [to the emergency manager]. You're putting that one person, who is unelected and unaccountable to the people, in power," he said.

In January, the Michigan Supreme Court rejected a challenge to the law, and allowed Public Act 72 to stay in place until the new version takes effect March 28. 

Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty spoke with Philo about his thoughts on the emergency manager law and what it says about our state government.

To hear the full report, click the link above.

Stateside
5:20 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

What women look for when buying a new car

Do men and women prefer different cars?
Zelda Richardson

In a recent study by L.R. Polk, none of the top ten car companies that women prefer were domestic.

Susan Ianni, the general manager of Gordon Chevrolet of Garden City, argued otherwise.

"Women here love domestic cars," she said. "It's in other parts of the country where the problem lies. Women aren't even looking at domestic cars. They aren't even on their shopping list. Women are going for the car they're driving which is probably a foreign car, so they're going back to that dealership and not giving domestic cars a chance."

So what was this study getting at and why do some women prefer foreign cars?

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Stateside
5:16 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Are kids in the state's care safe? Court monitor says not safe enough



Almost 14,000 kids in Michigan have been taken out of their own homes by the state because of an abuse or neglect allegation.

Those kids then rely upon the state's Department of Human Services (DHS) to keep them safe and put them in an environment where they have a chance to thrive. Most of those kids end up in foster care.

Six years ago the state was sued by the advocacy group Children's Rights over treatment of kids in its care.

The state was back in court today to see where things stand. Everyone agrees things have gotten better since the lawsuit started six years ago, but the court appointed monitor said too many kids are still unsafe.

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Stateside
5:13 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Filmmaker Ken Burns on "The Central Park Five" and racial inequality in America

Filmmaker Ken Burns
pbs.org

Filmmaker Ken Burns is hands-down one of the world's leading creators of documentaries.

He has helped modern-day audiences understand and appreciate The Civil War, World War II, the jazz age, prohibition, baseball, the Shakers, America's national parks and many more aspects of American life.

Now, he is returning to Ann Arbor, the town of his boyhood.

He'll be here to talk about race and inequality as part of the Penny W. Stamps lecture series but more importantly to present his film, "The Central Park Five" at the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

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Stateside
5:04 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Will 7 new police officers in Flint help?

Flint Police Deprtment Headquarters, Flint, Michigan
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

There are seven new police officers patrolling the streets of Flint. They were hired as part of a public safety millage approved by Flint voters last November.

The millage is expected to generate $5.3 million this year, but what's going to happen in future years as the population keeps shrinking and property values drop?

With the recent hiring of seven officers, the Flint Police Department now has 124 officers. That is down from an estimated 350 officers when times were better.

Will these new officers help make a dent in Flint's crime rate? Flint is in the unenviable spot near the top of many of the "most violent city" lists.

Kevin Smith is the president of the Flint Police Officer's Association.

He mentioned that the seven new officers won't make a big difference any time soon.  We asked what it would take, in terms of staffing, to make Flint noticeably safer.

To hear the full interview, click the link above.

Politics & Culture
4:51 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Today on the show, the city of Flint recently hired seven new police officers, but some say that might not be enough to make a noticeable difference on the streets.

We explore public safety in the one of the nation's most violent cities.

And, new data show women in the U.S. prefer foreign-made cars to domestics. We find out why and talk about what it will take for the Detroit Three to win over those women.

And there are almost fourteen thousand children in Michigan who have been taken out of their own homes by the state because of an abuse or neglect allegation.

Those kids rely upon the state to keep them safe and put them in an environment where they have a chance to thrive.

Six years ago, the state was sued over treatment of kids in its care. The state was back in court today to see where things stand. Michigan Radio's Sarah Alvarez brought us a report.

Stateside
5:08 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

With spring break approaching, what have Michigan lawmakers accomplished?

Governor Rick Snyder
Tiberius Images / Flickr

State lawmakers are beginning to wrap up their work for this session before they head out for their Spring recess.

It seems it’s as good a time as any to review what they have (and haven’t) accomplished since the beginning of the New Year.

Governor Snyder  has not been getting a whole lot of love from fellow Republicans. He announced he will take federal money to expand Medicaid rolls in the state.

But Republicans aren’t happy with this. They say they want Medicaid “reform” in exchange for their support.  Is Snyder going to be willing to make this type of deal? After all, he likes to say he doesn’t engage in ‘horse-trading.’

Meanwhile, Governor Snyder signed the Blue Cross/Blue Shield bills into law on Monday. He vetoed the law originally, last year, after it was passed in the lame-duck session of the legislature with measures having to do with abortions that he didn’t like.

And, something we’ve talked a lot about here on Stateside: the creation of a health care exchange mandated under the Affordable Health Care Act.

