Kevin Walsh hosts David Wells, Ph.D, co-founder of the non-partisan research group The Grand Canyon Institute who co-authored with Curtis Cardine Following the Money: Twenty Years of Charter School Finances in Arizona the first of three reports which reveals that up to 77 percent of Arizona’s charter school holders use their state taxpayer funds for potentially questionable financial transactions. Specifically, many charter schools conduct business with a related party, in other words a for-profit business owned by the charter holder, a member of the school’s corporate board or a relative of either. In 2013-14, related-party financial commitments were worth half a billion dollars of state taxpayer funds, representing 48 percent of charter school expenditures for contracts, leases and rents.
Join Digging Detroit host Pete Kalinski from Royal Oak’s Boo’s Music Bistro inside Mr. B’s Restaurant as he welcomes two of the city’s foremost fans and promoters of Detroit’s legendary blues legacy–President of the Detroit Blues Society, Steve Soviak and Vice President Tom McNab.
It’s first meeting in 1985 began a multi-decade of transformations to increase public interest in the Society. Large-scale events included a number of indoor and outdoor concerts and school workshops. Increased membership and a more organized approach allowed the Society to embark on special projects. Educational programs became more formalized and in 1996 the Scarab Club Educational/Blues Heritage Series began. Each event featured a theme based on some aspect of the Detroit blues tradition.
Pete, Steve and Tom discuss the non-profit’s innovations including Blues in the Schools and the Blues Challenge as the group continues to dedicate itself to the preservation, education, and advancement of the blues tradition as it relates to the Metro-Detroit area. It has as its primary goals to promote a wider appreciation for the blues by the general public and to serve the members of the Society.
Playwright Frank Anthony Polito shares his journey from blue collar Hazel Park Michigan to New York’s theater scene, then back again, nearly 20 years later with a drama about his teenage years with his best friend–both discovering they are gay in the late 1980s. Topics include:
- Frank’s journey home
- Writing a play (from an original novel)
- Basing characters on real people–and merging them
- Teenagers, friendships and drama
- Becoming a drama coach at your alma mater
Tune in to our latest podcast, another Archivist’s Roundup as we visit with four archivists and historians about Detroit’s rich and varied Jewish history. The archivists share how they collect and preserve the stories of Detroit’s Jewish community and also how they help connect today’s generation with their heritage.
Two episodes featuring fascinating women of Michigan history, Digging Detroit host Thomas J. Reed, Jr. is joined by Samantha Lawrence, Sabrina Nelson, Emily B. Corwin and Bailey Sisoy Isgro–each sharing their favorite women of Michigan history–ranging from a supreme court justice, a surgeon, an artist to a brothel-owner.
A look inside the “Arsenal of Democracy” as Professor Gregory Sumner of University of Detroit Mercy joins Digging Detroit’s Thomas J. Reed Jr. and Detroit History Tours‘ Bailey Sisoy Isgro at Detroit’s historic Abick’s Bar. Sumner previews his upcoming book-signing, Detroit in WWII, at Abick’s on November 10, 2015.
Some of Michigan’s top historical archivists join us for a roundtable discussion at historic Abick’s Bar on their unusual world–sometimes spent in dusty shelves and digging through dark basements and mysterious attics–but often waiting for you at the reference desk.
They’ll share some familiar requests, general misconceptions, surprise treasures and offer some great advice for everyone on preserving documents, photographs and memories for posterity.
Ken Pickering, GM’s retired Executive Director, Engineering and Design Services, joins Digging Detroit’s Kevin Walsh and Pete Kalinski to discuss his career in the exciting years of design in the 1950s and beyond.
- Moving from western Pennsylvania to WWII to GM
- Hard work combined with some great breaks
- Harley Earl & Bill Mitchell
- How long a car takes from design to production
- Women in design via Harley Earl
- The Corvette SR2 created in 5 weeks for Earl’s son
- Henry Ford, Willow Run and the Arsenal of Democracy
- Motorama—Harley Earl’s Manhattan Runway
- Man’s love-affair with cars
- David Temple’s new book Motorama: GM’s Legendary Show & Concept Cars
Ladd Biro has loved music and been a performer his entire life–but never wanted to be a starving artist either. For 40 years he has worked in the entirely non-9-to-5 world of the track–and been in bands and created albums.
