Today on Current State: transparency and open government in Michigan; how SCOTUS decision on water diversion in Oklahoma could affect Great Lakes; microfinance in Detroit and Flint; and the 40th anniversary of the Verdehr trio.
As NSA leaker Edward Snowden makes his way from Moscow to, what sounds like, Cuba or Venezuela today, the debate across the country continues over government transparency and what sorts of things the public has a right to know about its government’s actions.
Texans and Oklahomans don’t just clash over football. They also have a long history of battling over water, with the most recent conflict playing out in the Supreme Court. Justices recently ruled that the Tarrant Regional Water District, located in North Texas, cannot divert water from Oklahoma river basins.
The concept of microfinance -- essentially small loans given to entrepreneurs who are too little or too under-funded to qualify for traditional bank loans -- has exploded in the developing world.
One of the leading online platforms for microfinance is called Kiva, which connects entrepreneurs with interest-free loans offered by community members. About two years ago, with the help of Michigan Corps, a Detroit-based non-profit organization, Kiva became the first microfinance effort in the United States. Last month, Michigan Corps expanded Kiva’s platform into Flint.
For 40 years, Walter and Elsa Verdehr have made up two-thirds of the Verdehr Trio. They’ve been joined by a number of pianists over the years. Silvia Roederer has been the third member for the last 15 years. During that time, their repertoire has included hundreds of pieces that were specially commissioned for violin, clarinet and piano.