Stateside

Politics & Culture
6:32 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Whether we like it or not, money sure seems to be the life-blood of politics.

On today's show, as first quarter campaign contributions have been filed to the Federal Election Commission, we'll check in on the "war-chests" of Michigan's Congressional delegation. And, we'll take a look back to the early 70's when streaking was an act of protest on college campuses. There were efforts to trivialize streaking - efforts to make it seem like just a "college" fad - but, in fact, there were much bigger motivations behind the craze.

But first, we began the hour in Lansing, where some controversial legislation is moving forward in the State House. Under a bill approved yesterday by a state House panel –the Families, Children and Seniors Committee---Michigan would begin suspicion-based drug-testing of people who receive welfare benefits. The legislation would allow the state to take away the benefits from people who test positive for drugs.

Under the measure, the drug testing program would go through a one-year trial period before being made permanent.

Jake Neher, reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, was at the hearings. He gave us an update on this newest version of this legislation.

Read more
Stateside
6:30 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra revival through community outreach

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra rehearses on stage
Jennifer Guerra Michigan Radio

The Great Recession presented a challenge to virtually every business and organization in Michigan.

During that time, it was either change the way you've always done things, or risk being swallowed up by the crumbling economy.

The Detroit Three automakers rose to the challenge and today, they're alive and thriving. And so did one of the state's cultural jewels: The Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

We recently spoke with DSO executive Vice President Paul Hogle and with Maestro Slatkin and it's clear that the mood is upbeat and optimistic at Orchestra Hall.

It was only two years when the Orchestra was amidst a very bitter musicians' strike ended. Since then good vibrations have been felt amongst the rank & file.

The DSO has been using various kinds of community outreach and increasing it's web presence.

It has been getting the brand out there all around the area and the world without spending a lot of money. It is setting an example that many other arts organizations and non-profits from around the state can learn from.

Daniel Howes made the DSO the centerpiece of his column today in the Detroit News. We spoke with him  to hear about the successes of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Listen to the full interview above.

Read more
Stateside
5:31 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

History can teach us a lot: What Detroit can learn from Atlanta

Andrew Young was Mayor of Atlanta for two terms in the 1980s
Sodexo USA/ Flickr

In the early 1980s, the city of Atlanta was known as the murder capitol of America. It's economy was flailing, much of the city was dangerous - the city needed help.

Sound familiar? 

The national image of Atlanta sounds alarmingly similar to how many Americans view the city of Detroit.

Read more
Politics & Culture
5:22 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Stateside for Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

On today's show: we continue our look at road-funding Michigan.

There's a new proposal out this week in the state House that would shift the way we pay for road and bridge repairs, but can it really pass with both Democratic and Republican support?

Read more
Arts & Culture
5:13 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Sitting down with Red Tail Ring

Red Tail Ring in the studios at Michigan Radio
Mercedes Mejia Michigan Radio

We’ve all heard the term “comfort food”. Well how about some “comfort music”?
 
Red Tail Ring  is a duo from Kalamazoo serving up American roots music that harkens back to gentler days, and it’s music that soothes and wraps around you like a shawl.
 
Red Tail Ring is Michael Beauchamp and Laurel Premo and they join us here in the studio.

Listen to the full interview above.

Read more
Politics & Culture
5:13 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Stateside for Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

There are more than 37,000 homeless students in Michigan. That's up 66 percent in the last four years. On today's show, we ask why is homelessness among students on the rise even as the state economy heads towards recovery.

Later in the hour, we're joined in the studio by Red-Tail-Ring - a Kalamazoo duo serving up American roots music.

We first look at the subject of sick-leave and requiring employers to provide sick-days to their workers.

Lawmakers in Lansing are moving to block local cities and towns from passing any laws requiring businesses to offer sick leave to their workers.

Such laws have been passed in Seattle, San Francisco and several other major cities. The entire state of Connecticut, and New York City are expected to soon pass a sick leave ordinance.

Backers of these "paid sick leave" ordinances say they're designed to protect people in lower-paying jobs - the workers who stand to lose their jobs if they try to call in sick.

Republican Representative Earl Poleski of Jackson is sponsoring one of the bills that would block local governments from putting paid sick leave ordinances into place.

