March 3, 2017
To: CNS Editors
From: Perry Parks, Eric Freedman and Sheila Schimpf
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MICHIGAN JOURNALISM HALL OF FAME AHEAD: The annual induction dinner begins at 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 9, at MSU’s Kellogg Center. This year’s inductees are: Patricia Anstett (Detroit Free Press); Steven Cain (South Lyon Herald/Whitmore Lake News, Grand Haven Daily Tribune, Ypsilanti Press, Detroit News and Ann Arbor News); John Gallagher (Detroit Free Press); David Gilkey (National Public Radio and Detroit Free Press); and Mary Kramer (Crain’s Detroit Business, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Ann Arbor News, Kalamazoo Gazette, Buffalo Courier-Express and Greenwich Time in Connecticut).
Make online reservations at http://j-school.jrn.msu.edu/halloffame/. For more information, call Kareen at 517-353-6431.
SPRING BREAK AHEAD: There will be no CNS file on Friday, March 10, because of the MSU spring break. Regular files will resume on Friday, March 17.
Here is your file:
TRANSGENDERLIFE: When President Trump rescinded guidelines that allow students to use restrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identities, transgender people in Michigan were among those affected. We transgender Michiganders in Lansing and West Michigan who discuss the challenges of living in a society that doesn’t entirely understand them. We talk to three transgender people, the Civil Rights Department, Transgender Michigan, an advocacy group, including a business in Grand Rapids. By Chao Yan. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING CITY PULSE, HOLLAND, THREE RIVERS, STURGIS & ALL POINTS.
w/THETRANSTWINSPHOTO: Transgender twins Ash and M.K. Kelly in a Lansing bookstore
MINORITYANXIETY: The number of state civil rights complaints has not increased despite increasing anxiety among immigrant and minority populations since the election, according to the director of the Department of Civil Rights. West Michigan minority advocacy groups note increased anxiety and offer reasons why individuals haven’t filed more complaints. We talk to DCR officials, the president of the Islamic Association of Southwest Michigan in Benton Harbor, the interim director of the Hispanic American Council in Kalamazoo and leaders of the state’s ethnic commissions. By Caitlin Taylor. FOR THREE RIVERS, HOLLAND, STURGIS, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING CITY PULSE & ALL POINTS.
SCHOOLHARASSMENT: The Department of Civil Rights worries that the high-profile incidents after Trump’s election would cause more racial and ethnic bias incidents in schools. Last November, the Civil Rights and Education departments advised schools to revise their strategy on anti-bullying policies. We interview school administrators in the Kent County Independent School District and the Latino Center in Grand Rapids who talk about how schools are addressing bias incidents under current political dynamics. By Chao Yan. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, HARBOR SPRINGS, PETOSKEY & ALL POINTS.
COMMONCORE: Recently proposed bills would repeal and replace Michigan’s Common Core state standards, but education experts believe the legislation is motivated by misconceptions about how the state’s education system actually works. Others propose initiatives they believe would be better for students than scrapping the current standards. We speak with the superintendent of Reed City Area Schools and someone from the Department of Education. By Laina Stebbins. FOR OSCEOLA, BIG RAPIDS, LAKE COUNTY, GLADWIN, GREENVILLE, OCEANA, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS
TESTINGMETHODS: What’s the best way to measure school performance? Standardized testing? Which tests? How often? Michigan is awash in contentious disputes over whether to repeal Common Core standards, close failing schools, change its testing regime, and whether standardized tests have any value to being with. Education experts remain at odds over what educational success in Michigan would look like, how to best measure that success, and how to achieve it. We talk to the Reed City Area Schools superintendent and tha Department of Educations. By Laina Stebbins. FOR OSCEOLA, BIG RAPIDS, LAKE COUNTY, GLADWIN, GREENVILLE, OCEANA, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS
ENVIRONMENTBROWNFIELDS: Newly proposed legislation on brownfields has potential consequences across the board, not least for the environment. With bipartisan backing, a package of bills could further incentivize building on previously contaminated land, bringing sustainable growth to urban communities. Exploring the issues of brownfields in general, we speak with members of the DEQ, Michigan Environmental Council, the sponsor from Frankenmuth, a Southfield expert and local boards to talk about what brownfield development provides to communities and long-term environmental health. By Isaac Constans. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS
BROWNFIELDCOMMUNITY: In addition to exploring the environmental side of brownfield development, local communities including Saginaw, lobbyists, the Mackinac Center and legislators weigh in on what the development of brownfields provides culturally and economically. Drawing on examples from the past, they take sides on the bill package that would seek to expand tax protections for developers who build on brownfield sites. Sponsors include senators from Frankenmuth, Escanaba, Harrison Township, Rockford and Warren. By Isaac Constans. FOR MARQUETTE, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS & ALL POINTS.
