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Stateside

Monday through Friday @ 3:00 p.m. & 10 p.m.

Conversations about what matters in Michigan.

Stateside 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 focuses on topics and events that matter to people all across the state. Stateside is hosted by Cynthia Canty (Mon-Thu) and Lester Graham (Fri). 

To find audio for the full show you can subscribe to our podcast or go here.

Courtesy of Lawrence Technological University

Detroit and Ann Arbor are dotted with buildings designed by Albert Kahn, one of the region’s celebrated architects.

He’s responsible for the Fisher Building in Detroit, Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor and the Highland Park Ford plant, to name only a few.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

In honor of Black History Month, we visited with Amas Muhammad at Selden Standard in Detroit. He has a drink recipe for us below, but we wanted to know more about the role of people of color in developing the craft cocktail industry.

Muhammad says for a craft that’s obsessed with the history of drinks and the bartenders who invented them, his colleagues miss a huge swath of contributors.

“People of color have been instrumental since the beginning of spirits in America,” Muhammad said.

The incomplete Wayne County jail.
Wayne County

In his column for the Detroit News this week, Daniel Howes analyzed an interesting proposal offered by billionaire Dan Gilbert to Wayne County officials. Gilbert wants to secure a Downtown Detroit site where an unfinished jail currently stands.

The Quicken Loans leader says he will build Wayne County a brand new jail and court offices just east of Midtown in exchange for the site. Wayne County officials are currently vetting the offer. 

©Disney. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

The Lion King opened on Broadway in November 1997. Nearly 20 years later it’s still going strong. The musical returns to the Detroit Opera House this month and for one of the show’s actors, it’s a bit of a homecoming.

Oak Park native John Sloan III attended University of Michigan and performs this month as a member of Lion King’s ensemble. He spoke to Stateside about his journey to the performing arts and why he believes the arts are critical to any education.

The Michigan State Capitol
user aunt owwee / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Governor Snyder's proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2018 came out this week.

One thing it did not contain is a tax cut. That's something many Republican lawmakers want to push through.

One such lawmaker is Laura Cox, chair of the House Appropriations Committee and Republican Representative for the 19th District, representing Livonia. Cox joined Stateside to talk about what she would like to see changed with Michigan's tax policy. 

The Car Plunge Contest asks the question: How long will it take for this 1998 Saturn to fall through the ice?
Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford

It's the heart of winter, and there you are in the heart of the Upper Peninsula, wanting to raise some money for the community.

If you're the Rotary Club of Iron Mountain-Kingsford, you embrace the winter and come up with a pretty unique fundraiser: the Car Plunge Contest.

Jayna Huotari, secretary of the Iron Mountain-Kingsford Rotary Club, joined Stateside to talk about the third annual contest, including how placing bets on when a 1998 Saturn will fall through the ice became a fun, and successful, fundraiser.

Courtesy of the MI Alliance of TimeBanks

The Next Idea

Match people who need a service with people willing to provide a service. Use time as the currency.

That’s the concept behind a time bank.

“A time bank is a community skill exchange," said Kim Hodge, executive director of the Michigan Alliance of TimeBanks. "It’s a way of saying we all have something to offer – we all have skills and assets and we all have needs, and we could be sharing them with each other. So it’s kind of a pay-it-forward, or circle-of-giving program.”

Gov. Rick Snyder formed a workgroup that made 69 recommendations on how the state of Michigan should manage and improve its mental health care system. The question is, how many of those recommendations will be turned into actual policies?
gophouse.com

Budget season in Lansing is officially underway: Governor Rick Snyder released his new budget for Fiscal Year 2018 today.

To break down the $56.3 billion package, Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio’s Lansing Bureau Chief, and Zach Gorchow, editor of Gongwer News Service, joined Stateside today.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It wasn't all that long ago when proud parents might carry a small photo album they would happily whip out to show photos of their kids.

Today, parents have various options for sharing photos of their kids on social media. But what do kids think about all that sharing?

