Kathleen Cahill | WYPR

Kathleen Cahill

Producer, Midday

Kathleen is a producer for Midday With Tom Hall.  Previously, she was a producer for Maryland Morning and, before that,  a freelance radio reporter  for the WYPR newsroom.  She was for many years an editor at The Washington Post – on the Foreign Desk;  at Outlook  (The Post’s Sunday commentary section) and as a special projects editor for the Post’s Financial Desk.

Kathleen lived in Turkey for a couple of years in the ‘90s as Time Magazine’s stringer for the region and as deputy editor of  Dateline Turkey, an English-language weekly newspaper based in Istanbul.   (Sadly, her Turkish is rusty now, but if you know a few words, please stop by and say merhaba.)Early in her career, Kathleen was a frequent contributor to CFO, The Economist’s monthly magazine for financial executives, and a staff writer for Bostonia Magazine.

She is a graduate of Boston University and also attended University College Dublin, in Ireland.  She was a visiting media fellow at Duke University’s DeWitt Wallace Center for Journalism and Democracy and attended the wonderful Stanford Publishing Course.   She is the editor of two books.

Today, Tom's guest is Rudolph S. Chow, the director of Baltimore City’s Department of Public Works, an agency he has led since 2014. 

One of the DPW's many responsibilities is the water system.  And when it comes to water, the department’s reach extends far beyond the city's   615,000 residents, but actually services 1.8 million people in the region. 

The city’s infrastructure is aging, and fragile.  Water main breaks are commonplace.  Sewage overflows into tributaries and even private homes with regularity.  To pay for repairs to the system, the city has levied fees and increased water rates by nearly 30% over the last three years.  As we discussed here on Midday a couple of weeks ago, those fees and rate hikes have made the cost of water prohibitively high for as many as half of city residents. 

The DPW, for the third consecutive year, is offering a ten-week, small-business development course for women and people of color: DPW Small Business Development Program.

We livestreamed this conversation at the WYPR Facebook page.  To see that video, click here. 

Today, Tom's guest is Dr. Brit Kirwan, chair of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, better known as the Kirwan Commission.  For the past two years, the commission has been studying the public K-12 education system in our state, and it’s planning to release a series of recommendations as to how the state should re-order its educational priorities, improve accountability, and fund schools. This past January, the commission released a Preliminary Report of its findings.

Dr. Kirwan was the President of the University of Maryland, where he served on the faculty for 34 years, and the Chancellor of the University System of Maryland from 2002-2015.  Prior to that, for four years, he served as the president of Ohio State University. 

This conversation was livestreamed on WYPR's Facebook page.  To catch that video, click here.

The Abell Foundation

Recent headlines about juvenile crime being "out of control" seem to capture—and fuel—the perception that the problem is on the rise in Baltimore.  As is so often the case, though, the reality is a bit more complicated.

Researchers at the Abell Foundation set about collecting and analyzing the available data on juvenile crime and arrests in the city to form a clear picture.  The result is a new report called "Fact Check:  A Survey of Available Data on Juvenile Crime in Baltimore City." 

The report finds that overall, juvenile arrests are down in the city -- and down dramatically between 2012 and 2017.  But the report also finds that juvenile arrests for violent crimes are up.   It also asks:  What happens when these juveniles are charged in adult court, compared with juveniles whose cases end up in juvenile court?  How often do these youth reoffend?  And why is there so little publicly available data related to juvenile violent crime, and what should be done about that?

Today, the authors of this new report join Tom in Studio A.   Sheryl Goldstein is vice president of the Abell Foundation.  Katherine McMullen is an analyst and executive assistant to Abell’s senior vice president.

This conversation was livestreamed at the WYPR Facebook page.  To check out the video, click here. 

Today, a special edition of Midday, live from historic Sumner Hall, in Chestertown, on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  Sumner Hall was built in 1908.  It served as the meeting place for the Charles Sumner Post #25, a Grand Army of the Republic post founded by African American Union Veterans of the Civil War.   For decades, Sumner Hall was the social and cultural hub of Chestertown’s African American community.  

The theme of our show today is “Embracing Change in a Historic Community,” and over the course of the next hour, Tom and his guests will focus on three examples of that change -- in health care, public education, and race relations -- and its impact on the people of Chestertown and Kent County.

It’s Midday on PoliticsThe general election is November 6th, which is 14 weeks from tomorrow. Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates.  