Michigan will be a hybrid, run between the state and federal government. At first, it was the state House that was dragging its feet. Now, Republican state Senators are stalling on the creation.

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Stateside
5:06 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Detroit's emergency manager is upbeat about city's potential

Detroit emergency manager Kevin Orr
State of Michigan

The following is a summary of the above audio. To hear the full interview, click above.

It's been five days since Governor Snyder presented Kevyn Orr as the emergency manager of Detroit.

Many were quick to comment about Orr’s “introduction” to Michigan and that he seemed well-suited for the job.

He is a U-M law school alumnus, an attorney specializing in bankruptcy law and he helped guide Chrysler through its bankruptcy.

At his introductory press conference last Thursday with Governor Snyder and Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, Kevyn Orr certainly seemed ready and willing  to take on the gargantuan task of “fixing” Detroit’s dire financial crisis.

Within the first day of that press conference, it was reported that Orr had some financial troubles of his own. He had liens on his home over unpaid unemployment insurance taxes.

"It is quite embarrassing when something like that comes up, but I took care of that as soon as I could and paid it off," Orr said. "Frankly, I have been too focused on my professional obligations and not as focused enough on my private obligations."

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Stateside
5:05 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

How much did an unkept promise cost Detroit?

Shawn Wilson wikimedia

We all know that last week Kevyn Orr was appointed as Detroit's emergency manager by Governor Rick Snyder.

But as the nation watches the city undergo major financial restructuring, there's an important story left out of the spotlight. 

According to a story by Pulitzer-prize winning reporter David Ashenfelter, the state of Michigan owes the city of Detroit nearly $700 million due to a deal between Mayor Archer and Governor Engler that was made in 1998.

Last year, we saw Krystal Crittendon, the now-fired head of the City's Law Department file an unsuccessful lawsuit to void the consent agreement between the City and Detroit.

Now, as Detroit begins to rebuild itself with Orr's help, we've got to wonder, would Detroit be in the same position if the state had kept up its end of the bargain?

Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty spoke with Ashenfelter about the state's promise on Stateside.

To hear the full interview, click the link above. 

Stateside
5:03 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Everyone dies, so let's talk about it

You can find out about Dave's work and his book through his website amazingcircles.net
Dave Kampfschulte

We are all going to die. It's one of the sadder facts of life.

For most people, it's also one of the hardest things to talk about.

In 1986, Dave Kampfschulte's good friend was dying of lung cancer, even though he had never smoked a cigarette.

Dave's experience made him realize that we all could benefit from more preparation and conversation about death.

What do we lose if we choose not to have these conversations?

After 25 years of hospice volunteering, Kampfschulte has writen a book called I'm Dying to Talk with You:  Twenty-five years of conversations on end of life decisions in which he discusses conversations we need to have with ourselves and with others about end of life experiences. 

To hear the full interview, click the link above.

Stateside
5:01 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Young job seekers in Michigan might get lucky

College graduates
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Every day, the workforce in Michigan is getting grayer.

In 2001, the concentration of workers 55 and older was 12.1 percent. In 2011, that percentage jumped to 19.1 percent.

For decades experts have predicted the huge group of babyboomers would influence the economy as they aged, but what does that mean for Michigan employers?

Which industries have the highest concentrations of older workers and what does that mean for college students who want jobs after they graduate?

Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty spoke with Jacob Bisel, a senior economic analyst at the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, about what Michigan's workforce means for young job seekers and Michigan employers.

To hear the full interview, click the link above.

Politics & Culture
5:01 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

On today's show, we have a conversation with

Kevyn Orr, the newly announced emergency manager for the city of Detroit. We spoke with Orr about the tremendous task ahead: trying to right the course for the state's largest city in the midst of a crushing financial crisis.

But first we went to Lansing, where state lawmakers are beginning to wrap up their work so far for this session before they head out for their Spring recess.

So, it seems it’s as good a time as any to review what they have – and haven’t – accomplished since the beginning of the New Year. We spoke with Capitol Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network Rick Pluta about the winter session.

And we talk about end of life decisions, Michigan's graying workforce, and a lost deal between the state and the city of Detroit.

Politics & Culture
4:58 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Stateside for Monday, March 18th, 2013

With the Supreme Court set to take up two cases involving same sex marriage, the issue is on many minds.

On today's show, we head Up North where a Native American tribe is one of the first in the country to legalize same sex marriage.

And, a unique exhibition of prisoner art reflects life for those artists in-prison and once they re-enter society.

But first today, it seems there’s a fair degree of attention paid to the question of trust.

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Stateside
4:58 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Yeah, yeah... you don't trust politicians, but do they trust you?

Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

It seems there’s a fair degree of attention paid to the question of trust, as in, “how much do citizens trust their elected officials?”

