89.1 WEMU

David Fair

News Director

Nearly three-quarters of David Fair’s 20+ years in radio has been at WEMU. Since 1994, he has been on the air at 5am each weekday on 89.1 FM as the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition. Over the years, Fair has had the opportunity to interview nationally and internationally known politicians, activists and celebrities. But he feels the most important features and interviews have been with those who live and work here at home. He believes his professional passions and desires fit perfectly into WEMU’s commitment to serving a local audience.

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  • News Tip Hotline - 734-487-3363

Ways to Connect

Susan Cerniglia
Linkedin / linkedin.com

Tomorrow is the primary election day, and the new academic school year is right around the corner.  Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss safety precautions and preparations with the uncertainty it brings in the midst of a pandemic.  


Ken Magee
Ken Magee

Tuesday is primary election day.  Incumbent Washtenaw County Sheriff Jerry Clayton is being challenged in the Democratic primary by Ken Magee.  Magee has a long career in law enforcement, including a stint as Chief of Police at the University of Michigan.  Magee joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss his candidacy and changes he would like to make, if elected. 


Faith in Action
Sheri Montoye

The organization Faith in Action has provided food, shelter assistance, and other basic services to low income families in Chelsea and Dexter for decades.  With the coronavirus pandemic ongoing, the organization has had to work extra hard.  Faith in Action executive director Sheri Montoye joined WEMU's David Fair to share the stories of adapting to ever-changing circumstances and why there is inspiration to be found through fostering relationships through service work. 


Debbie Dingell
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy / flickr.com

The number of coronavirus cases has surpassed 4.5 million.  COVID-19 deaths now top 154,000.  At the same time, extra unemployment benefits expire today, and an expiration of moratoriums on evictions could lead to much higher levels of homelessness.  Yet, there is still no agreement in Congress on the next relief and stimulus package.  12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell discussed those topics and the uncertainty about the start of a new school year in a conversation with WEMU's David Fair. 


Jeff Roberts
Linkedin / linkedin.com

New state regulations will change the way some firefighting operations are conducted in Michigan.  Firefighting foams can contain high levels of PFAS.  Those forever chemicals are not only detrimental to the environment but also to human health.  Jeff Roberts is chief of the Wixom Fire Department and president of the Michigan Fire Chiefs Association.  He joined 89.1 WEMU’s David Fair to discuss the new regulations and their impacts on training, operations, and safety.


Lisa Barry / WEMU

The August 4th primary elections will be the first in Washtenaw County since no-reason absentee voting was approved in Michigan in last November's general election.  Add in COVID-19, and this is a much different election kind of election.  89.1 WEMU's David Fair checked in with Washtenaw County director of elections Ed Golembiewski about all that is and still need to be done before the polls open next Tuesday. 


Maria Militizer
Maria Militzer

Mexiquenses en Michigan is a grassroots, community organization established in 2016.  It is integrated by vulnerable, immigrant families with limited access to decision-making, power, and resources.  The Washtenaw County-based group dreams of what can be accomplished not just for immigrant communities, but with their active participation in all phases of the decision-making that affect their health, educational, and community outcomes.  Organization president Maria Militzer shares this inspiring story with WEMU's David Fair on this week's "Washtenaw United."


Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Congress has had a particularly eventful week.  A new federal stimulus package continues to drag in the Senate.  There has been a victory for the environment with the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act.  Plus, America is feeling the loss of long-time representative and civil rights icon John Lewis.  12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell calls in from Washington, D.C. to discuss these developments with WEMU's David Fair.


Michigan Theater
Bradley Pritts / Facebook

There's still no telling when your favorite local theaters will open, but some good flicks are still heading your way.  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair and Michigan and State Theater executive director Russ Collins discuss the latest films and special screening becoming available at your online convenience this weekend.


Ann Arbor Public Schools / a2schools.org

The coronavirus pandemic has made schools and universities across the country reconsider how to safely accomodate students.  The Ann Arbor school district determined the best way to keep students, staff, and teachers healthy is to begin the academic year with online classes.  Ann Arbor Public Schools superintendent Dr. Jeanice Swift joined WEMU's David Fair with a look at the decision, its impact on students and families, and what needs to be done before the start of classes in September. 