Tom's guest is Richmond Davis, the Republican nominee for election to the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland’s 7th District.  He is running against the incumbent, Rep. Elijah Cummings, a Democrat, who has served in Congress since 1996. 

Richmond Davis is a lawyer in private practice in Columbia, admitted to the bar in both Maryland and the District of Columbia. He is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He has an undergraduate degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland and a JD from the Georgetown University Law Center. This is his first run for public office.

Johns Hopkins University

It’s another edition of Midday on Ethics, in which we explore some ethical questions pulled straight from the headlines. Guiding us in that exploration is Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, the Director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. He joins Tom in Studio A from time to time to help us examine how ethicists are framing these very complex questions.

We begin with the story of Jahi McMath, a 13-year -old girl in California who was declared dead in late 2013, after a routine surgery went wrong. Then, last month, 4½ years later, she was declared dead, again, in New Jersey. It’s a tragic story that raises issues about end of life that has pitted the medical profession against people with deeply held religious beliefs. Just like there is no consensus on when life begins; there is also a lack of agreement about when life ends. How do we define death? And who gets to define it?

It’s July, it’s hot, and even with all the recent rain, we’re thirsty.  But for an increasing number of Baltimore households, water -- we’re talking plain old water from the faucet -- is becoming unaffordable. On July 1st, water rates in Baltimore City rose almost 10%, the third big jump in as many years.  In fact, since 2010, the typical Baltimore household’s water and sewer bill has more than doubled. And by 2022, the typical bill is expected to more than triple.  

Some say the steep increases are necessary, because the city MUST invest in expensive infrastructure projects to provide this essential public service.  But an alarming number of families are at risk for losing their homes because they can no longer afford to pay their water bills.

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates.  The general election is November 6th, which is 16 weeks from yesterday.

Tom's guest is Anjali Reed Phukan, the Republican nominee for Maryland Comptroller.   She is running against the incumbent, Democrat Peter Franchot, who was first elected as the state’s fiscal chief in 2006.

Ms. Phukan is an auditor for the State of MD.  She is a Certified Public Accountant.  This is her second bid to become the state’s Comptroller.   She ran as a write-in candidate in 2014.  She also ran for the school board in Montgomery Co., where she lived at the time, in 2016.

This conversation was livestreamed on the WYPR Facebook page. Click here to watch the video. 

Note: Imamu Baraka died last week. He is the Good Samaritan whose video of a patient who had just been dumped outside a local hospital went viral last January.  He shared his story on Midday.

Five years ago, Alicia Garza helped create Black Lives Matter. Now, her focus is the Black Futures Lab,  an organization set up to take the pulse of African American communities, build political power for people of color and challenge policymakers.

One of the group’s initiatives is the Black Census -- which aims to provide a better understanding of the diversity of opinion in the Black community, and to use that information to help improve the ways in which those communities are served.   Alicia Garza joins Tom from a studio at the University of California at Berkeley. 

 

Today we continue our Conversation with the Candidates series with guest Allan Kittleman, county executive of Howard County, elected to that position in 2014, and also discuss the future of Old Ellicott City.  On July 30, 2016, Old Ellicott City was ravaged by what was called at the time a once-in-1,000-years flood.  The historic downtown was largely rebuilt. And less than two years later, on May 27 of this year, another deadly flood struck Old Ellicott City -- perhaps even worse than the 2016 flood.  A state of emergency for the historic downtown is still in effect. 

In May of 2015, a year before the first Ellicott City Flood, Gov. Larry Hogan made good on a campaign promise to repeal the law that required nine counties to charge residents and businesses a Stormwater Remediation Fee, to create a dedicated source of funding for stormwater projects.  Mr. Hogan and opponents of the law referred to it as a “rain tax.” 

Allan Kittleman was a vocal supporter of repealing the law.  A year later, a few months before the first flood, Mr. Kittleman proposed a reduction and the eventual repeal of the Stormwater Remediation Fee in Howard County, a proposal that was rejected by the County Council.  Nine days ago, Howard County residents received tax bills that included fees ranging from $15 to $90, depending on the amount of impervious surfaces they have on their property. 

Photo courtesy Floyd Abrams

(This program was originally aired on May 3, 2018)  

Today, a conversation about American exceptionalism when it comes to our cherished tradition of free speech.

