Midwest Census Data

The 2010 Census Data for the Midwest Region has been released, and although most states gained in population overall, many of their bigger cities lost people.

Cleveland, OH declined by 17 percent and Chicago, IL dropped by almost seven percent, and perhaps most notable Detroit lost a quarter of its population since 2000. But there was some growth, too. Columbus, OH grew by more than 10 percent, Indianapolis, IN increased by just over six percent, and Madison, WI grew by about 12 percent.

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Rubber chickens kick off LaughFest GR

First there was ArtPrize, now there’s LaughFest. As a former Grand Rapidian, I admit I’m a bit biased in this category, but  Grand Rapids sure seems to be getting good at incubating fun cultural events.

LaughFest is, as the organizers describe it, a “tidal wave of funny” washing over Grand Rapids – a series of free and paid performances, lectures and other events that starts today. Basically, it’s a ten-day festival of funny – with proceeds to benefit the local Gilda’s Club, a cancer support organization that works with children, adults, family and friends dealing with cancer.

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Drama in Wisconsin After GOP Move

UPDATE: The measure has passed the State Assembly

Wisconsin has already seen its share of drama over collective bargaining rights for public employees. But the situation has become even more heightened, due to an unexpected move by Wisconsin Republicans.

In Wisconsin, a very public battle is raging over the collective bargaining rights of public sector workers. So what's next for the private sector?

On Thursday, the Wisconsin state assembly approved a revised version of legislation that cleared the state senate late Wednesday. It removes collective bargaining rights for most public employees. Gov. Scott Walker has pledged to sign the bill as soon as possible. The assembly’s action began after protesters were removed from the capitol building.


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Census Shows Population Decline in Most Ohio Cities

The U.S. Census Bureau has released Ohio’s 2010 Census population totals, and it was more bad news for Cleveland. The data showed that Cleveland’s population fell under the 400,000 mark. That’s more than a 17 percent decline in population over the last ten years. The new total of Clevelanders is 396,815 – a number the Cleveland Plain Dealer says is a 100-year low. In the 1950 Census, Cleveland had more than 900,000 people. Continue reading “Census Shows Population Decline in Most Ohio Cities”

“Hard Labor” And A Lively Discussion

Collective bargaining rights for public and private sector employees are a hot button issue in our region. On Tuesday March 8, Changing Gears hosted a region wide call-in show and live chat discussing the issues facing workers in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and elsewhere.

Wisconsin Public Radio’s IdeasNetwork joined Changing Gears partners Michigan Radio, WBEZ and ideastream Cleveland for the one-hour show, hosted by Steve Edwards of WBEZ.


Steve Edwards, WBEZ

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Wisconsin 2011 = Flint 1936?

Are the Wisconsin protests becoming public employees’ equivalent of the Sit Down Strike in Flint, Mich.?

Flint sit down strikers
[audio:http://www.changinggears.info/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/848-convo-with-Ashby_20110209.mp3|titles=848 convo with Ashby_20110209]

Professor Steven Ashby at the University of Illinois made the comparison Wednesday on Changing Gears’ partner station WBEZ.

Speaking with Alison Cuddy, the host of 848, Professor Ashby said the Wisconsin protests may be seen as historically significant as the events at General Motors in 1936 and 1937. Continue reading “Wisconsin 2011 = Flint 1936?”

Changing Gears’ “Hard Labor” Web Chat

Welcome to the live chat for the Changing Gears call-in special, “Hard Labor.” You can hear the show starting at 2 pm ET/1 pm CT at Michigan Radio, WBEZ Chicago and Ideastream Cleveland as well as Wisconsin Public Radio‘s IdeasNetwork. Members of the Changing Gears team also are here to answer your questions.

TODAY: CG Call-In Special & Live Chat

Union employees are under fire in states like Wisconsin and Ohio, where some lawmakers are saying it’s time to do away with collective bargaining. Some business community members also think unions are keeping those states from being competitive. But union members say they’ve fought long and hard for their bargaining rights, and intend to hold on to them.

Photo courtesy of Ohio Public Radio.

And then there’s the issue of Right to Work laws. Should Midwestern states embrace what’s long been a staple of the South? Changing Gears’ Kate Davidson took a look at that this week.

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