Issues & Ale

Monday, Oct 3, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Beer Grotto
500 E Michigan Ave
Lansing, MI 48912
Hosts: Zoe Clark/ Rick Pluta
Register for this event here

Monday, Oct 17, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
One Well Brewing 4213 Portage St., Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Hosts: Zoe Clark/ Rick Pluta
Register for this event here

Tuesday, Nov 1, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
HopCat
4265 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201
Host: Jack Lessenberry
Register for this event here

Join Michigan Radio's politics team as we take to the road for a series of events previewing this fall’s election. Michigan Radio’s political junkie Zoe Clark, Capitol Bureau Chief Rick Pluta and Michigan Radio political commentator Jack Lessenberry will be joined by other political experts for a fast-paced spin around Michigan politics and a look ahead to prospects for the November election.

Stop by, have a drink, and join in the discussion.

Lindsey Scullen/Michigan Radio

One Well Brewing in Kalamazoo opened its doors Tuesday night for Michigan Radio’s latest rendition of Issues & Ale, our community conversation event series.

For the second time this summer, Michigan Radio and the Center for Michigan met up with listeners to discuss why trust in government is eroding in our state – and how that trust might be restored.

Photo credit: www.terryforohio.com

Issues & Ale: The role of guns in politics
Tue, July 12, 6:30-8:00 PM

Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts
2 Fulton St W.,
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

- Free Admission -

  Few things are as polarizing in American society as the debate between gun control and gun rights activists. These arguments often play out in national and state legislatures, with many gun control advocates feeling the National Rifle Association has undue influence over politicians. Join Michigan Radio’s Vincent Duffy as he hosts this panel discussion on the role that guns play in politics and elections.

Jodi Westrick/Michigan Radio

On Tuesday, we sipped Brewery Becker’s “historic” ales and lagers while discussing a similarly historic topic: public trust in state government.

The Flint water crisis, gerrymandering, term limits, campaign money and more were on the minds of audience members and panelists at our Issues & Ale event.

The Michigan State Capitol
user aunt owwee / Flickr

The State of the State Survey reveals trust in state government is low in Michigan.

The Flint water crisis, cities run by emergency managers, gerrymandered political districts and election campaigns influenced by “dark” money -- these things and more have contributed to eroding trust in our elected officials.

Michigan Radio and the Center for Michigan discussed what it will take to restore faith in state government at Brewery Becker in Brighton on June 14, 2016.

Steve Chrypinski/Michigan Radio

Issues & Ale visited Bill’s Beer Garden in Ann Arbor last night to discuss the Gelman Sciences 1,4 dioxane plume of toxic pollution making its way through the city’s groundwater.

Host Lester Graham led a panel of experts through the discussion. Together they answered residents’ questions and discussed ways to reduce risks associated with the contamination.

MLive reporter Ryan Stanton, who covers this issue, was one of the panelists. Stanton said the Department of Environmental Quality has been working to revise Michigan’s standard for dioxane in recent years.

Tuesday, June 28, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
One Well Brewing

4213 Portage St., Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Host: Zoe Clark
Register for this event here
 

 

 The State of the State Survey reveals trust in state government is low in Michigan. The Flint water crisis, cities run by emergency managers, gerrymandered political districts and election campaigns influenced by “dark” money… these things and more have contributed to eroding trust in our elected officials. 

SCIO RESIDENTS FOR SAFE WATER

Thursday, June 2, 6:30-8:00 PM (*Event originally scheduled for June 1 has been postponed)
Bill's Beer Garden

218 S. Ashley
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Free Admission

The industrial solvent 1,4-dioxane started polluting the soil and groundwater near Gelman Science’s Scio Township facility, west of Ann Arbor, more than forty years ago. That dioxane plume has been spreading in the groundwater under the city and may pose a threat to the Huron River, Ann Arbor’s main drinking water supply.

Drawing of a pothole forming.
Paula Friedrich / Michigan Radio

With pints in our hands, we talked about Michigan’s crumbling infrastructure Tuesday night at our Issues & Ale event.

Host Jack Lessenberry spoke with experts from around Michigan. Together, they tried to find the source of the state’s infrastructure problems.

Expert Mike Nystrom represents the Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association. The group represents the companies that are trying to rebuild the state’s bridges, sewers, roads and waterlines.

Michigan roads
User nirbhao / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Issues & Ale: Michigan's Crumbling Infrastructure

Tues, May 10, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
Beer Grotto
500 E Michigan Ave
Lansing, MI 48912

Many Michigan communities are dealing with ancient water and sewer pipes, not to mention crumbling roads and bridges all across the state. Could the Flint water crisis be the “canary in the coal mine” for issues other Michigan cities may be facing?

The race for president rolled into Michigan with the state’s presidential primary on Tuesday, March 8. In the week leading up to that, both the Democratic and Republican candidates will held debates in Flint and Detroit respectively.

