Stateside

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Hand-washing is a common hygienic practice that became popularized in the mid-19th century.
user Sarah Laval / Flickr

It’s easy to take for granted the leaps and bounds medical science has made in the last two centuries.

Rene Laennec invented the stethoscope in 1816. 1818 saw the first successful blood transfusion performed by James Blundell. In 1842 Crawford Long performed the first surgical operation using anesthesia.

Nicholas Williams

Next month marks the one year anniversary of the opening of the Ann Arbor Skatepark.

With spring weather, skateboarders from all over the city are busting kick flips and shredding the bowls. 

Nicholas Williams stepped on his skateboard and strapped on a microphone to bring us these sounds and stories from the park.

The herring gulls of Bellow Island played a large role in the US government's decision to ban the use of DDT.
user Steve Voght / flickr

    

If there's one pesticide most everyone can name, it's DDT.

When the U.S. government banned DDT in 1972, it was seen as a great victory for the environment.

But you might be surprised to learn that tiny Bellow Island (colloquially known as Gull Island, off the shore of Northport in Leelanau County) played a huge role in convincing the government to ban DDT.

Today on Stateside:

It's been 50 years since there was a top-to-bottom review of our criminal justice system. U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., is co-sponsoring a bipartisan bill that would create a National Criminal Justice Commission to conduct this review.

We’re all used to Michigan weather wildly fluctuating, but it can still be hard to know what to plant and when. MLive and farmerweather.com meteorologist Mark Torregrossa gives us some tips.

Joel Mabus is a maverick in the folk music world, with a career so eclectic and varied he defies any easy pigeonhole.
Jeff Mitchell

Joel Mabus grew up writing, singing, and playing the blues in Southern Illinois.

Though he grew up in the midst of Beatlemania, Mabus always felt drawn to the tunes of Bill Monroe and Earl Scruggs, among others.

He now lives in Portage, outside Kalamazoo, and has just released his new album, A Bird In This World.

Ford Motor Company

Automakers spend money and time developing high-tech car features, hoping to make their offerings stand out from the pack.

But are those automakers on the same page as consumers? A study released by JD Power & Associates, a research firm, says consumers are most interested in technology that makes us safer. 

Today on Stateside:

  • With the defeat of last week's ballot proposal for road funding, lawmakers in Lansing are looking to billions of dollars in restricted funds. Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta explain if – and how – lawmakers will go after protected money in the state budget. 
  • A leader of the Socialist Equality Party talks about connecting with younger voters on issues like police brutality and college loans.   
  • We talk to two Michigan writers who just got accepted for a first-of-its-kind Artist-in-Residence program at the Gettysburg National Military Park. 
  • Who does Google think you are? Michigan Radio's Kimberly Springer shows us how to find out. 
  • Is the media to blame for how we talk about climate change? According to a new study by the University of Michigan, public attitudes vary on climate change based on political news platforms.
Jinx! / Flickr

Our special series "Poetically Speaking" highlighting poets and poetry in Michigan continues. 

Julie Babcock grew up in the late 70's and early 80's when playgrounds were full of sharp, hot metal and asphalt. 

At the Gettysburg National Military Park.
user praline3001 / flickr.com

Michigan poets and multimedia artists, Michelle Bonczek Evory and Robert Evory, will be the first artists-in-residence at the Gettysburg National Military Park. 

The program invites artists to immerse themselves in the park's historical landscape and expand their own creative pursuits to inspire and engage new audiences.

Costa Sirdenis

When the City Meets the Sky is the latest album from the Marcus Elliot Quartet, dedicated to Detroit and to the leaders who helped shape the next generation of jazz musicians. 

Snyder endorsed the report from the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget indicating a notable decrease in unemployment in Michigan over the past month.
gophouse.com

Gov. Rick Snyder is in New York City today and tomorrow.

He's holding meetings, ringing the opening bell on Wall Street, and still selling Michigan's "comeback" story.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes thinks that comeback narrative has hit a great big pothole after the monster defeat of Proposal 1. 

nfl football on field
Flickr user Parker Anderson / Flickr

Tom Brady and "Deflategate"

The Wells Report, commissioned by the National Football League on the New England Patriots' "Deflategate" controversy, says Tom Brady was "generally aware of the inappropriate activities ... and the release of air from Patriots' game balls."

Our weekly sports commentator, John U. Bacon, thinks the controversy is "stupid."

Today on Stateside: 

  • Gov. Rick Snyder put everything he had into Proposal 1 and voters smacked it down. Now what? Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes has some thoughts.
  • It's fair to say the public transportation system in Detroit is struggling. City leaders have continued to push for more buses on the streets but they haven't met their goals. Michigan Radio’s Lester Graham reports

Khalil Ligon

The Next Idea

"Be the change that you wish to see in the world." —Mahatma Gandhi

This quote resonates deeply with me these days, because in my Detroit neighborhood, the change I wish to see seems so far away.

Imagining places that are clean, safe and vibrant threads my work as an urban planner and sustainability advocate. Yet, despite years of planning and designing these grand visions, my daily landscape doesn’t match the efforts. I know there’s still a long way to go, but I’m getting anxious.

Today on Stateside:

Proposal 1 was struck down yesterday, leaving much of the state to wonder what comes next. Stateside’s Cynthia Canty talks with It’s Just Politics hosts Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta about what we might see down the road.