Border-to-Border
Washtenaw County / washtenaw.org

Throughout the pandemic, more people are utilizing the outdoors for a sense of balance and peace.  On "Issues of the Environment" this week, WEMU’s David Fair caught up with Park Planner and Landscape Architect Peter Sanderson for a look at how the Border-to-Border Trail in Washtenaw County is expanding, improving and, creating even more accessibility to hiking and biking. 


Susan Cerniglia
Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Governor Whitmer issued an executive order last week ordering Michiganders to wear masks in gatherings where social distancing was not possible.  Yet, there were still instances where the order was ignored, such as a Fourth of July party in Saline and an open graduation ceremony at Hillsdale College.  In her weekly conversation with WEMU's David Fair, Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia explains the best ways to handle these situations without incident, while reducing the spread of COVID-19.


Chris Lemon
Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation / aaacf.org

The pandemic, and its impact on the economy, has forced some nonprofits to close.  Others are just hanging on.  The Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation has partnered up to bring the services of "Catchafire" to the area, and it is making a difference.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair talks with the foundation's Chris Lemon about how the partnership with Washtenaw Coordinated Funders and the Michigan Health Endowment Fund is creating a path forward. 


Debbie Dingell
Michigan House Democrats / housedems.com

The number of coronavirus cases has jumped dramatically across the state of Michigan and across the country.  This scenario has caused more hardships for business owners and low-income residents.  The HEROES bill was passed by the U.S. House two months ago, but the U.S. Senate has yet to present its version of the next relief package.  12th District Representative Debbie Dingell joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss community need and congressional response. 

Michigan Theater
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Summer rolls on, and a lot of great movies are coming along with it.  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair talks to Michigan and State Theater executive director Russ Collins about the latest films that are now available for your online viewing pleasure.


Marie O'Neill
University of Michigan School of Public Health / sph.umich.edu

On its surface, there may not appear to be many connections between the coronavirus pandemic and the climate change crisis.  You don’t, however, have to dig very deep to find the parallels and the impacts on people of color.  Dr. Marie O‘Neill is a Professor of Environmental Health Sciences and Epidemiology at the University of Michigan, and her work has put her in the path of that intersection.  Dr. O’Neill joined WEMU’s David Fair this week to help connect the dots on this week’s "Issues of the Environment."


Washtenaw County
Washtenaw County Health Department / washtenaw.org

Effective today, Governor Whitmer's executive order requires everyone wear face coverings while visiting indoor public spaces and outdoor gatherings where proper social distancing is difficult.  Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Cerniglia joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss the orders and where we are locally when it comes to COVID-19. 


Our House
Our House / ourhousemi.org

The transition to adult life can be difficult for those raised in the foster care system.  The Washtenaw County-based nonprofit, "Our House," was founded to make such transitions a little easier.  However, the coronavirus crisis has made the organization's work  more challenging.  But, there are successes to champion and optimism for the future.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," Our House executive director Natasha Doan-Motsinger speaks to WEMU's David Fair about how the organization, and those it serves, are adapting. 


Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Coronavirus cases have spiked in several states, including Michigan, and 12th District U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell fears more restrictions and shutdowns.  Meantime, the Dearborn Democrat is pushing for another federal relief package, new policing measures, and protections for international students that could face deportation.  Dingell joined  WEMU's David Fair to update work on all of those fronts. 


Michigan Theater
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

It won't be long before the Michigan Theater opens its doors again, but this week's films should satisfy your cinematic craving.  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair talks to Michigan Theater executive director Russ Collins about the latest films you can watch by logging on to the Michigan Theater's Virtual Movie Palace.


