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
4:21 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Stateside for Monday, September 30th, 2013

Special Education students and their families in Michigan are about one month into the new school year and they're feeling the impact of the federal sequester cuts. Today, we looked at the cuts to special ed funding and find out what it means to schools and students.


And, a look at social media etiquette and your job--what's allowed and what's not.

And, one Detroit musician, and AP reporter, talks about his family's deep roots in Motown.

Also, we spoke with one man who has made it his mission to save pinball machines from the scrap yard. He plans to open up a private pinball museum.

First on the show, we are just hours away from what appears likely to be a partial government shutdown.

The U.S. Senate, controlled by Democrats and the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives, have been unable to come to an agreement on a continuing resolution to fund the federal government.  If no agreement is reached today, which appears likely, the government begins shutting down at midnight.

David Shepardson, Washington D.C. based reporter for the Detroit News, joined us today from Washington.

4:12 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Sequester cuts by Congress have hit special education students in Michigan

user BES Photos Flickr

The start of the new school year has brought unpleasant and unwelcome surprises for the parents of Michigan children with special needs.

That's because the federal sequester has hit special education, in the words of our next guest, "like a ton of bricks."

A new round of special ed cuts were forced by a 5% reduction in federal funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and now parents and special education students are seeing what that means.

With some 6.5 million disabled children from ages 3 to 21 getting services funded by the IDEA, this is something being felt across the country.

Marcie Lipsitt is the co-chair of the Michigan Alliance for Special Education. As the mother of a son with special needs, she has been a state and national advocate for disabled children. She joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

3:38 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

AP reporter becomes a singer-songwriter-musician in his off hours

Jeff Karoub

His name is Jeff Karoub. You've heard him here on Stateside in his role as an Associated Press reporter covering the Detroit area.

But today, we met a "different" Jeff Karoub. We met the singer-songwriter-musician who has just won a grant from the Knight Foundation for a project he calls "Coming Home To Music."

Jeff Karoub joined us in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Arts & Culture
9:13 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Electronic musician inspired by family & place

"If I couldn't make music, I would not be a happy person."

Michigan has a history of some pretty sweet music. One surprising genre that is Pure Michigan is techno. The art form was invented by three young men from Belleville in the 1980s (specifically Kevin Saunderson, Derrick May, and Juan Atkins, aka the Belleville 3, and you can listen to some classic Detroit techno here).

Read more
4:44 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Federal judges send letter to Congress outlining problems with sequestration

Detroit Legal News

Many of us have not noticed the sequestration cuts by Congress, but they’re being felt within the federal court system. Eighty-seven judges have signed a letter outlining the problems caused by the cuts and they’ve sent it to Congress.

One of those judges is the Chief Judge for the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan.

We spoke with him today about how the cuts are being felt. Listen to our conversation with him above.

4:37 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Messing with the plans to merge Chrysler and Fiat

The U.S. government is no longer invested in Chrysler.
Ricardo Giaviti Flickr

Without a doubt, the automakers of Detroit are healthier, but in the midst of better cars and trucks and much better sales is some machinations with Chrysler.

When Fiat, led by Sergio Marchionne, allied itself with Chrysler, it seemed to solve problems for both companies. But Marchionne has a rocky relationship with Chrysler workers represented by the United Auto Workers.

Now, Chrysler’s retiree health care trust is offering $100 million worth of shares in filing for an initial public offering in the U.S. They want to take Chrysler public. That really messes with Marchionne’s plans to merge Chrysler and Fiat.

Detroit News columnist Daniel Howse wrote about that today and joined us today.

4:35 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Feds coming to Detroit to help the city take advantage of grant dollars

Lester Graham Michigan Radio

White House officials are meeting with Detroit and Michigan officials tomorrow and the feds are expected to bring some money.

It’s not being called a Detroit bailout, but it is expected to include federal and private funds to help Detroit demolish abandoned buildings, support police and some transportation projects.

The Detroit Free Press has been reporting on efforts to leverage as much federal help as possible. Todd Spangler with the Freep joined us today.

One of the problems Detroit has had is getting grants -- not keeping within the requirements of the grant and having to send money back to Washington. Part of the meeting tomorrow at Wayne State University is to help Detroit handle the grant money better and to take advantage of other money that might be available to help- without crossing that line of being a bailout. 

4:23 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

What's going on with Common Core?

Students in a classroom.
Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

You might have heard about the Common Core education standards and maybe a bit about the fuss over these new standards. We wanted to get a little more information about what’s going on.

We talked to Michael Brickman, the national policy director at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a conservative education policy think tank. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

Politics & Culture
4:22 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, September 26, 2013

After months and months of debate, the state House appears close to taking up the Common Core state standards for a vote.

Educational standards that have been approved by 45 other states.

On today's show: the facts - and myths surrounding Common Core.

And, then, Medicaid is being expanded in Michigan, but just who- what types of people - will be newly enrolled?

A new study has some surprising answers.

Listen to the whole show above!

4:21 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Demographics of Medicaid enrollees change as coverage expands

A stethoscope.
Adrian Clark Flickr

As Medicaid expansion is coming, we’re starting to get a better picture of who will be covered. Much of Medicaid now is spent on people in nursing homes. But the expansion will include a lot of younger people, low-income workers.

A new study from the University of Michigan Medical School looks at the likely demographics and Tammy Chang, the lead author of that study, joined us in the studio to discuss the new faces of Medicaid. 

Listen to the interview above. 

5:16 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Michigan auto insurance might get an overhaul

Opps. A fender bender in Ann Arbor. Michiganders spend a lot for auto insurance.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The Michigan Legislature is considering bills that would overhaul auto insurance in the state.

