Stateside

Politics & Culture
5:27 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Stateside for Monday, May 13th, 2013

State officials announced over the weekend that they'll lend money to Pontiac schools to avert a pay-less payday.

But, there's no resolution in Buena Vista Township where that school system abruptly shut down after running out of money. On today's show: a temperature check on school funding across Michigan - just how many districts are close to the financial edge?

And Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr joined us today. He released a report on the city's disastrous finances. The State's Emergency Manager law requires this report to be issued  45 days after Orr's appointment.

We also talk about what Marquette, Michigan is doing right. "Placemaking" is leading to efforts to create more livable, vibrant and creative communities. We wanted to find out where "placemaking" is working and how cities across Michigan could benefit. Arnold Weinfeld, the director of Strategic Initiatives at the Michigan Municipal League, joined us to talk about this effort.

Stateside
5:25 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

How Marquette is using 'placemaking' to develop a thriving community

Marquette is a model town for 'placemaking'
user: mrkumm/Flickr

We've talked about a House Bill that aims to stop Michigan's 'brain drain,' but communities throughout the state need to do more to attract and keep young people in Michigan. 

Arnold Weinfeld, the director of Strategic Initiatives at the Michigan Municipal League , said that 2/3 of college graduates look for a location they want to live in first, and then search for jobs within that city. A generation or two ago, the process was reversed.

Because of this shift, Weinfeld said, Michigan communities need to start 'placemaking.'

"Placemaking are the actual actions that a local government, non profit, or neighborhood groups take to create the kind of place that people want to be in."

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Stateside
3:34 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

What's happening with school funding in Michigan

After Buena Vista closed, what's next for Michigan education?
courtesy: Mott High School

An interview with Tom Watkins and Rick Pluta.

With reports of Buena Vista Schools closing a month early due to a lack of funding, we talked about education in Michigan on today's show.

How did Buena Vista find itself in this position? And, could this happen to other schools soon?

As we picked apart what's going on in school districts across Michigan, we were joined by Tom Watkins, Michigan's former State Superintendent and Rick Pluta, Lansing Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network.

To listen to the full discussion, click the link above.

Stateside
4:47 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Roger Penske's influence on Detroit business

Roger Penske.
Ted Van Pelt Flickr

It's Thursday which means it's time for our weekly check-in with Detroit News business columnist Dan Howes.

Today Dan is hearing the roar of Indy cars and the "ca-chink" of money that will be flowing into Detroit with next month's Belle Isle Grand Prix.

We've talked in recent weeks about Dan Gilbert and what he's doing to re-shape downtown Detroit, and, in turn, pump up Southeast Michigan.

Today, we focus on someone else who's putting his money where his mouth is, so to speak, in boosting the Detroit area: Roger Penske.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
4:42 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Making one film with 40 directors in 23 countries

Judy van der Velden Flickr

When you think of filmmaking, chances are pretty good that you think of a producer, a director and a cast chosen by that director.

But there are a couple of filmmakers in Detroit who are blowing up that traditional model of making films, and in its place have come up with something completely different.

How about 40 directors for one film? And they're spread across 23 countries on five continents?

Marty Shea is one of the Detroit-based filmmakers doing this "collaborative" movie under the name of "CollabFeature."

He joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:38 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

What do you know about H2O?

National Drinking Water Week
user william_warby Flickr

Drink up! It’s national Drinking Water Week.

This week, the nation celebrates good old H2O, which just this year knocked out pop — or soda, if you prefer — as the number one beverage in the United States.

But as health-conscious Americans rejoice in the rise of water-drinking across the country, we wanted to know — where did your last drink of water come from? And do you really know the quality of that water?

Mark Kurlyandchik dives into the subject of water in the May issue of "Hour Magazine," with his piece “Ebb and Flow: Demystifying Drinking Water.”

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Arts & Culture
4:37 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Celebrating the "Mighty Ukulele"

A ukulele
user Monsieur Gordon Flickr

We’re always glad to hear from Stateside listeners, to get your ideas and suggestions for stories we should share with everyone!

So, when we got an email from Lansing musician Ben Hassenger, asking us to take a closer look at the upcoming music festival he’s hosting this Friday and Saturday, we bit!

Especially when we discovered it’s a celebration of the ukulele - called "MIGHTY UKE DAY!"

What’s not to love?!

Ben Hassenger joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
4:36 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, May 9th, 2013

When you grab a bottle of water at the grocery store, do you ever wonder where that water came from.

