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WYPR Programs

Today, we’re going to talk about education in Baltimore City.  Tom's guests are teachers in the city school system, who teach at the elementary, middle school and high school levels.  We hear a lot about teachers, but it’s not as often that we hear from teachers.  Their perspective comes from daily interactions with students, parents, and colleagues, and they know better than most the challenges they and their students face.

Karen Ginyard teaches the 3rd grade at The Mt. Washington School.

Tavon McGee teaches 6th grade math at City Springs Elementary/Middle School on the city’s East Side.

And Robert Marinelli teaches Science and chairs the Science Department at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, known for generations as Poly, on Coldspring Lane in North Baltimore.

Melissa Gerr

It’s been thirteen years since the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra ventured overseas to perform. That changes next week, when more than one hundred musicians will head to Scotland, England and Ireland for a series of concerts. They’ll play many works by Leonard Bernstein, who mentored Marin Alsop, the BSO’s music director, and whose birth centennial is being celebrated this summer.  We talk with Alsop and also with principal horn player Phil Munds, just before they head out on tour.

If you’d like to wish the BSO ‘bon voyage,’ show up at 5 pm at City Hall Plaza Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018.  The BSO is offering a free concert by its brass and percussion section, conducted by Associate Conductor Nicholas Hersh, who will lead fanfares and classical favorites.

Boyd Rutherford: Republican for Lt. Governor

Aug 14, 2018

Today, another in our series of Conversations with the Candidates: the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, Boyd Rutherford, joins Tom in Studio A.

In a Gonzales poll released this morning (08/14), Republican Governor Larry Hogan -- with whom Mr. Rutherford is running for re-election on November 6th --  enjoys a 16 point lead over Democrat Ben Jealous.  If he sustains that lead through November, he’ll be the first Republican Governor to serve a second term since Theodore McKeldin in the 1950s. 

Boyd Rutherford has chaired a task force on Opioid Abuse, worked on Public-Private partnerships, and regulatory reform, among other issues. 

What has the Lt. Governor accomplished in those areas? And will he continue focusing there, or shift  his priorities to other issues, if he and Mr. Hogan are re-elected?

Boyd Rutherford is Tom's guest for the hour;  the conversation is joined in the final segment by the Baltimore Sun’s politics reporter, Luke Broadwater

We're live-streaming today's discussion on WYPR's Facebook  page.

Amazon

What do very old people know about being happy that most of us don’t? Can we put their approach into use in our own lives? New York Times journalist John Leland spent a year with six elders and put what he learned in his new book, Happiness Is a Choice You Make -- Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old. Original air date: 1/31/18

Atlanta, West End, Part 2: The Crossroads

Aug 14, 2018
all photos by Wendel Patrick

This episode begins on the historic spot where two dirt roads intersected and consequently gave rise to the city of Atlanta. Today, that crossroads is a busy intersection, and it anchors a residential neighborhood that’s since experienced chapters of segregation, integration, devaluation, and gentrification. Hear more stories from the locals who make Atlanta’s West End what it is today.

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. 

Rob Stemple / Flickr via Creative Commons

Maryland’s beloved terrapin faces a serious threat from climate change. Biologist Christopher Rowe of the University of Maryland's Center for Environmental Science describes how rising sea levels and warming temperatures jeopardize the terrapins’ survival. Read more about the threats to the terrapin here.

Then, fueled by solar and water power, Mr. Trash Wheel and his companions tirelessly pull litter from the harbor. Adam Lindquist of the Waterfront Partnership’s Healthy Harbor Initiative gives us an update on their progress.

photo by Peter Foley/Bloomberg News

Today on the Friday News Wrap, guest host Nathan Sterner takes a look back at a week of dramatic political news, from the Paul Manafort trial to the arrest of Republican Congressman Chris Collins of New York on corruption charges, and a special election in Ohio that’s given Democrats new hope for winning a majority in the House this November.  NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley joins Nathan on the line from NPR studios in Washington to help us make sense of it all...

