Today on Current State: The Michigan Department of Transportation's draft of a five-year transportation plan; the local music scene with Anne Erickson of the Lansing State Journal; a proposal to bar local communities from negotiating with developers over wages; and the South American psychotropic drug ayahuasca.
It’s time for another look at the local music scene. Current State’s Scott Pohl is here with some concert and gift-giving ideas for December. He talked with Anne Erickson, the Lansing State Journal’s Things to Do reporter.
This week, the Michigan legislature has caught the ire of some municipal leaders who fear the state may be overstepping its reach into local government. One Republican sponsored bill now headed to the House floor would ban local communities from entering into negotiations with developers over wages and so-called “community benefits.” The measure has evoked criticism from a number of Democratic civic officials.
“It’s as if a well has been sunk deep into the sediment of my life, an artesian well drilled into the stratified, impermeable bedrock of the past, and every memory that is forced to the surface breeds another ten in front of my eyes.” Those provocative words come from Sting’s 2003 memoir, "Broken Music." They recall his 1987 experience with a South American psychotropic brew called ayahuasca.
Today on Current State: Police-community relations in Lansing; the New York Philharmonic's new residency partnership with the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor; and our Neighbors in Action segment this week is with the Capital Area Down Syndrome Association.
For weeks, the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner and the grand jury decisions not to indict the police officers involved in their deaths have sparked sometimes violent protests across the country. The cases have even reached mid-Michigan.
Today on Current State: A charter school advocate responds to a report critical of Michigan charter school authorizers; the U.S. Supreme Court considers a challenge to rules on mercury emissions; and the opera "William Tell" comes to Ann Arbor.
Many in Michigan’s charter school community are crying foul over a recent report that criticizes the state’s charter school authorizers. Authorizers of charter schools are educational institutions, often colleges, whose responsibility is to ensure oversight, accountability and adequate performance.
The environment has taken center stage in President Barack Obama’s second term. Under his direction, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued sweeping regulations aimed at curbing global warming. But should the EPA have to consider what it costs utilities to comply with those regulations? That’s the question being asked in a case before the Supreme Court right now.
Tonight at 7:30 at Ann Arbor’s Hill Auditorium, artists from Teatro Regio Torino perform a concert version of Rossini’s famed opera "William Tell". Music Director Gianandrea Noseda leads the performance, which makes stops in Chicago, Toronto and New York City.
Today on Current State: An update on federal oversight of Michigan's child welfare system; retailers in Michigan seek sales tax fairness; and a preview of tonight's Arts Chorale of Greater Lansing concert.
After six years of federal oversight, Michigan is seeking to reclaim control of its child welfare system. The state came under supervision of federal monitors in 2008. That was after a 2006 class action lawsuit that alleged the Michigan Department of Human Services had failed to protect the safety and well-being of almost 19,000 children in state custody.
Last week we learned that e-commerce sales on Cyber Monday 2014 topped $2-billion. That’s up more than 15-percent over last year. Big box giant Walmart and online powerhouse Amazon saw sizeable surges in their bottom lines. But the reports are not welcome news for everyone, including traditional brick and mortar retailers in Michigan.
Today on Current State: Ingham County experiments with police body cameras; snowboarding's Michigan history; the reliability of energy resources in rural Michigan; and Live Music Friday with Lansing-based saxophonist Phil Denny.
The recent deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland have re-ignited the debate over whether police officers should be made to wear body cameras to record their interactions. Some law enforcement agencies around the country have been experimenting with the technology. Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero is expected to announce next month that all city police will soon wear body cameras. In Ingham County, sheriff’s deputies working at the city jail are already trying them out.
We may be headed into the deep, dark winter, but Michiganders are well-known for thriving in the snow. Our state has made an industry of winter activities. The sport of snowboarding itself was born in Muskegon. Native son Sherman Poppen got it all started during Christmas of 1965.
Shortly before Thanksgiving, some rural businesses in Michigan’s Thumb region faced a difficult request. At the peak of the fall harvest, Consumers Energy asked several customers to voluntarily curtail their natural gas usage for 10 hours a day. The shutoff didn’t last long, but agri-business leaders say it highlighted an ongoing concern for the future of Michigan’s energy infrastructure.
Our Live Music Friday guest today is Lansing-based saxophonist Phil Denny. On Saturday night, the Phil Denny and Friends Christmas Collective will present his third annual holiday concert in the Pattengill Auditorium on Marshall Street in Lansing, starting at 7:30.
Today on Current State: Michigan Supreme Court Justice-elect Richard Bernstein; placing Lansing's homeless in permanent housing; a Michigan teacher working to preserve indigenous language; a preview of this weekend's "Home for the Holidays" concert; and a book reviewer of "We Are Not Ourselves" by Matthew Thomas.
Last month, 40-year-old Richard Bernstein was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court. He’s widely known for his work with his father’s Michigan-based law firm. His brother and sister are also part of the Sam Bernstein team, and all are well known from the firm’s television advertising.
Rebecca Porter (left) was homeless for most of the past year. She is working with case worker Amanda Fleckenstein (right) and others at Volunteers of America Michigan to move into permanent housing. She hopes to be in her new home by Christmas.
Michigan’s long winter months can give anyone the blues, but it’s an especially dangerous time for the homeless. Hundreds of people in mid-Michigan live on the streets, and their circumstances are diverse. In Lansing, officials are so far pleased with the results of a pilot program to move 11 people out of a makeshift camp and into permanent housing.
Movements to revitalize Native American languages have been popping up across the U.S. in recent years. Tribes from Massachusetts to California are using federal funds to help preserve their native tongues. The Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma has developed Cherokee language versions of Google, Wikipedia, and even Facebook.
MSU’s "Home for the Holidays" concert comes to the Wharton Center stage this Saturday at 4 p.m. Kevin Noe and Kieran McMillan are the creators of the production, based on last year’s successful program.
What makes a story engrossing? Is it a surprising plot? A new twist? Or is it about the characters? Maybe a little quirk in their personalities that we find amusing? Is it an ability to see a bit of ourselves in the pages? These are some of the questions I’ve been asking myself since reading "We Are Not Ourselves" by Matthew Thomas.
Today on Current State: State lawmakers consider road funding and LGBT rights during the lame duck session; cataloging plant life at the MSU Herbarium; MSU research into better stroke outcomes; and Neighbors in Action: Tori Saves Christmas.