There are several aspects to this. Jake Neher with the Michigan Public Radio Network joined us today to help us wade through what has been proposed. 

Listen to the full interview above.

5:16 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra to perform a piece by University of Michigan music student

Composer Patrick Harlin

Imagine for a moment, you’re a student at the University of Michigan. A music student. And you compose a piece and suddenly find a major orchestra decides to perform your work. Kind of a dream come true, huh?

Well, that’s the reality Patrick Harlin is living. He is working on his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at U of M, and his composition “Rapture” will be performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra later this month.

Patrick Harlin joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

5:15 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

University of Michigan professor awarded MacArthur Genius Grant

Professor Susan Murphy

The MacArthur Foundation has announced its “genius grants.” Twenty-four people who the Foundation want to recognize as exceptionally creative individuals who already have a track record of achievement and the potential for even more significant contributions in the future.

One of those 24 is Susan Murphy, a Professor of Statistics at the University of Michigan.

She joined us today to talk about her work and how she plans on using the money.

Listen to the full interview above.

5:13 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

New law cracks down on Michigan shoplifters

Flickr user drinksmachine Flickr

Police and prosecutors in Michigan have a new tool in their collective tool bag to help them punish shoplifters.

It's no small problem in this country. The National Retail Federation figures retailers lose upwards of $34 billion each year to retail theft or what's called "shrink." More than half of that is caused by sticky-fingered shoppers or dishonest employees, and the NRF figures that costs you up to $500 each year.

Now, shoplifters in Michigan face the prospect of prison time and fines.

Shoplifting has been moved up from a misdemeanor to a felony called "Organized retail crime" punishable by up to five years in prison or a fine of $5,000, or both.

Can we expect this new law to slow down shoplifters? And what about Michigan's already-overcrowded prisons?

Jeffrey Morenoff is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan, and he joined us today to discuss the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

5:12 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Should schools continue to teach kids to write in cursive?

jdurham mourgeFile

When was the last time you got a hand-written note in the mail?

When was the last time you wrote a note in cursive?

The recently approved Common Core standards don't include a requirement to teach children cursive. That’s prompted a question. Do we need cursive or is it merely an antiquated writing style that’s not all that useful anymore?

Gerry Conti is a neuroscientist and occupational therapist and an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

5:02 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Where did all the moderates go?

The Capitol in Lansing.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

Once elected, a politician is supposed to work with colleagues to design policy to help government operate efficiently and serve the people. Since legislators represent different geographical areas of people, they often have to compromise.

That’s where moderates are key. They are not so steeped in ideology and are willing to find common ground that leads to compromise.

These days, that sounds rather quaint. Moderates are rare animals.

Listen to what Ken Sikkema, Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants and former Republican state Senate majority leader, and Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Radio's political analyst, think about these rare birds in today's politics.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:29 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

So, whatever happened to moderates in politics? It seems everyone is an ideologue and "compromise" is a dirty word. On today's show, we talked to a former Republican leader who says the disappearance of the moderate is becoming a real problem in his party.

And, we talked with a "genius."

The MacArther Foundation has announced this year's "genius grants," and one of the 24 who has been recognized as an exceptionally creative individual is from the University of Michigan.

And, the new Common Core Curriculum does not require that kids learn cursive, but is that really what is best?

Also, shoplifting is now a felony in Michigan. What does this mean for consumers and shop owners?

And, a music student at the University of Michigan will have his work performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. We talked to him about his piece.

First on the show, the Michigan Legislature is considering bills that would overhaul auto insurance in the state.

There are several aspects to this. Jake Neher with Michigan Public Radio Network joined us today to help us wade through what has been proposed. 

5:00 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Transforming the landscape in Flint, Michigan

Flint Michigan

Flint gets more than its fair share of bad press because of the crime rate and the city’s financial struggles. But, Flint is also known for urban redevelopment at a scale not known by many other cities. Land use is changing. Vacant industrial areas and foreclosed properties are being purchased, abandoned buildings demolished and the area turned into a greenway.

Doug Weiland, the executive director of the Genesee County Land Bank, and Robert McMahan, President of Kettering University in Flint, joined us today to talk about changing the landscape in Flint.

Listen to the audio above.

4:42 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Is Detroit's 'stop and frisk' policy unconstitutional?

taliesin Morgue File

A federal judge recently called the New York City police force’s ‘stop and frisk’ practice unconstitutional and discriminatory.

Detroit’s ‘stop and frisk’ policy is based on the same advice of consultants at the Manhattan Institute who advised New York.

Despite the judge’s findings, Detroit Police Chief James Craig says the ‘stop and frisk’ in will continue and that the police in Detroit adhere to the best policing practices as called for under a consent agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has called on the Detroit Police to end the practice. In a three page letter the ACLU called ‘stop and frisk’ a prescription for an avoidable local disaster.

Mark Fancher of the ACLU joined us today. Click on the link above to listen to our conversation with him.

4:35 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Former Michigan Congressman Bob Carr talks about the 'Campaign to Fix the Debt'

Congress is the holder of the purse and we’ve been hearing a lot about that recently. The sequester, a possible partial government shutdown, the looming debt ceiling. And, really, there are no signals from the Democrats or the Republicans that anyone intends to budge from their positions.

Former Michigan Congressman Bob Carr with the "Campaign to Fix the Debt" joined us today.

Listen to the audio above to find out about the "Campaign to Fix the Debt," and what Carr thinks about the current gridlock in Congress.