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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.

University of Michigan MSIS / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Next Idea

Recently, I read a story in the LA Times entitled, “'A sea of despair': White Americans without college degrees are dying younger.” It was about a Princeton study on mortality rates. Apparently, all ethnic groups are living longer with the exception of white Americans. The researchers suggest that decades of underemployment have had a damaging effect on the group’s financial and personal decisions, making them an easy target for profiteers and ideologues. The message: You need a college education if you don’t want to die young.

The Detroit Repertory Theatre is wrapping up its 60th year with a production of "Countdown to the Happy Day" by Thomas W Stephens
EncoreMichigan.com

As part of our ongoing series Theater Talk,  David Kiley from Encore Michigan joined Stateside for a look at what's on stage from professional theater companies around Michigan right now.

Mark Lavengood
John Hanson

There's an irresistible energy and life to bluegrass music.

The non-stop rhythms of the banjo, mandolin, fiddle and bass, plus the vocal harmonies that make this music so rich, can make just about anyone want to jump up and dance.

The Mackinac Policy Conference kicks off today.
David Ball / creative commons

For Michigan’s elected officials, business leaders and many in the media, the place to be this week is Mackinac Island.

Today marks the opening day of the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference, put on by the Detroit Regional Chamber. That means four days of sessions, speeches, discussions, receptions and networking.

Michigan state Capitol building
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Lt. Governor Brian Calley is speaking at an event this afternoon at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

Many observers believe today he'll announce a ballot drive to make Michigan a part-time legislature state.

The University of North Carolina Press, 2001

When looking at 20th century history in Detroit, there’s been a lot written about cars and labor, specifically men who were hired.

There’s been a lot less written about women, and even less about African-American women in Detroit.

Citizens at a public event in 2015 expressed some concern about making Battle Creek a military target. But more were interested in the potential jobs the missile complex may deliver.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan is one of three states waiting on the Trump administration to review a missile defense system base. Fort Custer located between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek is one site being considered for the interceptor missile base. The other two are Camp Ravenna in Ohio and Fort Drum in New York.

Michigan’s entire Congressional delegation supports the Fort Custer site.

These interceptor missiles are called the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system (GMD). They’re designed to intercept incoming nuclear missiles.

Here’s the problem: the GMD system is flawed.

A Bald eagle perched on a branch
ellenm1 / flickr

After nearly going extinct, the bald eagle population across the United States has been recovering. In Michigan, the number of nesting pairs of bald eagles in Michigan has doubled in the past 15 years.  

Heather Good is the executive director of the Michigan Audubon Society. Good joined Stateside to talk about the bald eagle's recovery, and new challenges facing the birds of prey today.

John Sims has organized the "Burn and Bury Memorial: Detroit 2017" event where the Confederate Flag will be burned and buried.
Courtesy of John Sims

It’s Memorial Day on Monday. Some Michiganders will be visiting cemeteries, others will attend parades, and many will be lighting up the grill.

One person will be burning flags.

Not the United States flag. The flag that’s often a symbol of the Confederacy, the Stars and Bars Confederate battle flag.

More than a dozen state senators have sponsored a bill that would eliminate Michigan's income tax by 2022.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Legislature is debating concealed guns and a sweetheart deal for a salt mine.

To discuss those bills, Stateside welcomed Vicki Barnett – a former mayor of Farmington Hills and former democratic legislator – alongside Ken Sikkema, Senior Policy Fellow with Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican legislator.

Regarding concealed weapons, some members of the legislature support repealing a law that requires training and a permit in order to carry and conceal firearms. Supporters say Michigan law currently lets anyone openly carry firearms, so people should not have to pay more, and file extra paperwork simply to carry firearms inside jackets or other clothing.

Detroit houses
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

It used to be property taxes skyrocketed when home values went up. Sometimes tax bills increased by double digit percentages in a single year.

Voters fixed that with the passage of Proposal A in 1994. The constitutional amendment capped how much property taxes could go up in a year at five percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less.

Ford Motor Company's headquarters in Dearborn.
Ford Motor Company

Slumping stock was the undoing of Mark Fields as CEO of Ford Motor Company.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes said Fields’ successor Jim Hackett must rally his team to full battle mode, even though times are good and profits are fat.

American flag fluttering against a blue sky
Corey Seeman/Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Ali Warsame's journey to become a permanent, legal resident of Michigan was long and difficult.

He fled the war in his homeland of Somalia, which is one of the six majority-Muslim countries included in President Trump's revised travel ban. Before eventually reaching Grand Rapids, he passed through Ethiopia, Russia, Ukraine and Europe.

He was a teenager when he left Somalia. He told Stateside that one of the reasons he had to leave was that he felt pressure from terrorist groups, which were recruiting young people to join them.

profile shot of Gretchen Whitmer
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Flint Congressman Dan Kildee's decision to stay out of the Democratic race for Michigan's governor makes the field a little less crowded, but there's still competition for a spot on next year's ballot. 

Last week, Stateside spoke with Democratic candidate Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, the former head of the Detroit Health Department.

Today, Gretchen Whitmer joined the show. Whitmer served for 14 years in the Michigan House and Senate, including four years as Senate Minority Leader. She was the interim prosecutor for Ingham County during the last half of 2016. She kicked off this year by announcing her run for governor in 2018.

The Spoke Folks, a Grand Rapids non-profit, wants to put "More Butts On Bikes" and help people maintain them.
user kconnors / morgueFile

The Next Idea

Imagine cyclists, and there’s an image that might come to mind of people wearing Spandex pants and helmets out for a ride on country roads; or maybe of someone riding through the city on their way to work or the grocery store.

There is an economic and sometimes racial gap between those two cycling worlds.

