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Politics & Government

Stateside: Ford’s White House photographer; push for state PFAS standard; symphony for survivors

President Ford reads a newspaper in the back of a car
David Hume Kennerly
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Courtesy of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
"President Ford really gave me the keys to the chicken coop. I was like the photo fox of the Ford administration," said David Hume Kennerly, who served as Ford's chief White House photographer.

Today on Stateside, we talk to our Friday political commentators about Governor Whitmer’s move to have Michigan set its own PFAS standard. Plus, a composer tackles the trauma of sexual abuse and the resilience of survivors in a new symphony.

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

President Ford’s photographer reflects on his years capturing life in the White House and beyond

SS_20190329_Kennerly_Pres_Ford_Photo_Exhib.mp3
Stateside’s conversation with David Hume Kennerly

  • A new photo exhibit  at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids offers an intimate look at Ford’s life in the White House. David Hume Kennerly, President Ford’s personal photographer, talks about his relationship to the president, the life of a White House photographer, and the sometimes-awkward visits from foreign dignitaries.

How Michigan’s food banks stop milk from going to waste during a national surplus

SS_20190329_Freeland_Milk_Surplus.mp3
Stateside’s conversation with Cortney Freeland

  • In response to a national dairy surplus, the federal government is buying up excess milk and routing it to food banks. That's something Michigan has already been doing for six years through the  United Dairy Industry of Michigan's Milk Means More program.
  • Cortney Freeland is the nutrition outreach manager for the program. She talks to Stateside about the logistics of matching dairy to food banks, and how other states could replicate Michigan's model. 

Composer writes a symphony for survivors of sexual abuse, including himself 

SS_20190329_Ware_Symphony.mp3
Stateside’s conversation with Evan Ware

  • The Quietest of Whispers, a symphony inspired by the experiences of sexual abuse survivors, will be performed at Central Michigan University this Sunday evening. Composer Evan Ware joined Stateside to discuss how the hundreds of girls and women who came forward as survivors of Larry Nassar's abuse influenced the work, and how music has been a tool for his own healing as a survivor.
  • Support for arts and cultural coverage comes in part from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. 

State police plan second pilot of roadside drug tests. Here’s how the devices work.

SS_20190329_Roadside_Drug_Testing.mp3
Stateside’s conversation with Timothy Rohrig

  • Law enforcement roadside drug tests have had a reputation for being notoriously inaccurate. But the Michigan State Police believe they’ve been testing a device that's much more accurate. Timothy Rohrig, director of the Sedgwick County Regional Forensic Science Center in Kansas, is part of a team that conducted a peer-reviewed study of that device – the Alere DDS2 Mobile Test. He talks to Stateside about the advances in accuracy with this device, and his advice for law enforcement on how to use the results.

Roundup: How much PFAS is too much? Gov. Whitmer’s push for a state standard

SS_20190329_Friday_Roundtable.mp3
Stateside's conversation with Vicki Barnnett and Ken Sikkema

  • This week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer instructed the state Department of Environmental Quality to start working on determining a safe drinking water level for poly-fluoro-alkyl and per-fluoro-alkyl chemicals – or PFAS. Environmental groups applauded the move. The chemical industry says Michigan ought to let the U.S. EPA determine what’s safe. We discuss with our Friday political commentators.
  • Vicki Barnett is a former mayor of Farmington Hills and a former Democratic member of the state Legislature. Ken Sikkema is a senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants and former Republican Majority Leader in the Michigan State Senate.

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