And do you really know the quality of that water? We found out if it's really better than what comes out of your tap.

And, we look at the upcoming Detroit Grand Prix , bringing auto lovers to Belle Isle, along with some badly needed cash.

And Governor Rick Snyder has signed Senate Bill 288, and that could lead to a wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula.

His signature clears the way for the state's Natural Resources Commission to vote on a recommendation to hold a limited wolf hunt this fall in three parts of the UP.
    
The Governor told Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith that he believes the NRC will base its decision on what he called "sound scientific principles."

Stateside
4:36 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

The controversy around a wolf hunt in Michigan

endangeredspecieslawandpolicy.com

Governor Rick Snyder has signed Senate Bill 288. That could clear the way for a wolf hunt in the Upper Peninsula.

His signature clears the way for the state's Natural Resources Commission to vote on a recommendation to hold a limited wolf hunt this fall in three parts of the UP.

The Governor told Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith that he believes the NRC will base its decision on what he called "sound scientific principles."

"If you think about it, I think sound scientific principals are how we should decide these things, to make sure we are doing the proper environmental functions that protect whatever species we're talking about, so it's sustainable for the long term," said Snyder.

More than quarter of a million Michiganders  signed a petition asking to put a wolf hunt proposal on the November 2014 ballot. And the coalition called Keep Michigan Wolves Protected says Senate Bill 288 is a deliberate attempt by lawmakers to circumvent their petition effort.

The Governor's response?

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Politics & Culture
5:21 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

On today's program, we explore the idea of secret work groups crafting public policy in Lansing, and how transparent Michigan's government should be.

And we look at whether expanding the lottery to the internet is a good idea.

We'll also hear how new technology being developed here in Michigan might be able to help authorities identify potential threats in airports or in large crowds.

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Politics & Government
5:16 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Just how public is our government?

Gov. Rick Snyder talks to reporters at the Lansing Center.
Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

How transparent should the process of our government be?

That’s the question behind the use of “work groups” or “task forces” — unofficial, closed-door committees being created in Lansing to help design and craft policy.  Following the revelation of the so-called “skunk works” education work group that was made public by the Detroit News two weeks ago, we wanted to look at how these groups operate in Lansing. Have work groups increased under Governor Rick Snyder? What’s the possible impact on our democratic system of government?

Chad Livengood from the Detroit News and Michigan Radio’s political analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss the growing awareness of Lansing’s work groups, and how voters can know who or what is influencing these committees.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:05 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

On today's show: The U.S. Senate seat is open in Michigan come 2014. It's just sitting there for the taking. So, just who will take over the job opening after Carl Levin's retirement?

We'll speak with Congressman Gary Peters - Democrat - who has announced that he wants the job - and, we'll speak with a Republican strategist about why Republicans have yet to jump in the race. Just what does it mean for the GOP's chances if a candidate takes too long to announce?

And, then, later in the hour: a conversation with the music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra: Maestro Leonard Slatkin. He's in New York as the DSO plays Carnegie Hall.

But first we go to Lansing where we've been following a bill that's working its way through the State Legislature.

The legislation would require people getting welfare benefits to pass a drug test in order to receive those benefits. The substance abuse screening would be required if there's "reasonable suspicion" that the person is using illegal drugs.

State Representative Jeff Farrington (R-Utica) sponsored the bill in the House. He says the government should not pay for people's drug habits.

Stateside
5:01 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

EAA progress report: how 15 failing Detroit schools fared this year

How do we rescue and turn around schools that are failing?

That's one of the biggest challenges concerning the education system in Michigan. Governor Snyder and many in the Legislature - especially Republicans - favor the EAA as a solution.

The education Achievement Authority is a new school system for Michigan's worst-performing public schools. Since last fall, 15 Detroit schools have been run under the EAA, changing the educational experience for nearly 10,000 students and 400 teachers.

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Stateside
3:48 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

Building better security screening systems

Could radar be used in future screening systems?
user g7ahn Flickr

In the aftermath of school shootings, theater shootings, and bombings, the question of security screening has become real and important.

How do we balance privacy concerns and rights with the need to screen for potential threats?

A University of Michigan professor is working on that challenge: building a better security detector.

Dr Kamal Sarabondi is a professor of electrical engineering, and he's the director of the Radiation Laboratory at the University of Michigan.