Michigan History Center

"Ancient relics from the Mediterranean found across Michigan!"

That headline turned heads at the turn of the last century.

Eric Perkins from the Michigan History Center joined Stateside to talk about the story of these ancient "relics" and how they ended up being "discovered" in Michigan.

A crushed red bull can on the street
psychopyko / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Energy drinks are omnipresent on college campuses. So is alcohol. Unsurprisingly, at college parties and bars, the two are often mixed together. How do such combinations of alcohol and caffeine affect young people?

That's what Aradhna Krishna explored in new research into alcohol and energy drinks.

Democratic Congressman Sander Levin of Royal Oak
http://www.house.gov/levin/

Lawmakers across the United States, both Republicans and Democrats have been reacting to President Trump’s White House budget proposal released Tuesday.

U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D- Royal Oak,  has served in the House since 1983. He calls the cuts "extreme" and "based on false assumptions."

Rep. Upton says Trump’s budget plan is bad for Michigan

May 24, 2017
The Trump Administration's budget would eliminate the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Lawmakers across the United States, both Republicans and Democrats, have been reacting to President Trump’s White House budget proposal released Tuesday.

Among the many cuts, the budget excludes funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and cuts research funding for the National Institutes of Health by $5 billion. Former president, Barack Obama signed a bipartisan bill that allowed for the funding.

drawing of a bird
Tom Pohrt, "The Bird-while" reprinted with permission of Wayne State University Press

Keith Taylor is a naturalist as well as a poet. Every summer, he spends several weeks at the University of Michigan’s Biological Station.

The poems in his newest collection contain a close, almost scientific, attention to detail. This is a collection that delves into the truth of beauty, evanescence and life through communion with the natural world.

A wind turbine above a barn
jettajet / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The state of Michigan’s renewable energy mandate requires energy providers to supply 15% of electricity from renewable sources by 2022. So far, all of Michigan’s providers are on track to meet that goal.

Wind energy has been a big part of that success. In Michigan’s Thumb, which includes Huron, Tuscola, and Sanilac Counties, wind farms have become a part of the landscape.

But wind energy is also facing resistance in that part of the state. In early May, voters in Huron County, where there are 475 wind turbines in operation, rejected proposals to allow the development of two new wind farms.

Both the Michigan House and Senate introduced identical bills today to address teacher pensions.
Pkay Chelle / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Both the Michigan House and Senate introduced identical bills today. What message are legislative leaders trying to send by doing that?

pictures of rock garden
Courtesy of @GHHSBucs / Twitter

When a teen is depressed and wrestling with thoughts of suicide, the stigma associated with mental illness can be a huge barrier to reaching out for help.

That's why the culture and climate at school is so crucial. Schools need teachers and administrators who know the warning signs of a mental health crisis and what to do next to support their students. 

At Grand Haven Public Schools, six students have died by suicide since 2011. Those tragic losses have spurred the district to revamp the way they talk about mental health. 

Bev Sykes / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

Throughout the presidential campaign, and certainly through the first 100 days of Donald Trump's presidency, Americans have been wrestling with anger, disappointment and frustration with friends and family who supported "the other" candidate.

Friendships have soured. Family get-togethers are often strained and sometimes openly hostile when political disagreements erupt.

It’s a growing divide that needs to be bridged. But how?

A view of sand dunes and Lake Michigan
Rebecca Williams / Michigan Radio

The broad takeaway from President Trump's budget proposal, released earlier today, is this:

Military spending and high-earners win, while social safety net programs and the Great Lakes lose.

Stateside spoke with Dustin Walsh of Crain’s Detroit Business about the proposed budget and how it would affect Michigan. Walsh said, like most budget proposals, this one represents something closer to a “wish list” than an actual policy proposal.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Update: 5/24/2017 The business, Hammer Time True Value Hardware, closed shortly after the interview with owner Bill Kamman. That leaves another substantial gap in the business district on E. Warren Avenue in the MorningSide neighborhood.

There are small business districts throughout Detroit that are barely hanging on. They were once thriving. But population loss and the loss of wealth in the neighborhoods have created hard times for neighborhood businesses. The question is: what to do with them now?

Cass Collective Facebook photos

The Next Idea

So, you've got a small business. You've been selling your product at farmer's markets or art fairs, or maybe online.

But it's a great big step from that to having your own brick-and-mortar store. One way to help bridge that gap is happening in Midtown Detroit: the Cass Collective.

It's a new collaborative retail space where businesses rotate in and out so a budding entrepreneur can put a cautious toe in the water without a big commitment. The Cass Collective is a joint project of Midtown Detroit Inc. and TechTown Detroit.

Midwest Energy has been laying fiber optic cables over its existing electric network.
MIDWEST ENERGY & COMMUNICATIONS

There has been much talk of upgrading Michigan’s aging infrastructure in recent months. In Lansing, that conversation has focused on roads, bridges, and water pipes.

But what about internet access?

High-speed internet is a modern necessity. Regions without reliable high-speed internet are at an economic disadvantage.

And just as rural parts of the country were the last to get electricity in the 20th century, nowadays rural communities across Michigan lag behind urban areas in access to the internet.

Two auto workers on an assembly line
AUTOMOTIVEAUTO.INFO

Michigan is not the only place where car manufacturers have left to find cheaper labor and materials elsewhere. By the end of this year, not a single new car will be made in Australia.

Elk in the wild
Courtesy Hunter Fodor

They disappeared from Michigan around 1875.

But these days, there's a flourishing herd of wild elk near Gaylord, and anyone can go to see them.

Drew Youngdyke, editor of Michigan Out-of-Doors magazine, joined Stateside today to explain how Michigan's elk made their comeback, what conservation methods look like today, and what seeing one of "Michigan's best kept secrets" is like.

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