Tom’s guest is the acclaimed legal scholar, Floyd Abrams, a distinguished constitutional lawyer who has litigated some of the most consequential 1st Amendment cases of our time, including the Pentagon Papers case and Citizen’s United. He is the author of the 2017 book, “The Soul of the First Amendment,” which is just out in paperback.

Floyd Abrams joins Tom on the line from New York, where he is  a senior partner in the law firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel.

This conversation with Derek Thompson originally aired on May 25, 2018.  

Today, Tom speaks with Derek Thompson, a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about business and technology, and hosts the new podcast Crazy/Genius. He is also the author of Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in the Age of Distraction.

In his best-selling book,  Thompson takes a scientific approach to understanding why certain things in our culture become "cool," at least for a while, and whether or not there are commonalities between them across creative and cultural disciplines. Thompson examines the hidden psychological and market forces that make a song, a movie or a politician popular, and how those forces are constantly reshaping our cultural landscape.

Courtesy of the Comptroller's Office

Today, another in our series of Conversations with the Candidates.

Tom's guest is Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot. He’s been the state’s fiscal chief since 2007, after first beating the incumbent, William Donald Schaefer, in the 2006 primary. 

As comptroller, Franchot is a member of powerful Board of Public Works in Annapolis. And he is vice-chair of the State Retirement & Pension System. Franchot is a Democrat who does not always toe the party line. His relationship with the legislative leadership in Annapolis -- fellow Democrats Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch -- has seemed increasingly frayed this year. Franchot does seem to have a close working relationship with Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Before becoming Maryland’s top fiscal officer, Franchot served in the House of Delegates for two decades, representing the 20th District in Montgomery Co. That district reaches roughly from Takoma Park, north to Colesville.

He has been Maryland’s comptroller for 11 years, and he is seeking a fourth term. His opponent in the November election is a CPA from Worcester County, Republican Anjali Reed Phukan.

This conversation was livestreamed on the WYPR Facebook page. To check out that video, click here.

Flickr Creative Commons

In the end, the race to become the Democratic nominee for governor wasn’t very close. Ben Jealous won every county in Maryland except Prince George’s, the home base of County Executive Rushern Baker, and Calvert County, which Jealous lost by 48 votes.

In Baltimore County, it couldn’t be more close. Three Democrats, former Del. Johnny Olszewski, Jr., Sen. Jim Brochin and County Councilwoman Vicki Almond are within a few hundred votes of each other, in a race that won’t be settled until next week, at the earliest. On the Republican side, Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer beat Del. Pat McDonough by 10 points. McDonough has said that this will be his last campaign.

Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby won with 50% of the vote in one of the most acrimonious races in this campaign season.

Today: What it all means with Andy Green, the Editorial Page Editor of the Baltimore Sun and Jayne Miller, an award-winning investigative reporter at WBAL Television.

This conversation was livestreamed on WYPR's Facebook page.  To check out that video, click here. 

Ivan Bates Campaign

Tomorrow is Primary Day in Maryland, and here in Baltimore, the race for State’s Attorney features three Democrats who are conducting vigorous campaigns. 

Our original plan was to pause our series of Conversations with the Candidates once early voting had begun.  A week of early voting ended last Thursday.  But given that the race for Baltimore City State’s Attorney is one of the most contentious in the city’s history, we decided to have a conversation with the candidates for that office on this election-Eve. 

The winner of the Democratic primary for State’s Attorney will not face an opponent in November, so the person who will hold the position of the city’s top prosecutor for the next four years will be elected tomorrow. 

The incumbent, Marilyn Mosby, is being challenged by two local attorneys, Ivan Bates and Thiru Vignarajah, who join Tom today in Studio A. 

Ivan Bates has worked as a defense attorney and a city prosecutor.  He worked in the Juvenile Crime Division and later, the Homicide Division, in the City State’s Attorney’s Office.  He is 49 years old.

Thiru Vignarajah is a former city and federal prosecutor.  His tenure in the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office included heading the Major Investigations Unit.  He also served as the Deputy Attorney General for Maryland.   Thiru Vignarajah is 41 years old.

ACLU of Maryland

Early Voting began last Thursday and continues through this Thursday. As of today, about 30,000 more people have voted early than had done so at this point in the last election.  Election Day is a week from tomorrow.

Please be sure to vote. Or as the American Civil Liberties Union is fond of saying: Vote like your rights depend on it. Because they do. Indeed, the right to vote is one of the civil liberties at the heart of the ACLUs’ work -- along with the right to free speech, the right to privacy and the right to a fair trial, to name a few.

