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Stateside: Road funding solutions; legacy of James Boggs; the last Artisan of Michigan

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
The West Michigan Policy Forum is pitching a new idea to fix Michigan roads that wouldn't raise taxes.



Today on Stateside, a Republican proposal to fix Michigan’s roads is circulating in Lansing that wouldn't raise taxes. Plus a look at avian botulism, a disease that’s killing waterfowl across the Great Lakes.

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


Conservative road funding plan would use pension bonds instead of raising taxes



Stateside’s conversation with Jase Bolger

  • A business group is pitching an idea that could bring in nearly a billion dollars a year which could be spent on fixing the roads. The West Michigan Policy Forum proposes borrowing $10 billion through a pension obligation bond and putting that money into the underfunded Michigan Public Schools Employees Retirement System. That would free up money to be used on roads, the plan argues. 
  • Jase Bolger is a former Republican Speaker of the House who now works with the West Michigan Policy Forum. He explains the ins and outs of the proposal, which he believes could solve Michigan’s road funding problems.


High Lake Michigan waters complicate botulism monitoring, but mean fewer bird deaths



A report from Michigan Radio’s Kaye LaFond


  • Avian botulism is a disease that paralyzes and kills waterfowl. It has affected waterfowl in the Great Lakes for decades. But high water levels are good news for the birds, at least temporarily. Michigan Radio’s Kaye LaFond reports on the current state of the disease and what people are doing to combat it.


Joe Hertler and The Rainbow Seekers hit the festival circuit with new album “Paper Castle”


Stateside’s conversation with Joe Hertler

  • Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers are a Michigan-based band that’s played across the country at festivals like Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, and Summer Camp. In July they’ll begin a four-month tour of their new album, "Paper Castle." Joe Hertler joins Stateside to talk about the themes of the album, as well as what it took to quit his day job and become a professional musician.



Artisans of Michigan: Pewabic Pottery since 1903



Stateside host Lester Graham visits Pewabic Pottery


  • Pewabic Pottery has been around for over a century. They specialize in decorative tiles, but they also make a variety of mugs and vases. Stateside host Lester Graham visits the Pewabic studio on Detroit’s east side to learn about the history of the business and the process that goes into making their intricate ceramic pieces.
  • Support for arts and culture coverage is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.


Roundup: How urgent is the need to come up with a road funding solution?


Stateside’s conversation with Coleman Young II and Ken Sikkema

  • The Michigan legislature is planning to begin their summer break on the Fourth of July weekend. Governor Whitmer isn’t happy about this. She says the legislature should come up with a budget plan that addresses road funding before taking a vacation.
  • Ken Sikkema is a Senior Policy Fellow with Public Sector Consultants and a former Republican Majority Leader of the State Senate. Coleman Young II is a former Democratic member of the State Senate. They discuss whether it’s fair to expect lawmakers to keep working until the budget is finished, and where road funding could come from.


Remembering the life and legacy of Detroit activist James Boggs



Stateside’s conversation with Stephen Ward

  • This weekend, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History kicks off a series of events, marking the centennial of the birth of James Boggs. Boggs was a revered Detroit civil rights activist, an autoworker, and an author. He’s best known for authoring "The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker’s Noteboook."
  • Stephen Ward is a professor and the director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Michigan. He shares the history of James Boggs and his impact on the Civil Rights Movement.

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