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:Photo courtesy The Union newspaper (CA)

Today a conversation about the interplay of music and medicine.

Parkinson's disease is a chronic degenerative brain disorder that affects about 3% of people over the age of 60.  That’s the average age of people who develop the disease, but Parkinson’s has been diagnosed in people as young as 18.  

The Parkinson’s Association reports that about 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with the disease every year.  There may be as many as 7-10 million people living with Parkinson’s world-wide.

There’s a story in the Baltimore Sun by Andrea McDaniels that describes how some patients use boxing to help stave-off the tremors and balance problems they experience.  And, there is some encouraging research that indicates that music may also be a helpful tool in treating the devastating symptoms of this pernicious disease. 

Dr. Zoltan Mari is the director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas and the head of the Nevada Movement Disorders Program.  He joins us on the phone from his office in Las Vegas.

Dr. Alexander Pantelyat joins us here in Studio A. He’s an assistant professor of neurology, and the co-founder and co-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Music and Medicine, a research and treatment initiative with the Peabody Institute.   As you can see in this brief clip produced by the Baltimore SunDr. Pantelyat is also an accomplished violinist.

Carolyn Black-Sotir is here as well.  She’s a singer, actress and journalist.  You may have seen her perform in concerts, or as a host on Maryland Public Television.   She lost both her parents to Parkinson’s Disease, and she has a concert series called the Steinway Series at Silo Hill in Baltimore County that is devoted to raising awareness of, and funding for, research on Parkinson’s Disease.

An outgrowth of Dr. Pantelyat's research at Johns Hopkins Center for Music and Medicine is ParkinSonics, a research study group-turned-community chorus that's open to anyone with PD or atypical Parkinsonism. No musical experience is necessary, and everyone is welcome. Sponsored by the Maryland Association for Parkinson Support, Inc (MAPS), and Johns Hopkins Pacing for Parkinsons Campaign. For more info, email parkinsonics@comcast.net.

Photo by Will Kirk

It's Thursday, and that means it's time for Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck and her weekly review of the region's noteworthy thespian offerings.   Today, she spotlights the new and unusual staging of William Shakespeare's Othello at Baltimore Shakespeare Factory.

What's distinctive about this production of the Bard's 1604 tragedy is its use of "Original Pronunciation," or O.P., which employs the sounds and rhythms of the English that actors in Shakespeare's London theaters would have spoken more than 400 years ago.  The cast was trained in the antique dialect by O.P. coach  Ann Turiano.

Directed by Tom Delise, BSF's Othello features Troy Jennings in the title role, Kathryn Zoerb as Desdemona, Ian Blackwell Rogers as Iago, and Jess Behar as Aemelia.

Othello (in Original Pronunciation) continues at the Baltimore Shakespeare Factory through April 29.

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 new book, "Darwin Comes to Town: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution" he asserts we can find evidence right in our own back yard. Schilthuizen says plants and animals can adapt quickly to survive. Things like mating preferences and diet are in flux when it comes to city living.

Photo Courtesy JHU Sheridan Library

Four days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with more than 100 cities across the country engulfed in riots, Congress passed a landmark piece of legislation known as the Fair Housing Act, prohibiting discrimination in housing based on race, religion, national origin or gender.

Today, a conversation about equality and equity in the housing market, 50 years after President Lyndon Johnson the Fair Housing Act into law.

Tom is joined in Studio A by, Dr. Ray Winbush.  He’s the Director of Institute of Urban Studies at Morgan State University; and joining us from NPR DC is Lisa Rice, the President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance.

Urban Phokis Photography

Todd Marcus is an acclaimed bass clarinetist, composer and arranger.  He’s also a community activist who has lived and worked in the Sandtown- Winchester neighborhood of West Baltimore for more than 20 years.

He’s about to release a new CD, inspired by that historic neighborhood, called On These Streets: A Baltimore Story and recorded with a quintet of some of the area’s finest players.  The disc includes compositions that portray the strengths and challenges of Sandtown-Winchester, and its release coincides with the anniversary of the violence and uprising that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray, three years ago Saturday. Todd and his band will be performing a free concert this Fri., Apr. 27 at 6 p.m. at the Harris-Marcus Center on Pennsylvania Ave. in Sandtown. It’s part of an exhibition by Jubilee Arts marking the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the unrest that followed in Baltimore. On May 20, the Quintet will perform another free concert as part of the Community Concerts at Second series. You can also catch them on June 16 at Center Stage.

