national parks

Fifty years ago, Congress set out to guarantee future generations would always have access to America’s great outdoors in its most natural state. But several recent requests for wilderness protections have been languishing on Capitol Hill.  

In the past five years, just one new wilderness bill made it to law. This new law guarantees 35 miles of northern Lake Michigan shoreline will be forever left wild.

Good Harbor Bay

Michigan is home to five national parks and there are lots of open spaces where you can camp, hunt and enjoy nature. But, yesterday, an Oklahoma Senator recently said two Michigan landmarks are a prime example of wasteful federal spending. We found out what’s behind the senator’s reasoning and whether there is some truth to his concerns.

 Then, we took a look at a new proposal by a group of Democrats in the Michigan House that would require the state to determine the actual cost of educating a public school student in Michigan. That got us thinking, shouldn't we already know?  We also spoke with Michigan writer Donald Lystra about his new collection of short stories. And, Ann Arbor now has its own Death Café, organized by funeral home guide Merilynne Rush. She stopped by to tell us more about it. But, first on the show, ever since the government unveiled its healthcare.gov website, the headlines surrounding the Affordable Care Act have been about the problems with the way the site was designed and the extreme difficulty Americans have had in getting on the exchange. But what about the Americans that don't need healthcare.gov? The ones who already have plans? To those consumers, President Obama has been saying this since 2009:

“If you like your current insurance, you will keep your current insurance. No government takeover, nobody’s changing what you’ve got if you’re happy with it.”

So why, then, then are some 2 million Americans - about 140,000 in Michigan - getting cancelation letters from their insurers over the past couple of weeks?

Marianne Udow-Phillips directs the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, a non-profit partnership between the University of Michigan and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan. She joined us today.

Wikipedia

Two Michigan landmarks have been targeted by a Republican senator as prime examples of wasteful federal spending.

Each year, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) issues a report on what he feels are the most egregious examples of government waste.

This report points to Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior and Keweenaw National Historical Park in the UP as "wasteful" and not worthy of preservation.

Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press Washington reporter joined us today to tell us what’s behind Sen. Coburn’s reasoning.

Listen to the full interview above.

user Rhonda Noren / Flickr

One of the memorable images from the first week of the government shutdown was the World War II veterans, who pushed their way into the closed-down National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Now, those images are being repeated in Michigan.

The federal shutdown has hit parks, refuges, visitor centers, campgrounds and most park roads.

But don't think for a moment that dysfunction and stalemate in Washington is going to keep folks from enjoying the peak of fall colors in the Upper Peninsula.

John Pepin, a writer for Marquette’s Mining Journal joins us to discuss Michigan parks affected by the shutdown, and those who won’t let a shutdown stop them from seeing the state’s natural side. 

Listen to the full interview above. 

Doug Mills / Twitter

The shutdown of the federal government is here. Now what?

We'll keep tabs on the people, programs, and places being affected by the shutdown on this post. Drop us a note below if you're affected by the shutdown or if you know of a program that we haven't mentioned.

If you've sat this story out, and need some "Shutdown 101," the Washington Post's WonkBlog has "Absolutely everything you need to know about how the government shutdown will work." That should about cover it.

*We will update this post as we learn more information

The shutdown shakes things out into two silos.

  1. "Essential" services/personnel, and
  2. "Non-essential" services/personnel.