WYPR Programs | WYPR

WYPR Programs

photo courtesy Thiru for Baltimore.

Continuing our series of Conversations with the Candidates, our focus today is on the Democratic primary election later this month for Baltimore City State’s Attorney Three candidates, including the incumbent, Marilyn Mosby, are competing in that race to be the city’s top prosecutor.

It’s a big job, overseeing more than 200 lawyers and tens of thousands of prosecutions every year, and it's a job our guest today would very much like to have. 

Thiru Vignarajah is a former prosecutor who’s spent most of his legal career in public service.  He was born in Baltimore to Sri Lankan immigrant parents, both of them Baltimore City public school teachers. Vignarajah himself is a product of the public school system, having gone from Edmondson Heights and Woodlawn High to Yale University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review . He went on to clerk for Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer, and he served as a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore, working under then-U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein. Vignarajah subsequently moved to the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, where he headed the Major Investigations Unit.

Joseph Trucano

What makes some music hot--or not--and how does business enable the artistry? That’s the topic of the next Great Talk” discussion, a series that describes itself as ‘Conversations with a Purpose.’ It’s also our cue to question one of the next Great Talk presenters, classical pianist Susan Zhang. She’s co-owner of The Concert Truck, a mobile recital hall that delivers free classical music concerts to audiences in unexpected locations--from parks, to public squares to community center parking lots.

Here's improv performer Will Hines, telling his Stoop Story about the time he and his co-host Connor recorded their podcast from Abbey Road studios in London. You can hear his story and many others at Stoopstorytelling dot com.

WKC Signoff

Jun 1, 2018

The story of the very first radio station to broadcast in Baltimore is lost in the dustbin of Baltimore history - never to realize the full recognition it deserved.  That's because the father of the young builder of the station threw the station out - his son's most promising and historic creation!  

Today on Midday, a conversation about race, and corporate culture. 

Last Wednesday, the NFL announced that they would ban players from kneeling on the field during the national anthem, and that they teams would face fines if any players chose to do so. 

On Tuesday, ABC cancelled the reboot of the popular 90’s sitcom “Roseanne” following racist tweets by the program’s star Roseanne Barr. 

While Barr was getting boot, 175,000 Starbucks employees were engaged in racial bias training, as the company closed 8,000 locations following an incident in Philadelphia in which two African American men were arrested for...well, being in Starbucks.   How is institutional racism and racial bias confronted in the corporate world?

Tom is joined by Dr. Kimberly Moffitt is an associate professor of American Studies and affiliate assistant professor of Africana Studies and Language, Literacy and Culture at the University of MD Baltimore County.  

Michael Fletcher is a senior writer at the Undefeated, ESPN’s online platform that explores the intersection of race, culture and sports.  He is a former national economics reporter for the Washington Post..  

And on the phone, Milton Kent, the host of Sports at Large here on WYPR, and a lecturer in the School of Global Journalism and Communication at Morgan State University. 

photo courtesy Annapolis Shakespeare Co.

It's Thursday, and time again for a visit with Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck, who joins us in the studio each week with her reviews of the region's theatrical endeavors.  This week, she spotlights the new production of Kiss Me, Kate, the Bard-inspired musical now on stage at Annapolis Shakespeare Company

Kiss Me, Kate is the "backstage" story of the production of a fictional musical version of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, fueled by the conflicts, on-stage and off, between the show's director, producer and star, and his temperamental leading lady (and ex-wife).

Written by Samuel and Bella Spewack, with music and lyrics by the inimitable Cole PorterKiss Me, Kate opened on Broadway in 1948 and enjoyed a long and successful initial run. In 1949, it won five Tony Awards, including the first Tony ever presented for Best Musical.  Ever since, it has been a frequent and internationally popular choice for revivals.

Directed and choreographed for Annapolis Shakespeare Company by Sally Boyett, with musical direction by Marc IrwinKiss Me Kate features a 17-member cast led by Benjamin Russell as producer Fred Graham and Robin Weiner as his ex-wife and star, Lilli Vanessi.

Kiss Me Kate continues at Annapolis Shakespeare Company through Sunday June 3.

