Stateside

Politics & Culture
5:05 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Stateside for Monday, June 2, 2014

According to a report by a former head of the state Treasury Department's Office of Revenue and Tax Analysis, Michigan has been cutting taxes over the last 20 years. That's He finds, overall, Michigan's had the smallest increase in taxes in the country as measured on a per capita basis between 1977 and 2011.

On today’s Stateside, we looked at the effect of two decades of tax cuts in Michigan, and found out whether anyone has actually benefited.

Next, we checked in with an Ann Arbor- based group that records music by people who live in struggling villages in Senegal and turns the recordings into profits that go directly back to the communities.

But first on today’s show, we got an update on Detroit’s bankruptcy.

It has been a busy few days in Detroit's bankruptcy journey. Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr and Mayor Mike Duggan were on Mackinac Island last week making their collective cases to the state's lawmakers and business leaders.

At the same time, the city's pensioners have begun to vote on the plan of adjustment, even as opponents of the “Grand Bargain” are seeking new ways to get their hands on the city's art.

Detroit News Lansing reporter Chad Livengood joined us today.

*Listen to the full show above.

Stateside
5:04 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

The latest on Detroit's bankruptcy after the Mackinac Policy Conference

Credit Peter Martorano / Flickr

Today we got an update on Detroit’s bankruptcy.

It has been a busy few days in Detroit's bankruptcy journey. Emergency manager Kevyn Orr and Mayor Mike Duggan were on Mackinac Island last week making their collective cases to the state's lawmakers and business leaders.

At the same time, the city's pensioners have begun to vote on the plan of adjustment, even as opponents of the “grand bargain” are seeking new ways to get their hands on the city's art.

Detroit News Lansing reporter Chad Livengood and Michigan Radio's Zoe Clark joined us today.

*Listen to the interview above.

Stateside
5:04 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

The new right-to-farm requirements and backyard animals

Josh Larios Wikimedia

Recent changes in the Michigan right-to farm requirements have drawn criticisms from those worried it may curtail their ability to keep bees, chickens, or other farm animals in their backyards.

But are these changes as threatening to urban farming as detractors fear?

Writer Anna Clark has looked into the revisions in the right-to farm requirements and she believes the answer is “no.”

*Listen to the full show above.

Economy
5:02 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Report finds tax cuts have not been helping Michigan's economy

IRS Form 1040.
Credit stockphotosforfree.com

Michigan has been cutting taxes for the past 20 years. The key selling point has been that slashing taxes will create economic prosperity.

A new report by the former head of the state Treasury Department's Office of Revenue and Tax Analysis, Douglas Drake, says these tax cuts have instead drained Michigan of economic life, with our per-capita income rank tumbling, and our unemployment rate way above the national average.

Charles Ballard is an economist from Michigan State University.

*Listen to the full show above.

Stateside
4:54 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Ann Arbor group records Senegalese music for struggling villages

Griots and musicians from six villages came to record with Community Voice International in Sare Bidji, Senegal.
Credit Community Voice International

The music of the Keur Daouda Cisse village in Senegal has been recorded for Community Voice International.

They are just one of 10 communities that has been recorded for the organization. It's an Ann Arbor-based group that records music by people who live in struggling villages in Senegal and turns the recordings into profits that go directly back to the community.

The Founder and Executive Director of Community Voice International, David Bleckley, joined us today.

*Listen to the full show above.

Politics & Culture
8:26 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Stateside for Thursday, May 29, 2014

First on Stateside, Gov. Rick Snyder joined us from the Mackinac Policy Conference, followed by Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

The prevalence of social media has changed a lot in our world, and in the wake of graduation season social media may affect job prospects for applicants. Having social media profiles that are professional may be the key to landing a job. 

University of Michigan researchers have developed a new app for smartphones that can detect mood swings in bipolar patients via voice analysis, so that patients can get the help they need. 

In the midst of all of the recalls, General Motors is approaching its five-year anniversary of declaring bankruptcy. 

*Listen to the full episode above. 

Stateside
7:59 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Many people who have full-time jobs qualify for food stamps

We keep hearing that companies are looking for workers to fill high-skill, good-paying jobs. Why are some full-time workers in Michigan qualifying for food stamps?
Credit American Panel

Four years into the recovery from the Great Recession, what kinds of jobs are most available?

A recent report from the National Employment Law Project finds the poor economy has replaced good jobs with bad ones. 

