Stateside

Stateside
5:05 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Debbie Stabenow on the government shutdown

Senator Debbie Stabenow
Photo courtesy of www.stabenow.senate.gov

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed (D-Nev.) says a bipartisan deal has been reached, a deal that would avoid a U.S. default and it would end the partial government shutdown.

Speaking on the senate floor, Reed thanked Republican leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for working out the agreement, an agreement to reopen the government through January 15th and increase the nation’s borrowing authority through February 7th.

Now that the deal’s in place the House and Senate still need to vote to approve the legislation.

Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow joined us today to give us her perspective on the issue.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
2:57 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Sterling Heights has a multilingual driving school

Anyone who lives in Michigan knows you are at a real disadvantage if you don’t have a driver’s license.

But, let’s say you are an Iraqi who has fled to the U.S. to escape the violence. You’re trying to launch your new life here and you need a way to get to a job or get your kids to school. You need a driver’s license, but you haven’t lived here long enough to get fluent in English. So how do you get on the road?

That’s where you might turn to John Bitti. He runs the Madamma Driving School in Sterling Heights, and he teaches would-be drivers in English, Arabic, or Chaldean. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:08 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

What's going on with the affirmative action ban?

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette
(courtesy Michigan Attorney General's office)

It's called Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action.

That's the case that has once again put Michigan in the spotlight of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Michigan's attorney general Bill Schuette was at the nation's highest court, defending the constitutionality of Proposal 2, which bans the use of affirmative action in admissions at public universities in Michigan, a constitutional amendment that passed by 58% of the state's voters in 2006.

Michigan Public Radio Network Lansing Bureau Chief, Rick Pluta has been covering today's arguments before the Supreme Court and he joined us today from Washington.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:17 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

The Upper Peninsula offers a lot of 'culinary glory'

Michael Stern
Twitter

It’s time to talk food, and who better to turn to than Michael Stern of Roadfood.com?

He and his wife Jane drive around the country searching for good food and exploring popular culture, and sharing the news with the rest of us through their writing and conversations on public radio's The Splendid Table.

Michael Stern joined us today to tell us what is cooking in the Upper Peninsula along U.S. Highway 41, starting in Marquette and working up to Copper Harbor.

Michael's piece in  Saveur Magazine is called "Upper Crust: The Culinary Glovry of Michigan's Route 41."

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:14 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Michigan Amtrak is getting faster and better

The federal government is investing billions to improve rail lines across the country. Will it translate into more riders?
Terry Cantrell Creative Commons

“Let’s take the train.” It seems more and more of us are saying those words these days.

A record 793,000 passengers hopped aboard Amtrak’s three Michigan routes last year and revenue grew to $27.8 million. And there are some changes coming down the track that should make the traveling faster and better for train passengers in Michigan.

Tim Hoeffner, rail director at the Michigan Department of Transportation, joined us today. 

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:12 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Sander Levin on the government shutdown

Congressman Sander Levin
http://www.house.gov/levin/

Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress are still at odds over federal spending, on this, the 14th day of the partial government shutdown.

In weekend discussions, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell could not reach a deal to raise the nation's borrowing authority. Stocks are lower as the nation moves to a potentially disastrous default on its debt.

Democratic Congressman Sander Levin joined us today to talk about the latest in the impasse.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:09 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Stateside for Monday, October 14th, 2013

Canada is dumping its garbage in Michigan. We took a look at why it's so cheap to haul trash over the border and the political reasons making it hard to stop.

And, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of the drive-in movie theater. Did you know Michigan once had more than 100 drive-ins? Today just a hand full are still in operation.

Also, Amtrak is making some improvements. We spoke with Tim Hoeffner of the Michigan Department of Transportation about what Michigan train passengers can expect.

And, Michael Stern from Roadfood.com, and frequent guest on The Splendid Table, stopped by to tell us about his recent trip to the Upper Peninsula and the culinary marvels he found up there.