He's gotten funding from the U.S. Department of Defense and is developing a long-range radar technology as a means to detect a concealed object. He explains what it is and how it differs from what we have today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:14 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Talking with Congressman, and now Senate candidate, Gary Peters

Gary Peters in his Washington D.C. office. He's hoping to move next door, to the Senate, in 2014.
Gary Peters Facebook

It's been nearly two months since U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) announced he would not seek a seventh term.

That announcement sets up one of the biggest political questions in Michigan: who will take over his seat in 2014?

Last week , three-time Congressman Gary Peters announced he will run for Levin's seat. Democrats say Peters gives them a strong candidate.

Republicans say the Congressman has supported left-leaning policies that have become unpopular in Michigan.

Congressman, and now Senate candidate, Gary Peters joined us today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:14 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Michigan moving closer to drug testing welfare recipients

Drug test.
user publik15 Flickr

We've been following a bill that's now working its way through the State Legislature.

The House has already said "yes" and passed it. Now it's on to the Senate.

In short: the legislation would require people getting welfare to pass a drug test in order to receive benefits.

The substance abuse screening would be required if there's "reasonable suspicion" that the person is using illegal drugs.

Representative Jeff Farrington (R-Utica) sponsored the bill in the House saying the government should not pay for people's drug habits.

"People are tired of applicants getting welfare payments when they're using them for illegal drug use," said Farrington. "We want to make sure that they get on the right track, they receive their treatment going forward and they get on the right path to success."

Supporters of the bill say only people who test positive would have to pay for the cost of the drug test.

Critics say suspicion-based drug testing demonizes the poor and unfairly hurts children of addicts.

Melissa Smith is a senior policy analyst with the Michigan League for Human Services. She researched the effectiveness of these welfare drug testing programs and she joins us now from Lansing.

She analyzed how "suspicion-based drug testing" is working in other states and shares what she found with us.

What she found?

A lot of money is wasted on these programs and not a lot is accomplished.

Listen to the full-interview above.

Stateside
5:14 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Why we should talk about 'rape culture' on college campuses

College campuses educate students about sexual assault
User: t3rmin4t0r/Flickr

An interview with Jess Klein.

  When parents send their daughters off to college, they do so with their fingers tightly crossed that they will remain safe and sound.

As young women living on their own, a myriad of situations present themselves that could put women in dangerous situations, like walking home late at night and college parties.

Statistics from the Centers for Disease  Control (CDC) support parents' worries.

One in five women report having been raped at some point in their life - the figure is one in 71 for men.

So, what can be done to stop this?

Read more
Stateside
5:11 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra plays Carnegie Hall

Maestro Leonard Slatkin conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Leonard Slatkin

It’s been 17 years since the Detroit Symphony Orchestra has graced the stage of one of the most famous concert halls in the world - Carnegie Hall.

So it was big news for Michigan’s cultural scene when the DSO became one of the symphony orchestras chosen for the 2013 "Spring for Music." It's one week, five orchestras, and six concerts at Carnegie Hall.
 
The DSO will perform two separate programs - one on May 9th, the second on May 10th.
 
The music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Leonard Slatkin, joined us from New York City today.

Listen to the full interview above.

Stateside
5:11 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Who will the Republicans put up for U.S. Senate?

U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) is not running for a seventh term.
Lindsey Smith Michigan Radio

  Who might be the Republicans' best hope of winning Michigan's Senate seat?

Republican strategist Dennis Lennox joined us today.

We asked him why a Republican hasn't jumped into the race yet and who their ideal candidate might be.

Listen to the full interview above.

Politics & Culture
5:10 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Stateside for Monday, May 6th, 2013

  Detroit automakers stand to lose a stunning $4 billion dollars in Europe this year. On today's show: we'll take a look at how the financial mess in Europe is effecting the domestic automakers. And, then, singer/song-writer Matt Jones stops by the studio to talk about his newest work and overcoming a challenging -year.

And colleges are holding commencement ceremonies right about now.  

What will all those graduates do with their shiny new degrees?

Based on recent surveys something like half of the graduates from our state hit the road seeking greener pastures in other states within a year of graduating. It's the Michigan "Brain Drain."

One state lawmaker wants to help stem the brain drain by offering tax credits on their student loan payments to college grads who stay in Michigan.

Could tax credits help stem the brain drain?  Or is it a band-aid that masks a deeper challenge for college graduates in Michigan?

State Representative Andy Schor joined us today. He's a freshman Democrat from Lansing and the sponsor of House Bill 4182.

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