Creative Commons photo

Early on Saturday morning, June 2, several thousand runners are expected to turn out for the 10th annual Baltimore Ten-Miler.   It starts and finishes in Druid Hill Park, and includes scenic strolls across 33rd Street and around Lake Montebello.  When that many runners lace-up and hit the pavement, there are bound to be a few twisted ankles, sore knees and strained backs.  

Dr. Miho Tanaka joins Tom in the studio to talk about how you can avoid serious injuries on race day and how you can minimize some of the inevitable aches and pains that follow a long run.  Dr. Tanaka also discusses the importance of an active lifestyle, and different kinds of exercise that help us stay healthy.  

Dr. Tanaka is an orthopedic surgeon and the Director of the Women’s Sports Medicine Program at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Before moving to Baltimore, she was the team physician for the St. Louis Cardinals and the St Louis Surge in the WNBA.  She’s also served as assistant team physician for the Baltimore Orioles and another professional women’s basketball team, the NY Liberty.   

Dr. Tanaka also answers listeners' questions about fitness and training routines, and possible treatments for the aches and pains of their active lives.

AP Images

On the Record has spoken with all nine Democratic gubernatiorial candidates about why they’re running, what issues they think are most important and how they would address them and what they think sets each of them apart--why voters should pick them to be the Democrats’ standard bearer against incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. Today our expert analyst and commentator is Mileah Kromer, associate professor of political science at Goucher College. She directors the Sarah T. Hughes Field politics center  and is the force behind the respected Goucher Poll.

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.

Creative Commons photo

It's Midday: The Afro-Check In, a regular feature where we sit down with our colleagues at the Baltimore-Afro American Newspapers to talk about some important local news developments.  

This week: grief and racial tension on both sides of the City/County line as the death of Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio, and the subsequent charges handed down to four Baltimore City teens, have unleashed a torrent of political mudslinging and racially charged bitterness. 

Also, with early voting in the Maryland primaries a little more than two weeks away, tensions continue to simmer between the campaign of gubernatorial candidate Valerie Ervin and the Maryland State Board of Elections, over the Board's decision not to provide updated ballots printed with the names and new candidacies of Ms. Ervin and her running mate, Marisol Johnson. 

Joining Tom here in Studio A:  Sean Yoes, the Baltimore Editor of The Afro-American Newspapers, and host of the podcast, Afro First Edition.  Sean is also the co-host of a new podcast that has its home here at WYPR:  Truth and Reconciliation.

Hamza Butt / Flickr via Creative Commons

Starbucks cafes across the country will be closed this afternoon for racial bias training, in the wake of an incident in a Philadelphia Starbucks last month. Two black men were arrested, seemingly for the crime of not buying anything. Millions have watched a video of the event.

Think again if you’ve been assuming curiosity is constant, like gravity. We talk to astrophysicist Mario Livio about his book, "Why: What Makes us Curious". Not only are some people more curious than others, and curious about different questions, but homo sapiens’ capacity for curiosity grew as its brain evolved. For all its variations, Livio deems curiosity an unstoppable drive.

Mario Livio will be speaking about his book tomorrow, 7 pm at the Ivy Bookshop on Falls Road. Information here.

Photo courtesy U. of Pennsylvania

This program originally aired on March 28, 2018 .

Today on the show, a conversation with Dr. Mary Frances Berry.  She is a scholar, an author and activist whose new book chronicles the history of American protest and resistance movements, from the Roosevelt administration through the Obama years.

From the Vietnam War to the end of apartheid in South Africa, to her long tenure on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission that spanned several administrations, Dr. Berry brings deep experience and erudition to her fascinating book.  It’s called History Teaches Us to Resist: How Progressive Movements Have Succeeded in Challenging Times.  

Courtesy Donte Small

The Goucher College Prison Education Partnership gives about 100 Maryland inmates access to college courses and professors and the opportunity to work toward a degree. We talk with director Amy Roza to hear about the effect it has on lives even beyond the prison walls. We also meet Donte Small, the first alumnus of the prison education partnership to earn a bachelor’s degree.

Here's Sylvia Parks, at an all-audience Stoop event at the Wind Up Space, with the theme: “My Secret Weapon: Talents, Flairs, and Skills No One Knows About.” Feel free to sing along if you’d like! You can hear this and other Stoop stories at stoopstorytelling.com.

