On The Record | WYPR

On The Record

Weekdays, 9:30 to 10:00 am

Catch On the Record, hosted by Sheilah Kast, weekdays from 9:30 to 10:00 am, following NPR’s Morning Edition. We’ll discuss the issues that affect your life and bring you thoughtful and lively conversations with the people who shape those issues -- business people, public officials, scholars, artists, authors, and journalists who can take us inside the story. If you want to share a comment, question, or an idea for an interview you’d like to hear, email us at ontherecord@wypr.org.

Theme music created by Jon Ehrens.  Logo designed by Louis Umerlik.

Ways to Connect

Photo Courtesy AP/Gerald Herbert

As acting Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison enters his second week on the job, we hear from community leaders David Troy of the group Baltimore City Voters and Rev. Dr. S. Todd Yeary of Douglas memorial Community Church about their first impressions. And Fern Shen of the Baltimore Brew tells us what’s expected in his confirmation process.

Jewish Museum of Maryland/Johns Hopkins Press

Does a city shape its inhabitants ... or is it the other way around? And how much does location influence commerce? Deborah Weiner explores these questions in the book she co-wrote: “On Middle Ground: A History of the Jews of Baltimore.” It draws on Baltimore’s unique geography, politics and racial diversity -- not to mention a host of colorful characters -- to walk the reader through the development of Baltimore’s Jewish community.

Find information about Deborah Weiner's Ivy Bookshop event on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019 at this link.

Here's a Stoop Story from Rosemary Raun about roughing it in the not-so-great outdoors. You can listen to more stories and and the Stoop Podcast at stoopstorytelling.com.

The next live show is March 6th at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School and the theme is "No Limits: Stories about female leadership, creativity, and resilience"

Starley Shelton / Flickr via Creative Commons

Gather your bait and cast your line! Milton Price of the Pasadena Sportfishing Group tells us about their mission to pass a love of fishing on to the next generation.

The group will be holding their 27th Annual Expo tomorrow and Sunday at the Earleigh Heights Volunteer Fire Company - 161 Ritchie Hwy Severna Park, MD. More information here.

Courtesy Ivy Bookshop

It seems so simple … but can so easily elude us: noticing the quiet, the surprising, the graceful--the moments of delight--that abound each day. Can we become more aware of delight, with practice? Poet Ross Gay gave himself a year-long task: … each day to fine-tune his ‘radar for delight,’ … to observe the small caretaking gestures that connect us, and to handwrite a short essay. He reads from the result, his newly published “The Book of Delights” … and implores readers to slow down and savor the little things.

For information about Ross's reading at the Enoch Pratt Free Library 'Writers Live' series, visit this link.


DiPasquale's Italian Market

Americans are doing more and more of their shopping online -- but part of what distinguishes Baltimore are the brick-and-mortar businesses that have thrived for more than a century. The nonprofit ‘Baltimore Heritage’ has a new project recognizing the owners of 100-year legacy businesses, and project researcher Richard Messick and executive director Johns Hopkins tell us all about it. Then we hear the real deal about two family-run establishments: from Joe DiPasquale of DiPasquale’s Italian Market and Tony Tochterman, of Tochterman’s Fishing and Tackle.

To learn more about Baltimore's Legacy Businesses, visit this link. Original air date: 12/13/18.

FDR’s New Deal shaped Democratic politics for generations. But the roots of the coalition that made it happen stretch back further.

We speak to historian Robert Chiles about his new book, "The Revolution of ’28: Al Smith, American Progressivism, and the Coming of the New Deal".

Check out some of Robert Chile's recent writing on Smith in the Washington Post, Newsday, and Times Union.

Here is a Stoop Story from Barbara Treasure about Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai".

Check out more Stoop Stories, and the Stoop podcast, here.

Beyond Video Facebook page

From the cutting-room floors of Blockbuster and Video Americain...has emerged Beyond Video. The nonprofit video rental shop in Baltimore’s Remington neighborhood is a temple to film, with thousands of independent, foreign, and hard-to-find titles and volunteers ready with recommendations.

We speak to co-founder Eric Hatch, Joe Tropea, and Dave Barresi. Find out about becoming a member here.

momboleum / Flickr via Creative Commons

The price of insulin is soaring, and some patients are rationing their dosage and risking death. With millions of American living with diabetes, what can be done to help patients afford this essential drug? Hopkins internist and medical historian Dr. Jeremy Greene describes how innovation has upped the effectiveness of insulin in the 100 years since it was discovered. But that’s come at a steep price.

