Stateside

Stateside
5:16 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Michigan auto insurance might get an overhaul

Opps. A fender bender in Ann Arbor. Michiganders spend a lot for auto insurance.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

The Michigan Legislature is considering bills that would overhaul auto insurance in the state.

There are several aspects to this. Jake Neher with the Michigan Public Radio Network joined us today to help us wade through what has been proposed. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:16 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra to perform a piece by University of Michigan music student

Composer Patrick Harlin
Twitter

Imagine for a moment, you’re a student at the University of Michigan. A music student. And you compose a piece and suddenly find a major orchestra decides to perform your work. Kind of a dream come true, huh?

Well, that’s the reality Patrick Harlin is living. He is working on his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at U of M, and his composition “Rapture” will be performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra later this month.

Patrick Harlin joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:15 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

University of Michigan professor awarded MacArthur Genius Grant

Professor Susan Murphy
http://dept.stat.lsa.umich.edu/

The MacArthur Foundation has announced its “genius grants.” Twenty-four people who the Foundation want to recognize as exceptionally creative individuals who already have a track record of achievement and the potential for even more significant contributions in the future.

One of those 24 is Susan Murphy, a Professor of Statistics at the University of Michigan.

She joined us today to talk about her work and how she plans on using the money.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:13 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

New law cracks down on Michigan shoplifters

Flickr user drinksmachine Flickr

Police and prosecutors in Michigan have a new tool in their collective tool bag to help them punish shoplifters.

It's no small problem in this country. The National Retail Federation figures retailers lose upwards of $34 billion each year to retail theft or what's called "shrink." More than half of that is caused by sticky-fingered shoppers or dishonest employees, and the NRF figures that costs you up to $500 each year.

Now, shoplifters in Michigan face the prospect of prison time and fines.

Shoplifting has been moved up from a misdemeanor to a felony called "Organized retail crime" punishable by up to five years in prison or a fine of $5,000, or both.

Can we expect this new law to slow down shoplifters? And what about Michigan's already-overcrowded prisons?

Jeffrey Morenoff is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Michigan, and he joined us today to discuss the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:12 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Should schools continue to teach kids to write in cursive?

jdurham mourgeFile

When was the last time you got a hand-written note in the mail?

When was the last time you wrote a note in cursive?

The recently approved Common Core standards don't include a requirement to teach children cursive. That’s prompted a question. Do we need cursive or is it merely an antiquated writing style that’s not all that useful anymore?

Gerry Conti is a neuroscientist and occupational therapist and an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University, and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:02 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Where did all the moderates go?

The Capitol in Lansing.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

Once elected, a politician is supposed to work with colleagues to design policy to help government operate efficiently and serve the people. Since legislators represent different geographical areas of people, they often have to compromise.

That’s where moderates are key. They are not so steeped in ideology and are willing to find common ground that leads to compromise.

These days, that sounds rather quaint. Moderates are rare animals.

Listen to what Ken Sikkema, Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants and former Republican state Senate majority leader, and Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Radio's political analyst, think about these rare birds in today's politics.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:29 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

So, whatever happened to moderates in politics? It seems everyone is an ideologue and "compromise" is a dirty word. On today's show, we talked to a former Republican leader who says the disappearance of the moderate is becoming a real problem in his party.

And, we talked with a "genius."

The MacArther Foundation has announced this year's "genius grants," and one of the 24 who has been recognized as an exceptionally creative individual is from the University of Michigan.

And, the new Common Core Curriculum does not require that kids learn cursive, but is that really what is best?

Also, shoplifting is now a felony in Michigan. What does this mean for consumers and shop owners?

And, a music student at the University of Michigan will have his work performed by the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. We talked to him about his piece.

First on the show, the Michigan Legislature is considering bills that would overhaul auto insurance in the state.

There are several aspects to this. Jake Neher with Michigan Public Radio Network joined us today to help us wade through what has been proposed. 

Stateside
5:00 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Transforming the landscape in Flint, Michigan

Flint Michigan Facebook.com

Flint gets more than its fair share of bad press because of the crime rate and the city’s financial struggles. But, Flint is also known for urban redevelopment at a scale not known by many other cities. Land use is changing. Vacant industrial areas and foreclosed properties are being purchased, abandoned buildings demolished and the area turned into a greenway.

Doug Weiland, the executive director of the Genesee County Land Bank, and Robert McMahan, President of Kettering University in Flint, joined us today to talk about changing the landscape in Flint.

Listen to the audio above.

Stateside
4:42 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Is Detroit's 'stop and frisk' policy unconstitutional?

taliesin Morgue File

A federal judge recently called the New York City police force’s ‘stop and frisk’ practice unconstitutional and discriminatory.

Detroit’s ‘stop and frisk’ policy is based on the same advice of consultants at the Manhattan Institute who advised New York.

Despite the judge’s findings, Detroit Police Chief James Craig says the ‘stop and frisk’ in will continue and that the police in Detroit adhere to the best policing practices as called for under a consent agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has called on the Detroit Police to end the practice. In a three page letter the ACLU called ‘stop and frisk’ a prescription for an avoidable local disaster.

Mark Fancher of the ACLU joined us today. Click on the link above to listen to our conversation with him.

Stateside
4:35 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Former Michigan Congressman Bob Carr talks about the 'Campaign to Fix the Debt'

Congress is the holder of the purse and we’ve been hearing a lot about that recently. The sequester, a possible partial government shutdown, the looming debt ceiling. And, really, there are no signals from the Democrats or the Republicans that anyone intends to budge from their positions.

