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.

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.

Today, a focus on the primary race for Maryland state legislative seats.

A little later in the show today, Josh Kurtz joins Tom. He is the editor and co-founder of Maryland Matters, a website all about Maryland government and politics.  They’ll size up some of the key races for the State Senate and the House of Delegates that will be on the primary ballot in June.

But first, we focus on one of those key races, as we continue our series of "Conversations with the Candidates."  Tom's guests in Studio A are two lawmakers running for the Senate seat in the 43rd District: the incumbent, Sen. Joan Carter Conway and Del. Mary Washington.

Sen. Conway has served as a member of the state Senate representing this district since 1997. In 2007, she became the first African-American woman to be appointed chair of a Maryland Senate standing committee: the Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Committee of which she has been a member for 21 years. She is a former member of the Baltimore City Council. Sen. Conway is 67. She lives in Hillen with her husband, Tim. They are the parents of a grown son and the grandparents of four.

Del. Washington has represented District 43 in the House of Delegates since 2010. She serves on the Ways & Means Committee; she is the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Homelessness; and she is a member of the Joint Committee on Children, Youth and Families, the Regional Revitalization Task Force, and the Tax Credit Evaluation Committee. Del. Washington is 55. She lives in Ednor Gardens with her partner, Professor Jodi Kelber Kaye, and their two sons. 

We streamed this conversation on the WYPR Facebook page.  To watch that video, click here The candidates took your questions; we gave priority to listeners who live in District 43.

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates who will be on the June 26th primary ballot here in Maryland.

Tom's guest is Sen. Richard S. Madaleno, Jr. He is one of nine Democrats running for Governor on the ballot this June. The winner will go up against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election in November.

Unlike several of his Democratic opponents, Sen. Madaleno is not a political outsider. He has represented Montgomery County in the MD Legislature for more than 15 years -- first in the House of Delegates and, since 2007, in the State Senate. Since 2015, he has been Vice-Chair of the powerful Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. He is the first openly gay person elected to the MD House of Delegates and the State Senate. If elected, he would be the first openly gay governor of any state in America.

His running mate is Luwanda W. Jenkins, a Baltimore native and business executive who served in the administrations of Maryland’s last three Democratic governors -- O’Malley, Glendening & Schaefer. 

Sen. Madaleno also took your questions, emails and tweets.  Like all of Midday's Conversations with the Candidates, this program was streamed live on the WYPR FB page. Check out the video here.

image courtesy hackaday.com

(This story originally aired on April 5, 2017) 

Today, an archive edition of Midday on Ethics.  A year ago, HBO and Oprah Winfrey brought the story of Henrietta Lacks to television. The film, “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” based on the book of the same name by Rebecca Skloot, is still available for streaming on the HBO website.

You may already be somewhat familiar with the story of Henrietta Lacks, who lived in southeastern Baltimore County in the early 1950s, in Turner Station.   She had cancer, and in 1951, doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital did a biopsy to diagnose her disease and to determine her course of treatment.  She died 8 months later.  But her cells -- a rare "immortal" line that could be reproduced endlessly -- have lived on.  She may have consented to the biopsy.  But without her consent, and without the knowledge of her family, cells taken during that procedure were used, for decades, in medical research around the world.  In fact the HeLa cell line – H-E for Henrietta and L-A for Lacks -- revolutionized medical research, and, by some accounts, has resulted in billions of dollars’ worth of medical breakthroughs.  None of the proceeds, however, ever went to Ms. Lacks or to her descendants.

So, could the same thing happen today?  What follows is a conversation about Informed Consent. How much have standards changed in the 65 years since Henrietta Lacks was a cancer patient at Hopkins? And what are today’s standards for Informed Consent?

Dr. Jeffrey Kahn is the director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics.  He stops by Midday from time to time to talk about how ethicists help us frame the complex questions that surround stories like the extraordinary case of Henrietta Lacks.

Because this is an archive edition of Midday, we’re not able to take any new calls or emails.   We first aired this show in April of last year, just before the Henrietta Lacks film debuted on HBO. 

Smythe Richbourg/Creative Commons

It’s the Midday News Wrap. The Maryland General Assembly wraps up its 2018 session on Monday at midnight. So far, more than 3,100 bills have been introduced in this session. Today, a tally of what legislation has passed, and what is likely to pass -- or fail -- between now and “sine die.”