He joined us to talk about his bill.

Politics & Government
5:12 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Blocking cities from adopting paid sick leave ordinances

Chicken noodle soup and medication.
Robert Couse-Baker Creative Commons

Lawmakers in Lansing are moving to block local cities and towns from passing any laws requiring businesses to offer sick leave to their workers.

Such laws have been passed in Seattle, San Francisco and several other major cities. The entire state of Connecticut, and New York City are expected to soon pass a sick leave ordinance.

Backers of these "paid sick leave" ordinances say they're designed to protect people in lower-paying jobs - the workers who stand to lose their jobs if they try to call in sick.

Republican Representative Earl Poleski of Jackson is sponsoring one of the bills that would block local governments from putting paid sick leave ordinances into place.

He joined us to talk about his bill.

Listen to the full interview above.

Economy
5:12 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Getting through school when you have no home

Poverty has doubled in Livingston County over the last 5 years
SamPac creative commons

If you could walk into any school in Michigan and look around at the students, you might not realize it, but somewhere in there you would see students who are homeless.

There are more than 37,500 homeless students in Michigan, and that's up 66 percent in the past four years. So, even as the economy begins to struggle its way toward recovery in Michigan, we have a rising number of homeless students trying to struggle their way through school.

Joining us to talk about the challenges that homelessness poses to students and to the school districts are Angela Parth, the executive director of "The Connection Youth Services" in Livingston County, and Holly Fiedler, the homeless Liaison and Social Worker at Milan Area Schools.

Listen to the full interview above.

Read more
Politics & Culture
9:42 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Stateside for Monday, April 15th, 2013

On today's Stateside, we look beyond the debate over road funding and take a look at just how - if Governor Snyder gets his proposed $1.2 billion in transportation funding - the money will be spent: Just who would get the majority share of that money and who decides where repair funding goes?

Read more
Stateside
3:39 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Is this normal-ish Michigan weather?

Midwest weather makes 'normal' something hard to define
user thebridge Michigan Radio

Why is it so cold this spring?

Jeff Masters, PhD, Director of Meterology at Weather Underground, tried to shed some light on our slow seasons.

Read more
Stateside
3:29 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

A letter to Congress from 55 state officials demands immigration reform

Rashida Tlaib is one of 55 elected officials from Michigan who called upon Congress for immigration reform

Rashida Tlaib (D) is a state representative from the 6th district and is one of 55 state and local officials who wrote a letter to four big names in Washington D.C.

Tlaib and others called on John Boehner (House Speaker), Nancy Pelosi (House Minority Leader), Harry Reid (Senate Majority Leader) and Mitch McConnell (Senate Minority Leader) to help lead the way on our country's immigration policies.

Read more
Stateside
3:00 pm
Mon April 15, 2013

Four short and sweet books you should read this spring

Michigan writer and poet Keith Taylor
Robert Turney

Let's cross our fingers and hope that spring is here to stay. As the grass gets greener and flowers begin blooming, why not welcome the warmer weather with some light spring reading?

Keith Taylor, a poet and writer, as well as a professor at the University of Michigan, has given us a few suggestions for our spring reading lists.

Don't worry, they're short.

"We should be getting outside, and working in the garden...we don't want to start reading Anna Karenina outside right now," Taylor said.

Read more
Politics & Culture
5:03 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Stateside for Thursday, April 11th, 2013

As the national debate over gun control continues, we take a look at just how pervasive gun violence is here in Michigan.

We also look at efforts to regulate Mixed Martial Arts fighting in Michigan.

And zombies are taking over MSU. Students are fighting back... with nerf guns (they work on zombies).

Later in the show, we meet a writer and fisherman who finds his inspiration in the Detroit River.

But first, we check-in with Daniel Howes, columnist at the Detroit News, about Gov. Rick Snyder's relationship with those in his party.

Politics & Culture
5:03 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Diving into Michigan's gun culture

The Lansing library system says Michigan's open-carry of weapons law does not apply to its facilities.
flickr

All this week, Bridge Magazine has run a series of in-depth stories delving into Michigan's gun culture.

Guns in Michigan explores a wide range of questions including what happens at the point where gun rights and public safety intersect?