Don LaVange

Where can pregnant women struggling with addiction to opioids turn for help? How are infants affected by exposure to opioids?

Julia Lurie, a reporter for Mother Jones, set out answer these questions. She tells us about two women in Baltimore who sought treatment at the Johns Hopkins ‘Center for Addiction and Pregnancy’ - known as CAP. Check out her reporting, "Homeless. Addicted to Heroin. About to Give Birth." Julia Lurie has also written about how the opioid epidemic is impacting the foster care system

CAP brings together medical providers of several specialties to care for mothers and infants together. It’s a unique model that Dr. Lauren Jansson, director of pediatrics at CAP, says makes a big difference.

Today, a focus on the primary race for Maryland state legislative seats.

A little later in the show today, Josh Kurtz joins Tom. He is the editor and co-founder of Maryland Matters, a website all about Maryland government and politics.  They’ll size up some of the key races for the State Senate and the House of Delegates that will be on the primary ballot in June.

But first, we focus on one of those key races, as we continue our series of "Conversations with the Candidates."  Tom's guests in Studio A are two lawmakers running for the Senate seat in the 43rd District: the incumbent, Sen. Joan Carter Conway and Del. Mary Washington.

Sen. Conway has served as a member of the state Senate representing this district since 1997. In 2007, she became the first African-American woman to be appointed chair of a Maryland Senate standing committee: the Senate Education, Health & Environmental Affairs Committee of which she has been a member for 21 years. She is a former member of the Baltimore City Council. Sen. Conway is 67. She lives in Hillen with her husband, Tim. They are the parents of a grown son and the grandparents of four.

Del. Washington has represented District 43 in the House of Delegates since 2010. She serves on the Ways & Means Committee; she is the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Homelessness; and she is a member of the Joint Committee on Children, Youth and Families, the Regional Revitalization Task Force, and the Tax Credit Evaluation Committee. Del. Washington is 55. She lives in Ednor Gardens with her partner, Professor Jodi Kelber Kaye, and their two sons. 

We streamed this conversation on the WYPR Facebook page.  To watch that video, click here The candidates took your questions; we gave priority to listeners who live in District 43.

Maryland Legal Aid

Lawyer in the Library, a partnership between Maryland Legal Aid and the Enoch Pratt Free Library, grew out of the civil unrest in Baltimore City after Freddie Gray died from injuries received in police custody. Lawyer in the Library gives convenient access to free legal advice right in the neighborhood. Amy Petkovsek from Maryland Legal Aid and her client Shannon Powell, along with Melanie Townsend Diggs, former manager of the Pennsylvania Avenue Branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, talk about the genesis of the free legal assistance program and the difference its made in thousands of people's lives. 

Cheese

Apr 24, 2018
chefwolf/Instagram

This week, it's all cheese: cheese production, cheese history, cheese recipes, wine and cheese, and a cheesy chef's challenge!

all photos by Wendel Patrick

The bartender at The Drinkery tells the history of 'the gayborhood,’ a handyman-turned-comedian reflects on comedy as a flashlight in the dark, a pizza-maker from Pakistan shares words from the Koran about living with good intentions, a master clock-maker ponders the passage of time, and two shop owners share an address and a mutual admiration.

Photo courtesy Baltimore Sun

Baltimore is one of six US cities now competing for a $30-million federal grant that city planners hope will launch a major redevelopment project in East Baltimore.  More than 1,300 public housing units and a school would be demolished in what could eventually be a $1 billion transformation of a 200-acre tract between Harbor East and Johns Hopkins Hospital, in the Perkins-Somerset-Oldtown neighborhoods -- a part of the city long marked by blight, vacancies and violent crime.  If the Housing and Urban Development grant is awarded to Baltimore this summer and additional financing can be secured, the project could begin as early as next year.    

