Stateside

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Lance Kawas

    

Michigan filmmakers have their work cut out for them. Millions of dollars in annual state tax incentives are a certain target for cuts. And now, there's a move afoot in the Legislature to shut down the Michigan Film Office altogether.

Critics worry that the film and television industries are going to pass right by Michigan in favor of states with more generous incentives.

But filmmakers like Lance Kawas are still finding ways to make movies even while being based in Michigan.

GM Renaissance Center in Detroit.
John F. Martin / Creative Commons

Auto sales are humming along. In fact, May brought the best light-vehicle sales ever recorded for that month: over 1.6 million units.

So, what's with the "immediate retirements" of top bargainers for General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles?

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes worries that "the wheels are starting to wobble" for Detroit's auto industry.

Amit Evron / Wikipedia.org

It’s a little-known chapter in the history of the Ford Motor Company.

And all that’s left today are ruins and a ghost town deep in the Amazon rainforest.

Matt Anderson tells us the story of Henry Ford’s great “social and business experiment” nearly a century ago, in Brazil. He’s the curator of transportation for The Henry Ford Research Center.

A hundred years ago, the British and Dutch controlled the world’s rubber production. The rubber tree was native to the Amazon, and the English took seedlings from Brazil to Southeast Asia for mass production.

Diane DeCillis' premiere book of poems has been named a Michigan Notable Book for 2015
Diane DeCillis

As part of our series "Poetically Speaking," we're highlighting Michigan poets.

West Bloomfield’s Diane DeCillis’ first book of poetry, Strings Attached, has been named a Michigan Notable Book for 2015.

DeCillis draws on her past and her family in many of her poems, including the poem for which the book was named.

Many drivers may not know that the left lane is reserved exclusively for passing.
user Doug Kerr / flickr

The National Motorists Association has declared June to be “Lane Courtesy Month.”

We’ve all seen them: cars cruising happily down the highway in the left lane, drivers unaware or uncaring that they are actually breaking the law.

Lt. Michael Shaw of the Michigan State Police joined us to talk about these so-called “left-lane hogs.”

Potholes are a familiar obstacle on Michigan roads.
user Michael Gil / Flickr

Drivers can all agree: Potholes are a fact of life here in Michigan. But does it have to be that way?

Jack Lessenberry’s recent opinion piece for Dome Magazine, Why Budapest Has Better Roads, examines Central Europe’s approach to infrastructure.

The difference, he says, would be shocking to Michiganders. “I drove hundreds and hundreds of miles on roads in Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, former East Germany, without seeing anything we in Michigan would call a pothole,” he says.

Susan Brewster

Eighty-nine years after being banned, John Herrmann’s first book What Happens is finally being published.

Arguably Lansing’s best forgotten writer, Herrmann was part of the famous expat American writers’ crowd in Paris in the 1920s and called Ernest Hemingway a friend.

All photos are from a collection from Susan Brewster, niece of John Herrmann, and have not been published until now.

Kevyn Orr surrounded by the press
Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy on Flickr / Flickr

The state's Emergency Loan Board is not very transparent regarding how it makes decisions for state emergency management or consent agreements.

The board is made up of three members who are appointed by the Governor, and they have the ability to lend millions of taxpayer dollars to schools.

http://www.facebook.com/streetcreddetroit

Reality TV can be more than the Kardashians or the Real Housewives-of-Wherever.

It can be used to shed light, to build bridges, to increase understanding.

Today on Stateside:

Cole Porter.
public domain / wikimedia commons

One of America’s supreme songwriters, his melodies and lyrics spoke of a lifestyle that was suave and elegant.

But five years after writing Night and Day, Cole Porter suffered an accident that transformed his debonair life into a constant battle with excruciating pain.

Hidden Kalamazoo

Jun 8, 2015
Michigan Municipal League / flickr.com

There are few things more enticing than going "behind the scenes" and getting to explore something that's normally off-limits.

Add to that the chance to connect with the past, and you can see why the upcoming "Hidden Kalamazoo" tour is on its way to being another sell-out.

Today on Stateside:

- Who will jump into the race for Michigan’s next governor? Believe it or not, the 2018 speculation game is heating up.

- Does Ty Cobb deserve a new biography? We check in with writer Charles Leerhsen. His new book explores Cobb's life, and comes away with a somewhat different look at the Tiger legend.

Courtesy of One Well Brewing

The Next Idea 

I own a brewery in Michigan. Sometimes I still can’t believe I actually get to say that and have it be true. Thousands of home brewers and craft beer lovers from around the country aspire to do what I do -- and I know, because just eight months ago I was one of them.

Ty Cobb safe at third after making a triple on August 16, 1924.
National Photo Company / Library of Congress

He was arguably America’s first sports celebrity. He paved the way for the "bad boy athlete."

Tyrus Raymond Cobb spent 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers. Besides being a brilliant outfielder and base stealer, Ty Cobb had a rough reputation: surly, mean, racist, someone who hated women and kids.

Today on Stateside:

  • Why the warming of a 40-year chill between the Ford family and the Ford Foundation matters to Michigan.
     
  • Can Michigan afford to lose big money by not giving LGBT people the same rights as everyone else?
     
  • They captured hearts around the world a year ago. Now brothers Hunter and Braden Gandee get ready for a second Cerebral Palsy Swagger, this time, even longer!
     
