A study by an auto analysis firm says that sales of sport utility vehicles are beginning to slow down. That’s because consumers are demanding more cars and car-like SUVs. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Bill Poorman reports:
A study by an auto analysis firm says that sales of sport utility vehicles are beginning to
slow down. That’s because consumers are demanding more cars and car-like SUVs. The
Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Bill Poorman reports:
The report from J.D. Power and Associates says inventories of SUVs are building up on
dealer lots, prices of SUVs are falling, and sales incentives are rising. The biggest
decline is taking place among the largest and least fuel efficient SUVs. Tom Libby with
J.D. Power says more people are demanding vehicles that look like SUVs, but are built
more like cars. He calls these crossovers.
“In the second quarter of 2004, crossovers actually reached 40 percent of all SUVs, and
that was a record. So we’re approaching the point where crossovers will be every other
And in certain cases, crossovers have better fuel efficiency than comparable traditional
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Bill Poorman.
It’s the time of year when many gardens reach their peak – and even grow a little bit wild. That has made one essayist’s loss all the more painful. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Karen Kelly remembers a special garden:
It’s the time of year when many gardens reach their peak –
and even grow a little bit wild. That has made one essayist’s loss all the more painful.
The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Karen Kelly remembers a special garden:
It looked like a crime scene.
Everything in the garden was gone.
The morning glories no longer crowded the sidewalk. Sunflowers were cut down in their
prime. There was a hole instead of the lilac. And one stubby trunk – where someone had
hacked off the sand cherry tree.
We started the garden just over a year ago. I found out I was pregnant and next thing I
know, my husband is incubating black-eyed susans on top of the refrigerator.
He seemed to have that nesting instinct. Suddenly, he was spending every weekend at
the nursery. He came home with tools and soil and plants and even trees.
The scraggly yard in front of our apartment building was being transformed.
For me, it was just what I needed – a patch of nature in the middle of the city.
This summer, the flowers came back. And we shared the garden with our 6 month old.
We were pointing out the buds on the trees, and the bees buzzing around.
We didn’t tend it much as we got ready to move. And it grew pretty wild.
There were flowers, but also grass and weeds.
Two weeks after we moved, all that life was torn up. Eleven different kinds of plants – all
carefully chosen and tended. We visited them every time we walked in or out of the
I can’t imagine the person who could just rip flowers out of the ground. It was a tiny,
imperfect oasis. Now, it’s just dirt.
Ironically, the only thing that survived was a plum tree we planted on the city property –
between the sidewalk and the road. We thought city workers might pull it up – since it
wasn’t official. Instead, they plunked an iron gate around it and now, every week, a city
truck comes to water it.
We always laugh about how it survived its brush with the city officials.
Now, that tree has proved it really is a survivor – but all that perennial color that was
once a backdrop to it is gone. It was not just a bit of our past, but an investment in the
future as well.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Karen Kelly.
Largeflower bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora) is one of the wildflowers declining at many of the sites studied by University of Wisconsin researchers. (Photo courtesy of Dave Rogers, UW Herbarium)
Don Reiter manages wildlife at the Menominee Tribal Forest in northeastern Wisconsin. The forest retains a healthy diversity of plant life, and has a low deer population. (MPR photo/Stephanie Hemphill)
University of Wisconsin researcher Tom Rooney says forest and wildlife managers should try to maintain a diversity of forest types, and not favor deer or any other particular species. (Photo courtesy of Tom Rooney)
Most of us think of the white-tailed deer as a graceful and cherished part of the natural scene. But it turns out when there are too many deer, it’s bad for some of the plants in the forest. New research suggests deer may be a prime culprit in a worrisome loss of rare plants in the woods. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Stephanie Hemphill reports:
Most of us think of the white-tailed deer as a graceful and cherished
part of the natural scene. But it turns out when there are too many
deer, it’s bad for some of the plants in the forest. New research
suggests deer may be a prime culprit in a worrisome loss of rare
plants in the woods. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Stephanie
Gardeners in many suburbs and rural areas know deer are good at
mowing down hosta, tulips and other favorite plants. In the woods,
deer munch on the small plants that live on the forest floor… plants
such as orchids, lilies, and other wildflowers.