He contacted Kevin Walsh about creating a music video for “In Days Gone By,” a song that a friend of his wrote for his niece’s wedding–dedicated to the special relationship between a father and daughter.
Ladd joins Kevin as they discuss:
- The world of horse-racing
- Loving music–and keeping it as part of your life
- The creation of “In Days Gone By”
- Raiding photo albums of family and friends
- The universal appeal of daddy/daughter dances
- What makes a band work
- Mars and Venus–and editing a video for both
- Ladd’s album, Transition, from Roscoe Records
Following a contest on MyMediaDiary.com, the top three winners guessing the 24 categories from the 2015 Academy Awards, Collin Ward, Melissa Balan and Steve Palizzi, were invited by hosts Kevin Walsh and Kale Davidoff to discuss the following:
- Best and Worst of the Show
- Bad Clips Shown for Good Actors
- Underwhelming Films
- New Categories such as:Neil Patrick Harris and the Hosting Curse–Too Naughty/Too Nice
- Best Picture–5 Years from Now
- Best Trailer
- Best Stuntwork
- Best Voice-Over Work
- Recommended Changes
- The Academy Voters Country Club/US Senate
- Joan Rivers
- Popularity of Hanging Lightbulbs
- Birdman and Hollywood’s Love Affair with Itself
In the podcast, Melissa shared her project on the Mars mission. Here’s the link!
The 1967 vision of a new teacher transformed Royal Oak Dondero High School’s choir into a ground-breaking force with its annual Pop Concert for the next 35 years.
Author and alumnus of Mr. Rick Hartsoe’s program at Dondero, Pete Wurdock previews the March 7th release of his book, Love Will Steer the Stars: A History of the Dondero Pop Concert and is joined by Rick along with Dan Palmer, another alum from the programs early days–who would go on to be the concert’s chief arranger until Rick’s retirement.
- Details on the book’s launch at the original auditorium on March 7th at Royal Oak Middle School, 709 N. Washington Royal Oak
- Rick’s early days developing the concert–and its initial reaction from staff and students
- Talent seeking talent, collaborating with instrumentalists–and shop teachers!
- Life-lessons, including teamwork and rigor and the enduring power of music
You can read more about Pete Wurdock and his books at: www.blueboundarybooks.com.
On the two-year anniversary of MyMediaDiary.com, featured writers Kale Davidoff (a MSU Spartan) and Steve Mitzel (a UofM Wolverine) cover the following sports topics with host Kevin Walsh:
- Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes national title
- The new NCAA playoff system
- Jim Harbaugh’s arrival in Ann Arbor–and likelihood to stay?
- The Big Ten’s return to power
- Is the SEC hurt by the new system?
- Different venues, different fans
- Being a stranger in a hostile stadium
- The Tigers and Justin Verlander (and will they ever win the Series)
Digging Detroit’s Tom Reed and Pete Kalinski discuss the early days of Detroit’s automotive history with historians Bailey Sisoy Isgro and Madelyn Rzadkowolski.
- Advertising’s current portrayal of the Dodge Brothers
- Dodge’s famous dependability—and fix-it-yourself car kits
- General Patton and the Dodge military contract
- Women and Detroit’s cigar industry as a vehicle for entry into the workforce (and why Detroit was a cigar center)
- Using campaigns of conscience to get women into the workforce during WWI
- Detroit’s African American 600% population boom between 1910-1920
- Detroit as the “Paris of the Midwest”
- More campaigns of conscience to force women out of the workplace after WWII
- Dodge’s role in the arsenal of democracy
- Fear of women earning too much–and gaining political clout)
- Promoting the myth of the non-communist “nuclear family” in the nuclear age
For more information on the Dodge Brothers go to MeadowbrookHall.org.
For more information on Bailey’s Detroit History Tours go to DetroitHistoryTours.com.
Following the December 7, 2014 publication of his New York Times Sunday Review, “Detroit By Air” which examines the city’s dramatic haves and have-nots, photographer Alex MacLean is interviewed by Kevin Walsh and Thomas J. Reed, Jr. of the new website, DiggingDetroit.com.
