Issues of the Environment

Wednesdays during Morning Edition
Deer
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Another planned deer cull in Ann Arbor continues to generate controversy.  Last winter, 63 animals were killed in an effort to thin the herd in the city. This year, city council has authorized the killing of up to 100 more animals and the sterilization of up to 60 female deer.  That plan was approved on a 9-2 vote.  David Fair’s guest on this week’s edition of WEMU’s "Issues of the Environment" is Mayor Christopher Taylor, who voted against the cull. 


Thanksgiving
Ard Hesselink / flickr.com

While many families will be feasting on Thanksgiving Day, there are hungry people going without. It is also a holiday in which a lot of food waste is generated. In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Noelle Bowman, solid waste specialist for Washtenaw County, about the best ways to help others and responsibly deal with those Thanksgiving leftovers.


White Nose Syndrome
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Bats have a positive impact on Michigan's ecosystem, but a terrible affliction known as "white-nose syndrome" is threatening their population.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with  Dr. Allen Kurta, professor of biology at Eastern Michigan University, about the ecological impacts posed by a decimation in certain bat species. 


Jeff Irwin
Michigan House Democrats / housedems.com

Donald Trump has been elected President of the United States.  Republicans also control the U-S House and Senate. Michigan Republicans remain in control of both chambers of the legislature andhave a Republican governor in place. What does that mean for the environment? In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair gets the opinions of  outgoing Ann Arbor State Representative Jeff Irwin.  

*Note:  This interview was recorded live in-studio  at 6:50am.  At the time of recording, some election results were still pending.


Leaves
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

It's that time of year where leaves fall to the ground. What is the best way to dispose of such yard waste?  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Master Compost Class instructor Nancy Stone about the ecologically best ways to clean up your lawn debris. 


Recycling
pixabay.com / creative commons

The amount of waste generated in schools per academic year can be staggering.  Fortunately, schools in Washtenaw County seek to change that.  This week, we talk with Randy Trent, director of operations for the Washtenaw Intermediate School District, about introducing recycling programs in local schools.


Recently, there have been concerns that DTE has not been adequately engaged in the public input portion of the NEXUS natural gas pipeline project.  

In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Steven Hohf, manager of natural gas analytics for DTE Energy. They discuss environmental concerns, energy questions and why DTE has decided the proposed NEXUS natural gas pipeline is necessary. 


Oil Pipeline
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A new natural gas pipeline is in the works and would expend the web of pipelines running through Washtenaw County.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Nancy Shiffler, chair of the Sierra Club's Michigan chapter, about the potential impacts of a new pipeline.  


RTA
Courtesy Photo / rtamichigan.org

This November, there will a new public transit plan on the ballot, which, if passed, could impact the environment.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Elizabeth Gerber, who represents Washtenaw County on the Regional Transit Authority's Board of Directors, about the new public transit millage.


Watkins Lake State Park and County Preserve
Courtesy Photo / ewashtenaw.org

Michigan has a new state park, and it's mostly in Washtenaw County.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Douglas Koop, executive director of the Legacy Land Conservancy, about the creation Michigan's 103rd state park and its first-of-its-kind partnership with the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Department.


Donation Bins
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Community donation bins can be of service but, if left unchecked, they can cause blight and become an  environmental problem.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Ypsilanti Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo about what her community is doing. 


Bee Town Ann Arbor
Courtesy Photo / Facebook

Bees have always been beneficial to our ecosystem, but their numbers have declined significantly in recent years.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Eileen Dickinson, representative for the group "Bee Town Ann Arbor," about ways to protect the bee population.


Asphalt
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The city of Ann Arbor recently passed a ban on coal tar sealants for repairing asphalt.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Rebecca Esselman, watershed planner for the Huron River Watershed Council, about the environment impacts of the ban and why Michigan should consider expanding the ban statewide.


Landfill
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Washtenaw County has decided that its Solid Waste Management Plan is ready for revision.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Washtenaw County environmental services supervisor Jeff Krcmarik about how the plan will change.


Mosquito
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Summer brings hordes of mosquitos and several diseases along with them, including the Zika virus.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Emily Toth Martin, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, about ways to protect ourselves from Zika, West Nile virus, and more. 


Monarch Butterfly
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

The monarch butterfly is one of the most iconic images in nature.  Yet, the species is not as strong in number as many believe.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks to Nicole Muench, habitat and education coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation, about efforts to save the monarch butterfly from extinction.


Fracking
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Fracking, to say the least, is a controversial method of energy resource extraction.  Those who implement the practice contend it's more efficient, effective, and is not an environmental hazard.  There are many who disagree, particularly when it comes to environmental impact.  In this week’s, “Issues of the Environment,” WEMU’s David Fair discusses fracking and the effort to put it to a vote of the people with LuAnne Kozma, the ‎campaign director at The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan​. 


Plastic Bags
Arbel Egger-Nadan / flickr.com

Washtenaw County's "eco-fee" for using plastic or paper bags from retail grocery stores is scheduled to go into effect on Earth Day in 2017. In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Washtenaw County solid waste specialist Noelle Bowman about the new ordinance and whether state lawmakers will actually allow for its implementation. 


Produce
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Food safety became a huge concern when a man introduced hazardous chemicals to grocery stores in Washtenaw County in May.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks with Washtenaw County Environmental Health Director Kristen Schweighoefer about what to do if contaminated food becomes a serious problem.


Mayor's Green Fair
City of Ann Arbor / a2gov.org

The City of Ann Arbor will host the 16th annual Mayor's Green Fair on Main Street Friday, June 10, 6–9 p.m. to celebrate the community's environmental leadership as exhibited by citizens, nonprofits, government, and businesses.  In this week’s “Issues of the Environment,” WEMU’s David Fair talks with Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor.


Yousef Rabhi
Patrik Holubik / 89.1 WEMU

Washtenaw County is planning to regulate the use of single use, plastic bags.  However, the Michigan State Legislature has slowed the process of passing this measure.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's Patrick Campion speaks with Washtenaw County Commissioner Yousef Rabhi about the controversy surrounding the proposed ordinance.

  Editor's note: Wednesday evening, the Washtenaw County commissioners  voted 6-2 to approve a new carryout bag ordinance that would put a 10-cent "tax" on customers for every single use (paper or plastic) bag they receive at stores in Washtenaw county. Stay tuned for follow-up discussion on the issue.

Lona Mody
Courtesy Photo / University of Michigan

One out of every four senior citizens contract multi-drug resistant infections, or superbugs, after a hospital stay.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks with Dr. Lona Mody, Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan, on ways to resist these powerful bugs.


Speed Limit 75 Sign
WikiMedia Commons

Legislation to increase the speed limits on Michigan's highway has been working its way through the state Legislature.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair talks to Timothy Gates, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Michigan State University, about how higher speed limits may impact the environment.


Dr. David Schwab, Research Scientist for the UM Graham Sustainability Institute Water Center, discusses his latest findings about the extensive spills that will happen if Line 5 in the Straits of Mackinac ruptures and how that oil would spread through the Great Lakes.


Gillian Ream Gainsley
Doug Coombe / Concentrate

Public transportation in Washtenaw County is growing. The AAATA is expanding service beginning in May, and increased rail service may be on the horizon.  In this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair speaks with Gillian Ream Gainsley, Ypsilanti representative for the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority, about how these transportation methods may impact the local environment.


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