Current State #155 | September 10, 2013

Sep 10, 2013

Today on Current State: MSU Board of Trustee candidate Melanie Foster on professor scandal; our "Detroit Water Renaissance" series continues with a look at the walleye industry; a Great Lakes Week 2013 update; the impact of the Affordable Care Act on small businesses and the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie.

Current State #152 | September 5, 2013

Sep 5, 2013

Today on Current State: campaign helps Michigan residents understand Affordable Care Act; Detroit princess of 1800's; Michigan LGBT laws; and new exhibits at the Broad Art Museum.

Wikimedia Commons

Actress Grace Kelly was not the first American princess. In the late 19th century, young American heiresses exchanged their wealth for titles, marrying into the European elite. One such heiress was Clara Ward, who was born in Detroit in 1873. She married a Belgian Prince, becoming Princesse de Caraman-Chimay, but Clara’s story is no traditional fairy tale.

Lewis Wallace

Water attracted early settlers to Detroit and water fueled its growth. Now it’s an important asset to the city’s recovery.

Today we continue to explore Detroit’s waterfront in our series "Detroit Water Renaissance."

Last week we looked at the unearthing of Detroit streams. For the second segment, reporter Lewis Wallace examines efforts to re-engineer the Detroit River’s concrete shoreline.

Emanuele Berry WKAR

Water attracted the early settlers of Detroit and water fueled its growth. Now it’s an important asset to the city’s recovery.

Join us over these next five weeks, as our regular Tuesday Knight segment will explore the challenges and opportunities associated with Detroit’s waterfront through our series "Detroit's Water Renaissance."

Our first story goes back to the days before industrialization, when the city of Detroit was a maze of fresh waterways.

Wikimedia Commons

This summer a coalition of Detroit based organization released the Detroit Environmental Agenda. The two-year project addresses improving quality of life through improving the environment. Guy Williams, President of Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice joins Current State to discuss the report his organization helped compile. 

Remembering WJR legend J.P. McCarthy

Aug 16, 2013
Russ White

Eighteen years ago this morning brought the sad news of the death of beloved Detroit radio personality J.P. McCarthy. McCarthy ruled the morning radio airwaves at WJR for 30 years. Current State contributor Russ White worked with McCarthy for the last five years of J.P.'s life and has this remembrance of the great voice of the Great Lakes.

Rock 'N' Roll in 'America's Loudest City'

Jul 30, 2013

Motown is what most people connect with Detroit's music scene, but the Motor City has also been the birthplace of some of the most influential American rockers.

"Detroit Rock City," the latest book by local author Steve Miller, chronicles the city's rock scene through interviews with some of its most legendary rock musicians, such as Iggy Pop, Bob Seger and Jack White. Miller and Current State's Scott Pohl discuss the deep tracks of Detroit's rockin' legacy. 

Examining food security in Detroit, Lansing

Jul 29, 2013
Flickr/Dig Downtown Detroit

Grocery stores have been making the news in Detroit recently. Last week, the Michigan-based retailer, Meijer, opened its first Detroit location. This follows the news last month of the grand opening of the city’s first Whole Foods Market. Based on these stories, one might think Detroiters were only recently introduced to the concept of the grocery store. That’s not true.

 MSU associate professor of sociology Craig Harris, an expert in the sociology of food, discusses food security in Detroit, as well as here in mid-Michigan. 

Detroit files bankruptcy protection, then what?

Jul 19, 2013
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A much-feared -- but widely anticipated -- day arrived yesterday in Michigan’s largest city.  Officials filed a 16-page bankruptcy petition on behalf of the city of Detroit in U.S. Court, making the city the largest municipal bankruptcy in the U.S. history.

Gov. Rick Snyder authorized the filing yesterday after efforts by state-appointed Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr failed to satisfy numerous creditors. According to reports, the city owes as many as 100,000 creditors and  accrued obligation is as much as $20 billion.

'Detropia' to air on PBS 'Independent Lens'

Jul 1, 2013


Credit Flickr/Kyle SchultzThe film focuses on three Detroit residents with varying backgrounds and experiences.Edit | Remove

The decline of Detroit and the struggle of people hoping for a brighter future in the Motor City is the focus of the documentary “Detropia," from the makers of the Oscar-nominated “Jesus Camp."


Courtesy of Marcus Bieth

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.

There is no shortage of transportation issues to discuss here in Michigan.

After 40 years and 23 attempts, metro Detroit finally has a Regional Transportation Authority. 

At the top of Governor Snyder’s agenda is a new road funding bill, but will the legislature provide the funds he says he needs to make the necessary improvements?

Looking ahead to Detroit's long-term future

Jun 4, 2013
Wikimedia Commons

Detroit’s in an immediate crisis. Emergency Manager Orr will be deciding in a couple of weeks whether bankruptcy is an option. If it should move in that direction, what’s the way forward? There has been a lot of talk about the Detroit Institute of Arts' assets, as well as other museums. What kinds of discussions need to be had? 


New book discusses Detroit race relations

May 23, 2013

The last few years have brought significant changes to the city of Detroit. A financial emergency was declared, and despite opposition from residents and the city council, a financial manager was appointed. And just this month, Mayor Dave Bing announced he would step down from office at the end of his term—and a crowded field of new candidates announced their intentions.