Stateside

The recent publication of Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury focused our attention on President Trump's fitness to hold office.

Wolff claims White House aides harbor deep concerns about the president's mental health, although those same aides publicly deny that.

President Trump and his supporters say they want to "make America great again," but just what that means and what part of America's past they refer to as "the greatest" is unclear.

Given our nation's turbulent history when it comes to the treatment of people of color and women, there are some who feel that slogan is not meant to include them.

For most of us, working in subzero temperatures doesn’t sound like the dream job. But the cold doesn't seem to bother World Championship ice carver Tajana Raukar.

Raukar is the owner of Ice Dreams Sculptures in Plymouth. It's cold in her studio, and she's wearing full on winter gear. 

It has been four months since Hurricanes Irma and then Maria slammed into Puerto Rico. The death toll and damage to the island is unprecedented: Power grid and water infrastructure have been torn apart, triggering a health crisis. Best estimates say around half the nation is without power, and some experts say some areas may not get power back until this spring.

Michigan has set new cleanup rules for chemicals that have contaminated drinking water sources all around the state. The chemicals in question are per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

They were used in firefighting foam and in a wide range of products, from fast-food paper wrappers to textiles and carpeting, pesticides, printing inks, and more. They have since been linked to some cancers and other health problems.

Lance Werner, the executive director of the Kent District Library, originally thought he’d become an FBI agent. Instead, he’s just been named the Top Librarian in the Nation by Library Journal. Werner is the first Michigan librarian to receive the honor.

“I’m so proud to represent Michigan and to kind of bring us into the national spotlight,” Werner told Stateside. “In my opinion, Michigan’s libraries are among the best in the world, and I think it’s great that everybody’s kind of watching us now.” 

 

It's Wednesday, so it's time to talk Michigan History. This week, we observe the anniversary of the 1945 assassination of State Senator Warren G. Hooper.

 

Mark Harvey, state archivist, along with Scott Burnstein, Detroit mafia historian and author, and Rick Pluta, Michigan Radio's Capitol bureau chief, joined Stateside to help tell the story.

 

Fans of singer-songwriter Jill Jack know she's been a mainstay of Detroit’s music scene for over two decades.

Back in October, she released her 12th full length album These Days, a nod to the Jackson Browne tune.

At the 2017 Detroit Music Awards, Jack was recognized for Outstanding Americana Artist/Group, Outstanding Americana Vocalist and Outstanding Jazz Recording for "Pure Imagination."

Cal Freeman’s newest collection of poems, Fight Songs, has nothing to do with ‘The Victors’ or ‘Victory for MSU.’ Instead, his poems are about unsung, little-noticed lives, about underdogs, about animals, plants, and nature.

Talking about mental illness goes hand in hand with talking about stigma, that fear of being judged or having one’s symptoms blamed on bad behavior rather than a disease. Stigma keeps people from seeking the help they need for their mental illness, but what if patients and families could see their mental illness?

When Detroit joined the national scrum to win the second Amazon headquarters, a big deficiency became glaringly obvious.

Amazon wants access to public transit for that $5 billion second headquarters with its 50,000 jobs.

And southeast Michigan gets a big zero for public transportation.

One of the key roles of a state attorney general is protecting consumers.

A guest editorial in Bridge Magazine today accuses Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette of a weak track record of consumer protection.

Theater Talk is back for the New Year.

David Kiley of Encore Michigan joined Stateside today to bring the latest look at productions from professional theater companies around the state.

As the New Year begins, he also shares his thoughts on the state of professional theater in Michigan, including what he says is its biggest challenge: awareness.

Classically trained in vocal performance at the University of Michigan’s School of Music, Theatre & Dance, Holden Madagame was a mezzo soprano. 

But today, he sings professionally as a tenor.

The Next Idea

It’s fair to say that mothers need all the help they can get. Family and friends can step in, of course, but what about things like getting lactation advice, finding support groups, programs for kids, and most of all, finding other like-minded mothers?

Some metro areas seem to have lots of resources, but two Detroit residents connected over what they felt was a real lack of community in their city.

 


 

We’ve had some listeners reach out on twitter to put in a request: talk some hockey!

We aim to please, and the timing is perfect — it’s the mid-season mark.

 

John U. Bacon, Michigan Radio sports commentator, joined Stateside to give us an update on all things hockey, with a side of basketball and football.

The new federal tax bill could mean lower federal taxes, but Governor Snyder and some economists say that it could lead to higher state income taxes.

That’s stirring up fresh talk in Lansing about cutting Michigan’s personal income tax to cushion the effects of the federal tax reform.

Thirty years ago this week, on January 5, 1988, the last train left Michigan Central Station. That moment marked the end of nearly 75 years of Michiganders catching trains at the once-proud station.

Dan Austin, who has written three books about Detroit history and founded HistoricDetroit.org, and Mark Harvey, state archivist from the Michigan History Center, joined Stateside to discuss the station's legacy.

In this era of texting and tweeting, we’re at risk of losing some of the marvelous words that add texture and meaning to conversation and writing.

A good place to begin to up our collective language game is by checking out the newest list from the Wayne State University Word Warriors. The group dug around in the linguistic cellar to recover neglected words that deserve a place in 2018.

Yes, 2018 has arrived! Time to look back at some highlights from West Michigan’s music scene in 2017 as well as looking forward to some artists generating attention as the new year unfolds.

Top West Michigan musicians of 2017

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say this was a banner year musically for the west side of the state, which already had produced stars like BØRNS, a native of Grand Haven who continues to electrify the pop scene from his new home in Los Angeles.

What will this New Year bring in Michigan politics?

To answer that question, Stateside turned to Michigan Radio’s It’s Just Politics team, Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta.

They discussed the political stories likely to surface in 2018, including the upcoming election and how Washington might influence state politics this year.

Michigan has held one wolf hunt. That was in 2013, when 22 wolves were killed in the Upper Peninsula.

The next year, a federal judge put wolves back on the endangered species list.

Since then, lawmakers from Michigan, as well as Minnesota and Wisconsin, have tried to tack on riders to various bills in Congress that would "de-list" the wolves. These moves are backed by farmers who say wolves are preying on their livestock.

But now, a new study indicates those farmers may be contributing to that predation problem. How? By not burying their dead cows.

 


 

President Trump and Congressional Republicans are celebrating today after the House and Senate delivered an epic overhaul of our tax laws.

 

The GOP is hailing the package as a gift to the middle class, although the biggest tax cuts go to corporations and the wealthiest Americans.

 

Dave Camp is a former Michigan Congressman. He served in the House from 1991 to 2015.

 

Tax reform was one of his main priorities. In fact, he served four years as Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, the House's tax writing body. He is now a Senior Policy Advisor for PwC.

 

“He errs who thinks Santa enters through the chimney. Santa enters through the heart.”

So said the founder of the Charles W. Howard Santa School in Midland, Michigan.

Yes, you read that right. There is such a thing as Santa school, and the one in Michigan is the longest-running in the country. With students coming from as far as Australia and Denmark, it’s known as the “Harvard of Santa Schools.”

There's no shortage of Christmas productions this season. And, as always, David Kiley of Encore Michigan tells about a few of the latest happening around the state. 

Listen above to hear his take on the following:

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