Northern Michigan

After the drama of causing last month’s Total Solar Eclipse, the Moon wanes out of sight in the morning sky this week, and comes to New Phase on Wednesday, just two days before Autumn Equinox, when Sun and Earth achieve their twice-each-year seasonal balance, and day and night are equal in length.

Even though the date of Equinox is determined by the relationship between Earth and Sun, the mood of the season is very much determined by the Moon. 

Radio Diaries: Start at the Bottom

Sep 15, 2017

When I moved to Traverse City in 1970, I had a master’s degree and years of experience but I couldn’t find a job.  Desperate to pay the rent, I followed up on a “Gal Friday” position at the local newspaper.

Nobody would use that term today, but back then it described a kind of all-purpose assistant on the bottom rung of the organization.  “Reading proofs, delivering proofs,” the advertising director told me.  “You know you’re overqualified.”  I knew but I needed the work.

National Writers Series: An evening with W. Bruce Cameron

Sep 15, 2017
Tom Haxby

Novelist W. Bruce Cameron says having his first story published at the age of sixteen was the worst thing that could have happened to him. After that first story, it took Cameron 25 more years to publish his first book, “Eight Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter.” That book was made into a sitcom on ABC. Since then he’s published 15 more books, including “A Dog’s Purpose,” which was made into a feature film released in January 2017. W. Bruce Cameron talks this hour with WTCM NewsTalk 580 radio host Ron Jolly.

Radio Diaries: Secret of Popularity

Sep 11, 2017

My mother puts the kitchen timer on the piano and sets it for 15 minutes.  I sit on the bench and open my practice book.  First I do scales and then the stupid little songs about snow flakes and rain drops and spring flowers.

When the buzzer goes off, I quit playing and bolt from the piano.  “You could at least finish the song,” my mother says in her disappointed voice.

“I hate practicing,” I say as I open the refrigerator.

The big news in the sky this week is all about Cassini, the spacecraft that will plunge into Saturn on Friday, after 20 years of fascinating voyage and discovery.

The Cassini spacecraft was named for Giovanni Domenico Cassini, the 17th century Italian astronomer who discovered four of Saturn’s moons and the division of Saturn’s rings, all at a time when the concept of the Earth orbiting the Sun was still stirring up trouble. 

Scribner

Nearly 50 years ago, North Vietnamese and Viet Cong soldiers launched an offensive that changed the course of the Vietnam War. 

 


One of the promises President Donald Trump built his campaign on, and a promise he continues to repeat, is bringing jobs back to the United States.

But many employers say it’s workers they need. All across Michigan, businesses are constantly struggling to fill openings.

That pressure is particularly acute on Mackinac Island and Mackinaw City. Many popular hotels and restaurants there rely heavily on foreign workers who enter the country on H-2B visas.

Radio Diaries: Another Pair of Eyes

Sep 5, 2017

As we slide the canoe into the Betsie River, I tie a bandana around my hair and pick up a paddle.  The water looks high but before I comment, my husband says, “Water is low; I wonder if they’ve lowered the dam.”

“Water is low?” I wonder, glad I didn’t remark otherwise.  Staring down at the muscular stems of water lilies, I remember Mary Oliver’s poem—how she says the blossoms look perfect but when she gets up close, each has a defect.

 

This week’s Full Moon is not the Harvest Moon. Harvest Moon is the name given to the Full Moon closest to Autumn Equinox, and this year, that Moon will happen in October. So what becomes of September’s ull Moon when it’s not Harvest Moon? 

 

In some traditions, the September Full Moon is then known as the Wine Moon. This Moon will come to Full Phase at 3 a.m. on Wednesday, September 6.

So why Wine Moon? This may be connected to the region of the sky that’s settling into the horizon after sunset at this time. 

Dan Wanschura

A group of Kalkaska residents says their community supports a recall of village president Jeff Sieting.

Kalkaska for Peace formed after posts on Sieting’s Facebook page went viral in June. In one post, Sieting compared Islam to “a flesh-eating bacteria,” and called for nuclear weapons to be used on Muslim cities.

“We were very concerned about the type of publicity that Kalkaska was receiving, and we wanted to do something about it,” says organizer Elizabeth Dunham.

In the aftermath of the Great American Eclipse, the moving Moon goes up the sky, as though merely fulfilling its routine tasks, meeting and greeting all the planets and stars. And though the eclipse is over now, I like to think we can feel it still.

Radio Diaries: Quitting

Aug 25, 2017

My mother was in the hospital with internal bleeding.  “They say I have liver trouble from drinking,” she said in a puzzled voice.  “Maybe it was those Pina coladas I had on the cruise.”

I knew it wasn’t the Pina coladas.  Twenty years earlier, as a young girl, I had asked my mother about the wine in the cupboard that disappeared so quickly.  My father told me not to mention it again.