First, Tom takes a look at one of the most controversial bills of the session: Senate Bill 122, the Comprehensive Crime Bill of 2018. It calls for increasing penalties for certain crimes, including mandating penalties for crimes involving a firearm. It would also fund the anti-crime initiative, Safe Streets, and establish a task force to study statutes related to gangs.

Joshua Harris and Rev. Kobi Little join Tom in studio to explain why the NAACP (and other groups) oppose the bill.  Harris is director of communications for the NAACP Maryland State Conference. He’s also a former mayoral candidate in Baltimore City.  Little is the Maryland NAACP’s director of political action.

Later in the News Wrap, Bryan Sears of the Daily Record joins Tom on the line from the State House with the latest news about several other bills on this, the second to last official day of the session.

Today, Tom's guest is Krish Vignarajah, a Democratic candidate for Governor -- as we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates who will be on the June 26th primary ballot here in MD.  She is one of nine Democrats on the ballot in June. The winner will go up against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election in November. 

Several candidates have chosen women as their Lt. Governor running mates, but Ms. Vignarajah is the only woman running for the top job. Her running mate is Sharon Blake, the former head of the Baltimore Teacher’s Union.

Krish Vignarajah served as Policy Director to First Lady Michelle Obama. She was also a senior advisor at the State Department for Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. Before working in the Obama administration, she was a consultant at McKinsey & Company. She is a Yale and Oxford educated lawyer who practiced law in Washington, DC. She clerked for Chief Judge Michael Boudin on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and she taught as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. She is 38 years old. She and her husband, Collin O’Mara, who is the President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, live in Gaithersburg with their baby daughter.

We streamed this conversation live on WYPR's Facebook page. Want to watch that video? Click here.

photo courtesy Hood College

A special Midday broadcast today, live from Hodson Auditorium on the campus of Hood College, in historic Frederick, Maryland.

Our topic today: Frederick at the Crossroads.

Founded in 1748, Frederick has seen its share of American history.  It was founded at the crossroads of a major north-south Native American trail and the east-west route from the Chesapeake Bay across the Appalachian Mountains to the Ohio River Valley.  Frederick County is home to Ft. Detrick and a branch of the National Cancer Institute. The Catoctin Mountain Park, and the presidential retreat, Camp David, are here.

It is quaint.  And beautiful, as anyone who has been in downtown Frederick can tell you. But while it may be old, it is anything but standing still.  In fact, the city and the county are among the fastest growing parts of Maryland. The population of Frederick City, with its 70,000 residents, has grown 32 percent since 2000 and a whopping 73% since 1990.  And with growth like that, Frederick finds itself at a crossroads once again. How does it honor its past, while being thrust into the future by incredibly rapid growth?  How does it remain charming, despite the pressures to become a bedroom community of Rockville and, by extension, Bethesda and Washington, DC?

benjealous.com

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates who will be on the June 26 primary ballot here in Maryland. Early voting begins June 14th.

Tom’s guest for the hour, live in Studio A, is Ben Jealous, a Democratic candidate for Governor. Last May, when he stood in front of his cousin’s flower shop in Baltimore’s Ashburton neighborhood and jumped into the race, he was only the second Democrat to announce his candidacy. Now, he has plenty of company: There will be nine Democrats on the ballot in June. The winner will go up against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election next November.  

Ben Jealous is perhaps best known as the former president and CEO of the NAACP. When he was appointed to that position in 2008, he was, at 35 years old, the youngest person ever to lead the NAACP. He was there for more than 5 years. When he left the NAACP in 2013, he joined Kapor Capital as a partner and investor. It’s a progressive investment firm based in Oakland, CA. He manages the firm’s Baltimore office. He is also a visiting professor at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He is a former community organizer and, early in his career, he was a journalist. He is 45 years old and the father of two. He lives in Anne Arundel Co.

Today's conversation, like all our Conversations with the Candidates, was streamed live on WYPR's Facebook page.

Courtesy of The Standard

Negin Farsad is a New York-based writer, director and social justice comedian. She’s the host of the podcast, Fake the Nation, a comedy round-table about politics on the Earwolf network, and the author of the book, How to Make White People Laugh, which has been nominated for a Thurber Prize for Humor. She co-directed and starred in the movie The Muslims Are Coming! -- which also stars Jon Stewart and Lewis Black.