Perkins Homes, a large public housing complex, as well as City Springs Charter Elementary and Middle School, would be torn down as part of this huge project, which calls for the construction of a new City Springs school complex and more than  2500 new housing units.  But to what extent could current residents be displaced?  And given the history of past redevelopment efforts, could this project lead to more racial segregation and less affordable housing? 

Melody Simmons is a reporter with the Baltimore Business Journal and a veteran observer of the city’s real estate and development scene who has written several articles on the prospective East Baltimore transformation.

Klaus Philipsen is an architect who writes and lectures widely about urban design, city architecture, preservation and transportation issues. He’s the author of Baltimore: Reinventing an Industrial Legacy City, and his commentaries on urban design appear frequently on his blog, Community Architect.

They join Tom in the Midday studio, and answer listener calls, emails and tweets.   

This segment was streamed live on WYPR Facebook page; you can watch the video here.

Tom speaks with Brittany T. Oliver,  activist and founder of the Baltimore grassroots movement, Not without Black Women. Ms. Oliver was recently appointed to the Baltimore City Commission for Women, and this weekend she will be participating as a panelist at the 2018 Women of the World Festival, presented by Notre Dame of Maryland University. 

Franchise Opportunities / Flickr via Creative Commons

Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk describes the legislature’s actions to head off a spike in health insurance premiums. She co-chairs the ‘Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission.’

Check out the Baltimore Sun’s editorial about the the re-insurance deal here.

Derek Bruff / Flickr via Creative Commons

The debts attached to nearly five thousand homes in Baltimore are up for tax sale next month as the city moves to recoup unpaid fees, taxes and water charges. While overdue water bills can no longer be only item that sets a property up for a tax sale, they do count toward the overall debt.

Margaret Henn of the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland says that’s a problem because of leaks and billing disputes with the Department of Public Works.

The Pro Bono Resource Center's last free legal clinic runs from 2 to 6 pm tomorrow, at the Zeta Center for Healthy and Active Aging on Reisterstown Road. You can register by phone at 443-703-3052. More info here.

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 is Sen. Richard S. Madaleno, Jr. He is one of nine Democrats running for Governor on the ballot this June. The winner will go up against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election in November.

Unlike several of his Democratic opponents, Sen. Madaleno is not a political outsider. He has represented Montgomery County in the MD Legislature for more than 15 years -- first in the House of Delegates and, since 2007, in the State Senate. Since 2015, he has been Vice-Chair of the powerful Senate Budget and Taxation Committee. He is the first openly gay person elected to the MD House of Delegates and the State Senate. If elected, he would be the first openly gay governor of any state in America.

His running mate is Luwanda W. Jenkins, a Baltimore native and business executive who served in the administrations of Maryland’s last three Democratic governors -- O’Malley, Glendening & Schaefer. 

Sen. Madaleno 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.

Take a listen to this Stoop story from teacher and poet Azya Maxton about the power of poetry. You can hear her story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com, as well as the Stoop podcast.

How can writing and reading poetry be a lifeline in times of trouble?

Ahead of a visit this weekend to Baltimore, poet and professor Gregory Orr tells us how he came to poetry after the tragic death of his younger brother in a hunting accident. He shares how poetry rescued him from overwhelming guilt and grief, and helped him regain an awareness of life’s beauty.

Gregory Orr will be at the Joshua Ringel Memorial Reading on Sunday, April 22 at Hodson Hall on the Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus. The event is starts at 5 pm. More information here.

Photo Courtesy www.brittneycooper.com

Tom speaks with Dr. Brittney Cooper about her latest book, Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower; a trenchantly argued and provocative look at the status, expectations, and barriers that Black women face in contemporary American society.  

Dr. Brittney Cooper is a professor of women and gender studies and Africana studies at Rutgers University, and a columnist for Cosmopolitan  Magazine.

Photo by David D. Mitchell

It's Thursday, and Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom with her weekly review of a production lighting up one the region's many stages. Today, it's Hoodoo Love, a bluesy play (and one of the earliest works) by Katori Hall, being produced by Baltimore's Arena Players, the oldest continuously operating African American community theater in the United States.