Fifty years ago, researchers at the University of Wisconsin surveyed
hundreds of acres in the state, and made careful records of the plants
on those sites. In those days, the deer population was a lot lower
than it is now. In the last couple of years, two biologists went back to
many of those same sites and counted the plants living there now.
Tom Rooney says at most sites they found fewer different kinds of
“It tends to be the same species occurring over and again on the site.
You’re losing the rare species and picking up more and more
He says they tried to link the decline in rare species to the fact that
the forest is getting older. But they found no evidence for that.
Instead, lead researcher Don Waller says the evidence points to
deer, which have increased dramatically over the last fifty years.
“The worst changes we’ve seen, ironically were in a couple of state
parks and a protected natural area, that showed losses of half or
more of species in 50 years. However, in these sites there was no
deer hunting, implying high densities of deer may be causing a lot of
the effects we see in the woods.”
Plants that rely on insects for pollination declined more than other
types of plants. Waller thinks it might be because the insect-
pollinated plants have showy flowers, which could catch the eye of a
wandering deer. As the flowering plants decline, the insects and
birds that rely on them for food could decline as well – bees, moths,
butterflies, and hummingbirds.
Waller says it’s worrisome because scientists don’t know how
particular insects and plants work together to support each other.
“As we’re losing parts of the ecosystem, we’re really not sure what
their full function is, they might play some crucial role we’re not aware
of and only too late might we become aware of the fact that this loss
led to an unraveling or threats to other species.”
Waller says the only places they studied that still have a healthy
diversity of plants are on Indian reservations. The Menominee Tribal
Forest in northeastern Wisconsin is pretty much like it used to be fifty
(forest sounds under)
In this forest, there are only about ten deer per square mile. That’s
about as low as the deer population gets in Wisconsin. It’s not that
the tribe is hunting more deer; it’s the way the forest is grown.
Deer find lots to eat in young aspen woods; there’s less for them to
eat where pines and oaks and maples grow. Don Reiter is the wildlife
manager here. He says in the 360 square miles of the Menominee
forest, there’s really four different types of woods.
“We have pulpwood, we have northern hardwoods, white pine, red
pine, and again, the forest ecosystem as a whole, there’s plenty of
food out there for the deer.”
And because there aren’t too many deer, young pines and hemlocks
– and orchids and lilies – have a chance to grow.
In the upper Great Lakes states, wildlife officials have been trying to
thin the deer herd for several years. That’s because state officials
have been aware deer were causing problems by eating too many
plants. The recent study provides dramatic evidence.
In Minnesota, for instance, hunters are shooting four times the
number of deer they shot fifty years ago.
Steve Merchant is forest wildlife program consultant for the
Minnesota DNR. Merchant says the agency has liberalized its rules,
to encourage hunters to kill even more deer. But the number of
hunters hasn’t gone up in recent years. And lots of private
landowners post no-hunting signs.
“We need to have some help from people, people still need to get out
and hunt deer, and landowners need to provide that access for
people to harvest deer.”
Merchant says Minnesota is gradually trying to restore pine forests,
which were cut down for lumber and replaced with fast-growing
aspen. More pine forests could cut down on the deer population…
“But as long as we still have the strong demand for the aspen
markets that we do, and we manage those aspen forests in a
productive manner for wood fiber, we’re going to create a lot of good
white-tailed deer habitat.”
Merchant says it would take decades to change the woods enough to
reduce the deer population. And in the meantime, we’re losing more
and more of the rare flowers.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Stephanie Hemphill.
The American Bald Eagle has made a remarkable recovery. It's done so well, it might soon be taken off the Endangered Species list. (Photo courtesy of USFWS)
The eagles and their nest at Crosswinds Marsh, a mitigated wetland in Wayne County, Michigan - click on "view" for a closeup. (Photo by Ed Herrmann)
Crosswinds Marsh in Wayne County, Michigan features a boardwalk and shelter for viewing the wetlands. (Photo by Ed Herrmann)
With more than 7600 breeding pairs in the continental United States alone, the American Bald Eagle has made a remarkable comeback. A new proposal to remove the bird from the Endangered Species list is expected soon. But that means removing a powerful safety net that can affect future research, monitoring and habitat protection. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sally Eisele reports:
With more than 7600 breeding pairs in the continental United States alone, the
American Bald Eagle has made a remarkable comeback. A new proposal to remove the
bird from the Endangered Species list is expected soon. But that means removing a
powerful safety net that can affect future research, monitoring and habitat protection.
