Today on Current State: Efforts to prevent Ferguson-like disturbances in Michigan; Michigan products head to South by Southwest; the Michigan Seafood Summit; and an MSU retiree prepares to hike the Continental Divide for charity.
Last week, two key events in the arena of civil rights took place within days of each other, though one received much more attention than the other. On Thursday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder released a stinging report on the practices of the Ferguson, Missouri police department. Three days before, a presidential task force submitted a report offering recommendations for building trust between communities and the police. Here in Michigan, a sustained effort to create that sense of trust has been quietly underway for years.
Tens of thousands of music and movie fans will descend on Austin, Texas next week for the South by Southwest festival. The festival’s line up features a number of Michigan musicians, but they won’t be the only ones representing the Mitten state. Joining them will be a team from the arts advocacy group Creative Many, formerly ArtServe.
You might not guess that Michigan is a haven for seafood, since we’re so far from the ocean, but Michigan has long had thriving commercial fisheries, and aquaculture of fish and shrimp has grown by leaps and bounds in the last thirty years. So, what does the future hold for the state’s seafood industry? That’s the focus of the first annual Michigan Seafood Summit taking place tomorrow at MSU’s Kellogg Conference Center.
Like thousands of Michigan baby-boomers, Ken Dawson is planning to retire soon. Dawson has spent six years at Michigan State University, most recently as a project representative in the school’s Infrastructure, Planning and Facilities Department. Unlike many of those retiring boomers, he will soon be embarking on a challenging adventure. Beginning in about a month, the Farmington Hills resident will begin a 3,100 mile hike atop the spine of North America: the Continental Divide.
Today on Current State: A dispute over a proposed charter school in Brighton leads to an arrest; the Michigan roots of the office cubicle; riding bicycles on a frozen Lake Superior; and Live Music Friday with Hatchet Man and The Frog.
Last weekend in Brighton, Michigan, an opponent of a proposed charter school in that community was arrested. His infraction was his refusal to leave an “invitation only” meeting involving charter school supporters. Michigan charter schools receive public funding amounting to nearly $1-billion a year and are subject to oversight by the Michigan Department of Education. Glenn Ikens insists that as a Brighton resident and a taxpayer, it entitles him to attend such meetings.
The cubicle gets a pretty bad rap. The boxy workspace has become almost synonymous with isolation and corporate drudgery. But that’s not what its creator Robert Probst intended when he launched his innovative “Action Office” design in 1964.
Most Midwesterners are ready to thaw out after this cold and snowy winter. It's pretty exciting to see above 40 degree temperatures forecasted for next week. But there’s one group of people who aren’t ready to say goodbye to the ice and snow just yet: the North Coast Cycling Association in Bayfield, Wisconsin. They rely on a frozen Lake Superior for their Saturday trips to Madeline Island.
Our Live Music Friday guests today are Hatchet Man and the Frog. Hatchet Man is Dave Matchette, and the Frog is S.J. Forgey. You know them from their local bands Frog and the Beeftones and The Uptown Band. Both of them work at Elderly Instruments in Lansing.
Today on Current State: Michigan's future energy needs; incivility in social media; a Lansing program to make homes healthier and more energy efficient; a preview of Saturday's LSO concert; and Scott D. Southard reviews Emma Hooper's "Etta and Otto and Russell and James".
Later this month, Governor Rick Snyder is expected to deliver a special message outlining Michigan’s energy production goals. The Michigan Public Service Commission says the state will experience an energy shortfall as soon as next year, largely due to the planned retirement of nine coal-fired power plants in Michigan in the coming years.
Online comment sections are rarely friendly places, especially if they have anything to do with politics. What starts as a debate quickly devolves into name calling and personal attacks. So, what is it about the Internet that seems to bring out our rudeness, and is it possible for online spaces to foster collaboration or civic engagement instead of bickering? Those are some of the topics being discussed at an upcoming forum hosted by MSU’s Center for Community and Economic Development.
Hector Moreno (center) instructs Lansing-area assessors on the types of environmental and health hazards they may encounter in their work in the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative. Moreno is an environmental assessor with the national GHHI office in Baltimore, Maryland.
Anyone who’s ever bought or lived in an older home knows there is always something to fix. In an ideal situation, it’s a patch here, some paint there, but older homes are sometimes plagued with environmental problems that can threaten the health of their occupants. These issues run the gamut from lead paint chips to mold to leaky stoves and furnaces. A new program in Lansing is now training assessors to not only document those defects, but to help improve residents’ health.