Arena Players calls Hoodoo Love "a tale of love, magic , jealousy and secrets in...1930s Mississippi and Memphis. It is a blues story about having your dreams realized."  Reviewing its premiere in New York's West Village in October 2007, New York Times theater critic Stuart Miller described the play as "an unsentimental, even brutal look at black life in Memphis in the 1930s, the central female characters burdened by rape and betrayal."

One of Hoodoo Love's central female characters is Toulou, a young woman who fled an abusive family and the cotton fields of Mississippi to pursue her dream of becoming a blues singer.

“I love my people’s history,” playwright Katori Hall told the Times back in 2007.  Hall, who studied African-American culture and creative writing at Columbia University, added, “I feel a huge responsibility to tell the stories of my past and my ancestors’ past.”

Director David D. Mitchell leads the Arena Players cast, which features IO Browne (Toulou), Theresa Terry (Candylady), Quinton Randall (Ace of Spades) and Quincy Vicks (Jib).

Hoodoo Love is at Arena Playhouse, 801 McCulloh St., Baltimore MD 21201, through Sunday, April 29.   Tix and info here.

Amazon

She’s known as the ‘First Lady of Song’ and the ‘Queen of Jazz.’ Ella Jane Fitzgerald overcame poverty, abuse and racism to build an international career that spanned seven decades and a charitable foundation in her name. We talk with Geoffrey Mark, performer and author of ‘Ella: A Biography of the Legendary Ella Fitzgerald,’ who walks us through the story behind the music. To purchase tickets for Mr. Mark's performance at Germano's Piattini Cabaret at 6pm on April 25, Ella's 101st birthday, visit this link.

photo courtesy Jay Heinrichs

Tom's guest for the hour today is Jay Heinrichsan author, lecturer, and consultant in the art (and science) of rhetoric.  In a new book, he points out that while the word “debate” comes from the same latin word for “battle,” an argument is not a fight.  In a fight, you try to win.  In an argument, you try to win over.

Who are the best at persuading other individuals, even crowds, to their points of view?  Heinrichs says it's people who have mastered the art of listening, and who have developed the skill that every great comedian has: timing.  Our body language, our tone of voice, and knowing what not to say in many circumstances all contribute to our capacity to change people’s willingness to do something, which is, when all is said and done, the point of a persuasive argument. 

On today’s edition of Healthwatch, with Baltimore City Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen:

Behavioral Health System Baltimore and the Baltimore City Health Department have announced plans to open the city’s first Stabilization Center, with $3.6 million in funds from the State Legislature. 

Cuts by the Trump Administration to the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative threatens the  progress made locally and nationally in reducing the number of unwanted teen pregnancies.  We speak with Healthy Teen Network President, Pat Paluzzi, DrPH, about the impact these cuts will have on her clients. 

Finally, senior citizens in Baltimore fall more often than seniors elsewhere.  Roughly 5,000 visits to emergency rooms last year were because of people taking a tumble.  What can be done to keep older folks on their feet?

Dr. Wen answers our questions for the hour, and takes your calls, emails and tweets about your public health concerns.

Cover art courtesy Apollo Press

Today, a conversation about the power of history.

The struggle for civil rights that we’ve remembered in the life and death of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.  and other leaders of the movement a half-century ago is a struggle that continues today.  But how much do we really know about what happened in Montgomery and Selma and Memphis back in the 1950s and 60s, and about how to connect Dr. King’s work with today’s Black Lives Matter movement? 

We don’t know enough, says Baltimore author and youth advocate Kevin Shird, who joins Midday senior producer and guest host Rob Sivak  this hour to talk about his new book, The Colored Waiting Room:  Empowering the Original and the New Civil Rights Movementsthe author's effort to make America’s civil rights history come alive in the context of today’s fraught racial landscape.

Mr. Shird gained a new appreciation for the power of history after he struck up a friendship two years ago with 84 year-old Nelson Malden of Montgomery, Alabama.  Malden is an African American who’d been an eyewitness to the historic civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 60s that played out in Montgomery and elsewhere, and who was, for more than six years, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s barber.

Mr. Shird found in Nelson Malden a willing mentor and history guide, someone who could satisfy his yearning to know more about the American civil rights struggle than what he’d learned in school.

