Stateside

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The Michigan Supreme Court opens its 2012 session this week.
Subterranean / Flickr

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kelly retired this week.

The 74-year-old Kelly couldn't run again because the State Constitution bars judicial candidates from seeking office if they're over 70 years of age.

Justice Kelly stated her satisfaction with her time served in Michigan.

“I’ve been delighted to help shape the law in this state…I think the courts made some good decisions over the years,” she said.

Paul Hitzelberger / United Photo Works

According to an independent annual audit, Detroit's deficit recently reached almost $327 million.

Detroit Free Press editorial writer Nancy Kaffer addressed the city’s dire financial status.

Kaffer said Detroit is closer to having an emergency financial manager, but was unsure as to how soon it would happen.

“There is a relatively dysfunctional relationship between the Mayor and the Council... you really have to have everybody on board together to get some of the dramatic changes they’re looking for,” said Kaffer.

Stateside: The state of our waste

Jan 7, 2013
skatebiker / Wikimedia Commons

Mark Kurlyandchik, author of “Waste Matters,” is tracking his trash.

Kurlyandchik’s recent Hour Magazine article investigated Michigan’s treatment of its waste materials.

Some of his findings were striking.

“The average American produces almost four and a half pounds of trash a day. The U.S. makes up four percent of the world’s population, but we generate 30 percent of the global waste,” he said.

Kurlyandchik noted the country’s culture of consumerism as a reason for this large amount of waste.

Stateside for Monday, January 7, 2013

Jan 7, 2013

Today, we spoke with Mark Kurlyandchik about where our waste goes. His recent Hour Magazine article, "Waste Matters" investigated the state of landfills in Michigan.

Are you ready for the Red Wings?

Michigan Radio's John U. Bacon spoke today about the NHL's comeback.

Does Detroit need a financial manager? Detroit Free Press writer Nancy Kaffer spoke about the city's economic situation.

Listen to these stories and more on today's podcast.

Stateside for Thursday, January 3, 2013

Jan 3, 2013

Today, Michigan Radio's Kyle Norris brought us to a center that teaches vogue dancing to LGBTQ children.

The Detroit News' Daniel Howes and Michigan Radio's Jack Lessenberry discussed Congress' recent fiscal cliff agreement and what it means for Michigan businesses.

How did the Auto Industry fare in 2012? Michigan Radio's Tracy Samilton provided a recap.

All of those stories and more on today's Stateside.

Kyle Norris

Matthew Dawson is the kid wearing sunglasses inside, in the middle of the day. He’s in a room full of about twenty kids who flip, dip, and cat-walk in a dance style known as “vogue.” (For a quick reference, think Madonna’s “Vogue” video from 1990.)

He says this style of dancing is a powerful way for him to express himself. “One of the emotions I say I put into my vogue is anger. I feel like I put it into vogue so I won’t have to put it into other things that are not very constructive.”

Matthew Dawson says as an LGBTQ young person, if he danced like this in the outside world—or on the street—he would not be safe.  And these vogue dancers find safety in their dance community.

Among the many voices at the Ruth Ellis Center is Adesola Akinleye, a professional dancer and choreographer. She contacted the center  to be of service to the LGBTQ young adults who come there.

She teaches them ballet.

But the youth have also been teaching her about the world of vogue dancing.

Listen to Michigan Radio’s Kyle Norris audio postcard above.

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Stateside: Higher education at the core of Michigan's revival

Jan 3, 2013
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Creating cities with educated populations will play a large role in Michigan's revitalization.

Lou Glazer, President and co-founder of Michigan Future Inc., says that globalization and technology are more powerful in creating a new Michigan than politics or policy.

“You have to be inventing what’s next," he said.

Glazer's new agenda aims to create a city in which talent wants to live.

To do so, he claims, there has to be a high population of college-educated citizens.

“The places that are doing the best... have a community DNA that values learning, entrepreneurship and being welcoming to all," said Glazer.

For more of Glazer's interview, listen to the audio above.

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Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Congress passed a bill Tuesday that would prevent the U.S. from falling over the 'fiscal cliff.'

Addressing the bill’s impact on Michigan were Daniel Howes of the Detroit News and Jack Lessenberry of Michigan Radio.

“The Michigan Republicans in the delegation were clearly split on this… a lot of them didn’t like it. The Bush tax cuts the Democrats spent the last ten years railing against were essentially made permanent for 98% of the tax payers,” said Howes.

According to Howes, much of the state's workers will witness increased taxes this year.

