Stateside

Stateside
4:35 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Lawmakers in Lansing debate how best to evaluate teachers

The chamber of Michigan's House of Representatives.
Lester Graham Michigan Radio

Lawmakers are in the midst of a debate over how teachers in Michigan should be evaluated.

Hearings were held today at the Capitol and the Michigan Public Radio Network's Jake Neher was there. He joined us today.

*Listen to the audio above.

Politics & Culture
4:26 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Stateside for Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014

On the 41st anniversary of Roe v Wade, women's reproductive rights are in the spotlight here in Michigan. Insurance providers and consumers are trying to understand Michigan's new, controversial law requiring separate policies for abortion coverage.

 On today's show we'll get a better of understanding of how the new law is supposed to work. And we'll travel to space! OK, maybe that's overselling it, but we will meet a group of researchers who want to make it easier for do-it-yourself space exploration. First, we go to Lansing where lawmakers are in the midst of a debate over how teachers in Michigan should be evaluated. Hearings were held today at the Capitol and the Michigan Public Radio Network's Jake Neher was there. He joined us today.

Politics & Culture
4:28 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Stateside for Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014

Embattled Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema is hitting back at critics of his anti-gay and anti-Muslim web postings, saying he stands on the same issues he always has, "God, family and country."

In a Facebook post, the ex-state-Representative says people are feeding half-truths to the news media within the GOP and stirring up divisiveness.

He says he's wrongly being blamed for posting other people's comments and says it's an unfortunate and uncivil tactic to tarnish his reputation.

Rick Pluta, Lansing bureau chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network and co-host of It's Just Politics, joined us today.

Lawmakers in Lansing have begun holding hearings on which standardized tests Michigan students will begin taking next spring. Goodbye Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP), hello Smarter Balanced Assessment.

Opponents say it takes away local control, while those who favor it say it better predicts a student's comprehension. We found out more about this computer-based testing on today's show.

Then, we continued on the subject of schools and asked: Are zero-tolerance policies actually keeping kids out of trouble? A new study says not so much.

And, Michigan’s University Research Corridor is making huge contributions to the state economy. We spoke with Lou Anna Simon, president of Michigan State University, to learn more.

Finally, a new documentary explores Michigan’s history with the abolitionist movement and the Underground Railroad.  

Stateside
4:12 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Dave Agema claims he was wrongly blamed for anti-gay and anti-Muslim comments

Embattled Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema is hitting back at critics of his anti-gay and anti-Muslim Web postings, saying he stands on the same issues he always has: "God, family and country."

In a Facebook post, the former state representative says people are feeding half-truths to the news media within the GOP and stirring up divisiveness.

He says he's wrongly being blamed for posting other people's comments and says it's an unfortunate and uncivil tactic to tarnish his reputation.

Rick Pluta, Lansing bureau chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network and co-host of "It's Just Politics"  joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:07 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Michigan's University Research Corridor contributes greatly to state economy

Lou Anna Simon
president.msu.edu

Let's turn to Michigan's three largest universities for a moment. The University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University make up the University Research Corridor and a new report out today shows the corridor contributing more than $16 billion to the state's economy.

Lou Anna Simon is president of Michigan State University and she joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:03 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Is the Smarter Balanced Assessment a suitable replacement for the MEAP?

Michigan students may have more rigorous performance expectations on MEAP and other standardized tests.
Alberto G. Creative Commons

Lawmakers in Lansing have begun holding hearings on which standardized tests Michigan students will take next spring.

The state has already decided to replace the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) tests and educational officials have endorsed the Smarter Balanced Assessment.

In the coming months, you’ll likely be hearing a lot about the politics of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Some lawmakers say the test takes away control from local curriculum because it’s being developed by a national consortium.

Public Sector Consultant’s Michelle Richard joined us today to discuss the new test.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
9:15 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

How the $1 trillion federal budget deal might help Michigan

The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or "Super Committee," failed to come up with a compromise to reduce the deficit. Michigan members of the Super Committee spoke about the experience.
U.S. Congress congress.gov

What a difference three months makes.

After the knock-down, drag-out budget debacle that shut the government down in October, here we are in January. And, perhaps goaded by the furious reaction of most Americans to last fall’s budget showdown, last week saw both chambers of Congress quietly and meekly passing a $1 trillion federal budget deal.

