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Known as Detroit’s “Jazz Ambassador,” Marcus Belgrave's reputation in the jazz world as a musician and human being of the highest caliber was renowned worldwide.  Yet, Marcus always had time for his hometown friends be they in Detroit, Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti.

State Farm/ Flickr

Wet basements are a problem this time of year. If you don't work to prevent water and moisture from getting in, the bills for remediation escalate quickly. In this week's 'Issues of the Environment',  Washtenaw County Water Resources Commissioner Evan Pratt offers up some tips for you. 


A state elections board has given a green light to a petition drive to ban prevailing wage requirements in Michigan.

The petition language mirrors legislation currently in the state House that would end laws requiring union-level pay and benefits for workers on publicly-funded construction projects. Those bills appear to be stalled.

  

marcusbelgrave.net

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Detroit trumpeter Marcus Belgrave has passed away at age 78. Belgrave died at in a care and rehabilitation facility, Ann Arbor's Glacier Hills. His partner, singer Joan Belgrave, said he died in his sleep. 

Shari Kane and Dave Steele
courtesy of the artist

Warm and delicious as hot buttered cinnamon toast, as easy and relaxed as a rewarding after-dinner talk and as soothing as Sunday morning.  That’s my immediate reaction to Feels Like Home, the new album by Shari Kane and Dave Steele.  It’s a perfect complement to the couple’s first recording, Four Hands Blues.  They continue their loving exploration of classic American music including Piedmont and Delta blues along with mountain gospel, Appalachian ballads and ragtime swing guitar.  What differentiates Feels Like Home from Four Hands Blues is the home setting.  Shari and Dave actually built a home studio and took their good sweet time working through each song as we eavesdrop on their intimate conversation involving call and response from acoustic guitar to mandolin to voice.  

Michigan Theater / www.michtheater.org

Listen as David Fair, and Michigan Theater Executive Director, Russ Collins discuss what's playing around town and downtown.


Construction
Flickr / jakelv7500

A special state House committee has started to look for ways to pay for roads and transportation after voters overwhelmingly said “NO” to Proposal One. 

Beezy’s Cafe looks like a thriving business. The six-year-old restaurant and coffeehouse draws crowds for breakfast and lunch, employs 16 people, has a trail of glowing reviews for its “hippy vibe” and “super friendly” staff, and recently extended its hours to serve dinner on Fridays and Saturdays. But to banks, it’s a risky venture with little appeal.

courtesy AAPS / Ann Arbor Public Schools

The US News and World Report has placed several area schools on its 2015 list of Best High Schools.

As 2015 develops, so will WEMU’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. We began broadcasting at 10 watts to EMU dormitories in 1965 and are now the award-winning and nationally recognized NPR, news, jazz and blues service you know and depend on.

Gov. Rick Snyder outlined a public safety agenda on Monday that includes parole and sentencing reforms, job training for inmates, and more help finding a job once they’re released from prison.

Snyder says there are data-driven ways to reduce the state’s prison population without compromising public safety.

Teenagers on the autism spectrum often struggle with social skills that make it difficult to interact with others. Beginning on May 26th, Eastern Michigan University's Autism Collaborative Center is launching a new Summer program called PEERS. 

The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hand down a ruling that may decide whether thousands of Michiganders can afford health insurance.

The court could strike down insurance subsidies offered under the federal health care law. That’s in states like Michigan where the federal government runs the health care exchange.

B.B. King
Kasra Ganjavi/Wikimedia Commons

Watch President Obama join in on "Sweet Home Chicago" at In Performance at the White House: Red, White & Blues, courtesy of PBS.

Legislation to repeal prevailing wage laws in Michigan has cleared the state Senate. Those laws require union-level pay and benefits for workers on publicly-funded construction projects. Critics of the change say it would hurt thousands of working families.

Michigan House Democrats

If you look at a map of the pipelines that run through the state of Michigan, it resembles a spider-web. They are everywhere, and more on planned and more are being constructed as we speak.  As we learned in 2010 when a pipeline burst and polluted portions of the Kalamazoo River system, protection of our waterways may be lacking in some areas.   

On Earth Day last month, A group of state lawmakers and the heads of some leading environmental groups publicly announced a package of legislation that aims to address pipeline safety and natural resource protections.  This week, we are talking with Ann Arbor State Representative Jeff Irwin about the Pipeline Safety Legislation that he helped introduce.

A "Positive Business Conference" is happening this week at the Ross School of business on the University of Michigan campus.  I spoke to the "Chief Happiness Officer," Jenn Lim & Co-Founder of Delivering Happiness that will be involved in the event. 

A state Senate committee has adopted a Republican proposal to scrap prevailing union wage requirements on publicly funded construction projects. The bills now go to the Senate floor.

State House Republicans could introduce legislation to boost road funding as soon as this week.

Michigan State Capitol
Wikimedia Commons / Nikopoley

Unions are expected to push back this week against bills that would repeal prevailing wage laws in Michigan.

A state Senate panel is expected to hold hearings on Senate Bills 1, 2, and 3. The legislation would ban laws requiring union-level compensation for workers on publicly-funded construction projects.

photo by Myra Klarman

 Ann Arbor Summer Festival Executive and Artistic Director Amy Nesbitt joined me Friday for a preview of the 2015 Top Of The Park schedule. The free Top Of The Park offerings and activities have grown remarkably over the years. 

What began as little experiment with one band and free film screenings on top of a parking structure now encompasses a city block with two stages, a full variety of food vendors, family activities, exercise and wellness classes, Michigan craft beer tastings, family favorite films and state-of-the art acrobatic performances. 

 

courtesy of the artist

Alberto Nacif, the former and founding host of the program Cuban Fantasy has every reason in the world to be proud of Invisible, the new CD by his Latin jazz ensemble, Aguankó. He joined me in studio to discuss his partnership with fellow percussionist Jose Pepe Espinosa and his deep admiration for Michigan's great musicians including Marcus Belgrave, Rick Roe, Robert Hurst, Russ Miller, Chris Smith and Anthony Stanco. 

Wikimedia Commons

People who were wrongfully convicted would be entitled to $60,000 for each year they spent in prison under legislation unveiled Thursday at the state Capitol.

The state Senate will move forward with legislation to end prevailing wage requirements in Michigan. The state and many communities require that workers on publicly-funded construction projects get union-level pay and benefits.

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