Stateside: GOP redistricting lawsuit; Lake Erie cyanobacteria blooms; MSU mummy returned to Bolivia

Aug 23, 2019

Today on Stateside, we hear about a lawsuit, filed by the Michigan Republican Party, that aims to block an independent commission from redrawing legislative maps. Plus, we talk about the tough ethical choices people face when trying to do something about climate change.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

Second lawsuit to halt independent redistricting commission filed

  • The Michigan Republican Party filed this week a lawsuit to stop a voter-approved redistricting process in the state. Stu Sandler is general counsel for the Michigan Republican Party. He joins Stateside to explain the party’s objection to the rules of the independent commission in charge of redrawing Michigan’s legislative and congressional districts. Sandler says the way party representatives are chosen to serve on the commission is both “unconstitutional” and “unfair” because political parties aren’t able to appoint who will represent their interests.

The racist history of Albert Cobo, and the complicated push to rid Detroit of his name

  • The Cobo Center was named after a 1950s Detroit mayor. In the past few years, the name of Cobo became controversial as the mayor's racist policies were acknowledged. Next week, a gathering will be held just outside the Detroit Convention Center to celebrate its new corporately sponsored name.  We spoke with Detroit historian Jamon Jordan about former Mayor Cobo's legacy, and what changing the name of the convention center might mean for Detroit's residents.
  • This segment originally aired September 8, 2017.

How Monroe ensures clean drinking water from Lake Erie

  • Researchers are monitoring the wide spread of cyanobacteria in the western basin of Lake Erie this year. Some of that cyanobacteria – which looks like blue-green algae on the water – can produce a toxin called microcystis. If not treated properly, it can contaminate drinking water. We talk to Christopher Knight, superintendent of Monroe’s water treatment plant, about how the increase in cyanobacteria impacts the city’s efforts to filter its drinking water. 

Lake Erie charter boat captain talks about how cyanobacteria blooms are affecting fishing

  • Drinking water isn’t the only thing impacted by large blooms of cyanobacteria. The charter fishing industry is also taking a hit. We talk to Dave Spangler, vice president of the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association, about why customers are putting off trips during the cyanobacteria season, and what he’d like to see state legislatures do about it.

Roundup: State budget deal still far off as deadline looms

  • Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer and state Republican legislative leaders are talking, but there’s not yet real movement on finding money to fix the roads. The Governor wants to increase fuel taxes. The Republicans want to shift the sales tax part of taxes on gasoline to fund the roads, but that means schools and municipalities lose money.
  • We discuss what it will take to reach a budget deal with our Friday political commentators. TJ Bucholz, President of Vanguard Public Affairs, a progressive political strategy firm in Lansing. Ken Sikkema is Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican Majority Leader in the Michigan State Senate.

East Lansing to Bolivia: the long journey home for an Incan mummy

  • The mummy of an Incan girl recently made the journey from East Lansing back to Bolivia. It had been donated to Michigan State University in the 19th century. MSU Professor Emeritus of Anthropology Bill Lovis worked for years to get the mummy sent back to its home country. He joins us to talk about the mummy girl, and why he wanted to see it returned to its home country.

Stop driving? Give up meat? How to navigate the everyday ethical dilemmas of climate change

  • Climate change is beginning to disrupt the planet. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the scope of the problem. So, how do you make changes that will help the environment without burning out? We talk to MSU Professor Paul Thompson, the W. K. Kellogg Chair in Agriculture, Food, and Community Ethics, about how people make decisions about the everyday environment-related ethical dilemmas.

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