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

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

Cass Elliot

May 25, 2018

Crowds were lined up on both sides three deep along Holiday Street leading to City Hall, on the afternoon of August 15, 1971, cheering, “We love you, Cass.” The Cass was Cass Elliott, The Momma Cass who popularized such hits as “Make your Own Kind of Music.” She was actually Ellen Naomi Cohen, grew up in Baltimore, attended Forest Park High School and dropped out two weeks before she was to graduate. She went to New York to try her luck as a pop vocalist. Her luck was very good. But Baltimore never took to her, and this welcoming parade was the City’s attempt to make up for that indiscretion. As does this story…  

photo by Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun

Today we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates...

Here in Baltimore, the city’s top prosecutor is the Baltimore City State’s Attorney, an elective position that's often in the eye of the storm surrounding some very high profile criminal cases.  The incumbent State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, attracted national attention with her decision to indict six officers involved in the arrest of Freddie Gray in 2015.  Mr. Gray died while in police custody.  None of the indicted officers were convicted of a crime.   

But while cases like those involving Freddie Gray get a lot of scrutiny, the State’s Attorney’s office prosecuted more than 41,000 cases in 2017.  The State’s Attorney oversees more than 400 people, including more than 200 lawyers, and the salary is the highest of any city employee.  It’s a big job, and there are two people challenging the incumbent for it in next month’s Democratic primary. 

Tom's guest for the hour today is one of those challengers. 

Ivan J. Bates is a veteran litigator, defense attorney and city prosecutor.  He earned his BA in journalism at Howard University in 1992 and got his Law Degree at William and Mary in 1995.  He was admitted to the Maryland bar that year and after clerking for Judge David B. Mitchell on the Circuit Court of Baltimore City, he served as an assistant state’s attorney in Baltimore, where he worked in the Juvenile Crime Division and later, the Homicide Division.  He started his own law practice in 2006.

In the spirit of Memorial Day, we meet writer, educator and veteran marine Dario DiBattista, who shares his thoughts about military service and his experience writing and teaching writing to war veterans as a form of post-trauma therapy at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Then we visit the Freedom Hills Therapeutic Riding program in Cecil County, and participant Don Koss, a Vietnam vet, to learn how just being near horses can have a calming effect.

Creative Commons

Today, Midday goes Back to the Garden.  

It’s been a pretty unusual spring, with the Eastern United States recording one of the coldest Marches in nearly two decades and an April that was also colder and wetter than normal. 

But here we are in May, with the Memorial Day Weekend on the horizon.  If you’re staying in town, sunshine is predicted at least for Saturday, and lots of us are raring to go in our gardens. 

Joining us with some tips on how to make those gardens grow: 

Carrie Engel, the greenhouse manager at Valley View Farms, the popular family-owned nursery in Cockeysville, Maryland.  She’s been a plant specialist at Valley View for most of nearly five decades.  She takes care of the annuals, tropicals and vegetables...

...and Denzel Mitchell, Jr. the former owner of Five Seeds Farm. Last month, he signed on as the farm manager at Strength to Love 2 Farm, a 1-½ acre workforce training farm in Baltimore's Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood.  They work with returning ex-offenders and serve as a Baltimore food resource with produce outlets around the city.  The farm is run by the faith-inspired non-profit group called Intersection of Change.  It's also a member of the Farm Alliance of Baltimore, a network of producers that’s working to increase the viability of urban farming and to improve access to city-grown foods...

We invite you to join the conversation with questions about your garden.

This segment was streamed live on WYPR's Facebook page.  You can check out the video here.

ClintonBPhotography

It's time again for our weekly visit from theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck, who joins Tom today with her review of the new production of The Book of Joseph, now on stage at Baltimore's Everyman Theatre.

The play is a stage adaptation by Seattle playwright Karen Hartman of a book by former Baltimore newpaper and TV journalist Richard Hollander.  After Hollander's parents were killed in a car accident in the mid-1980s, he discovered in their attic a briefcase filled with correspondence. The letters, all stamped with Third Reich swastikas, provided a unique record of the tragic fate of his Jewish relatives in German-occupied Poland during the Holocaust, and of his father's heroic efforts to save them.