Ida B's Table

Sharing a meal creates community, and signature dishes give a sense of culture and culinary history. Ida B’s Table in Baltimore shares that philosophy -- it’s behind a series of special dinners that start Sunday. We talk with Chef David K. Thomas of Ida B’s, and Chef BJ Dennis of Charleston South Carolina, who are cooking up the Ancestor’s Dinner. It will feature flavors of the Gullah Geechee cuisine and stories of its people.  For information on the Ancestor's Dinner at Ida B's Table, visit this link.

Other culinary events this weekend:

Off the Chainsaw Cookout at A Workshop of Our Own and The 6th Annual Muslim Food Fest at The Islamic Society of Baltimore. Enjoy!

Here’s a Stoop Story from Gregory Hartzler Miller about going off the grid and finding his truth. You can hear his story and others at stoopstorytelling.com or on the Stoop podcast

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.

At 90, former U.S. Senator Joseph Tydings has fascinating stories to spin of growing up in a family both wealthy and politically connected. As a young delegate in Annapolis Tydings was already irritating those in power in 1960 when he threw himself into campaigning for a presidential hopeful named Jack Kennedy.

With John Frece, former U.S. Sen. Joseph Tydings has written a memoir titled "My Life in Progressive Politics: Against the Grain". Frece will be speaking about what went into writing it Sunday at 5 pm at the Ivy Bookshop on Falls Road.

Today we begin the hour with another edition of the Midday Healthwatch Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen is here to discuss some of the troubling new data on Maryland’s opioid problem, and some new efforts by Congressman Elijah Cummings and Senator Elizabeth Warren to help address it. She'll explain why the city has joined a lawsuit to stop the Trump Administration’s continuing efforts to gut the Affordable Care Act, and why Baltimore is fighting a White House plan to restrict Title X funding for women’s health programs. Dr. Wen also describes the importance of last week's Breastfeeding Awareness Week...and she takes your questions and comments about public health!

Today's Healthwatch was live-streamed on Facebook; the video is available on WYPR's Facebook page.

Margot Schulman

Today our theater critic, J. Wynn Rousuck, joins Tom (a day earlier than usual) to share her take on the new political musical, Dave, now playing at the Arena Stage in Washington D.C. 

Directed by Tina Landau (SpongeBob SquarePants) and adapted from the 1993 Oscar-nominated film of the same name, Dave tells the story of Dave Kovic -- played by Drew Gehling (Waitress) -- a high school teacher with an uncanny resemblance to the President of the United States (also played by Gehling).  Dave is recruited by members of the White House staff  to stand in as the President's secret double when the Commander-in-Chief falls into a stroke-induced coma.  As Dave  struggles to manage the complex charade, he realizes that he must also gain the trust of the American people -- and the First Lady, played by Mamie Parris (School of Rock, Cats).

Melissa Gerr

Eating nutritious food is an important step toward a healthy lifestyle. For some, making nutritious food is a main ingredient to improving self-confidence and finding a path to gainful employment. We talk with Deborah Haust, director of School of Food, and we visit the social enterprise City Seeds in East Baltimore, to meet chef Aharon Denrich and some of his staff.

For information about cooking classes visit School of Food.

For information about catering, visit City Seeds.

Photo Courtesy Associated Press

Today on Midday, a conversation about what has come to be known as the Black Tax.  It is imposed on people of color, in different ways, and in different places, every day. 

Reports of hate crimes are on the rise, and in 2017, once again, African Americans were targeted more than any other group.

And in the last few months, social media has been rife with example after example of people of color being harassed in public spaces, by white people.  A 7th grader mowing a lawn, a group of Black women playing golf, a former White House staffer moving into his apartment in Manhattan, a graduate student at Yale taking a nap. 