Today on Midday: a changing of the guard at the Maryland ACLU. Susan Goering joins Tom in Studio A. She has just stepped down after leading the ACLU of MD for 33 years, first as its legal director, and then, since 1996, as the organization’s executive director. Before her tenure at the ACLU Goering was an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

Later in the show, Dana Vickers Shelley joins Tom. She is the Maryland ACLU’s new executive director. She previously held senior positions in public affairs and communications with the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. She was a senior advisor for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and has advised many nonprofits and foundations on social justice issues and strategic communications. Most recently, she was on the faculty of Morgan State University’s School for Global Journalism and Communication.

This conversation was livestreamed on the WYPR Facebook page. To see that video, click here.

Flickr Creative Commons

Maryland’s primary election is two weeks from today.  Early voting begins on Thursday.  And so, today, we’re talking about voting.

Americans vote at much lower rates than citizens of other advanced democracies.  And while voting is the central tenet in a strong democracy, many states have enacted laws and voter requirements in recent years that actually make it harder to vote. What can be done to encourage and enable voting? Is there the political will to get it done?

Copyright Andrew Duncan

Tom’s guest today is Jennifer Palmieri. She was the Communications Director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the White House Communications Director for President Barack Obama. She is also a former national press secretary for the Democratic Party, the press secretary during John Edwards’ 2004 presidential campaign, and she served in the Clinton White House, as well.  Jennifer Palmieri is now the president of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Her new book is a reflection on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, and a shout-out to the women who will do what Secretary Clinton was unable to do: break the glass ceiling at the White House. It’s called "Dear Madam President: An Open Letter to the Women Who Will Run the World." 

Photo by Mary Gardella

Norma Pera is a dancer and dance teacher who has trained generations of young dancers in Baltimore at the Baltimore School for the Arts, where she has led the dance department since 1992.

She joined BSA’s dance faculty in 1979, 39 years ago, when the innovative pre-professional public school for the arts first opened. Many of her students have gone on to illustrious careers in dance or the arts, and many other fields. She joins Tom in Studio A.

Ms. Pera is retiring this week from the School for the Arts. The school will celebrate her career and her legacy tomorrow afternoon, June 9, at 4 pm. For more information and to reserve tickets for that event, click here.

Johns Hopkins University

Before we begin today’s show, here’s a link that lists organizations that are helping people in Ellicott City with shelter, food and other humanitarian relief, following the severe flooding in that city’s historic downtown on Sunday – the second deadly flood in two years.

Today, it’s another edition of Midday on Ethics. We’re exploring some ethical questions pulled straight from the headlines. We begin with the ethics of organ transplantation, amid news of a medical breakthrough -- a transplant performed just weeks ago at Johns Hopkins Hospital here in Baltimore. For the first time, anywhere, doctors successfully performed a total penis and scrotum transplant on a service member who was injured in Afghanistan. Now that it’s possible to transplant a penis, or a uterus, what are the ethical issues that donors, recipients and transplant surgeons need to consider? Should we think about life-saving transplants like hearts and kidneys in the same way as non-lifesaving surgeries, the so-called quality-of-life transplants?

Plus, another news story caught our eye: California investigators used publicly available genetic information that was posted on an ancestry website to identify someone that they say is the Golden State Killer. He has been charged with murders police say he committed more than 30 years ago. Is your genetic information publicly available? Should it be, and if so, should it be more private than it is?

Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, the director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, is Tom’s guest today in Studio A.  Dr. Kahn stops by from time to time to help us explore how ethicists frame these kinds of very complex questions.

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates, which includes those who already hold public office.

Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger is Tom's guest in Studio A, for the hour today.  He has represented Maryland’s 2nd congressional district since 2003.  That district includes parts of five jurisdictions: Baltimore City and Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Harford and Howard Counties.

Rep.  Ruppersberger serves on the House Appropriations Committee as well as the Subcommittee on Defense and the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations & Related Programs. He is a former ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee. A number of institutions and organizations in his district are involved in cyber security issues.

Like all but one of the eight members of the Congressional delegation from Maryland, he is standing for re-election this year. He is being opposed in the primary by a political newcomer, Jake Pretot.

We livestreamed this conversation on WYPR's Facebook page.  If you missed it, check out the video here. 