The discovery of those letters led Hollander, eventually, to write a book, which he published in 2007, called “Every Day Lasts a Year: A Jewish Family’s Correspondence from Poland.”  The book inspired the play that world-premiered in Chicago in 2017, and has now come to the Everyman, with Noah Himmelstein directing the resident company cast.

The Book of Joseph continues at Baltimore's Everyman Theatre until Sunday, June 10. 

A devastating side effect of radiation and chemotherapy can be-- infertility. A new state mandate now requires insurers to cover fertility preservation for cancer patients before they begin treatment. We speak to Brock Yetso, who heads the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, and Sam Horn, who survived breast cancer. She says this coverage can bring peace of mind. And fertility specialist Dr. Mindy Christianson explains how the technology of safeguarding fertility has advanced.

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 today is Valerie Ervin.  She is one of nine Democrats running for Governor this June.  The winner will go up against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election in November. 

Last week, the former Montgomery County Councilwoman announced that she would be taking the place of her former running mate, the late Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, as a Democratic candidate for Governor.  She is the second woman, and one of four African Americans running for Governor in the Democratic primary. 

Ervin’s career includes politics, education and labor advocacy.  She was the first African American woman to serve on the Montgomery County Council where she served two terms; she was only the 2nd African American woman to serve on the Montgomery County Board of Education. 

Her running mate is Marisol Johnson, former Baltimore County school board Vice Chair.  She is the first Latina to hold public office in Baltimore County. 

Valerie Ervin 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

Courtesy Kathleen Kennedy Townsend

We're looking at the 50th anniversary of another of 1968’s tragedies: the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy in early June, as he campaigned for president. We’ll talk to his eldest daughter, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former lieutenant governor of Maryland about what kind of father he was, what issues he was campaigning on and why she thinks he was able to reach across class and race boundaries in a way that many Democrats today find a challenge.

The link to the Indianapolis speech can be found here.

The link to Cleveland City Club speech can be found here.

Ever build one of those snap-together model kits when you were a kid? Think of this episode as a sort of snap-together podcast kit. It includes a demo of a fully mixed and produced Out of the Blocks audio feature, followed by the original interview it was cut from, the accompanying musical score, and lots of bonus interviewing tips.  This episode is a fun tool for anyone who’s interested in learning about podcast production techniques. Listen along, then take apart this episode to build your own version! 

Special thanks to our interviewee, Nate Couser, of The Artist Exchange Radio Show, and check out this story-making toolkit at The Peale Center.

10 Things

May 21, 2018
John Mayer/flickr

Tony and Chef Wolf share 10 things you need to know how to prepare, and the 10 things to know about wine terminology. 

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. 

Jinjian Liang / Flickr via Creative Commons

Maryland’s seafood industry depends on several hundred guest workers--most from Mexico--working half the year on the Eastern Shore to pick crabs. This year, few of those workers came: the seafood processing companies could not get enough H-2B visas.

We ask Congressman Andy Harris, who represents the Shore: Are more visas on the way? Then, Bill Seiling, director of the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Seafood Industries Association explains how long Maryland's seafood industry has relied on foreign labor. And Jack Brooks, co-owner of a seafood company in Cambridge, argues the shortage of foreign workers affects the security of American jobs.

Friends of Rushern Baker III

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

Yesterday, former Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin entered the Democratic primary race for Maryland governor, following the sudden passing of Baltimore County Executive and gubernatorial candidate Kevin Kamenetz, with whom she'd been running as a candidate forLieutenant Governor. 

We begin the program with WYPR's Baltimore County politics reporter, John Leeand his analysis of the changing dynamics of the governor's race.  

Tom’s guest for the balance of the hour is Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III, also a Democratic candidate for Maryland governor. 

Rushern Baker is one of three candidates in the race who is not a political outsider, and now, the only one currently serving as a county executive.  Baker entered politics in 1994, serving in the Maryland House of Delegates until 2003.  He lost his first two elections for Prince George's county executive, but in 2010, he beat incumbent Jack Johnson.  Soon after that election, federal prosecutors arrested Johnson on corruption charges.  Mr. Baker has been widely credited with improving the county’s image and ending its “pay to play” legacy.

Pages