- Alex’s background, including his fear of flying leading to his pilot’s license
- Detroit’s past, present and future
- Regrowing urban communities
- Alex’s transition from aerial surveyor to gallery artist
- His favorite audiences
- Switching to digital, but still loving prints—and those amazing drones!
More information on Alex can be found at his website: http://alexmaclean.com
Veteran film and TV sound expert Ric Viers, author of The Sound Effects Bible and The Location Sound Bible, joins Kevin Walsh following a workshop Ric gave to Michigan high school students on his 10 Location Sound Commandments, which offer important life-skills as well.
- Soft Skills and Reputation-how the most skilled person on the set may not be the one who stays on the set.
- How Does One Begin as a Sound Guy?
- Fatherhood and the osmosis of sound-awareness
- Gathering sound-effects (and where to leave your keys)
- Publishing a book (after finding a niche)
- The “Oh Crap” Kit
Kevin Walsh interviews author and educator Dr. Erik Bean on his most recent books, including:
– Overcoming student and teacher fatigue essay-fatigue with the technology
– Student and teacher reactions to new tricks for the old dog of MS Word
– Advantages of blogging for students (and overcoming stage fright)
– Trolling (and how to address them)
– Getting published–five times!
Kevin Walsh interviews Sandy Barris, a longtime marketing expert.
He is the author of 97 Marketing Secrets to Make More Money and the app, Sales Goal On Fire Pro.
Sandy shares his lifelong journey and lessons, including:
– Writing a book, not to sell but to use as a giant business card of credibility
– How Google’s AdWords works, and which words cost the most)
– Creating an App (or hiring the right people to do it for you)
– Marketing a la carte (one-day turnaround for customers who just need booster-shots)
– War stories (successes and failures)
– Election Ads (does negativity work?)
More information at www.SandyBarris.com
This interview follows Kevin’s August 15th, Acts of God? Creative Interpretations During Flooding: Unlike a Good Neighbor…
Following the intense rain within a single four-hour period in August, 2014, thousands of metro Detroiters found their basements flooded with sewage and little to no assistance from their insurers “flood” coverage.
Attorney, Judy Herman, discusses her 27 year career dealing with insurance companies and offers some advice for consumers and ethical guidelines both companies and customers would be wise to follow.
First time novelist, longtime educator Judy Burke shares with Kevin her eight year journey transforming a fantasy into the international espionage thriller, Blackrock–and how it all started with an Irish lighthouse and next appears in bookstores in November.
- Elmore Leonard and his influence
- The writing process and when life gets in its way
- Characters, even when they’re great, and how to kill them off
- Dialogue’s importance
- Publishing companies vs. self-publishing
- Knowing when to end the book
How do you make a movie? What does a producer do? Are English accents tough?
Kevin is joined by Adam and Daniel Cooper who wrote, directed and edited the short film “The Fourth Wall,” winner of the international festival for young filmmakers Urban 15’s Josiah Media Festival in San Antonio.
Producer Jeremy Shecter and Jonathan D’Ambrosio join the Cooper Brothers to discuss the film, teamwork, making it in the film industry and surprises along the way.
The film won the category for best narrative and is now in competition for the festival’s Best of Show award that will occur live via streaming at 7pm July 10-12 via the group’s site: http://www.urban15.org/
Ryan Fishman decided last September to run for his term-limited Michigan state senate district after a series of his op-ed articles convinced others to convince Ryan that he should leave the GOP and take a shot at a traditionally right-leaning district.
Ryan and Kevin discuss:
- Difficulties (or not, really) in switching parties
- Reagan Republicans and Reagan Democrats
- The bad business logic of Right to Work, removing unions and poor short-sighted infrastructures
- Door-Knocking and Lawn Signs
- Being under 30 and running for office
- Problem with planning for just 7 of 9 innings
After 30 years playing in bands, guitarist and veteran Detroit rocker Garvin Cooper recently formed his first band. He and keyboardist Tim Schoenherr discuss…
- The impact/importance of Social Media
- The Detroit band market
- The impact of the smoking ban in Michigan
- Capital outlay in forming a band
- The impact of 80s music today
- What it’s like on the stage
Kale Davidoff, Matt Moss and Aaron Lebovic join the show a week after their teams took hits on the way to the Big Dance but still find the energy to examine:
- NCAA Weekend #2: From 16 to 4
- Wolverine and Spartan Nation reactions
- Unionization of College Athletes
- Baseball’s Opening Day vs. Mardi Gras
- Detroit Tigers changes and chances
- Masters without Tiger–worth watching?