Additionally, a recent analysis done for Bridge Magazine looked at the fastest-growing jobs in Michigan. Bridge's analysis found that many full-time workers will be paid so little that they'll qualify for food stamps.

We keep hearing that companies in Michigan are looking for workers to fill  high-skill, good-paying jobs. Is this not true? 

Stateside's Cynthia Canty spoke with Charles Ballard and Gilda Jacobs. Ballard is an economist at Michigan State University and Jacobs is the president and CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy. 

Listen to the interview by clicking the link above. 

Stateside
7:19 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

The chairs of both major parties chime in from the Mackinac Policy Conference

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.
Credit Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

  The 2014 Mackinac Policy Conference began today at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

Political and business leaders are gathering to discuss the major issues and challenges facing Michigan, and to hear from guest speakers.

Statewide elections are just five months away, so both parties have a lot of work to do between then and now.

We got the views from the Michigan leaders of both parties.

Joining us from Mackinac Island, we welcomed the chair of the Michigan Republican Party, Bobby Schostak, and the chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, Lon Johnson.

*Listen to the interviews above.

Politics & Culture
7:12 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Stateside for Wednesday, May 28, 2014

  Many in state government tout the fact that more jobs have been created in the past 10 years, but these are not necessarily high wage jobs with benefits; sometimes not even enough of a paycheck to raise a family of four above the poverty line.

On today’s Stateside, what does it mean if the economy is creating a majority of low-wage, unskilled jobs?

Later in the show, we listened to the winners from Michigan Radio's Great Michigan Read "One Minute" story-writing contest. The theme for the contest was "Hidden branches of your family tree: Unexpected stories that changed the way you think of yourself or your family."

But first we get an update on the happenings at the Mackinac Policy Conference.

Stateside
6:52 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

The oldest video store in the US is in Royal Oak, but now it's closing

Thomas Video in Royal Oak is closing their doors.

Thomas Video opened in 1974, and was the first store in the country to sell films. 

On Stateside, we spoke with Jim Olenski, the owner of Thomas Video about his business and why it's closing. 

According to Olenski, the store has been losing money for a long time, partly because of the rise in online movie streaming options, like Netflix. 

To hear Cynthia Canty's interview with Olenski, click the link above.   

Contests
5:46 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Michigan Radio selects winners of story-writing contest

Update: May 28, 2014

The one-minute story-writing contest will be featured on Stateside. Listen to the audio by clicking the link above. 

Michigan Radio has selected the winners of the station’s Great Michigan Read “One Minute” story-writing contest. The theme for the contest was “Hidden branches of your family tree: Unexpected stories that changed the way you think of yourself or your family.” Listeners were asked to submit a maximum 120-word story on the topic, and more than 175 stories were submitted. 

The winners selected were:

The Cracked Mirror, by Christopher N. Blaker (Click here to read the full story)

Story read by Michael Arnold

The Revelation, by Mary Seelhorst (Click here to read the full story)

Story read by Kathleen Beardmore

Pen Pals, by Jennifer Young (Click here to read the full story)

Story read by Adrienne Pisoni 

The story-writing contest was held in conjunction with the Michigan Humanities Council’s Great Michigan Read program. The Great Michigan Read aims to connect Michigan citizens by exploring our history, our present, and our future as discussed in a single literary title. 

Read more
Stateside
8:39 am
Wed May 28, 2014

One woman shares her failure at Teach for America

Caralis shared her story of failure at Failure:Lab last year.
Credit Screenshot from YouTube / YouTube

Katie Caralis works in Grand Rapids at the Creative Youth Center. She told her story about her experience in Teach for America at Failure Lab in Grand Rapids in May 2013. 

After Caralis graduated from the University of Michigan, she moved out West to work as a teacher in the TFA program. You can watch her share her experience in the video below. (And you can listen to her story above.)

Stateside
4:41 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Michigan House looks to fast-track minimum wage hike

Credit Thetoad / Flickr

We know that last week the state Senate gave speedy approval to a minimum wage measure.

Now the House is giving a fast-track to its own version, and both are designed to kill off a citizen petition drive to put the question of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour on the November ballot.

Why is the House acting on this issue so quickly?

And what do Michigan voters think about raising the minimum wage?

Kathleen Gray, a political reporter for the Detroit Free Press, joined us from the State Capitol.

*Listen to the story above.

Politics & Culture
3:24 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Stateside for Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Gov. Rick Snyder wants it. Big business wants it. And Canada is willing to foot the bill for it.