Cadence is a member of the Warrior Transition Brigade Service Dog Training Program.
user Ash Carter / Flickr

There's new legislation at the state Capitol that would help protect veterans with service dogs from discrimination.

State Senator David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights, served in Iraq and he is sponsoring the bills.

Stephanie Baker (left photo)

Maureen Abood left her big-city job in Chicago to follow her heart to culinary school.

After training in San Francisco, Abood came back home to Michigan and has dedicated her life to cooking and writing about Lebanese food.

Courtesy of David Kiley

It was one of the most jubilant days in history.

VE Day: the end of the Second World War in Europe. 

David Kiley of Ann Arbor has a unique link to that historic day 70 years ago.

Purple Loosestrife is an invasive plant found in wetlands and on roadsides throughout much of North America.
user liz west / Flickr

Amos Ziegler has developed a smartphone app that could make it a lot tougher for invasive plants and critters to sneak into our state and get a foothold before they're detected.

Today on Stateside:

Broadside-Lotus Press

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Broadside Press. It was founded in 1965 by African-American poet and publisher Dudley Randall.

This groundbreaking company has published a long and distinguished list of African-American poets and writers.

Proposal 1 seeks to improve the state of Michigan's roads.
user: Dwight Burdette / Wikimedia Commons

Tomorrow voters go to the polls to decide the fate of Proposal 1 - the road-funding proposal that would raise the state's sales tax from 6 to 7 percent.

What would that one penny increase really mean?

For the answer, we turned to Charles Ballard. He's an economist at Michigan State University.

Don Shikoshi

In her latest memoir, writer Anne-Marie Oomen takes us back to growing up in the turbulent 1960’s on a her family’s Michigan farm. From school dances and sewing lessons to the Detroit riots and the Cuban missile crisis it’s all in her new book Love, Sex and 4-H. 

Today on Stateside:

Candidates and possible candidates are crisscrossing Michigan today. Detroit Free Press reporter Kathleen Gray tracks the comings and goings of presidential contenders.

How one Michigan restaurant chain is "going green" with its trash: phasing out petroleum-based plastics. 

Flickr/Tobias Abel

The Next Idea

A “yes” vote on Proposal 1 will improve the quality of life for people with disabilities in Michigan. It is just that simple, and rarely is anything in life that simple – including the language in the actual proposal before us.

At Disability Advocates of Kent County, we have a saying: “If you want better transportation for people with disabilities, stop working for better transportation for people with disabilities.”

Andrea Claire Maio

Where do students in a neighborhood struggling with blight, drugs, and gangs turn?

If you're talking about students at Cody High School in Detroit, it’s to Coach Jimmie Knight.

Christine Rhein is the author of Wild Flight (Texas Tech University Press), a winner of the Walt McDonald Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in many literary journals, including Michigan Quarterly Review, and have been featured at Poetry Daily and The Writer’s Almanac

"I wrote this poem in response to the heroic work accomplished at Gene Codes Corporation, in Ann Arbor, following 9/11," she says. "The poem, a weaving of programming language with poetic language, explores the event’s impact on the software developers and beyond."

Today on Stateside:

Mark Grebner, President of Practical Political Consulting, talks about the expected voter turnout for Proposal 1 next week and what that could mean for proponents.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts joins us to discuss the city’s plans to swap out all of its streetlights for LEDs, with hopes of reaping economic, safety, and environmental benefits.

Trumbull Ave. is a new collection of poetry set in Detroit. We talk with poet Michael Lauchlan about his new book.

The rumor that Governor Snyder will run for president is out there and Michigan Radio’s political analyst Jack Lessenberry tries to reveal the rumor’s origins and any possibility of truth.

Michigan Radio’s Jennifer Guerra talks about her special State of Opportunity documentary, Mr. Knight’s Neighborhood, which describes Coach Jimmy Knight’s role as “King of Second Chances” for kids at Cody High School in Detroit.

Wayne State University Press

From a drive along Trumbull Avenue in 1981, to a despairing young mother in the depths of the Depression, to the backyard ice rink of a boyhood home.

These are just a few of the stories that poet Michael Lauchlan explores in his new collection, Trumbull Ave(Wayne State University Press).

Lauchlan brings a wide range of work and life experiences to his writing. He has lived in and around Detroit, he’s been a builder, he’s helped staff a non-profit, and he’s currently an English teacher at University of Detroit Jesuit High School.

Trumbull Avenue, the place,  Lauchlan said, was the “core” of his life in the 1980s. The Day House, a shelter for women in Detroit, is found on this avenue. The spirit of the Catholic worker, who helped inspire the opening of the shelter, is found on this avenue. It was on this avenue that Lauchlan and others did all of their community work, he said.

For these reasons, Trumbull Avenue permeates his poetry.

“I think my preoccupation is with the lives of a place and I think the job of a poet is to let a place speak,” he said. “And I think it’s been that way for thousands of years, so that’s my preoccupation.”

FLICKR USER SECRETLONDON123 / FLICKR

A week from today we’ll know the results of Proposal 1, the ballot measure that changes how fuel is taxed in Michigan to fund road repairs. It also increases the sales tax from 6% to 7%. Some of the extra revenue would go to schools.

It’s a controversial measure. There are vocal supporters and vocal opponents, but what will that actually mean in terms of voter turnout?

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