The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sally Eisele reports:
In the history of the Endangered Species Act, only a dozen or so of the more than 1200
plants and animals listed as threatened or endangered have actually recovered. The eagle
may be the latest to join that little group.
(Young birder: “I see a big birdie…”)
This is a pretty unlikely spot for an eagle — a manmade wetland by a landfill in a busy
airport flight path on the outskirts of Detroit. But state wildlife biologist Joe Robison
shows this young visitor the bulky nest across the marsh where two adult birds are
teaching their gangly fledglings to fly.
“Something just landed in the tree out there. Oh. That’s the other juvenile. This is the
first time I’ve seen them flying this year. They look like they’re flying good though.”
These birds are among more than 400 pairs in Michigan monitored by state and federal
wildlife officials. The eagles are banded, the nests are watched and when a bird dies it
ends up in the freezer of wildlife pathologist Tom Cooley.
(sound of Cooley opening the freezer)
“Lots and lots of ’em. You can see that one was a road kill along I-75…”
Right now, Cooley’s freezer is brim full of dead birds stacked like frozen Thanksgiving
turkeys in plastic bags. Road kill has become the leading cause of death among eagles
he examines, but Cooley says they still investigate suspicious looking deaths for the
heavy metals and pesticides—like DDT—which once caused the eagles’ demise.
“Birds that kind of send up a red flag to us are adult birds that are in poor condition and
you don’t see a reason why they could be in poor condition. Those are the ones that we
especially look at for pesticide analysis because there are still the organochlorines out
there. The DDTs are still picked up by eagles or still contained in eagles. Those
pesticides can cause real problems for them and actually kill them.”
Cooley sends tissue samples to another state lab for analysis. But the testing is
expensive. And with the eagle on the way to recovery, it’s not as urgent. Right now, he
says all the samples he sends are being archived—shelved basically. That means the
testing won’t be done until the money is available.
“I never like archiving anything if I can help it. You’re probably not missing anything
but that kind of data is always nice to have if you can get it right away and look at it right
The question is, if it’s hard to get funding for monitoring and testing now—while the bird
is still on the Endangered Species List—what happens when it’s taken off the list? The
reality, say state and federal wildlife experts, is that budget priorities change as a species
recovers. Ray Rustem heads Michigan’s non-game wildlife program.
“There’s not enough money for every species. So you try to take a species to a level
where you feel comfortable with and you take money and apply it to another species to
try to recover.”
The federal Endangered Species Act requires the Fish and Wildlife Service to monitor
what it terms a delisted species for five years. After that, responsibility largely shifts to
the states. That concerns groups like the National Wildlife Federation. Attorney John
Kostyak questions whether states can really afford to protect fragile species and their
habitat over the long term.
“That’s going to be an issue with any delisting. A tough question that we’re going to
always be asking is: all right assume you go forward with delisting—how are you going
to be sure the species doesn’t turn right around and go back toward extinction again?”
With some species, that means habitat management. With others, like the recovering
gray wolf, it means public education—teaching people not to kill them. With the eagle, it
means ensuring that the birds are not threatened by the pesticides, heavy metals and
newer chemicals that contaminate the fish the eagles eat. Because of the bird’s
importance as an indicator species, Fish and Wildlife biologists are hopeful banding and
testing programs will continue after delisting. But it will likely mean finding new ways
to pay for them.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Sally Eisele.
Environmental groups and attorneys general in six states are suing the Environmental Protection Agency over a new rule that regulates cooling water intake at power plants. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Erin Toner reports:
Environmental groups and attorneys general in six states are suing the Environmental
Protection Agency over a new rule that regulates cooling water intake at power plants.
The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Erin Toner reports.
Power plants take in billions of gallons of water a day from lakes or rivers to keep
turbines cool. That process kills fish and other aquatic organisms. The new rule
EPA requires power plants to reduce fish kills by at least 60 percent. But critics
government can easily require a much larger reduction.
Reed Super is an attorney for the environmental group River Keeper. He says a process
called “closed-cycle cooling” can achieve a 95 percent reduction in fish kills. But
power companies don’t want to pay for it.