Christopher Taylor
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Despite this year's focus on the coronavirus pandemic and racial unrest, climate change remains a great threat to the world.  This past June, Ann Arbor city officials took a major step in fighting this crisis by approving the "A2 Zero Carbon Neutrality Plan."  The overall goal is for the city of Ann Arbor to completely eliminate greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2030.  Ann Arbor Mayor Christopher Taylor details the plan further in a conversation with WEMU's David Fair for this week's "Issues of the Environment."


MOASH
Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health / moash.org

COVID-19 and issues surrounding law enforcement and policing are impacting us all.  Stay-at-home orders and bias can impact some portions of our community even more.  The Michigan Organization on Adolescent Sexual Health (MOASH) has received a grant from the United Way of Washtenaw County to assist transgender and nonbinary youth better deal with those issues.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair and MOASH executive director Taryn Gal will explore the intersection of adolescent sexual health and the circumstances we find ourselves living in today.  


Gary Peters
Gary Peters / peters.senate.gov

The back and forth over the state’s desire to shut down Enbridge Energy’s Line 5 pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac continues in the courts and in the court of public opinion.  Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters joins WEMU’s David Fair and Lisa Wozniak of the Michigan League of Conservation Voters to discuss that and other environmental issues on "1st Friday Focus on the Environment." 


Yousef Rabhi
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

In 2019, a pair of state lawmakers introduced companion bills that would create environmental accountability by making polluters responsible for paying for the hazards they create.  State Senator Jeff Irwin and State Representative Yousef Rabhi are both Ann Arbor Democrats and have yet to see those measures get consideration in the Republican-led legislature.  Now, as we address systemic racism, environmental justice has to be a part of the conversation.  Representative Rabhi joined WEMU’s David Fair to discuss environmental accountability at the intersection of race and socioeconomics. 


Sam Killian
Ypsilanti District Library / ypsilibrary.org

The local and national dialogue on racism continues.  To understand where we are and where we are going, it is important to understand how we got here.  In this week's "Washtenaw United," WEMU's David Fair checks in with Sam Killian from the Ypsilanti District Library.  They'll discuss the resources available while the library branches remain closed and look forward at what may come as they reopen. 


Debbie Dingell
Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

On Thursday,  the U.S. House of Representatives passed the "George Floyd Justice and Policing Act."  It aims to create higher accountability in policing and create standards and oversight to protect from discrimination and brutality.  As written, it will not pass in the Senate.  12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss that legislation and the prospects of another coronavirus relief package. 


Michigan Theater
Michigan Theater / Facebook

The movie world is still at your fingertips, so what's to come this week?  In this week's "Cinema Chat," WEMU's David Fair gets connected with Michigan and State Theater executive director Russ Collins to discuss the newest films and special screenings available this weekend through the Michigan Theater's Virtual Movie Palace.


Sandra Turner-Handy
Michigan Environmental Council / environmentalcouncil.org

Systemic racism touches all aspects of life in America.  There is police brutality, economic oppression, lack of access to health care, less opportunity to advance, and not enough political clout to be heard.  It’s all connected.  Another component is environmental justice, and it contributes to all of the above.  In WEMU’s "Issues of the Environment," Michigan Environmental Council engagement director Sandra Turner-Handy explains why this is the time where real progress can be made. 


United Way of Washtenaw County
United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

Managing finances can be difficult.  It becomes infinitely more difficult if there is very little money to work with.  COVID-19 has destroyed financial stability for a great many.  Add in issues of racial and economic oppression, and the difficulties are further compounded.  A grant secured via a partnership between the United Way of Washtenaw County (UWWC) and the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development will allow for further investment in teaching residents in need how to build a better financial future.  WEMU's David Fair talks to UWWC financial coach Ugbaad Keynan about the "Financial Navigation" initiative for this week's "Washtenaw United."


Air Pollution
PxFuel / pxfuel.com

The COVID-19 shutdown took most people off the road for a couple of months.  That did allow for some air quality improvement in Southeast Michigan.  However, it wasn't enough to offset the generations of pollution that have resulted in terrible health conditions and outcomes.  For this week's "Issues of the Environment," WEMU's David Fair has a conversation about this situation with Mary Ann Dolehanty, the director of Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy's Air Quality Division.


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