The Lansing Symphony performs music by Mozart, Elgar and local composer Marjan Helms at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Wharton Center. Before the concert, WKAR classical music host Jody Knol will talk with Helms, who’s work “7 Ascents for Flute and Orchestra” will be performed. That PreView conversation is at 7:15 p.m. Saturday in the Jackson National Lounge.
Life is a wondrous bit of magical happenstance. Sadly, we usually forget that fact in the mundanity of it. We go from day to day lost in worries about jobs, family, and the future. Hours and days slip by one after another with little thought or memory attached to them.
Today on Current State: State Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge); a preview of tonight's TEDxMSU; Neighbors in Action: Autism Spectrum Partners Providing Instruction, Recreation, and Enrichment (ASPPIRE); and jazz guitarist Peter Bernstein.
In January, a Lansing woman, accompanied by her two children, made a grisly discovery at the Rose Lake Wildlife Research Area, not far from East Lansing. According to the Lansing City Pulse, the three, who were on a mid-winter walk, came across the frozen body of a dog, which appeared to have been abandoned inside a small kennel in dangerously cold temperatures. According to the story, Bath Township Police are investigating the incident. They say it appears to be a case of animal cruelty, a felony in Michigan punishable by up to four years in prison.
Another TEDx event is on tap tonight in East Lansing. For tonight's TEDxMSU, MSU students have played a lead role in organizing the storytelling event, and many of the speakers are also scheduled to be students. It’s at 6 p.m. in the Cobb Great Hall of MSU’s Wharton Center.
Wednesday on Current State means it’s time for Neighbors in Action, when we feature people and organizations working to make Greater Lansing a better place. Today, we learn about a non-profit working to help young adults on the autism spectrum develop better social skills. Current State talks with the executive director of Autism Spectrum Partners Providing Instruction, Recreation, and Enrichment (ASPPIRE), executive director Bob Steinkamp, and program alum and current office manager and peer mentor Aileen Hecht.
The MSU Federal Credit Union Jazz Artist in Residence program with the MSU College of Music has another feature artist working with students on campus this week. Current State talks with guitarist Peter Bernstein of New York City.
Today on Current State: A ride on a U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker; Chinese advertising art comes to MSU; the possible threat posed by microplastics; and kids helping adults improve their English language skills in Okemos.
Winter is still holding a firm grasp on Michigan and much of the country. In a state surrounded by fresh water, it’s imperative that the Great Lakes and the rivers which feed them are kept open for commerce. That’s the job of the United States Coast Guard, which operates several icebreaking ships on the lakes.
A new art exhibition on the MSU campus has brought works done by top advertising students from China to East Lansing. The exhibition is called “Seeing Differently: Solving Communication Problems From Two Sides of the World”, and the art includes some interesting works. It’s here on the ground floor of the MSU Communication Arts Building for the next three months.
Take a look in your medicine cabinet or your shower and you’re likely to find microbeads. Those are the small plastic spheres used as exfoliants in products like face wash or toothpaste. The tiny beads have been big news since scientists found them showing up in the Great Lakes several years ago. Last week, Michigan became the latest state to introduce legislation that would ban products containing microbeads.
For more than three decades, Lansing area elementary public schools have broadened student’s worlds by teaming with adults from around the globe. The greater Lansing area has a huge international community, with more than 100 countries represented on the MSU campus alone. Many of those people want to improve their English skills, and for many different reasons.
Today on Current State: The recent FCC ruling on net neutrality; a preview of this week's Suren Bagratuni concert with Ralph Votapek; part two of our "Voices of Experience" conversation with former Cong. Joe Schwarz; and Detroit News sportswriter Lynn Henning on the Detroit Tigers in spring training.
Last Thursday, the Federal Communications Commission enacted historic new rules governing broadband technology. The FCC moved to reclassify internet service providers under Title Two of the Telecommunications Act, an 80-year-old law originally written to regulate telephone companies. Democrats hailed the decision as a victory for open access to the Internet, and a means to prevent so-called “fast lanes” for those who could afford to pay for quicker service. Some Republicans criticized the move as increased government control over the Internet.
This Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at the MSU College of Music’s Cook Recital Hall, cellist Suren Bagratuni and pianist Ralph Votapek collaborate for a performance of four works. The duo will play sonatas by Benjamin Britten and Johannes Brahms, and variations by Beethoven and Martinu.
Last Thursday, Current State aired part of an interview with former Congressman Joe Schwarz of Battle Creek. Dr. Schwarz, who is a physician and head and neck surgeon, represented Michigan’s 7th district in 2005 and 2006. That discussion focused on his political and medical careers, and his service in southeast Asia, which included service as a surgeon during the Vietnam War and then as a CIA operative. Schwarz has never returned to that part of the world in the 40-plus years since those experiences.