We’ve seen citizen trust in the federal government drop dramatically.

And surveys find that, while citizens tend to trust state government more than the federal government and their local government more than federal and state, those citizen to government trust levels tend to be low.

But has anyone ever asked how much do elected officials trust their citizens?

Trust is a two-way street.  Yet, this question gets virtually no attention.

That’s why CLOSUP, the University of Michigan’s Center for Local, State and Urban Policy, decided to put that question to local government leaders in its recent Michigan Public Policy Survey.

It’s an interesting “snapshot” of the state of trust between us and the people we’ve elected to lead us.

We sat down with Tom Ivacko from CLOSUP to tell us what exactly happened when politicians were asked if they trust the people that voted for them.

Listen to the full interview above.
 

Stateside
4:57 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Let's take a roadtrip to Mars

Curiosity on Mars
NASA wiki commons

What would it take to get humans to Mars?

For the last seven months, NASA's rover 'Curiosity' has crawled all over the planet's dusty red Gale Crater.

As it explores, the rover has sent back all sorts of information to Earth for further investigation.

Most recently, a report of a rock sample collected by Curiosity shows that, yes, ancient Mars could have supported living microbes.

But let's go one step further. What would it take for human beings to get to Mars?

Ben Longmier is an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan College of Engineering and researches electric propulsion, spacecraft design and basic plasma physics.

Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty spoke with Longmier about the challenges and possibilities of getting humans on Mars.

Click the link above to hear the full interview.

Stateside
4:57 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Is the Kalamazoo Promise worth keeping?

The Kalamazoo Promise has an impact inside and outside of the classroom
courtesy: Mott High School

Students who attend a public Kalamazoo high school for their entire high school career and live in the district during those four years have the opportunity to attend a Michigan college or University for free.

This, of course, is old news.

The Kalamazoo Promise was announced in November 2005 and has since proven to be one of the most groundbreaking educational programs in the state.

Read more
Stateside
3:39 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

Art from behind bars

A PCAP workshop Washtenaw Prisoner Reentry.
PCAP

On March 19, the 18th Annual Exhibition of Art by Michigan prisoners will open at the Duderstadt Center on the North Campus of the University of Michigan.

The exhibition is a extension of the Prison Creative Arts Project spearheaded by University of Michigan Professor Buzz Alexander and is the largest exhibition of prisoner art in the country, containing some 300 works by over 200 artists.

Founded in 1990, PCAP "facilitates the opportunity to create original works of art in correctional facilities, urban high schools, and communities across the state of Michigan."

The project is affiliated with the Department of English Language and Literature, Alexander's department.

"When we come in (to prisons) we are in awe and we bring respect to the artists," Alexander said. "This year there are 428 works of art in the show that prisoners have been preparing for all year."

Alexander noted that the exhibition is a way for the artists to gain visibility. One artist talked with a PCAP facilitator about how it's a bridge that connects her to the outside world.

Read more
Stateside
5:27 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Reaction to Detroit's new emergency manager

Sarah Cwiek reported from Detroit
Flikr

Today's biggest headline comes from Detroit as Governor Rick Snyder appointed the city's emergency manager. 

Earlier, Michigan Radio closely followed the day's events with updates leading up to Snyder's announcement.

At 2 p.m., the announcement was made. Michigan Radio's Zoe Clark and Tracy Samilton spoke with Cynthia Canty live as history was made.

Cyndy also spoke with Tom Barrow. Barrow twice ran for Mayor of Detroit in the 1980s against Coleman Young, and in 2009 against Dave Bing.

He has been a leading opponent of the appointment of an emergency manager for the City of Detroit.

He joined us from Detroit.

Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
5:27 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

A St. Patrick's Day story with Allison Downey and Yvonne Healy

Yvonne Healy
yhealy.com

St. Patrick's day is Sunday. It seems fitting to bring you a dash of Irish culture.

Yvonne Healy is a Michigan-based Irish-American storyteller.

Born in Ireland, she brings "rollicking kids’ tales, weird Celtic legends, outrageous family lore, or thought-provoking adult fare."

Her stories have helped her win awards as a raconteur, and she is currently the #1 traditional Irish story teller in the U.S.

You can listen to her story above. It was developed by Allison Downey and produced by Allison Downey & Zak Rosen. Special thanks to Peggy Watson, Bob Skon, and Kyle Norris for their production help.

And here's a tune "Ireland for You" written by Allison Downey and performed live in Michigan Radio's Studio East: 

(Annie Capps - harmony vocals, Rod Capps - lead guitar, John Austin - electric bass, Allison Downey - lead vocals and guitar, Engineered by the fabulous Bob Skon)

And here is a video of Yvonne Healy telling one of her stories:

The Bird: Multicultural Folklore from Yvonne Healy on Vimeo.

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