But, first on the show, Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress are still at odds over federal spending on this, the 14th day of the partial government shutdown. In weekend discussions, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid and Republican leader Mitch McConnell could not reach a deal to raise the nation's borrowing authority. Stocks are lower as the nation moves to a potentially disastrous default on its debt. Democratic Congressman Sander Levin joined us today to talk about the impasse.

Arts & Culture
2:53 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Artists find inspiration in the land

Dave Fischer's "Metal and Wood Border" sculpture
Dave Fischer

A new art show is the product of an interesting collaboration between artists and land owners. It will be at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor from October 12th until November 10th.

It's sponsored by The Legacy Land Conservancy and it's also a fundraiser for the non-profit. The organizers were hoping to find a way to help people learn more about the protected land that the organization helps secure.

Read more
Stateside
2:51 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

When Gerald Ford demanded answers for UFO sightings in Michigan

An interview with Dr. Rudi Lindner.

If you are a baby-boomer who grew up in Michigan, chances are good you remember a particular point in time when you were out in your backyard, peering into the night sky, searching for UFOs.

For one week in March 1966, Michigan was awash with reports of UFO sightings. Scores of people called police to report suspicious items in the sky. Ultimately, the Air Force dismissed these sighting as nothing more than "swamp gas,” causing then-Congressman Gerald Ford to fire off an indignant statement, declaring people deserved a better explanation than something as laughable as swamp gas.

Dr. Rudi Lindner is a professor of History and Astronomy at the University of Michigan. He teaches a class called "Discovery of the Universe" that includes the history of UFOs. He joined us in studio to Michigan’s close encounters with the third kind. 

Read more
Stateside
2:03 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

The Can Kicks Back visits Ann Arbor to teach young Americans about the national debt

The Can Kicks Back mascot
Facebook

Hands up everyone, who has just about had it with that expression “kicking the can down the road,” particularly as it is used over and over in talking about the national debt? Kicking that proverbial can down the road is why America is facing such a crisis with our national debt.

A group of concerned young Americans is hoping to inspire other millennials to learn more about the national debt and, in their words, “to reclaim the American dream,” so they formed a group called The Can Kicks Back.

Tonight they will be in Ann Arbor as part of what they’re calling the Generational Equity Tour, a very carefully nonpartisan event.

Nick Troiano is co-founder and national field director of The Can Kicks Back, and he joined us today in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Investigative
12:10 pm
Wed October 9, 2013

Voices from the fields: Migrant workers in Michigan

Elizalde Ramirez Vasquez is a migrant worker who goes to Michigan State University.
courtesy photo

From urban farming in Detroit, the Traverse City Cherry Festival, to farmers markets in hundreds of Michigan cities, this state prides itself on its agriculture.

And we should.

We are the most agriculturally diverse state, behind only California. And after manufacturing, agriculture is the state’s largest industry.

But when you see that Michigan seal on apples and blueberries and cherries in the grocery store, do you ever wonder who are the faces and voices behind these products?

In this documentary, we’ll hear from these farm workers that bring these fruits and vegetables to our tables.

We’ll hear about the struggle for fair wages, good housing and how the immigration debate can affect the lives of the 94,000 migrant workers and their families in Michigan.

Below is the full audio of the documentary

Full documentary audio

Stateside
5:23 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Comparing the U.S. healthcare system to the United Kingdom's system

photo by Anna Strumillo Phuket - Thailand www.fotopedia.com

The state and federal healthcare exchanges are, of course, a big chapter in the overhaul of the American healthcare model - a model that's very different from many other countries around the world.

The BBC's Alice Castle has lived in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. She's had the experience of being pregnant in both countries.

Click the audio above to listen to her unique perspective on the American healthcare system.

Politics & Culture
5:08 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

It's been a week since the healthcare exchanges under the Affordable Care Act have opened, but questions continue to swirl.

Read more
Stateside
5:06 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Three Michigan books to read this fall

Michigan poet and writer Keith Taylor.
Robert Turney

We've welcomed autumn here in Michigan, many of us with open arms. It is a beautiful season in our state.

And one of the pleasures of changing seasons is being able to talk with poet and writer Keith Taylor.

Keith joined us today with his picks for our autumn reading, books set-in Michigan written by Michigan authors. This time, he focused on writing from the Upper Peninsula.