So why is the new bridge between Detroit and Windsor being sidetracked by politics in Lansing and foot-dragging in Washington?

Also, today on Stateside, a new study finds that female parolees and probationers who live in poor, high-crime neighborhoods, lack the support systems that those in more affluent areas have. That’s not a huge surprise, but how does this impact their chances of winding up back in prison?

And the state House is taking up a proposed increase to the minimum wage.

We know that last week the state Senate gave speedy approval to a minimum-wage measure.

Now the House is giving a fast-track to its own version, and both are designed to kill off a citizen petition drive to put the question of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour on the November ballot.

Why is the House acting on this issue so quickly?

And what do Michigan voters think about raising the minimum wage?

Kathleen Gray, a political reporter for the Detroit Free Press, joined us from the State Capitol.

*Listen to the story above.

Stateside
4:14 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Michigan is closer to putting money down for Detroit's "grand bargain"

Credit Peter Martorano / Flickr

Michigan has taken a big step closer to putting money down on the table of Detroit's "grand bargain."

The newly formed House Committee on Detroit's Recovery and Michigan's Future approved an $11 billion package that would see the state send $194.8 million dollars to Detroit. And it would create a panel to oversee city finances for at least 13 years. The aid package now goes to the full House. 

We were joined by the chair of that House committee. State Rep. John Walsh, R-Livonia. 

*Listen to the full interview above. 

Stateside
6:22 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

80-year-old agave plant about to show its only bloom in Ann Arbor

Mike Palmer, horticulture manager at Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum, stands in front of the American agave plant.
Credit Matthaei Botanical Gardens

It was 1934. The nation was deep in the Great Depression. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was in the White House. William Comstock was Michigan's 33rd governor.

And a University of Michigan graduate student in botany found an agave plant while on a botanical expedition to Mexico. He brought it back to Ann Arbor.

Now, 80 years later, that agave plant is getting set to bloom – for its first and only time.

Michael Palmer is the horticultural manager at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and the Nichols Arboretum and he joined us today.

*Listen to the interview above.

Stateside
6:20 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Detroit dance style the subject of a new documentary

"The Jit" in action.
Credit Detroit OG's / YouTube

It's called The Detroit Jit. It’s a dance style that started as a street dance in Detroit in the 1970s by three brothers who were known as The Jitterbugs.

And now the Jit and The Jitterbugs are the subject of a documentary that will be screened Friday at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Haleem Rasul is the founder of the dance group HardCore Detroit, and the producer of the film "The Jitterbugs: Pioneers of The Jit.”

Here's the trailer:

We welcomed Haleem Rasul to the program today, and one of the founders of The Jitterbugs, Tracy McGhee.

*Listen to the interview above.

Stateside
6:18 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

MSU research finds a candidate's weight can affect election chances

Credit user Tobyotter / Flickr

Does a political candidate's weight affect his or her chances of getting elected? Or even getting on the ballot in the first place?

New research by a Michigan State University professor and his wife, a Hope College professor, indicate the answer is “yes.”

Mark Roehling is a human resources professor at MSU and he joined us today.

*Listen to the interview above.

Stateside
6:16 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

DrinkDrivers keeps the party going after the beer runs out

Who's up for the next beer run?
Credit Matt Lehrer / Flickr

What happens when a house party is going full tilt and the beer runs out?

Chances are someone goes on a beer run. And chances are that "someone" has had a few drinks.

A new business that's opened in Ann Arbor aims to keep the party going without that "someone" having to get behind the wheel of a car.

DrinkDrivers is a new website and mobile app launched by a group of University of Central Florida grads who decided to make Ann Arbor its second launch location.

DrinkDrivers CEO Jeff Nadel joined us to explain how it works.

*Listen to the interview above.

Stateside
6:10 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Group wants you to "escape for good" from New Orleans to Detroit

Escape for Good promotional photo.
Credit Escape for Good.

Here's the challenge: Get yourself from New Orleans to Detroit. In 36 hours. No cash. No credit cards. Just your charm and ingenuity.

Oh, and one other thing: You'll be dressed up as your favorite hero.

It's the Escape for Good charity race, and if making your way from New Orleans to Detroit wearing your Batman suit or Forrest Gump beard, trucker hat and sneakers sounds like your thing, you can sign on now for the race that begins Friday.

Rocco Gardner is the creator of Escape for Good and he joined us today.

*Listen to the interview above.

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