  • John U. Bacon brings up the weekly sports headlines: Michigan softball’s loss to the Florida Gators in the Women’s College World Series; Red Wing’s next head coach; FIFA; and Caitlyn Jenner.
     
  • Brad Schwartz, author of "Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News," tells us how, as an undergrad at the University of Michigan, he uncovered a treasure trove of long-forgotten letters that gave us a more realistic look at the actual response to the famous War of the Worlds broadcast of 1938.
     
  • When Stateside's Rebecca Kruth lost her father, her family turned to Larry Skinner, the Eaton Rapids funeral director who's been helping the community say its goodbyes for years. As part of our Living with Death series, Kruth talked to Skinner about what it's like planning funerals in a town where everyone knows everyone else.
Ford Motor Company

It's never too late for fence-mending.

That's certainly the case with the Ford family and the foundation that bears its name.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes has been speaking with Ford Foundation CEO Darren Walker.

LanSINGout

The LanSINGout Gay Men's Chorus has been part of mid-Michigan since 1989. From Christmas concerts to charity work, they're a community staple.

Michigan Radio's Rebecca Kruth sat down with director Peter Morse to talk about how the choir's direction has changed over the years. 

Michigan can't afford to reject rainbow dollars

Jun 4, 2015
flickr/purplesherbet

The Next Idea

As a queer man who grew up in Michigan, I sometimes wonder why I decided to come back home. I fled Detroit for New York City after graduating from the University of Michigan in 2006, and truly thought I’d never look back.

Maybe I returned because New York City was already in good hands.

Maybe I returned because I realized that Michigan still needs more love, and that I still have a lot of love to give.

Orson Welles' 1938 broadcast of "War of the Worlds" certainly caused a stir, but newspapers of the time seem to have exaggerated that point.
user Curandera Vision / flickr

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the century's great creative minds: Orson Welles.

Director, actor, and writer, his "Citizen Kane" is widely regarded as the greatest film ever made.

And his 1938 Halloween Eve radio broadcast of "The War of the Worlds" was an early lesson in the power of viral media.

Today on Stateside:

  • How much personal debt is too much? Dr. Kristin Seefeldt talks about why debt levels among poor, near-poor and moderate-income households has ballooned over the past decade. 
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Taking on debt is a daily fact of life for most American households. The data show the highest-income households carry the largest amount of debt.

But debt levels among poor, near-poor and moderate-income households has ballooned over the past decade.

Leaders of TPP member states and prospective member states at a TPP summit in 2010.
user Gobierno de Chile / flickr

Michigan’s congressional delegation is divided on a major trade deal before the House this week.

Supporters say the "Trans Pacific Partnership" will boost jobs by expanding exports.

Cody LaRue

As part of our M I Curious project, Flint's Cody LaRue asked us the following question:

There is an old railroad bridge in Flint that has "grand funk railroad" on it. Did the band do this, or were they involved in some way?

The graffiti was painted over a “Grand Trunk Western Railroad” bridge in Flint. We checked in with the band to find out.

Today on Stateside:

- Bridge Magazine’s Nancy Derringer looks at tea party Republican Todd Courser’s approach to governing in Lansing.

- Can you ever recover from wounds you suffer as a child? Detroiter Kelly Fordon explores the broken lives of affluent kids in her short story collection Garden for the Blind.

A Minute with Mike: The Oracle

Jun 2, 2015
minute with mike logo
Vic Reyes

I've dusted off the old 8-ball Ouija-tron to find out what's happening in future Michigan.

Dateline: Lansing, December 2034

In what some describe as a desperate move, state officials will sell the naming rights to Michigan highways and byways as a way to generate money for road repair.

Lawmakers were proud to introduce the Roads Ain't Cheap Act.

Prosperity for the Prosperous spokesperson Renee Barbarella Jr. says it's a great move by Michigan, and taxpayers should be ecstatic with road funding shifting from John Q. Citizen to Big Corporate Brother.

Rep. Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Township, and Harvey Santana, D-Detroit, speak of their experiences in Wayne County with parolees looking to find suitable jobs so they do not re-enter the corrections system.
user mihousegop / flickr

State Rep. Harvey Santana, D-Detroit, is a long-time proponent of bipartisan action in the House.

Once kicked out of the Democratic Caucus as punishment for locking horns with caucus leaders once too often and for occasionally crossing party lines and voting with Republicans, Santana is now serving his third and final term in the state House as vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.

You can still learn a thing or two from the color of white wines, but it's become much harder to judge reds by the same criteria.
user Faisal Akram / flickr

How much can you tell about a wine by its color?

According to Hour Detroit Magazine chief wine and restaurant critic Chris Cook, not as much as you used to.

“A lot of the flaws that used to exist in wine have been rectified by new technology and better wine-making,” Cook says.

Wayne State University Press

How long do we carry wounds that we suffer early in life?

Can you find a pathway to healing and wholeness after you're broken and damaged, whether by tragedy or neglectful, uncaring parenting?

Can you recover and rebuild after missed chances, poor choices?

These are some of the questions Kelly Fordon explores in her new collection of short stories Garden for the BlindIt's part of the Made In Michigan Writer's Series.

Brian Widdis / Bridge Magazine

A one-room schoolhouse. One teacher. Kindergarten through 8 grade. Older students helping the younger ones.

That was how many Americans were educated in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

 

And Bridge writer Mike Wilkinson has discovered, the one-room schoolhouse is not extinct in Michigan.

 

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