Contest! Send Us Your Recipes For Our Midwest Family Collection

As part of our Your Family Story series, we’re collecting recipes that have been passed down within families. Send in your mother’s, grandfather’s, or cousins’ famous recipe for goulash, pozole, dumplings, babka — anything that’s descended from your ethnic roots.

We’re collecting recipes from this very second until midnight on Wednesday. Changing Gears will publish all the recipes in our Midwest Family Collection. The winning recipe, to be selected by the Changing Gears team, will be announced here and on our partner websites. As a prize, the winner will collect a grab bag of public radio goodies.

So, get cooking! We want to include you in our collection.

Midwest Memo: Fighting Right To Work, The New Value Of The “Old Economy”

Right to Fight Reuters reports that Indiana union members are expected to be in court today to try to overturn the state’s new Right to Work law.

$50 million That’s what the federal government expects to spend this year fighting invasive Asian Carp.

Ohio power State regulators in Ohio have overturned electricity price increases they approved in December. But, as partner station WCPN Ideastream reports, the fight isn’t over. Meanwhile, a trash to energy plan in Cleveland is showing signs of life, despite strong opposition.

Down, down, down The number of union jobs in Ohio continues to decline. The Dayton Daily News says union numbers in the state have been falling for at least the last 10 straight years.

Lockout over? A three-month lockout at Cooper Tire could be coming to an end, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Workers peace out CNNMoney takes a look at “Michigan’s Incredible Shrinking Workforce.”

Manufacturing, yo A new report says in order to build the future economy, Michigan should look to the “old economy.”

Occupy movement About 60 employees of a Chicago window-making company occupied their plant for 11 hours yesterday. They were trying to stop the plant’s closing. Partner station WBEZ reports the workers claimed victory after owners agreed to keep the plant open an extra 90 days. The workers will now try to find a buyer, or raise money to buy the plant themselves.

The Auto Bailout Gets The Spotlight As Republicans, Democrats Spar

About midway through Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate in Mesa, Arizona, moderator John King of CNN turned to a topic that’s front and center in the Michigan primary: the auto bailout.

It momentarily turned into a free for all between Michigan’s native son, Mitt Romney, and Pennsylvania’s former U.S. senator, Rick Santorum, over what kind of help the federal government should have given the auto companies. You can read and see CNN’s coverage here.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama’s campaign jumped into the fray with a new television ad that began airing in Michigan, which holds its primary next Tuesday.

The ad, called Made in America, contends Republicans turned their back on the industry in 2008 and 2009, when the automakers went to Washington for federal assistance. Continue reading “The Auto Bailout Gets The Spotlight As Republicans, Democrats Spar”

Midwest Memo: Budget Cuts In Illinois, Surprising Home Sales And The UAW Plans Protests

Budget cuts Illinois Governor Pat Quinn outlined plans yesterday to cut the state’s pension costs and Medicaid programs. Partner station WBEZ Chicago says Quinn also plans to close two prisons and consolidate dozens of state offices.

Teacher teacher The Wall Street Journal looks at a shakeup for poor performing schools in Chicago, and sees a trend. More Democratic mayors are challenging teacher unions.

Clean energy ballot push Partner station WCPN Ideastream Cleveland reports there’s a new ballot initiative underway that would let voters choose whether the state should borrow billions to invest in clean energy. Turns out, environmentalists have nothing to do with the ballot initiative.

Surprise! It sold A busy real estate market is surprising some sellers in Northeast Ohio. Home sales were up more than 25 percent for the region in January, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

UAW protest plans The conservative web site, The Daily Caller, says it’s found evidence that the UAW plans to train 100,000 people for “The 99% Spring” protest movement. The Detroit News has a story. Changing Gears has discussed the UAW’s connection to the movement before.

Going private Proposals in Michigan would open the door to privately-run prisons.

Windy city The city of Milwaukee’s wind turbine is officially up!

Dear People Who Don’t Know Anything About Detroit, Your Jokes Are Dumb.

A Detroit hipster

Hipsters. What with their mustaches, skinny jeans and bicycles, how are they not just the most adorable creatures in the world? But if there’s one thing they love even more than that navy-blue American Apparel hoodie with the white piping, it’s irony. And where do they most love casting their ironic gaze? On themselves, of course.

Which brings us to this fine piece of bloggery that’s been making the rounds. It’s written by none other than “Austin’s Blogger of the Year,” Lauren Modery.

Modery writes:

Sometimes it feels like there is no place more hipster-plentiful than Austin, Texas …But are other cities unscathed by the beast? Smaller, up-and-coming cities that are like how Austin was before ‘we’ showed up?

She then lists three cities that are not in the Midwest, and gently pokes fun at the hipsters there. I’ll be honest, I barely skimmed this part. But then, Modery gets to her final city on the brink of “hipsterfication,” Detroit:

Continue reading “Dear People Who Don’t Know Anything About Detroit, Your Jokes Are Dumb.”

35 Years of Letters Within a Midwestern Family

Jillian Jones Sisko of Michigan writes:

Letter-writing has always been an important part of my family’s legacy.

My mother discovered her family origins through letters written in the early 1900’s that were found in a desk drawer in an attic in Epernay, France. The letter was written by my grandfather and addresses to his brother. When my mother discovered the letters, she started communicating with her family.

When my oldest sister left for college in the 70’s, my father, Wayne Muren, began writing weekly letters just as my great grandfather did many years prior. The letters served as a source of inspiration for my sister and as well as a blanket of comfort.

After all five children grew up and graduated from college, several moved away. Wayne kept writing letters. To this day, 35 years later, I am blessed to still receive a weekly letter filled with newspaper/magazine articles. The no. 10 envelope that was once delivered to my college dormitory is now a large manila envelope packed with news and information.

Jillian's mother and her father Wayne with a stack of letters

The letters are sent to not only his children, but also to his 11 grandchildren. The letters are now mailed in large envelopes which accompany 10-20 newspaper clippings to keep the family up-to-date with current events as well as comic strips from a local artist.

This gift of communication is one that I hope will never stop arriving at my door for many years to come. This ritual is now our family tradition.

Who’s Powerful In Chicago? One Mayor, Two Sports Figures, And Lots of Others

Who really runs Chicago? According to Chicago Magazine, it is a collection of leaders in politics, business, sports and food.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel

Earlier this month, the magazine came out with its list of the city’s 100 most powerful people. It’s a surprisingly diverse list, with some very familiar and not so familiar faces. (Oprah, whose Chicago-based show ended last year, is no longer on it.)

Steve Edwards at our partner station WBEZ recently talked about the list with Chicago Magazine editors David Bernstein and Marcia Froelke Coburn.

We broke down the Top 10 into four categories.

Politics: In a city where politics is in everyone’s DNA, it’s no surprise that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is the most powerful person in Chicago. He’s joined in the top 10 by three other politicians: U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, and President Obama’s campaign strategist, David Axelrod. Continue reading “Who’s Powerful In Chicago? One Mayor, Two Sports Figures, And Lots of Others”

Michigan’s Primary Race Tightens As Romney Talks Right To Work

A new poll by NBC News shows Mitt Romney taking a narrow lead over Rick Santorum in the race to win Michigan’s Republican primary next Tuesday.

The NBC poll, out Wednesday, showed 37 percent of likely voters support the former Massachusetts governor, while 35 percent support the former Pennsylvania senator. To statisticians, that’s within the margin of error, meaning a statistical tie.

“Michigan is neck and neck,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, which conducted the NBC survey.

That’s a big change from last week, when Santorum led Romney in two Michigan polls. Continue reading “Michigan’s Primary Race Tightens As Romney Talks Right To Work”