Stateside: Facial recognition tech controversy; SE MI transit plan gets update; women aviators
Today on Stateside, another attempt by the RTA to bring coordinated mass transit to Southeast Michigan. Plus, the Detroit Police Department’s attempts to fund facial recognition surveillance sparks criticism.
Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.
- For years, the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) has been trying, and failing, to launch a plan to bring a coordinated mass transit system to Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, and Washtenaw Counties. The plans include a web of highways, bus rapid transit, and train lines with Detroit serving as a sort of hub. After suffering a defeat at the ballot box in 2016, and another rejection by its board in 2018, the RTA is unveiling an updated plan it hopes to get on the 2020 ballot.
- Megan Owens of Transportation Riders United joins us to talk about what's new in the plan, and its chances of becoming reality.
- Across the world, there’s been a dramatic airplane pilot shortage. North America will need over 200,000 new pilots in the next two decades, according to Boeing. But while the demand for pilots keeps growing, the number of women in the industry has not. The pilots-in-training at Northwestern Michigan College are an exception, as Interlochen Public Radio’s Bronte Cook reports.
Detroit Police request more money for controversial facial recognition and surveillance program
- The Detroit Police Department wants to expand its use of the city's growing network of high-definition surveillance cameras. And they're asking for $4 million to help them do it. That's in spite of objections from critics who say that law enforcement's use of facial recognition and video surveillance violates the Fourth Amendment.
- Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek joins us to talk about why the police want more funding for video surveillance, and why their use of the technology has been so controversial.
In a bid to reduce foreign dependency, researchers explore “critical” mineral reserves in Michigan
- The federal government is on the hunt for minerals. The Interior Department has a list of 35 minerals that it considers critical to our economy and national security. And now it's giving grants to researchers to help them find where in the U.S. these essential minerals are found.
- Stateside discusses Michigan's role in mining these raw materials with Bill Harrison, Western Michigan University Professor Emeritus and director of the Michigan Basin Core Research Laboratory, and Peter Voice, a research scientist at the Michigan Geological Survey who focuses on the history of mining in Michigan.
From Gogebic To Hamtramck, guide demystifies Michigan pronunciations
- In the Southwest Michigan city of Dowagiac, people are used to hearing creative interpretations of the town's name. But in Michigan, no one need feel this kind of distress. That’s because a state website explains how to pronounce just about any place in both peninsulas. Dowagiac is among its close to 2000 entries. The “You Say It How in Michigan?” guide also covers notable people and even favorite foods and pastimes. WMUK reporter Sehvilla Mann brings us a story about how the guide came to be.
How communities should weigh the pros and cons of wind turbines
- The Michigan Public Service Commission tells us that wind generation is the primary source of alternative energy in our state. But that means lots of wind turbines. As of last month, Michigan has a total of 1,051 operational turbines with more on the way. And while some communities will welcome wind farms, others push back to keep turbines out of their backyards.
- Sarah Banas Mills has worked with and studies many Michigan communities while they decide whether to approve wind turbines. She’s with the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) at the Gerald R. Ford School for Public Policy at the University of Michigan, and discusses why wind developers are flocking to Michigan's Thumb region.