On Thursday night at 7 pm, several short films that are part of a series called “The Secret Lives of Muslims” will be screened at Baltimore’s Creative Alliance, in an event sponsored by the Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies. Negin Farsad is featured in one of those films. She’ll be on a panel to discuss the films at the Creative Alliance, and she’ll also do a stand-up comedy set. She joins Tom on the line from the studios at NPR in New York.

EPA/ YULIA SKRIPAL/FACEBOOK

On this edition of the Midday News Wrap: Tom speaks with Dayvon Love, Director of Public Policy at Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle (LBS), about the comprehensive crime bill recently passed by the State Senate, over strong opposition from the Baltimore delegation.  The bill would introduce higher mandatory minimums for gun crimes and stringent sentencing for repeat offenders. 

Then, Tom is joined by John Fritze, Washington Bureau Chief for the Baltimore Sun, for a closer look at the race for Maryland's 6th congressional district, where the rising human toll of the opioid crisis looms over both constituents and candidates. 

Later, Will Englund, Foreign Assignment Editor at the Washington Post, veteran Moscow correspondent and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, talks with Tom about the Trump administration's reactions to the alleged Russian nerve-agent attack in Britain on a former Russian spy and his daughter, and the new sanctions the White House has imposed on Russia for recent acts of political cyber-warfare.

Flickr Creative Commons

We begin today with an update on the results of  Tuesday’s special election in the 18th Congressional District in Pennsylvania.

Tom is joined on the line by An-Li Herring, politics and law reporter for WESA, Pittsburgh's NPR News Station. 

Now it's time for another edition of Smart Nutrition, our regular focus on healthy eating.    Here’s a question that has puzzled philosophers and poets for ages: Should a veggie burger go out of its way to taste like a beef burger, or should it embrace its veggie-ness? A new meat-free burger has taken imitation to a whole new level of flattery.

It’s called the Impossible Burger. It’s new. It’s only available in restaurants -- and not many restaurants, so far -- and it is so much like a beef hamburger that it actually bleeds when you bite into it. But it’s made from plants, not from cows. Midday’s Nutrition Diva Monica Reinagel is here to help us size up the Impossible Burger, and to talk about other items of interest in the ever-changing landscape of healthy eating. Monica is a licensed nutritionist and the author of six books who blogs at nutritionovereasy.com. She is also the creator of the weekly Nutrition Diva podcast, which has become one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts since it debuted in 2008.

Jack Garofolo/Paris Match via Getty Images

The 1960s and 70s were a time of protest and change in America, and while marches and rallies were bringing the messages of dissent and disaffection to a world stage, movement activists were also using the marketplace to share and promote their ideas. Their unique storefronts offered politically-conscious alternatives to conventional, profit-driven business models. Today we’re going to take a closer look at those radical shops -- why many failed, some succeeded, and what impact they had on their movements.

Joining guest host Rob Sivak in the studio is Joshua Clark Davis, an assistant professor of history at the University of Baltimore and the author of a fascinating new book, From Head Shops to Whole Foods: the Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs, which chronicles the struggles, successes and legacies of those pioneering storefronts.

Later in the hour, Darius Wilmore joins the conversation to share his unique perspective on activist enterprise. Wilmore is a Baltimore-based design artist who’s produced the award-inning barber-shop style social commentary show, Fades and Fellowship, as well as the monthly storytelling series, The Short Cutz Show, rooted in the African-American and civil rights experience.  As a self-described “social impact designer” who got his start with the legendary Def Jam rap music studio 20 years ago, he has been closely involved for the past decade in the creation and evolution of a successful Baltimore business called Taharka Brothers Ice Cream, a company that has used its products, and its profits, to support programs for young African American men in Baltimore.

Like the Grand Canyon/Flickr Creative Commons

WYPR producer Jamyla Krempel hosts today’s show.

There’s been lots of talk lately about changing the narrative in Baltimore. Last month, Mayor Catherine Pugh told an audience at the Parkway Theatre that Baltimore had a “perception problem.” She also said she wanted to “work on the media not depicting Baltimore always as this negative place to be.” The Mayor’s statements got many people, including Jamyla, thinking about how Baltimore is perceived.

For the first half of the show, Jamyla welcomes two journalists who’ve spent a lot of time thinking and writing about the city. Lawrence Lanahan is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Al Jazeera, Columbia Journalism Review and other outlets. He was the creator of WYPR’s The Lines Between Us series. And he was senior producer of the WYPR show “Maryland Morning.” Lisa Snowden McCray is a longtime Baltimore journalist. She was a writer and associate editor for the Baltimore City Paper and then editor-in-chief of The Baltimore Beat, a weekly alternative paper which, sadly, ceased publication yesterday. 