Read more
Stateside
4:56 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Public universities and colleges in Michigan could be in trouble

University of Michigan student union
Wikimedia Commons

What does the future hold for public universities?

A recent report from Moody's suggests the future is very uncertain for public universities: enrollment is flat, revenue is stagnant, and expenses grew nearly twice as fast as inflation.

Are public colleges on a "path to economic oblivion," as the Chronicle of Higher Education puts it? And how are Michigan's public colleges and universities faring?

Dan Hurley grew up and was educated in Michigan. Today he is with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, where he's the Director of State Relations and Policy Analysis. He joined us today from Washington.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
3:21 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

How are Michigan franchises fairing?

We turn now to an area of business that held strong in Michigan even in the darkest hours of the Great Recession.

Franchises. They create jobs faster than any other business sector. Even when the Great Recession slammed us in 2008, franchises kept on hiring. The pace may have slowed down a little, but the franchise hiring rate still topped the national rate of employment.

DBusiness is out with its 2013 "Michigan Franchise Report" and we wanted to find out their verdict on the franchise scene in Michigan.

DBusiness editor R.J. King joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
10:52 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Stateside for Monday, October 7th, 2013

A recent report from Moody's suggests the future is very uncertain for public universities. Today we talked about the future of public universities in Michigan.

And, poet Keith Taylor stopped by the studios to introduce us to some Michigan must-reads for the month of October.

Also, despite our troubled economy, Michigan franchises are going strong. We spoke to DBusiness editor R.J. King about the 2013 Michigan Franchise Report.

First on the show, it’s Day Seven of the partial government shutdown.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew is warning that lawmakers are “playing with fire” and he’s asking Congress to pass legislation to re-open the government, and to increase the nation’s debt limit.

Lew says President Obama has no intentions of linking either bill to Republican demands to change the health care law.

This comes as Republican House Speaker John Boehner rules out a House vote on a temporary spending bill without concessions from the President.

So, that’s where things stand as the government shutdown moves into its second week. Michigan Democratic Representative Dan Kildee joined us from D.C. to discuss the issue. 

Stateside
6:02 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

What history can tell us about the government shutdown

The Capitol building
U.S. Congress congress.gov

An interview with historian Gleaves Whitney.

It's Day Three of the government shutdown — with no compromise in sight. 

Late Tuesday, President Barack Obama met with Vice President Joe Biden, Speaker of the House John Boehner, Minority House Leader Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Harry Reid, and Sen. McConnell. That meeting yielded nothing that we know of in terms of solving the impasse.

Meantime, Americans continue to express their anger at all sides involved in this stalemate.

Read more
Stateside
5:54 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Building a pre-school from the ground up in Ann Arbor

Ryan Brown, co-founder of the U-School in Ann Arbor.
U-School

What if you could build a pre-school from the ground up?

What if you could take the things that seem to work well -- take out what doesn't -- and build-in new ideas after listening to your community?

That's exactly what my next guest is doing.

Ryan Brown wants to re-imagine what early childhood education looks like and feels like.

He's doing it with the "U School," which is opening next June in Ann Arbor.

And what's happening in these weeks before the U-School opens is worth looking at.

Brown is the co-founder, executive director, and a classroom teacher at the U-School, and he joined us today.

Listen to the interview above.

Stateside
5:47 pm
Thu October 3, 2013

Detroit's EM hints at how he might use DIA art to help city

Flickr

Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr has sent out the strongest hint yet that prized pieces in the DIA collection are on the table as a way to put money into the city coffers.

Without offering many details, Orr told the Detroit Economic Club today that there are ways for the DIA to make money from its artwork that might not involve outright sales, but perhaps would involve long-term leases.

Orr was clear -- he said he must consider ways to use the museum's treasures to help the bankrupt city.

And, earlier this week, another one of the city's "jewels" was back in the spotlight.

The State and Mayor Dave Bing announced an agreement under which the State DNR would run Belle Isle as Michigan's 102nd State Park.

Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes joined us to talk about all this.

Listen to the interview above.

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