Plus: David McShae is executive director of the American Diabetes Association, Maryland chapter. The organization advocates for the prevention and cure of diabetes; it fundraises for diabetes research and does educational outreach. Take the Type-II Risk Assessment here. Check out information about June's Tour de Cure walk/ride/run to celebrate those living with diabetes.

AP Photo/David Goldman

When financial affairs have spun out of control, filing bankruptcy is an option … but typically a last resort. Recent research published as ‘Graying of U.S. Bankruptcy: Fallout from Life in a Risk Society,’ reveals that a growing number of adults 65 and older are choosing bankruptcy as their best option. We hear from Professor Deborah Thorne, a principal investigator for the ‘Consumer Bankruptcy Project.’ Then we ask Helene Raynaud, of the non-profit Guidewell Financial Solutions, how to avoid monetary crisis and stress.

Christy Zuccarini

We are all better than our worst decision. That’s the message of “The Master Plan: My Journey from Life in Prison to a Life of Purpose,” a memoir by Chris Wilson.

At 17, Wilson was sentenced to life in prison. Behind bars, he reflected on his troubled upbringing and focused on building a positive future. Wilson details his improbable path to freedom and the challenges he’s faced since returning home.

He will be in conversation with Wes Moore on Saturday at 7 pm, at an Ivy Bookshop event hosted by the Church of the Redeemer - 5603 N Charles Street.

You can also see Chris Wilson's art at an exhibit at the Peale Center. Or at the American Visionary Art Museum's exhibit "PARENTING: An Art without a Manual," through September  1.

Katherine Hitt / Flickr via Creative Commons

What impacts can we expect from the new policy of the Baltimore City State’s Attorney not to prosecute possession of marijuana? Former police detective Debbie Ramsay, now part of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, urges prosecutors and police not to square off in opposition, but together to listen to how citizens want marijuana laws enforced.

Ivy Bookshop

Get a good night’s sleep, avoid sugar, exercise - we hear this advice all the time, but how does following it affect how we age? Internist Dr. Stephen Schimpff says adopting positive habits-- especially at a young age--can prevent the onset of chronic diseases. He points to regions around the globe with concentrations of people 100 years or older. These communities shun processed food, stay active, and treat elders with respect. It's all in Schimpff’s new book, “Longevity Decoded”. 

Here’s a Stoop Story from Natalie Sokoloff about the challenges of recovering after a severe fall... and fighting to get her mobility back. You can hear her story and others at Stoopstorytelling.com or on the Stoop podcast.

As Nazi power spread in the 1930’s and Jews in Europe struggled to escape, many countries closed their borders to Jewish refugees. An exception was the international city of Shanghai, China, which required no visa. Thousands of Jews made their way across continents to shelter in Shanghai. Marvin Pinkert, director of the Jewish Museum of Maryland, explains how the early welcome the refugees received … withers after Japan, a Nazi ally, occupies Shanghai. And we meet Jack Jacob, a Pikesville resident who was born in Shanghai--and is now a world ping-pong champion.


A global movement is using boycotts to pressure Israel to soften its policies in the Palestinian territories. About half the states have passed laws against such boycotts; Maryland’s governor issued an executive order denying state contracts to businesses that boycott Israel. The governor’s order is being challenged in court by a software contractor who says it’s unconstitutional. We hear from David Schraub, a law professor who has examined state responses and Zainab Chaudry, Maryland liaison for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, explains why CAIR got involved in the lawsuit.

Beyond arrest and incarceration, how can we reduce violence between intimate partners? Law professor Leigh Goodmark in her latest book “Decriminalizing Domestic Violence," argues that relying on the criminal justice system to address violence often harms victims and does little to prevent abuse in the future.

Then, the House of Ruth offers a path of 90-minutes sessions over 28 weeks designed to teach non-violence relationship skills to perpetrators of abuse. Director of training and education Lisa Nitsch describes the Gateway Project.

Baltimore Speaker Series

Maryland, its counties and Baltimore will need to spend billions more than they do now to make good on the recommendations of the high-level panel headed by retired University Chancellor Brit Kirwan. Liz Bowie, who covers education for the Baltimore Sun, catches us up on what part of the Kirwan challenge the legislature intends to take up this year … and why advocates for Baltimore’s schools say it’s not moving fast enough. Plus, we discuss education reform with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, in town for the Baltimore Speaker Series.

To read more about the Kirwin Commission visit this link. 

Visit this link for ticket information for the Baltimore Speaker Series.

Here is a Stoop Story from Kelly Rudis about the privilege of being a midwife. You can hear her story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com, as well as the Stoop podcast. 