National Writers Series: An evening with Mary Roach

Aug 24, 2017

Mary Roach writes books about science that have a sense of humor. She’s written eight books, including “Stiff,” about human cadavers, and “Bonk,” about the science of sex. Roach’s latest book is “Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War.” She talks this hour with actor and fellow author Benjamin Busch. He asked Roach about her beginnings as an author, writing press releases for the San Francisco Zoo from a trailer next to the gorilla exhibit.

Common carp have been in Michigan since the late 1800s. They’re not considered an invasive species because they’ve been around so long. Many people consider them to be a “trash fish,” but flyfishing for carp is very popular in northern Michigan.

Invasive or not? A Great Lakes Puzzle

Aug 23, 2017
Central Michigan University

Around the Great Lakes, millions of dollars are spent to fight invasive species like Asian carp. They cause a lot of damage. But when scientists discover a new animal or plant in the region, it’s not always clear if it’s harmful - or helpful.

That debate has begun over a shrimp.

The bloody red shrimp is roughly the size of a pencil eraser. They came to the Great Lakes around 2006, hitching a ride in the ballast water of cargo ships from the Black Sea.

Since then, they’ve worked their way into all of the Great Lakes except Superior.

Megan Nadolski

Monday afternoon people can step outside and watch the solar eclipse. From our view here in northern Michigan, only part of the sun will be blocked by the moon – 75 percent. Peak coverage happens at 2:20 p.m.

The Eyaawing Museum was designed around this central exhibit. A pair of mated eagles were doing a bonding ritual where they lock talons and freefall together. Their wing tips hit two powerlines and the pair were electrocuted to death.
Morgan Springer

Two replicas of Christopher Columbus’ ships have drawn protests from Native American groups. The boats – called the Niña and Pinta – are touring the Great Lakes this summer and are now tied up in Grand Traverse Bay at the Clinch Park Marina.

Chase Hunt paints on a longboard in his garage in Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

Chase Hunt loves skateboarding and longboarding. But even more than that, he loves graffiti art. He says the two go hand in hand.

“They’re kind of the same people,” he explains. “You meet a lot of graffiti artists that are skateboarders.”


Radio Diaries: Knowing How

Aug 18, 2017

I am carrying my old desk lamp into the elegant lighting store, trying to slip past the   crystal chandeliers on my way to the repairs department.  Standing in line, I stare at the clutter of parts I can’t even identify.  “Can I help you?” the man asks.

“I need a new switch,” I say, gesturing at my old lamp.  “When I turn the three-way bulb on the lowest setting, it flickers.”

The man removes the shade and the bulb.  “A 50-100-200-watt bulb is kind of hard on this switch,” he says, “but the switch itself is fine.”  Then he holds my bulb up to his ear.  “Listen,” he says.

On the next edition of Michigan Writers on the Air, Julie Buntin will read from her stunning debut novel Marlena. Heather Shumaker will lead us through the saga of the saving of the Arcadia Dunes.  And Nancy Parshall will a read short story from her prize winning chapbook, Proud Flesh.


Katie Larson (left) and Sav Buist of The Accidentals stopped by IPR to chat about the band's new album.
Dan Wanschura

The Accidentals drop a new album this Friday.

“Odyssey” is the band’s first album since signing a record label deal with Sony Music Masterworks earlier this year. It features a mix of brand new songs and songs written years ago but never recorded.

More than half of the Summer has now passed,  and there’s a deep mystery that presents itself each year at this time.

We’re just about seven weeks from Summer Solstice,  and in the cycle of the plant kingdom, now is the time when we can tell whether the blossoms that were offered up to the Sun at its highest hour were well-received. We can tell this in the nature of the harvest.

Jessica Masse has been tuning and caring for pianos at Interlochen Center for the Arts for eight years.
Dan Wanschura

Interlochen Arts Camp just wrapped up for the season. During the summer, over 230 pianos are on campus for the students. That’s a lot of work for a piano tuner.

“The only thing I can compare it to is having an infant,” says Jessica Masse. “And always having to just be at their beck and call.”

Radio Diaries: Home to the Highlands

Aug 11, 2017

As soon as I got off the plane in Glasgow, Scotland, I felt at home—although I’d never been there.  The ruddy, angular faces and thick accents seemed familiar somehow.

Half Scottish on my mother’s side, I yearned to know this place my grandfather had left and longed for.  So when I finished college, I accepted an invitation to visit my friend, Betty, who was spending the summer in the highlands.

Kent Shoemaker

One of the most memorable characters in the novel "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Brontë is Mr. Edward Fairfax Rochester. He is a wealthy man who hires Jane Eyre as a governess.

Mr. Rochester is known as the passionate, difficult and mysterious man who falls in love with her in the story. But little is learned about his background in Brontë’s novel. Now, 170 years after "Jane Eyre" was published, writer Sarah Shoemaker tells his story in a new book called "Mr. Rochester."

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