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We had so much fun hearing from listeners on our last live “Best Meals” show that we decided to bring it back for round two! More of your stories about the best thing you ever ate. From eating Thiéboudienne in Senegal to squirrel in Baltimore, we turn the airwaves over to you on Foreman and Wolf on Food and Wine.

Ivan Bates Campaign

Tomorrow is Primary Day in Maryland, and here in Baltimore, the race for State’s Attorney features three Democrats who are conducting vigorous campaigns. 

Our original plan was to pause our series of Conversations with the Candidates once early voting had begun.  A week of early voting ended last Thursday.  But given that the race for Baltimore City State’s Attorney is one of the most contentious in the city’s history, we decided to have a conversation with the candidates for that office on this election-Eve. 

The winner of the Democratic primary for State’s Attorney will not face an opponent in November, so the person who will hold the position of the city’s top prosecutor for the next four years will be elected tomorrow. 

The incumbent, Marilyn Mosby, is being challenged by two local attorneys, Ivan Bates and Thiru Vignarajah, who join Tom today in Studio A. 

Ivan Bates has worked as a defense attorney and a city prosecutor.  He worked in the Juvenile Crime Division and later, the Homicide Division, in the City State’s Attorney’s Office.  He is 49 years old.

Thiru Vignarajah is a former city and federal prosecutor.  His tenure in the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office included heading the Major Investigations Unit.  He also served as the Deputy Attorney General for Maryland.   Thiru Vignarajah is 41 years old.

Today's Midday Newsmaker is Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, who joins Tom in Studio A to answer his questions, and yours, for the hour.

Yesterday was the first official day of summer.  Violence in our city, as in cities around the country, sometimes spikes in the summer months.  The Mayor recently announced plans to address that possibility, and she'll discuss the city's continuing violence reduction efforts.  Mayor Pugh also talks about the search for a new police commissioner, a new grant program targeted to locally-driven community development efforts, and city immigration policies. 

A reminder of some great Baltimore events coming up that Tom mentioned during the show:

On Saturday and Sunday, it's the 38th LatinoFest in Patterson Park, a celebration of Baltimore's Hispanic culture, music and art, produced each year by the non-profit Educational-Based Latino Outreach (EBLO).

And this coming Monday, June 25th,  from 6-8pm at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, you can join Mayor Catherine Pugh for an intimate conversation with Aaron Henkin,  the award-winning co-producer of WYPR's Out of the Blocks  and director of new local programming at WYPR.  It's another in the new series, Conversations with Mayor Catherine Pugh, produced by the Mayor's Office of Special Events.

Here’s a Stoop Story from Monisha Cheriyal about how her parents’ FOUR weddings influenced her ceremony choices. You can hear her story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com. The Stoop podcast is there, too.

Emi Moriyan / Flickr via Creative Commons

From booking a venue to paring down the guest list, planning a wedding requires dozens of difficult decisions. We hear from Janelle Diamond, managing editor of Baltimore Bride magazine - soon to be known as Baltimore Weddings. We’ll ask what’s behind the name change. And Kawania Wooten, founder of Howerton Wooten Events, remembers a couple whose ceremony blended their traditions.

Check out the Baltimore Bride blog Hitched here.

image courtesy aact.org

Today, a conversation about cultivating start-up businesses in Baltimore.  What does it take in terms of money and people to bring an idea for a new product or service to the market?  A recent survey of 40 cities with the most start-up activity ranked Baltimore near the bottom.  Cities like San Francisco and New Yok continue to attract young entrepreneurs.  How can we get them to bring their talent here? 

Tom's three guests today help us answer those questions, from a variety of perspectives:

It's Thursday, and that means our theater critic, J. Wynn Rousuck,  joins us with her review of a little musical you might have heard of:  Hamilton. The popular show, now on stage at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., uses rap, hip-hop, R&B, and a variety of other musical styles to tell the story of the American Revolution through the lens of one its most charismatic and ill-fated architects.

Winner of 11 Tony Awards and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama (among other honors), the musical by playwright, actor and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspired by Ron Chernow's best-selling 2005 biography of the founder, Alexander Hamilton.  Miranda's three-hour-long musical rendition premiered on Broadway in August 2015.

As she grew up, Petula Caesar's African-American father praised her good grades and her light skin. He raised her to be deferential to white people and to see blacks as dangerous.

A book release luncheon and panel discussion about the book’s themes will take place Saturday, starting at 12:30 pm at Touchpiont Baltimore, near Mondawmin mall. The address is 2401 Liberty Heights Ave.

It's time for another edition of Smart Nutrition with the Nutrition Diva, Monica Reinagel.  If you are looking to improve your eating habits, perhaps the most important first step is to track what you’re eating.    If you are tracking what you eat with an app, the New York Times recently featured four apps that do a good job.  We’ll talk about those. 

A report about one of the most well-known and popular diets out there, the Mediterranean Diet.  It appears that a big study that evaluated the Mediterranean Diet was flawed.  Also, a new study suggests a link between calcium supplements and colon disease.  Lots of folks take calcium supplements.  But how big is the upside of doing so?

Finally, we hear about kids experiencing summer slides, losing ground academically when school is out for the summer.  For lots of kids, summer is also a time when their nutrition habits slide.  Monica has tips about keeping them on track for a healthy hiatus.

Library of Congress, 1899

Harry Houdini is known for grand illusions and death-defying escapes. But what lies behind the curtain of Houdini as a performer? Why were some uses of trickery reviled by the master of magic? A new exhibit at the Jewish Museum of Maryland called ‘Inescapable: The Life and Legacy of Harry Houdini’ reveals answers to those questions and more. We hear from Marvin Pinkert, the museum’s executive director and David London, magician, performer and curator of the exhibit.

Information for the grand opening street festival and other events available at this link.

Photo by Ron Aira, Creative Services GMU

Tom’s guest today is General Michael Hayden.  In more than 40 years in the Air Force and the Intelligence Community, the retired four-star General served as the Director of the National Security Agency from 1999-2005, during the George W. Bush Administration.  He also served for about a year as the Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, and in 2006, he became the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, until President Obama appointed Leon Panetta to that position in 2009.  

The thesis of General Hayden’s latest book is disconcerting and frightening.  Given President Trump’s proclivity to lie about what he knows to be true, and the danger that there are things he should know to be true, but doesn’t, Michael Hayden paints a picture of an intelligence community at risk, whose efficacy is directly affected by the President’s refusal to acknowledge facts, and his harsh and undisciplined rhetoric. 

If the intelligence community cannot effectively do its job, then the country is at risk, as are the basic institutions that make-up our democracy.  General Hayden is no stranger himself to controversy surrounding intelligence.  It was under his watch at the NSA during the Bush administration that reports surfaced of warrantless wiretapping of Americans in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.   

In this gourmet era, canned food doesn’t get much respect. But that humble tin of chicken soup in the pantry has a fascinating backstory. Canning was invented to feed soldiers during the French Revolutionary Wars. And the commercial canning industry that followed was, at first, a dicey business.

Historian Anna Zeide talks about her new book, “Canned: The Rise and Fall of Consumer Confidence in the American Food Industry.”

all photos by Wendel Patrick

In this episode, we meet the founder of the Detroit Artists’ Test Lab, the head of an African American podcast network called Audiowave, neighborhood activists young and old, a closet poet, and the woman who taught The Slide to a generation of skaters at Royal Skateland roller rink.

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.

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