Stateside: Contaminated Detroit River site collapse; Sanilac petroglyphs; reviving the Tiki cocktail | Michigan Radio
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Stateside: Contaminated Detroit River site collapse; Sanilac petroglyphs; reviving the Tiki cocktail

Dec 8, 2019

Today on Stateside, a team from Emory University is in Michigan this week to take blood samples from people who were exposed to polybrominated biphenyls—or PBBs—in the 1970s. Plus, is new technology the key to fighting climate change—or is a radical cultural shift needed? 

Fnd individual segments below.

Concerns rise after Detroit River shoreline collapse at contaminated site

  • A Windsor politician is calling for a binational investigation while an environmental group is calling for the restoration of Michigan's "Polluter Pay" laws. That's after part of a property owned by Detroit Bulk Storage collapsed into the Detroit River last week. The site is suspected of being contaminated by various toxic substances, and may also contain some uranium and thorium. Michigan Radio reporter Tracy Samilton explained how the collapse happened, what officials in both Canada and Michigan are saying about it, and what comes next. 

Cheers! Reviving the Tiki tradition with tropical drinks and midcentury style

  • There is so much to catch your eye at Max's South Seas Hideaway: Tiki statues, tiki mugs, tiki décor of every description, and more than a dash of 1960s living room kitsch. It's the newest tiki bar in Grand Rapids and an homage to the tiki palaces of 1950s and 1960s America. 
  • Lester Graham and Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings sat down with the bar's co-owner Mark Sellers to talk about reviving the tiki bar in Michigan, and of course, mix up a tropical cocktail. 

More than four decades later, health effects of 1970s PBB contamination are still being tracked

  • Polybrominated biphenyls—or PBBs—are toxic chemicals used in flame retardant. In the 1970s, a chemical plant in St. Louis, Michigan accidentally sent some of the chemical to a Farm Bureau feed center where it was mixed in with cattle feed. That accident wasn’t discovered by regulators for about a year. During that time, millions of people ate food that had been contaminated by PBBs.
  • Emory University has been monitoring the health of some of the people exposed to PBB over the years. We got an update on that monitoring from the project's lead scientist Michele Marcus. She's a professor at Emory's Rollins School of Public Health. 

You'll find prehistoric treasures at Michigan’s least-visited state park

  • The least-visited park in the state is the site of some of its very oldest historic artifacts. The rock carvings, called petroglyphs, within the park date back some 1,400 years and are sacred to the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. The state Department of Natural Resources and the tribe recently signed an agreement to co-manage the park, which is the first partnership of its kind. 
  • In 2016, we talked to archeologist Stacy Tchorzynski​ and Shannon Martin, director of the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways, about what makes the park so special, and how they plan to draw more visitors to it. 
  • This segment was originally aired on August 12, 2016.

Without widespread cultural change, the climate crisis won’t be solved, says UM expert

  • Science shows climate change is real and humans are contributing to the problem. So, how did something science-based cause such a cultural and political divide? Earlier this year, University of Michigan professor Andrew Hoffman wrote an article called “Climate Change and Our Emerging Cultural Shift.” It addressed the unique backlash to climate change science among some religious communities. We talked to Hoffman about his article and his contention that what's needed to move the needle on climate change isn't just new technology, but a massive cultural shift. 
  • This segment was originally aired on October 23, 2019.

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