Courtesy of Yale University Press

We begin the show today with an update on the resignation of Baltimore City Police Commissioner Daryl DeSousa. WYPR reporter Dominique Maria Bonessi attended Mayor Catherine Pugh’s press conference this morning. She joins Tom in Studio A.

Tom’s guest for most of the hour is David Linden. He’s a professor of Neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the former editor of the Journal of Neurophysiology. Linden writes books about our brains, and in his latest opus, he says the public is “inundated by a fire hose of neuro BS.”

He wrote the new book Think Tank with more than three dozen fellow neuroscientists. It’s a collection of essays about the brain and the biological roots of human experience. The essays address questions such as, “How are children’s brains different from those of adults?” “What can monkey brains teach us about advertising?” And “How do our brains process pain?”

David Linden and a few of the book’s contributors will hold a panel discussion about the book tomorrow, May 17, at 1pm at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Department of Neuroscience, and you can also catch Linden at Greedy Reads in Fells Point on June 4 at 7 pm.

We livestreamed today’s show on the WYPR Facebook page.  If you missed it, catch that video here. 

AP Photos

Tom's guests today are two longtime politicians, one a Republican, the other a Democrat, who are now working together to try to fix the dysfunction in political Washington.

Former Republican Congresswoman Connie Morella represented Maryland’s 8th Congressional District from 1987 until 2003. President George W. Bush appointed her U.S. ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), a position she held in Paris from 2003 until 2007. She was the first former member of Congress to be named ambassador to the OECD. Ambassador Morella currently serves on American University’s faculty in the Dept of Government and as an Ambassador in Residence at AU’s Women & Politics Institute.

Former Democratic Congressman Tim Roemer represented Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District from 1991 until 2003. From 2002 until 2004, he served on the 9/11 Commission. He was U.S. Ambassador to India during the Obama Administration, from 2009 until 2011. Ambassador Roemer is now a senior counselor at APCO Worldwide, a global consultancy.

Together, they co-chair the Re-Formers Caucus, which includes nearly 200 former governors, cabinet secretaries and members of Congress -- Republicans and Democrats, from all 50 states -- who have banded togethet to work on bi-partisan solutions to the dysfunction in Washington that, they say, threatens American democracy. They join Tom on the line from NPR studios in Washington, DC.

Baltimore County Executive's Office

We begin the show today with reflections on the life and career of Kevin Kamenetz, a fixture on the Maryland political scene for more than two decades.

Mr. Kamenetz died early Thursday morning from a heart attack.

He began his career in public service as a prosecutor in the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s office. He was first elected to the Baltimore County Council in 1994. He served four terms, before being elected as the County Executive in 2010. He was considered a leading candidate in the crowded field of people running for the Democratic nomination for Governor. He is survived by his wife Jill, and their two teenage sons, Karson and Dylan. Our hearts ache for them. Kevin Kamenetz was 60 years old.

Joining Tom on the line to remember Mr. Kamenetz are Donald Mohler III, who was a close friend of Mr. Kamenetz and served as his chief of staff in the County Executive’s Office, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, who served as Baltimore County Executive from 1994 to 2002, and Jim Smith, who preceded Kamenetz as Baltimore County Executive. He currently serves as the Chief of Strategic Alliances in the office of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh.

Courtesy of their campaigns

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates, in the run-up to Maryland's June 26th primary elections.

Maryland’s General Assembly District 41 has had more than its share of upheaval in recent years. Sen. Lisa Gladden represented the district for 14 years before retiring in February 2017 for health reasons. Del. Nathaniel Oaks was appointed to fill her seat, and four months later, he was indicted in federal court on nine counts of fraud and bribery. In November, prosecutors added obstruction of justice charges. Oaks denied the charges, remained in the Senate, and registered to run for re-election in the primary next month. In late March, Oaks changed his mind. He resigned from the legislature, pleaded guilty and attempted to remove his name from the primary ballot. Oaks will be sentenced on July 17. He faces 8-10 years in prison. Additional attempts to remove Oaks’s name from the ballot failed; his name will indeed appear on the ballot next to those of two other candidates.

Those two candidates are Tom’s guests today in Studio A.

Until last week, Jill P. Carter served as the Director of the Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement in Baltimore City. Before that, she served for three terms in the House of Delegates representing the 41st District. Carter is 53 years old. A graduate of Western High School, she was born and raised in the city. She lives in the Hunting Ridge neighborhood of District 41.