Michigan Radio’s It's Just Politics host Zoe Clark led a panel with special guests the day before the primary for a fast-paced look at presidential and state politics in Michigan.

Issues & Ale: The People’s Lawyer
Tues, Dec 8, 7:00-8:30 PM
Conor O’Neill’s - Celtic Room
318 S Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Hosted by Jack Lessenberry

 After serving as a small-town lawyer in Alpena, Frank J. Kelley was unexpectedly appointed Michigan’s attorney general at the end of 1961.

He continued in that position for thirty-seven years, a national record. During that time, he worked with everyone from John and Bobby Kennedy to Bill Clinton and became an active crusader for the public, establishing the first Office of Consumer Protection in the country, and helping to initiate the multibillion-dollar Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement in 1998.

Michigan Radio

Issues & Ale– Flint’s Water Crisis
Tuesday, December 1, 7:00-8:30 PM
Redwood Steakhouse & Brewery
(Sequoia Lounge)
5304 Gateway Centre Drive
Flint, MI 48507

Listen to audio from the event:

Since Flint switched its drinking water source from Detroit's water system to getting water from the Flint River, Flint residents have endured numerous problems...including water that was discolored and smelled and had high lead levels. The city has switched back to Detroit's water supply, but questions about the long term impact from the water crisis remain.

Our host for last night's Issues and Ale, ABC Microbrewery, sits just off of the Eastern Michigan University campus in Ypsilanti. Plus, Washtenaw Community College and the University of Michigan are right down the road. 

So it came as no surprise that our audience had a lot to contribute to our Issues and Ale discussion about college access and affordability.

Brittany Bartkowiak / Michigan Radio

We spent our evening in Kalamazoo October 6, 2015 talking college affordability and access with our State of Opportunity team and a panel of special guests.

Issues & Ale: College Affordability & Access
Tues, October 27, 6:30 - 8:00 PM
ABC Microbrewery
720 Norris St, Ypsilanti, MI

College affordability is a big issue, from the living rooms of anxious students and parents, to the presidential campaign trail . Over the past ten years, tuition costs have increased more than five times faster than the Consumer Price Index and the average class of 2015 graduate with student-loan debt will have to pay back more than $35,000. Michigan’s students leave college with some of the highest debt levels in the nation .

Issues & Ale: Fixing Government
Tuesday, July 28, 6-7:30 p.m.

Bill's Beer Garden
218 S. Ashley
Ann Arbor, Michigan

 Most everyone agrees that Michigan has terrible roads, and yet our governor and state legislature can’t agree on a plan to get them fixed. Join Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry, Zoe Clark and other guest panelists as we look at what’s behind the gridlock we’re facing in government and some possible solutions.

Beyond the Battlefield
Tuesday, July 7, 6:30 - 8:00pm

Grand River Brewery
117 W. Louis Glick Hwy,
Jackson, MI 49201

 Over 70,000 people in Michigan served in the U.S. armed services during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Join Michigan Radio News Director Vincent Duffy as we talk about how those post-9/11 vets are faring. 

 

Brewery Vivant
925 Cherry St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506

A capacity crowd filled the outdoor patio at Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids for Michigan Radio's Issues & Ale discussion. It's Just Politics co-hosts Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta were joined by political strategist Joe DiSano and formerSenate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema.

Issues & Ale: It’s Just Politics

Wednesday, April 29 6:30-8:00pm
Brewery Becker
500 W Main St, Brighton, MI 48116

Michigan voters will be heading to the polls on May 5 to cast their vote on the controversial sales tax increase/road funding proposal.

Issues & Ale: The Future of Detroit Schools
Wednesday, March 18, 6:00PM-7:30PM
 

Detroit Beer Company
1529 Broadway  
Detroit, MI 48226 

2014 was a year that included the Detroit bankruptcy, wolf hunting, legalized same-sex marriage (briefly), bad roads and a mid-term election.  Michigan Radio's Political Analyst Jack Lessenberry was joined by  It's Just Politics co-hosts Rick Pluta and Zoe Clark, and political analyst Matt Marsden for a fast paced look back at some of the top political issues from 2014, a discussion of the lame duck legislature, and what we might expect in 2015.

Listen to audio from the event below.

Issues & Ale: Michigan Politics Year in Review
Tues, Dec 9, 7:00-8:30 PM

River’s Edge Brewing Co.
125 S Main St, Milford, MI 48381
 

    

Issues and Ale is an event series from Michigan Radio designed to engage people in conversations about important issues facing Michigan...in an informal atmosphere.

Hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” is a drilling method that pushes water and chemicals into wells to force out oil and gas deposits. Fracking has led to cheaper prices for natural gas and less dependence on foreign sources for energy, but many people have concerns about its environmental impact….from the chemicals and amount of water used in the process, to its impact on ground water and the disposal of fracking waste. Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham hosted this Issues & Ale discussion about the concerns, economics and impact of fracking in the state.