Detroit Free Press Washington reporter Todd Spangler joined us today to talk about this deal.

Politics & Culture
5:08 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Stateside for Monday, Jan. 20, 2014

Gov. Rick Snyder delivered his fourth State of the State address last week.

He touted a recovering economy and improving job growth, but Democrats were none too pleased with the Governor's speech.

On today's show we'll dive into what Snyder said, take a look at new, proposed initiatives and find out what they mean for you.

And then, from Motown to Madonna and Eminem to Kid Rock: The Detroit area was, and continues to be, a musical powerhouse. Now one economic report is actually trying to figure out just how much all that's worth – monetarily speaking.

But first on today's show: What a difference three months makes.

After the knock-down, drag-out budget debacle that shut the government down in October, here we are in January. And perhaps goaded by the furious reaction of most Americans to last fall’s budget showdown, last week saw both chambers of Congress quietly and meekly passing a $1 trillion federal budget deal.

Detroit Free Press Washington reporter Todd Spangler joined us to talk about the deal.

Politics & Government
5:07 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Taking a closer look at Gov. Snyder's State of the State address

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder delivering the 2011 State of the State address

Governor Snyder delivered his fourth State of the State address Thursday night. The Republican Governor called Michigan the "comeback" state and talked up the economy, saying Michigan has come a long way from the dark days of the Great Recession. Not surprisingly though, Democrats didn't quite agree - highlighting cuts to education spending and the state's Earned Income Tax Credit. Chad Livengood took a close look at Snyder's speech with us today.
Stateside
5:05 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

The economic impact of Michigan's music scene

Hitsville, U.S.A.
user dig downtown detroit Flickr

From Motown to Madonna, techno to gospel, jazz and blues, from Eminem to Kid Rock to Aretha, and much more, the Detroit area has been, and continues to be, a music powerhouse.

In fact, at least 38 Grammy Award winners and nominees from the past five years have a Detroit connection.

A recent study from the Anderson Economic Group takes a deep dive into the business of the Detroit-area music scene.

Alex Rosaen, the principal author of the study for the Anderson Economic Group, joined us today.

Stateside
5:05 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Preserving today's digital record for future generations

SpecialKRB / flickr

Think, for just a moment, of the many ways we capture moments of our lives and share them with everyone.

Snap a photo on your smartphone and in seconds, it's up on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram for friends, family and followers to see.

But what is going to happen to those moments and memories someday in the future when Instagram or Tumblr or Facebook or Flickr no longer exist?

Read more
Made in Michigan
1:29 pm
Mon January 20, 2014

Did you know that 'Gumby' has Michigan roots?

Gumby in the episode 'Lost Treasure.'

You know this guy, right?

The beloved Gumby was created by animator Art Clokey. His son Joe Clokey joined us on Stateside today to describe how Michigan inspired his dad to come up with Gumby.

Listen to our interview with him here:

Read more
Stateside
4:15 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Fate of 'Arthur Miller' house in Ann Arbor got us wondering, why do we love famous people?

The former house of playwright Arthur Miller
Ross voxphoto Flickr

Why do we care so much about famous people? What they wear, what they eat, how they live?

Well, there is an old house in Ann Arbor where renowned playwright Arthur Miller lived while he was a student at University of Michigan and there are those who are intensely interested in preserving that house.

The house is right next to the U of M's Institute for Social Research. The university's expanding the Institute and wants that old house out of the way. And if they can't get someone to buy it, it will probably be demolished.

This story got us thinking about just why we tend to care so much about celebrity homes and just what is behind our seemingly bottomless fascination with celebrities.

We're joined today by Daniel Kruger. He's a professor and a researcher at the University of Michigan and he's done research into that fascination we have for famous people.

Politics & Culture
4:11 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Stateside for Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

We  learned this week that young people account for less than 25% of people who have enrolled in the health care exchanges. Their participation is considered crucial for the success of the Affordable Care Act.

We’ll find out what it will take to get young Americans to sign up. And then, can the Affordable Care Act improve access to mental health care? We'll talk about what the ACA means for treating mental illness that story later in the hour.

But first, Governor Snyder delivers his fourth State of the State address tomorrow night. Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta co-hosts of Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics join me now.