“Industry gets a good hearing by its representatives in Washington these days, and we
basically have the Office of Management and Budget and the White House and political
appointees at EPA once again caving into industry to give them exactly what they
Attorneys general of six Northeastern states have also filed suit against the EPA. The
new rule is set to take effect September 7th.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Erin Toner.
Engineers say they have a new system that will extract more energy out of coal-fired power plants. And, they say, it has the added benefit of reducing pollution. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Mark Brush reports:
Engineers say they have a new system that will extract more energy out
of coal-fired power plants. And, they say, it has the added benefit of
reducing pollution. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Mark Brush
Coal-fired power plants convert only one-third of the fuel’s energy
potential into electricity. The rest of that energy is heat that’s
lost out the smokestack. Engineers say they’ve now found a way to
capture that heat, transferring its energy into electricity.
Dan Stinger is president of Wow Energies. He says reducing heat in
smokestacks has an added benefit:
“Not only are we able to generate power from waste heat without
consuming fuel, which is an immediate reduction in pollution. But
we’re also able to knock the temperature out of an exhaust stack or
flue gas, and by doing that we condense out a lot of the pollutants
that normally would be exhausted into the environment up a huge exhaust
Stinger says a cooler smokestack means fewer pollutants, such as
mercury and chemicals that cause acid rain and ozone, will be sent up
into the atmosphere. Instead, much of that pollution will be condensed
out and trapped. Stinger says the company plans to install its first
small-scale system by the middle of next year.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Mark Brush.
New research shows that chemicals used to repel food, stains, and water are sticking just about everywhere else in the environment. They were recently found in the Great Lakes. But as the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah Hulett reports, their discovery was not a surprise:
New research shows that chemicals used to repel food, stains, and water are
sticking just about everywhere else in the environment. They were recently found
in the Great Lakes. But as the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Sarah Hulett
reports, their discovery was not a surprise:
The chemicals are called perfluoronated compounds. They’re used in products
like Teflon, Scotchgard, and Gore-Tex. They’ve been detected in animals from
Arctic polar bears to seals and birds in the Baltic.
Matt Simcik is a researcher at the University of Minnesota. His studies turned up
the chemicals in lake trout from all five Great Lakes. Simcik says a likely source
for the contaminants is wastewater treatment plants.
“Because these chemicals are used in everyday use – textiles and carpets and
things. And when you wash your clothes, or wash your carpet, that water gets
into the waste system, and eventually ends up in the lake.”
The effects of the chemicals on humans is the subject of intense debate – but at
high exposures they’ve been linked to problems including birth defects and
One of the two known chemicals has been phased out of use. Federal regulators
are looking at the other to determine whether it should be restricted as well.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Sarah Hulett.
A recent study from a group of scientists suggests the government should keep a closer eye on genetically modified foods. The Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Tom Weber reports:
A recent study from a group of scientists suggests the government
should keep a closer eye on genetically modified foods. The Great
Lakes Radio Consortium’s Tom Weber reports:
The study is from the National Academy of Sciences. Authors found
there’s nothing inherently hazardous about the way foods are
genetically altered today.
Tim Zacharewski is with Michigan State University. He’s one of the
scientists who helped write the report. He says the report is a
response to points raised in the ongoing debate over genetically
“There’s growing concern within the consumer market, as well as with
trading partners, that these products may actually not be safe. At
this time there’s no evidence to support that.”
But Zacherewski says the study also notes there is a potential that
future products could be unsafe… especially as newer technology
allows more and more types of food to be altered. And the study’s
authors say that the government should focus its regulations on those
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Tom Weber.
It’s harvest time for some of the local crops. The fields are ripe with homegrown produce. Some supermarkets are advertising homegrown vegetables for sale. But some supermarkets define “homegrown” a lot differently than you might think. As part of an ongoing series called, “Your Choice; Your Planet,” the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Joyce Kryszak reports on some misleading marketing that’s hurting local farmers:
It’s harvest time for some of the local crops. The fields are ripe with homegrown
produce. Some supermarkets are advertising homegrown vegetables for sale. But some
supermarkets define “homegrown” a lot differently than you might think. The Great
Lakes Radio Consortium’s Joyce Kryszak reports on some misleading marketing that’s
hurting local farmers:
(sound of market)
This time of year you can find the true veggie-lovers at the roadside stands and
farmers markets. Here you can fill your bags with vegetables and fruits so fresh
from the field that they’re still warm from the sun.