Huron-Manistee National Forest
Photo courtesy of Joseph O'Brien, USDA Forest Service

According to NASA, 2016 was the warmest year since record-keeping began in 1880. It was the third straight year to break the record for global average temperatures.

Around the world, governments, businesses and individuals are taking steps to reverse this trend. 

Most of these efforts to combat climate change have centered on reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air, largely by limiting the use of fossil fuels. But what if simply reducing carbon emissions—even reducing them to zero—is not enough? That is the assumption behind a new initiative from the University of Michigan.

Jon Olav Eikenes / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Trauma comes in many forms: from refugees who were forced to walk over dead bodies as a child on the way to school in a war-torn country, to survivors of sexual assault, to the spiritual trauma many feel living in a nation that is divided and bitter.

Dr. Farha Abbasi, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University, joined Stateside to talk about her definition of trauma, what can cause it and how to treat it.

Courtesy of Felicia Fairchild

 

Today, the town of Saugatuck on Michigan’s western coast is a popular destination for tourists around the world. But it wasn’t always that way. When Felicia Fairchild took over as the director of the Saugatuck-Douglas Convention and Visitors Bureau 27 years ago, Saugatuck was just one of many small communities competing to attract visitors to its little strip of Lake Michigan. Now, with Saugatuck securely on the map, Fairchild looks back at her career.

Nearly 500,000 people were estimated to have attended the Women's March on Washington on Jan. 21.
Courtesy of Tashmica Torok

The organizers of last month's Women’s March on Washington are out to prove that it wasn't just a one-off event.

A second "action" is in the works, followed by eight more during the first 100 days of the Trump administration.

Moon Man Mike / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

They’re called “transplant tourists.” In need of an organ transplant but lacking a donor, they travel to countries where human organs are available for purchase on the black market. The organs they buy are harvested from the poorest of the poor, those who are most desperate for money. Often, after the organs are taken, the promised payments are never made.

Monir Moniruzzaman is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Michigan State University. He's studied the sales of organs by people trapped in extreme poverty and was invited to the Vatican to participate in a summit on organ trafficking.

Wayne State University Press, 2016

Michael Delp’s newest collection of poems, "Lying in the River’s Dark Bed", reads like a surreal, post-apocalyptic novel-in-verse.  The characters who narrate the collection, the Dead Man and the Mad Angler, serve Delp’s themes of ecological awareness, spiritual darkness, and political anger well. 

A watershed moment for dam removals in Michigan

Feb 7, 2017
Derek A Young / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

In the state of Michigan, chances are good that if you live near a river or stream, you also live near a dam. There are nearly 2,600 dams in Michigan. Many of them are small and privately owned. And nearly all of them are getting old.

According to 2014 report, 90% of Michigan’s dams are going to meet or exceed their design life — the length of time for which they were designed to operate — by 2020. Beyond that design life, the dams become increasingly likely to fail. That can lead to catastrophic flooding, erosion, and the spread of toxins trapped behind the dam.

So why were all of these dams constructed in the first place?

Steve Shotwell / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

During the presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump blasted Ford Motor Company for building cars in Mexico. But despite the rocky start, a recent Bloomberg piece explains how Bill Ford, Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, is trying to maintain a relationship with the president.

Courtesy of Michele Oberholtzer

The Next Idea

“Detroit's greatest paradox is its abundance of space and its scarcity of quality housing.”

That’s the opening salvo in writer Michele Oberholtzer’s opinion piece for Model D.

At one time, Detroit’s population was almost double what it is now. As people left, so did quality housing. That puts people still in the city at risk, Oberholtzer said.

“The housing is often under code, or not up to par,” she said. “And the moment that a person leaves the home that they live in, that property is subject to scrapping and blight.”

COURTESY OF SAMARITAS

Travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries are enjoying tearful reunions with loved ones across the United States and the state of Michigan. This after a federal judge ruled against President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban.

Airlines around the world allowed people to board flights as usual to the United States.

The Toad / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The question of how to improve Michigan's $2.4 billion mental health care system has been on the front burner for the better part of a year.