And how pervasive is gun violence in Michigan?

Pat Shellenbarger wrote the series.

He's a writer based in West Michigan. If his name sounds familiar, it could be because he was a reporter and editor at the Detroit News as well as The Grand Rapids Press and the St Petersburg Times.

He joined us on Stateside today, listen to the audio above.

Read more
Stateside
5:00 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

Attention: Zombies infiltrate MSU campus

Spartans are fighting for their lives as zombies raid MSU's campus this week. (Nerf darts are to zombies as silver bullets are to werewolves.)
YouTube

The zombie apocalypse has spread to Spartan Nation.

This week, hundreds of Michigan State students are participating in the third annual "Spartans versus Zombies" game.

Here's an 'informational video':

Michigan Radio's Cynthia Canty spoke with Shannon Mazurie, who helped bring the game to campus and is the organizer of this year's event.

Listen to the audio above to find out if and how Spartans are surviving, how zombies "eat" humans, and how Spartans manage to make it to class with zombies chasing them.

Stateside
5:00 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

A recent fighter's death inspires proposal to regulate mixed martial arts fighting

Mixed martial arts can be dangerous, especially among amateurs
mickepe MorgueFile

Mixed martial arts can be traced far into the history of sport fighting. The full contact sport has competitive roots in Brazil and Japan and allows players to hit and strike one another when standing or on the ground, much like wrestling.

Last Saturday, a 35-year-old mixed martial art fighter died after an amateur fight in Port Huron.

Following the death, State Representative Harvey Santana (D-Detroit) from the 9th district in Detroit was able to push a package of reform bills through the House that would finally regulate amateur MMA fights in the state of Michigan.

Read more
Stateside
5:00 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

The latest on Snyder and the Republican party

Rick Snyder's proposals clashed with Republicans in the capitol
Tiberius Images / Flickr

Let's talk relationships - political relationships.

Governor Snyder wants $1.2 billion a year for rebuilding of Michigan roads. He has also proposed increased gas taxes and vehicle registration fees, which haven't gone over well with state Republicans.

He's also said he wants to expand Medicaid using money from the federal government under provisions in the Affordable Care Act, which hasn't been warmly received by Republicans either.

So where does this rift leave the Republican party, and what does it say about Governor Snyder and his leadership style?

Read more
Stateside
4:30 pm
Thu April 11, 2013

The Living Room series - Fishing on the Detroit River

Peter Markus
Vimeo

This piece featured on Stateside is part of an ongoing series called The Living Room, curated by Allison Downey.

"There are those for whom fishing is not only a family tradition, but a creative act: Michigan-based writer and fisherman, Pete Markus is in that category. The river and fishing inspire his work. And his writing is a hybrid of fiction and poetry. He's got this tendency to say volumes with just a few words that he repeats over and over again. Words like fish, river and Bob," Downey reported.

Pete Markus is a 2012 Kresge Literary Arts Fellow, who teaches writing in Detroit Public Schools. Producer Zak Rosen spent time fishing and talking with Markus on the Detroit River. You can listen to the audio above.

Read more
Stateside
3:21 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Can Detroit be the next 'Comeback Kid'?

Kate Sumbler Flickr

Who doesn't love that quintessential story of the underdog who battles and claws his or her way out of some apparently impossible challenge. David and Goliath,  Rocky Balboa, the 'Miracle on Ice' are all great underdog stories that never cease to captivate the minds of people.

Will Detroit be the next great underdog story to make the list?

Read more
Stateside
2:54 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Fred Durhal is 'not for sale' when it comes to new bridge

Last May, Snyder made an agreement with Canada to build a new bridge over the Detroit
J. Stephen Conn Flickr

When Governor Rick Snyder came into office, one of the priorities of his campaign was to build a new international bridge to span the Detroit River.

Snyder's proposal for the  bridge - from Detroit to Windsor - was denied time and again by Michigan's state Legislature. Democrats in the State House and Senate were against the idea, as were many members of the Governor's own party. 

But last May Snyder made an agreement with Canada in which Canada would pay for the construction of the new bridge - without the consent of Michigan Legislature. 

Read more

Pages