But many people racing between work and home don’t have time to make an extra
shopping trip. And they don’t have to. They can pick up the same succulent,
homegrown produce right at the local supermarket.
At least that’s what the stores advertise. Shelley Stieger shops at the
supermarkets. She says she’s been a bit disappointed by her grocery store’s
“My impression from the ad would be that they’d be from around here – but I don’t
think they are.”
JK: “Why is that? What do you base that on?”
“Well, I bought some tomatoes the other day and it said homegrown. I thought they
were. But I got them home and they aren’t homegrown tomatoes. They still taste like
plastic tomatoes, so they’re not.”
That all kind of depends on your definition of homegrown. The tomatoes that Stieger
bought were homegrown in New Jersey. But Stieger lives in western New York. Where
she lives, the tomatoes were still pretty green on the vine. And the homegrown
eggplant that her store advertised in its flyer? That local crop won’t be ready for
another week. The plump, purple eggplant in the produce section now is actually
from out of state. Stephanie Zakowicz is a
spokesperson for the supermarket chain Tops.
“For Tops, our definition of homegrown is anything grown within a 250 mile radius of
the store. And this year with the weather not cooperating as much with our farmers
as usual, unfortunately, when our ads are produced so far in advance, sometimes the
product doesn’t get delivered and we
need to procure it elsewhere.”
Tops may not be alone. Other supermarket chains may also be defining homegrown a
little far a field.
When shoppers learn about the broader definition, they’re usually not very happy.
Zakowicz says Tops puts signs in the stores saying where their produce comes from.
But apparently a lot of people never see the signs. It was news to the people who
have been calling county politician Jeanne Chase. She says her constituents feel
they’ve been fooled.
“They were very concerned. Because they read when it says homegrown produce and
they get a very warm and fuzzy feeling, because they assume they know the people who
are growing the produce and that it’s really being grown in their county, in their
own backyard, so to speak. And they were a little outraged to find out it was being
grown in Pennsylvania or New Jersey’s backyard.”
Zakowicz from Tops says supermarkets really don’t have a choice. It’s a question of
supply and demand. People now expect year-round access to their favorite produce.
And this year’s particularly wet season has prevented local farmers from bringing
those crops in on time – or in peak condition.
Bill Zittel’s family has been farming in Eden for about a hundred years. Zittel
says the definition of homegrown isn’t the only thing that’s changing. When stores
can’t get local produce because isn’t yet in season, they buy from out-of-state
instead. Zittel says that might leave local farmers with nowhere to sell their
crops once they are ready.
“There’s a fine line between production, quality, what you have to sell the product
for, and who’s going to buy it. The end result is you can produce all the food you
want, but if there’s nobody to buy it, then you might as well not do it, because
it’s going to go to waste.”
Bottomline, Zittel says it’s difficult to compete with growers from warmer climates
that get multiple growing seasons. Great Lakes states get one – and in northern
areas, it’s a very short one. Still, local shoppers expect the sweet corn they buy
in late summer to be local… not the second or third crop of the season shipped in
Despite the disagreement about the use of the term “homegrown,” Stephanie Zakowicz
from Tops says the supermarket chain is committed to local farmers.
“It’s a high priority for us to supply our customers with homegrown products.
They’re wonderful. Our customers look for them. And we try to work with our farmers
to get as much as we can, as long as they meet our quality standards.”
And apparently, only if they meet the timing of their ads.
So, if it’s important to you that your produce is truly locally “homegrown,” it’s a
good idea to check the fine print. Most supermarket chains say “homegrown” produce
should have a sign declaring near whose home it was grown.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, I’m Joyce Kryszak.
Urban sprawl doesn't just alter the land in the suburbs. Central
cities are affected by the loss of investment when people leave the cities
and tax dollars are instead invested in building roads and sewers in the
surrounding areas. (Photo by Lester Graham)
Concern about urban sprawl is often limited to the loss of farmland, traffic congestion, and unattractive development. But urban sprawl has other impacts. Building the roads and sewers to serve new subdivisions uses state and federal tax money, often at the expense of the large cities that are losing population to the suburbs. In the second of a two-part series, the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham looks at the divide between city and suburb:
Concern about urban sprawl is often limited to the loss of farmland, traffic
congestion, and unattractive development. But urban sprawl has other impacts.