Dr. Kimberly Moffitt is an associate professor of American Studies at UMBC.  She’s also in the departments of Africana Studies and Language, Literacy and Culture.  She studies subjects ranging from Black hair to body politics and Disney movies.

Dr. Lester Spence is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Spence specializes in black politics, racial politics, urban politics, and public opinion.  His latest book is called Knocking the Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics. 

Next One Up for College

Aug 7, 2018
Next One Up Instagram

Many of the hurdles that keep young black men from getting into college can trip them up even once they’re there. Young black athletes face the same stumbling blocks. But a community of mentors can make all the difference. Founder Matt Hanna explains how the ‘Next One Up Foundation’ connects with young men through sports, providing support from middle school through college, graduation and on into the workforce. And two students describe the family they've found with ‘Next One Up’.

Photo Courtesy Baltimore Ceasefire

Tom speaks with Erricka Bridgeford, one of the co-founders oBaltimore Ceasefire 365. 

The Baltimore Ceasefire movement celebrated its first anniversary this past weekend with a free concert, workshops and rallies across the city.

The group’s original mission: the cessation of murder for one weekend every quarter.  Now, with Baltimore Ceasefire 365, it hopes to begin building public support for a year-round, daily effort to end murder in the city.  

dominic lockyer/flickr

Rose's popularity has exploded in recent years. Cindy tells us about her favorite rose and we hear from wine producers from Italy, France and Washington state.

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. 

Joelip / Flickr via Creative Commons

A dozen Russian intelligence officers have been indicted for tampering in the 2016 election. Plus, Maryland officials recently learned a Russian oligarch bought a software firm that holds a state contract for voter registration. How is Maryland ensuring the security of its elections in November?

We speak to Linda Lamone, administrator of the State Board of Elections, and deputy administrator Nikki Charlson. And Hopkins computer science professor and security expert Avi Rubin tells what he learned from serving as an elections judge.

Photo Courtesy Mildred Muhammad

On today's show, Tom speaks with Mildred Muhammad, the ex-wife of John Allen Muhammed, the DC sniper who along with an accomplice shot 13 people, killing ten of them at multiple locations throughout the Washington metropolitan area in October 2002.  

Mildred Muhammad has made it her life’s work to help people understand that John Muhammad's murderous rampage was in large part an expression of domestic violence; that he killed other people to disguise his primary intent: to kill his ex-wife.  Mildred  has become an advocate for victims of domestic violence.  She has written five books, the latest of which is called I’m Still Standing: Crawling Out of the Darkness Into the Light.  

Charles Townley Chapman

One hundred years ago an idea took off--literally--from the grassy airfield in College Park: could these new flying machines move mail between cities faster than trains? Congress okayed a test. Andrea Cochrane Tracey, director of the College Park Aviation Museum, reflects on how basic things were in 1918.

The first flights during sunny August went well. Cydney Shank Wentsel, the granddaughter of Robert Shank, an early pilot, tells us how wintry snow and fog raised the dangers, and pilots pushed for more control over when they’d fly.

For information about events surrounding the airmail anniversary at the College Park Aviation Museum, visit this link.

To view a documentary about Robert Shank, visit this link.

For a look at commemorative stamps for the airmail anniversary, visit this link.

Image courtesy Neon

It's another edition of Midday at the Movies, and our favorite movie mavens -- Jed Dietz, founding director of the Maryland Film Festival and Ann Hornaday, film critic for the Washington Post -- join Tom to spotlight film industry trends and some notable new releases.

One of the flicks they talk about today is the new documentary, Three Identical Strangers, by director Tim Wardle.  It tells the remarkable story of three identical triplets who were separated at birth but who find each other coincidentally as young men, and who then discover the dark truth of why they were separated.  

Jed and Ann offer very different takes on the latest Joaquin Phoenix vehicle, director Gus Van Sant's Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on FootThe movie is based on the late cartoonist John Callahan's  titular 1990 memoir of his struggle with alcoholism, the quadraplegia that bound him to a wheelchair after a drunken car wreck, and his efforts to rebuild his shattered life.