The next live Stoop Show is Tuesday, February 12, 2019 at 7:00 pm at The Senator Theatre. The night will feature stories about our relationships with animals — from pets to predators.

Ali Elangasinghe / Flickr via Creative Commons

Even if it’s out of fashion, too big or too small, many people are holding on to clothing they no longer wear. The Clothing Swap offers a second chance for these items, at a meet-up where people can donate and take home clothing -- for free! Organizer Anna Grothe says the swap is a way for those in the community to share an abundant resource.

Heading into World War II, cork was essential in planes, ships, subs--and countless other tools of war. When a year’s supply of cork went up in flames at Crown Cork and Seal’s factory in Highlandtown, it was a threat to national security. We speak to David Taylor, author of "Cork Wars: Intrigue and Industry in World War II".

He'll be in the Marquee Lounge of the Creative Alliance at 4 pm Saturday, Jan. 26, along with documentary filmmaker Kiley Kraskoukas and researcher Amy Johansen, to discuss the book and the short films that accompany it. And next Thursday, Jan. 31, Taylor will speak about Cork Wars in the Pratt Library’s Writers Live! Series -- 6:30 pm at the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, 415 Park Ave. in Baltimore.

A few months after the September 11th attacks, Anthony Moll did what a lot of teenagers did: raised his hand and took an oath to the U.S. army. For a working-class kid in a stagnant city, the army meant escape. For a bisexual man with pink hair, the army at that time also meant “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” His new memoir is titled, "Out of Step". Original air date 7.30.18

Johns Hopkins University Press

The sorrow, heartache and suffering connected with loss can leave a person paralyzed with grief. In “Before and after Loss: A Neurologist’s Perspective on Loss, Grief, and Our Brain,” Dr. Lisa Shulman channels her personal encounters with bereavement into exploration of what takes place in the brain when we’re grieving. Shulman discusses interpreting dreams … journaling … and introspection. She raises questions and draws conclusions about the cognitive effects of loss, and how to recover.

For information about Dr. Shulman's appearance at the Ivy Bookshop on 1.23.19, visit this link.

Maryland GovPics / Flickr Creative Commons

Will the Preakness Stakes remain at Baltimore’s aging Pimlico Race Course? Will Maryland legalize sports betting, and how will that change what it means to be a sports fan?

Amanda Yeager of the Baltimore Business Journal takes us through the arguments for and against moving the second leg of racing's’ Triple Crown to Laurel Park. Read her reporting on the Maryland Stadium Authority's plan for a $424 million estimated rebuild of Pimlico.

And veteran sports journalist Bill Ordine of Press Box describes the paths Maryland may take to legalize sports betting.  Read more on the future of sports betting nationally and here in Maryland.

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Scores of marching bands, dance squads, fraternities, sororities, and civic organizations are gearing up for Baltimore’s most-anticipated parade--honoring the legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

We visit some participants as they prepare for the big day Monday and ask, what does taking part in the MLK Day parade mean for them? We hear from the Dunbar High School director of bands, Charles Funn, and R.Anthony Mills from the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and longtime parade devotee Hassan Giordano, who tells us why he shows up each year, no matter how cold.

Visit this link for parade details.

Visit this link for The Associated Day of Service.

To learn about 11 ways to Celebrate MLK Jr Day in Baltimore, visit this link.

Here’s a Stoop Story from Doray Sitko about what it means to rise to the challenge of service. You can hear her story and others at Stoopstorytelling.com or at the Stoop podcast.

Loyola University Maryland

Sometimes tragedy gives birth to social change. Six years ago Ethan Saylor, a young man with Down Syndrome, died in an encounter with law-enforcement. Could adequate training have changed that outcome? Ethan’s mother Patti Saylor thinks so. She tells us about officer training designed to help contacts with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, or IDDs.

And we meet Lisa Schoenbrodt, a Loyola professor coaching people with IDDs to perform reality scenarios for the trainings, and Patrick Chaney, an actor with autism.

nycbone / Flickr via Creative Commons

Even in winter, committed bicyclists can be found traversing Baltimore’s streets. How is the city making way for bikes, and improving safety for all?

Liz Cornish, head of the advocacy group BikeMore, describes the city’s new Complete Streets ordinance, offers an update on the nearly finished Downtown Bike Network, and analyzes the success of dockless scooter and bicycle programs.

Then, LaKeisha Henderson of Bike and Brunch Tours describes the historical treasures to be enjoyed while exploring Baltimore neighborhoods on two wheels.