Building the roads and sewers to serve new subdivisions uses state and federal tax
money, often at the expense of the large cities that are losing population to the
suburbs. In the second of a two-part series, the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Lester Graham
looks at the divide between city and suburb:
What some people call urban sprawl got started as the federal government’s answer to
a severe housing shortage. There wasn’t a lot of building going
on during the Great Depression. At the end of World War II, returning GIs needed
Reynolds Farley is a research professor at the University of Michigan’s Population
Studies Center. Farley says the federal government offered veterans low-interest
loans and developers started building modest homes on green lawns on the edge of
cities. But because of discrimination, the loans didn’t as often make it into the
hands of African-American veterans. Instead of segregated neighborhoods in the
city, segregation lines were newly drawn between city and
“Very low-cost mortgages accelerated the movement of whites from the central city
out to the suburbs… built upon the long racial animosity that characterized cities
beginning at the time of the first World War and continuing, perhaps up to the
With segregation, there was a shift of wealth. Farley says jobs and purchasing
power were exported to the suburbs with the help of the interstate highway system.
And big new shopping centers displaced retail in downtowns.
People with low-incomes, often people of color, were left behind in cities of
abandoned houses and vacant storefronts that often didn’t have enough tax base to
maintain roads and services.
John Powell is a professor at Ohio State University. He’s written extensively on
urban sprawl and its effects on urban centers.
“So, we move jobs away, we move tax base away, we move good schools away and then
the city becomes really desperate and they’re trying to fix the problems, but all
the resources have been moved away.”
With no way found to fix the cities, whites have been moving out of cities to the
suburbs for decades. And now, middle-class blacks are moving out too. For some
metropolitan areas, leaving the city has become a
matter of income… although Powell says even then African-Americans have a more
difficult time finding a way out.
“Race never drops out of the equation. In reality, even middle-class blacks don’t
have the same mobility to move to opportunity that even working-class whites do
because of the way race works in our society.”
So, segregation continues. But now the line is drawn between middle-class blacks in
the older, inner-ring suburbs, whites in the outer-ring suburbs… and for the most
part in cities such as Detroit, poorer blacks left behind in the central city.
Smarth Growth advocates say part of the answer to urban sprawl is finding a way to
get more money back into the central-cities to make them more attractive to
everyone. That’s worked in cities such as Portland, Oregon and Minneapolis-St.
Paul. But those cities and their suburbs are predominantly white. For Northern
cities with greater racial divides, cities such as Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St.
Louis and Detroit it’s different. A lot of white suburbanites don’t want tax
dollars going to blacks in the city. And African-Americans in the city don’t see
urban sprawl as their issue, so ideas such as tax revenue sharing for a metropolitan
region are not a priority. The issue of regional tax equity that
works in predominantly white regions… becomes muddied by racial animosity in
“Buzz’ Thomas is state senator in Michigan who has taken on the issue of urban
sprawl and its counterpart, the deterioration of city centers. Senator Thomas says
if state legislatures can’t find an answer to help cities, sprawl in the suburbs
will continue, paving over green space and farmland.
“You know, poverty and jobs and access to health care and access to quality
education are very realistic issues for cities like Detroit. But, a reality is they
go hand-in-hand with sprawl. As your black middle-class moves out of the inner city
because they’re not satisfied with those resolution to those issues. You know, it
Senator Thomas says legislators from rural areas and from urban areas are beginning
to realize they have a common issue. But before they can get to discussions of
regional tax equity, they first have to talk about the more difficult issue of
“And have a discussion that might make me uncomfortable, that might make those
that I discuss it with uncomfortable. Only then, I think, can we really adequately
figure out how long it’s going to take us to resolve that issue.”
In the meantime, many cities are still losing population and revenue. Suburbs
continue to sprawl. And farms are becoming subdivisions, retail strip malls and
fast food restaurants.
For the Great Lakes Radio Consortium, this is Lester Graham.