And Tom asks Ann and Jed about the latest run of films that explore the Daddy-Daughter relationship, a theme that's been a mainstay of Hollywood movies for decades.

Tom Lauer

Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom in the studio every week with a review of the one of the region's many thespian productions,  and today she stops by to discuss Cockpit in Court's new production of Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.

Set in an old-style five-and-dime variety store in the small west-Texas town of McCarthy, the play explores the reunion of the "Disciples of James Dean," a fan club obsessively devoted to the brief, stellar career of 1950s film star James Dean, who became a cultural icon after his death in a car crash at the age of 24.  The club members prize their special connection to the moody, handsome actor, recalling their roles as local extras in Dean's final movie, Giant (1956).

Written by Ed Graczyk in 1976, the play became a 1982 film directed by Robert Altman, and now, at Cockpit in Court, the twists and turns of the Disciples' lives again grace the stage, under the direction of Linda Chambers,  

As the Disciples pay tribute to the life of their teenage Hollywood idol , the group is rallied by their ringleader, Mona, (played as a teen by Sarah Jones, as an adult by Regina Rose) as they reminisce about their youth -- and stir up some long-buried passions.

Cockpit in Court's production of Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean continues through August 5th on the Essex Campus at the Community College of Baltimore County.

Ivy Bookshop

We think of species taking a long time to adapt to changes in their surroundings. Not necessarily, says evolutionary biologist and ecologist Menno Schilthuizen. In his latest book, "Darwin Comes to Town: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution," he asserts we don’t have to look far for evidence: Schilthuizen says plants and animals can adapt quickly to survive. Things like mating preferences and diets are in flux when it comes to city living.

Baltimore Sun

Today, a conversation about the consequences of a Supreme Court ruling last May that struck down a 1992 federal law that disallowed most states from being in the business of organized betting on sports.  This opens the door for states to pass sports gambling legislation

Five states had already passed laws allowing sports gambling in anticipation of the Supreme Court ruling.  A little later in the program, we’ll talk about the possibilities of that happening in MD.  But first, a conversation with a person whose perspective on this issue is unique. 

Tom McMillan was a basketball star at the University of MD in the 1970s, who played in the NBA for 12 years.  After his pro basketball career, he went on to represent MD’s fourth district in the US Congress.  Today, he is the President and CEO of LEAD1, an association of Athletic Directors at the most prominent NCAA Division One Schools. Tom McMillan joins us on the line from Washington, DC.   

Jeff Barker covers the business of sports and the casino gambling industry, among other beats, for the Baltimore Sun.  He joins us from the studios of NPR in Washington DC.

And, joining us on the line from Boston, Daniel Barbarisi, a journalist and author of book Dueling With Kings: High Stakes, Killer Sharks, and the Get-Rich Promise of Daily Fantasy Sports.   Daniel is a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal.  He’s a Senior Editor at the sports website, The Athletic.

National Federation of the Blind

Thousands of blind people travel and commute every day. But they can face challenges, barriers--even discrimination--along the way. Stacey Cervenka, who is blind, tells us about her plans for a Blind Traveler’s Network, a website to provide tips and recommendations for accessible vacation travel. She's a winner of the 2018 Holman Prize for Blind Ambition.

And we meet Mark Riccobono, president of the National Federation of the Blind. He discusses advocacy for equal treatment and access for blind and visually impaired people, and notes that people's perceptions of what it's like to be blind is often the toughest thing to overcome.

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.

Elvert Barnes / Flickr

A city task force is proposing an overhaul in how Baltimore handles citizen complaints of misconduct by police officers. The consent decree between Baltimore and the US Department of Justice tasked the Community Oversight Task Force with studying ways to hold police accountable. In its 74-page report, the task force urges disbanding the current Civilian Review Board and creating two new oversight panels. We hear from task force member Catalina Bryd and chair Ray Kelly.

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