*Listen to the audio above.

Stateside
3:33 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

What the ACA means for treating Mental illness

Michigan Health Insurance Program is offering more options to people with pre-existing conditions.
user striatic Flickr

As the Affordable Care Act rolled out, there's been plenty of focus on physical health, pre-existing conditions. But we haven't heard too much about what the ACA means for treating Mental Illness.

And that is something that is a growing concern as mentally ill people fill Michigan's jails and prisons. What could it mean to these people to be able to obtain treatment?

Joining us is Ben Robinson. He's the President and CEO of Rose Hill Center in Holly, in Oakland County. They offer residential treatment for adults with mental illness. He's also on the Executive Board of the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards.

Politics & Culture
4:52 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Stateside for Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014

There are 2,5000 dams in Michigan and more than 90% are going to hit or exceed their design life by 2020. On today's show: How concerned should we be about our aging dams, and is there the money and political will to fix them? Then, the state's chief medical doctor explains why this year's flu season seems to be a particularly rough one.  And, one man from Ann Arbor is working to earn respect for dads all over America with the Dad 2.0 Summit. Also, the Detroit Zoo is not just a tourist attraction, it's a leader in animal conservation and preservation. 

First on the show, the data and numbers crunchers have been working away, trying to peer into the future to figure out what lies ahead for Michigan over the next 10 years in terms of jobs and pay.

The verdict: Michigan's economic axis is tilting west. Rick Haglund's recent story for Bridge Magazine is headlined: "Future job growth favors West Michigan." 

And Don Grimes is with the Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy at the University of Michigan.

They join us today to discuss the issue.

Stateside
4:51 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Ann Arbor father seeks respect for all dads in America

Father and son.
Flickr user dadblunders Flickr

How about some respect for dads, everyone?

How about we stop with the marketing and entertainment cliches portraying Dad as a big ol' doofus who can't boil a pot of water or change a nasty diaper? And we start recognizing that men play a very active role in the home life and they are not the opposite side of the coin to the "supermommy."

This has been the mission of our next guest. Doug French been one of the nation's leading "daddy bloggers" ever since launching his blog "Laid Off Dad" over 10 years ago. And in July 2010, he created another blog, When the Flames Go Up, blogging with his ex-wife about co-parenting after divorce.

He's also the co-founder of the upcoming Dad 2.0 Summit, which aims to raise the profile of America's dads in the eyes of companies and marketers.

He does all of this as he practices the fine art of being a dad.

Doug French joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:51 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Detroit Zoo recognized as leader in animal conservation and welfare

Detroit Zoo entrance.
Wikipedia

It was 1883 when the Detroit Zoo first opened its doors at Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Street, across from what would become Tiger Stadium.

By 1928, the zoo had moved its current home at 10 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue. It's the No. 1 paid tourist attraction in Michigan, drawing more than 1.1 million visitors every year.

The zoo's mission has evolved  since those early days, shifting from animal care to animal welfare. It's a leader in animal conservation and welfare.

Detroit Zoo Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Ron Kagan  gives us a closer look at the ways the zoo has become such a leader in protecting and preserving animal species.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:50 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Job growth is expected in West Michigan, but Detroit will have higher wages

Grand Rapids is one of the cities expected to see a lot of job growth, along with Traverse City and Ann Arbor.
Steven Depolo Creative Commons

The data and numbers crunchers have been working away, trying to peer into the future to figure out what lies ahead for Michigan over the next 10 years in terms of jobs and pay.

And the verdict: Michigan's economic axis is tilting west.

Rick Haglund's recent story for Bridge Magazine is headlined: "Future job growth favors West Michigan."

And Don Grimes is with the Institute for Research on Labor, Employment and the Economy at the University of Michigan.

They both joined us today to discuss the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:50 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Flu season gets a grip on Michigan

Wikimedia

It's starting to make its presence felt in empty chairs at the workplace and sad little Facebook status updates saying, "I'm sick."

Flu season is upon us.

Federal officials report 35 states are now experiencing widespread influenza activity with young and middle-aged adults being hit hardest this year rather than the usual pattern of seniors or children.

Dr. Matthew Davis, chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of  Community Health and a professor at the University of Michigan, joined us today to give us an idea of what the flu season looks like in Michigan.

Listen to the full interview above.

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