Be sure to check out Kale’s blog on Opening Day at this link.
Contributing writer, Kale Davidoff, joins Kevin Walsh and media professionals Aaron Lebovic and Matt Moss to analyze the opening weekend of March Madness.
– Why is this event so special?
– What non-basketball part of the event do you like/dislike most?
– Review of brackets busted and intact
– Best/Worst of CBS coverage
– What changes would you make to either the tournament itself or its programming?
Kevin Walsh is joined by Sheri Horwitz, Aaron Lebovic and Collin Ward as they dissect the 2014 Oscars, including…
- Prediction Accuracy
- Cringeworthy Moments: Kim Novak’s Vertigo
- The Big Surprises
- What Should Be Cut
- Ellen: Too-low key and casual?
Kevin and Sheri Horwitz, a contributing writer, break-down the Oscars, past and present. (link to favorite Oscar head-shakers)
– Who is likely to win?
– What category is the most fun/painful to watch?
– New categories to increase viewership.
– Which three Best Picture nominations should be voted off the island?
– The predictability of the method-actor winning.
– Which movies were snubbed?
– Do Amy Adams and Jonah Hill have to wait for a few more gray hairs?
– “Fun Movies” vs. “Important Films”
In a President’s Day special edition, beards are celebrated as a trend that is coming back, perhaps even to the presidency someday. Doug Geiger, beard-expert and entrepreneur talks with Kevin about the importance of slowing things down, even as he succeeds in ecommerce!
An Interview with Badass Teacher’s Association leaders Marla Kilfoyle, a high school social studies teacher from Long Island, and Melissa Tomlinson, a middle school math/special education teacher from New Jersey, who also received national attention in November 2013 when Governor Chris Christie shouted at her when she asked him a question.
This interview follows Kevin’s January 24, 2014 post: Public Education Going the Way of Netscape Navigator? Common Core, Bill Gates and BATs
- BATs exploding membership
- What’s in a name?
- Common Core Standards
- Addressing teacher Isolation
- Post-Christie life for Melissa
- Reaction of parents/colleagues
- Creating a strong voice in the unions
- Pleasant surprises
- Current needs
Film producer, Jason Potash, of Storyboard Entertainment shares his experiences adapting writer/director Maggie Kiley’s feature film “Brightest Star” from a 2010 Tribeca-Winning short (“Some Boys Don’t Leave” with Jesse Eisenberg) to a January 31, 2014 release of a feature Brightest Star after its successful run at the Austin Film Festival in October 2013. Read the companion article.
Some Boys Don’t Leave and the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival
- Maggie Kiley (How did you meet?
- How does one fund an independent film?
- How to lure quality actors for an indie?
- The festival process
- Working with 15 high school students invited to come to New York to be extras
- What does a producer do?
- Upcoming release Beside Still Waters winner of the Audience Award for Narrative Feature Film at Austin Film Festival
- What’s next for Storyboard Entertainment?
Kevin Walsh and Kale Davidoff discuss the hits and misses of the 2013 movie year.
- Golden Globes vs. Oscars (Movies vs. Film)
- The strong year for women (Jennifer Lawrence, Melissa McCarthy, Sandra Bullock)
- Movies that are critically panned but do well.
- The Shawshank-Factor: What will slip under the radar and become immortal?
- Topics from our readers: Quality (or overhype) of cable series like “Breaking Bad,” favorite films and bombs, “Spring Breakers” and James Franco, dangers of ensemble casting (“American Hustle”)
- Predictions for 2014
Kale’s more successful blog posts, including Tales from the Michigan Diaspora
- Living and working in Michigan
- Sports and Michigan grit
- What makes certain posts go viral?
- Twitter vs. Facebook