“About 77% of people who work are going to be paying higher taxes,” said Howes.

“Everybody seems to object to paying for things they get… most of the tax increases are restoring the Social Security payroll tax to what it used to be,” said Lessenberry.

Stateside for Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Jan 2, 2013

Welcome back to Stateside!

Congress kicked off 2013 with a deal averting the dreaded "fiscal cliff."

On today's show, Cyndy speaks with Michigan State University economics professor Charley Ballard about what that means for the state.

Also, was 2012 the warmest year on record? And what kind of weather can we expect for 2013?

And finally, it's back-to-school day for students in Muskegon Heights. Michigan Radio's Lindsey Smith breaks down the bumpy progress of Michigan's very first, fully privatized school district.

Stateside: Avoiding the fiscal cliff

Jan 2, 2013
Charley Ballard, Michigan State University economist, spoke with Cyndy about the health of Michigan's economy.
Michigan State University

The short-term compromise that Congress passed last night may have averted the immediate impacts of the so-called "fiscal cliff,” but bigger battles lie ahead for Congress and the White House.

Michigan State University Economics professor Charley Ballard spoke with Cindy about the deal and what we can expect in the coming months.

Ballard said he was hoping for a grand bargain, a much more comprehensive effort to deal with the country’s fiscal problems, but that something is better than nothing.

Stateside: Keeping our New Year's resolutions

Jan 2, 2013
normanack / flickr

New Year’s resolutions.

We may groan about them, we may proclaim that we are “above” making them, but it does seem that the New Year brings about a collective longing for a fresh start.

So, how do you keep going strong as the year goes on? And is it possible to turn a good intention into a lifelong, good habit?

University of Michigan psychologist Michelle Segar says the key to success is the ability to see something like exercise as a way to enhance our lives immediately, instead of the means to achieve a long-term goal.

Recovery Park is a project hoping to revitalize the city of Detroit and get people working. 

Gary Wozniak is the President and CEO.  

He has big plans for Recovery Park involving everything from growing Tilapia, to processing foods, and establishing a 30-acre farm scattered throughout the city.

“So the models that we’re looking at are a combination of the community gardening that’s happening in Detroit, the indoor agriculture that’s being promoted by Michigan State University and then a lot of the larger indoor models in Europe, predominately in the Netherlands,” Wozniak says.

A new urban agriculture ordinance will certainly play a big in making this redevelopment project a reality.

The idea started with Self Help Addiction Rehabilitation or (SHAR), a Detroit based substance abuse treatment program. 

SHAR’s mission is to transform individuals with addiction and those recovering a chance at a new life.

Wozniak has a very personal mission as well.


Mercedes Mejia

The Detroit Planning Commission recently approved a new Urban Agriculture Ordinance. The action takes the city a step closer to officially recognizing the dozens of urban farms and gardens scattered across the city.

The ordinance also defines the kinds of projects that would be allowed, such as farm stands, orchards or greenhouses. Stateside’s Mercedes Mejia reports some residents are experimenting with aquaponic systems. It’s a method of growing crops and fish at the same time.

Noah Link: Over here is our chicken coop. We have about 42 chickens and 4 ducks so far. You can hear the ducks – they’ve awfully loud and hungry probably.

Noah Link is the co-owner of Food Field. He lives and works in the Boston-Edison neighborhood in Detroit. I met up with him on his farm called Food Field. It’s on the site of a former elementary school - imagine a small farm tucked away in the city.

 "So if you go a few blocks one way there are huge historical mansions, and you go a few blocks the other way and it’s all run down old shops, and total poverty, and we’re right in between," he says.

Link and his business partner worked on several farms across the country. They knew it wouldn’t be easy to own a farm, but they’re doing the hard work. On the land are different kinds of crops, chickens, a few beehives, and a young orchard of fruit and nuts trees. There’s also a hoop house to grow vegetables year-round.

"And we’ve just built an aquaponic system to be able to raise fish in there, which I’ll show you."

An aquaponic system is a combination of hydroponics and aquaculture - growing plants in water and fish farming.

"And it takes the best of both of those in a self-sustaining system so then rather than having to worry about toxic fish waste to get rid of or keeping it sterile hydroponic environment for your plants, the plants grow out of the waste water from the fish that just get circulated with the pump and they clean out the water to keep it safe for all the fish in the tank," Link says.

Stateside: It's just a year of politics

Dec 20, 2012
It's Just Politics Logo
It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

As the year concludes, we're looking back at the momentous events that made 2012’s headlines.

