Current State #197 | November 7, 2013

Nov 7, 2013

Today on Current State: Michigan human trafficking report released; destruction from MSU football tailgating; an 'Interrupting Racism' workshop; and Asian-American stereotypes in the media.

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Every home football Saturday here in East Lansing, thousands of people flock to the Michigan State campus to take part in a sacred ritual:  tailgating.  But the pastime takes a toll. After the celebrating, landscaping personnel at MSU repair damage to grass and trees.

Some of those personnel are calling last Saturday’s damage the worst they’ve seen.

Michigan economic developers eye ‘Blue Economy’

Nov 5, 2013
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A new report commissioned by the governor’s office focuses on accelerating Michigan’s water based or ‘Blue economy.’ The paper’s author, John Austin, is the Director of the Michigan Economic Center at Prima Civitas Foundation. Austin says that  a “Blue Economy” is similar to a “Green Economy”.


At the end of each month we check in with Great Lakes Commentator and journalist Gary Wilson for updates on environmental stories from around the basin.

For today’s Great Lakes Month in Review, we’re focusing on fracking, ballast water and petcoke.  

In July, Michigan residents watched as petcoke piled up along the Detroit River. Now residents in Chicago are scrutinizing rising piles of the waste product.

Current State #186 | October 24, 2013

Oct 24, 2013

Today on Current State: Lansing's 'Marketplace Project'; HIV in Ingham County; what deregulation could mean for Michigan; environmental changes effect on Isle Royale; and a review of "The Ocean at the End of the Lane". 

Isle Royale ecosystem tested by environmental changes

Oct 24, 2013
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The moose is one of the largest and most elusive land animals in North America. Moose were once found in both the Upper and Lower Peninsula, and now they’re concentrated in a few isolated areas of the state.

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In 2008,  the state legislature passed Michigan’s Renewable Portfolio Standard. The law requires that by the year 2015,  utilities must generate at least 10 percent of their energy from renewable sources.  As 2015 approaches, state officials are working to determine the next steps for Michigan’s energy policy.

Earlier this year we spoke with Michigan Public Service Commission Chair John Quakenbush. At the time he was holding public forums on the state’s energy future. The information compiled at the forums and online are part of four comprehensive draft reports.


John Quakenbush discusses what he’s learned since starting this process.

MSU researcher updates fight against ash borer

Oct 15, 2013

The emerald ash borer has killed acres of ash trees across Michigan since 2002.  However, new research suggest the invasive beetle from Asia may have arrived in Michigan even earlier.

Current State #174 | October 8, 2013

Oct 8, 2013

Today on Current State: MSU faculty on classroom transparency after Penn affair; interactive online game to learn Chinese; and concerns about the possible storage of Canadian nuclear waste near the Great Lakes.

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In 1933, America was in the grip of the Great Depression.  Facing the specter of economic ruin,  President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted a number of federal recovery programs, which came to be known as “Alphabet Soup.”  One of those was the CCC or the Civilian Conservation Corps

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.

Current State #146 | August 27, 2013

Aug 27, 2013

Today on Current State: new proposal to evaluate Michigan teachers effectiveness; book about living with Muscular Dystrophy; Detroit's Water Renaissance series; Detroit's current environmental initiatives; and MSU student on "Americas Got Talent."

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.

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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. 

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Waukesha, Wisconsin is on a quest for water; its groundwater supply is dwindling and contaminated.  Although the town is less than 20 miles away from Lake Michigan, it falls west of the Great Lakes basin line, which means no water without permission from the Great Lakes Compact.

Gary Wilson, journalist for Great Lakes Echo and former co-editor of the Great Lakes Town Hall, discuss what Waukesha’s quest for water means for the Great Lakes.