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Stateside: Gas tax and road funds; scrutiny of Detroit demolitions; lost black Lansing neighborhood

picture of a gas pump
Could a sales tax on gasoline be the best way to achieve funding for road repairs?


Today on Stateside, we look back to the 1960s, a neighborhood in Lansing, mainly African-American, was destroyed to make way for the I-496 freeway. Plus, we’ll learn about a new effort to gather the lost history of that Lansing community. 

Could untangling sales and gas taxes be funding solution for crumbling roads?


Stateside's conversation with Eric Lupher

  • It’s true, Michigan’s roads are bad and getting worse. Within six years, the number of roads considered “fair” or “good” condition will drop below the 50-percent mark. Lawmakers passed a $1.2 billion road funding package that is still short of what’s needed to get Michigan roads up to at least “fair” condition. Today, the nonpartisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan released its recommendation for road-funding options.
  • President of the CRC, Eric Lupher, talks to Stateside about the best options to find road repair money.  

Company accused of backfilling holes with contaminated dirt, debris at Detroit demolition sites  

Stateside's conversation with Kat Stafford

  • A major priority of Mayor Duggan and the Detroit Land Bank Authority has been demolishing abandoned buildings that are causing blight in Detroit. Protocol requires contractors to completely remove all demolition debris and fill the holes with clean and approved dirt after any building is torn down. A Detroit Free Press investigation finds that's not what's happening.
  • Free Press reporter Kat Stafford joins Stateside to discuss the scrutiny that the Detroit Land Bank Authority is now under for not effectively enforcing the demolition requirements. 

Theater Talk: Modern take on Greek mythology, an Arthur Miller classic, and stage version of popular mystery novel

Stateside’s conversation with David Kiley

  • It’s time to talk theater with David Kiley of Encore Michigan. He fills Stateside in on upcoming professional theatre performances around Michigan. Notably he lists, The Lightning Thief at Detroit’s Fisher Theatre, Miller’s Death of a Salesman at the Ringwald, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime at both the Open Book Theatre in Trenton and Farmers Alley in Kalamazoo, Wolves at the Slipstream Theatre Initiative in Ferndale as well as Candide, an especially user-friendly show at the Michigan Opera Theatre. 
  • Support for arts and culture coverage is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.

Legal troubles mount for a UM opera professor accused of rape

Stateside's conversation with Gus Burns, MLive reporter

  • Legal troubles mount for a prominent opera singer and tenured University of Michigan professor accused of rape. David Daniels faces extradition to Texas, his previous home state, to be tried in the 2010 sexual assault of a young graduate student in Houston. Daniels was hired by the U of M in 2015. There have since been a number of complaints against him for soliciting students for sex over social media.
  • Reporter Gus Burns, of MLive, tells Stateside what happened to Samuel Schultz in the 2010 incident in Texas, and gives us more information on the complaints of other students, specifically at the U of M.  

Project preserves history of black Lansing neighborhood razed to make way for I-496


Stateside’s conversation with Bill Castanier and Adolph Burton

  • It's often called “urban renewal.” Clearing away neighborhoods to make way for a great big new freeway. Coincidentally, many those demolished neighborhoods were often the heart of a city's black community. This is what happened in Lansing in the 1960s. As a result: homes, businesses, churches, and more were all lost at the cost of this new freeway, known as I-496.
  • Stateside speaks to Bill Castanier, president of the The Historical Society of Greater Lansing, which is focusing on the history of the black neighborhood lost to I-496 with a project called “Paving the Way.” Additionally, we hear from Adolph Burton, a lifelong Lansing resident who lived in the demolished Lansing neighborhood.  

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