Here are the following stories Michigan Radio's Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta of Michigan Public Radio Network discussed today:

Right-to-work

Speaker of the House Jase Bolger

11-year-old Noah Hudson-Peralta wants to remember the young boys and girls who lost their lives in the Sandy Hook tragedy. 

He came up with the idea of Gifts For 20 in honor of the twenty children who passed away.

On Saturday, December 22nd, "Sandy Hook Day", Noah encourages everyone to give presents to disadvantaged children by donating to the Toys for Tots drive in their local area.

Listen to our interview with Noah and his father Ryan Hudson-Peralta above. 

Stateside for Thursday, December 20, 2012

Dec 20, 2012

It has been a momentous year for Michigan.

Today we looked back at the stories that made political headlines with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta.

The Detroit News' Bill Loomis spoke with Cyndy about various holiday feasts of the 19th century.

Noah Hudson-Peralta, our local hero, started a program for those affected by the Sandy Hook tragedy.

And Michigan Radio's Mercedes Mejia provided a look at aquaponics in Detroit.

We thank you for a great 2012, and look forward to speaking again with you in 2013!

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Stateside: A 2012 review of the auto industry

Dec 20, 2012

The auto industry had some big stories in 2012.

Stateside spoke with Michelle Krebs, senior analyst at edmunds.com, and Tracy Samilton, auto beat reporter for Michigan Radio about this past automotive year. 

Sales are up in Detroit's 'Big Three' automotive companies, and the companies are adding jobs.

One of the biggest themes this year was fuel efficiency, especially with the new government Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards.

Stateside: Two firefighters' impressions of "BURN"

Dec 19, 2012
detroitfirefilm.org

It’s possible to leave “BURN” feeling as if you’ve just combated the inferno of multiple house fires.

The documentary- which utilizes actual footage of Detroit firefighters- is strikingly realistic, unlike previous films of its kind.

Firefighter Chris Palm and Sergeant Tony Angelucey shared their accounts of entering burning buildings.

Though an experienced firefighter, Angelucey was pleased with the shift of perspective the film afforded him.

“It was shocking to see what we do. We’re always doing it, so we don’t usually get to sit back and watch it unravel,” he said.

Stateside for December 19, 2012

Dec 19, 2012

Adie Tomer, a Senior Research Associate at the Brookings Institution, says that implementing a mass transit system in Detroit is entirely possible. Hear Tomer's reasons in today's podcast.

Detroit News' Daniel Howes provided Stateside with a look ahead at the coming year's political agenda.

Firefighter Chris Palm and Sergeant Tony Angelucey spoke with Stateside about fires in Detroit and the film, "BURN."

And Bridge Magazine's Rick Haglund explained why both firefighters and police officers were exempt from right-to-work.

Stateside: Police and fire unaffected by right-to-work in Michigan

Dec 19, 2012
jalopnik.com

Two groups, police officers and firefighters, were exempt from the right-to-work legislation.

Rick Haglund of Bridge Magazine said the exemption dates back to the late 1960's.

“Police and firefighters have a special recognition under state law called Public Act 312, which prevents firefighters and police officers from striking. It goes back to 1969, and the person who introduced the legislation was Coleman Young, who at that time was a State Senator," he said.

This act prevented them from striking but gave them binding arbitration.

However, those opposed to right-to-work are still wondering why these  groups were exempt.

According to Haglund, they have reason to be curious.

“It turns out that Michigan is the only state that does this. There are no other right-to-work states that do a carve out for police and fire,” said Haglund.

For more of Haglund's interview, listen to our above podcast.

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Stateside: Mass transit a possible option for the state

Dec 19, 2012
screen grab from YouTube video

Michigan’s  Regional Transit Authority will attempt to redesign travel throughout the state.

Adie Tomer, a Senior Research Associate at the Brookings Institution, says implementing a mass transit system in Detroit is entirely possible. Tomer says the state has put spending highway infrastructure ahead of spending on mass transit.

"One of the consequences of building out so many highways… is an underinvestment relative to those highway miles for public transit. In many ways, this left Detroit as one of the few cities without a major mass transit system," said Tomer.

Stateside for Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dec 18, 2012

The Grand Rapids School Board last night gave unanimous approval to a major restructuring plan. Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal spoke with Cyndy about the future of Grand Rapids schools.

Saul Anuzis, the former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party and Debbie Dingell, a Democratic National Committeewoman, shared their thoughts on Michigan's 2013 political agenda.

