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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.

JHU Press

We talk with Dr. W. Daniel Hale and Dr. Panagis Galiasatos about the Johns Hopkins Healthy Community Partnership. The program promotes patient education by drawing on the familiarity and trust developed in faith communities -- and they wrote a book about it, called Building Healthy Communities through Medical-Religious Partnerships. We also meet Antoinette Joyner, the commissioner for healthcare ministry at St. John’s African Methodist Episcopal Church about how the program has made an impact on her congregation.

Summer Vegetables

Jun 17, 2018
CHEFWOLF/INSTAGRAM

It's farmer's market season and Chef Wolf and Tony give us their list of favorite vegetables, and the ones that haunt them from childhood. Plus, wines to pair with your vegetables.

Photo Courtesy Flickr

It's the Midday International Newswrap: the President returned to Washington this week after histrionics at the G7 meeting in Canada, and history-making in Singapore.

Mr. Trump had great things to say about North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and stunningly negative things to say about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, one of America's greatest allies. Is a denuclearized Korean Peninsula more possible this week than it had been in many months? 

photo courtesy The New School

Now, a conversation about a unique classical choral concert that’s happening tomorrow night in Towson, and the unique chorus that will be performing. 

Berkshire Choral International is an organization that for more than 30 years has brought choral singers together from all over the world, to perform in venues all over the world.  Tomorrow night, the BCI will be at Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium in Towson, performing Haydn's The Seasons.  For ticket and location info, click here.  

Joining Tom in Studio A to talk about the performance, and about the BCI's mission of building a global choral community, is Frank Nemhauser, who has been the group's Music Director since 1993.

Todd Marcus

The line blurs between art and activism for bass clarinetist and jazz composer Todd Marcus. He perceives music as a way to build community and nuture healing. He joins us to talk about his latest CD, "On These Streets: A Baltimore Story." The songs are inspired by two decades of living and working alongside his neighbors in West Baltimore with the non-profit, ‘Intersection of Change.’

The Todd Marcus Quintet's CD release party is June 16 at Center Stage. More information here.

Here’s Renee Watkins’ Stoop Story about coming out to her parents … that begins with a road trip she’ll never forget. You can hear her story and others at stoopstorytelling.com

It's Pride Weekend! Find information for all of the events at this link.

Civic Center

Jun 15, 2018

Gil remembers the conflicts that laid the foundation for the Civic Center.

Last month, Valerie Ervin shook up the Democratic primary race for Maryland governor when she announced her candidacy to replace her former running mate, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, who died suddenly on May 10th.  Yesterday, Ms. Ervin shook up the Democratic gubernatorial race for the second time, when she announced her withdrawal from the contest, and her decision to support Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker in his primary bid to challenge Governor Larry Hogan in the general election in November.

Valerie Ervin joins Tom Hall on the line from Silver Spring to discuss her recent moves, and how they might impact the Democratic race to win back the Statehouse.

In this installment of Conversations with the Candidates, Tom Hall is joined in the studio by Sheldon Laskin, a Democratic candidate for the Senate in Maryland’s 11th district, which includes Pikesville, Owings Mills, and Hunt Valley in northwest Baltimore County. 

Photography by Shealyn Jae

Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins us now with her regular Thursday review of one of our region's many thespian offerings.  Today, she spotlights playwright Mark Scharf's The Quickening, now getting its world premiere at Baltimore's Fells Point Corner Theatre, in a co-production with the Collaborative Theatre Company.

The Quickening is a modern ghost story about a pregnant woman and her husband who move into a Richmond, Virginia, home that appears -- at least to the women in the play -- to be seriously haunted. The home's strange energies, and a succession of bizarre events, spark growing tensions between the wife and her skeptical, distracted husband, and remind us of the mysterious space between open and closed minds, and between science and folklore. 

AP Images

We’ve interviewed the eight Democrats running for their party’s nomination to face off against incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the fall and asked how each proposes to address the opioid overdose epidemic, and guns and public safety. With us to share perspective and insight is the Baltimore editor of the Afro newspaper, Sean Yoes.

Frederick Board of Elections

Early voting in the Maryland Primary begins tomorrow (June 14th).   Marylanders can vote early, at locations around the state, for a week, until June 21st.  Then, there’s a four-day break in voting until Election Day on Tuesday, June 26th.  A reminder that if you are not yet registered to vote, you can register and vote on the same day -- if you vote earlyYou will not be able to register on Election Day. 

The last time Maryland held a primary election for important offices like Governor, County Executive, or State’s Attorney was in 2014.  In the primaries that year, barely more than 24% of eligible Democrats participated in the election, and even fewer Republicans cast a vote in their primary.  The turnout in the General election was also very low.  Let’s hope that isn’t the case again this year.  

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?

Melissa Gerr / WYPR radio/Baltimore

An end-of-life doula offers compassion and companionship to the dying and the people who love them. We talk with Debbie Geffen-Jones, bereavement program manager at Gilchrist, about what it takes to assume the doula role. And Kay Berney, who has volunteered in bereavement services for more than a decade, tells us what’s she’s learned as an end-of-life doula … and how it differs from the stereotype some people might expect. For more information about becoming a Gilchrist volunteer, visit this link.

marilynmosby.com

Today we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates with Baltimore City State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby.  She is running for re-election in the Democratic primary that takes place on the 26th of this month.  Early voting begins on Thursday.  She is opposed by two other candidates, Ivan Bates and Thiru Vignarajah.  The winner of the primary will run unopposed in the general election.   