HUMANTRAFFICKING: Michigan ranks seventh nationally in reports of human trafficking, and a lawmaker from Shelby Township wants to give prosecutors more tools to combat it. The bill would allow certified experts to testify about telltale signs of deviant social behavior demonstrated by trafficking victims. Bringing in experts allows judges and juries to have an expert opinion that the victim is, in fact, someone who has been subject to human trafficking. We talk to the House sponsor and a Sheridan senator who supports it. By Laura Bohannon. FOR BIG RAPIDS, GREENVILLE, LANSING CITY PULSE, HERALD STAR & ALL POINTS.
PIPELINEOPPONENTS: The chorus of voices calling for the decommissioning of the oil pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac is more diversified now with a network of 18 businesses opposed to its operation. The Great Lakes Business Network, formed in December, is backed by the National Wildlife Federation, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities in Traverse City and Michigan League of Conservation Voters. We talk to pipeline owner Enbridge Inc. and critics at Cherry Republic in Glen Arbor and the Patagonia clothing company. By Steven Maier. FOR CHEBOYGAN, ST. IGNACE, MARQUETTE, SAULT STE. MARIE, TRAVERSE CITY, GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, PETOSKEY, BIG RAPIDS, CADILLAC, MANISTEE, MONTMORENCY, BAY MILLS & ALL POINTS.
MICHIGANFARMERS: As the weather continues to fluctuate around the state, farmers are forced to adapt to changing conditions for crops. This could mean crops like maple syrup come early and have a shorter season, but could also jeopardize the quality of wheat and fruit crops. Lack of snow cover over wheat allows the crop to be exposed to drastic temperature fluctuations since there is no barrier on top of the crop. Amanda Shreve, the program director for the Michigan Farmers Market Association said while it may be too early to tell the full extent of changes in the weather on farmers and their crops, it could pose a problem for farmers in the coming months if the weather continues to fluctuate. By Laura Bohannon. FOR TRAVERSE CITY, CADILLAC, HOLLAND, GREENVILLE, BIG RAPIDS, STURGIS, THREE RIVERS, PETOSKEY, ALCONA, MONTMORENCY, CRAWFROD COUNTY, LUDINGTON, MANISTEE, BLISSFIELD, LEELANAU, CHEBOYGAN & ALL POINTS.
BRONNAKAHLE: This is a profile on Rep. Bronna Kahle, the new state representative who represents the people of Lenawee County. We talk to Kahle; the legislative aide to the chair of a committee Kahle is on; and the director of the Adrian Senior Center, where Kahle used to be director. By Caitlin Taylor. FOR BLISSFIELD & ALL POINTS.
w/BRONNAKAHLEPHOTO: Rep. Bronna Kahle
LANDGRAB: When multi-millionaire John Hantz proposed starting the world’s largest urban farm on abandoned properties in Detroit, the idea sparked a political firestorm, including city residents’ fears of a “land grab.” Now the project is well underway on almost 2,000 once-abandoned lots with ramshackle buildings bulldozed, hardwood trees planted and widespread community support. A new documentary, “Land Grab,” tells the story. We interview the producer-director and the president of the project. By Morgan Linn. FOR GRAND RAPIDS BUSINESS, LANSING CITY PULSE & ALL POINTS.
w/LANDGRABPOSTER: Poster for the documentary “Land Grab” Credit: Atlas Industries
w/LANDGRABPHOTO: Mike Score (left), president of Hantz Farms, and Filmmaker Sean O’Grady (right). Credit: Morgan Linn