J.D. Merrill taught at his alma mater, City College High School from 2013 to 2016. He also served for two years as a special assistant to the chief of staff at City Schools headquarters on North Avenue. Merrill  is 27 years old. He and his wife, Grace O’Malley, live in the Wyndhurst neighborhood of District 41, one street over from where he was born and raised. This is the first time he has run for public office.

Courtesy of Baltimore Center Stage

Tom's guest today is the playwright, director and actor, Kwame Kwei Armah, OBE. He has been the artistic director of Baltimore Center Stage since 2011, but he will soon be moving on.  After his final show at Center Stage, which opens tomorrow night, he’s heading home to London, where he has taken the helm of the storied Young Vic Theatre.

During his tenure here in Baltimore, he produced three of the best-selling shows in the theater’s history. As a playwright, Mr. Kwei-Armah premiered several new works here in Charm City, and he made great strides in diversifying the Center Stage audience. He also oversaw a major, $28 million renovation of the theater’s Calvert Street home, and in his spare time, in 2012, Queen Elizabeth II made him an Officer of the British Empire for his service to drama.

His final production at Center Stage is Soul, the STAX Musical -- the world premiere of a work by playwright Matthew Benjamin that Mr. Kwei-Armah is directing. It tells the story of Memphis-based Stax Records, and chronicles the rise of artists like Otis Redding, The Staple Singers, Isaac Hayes, Booker T. & The MG’s, Wilson Pickett and others—some of the great and early progenitors of Soul and R&B music. 

Midday's theater critic J Wynn Rousuck joins Kwame Kwei-Armah and Tom Hall in Studio A.  We streamed this conversation live on the WYPR Facebook page.  If you missed that,  click here to check out the video.

Photo courtesy Floyd Abrams

Today, a conversation about American exceptionalism when it comes to our cherished tradition of free speech.

Tom’s guest is the acclaimed legal scholar, Floyd Abrams, a distinguished constitutional lawyer who has litigated some of the most consequential 1st Amendment cases of our time, including the Pentagon Papers case and Citizen’s United. He is the author of the 2017 book, “The Soul of the First Amendment,” which is just out in paperback.

Floyd Abrams joins Tom on the line from New York, where he is  a senior partner in the law firm Cahill Gordon & Reindel.

Today we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates, in the run up to Maryland’s June 26th primary elections.

Tom’s guest is Del. Pat McDonough. He is a Republican, and he has represented parts of Baltimore and Harford Counties in the Maryland Legislature for the past 15 years. He also represented District 7 as a conservative Democrat for one term, from 1979 until 1983. He has been a member of the Health and Government Operations Committee since 2003. In 2016, he ran for Congress in Maryland’s 2nd Congressional District and was defeated by incumbent Dutch Ruppersberger.

Diego Quintana Flickr Creative Commons

And now, a regular feature here on Midday: The Afro Check-In, where we sit down with our colleagues at the Baltimore Afro Newspaper to talk about some of the issues and stories they are covering.

Early voting in Mary’s primary election begins in less than 7 weeks. Several key state senate races, in West Baltimore’s 40th, 41st and 44th Districts are heating up. We’ll take a look at those.

And, the “N” word, used by a Mexican-American rapper. Is that OK?

And how about Kanye West? Given his apprarent Bromance with President Trump, The Afro and others are asking, “Is Kanye OK?”

Kamau High is the Managing Editor of the Afro. Sean Yoes is the Baltimore Editor and the Host of the podcast, Afro First Edition. They joined Tom in Studio A.

Urban Phokis Photography

Todd Marcus is an acclaimed bass clarinetist, composer and arranger.  He’s also a community activist who has lived and worked in the Sandtown- Winchester neighborhood of West Baltimore for more than 20 years.

He’s about to release a new CD, inspired by that historic neighborhood, called On These Streets: A Baltimore Story and recorded with a quintet of some of the area’s finest players.  The disc includes compositions that portray the strengths and challenges of Sandtown-Winchester, and its release coincides with the anniversary of the violence and uprising that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray, three years ago Saturday. Todd and his band will be performing a free concert this Fri., Apr. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Harris-Marcus Center on Pennsylvania Ave. in Sandtown. It’s part of an exhibition by Jubilee Arts marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the unrest that followed in Baltimore. On May 20, the Quintet will perform another free concert as part of the Community Concerts at Second series. You can also catch them on June 16 at Center Stage.

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