Later in the show, Jamyla welcomes Al Hutchinson, the president and CEO of Visit Baltimore, and Annie Milli, the executive director of Live Baltimore to talk about Baltimore’s narrative going forward.

Stephen Voss

Today on Midday, with high winds blowing outside our Baltimore studio, we explore whether the winds of change will blow through Annapolis come November, as we begin a series of Conversations with the Candidates who will be on the June 26th primary ballots here in Maryland. 

Between now and the election, Tom Hall will be talking with Democrats who are running in the gubernatorial primary, as well as the Democrats and Republicans who are running for Baltimore County Executive, and candidates in a few other races as well. 

Today, Tom's guest for the hour is Alec Ross.  Last April, Ross became the first person to announce his candidacy in the Democratic primary for Maryland governor. Since then, eight rivals have joined him on that ballot. Alec Ross is an innovation expert, and the author of the New York Times best-selling book, “The Industries of the Future,” about innovation and the changes that economies and societies can expect over the next decade. Ross served in the State Department as Senior Advisor on Innovation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  He also worked in the Obama campaign and transition team in 2008. He’s a former Distinguished Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins University.  He is 46 years old. He and his wife, who is a teacher in a Baltimore City School, live in Baltimore, where they are raising three children.

Today's conversation was streamed live on WYPR's Facebook page, where you can view the video of this and all future Conversations with the Candidates.

Wikimedia Commons

The Congressional Research Service estimates that about 4.3 million people hold permanent government security clearances, but many close advisers to President Trump do not -- including presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Last week, Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coates, said the system of approving security clearances for top officials is “broken” and must be overhauled. 

A couple of days after Coates’ Senate testimony, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly wrote a memo outlining an overhaul of how the White House manages security-clearance investigations. In that memo, obtained by the Washington Post, some White House staffers with Top Secret interim clearances, a group that may include Kushner, will lose their clearances on Friday.

Tom’s guests today are two reporters who have been covering national security matters for years. Deb Reichmann has written about national security for the Associated Press for the past six years.  Before that, she was an AP reporter in Afghanistan. She also covered the George W. Bush White House and the final year of the Clinton White House for AP. She joins us on the line from the AP studios in Washington. 

Scott Shane is a reporter with the investigative unit of the New York Times. He’s written about national security as a reporter in the Washington bureau of the Times since 2004. He’s also the author of several books, including Dismantling Utopia, on the Soviet collapse, and Objective Troy, about the American terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki.

Matt Mendelsohn Photography

Today on Midday: three perspectives on immigration.

First, let’s consider what we might call "immigration amnesia." It seems like a good way to describe the affliction of politicians and others who speak derisively about immigrants -- when they themselves are, like everyone except for Indigenous People, descendants of people who came to this country from somewhere else.

Tom's first guest is Jennifer Mendelsohn. With her #resistancegenealogy project on Twitter, she has found a persuasive way to remind anti-immigrant Washington types of their own immigrant past. 

Mendelsohn is a Baltimore journalist. She is a former People magazine special correspondent and a columnist for Slate. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The L.A. Times and many other places. She’s also an avid genealogist who serves on the board of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland.

University of Texas Press

Continuing with Midday’s focus on immigration today, Tom welcomes Dr. Perla M. Guerrero.

Guerrero is an Assistant Professor of American Studies and U.S., Latina and Latino Studies at the University of Maryland in College Park. Her new book is called Nuevo South: Latinas/os, Asians and the Remaking of Place -- on what can happen when an influx of immigrants settles in places that had been almost entirely white. 

Prof. Guerrero joined Tom on the line from her office in College Park.

National Immigration Law Center

Tom’s final guest today is Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. 

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to take up immigration reform tonight. During budget negotiations that resulted in two brief government shutdowns, Senate Democrats extracted a promise from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to begin debate on a fix for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and comprehensive reform of immigration policy.

President Trump has issued a deadline of March 5th for Congress to come up with a fix for the DACA program, which Mr. Trump ended last fall.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has said that he, too, is committed to finding a fix for the 800,000 young people in the DACA program, but, despite Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s marathon speech on the House Floor last week, Ryan has made no promise about bringing immigration legislation to a vote in the Congress.

Hincapie, on the line from Washington, D.C., offers her perspective on what’s next for DACA, and for immigration policy moving forward.

Pages