Marilyn Mosby drew international attention when she indicted six Baltimore police officers in the police-custody death of Freddie Gray in 2015.   None of those indictments resulted in a conviction, but Ms. Mosby points to a 95% conviction rate to date for her office overall.  The State’s Attorney’s office prosecuted more than 41,000 cases last year.

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Creating jobs, cutting red-tape, managing the budget---the nine Democrats running for governor told us their economic priorities. Political columnist Barry Rascovar of Political Maryland analyzes their answers.

Best Meals-Live!

Jun 10, 2018
@chefwolf/Instagram

Foreman and Wolf goes live to take your calls and emails. This week, listeners tell about the best meal they ever had. From dumplings in Hong Kong to chile rellenos in New Mexico, your stories remind us that the experience we have and who we share it with is often as important as the food we eat.

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.

Here’s a Stoop Story told by Lauren Francis Sharma at the Baltimore Book Festival in 2016. She was unhappily working as a corporate lawyer in 1998 when she decided to take a chance on becoming an author. You can hear her story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com, as well as the Stoop podcast.

Stefan Malmesjö / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped offers books for readers of all ages in a variety of forms - from large print to Braille and audio materials. We hear from Robyn Hughes, a patron of the library for four decades. And from library director Leslie Bowman, who says new technology has vastly expanded access for readers with limited sight.

Mt. Royal Station

Jun 8, 2018

Gil remembers the end of the line at Mt. Royal Station.  

disney.com

On this edition of Midday at the Movies -- our monthly look at new flicks and new trends in the film industry --movie mavens Ann Hornaday, film critic for the Washington Post, and Jed Dietz, founding director of the Maryland Film Festival,  join Tom to consider the surprisingly weak box office performance of the latest iteration of the Star Wars franchise,  director Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story, and the equally surprising popularity of RBG, the new documentary about the life and career of 84 year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, co-directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen.

Plus, Ann and Jed list their picks for new summer films you'll want to check out at local theaters.

photo by Matthew Murphy

Each Thursday, Midday's peripatetic theater critic, J. Wynn Rousuck, joins us with a review of one of the region's many theatrical offerings.  This week, she's spotlighting On Your Feet!, the new touring musical production based on the life and career of Cuban pop sensations (and husband-and-wife team) Gloria and Emilio Estefan, that's now on stage at Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre.

MD Dept Public Safety and Correctional Services

Maryland’s prisons have clamped how on where inmates can acquire books--they can now can order from just two limited vendors. The department of corrections says books from other sources can be used to smuggle drugs, and that can fuel violence behind bars. We ask Sonia Kumar, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, why ACLU-MD contends the new restrictions violate the First Amendment.

Then we talk to Glennor Shirley about her two decades running libraries in Maryland’s prisons and how she viewed her responsibility to her patrons.

Here is the letter sent by ACLU-MD to DPSCS

Check out the Ear Hustle podcast here

Photo Courtesy Flickr

 

Today, on Midday, a conversation about the Foster Care System.  Nearly 430,000 children and young people are currently in the care of foster families.  About 112,000 of them are hoping to be adopted permanently.  And for the young people who “age out” of the system on their 18th or 21st birthdays, the challenges are daunting, and the statistics are devastating.

Only three to four percent of young people who are foster care alumni earn a college degree by the age of 26.  One in five will experience homelessness.  Only half will be employed.  7 of 10 female foster youth will become pregnant by the time they are 21, and one in four foster youth will experience PTSD.

Tom’s guests include Shalita O’Neale, Founder and Executive Director of the Fostering Change Network.  Fostering Change is producing a conference this weekend at Johns Hopkins Medicine to connect people in the system with resources and networking opportunities.

And joining us on the line from the studios of NPR in Washington is Jelani Freeman.  Like Shalita O’Neale, he is a product of the foster care system.  He is an attorney who serves as a court appointed special advocate for foster children in Washington, and he sits on the board of the Center for Adoption Support and Education.

We will also hear testimony from Luigi Kramer, a 22 year old college student and foster care alum who has recently transitioned out of the system; and Lisa Phillips an entrepreneur and alum who was  taken into care in the 1980’s. 

Rachel Baye / WYPR

Democrats running for governor agree Maryland public schools are slipping, and most argue the state should spend more. Baltimore Sun opinion editor Andy Green helps us decipher the field on education.

Photo Courtesy Flickr

 

On today’s, edition of Midday Culture Connections with Dr. Sheri Parkswe examine some of the stories making headlines across the country.

We begin to with a look at the cognitive effects of violent video games and the Military’s stake in the multi-billion dollar industry of gaming.  Following the deadly May 18th shooting at Santa Fe High School, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick cited violent video games as a contributing factor to the national epidemic of deadly violence and apathy in our culture, reigniting the debate on the psychological effects of violent video games on our children, specifically young boys. 

Serena Williams returned to the French Open last week after 14 months of maternity leave. In keeping with WTA policy, the former world number one entered into the grand slam tournament unseeded.  Serena’s experience has many questioning not only the WTA’s policies towards new mothers; but also, the broader politics of women and pregnancy in the workplace.

Finally, the Trumpian era has been marked by political tension, social tumult and temerarious tweets.   It is an era of fraught with class and racial division, violent identity politics and targeted attacks on the media.  These deep societal fissures came to a head this week, as comediennes Samantha Bee and Roseanne Barr became the mascots for America’s new ‘culture wars’ . 

Dr. Sheri Parks is the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at the Maryland Institute College of Art, and a regular contributor to our show on Midday Culture Connections.  She’s the author of Fierce Angels: Living with a Legacy from the Sacred Dark Feminine to the Strong Black Woman.

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