Early 20th century steam ships traveling from Chicago to South Haven carried some promiscuous passengers. Historian Larry Massie wrote a November article entitled “Floating Gomorra" for Encore Magazine, in which he investigates these ships and the people who frequented them.

Kyle Norris aired the first installment of her investigation of Detroit's homeless population. Listen to our podcast to hear Norris experience.

Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

On Monday, The Grand Rapids School Board unanimously approved a district restructuring plan. Recommended by Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal, the plan aims to both improve student achievement and save money.

The “Transformation Plan” attempts to reinvent the school district by closing ten buildings, reopening one elementary and reforming other programs. The plan will save more than $22.4 million over five years, with at least half being re-invested in replicating and expanding effective school programs.

Stateside: Lame duck concludes, 2013 comes into focus

Dec 18, 2012
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Lansing’s lame duck session has ended, allowing politicians to focus on their 2013 agendas.

To better understand what both parties will discuss, we heard from Saul Anuzis and Debbie Dingell.

Anuzis is the former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party and Dingell is a Democratic National Committeewoman.

Dingell expressed concern over the speed with which right-to-work legislation passed.

“People in Michigan were stunned by many of the bills that passed so quickly without discussion,” said Dingell.

“The lame duck session every two years is something where a lot of bills move very quickly. I don’t think anybody was surprised…” said Anuzis.

Stateside: Sailing on a ship of pleasure

Dec 18, 2012
holger.ellgaard

Early 20th-century steam ships traveling from Chicago to South Haven carried some promiscuous passengers.

Historian Larry Massie wrote a November article entitled “Floating Gomorra" for Encore Magazine, in which he investigated these ships and the people who frequented them.

In his article, Massie said that South Haven, a Mecca for Chicago tourists, placed a ban on alcohol.

This ban, said Massie, carried no authority on board the steam ships.

streetmedicine.org

Several Wayne State University students started Street Medicine Detroit in May.

They’d heard about a similar program in Pittsburg and they were inspired. They partnered with a Detroit non-profit called Neighborhood Service Organization and together they created a mobile medical clinic.

Philip Ramsey is a community outreach specialist with NSO. (Rumor has it that if you’re trying to locate a specific homeless person, and you give Ramsey the vaguest of details, he can go out and find that person who might be living in a tent next to highway.)

It’s Ramsey’s job to drive the med team around the streets and back-alleys of Detroit and to help them locate homeless people who are in need of medical services.

So once a week, the van rumbles down Michigan Avenue past prostitutes on the corners and a young man pushing a baby stroller.  Ramsey helps the team find people who are lying down on the ground or sitting on the curb. He says additional clues that someone may be homeless are people with dirty clothes and uncombed hair, or people who are openly drinking.

Stateside for Monday, December 17, 2012

Dec 17, 2012

Governor Rick Snyder must decide whether to approve or veto legislation that would allow concealed pistols in churches, day care centers and public schools. Michigan Public Radio Bureau Chief Rick Pluta spoke with Cyndy about the legislation.

Writer Micki Maynard sees parallels between New Orleans and Detroit- both cities share similar stories of revitalization and growth. Hear what Maynard said Detroit could learn from New Orleans.

Throughout the week we will be airing a series of stories Michigan Radio's Kyle Norris compiled on homelessness in Detroit. Today was Norris' introduction to the piece, as she discussed the various things that compelled her to write the story.

How would consumers in America function without paper currency? Miles Kimball, Professor of Economics at the University of Michigan, advocates the switch from paper to electronic currency. Hear Kimball's interview in today's podcast.

Stateside: Stories shared between two recovering cities

Dec 17, 2012
sassycrafter / Flickr

New Orleans and Detroit share a common story of recovery.

After Hurricane Katrina's devastation, New Orleans resembled Detroit post-economic crisis.

Writer Micki Maynard spoke with Cyndy about similarities she has seen between the two cities.

“Many people think that what happened in Detroit is the equivalent of an economic storm,” said Maynard.

Maynard has witnessed an influx of people moving from other cities to both New Orleans and Detroit, bringing with them fresh ideas of growth and innovation.

Stateside: Reconsidering Michigan's proposed gun legislation

Dec 17, 2012
flickr

Governor Snyder is considering a bill that would allow concealed pistols in churches, public schools and daycares.

Michigan Public Radio Lansing Bureau Chief Rick Pluta outlined the various aspects of the legislation.

“One of the trade-offs in this legislation would be that schools would no longer be open-carry areas. But they would be someplace where you could carry a concealed pistol if you took more classes," said Pluta.

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