The latest twist came when Michigan's 11 Medicaid health plans called on state policy makers to give them a greater say in controlling the system. But it was concern over this very action, of moving control of mental health services out of the public's hands and turning it over to for-profit insurance companies, that sparked the year-long dialogue in the first place.

The move blindsided those who were working on a proposal they thought everyone had agreed upon, including the health plans. Among them is Kevin Fischer, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Michigan

The Feelgood Tap raises money for various charities and non-profits one craft beer at a time.
Steph Harding / MittenBrew

"Creating change one glass at a time."

That's the idea behind the Feelgood Tap. You sit down at a bar, restaurant or brewery, order a beer that's marked the "Feelgood special," and part of what you spend goes to a designated non-profit.

The state of Michigan hasn't had a poet laureate since 1959 when Edgar Guest (pictured in 1935) passed away.
Wikipedia / NBC Radio

Pop quiz: Who is the poet laureate of Michigan?
 

Sorry, but that's a trick question. The state hasn't had a state poet laureate since Edgar Guest died in 1959.

So, we're getting piecemeal poets laureates around the state – in the Upper Peninsula, Detroit and Grand Rapids, for instance. Now, add Lansing to that list.

For the first time, the poetry community in our Capitol city is searching for Lansing's own poet laureate.

Screen grab UWSSEC / YouTube

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! Nope – it’s a meteor, or a fireball, or space junk...

A bright, unidentified object flying over Lake Michigan last night caught onlookers in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan saying just that.

But what was it?

VINCENT DUFFY / MICHIGAN RADIO

Michigan is one of only a couple states that don't subject the governor and the legislature to open records laws.

Now, the Michigan legislature – Republicans and Democrats – are signing on to legislation that would increase the number of lawmakers subject to Freedom of Information Act requests. An 11-bill package known as the Legislative Open Records Act is part of that legislation. 

Lester Graham

In Detroit, jobs are scarce. Money is short.

That has led to an underground economy that one Detroit reporter calls a “gift economy.”

Valerie Vande Panne’s piece is titled “Life Without Money in Detroit’s Survival Economy.” 

MATTHILEO / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

This week, Republicans and Democrats in Lansing seem to agree that it’s time to expand the state’s open record laws to cover the governor and the Legislature. Michigan is one of only a couple states that don’t already require all lawmakers to be subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Ken Sikkema, senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican legislative leader, along with Vicki Barnett, a former Democratic legislator, joined Stateside and said it might not be smooth sailing to the governor's desk. 

Courtesy of Christopher Phillips

What can we learn from the children around us? Do we really even listen to them?

Christopher Phillips, founder of Socrates Café, has been sharing what he’s heard and learned from our youngest citizens.

Phillips is author of The Philosophers' Club, Socrates Cafe: A Fresh Taste of Philosophy, and most recently The Philosophy of Childing: Unlocking Creativity, Curiosity, and Reason through the Wisdom of Our Youngest.  

Protesters and police inside Detroit Metro Airport.
Courtesy of Carey Swanson

A federal judge in Detroit has struck down a portion of President Trump’s temporary ban on some immigrants, but it only applies to some of those affected by the ban.

Judge Victoria Roberts’ permanent injunction only applies to “lawful permanent residents”—greencard holders—from the seven countries named in Mr. Trump’s executive order.

(Read the injunction here.)

Bruce Power / Ontario Power Generation

Ontario Power Generation (OPG) is determined it’s going to build an underground storage bunker for nuclear waste at the Bruce Nuclear Power Plant in Kincardine, Ontario.

That location is less than a mile from Lake Huron.

Michigan’s congressional delegation has objected to the project every step of the way. Now, with a New Year and a new administration in the White House, come fresh efforts.

What if the issue with our infrastructure isn't that we're not spending enough, but that we've already spent too much and spent it the wrong way?
Wikimedia Commons

Across our state and across our country, we're talking about infrastructure: How it's failing, what that means, and what it's going to cost to fix.

What if the issue with our infrastructure isn't that we're not spending enough, but that we've already spent too much and spent it the wrong way?

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