Panelists:

James Clift: Michigan Environmental Council, Policy Director

John Callewaert: University of Michigan, Director of the Graham Institute

Gregory Fogle: Old Mission Energy

Listen to audio from the event below.

Issues & Ale: Fracking in Michigan
Tues, Dec 2, 7:00-8:30 PM
Hop Cat
300 Grove St, East Lansing, MI 48823

Hosted by Lester Graham

Tuesday, November 4
7:30 PM-10:00 PM
Circus Bar
210 S. First, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

  Join Michigan Radio and the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy for a special "Issues & Ale" event, as we watch and listen to the election results roll in from across Michigan and the nation.

Cynthia Canty from Michigan Radio’s Stateside show will host the event, and be joined by experts and pundits who will handicap the races, and tell us what the results mean...for our state and the U.S.

You can even test your knowledge and win great prizes by playing election trivia.

Admission is free, and we suggest getting there early to get a good seat.

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 6:00 - 7:30pm

Detroit Beer Company

1529 Broadway
Detroit, Michigan 48226

Michigan Radio is teaming up with the Detroit Free Press and Bridge Magazine for a special pre-election Issues & Ale event. Join our It’s Just Politics team of Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta along with columnists from the Free Press and Bridge Magazine as we take a fun, and fast packed look at prospects for Election 2014....just one week before the November election.

Planned Panelists:

Zoe Clark: Executive Producer, Stateside; Co-host, It's Just Politics

Rick Pluta: Capitol Bureau Chief, Michigan Public Radio Network; Co-host, It's Just Politics

Stephen Henderson: Editorial Page Editor, Detroit Free Press

Nancy Kaffer: Columnist, Detroit Free Press

David Zeman: Editor, Bridge Magazine

John Bebow: President, Center for Michigan

Stop by, have a drink, and join in the discussion. Free admission!

Tuesday, Aug. 12, 6-7:30 p.m. 

Bill's Beer Garden
218 S. Ashley
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Thursday, Aug. 14, 6-7:30 p.m.
Downtown Market
Grand Rapids (SE Space)
435 Ionia Ave. SW
Grand Rapids, Michigan

The hosts of Michigan Radio's popular It's Just Politics series will take to the road for a pair of live Issues & Ale events.

Michigan Public Radio Network Capitol Bureau Chief Rick Pluta and Michigan Radio’s resident political junkie Zoe Clark will anchor this fast-paced spin around Michigan politics and the top issues in Lansing. We will review the results of Michigan’s August primary and look ahead to prospects for the November election. 

Stop by, have a drink, and join in the discussion. Free admission!

Monday, July 28, 6:00 - 7:30pm
Traffic Jam & Snug
511 West Canfield, Detroit, 48201

Many kids growing up in poverty face high levels of crime and violence. What impact does this have on their mental, emotional, and psychological development? Why is it so difficult to break the cycle of violence in communities and are there programs that really work?

Michigan Radio is partnering with the Detroit Free Press for this special Issues & Ale discussion, hosted by Michigan Radio's Jenn White.

Panelists will include:

- Erik Howard, founder of Detroit’s The Alley Project

- Jim Henry from Western Michigan University’s Children's Trauma Assessment Center

- Carl Taylor, a nationally prominent urban scholar  and sociology professor at Michigan State University.  

Stop by, have a drink, and join in the discussion. Free Admission.

Michigan Radio

What’s in the water you drink?

A capacity crowd filled Midtown Brewing Company in Lansing for this live (and lively) Issues & Ale event. Michigan Public Radio Network Capitol Bureau Chief Rick Pluta and Michigan Radio’s resident political junkie Zoe Clark were joined by political consultants Joe DiSano and Saul Anuzis for a fast paced spin around Michigan politics. Among the topics discussed were the Detroit bankruptcy, Michigan's crumbling roads, raising the minimum wage, and the prospects for the 2014 election. Listen to audio from the event above.

Issues & Ale: It's Just Politics
Tues, May 6, 6:00pm
Midtown Brewing Company
402 South Washington
Lansing, MI 48933

(Listen to audio from this event above)

Issues & Ale: Closing the digital divide in education

Wed, March 12, 6:30 - 8:00pm
Free Admission

Founders Brewing Co.
(Centennial Room)
235 Grandville Avenue S.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

There are increasing demands on schools to ensure that kids are digitally literate and tech-ready to compete in the modern information economy. But how do you ensure access to technology for all students? Dustin Dwyer from Michigan Radio's State of Opportunity project hosted this discussion of what can be done to close the digital divide in terms of access, equipment, and capabilities for low-income students. 

Panelists:

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