In his new book, Kevin Shird describes his friendship with Nelson Malden, and the pilgrimages he made to the American South and to Malden’s Montgomery home.  It's a personal narrative that tells the story of the civil rights struggle through Nelson Malden’s shared experience, and draws lessons from it for today’s new movement for racial justice.

Associated Press photo

Regular Midday listeners know that every couple of Mondays, we check  in with The Afro-American Newspaper, the venerable news operation just down the road from WYPR.  Today, The Afro’s  managing editor, Kamau High, joins guest host Rob Sivak to spotlight some of the stories the paper is covering this week. 

Those stories include the second of a two-part series by Morgan State U. professor and Pulitzer Prize winning columnist E.R. Shipp, looking at The Black Press and the Baltimore '68 Riots

Another retrospective on that troubled time, and on something good that came out of it, is J. K. Schmid's exclusive feature for The Afro on the city's legendary "Goon Squad," an organization of a dozen-plus ministers, professors, and even a judge, that campaigned for Baltimore causes for decades. Some of the few surviving members share their memories  with Schmid, and we're reminded that they launched a food bank during the riots that eventually morphed into the Maryland Food Bank. Goon Squad members were also involved in the creation of Baltimorians United for Leadership Development, or BUILD, still one of the city's most important centers of community activism. The Afro's Baltimore Editor Sean Yoes also reports on the Civilian Review Board's conclusion that Kevin Davis, Jr. was wrongfully arrested on a murder charge by Baltimore police back in 2015. The CRB is urging disciplinary action against the arresting officers.

Others stories spotlighted in the current issue of The Afro:  the road ahead for the newly elected chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, Darryl Barnes; and how the Maryland General Assembly's busy final days led to new opportunities for minority licenses to grow and market medical marijuana.

Flyer for the Course/Jessica Marie Johnson

‘Knowledge is Power’ is a familiar adage. In our digital age, perhaps a more relevant aphorism and one exemplified by our guests today is ‘Knowledge is Access.’ Case in point: access to the syllabus for ‘Black Womanhood,’ a graduate course at Johns Hopkins University, has been made available online ... and has spread like wildfire. The course is co-taught by Professor Martha S. Jones, the Society of Black Alumni Presidential Professor, and Professor of History, at Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Professor Jessica Marie Johnson, Assistant Professor in the Center for Africana Studies and Department of History at Hopkins. They discuss why access to knowledge can be so powerful and how online engagement affects curriculum.

You can access the Black Womanhood course syllabus here.

therealtonyforeman/instagram

Ever wonder how to get the dinner you make at home tasting and looking as good as it does in your favorite restaurant? Tony and Chef Cindy talk about the equipment, products and techniques the pros use and how you can get similar results in your kitchen. And as we dive into Spring, Tony gives a quick update on some Rosé essentials.

Photo Courtesy Jim Shea for Maryland

On this latest installment of our series of Conversations with the Candidates, Tom's guest is Jim Shea, a Democrat who's running to be his party's nominee for Maryland Governor.  Shea is one of nine Democrats who'll be on the gubernatorial ballot for the June 26th primary.  The winner will face Republican Governor Larry Hogan in the November general election.  

Shea announced his candidacy last summer, and has chosen Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott as his Lt. Governor running mate.  

Mr. Shea is 65 years old.  He grew up in Towson and he currently lives in Owings Mills.  He is a father of four children and the grandfather of two.  He has been married to his wife Barbara for 39 years.

At the Strong City Baltimore Stoop Storytelling show two months ago, Sophia Garber shared her experience about coming to Baltimore, making friends, and sticking with it against all odds.

Check out the Stoop podcast and info about Stoop events here.

Baltimore Department of Planning

The nonprofit Strong City Baltimore is offering dozens of workshops tomorrow, where hundreds of activists can network and learn skills for a better community. Rev. Eric Lee is the primary organizer of the 11th annual Neighborhood Institute. He tells us about the opportunities for community organizers to build their skills.

Plus, some panels draw on the experience of young leaders. We hear from Mercedes Thompson and Claire Wayner, who co-founded the “Baltimore Beyond Plastics” movement.

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