Former Michigan Congressman Bob Carr with the "Campaign to Fix the Debt" joined us today.

Listen to the audio above to find out about the "Campaign to Fix the Debt," and what Carr thinks about the current gridlock in Congress.

Education
4:20 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

No student on search committee for new U-M president

Mary Sue Coleman is leaving office.

This spring the President of the University of Michigan, Mary Sue Coleman, announced she is leaving that post .

The U of M Board of Regents appointed a Presidential Search Advisory Committee this summer and this time it does not include a student.

Matt Nolan is an attorney and the director of Dow Corning’s Political Action Committee. He is the former Michigan Student Assembly president.  And he sat on the search advisory committee that chose Coleman to be President.

In fact, most searches for president of a major university includes a student representative.

The seven people on the Committee are faculty members, although some of them also hold administrative positions.  What are they going to be missing that a student might notice during a search like this?

Listen to the interview above to hear the answer.

Politics & Culture
4:19 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

Listen to the audio above.

Stateside
4:56 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

The latest efforts to free Amir Hekmati from Iran

Amir Hekmati
(courtesy of FreeAmir.org)

A man from Flint, Michigan has been held prisoner in Iran for two years.

Amir Hekmati traveled to Iran to visit his grandmother in 2011. He was seized by the Iranian government and imprisoned. They accuse Hekmati –a former Marine- of spying for the CIA. He and the U.S. Government deny it.

Democratic U.S. Representative Dan Kildee (D-MI), has been leading an effort calling for Amir Hekmati to be released. Kildee joined us on Stateside today.

Listen to the full interview above. 

Politics & Culture
4:52 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Stateside for Monday, September 23rd, 2013

In a few weeks, a U.S. District judge will hold a hearing on a Michigan case that challenges the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage. On today's show: we explored the implications the case could have in Michigan and across the nation.

Also on today's show, Michigan wines are really making a name for themselves outside of the state. We talked to a connoisseur who isn't the least bit surprised by that news. And, according to a new report, lobbyist spending on free lunches for legislators has gone up. We spoke to Rich Robinson of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network to see what else they are spending on. Also, The Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference was this past weekend. It's Just Politics co-hosts Rick Pluta and Zoe Clark joined us to talk about what happened there.

Read more
Stateside
4:40 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Michigan's gay marriage ban will be challenged in court in less than a month

DeBoer Rowse Adoption Legal Fund

On October 16th,  U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman will be hearing a case, which challenges Michigan’s Constitutional ban on gay marriage.

The case didn’t start out that way. It started out as a court case to simply protect the futures of these three little kids who really don’t understand such things as government and lawyers and courts. They only know they have a happy home with their two moms.

DeBoer and Rowse wanted to jointly adopt their kids to better protect their futures. The State of Michigan argued, no way. They can’t. They’re not married.

Their case has become the most anticipated development in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people’s rights in Michigan. They’re involved in a Federal court case that challenges the state’s Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Read more
Stateside
4:34 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

How about a free lunch? Michigan lobbyist spending on food has gone up

According to the report, Republican Frank Foster is one of the top spenders on food and beverage.
http://gophouse.org/

There’s a new report on lobbyists’ spending in Lansing. The Michigan Campaign Finance Network has looked at the numbers, and the big change: free lunches for legislators are up 48% from 2012.

Rich Robinson of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network joined us today to talk about what he’s found.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:27 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Hundreds of Republicans flock to Mackinac Island to prepare for Election 2014

The Republican Leadership Conference was held in the Grand Hotel.
SteveBurt1947 Flickr

The co-hosts of It’s Just Politics were hanging out with lots of Republicans this weekend - around 1,500, in case you were wondering. 

Rick Pluta, Capitol Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network and our own political junkie here at Michigan Radio, Zoe Clark joined us today to talk about what they learned at the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference that took place over the weekend.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:22 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

Michigan wines are getting some love across the country

Vineyard in Leelanau County
user farlane flickr

Go to New York. Visit a nice restaurant. And, you just might find yourself looking over the wine list and find an entry that might be surprise you. A Michigan wine.

The Chief Restaurant Critic and Wine Writer for Hour Magazine, Chris Cook recently wrote about that surprise, and he joined us today to talk Michigan wines.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:58 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

How does income level affect health care in Michigan?

Cathy Schoen
http://www.commonwealthfund.org/

A brand-new report card has been released from the bipartisan Commonwealth Fund.

The report examines just how well the health care systems in each of the 50 states are working. The conclusion: if you live in a state that generally does poorly in health care, it doesn't necessarily matter what your income level is. High-income people who live in these poorly-performing states are worse off than low-income people who live in states with high health scores.

Cathy Schoen is senior vice president at The Commonwealth Fund and the author of the new report. She spoke with Cyndy Canty, host of Stateside, earlier in the day.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:52 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

The University of Michigan is now offering in-state tuition to undocumented students

University of Michigan student union
Wikimedia Commons

The new fall semester at the University of Michigan is bringing significant change.

Earlier this summer, the U of M Board of Regents said “yes” to offering in-state tuition to undocumented students as long as they meet certain criteria. All military will be allowed to pay in-state tuition, active, reserve, and honorably discharged, as well.

The vote was watched closely by advocates for young people who were brought into this country as undocumented immigrants. On such advocate is Serena Davila. Davila is the Executive Director for Legislative Affairs for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. Cyndy Canty, host of Stateside, spoke with Davila about the change in tuition.

Listen to the full interview above.

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