Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast (Archive) | WYPR

Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast (Archive)


You can find the archive of Maryland Morning with Tom Hall as host here.

This program aired with Sheilah Kast as host until 10/2/15.  Find out more about us, check out shows that aired prior to February 2014, listen to our series, and listen to each day's show.

The All-Nite Images // Flickr Creative Commons

Churches in the black community historically have been a vital institution -- a central force of social change. From Martin Luther King Jr. , to the Reverends Fred Shuttlesworth, Richard Boone and Pauli Murray – myriad church leaders helped birth the modern civil rights movements.

Fast forward to 2015 in Baltimore: On the day of Freddie Gray’s funeral and the night of the unrest, scores of black clergy walked down North Avenue to quell the unrest.  And it raises the question: as the Black Lives Matter movement has grown --a decentralized group of community leaders, activists, authors, journalists and students using digital tools like Twitter--how has the black faith community in Baltimore engaged with this growing group?

Wally Gobetz // Flickr Creative Commons

Living Questions is our monthly series in which we examine the role of religion in the public sphere. This series is produced in partnership with the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies. Today, Tom has a conversation about inclusiveness in faith congregations. What does it mean for a place of worship to be open and welcoming? Tom and his guests examine that not just from a theological perspective, but also, in light of the murders at a church in Charleston this year, or at a mosque in Wisconsin a few years ago. What are the tensions that faith institutions face between openness and basic security in their buildings.

Our guests this morning are the dynamic leaders of two congregations in Baltimore who have increased their membership since their tenures began. Rabbi Daniel Cotzin Burg has been the Rabbi at Beth Am Congregation in Reservoir Hill since 2010. Reverend Andrew Foster Connors is the Senior Pastor at Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, a position he has held for the past 11 years. He is also the co-chair of BUILD, Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development. 

Janine Vreatt

Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck talks with Tom Hall about the Tony Award-winning musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” adapted from the 1967 movie of the same name. Can a girl from Kansas become a modern woman in 1920s New York? Can the stage musical improve on director George Roy Hill’s movie starring Julie Andrews? Rousuck has gone to Cockpit in Court to find the answers.

“Thoroughly Modern Millie” continues through Sunday at the summer theater on the Essex campus of the Community College of Baltimore County.

Reclaiming Baltimore's Wasted Food

Jul 27, 2015
Chiot's Run // Flickr Creative Commons

One out of four Baltimore residents lives in a ‘food desert’ - a low-income area that lacks access to fresh food from supermarkets. At the same time, the Maryland Food Center Authority estimates that half of what’s in the Baltimore landfills is food waste. It’s estimated that includes millions of pounds of produce that could still be eaten.

Each year the Abell Foundation gives an award to students who best analyze a critical issue facing the city, and propose feasible solutions. The 2015 Abell Award for Urban Planning goes to a paper that proposes a new vendor market in the heart of the city, where unsold wholesale food that would otherwise be tossed into landfills could be sold by small businesses at a deeply discounted prices.

So, this winning paper suggests a solution both to food insecurity in food deserts and to excess food waste in Baltimore. Its authors join Sheilah Kast in the studio. Marie Spiker is a doctoral student in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins University. And Corbin Cunningham, a PhD candidate at the Johns Hopkins University Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

Credit: Charlie Wambeke
Charlie Wambeke

Yesterday, thirty four different homeless service providers in Baltimore agreed not to participate in any activities to displace homeless residents living in encampments - at least until the city can provide permanent housing for them. This action is in response to the clearing of a homeless encampment along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard last month. Both the Baltimore Sun and the Baltimore Brew reported this to have being done with very short notice, and more importantly without any arrangements to provide shelter for those displaced.

The incident has created a rift between homelessness advocates in the city and Baltimore City employees who work to end homelessness. At their last monthly meeting, The Journey Home, the Mayor’s homelessness advisory panel, voted to advise the mayor to put a moratorium on all encampment enclosures until the city ensures permanent housing for those they are displacing. Joining Sheilah in the studio is a Journey Home member who called for the moratorium, Antonia K. Fasanelli. She is executive director of the Homeless Person’s Representation Project. 

ILO in Asia and the Pacific // Flickr Creative Commons

Sunday will be the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act being signed into law. It’s aimed at preventing discrimination against people with physical or mental impairment by requiring employers and public facilities to provide accommodations for them. About one-fifth of Americans have some sort of disability. By many accounts, the ADA law has opened many doors, sometimes literally, but much remains to be fought for, to ensure people with disabilities access to mainstream life.

Last spring we learned about one entrepreneurial effort to make it easier for those with disabilities to live independently when we spoke with Michael Bullis. He’s founder and executive director of The IMAGE Center of Maryland. Their latest project will allow people with disabilities access to a library of instructional videos and audio on how to best complete everyday tasks. The project is called the Aging & Disability Skills Gateway.

E. L. Doctorow

The author and essayist E. L. Doctorow passed away Tuesday at the age of 84 from complications related to lung cancer. In a career that spanned 50 years, he became one of the most important and widely-read writers of the 20th century. He wrote two collections of short stories, a play, and numerous essays, but he is most remembered for his 10 novels, including Ragtime, Billy Bathgate, and The March.

He won the National Book Critics Circle Award three times, he won the PEN Faulkner award twice, and he was also a National Book Award winner. President Clinton gave him the National Humanities Medal in 1998, and in 2013, the American Academy of Arts and Letters awarded him the Gold Medal for fiction. In November 2006, Mr. Doctorow was in Baltimore to receive a Lifetime Literary Achievement award from the Enoch Pratt Library. He had just published a book called Creationists, a fascinating collection of essays about writers, and the art of writing. Tom sat down with E. L. Doctorow back then to have a conversation about that book.

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons

Four thousand scientists are meeting at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Washington, to share the latest research about dementia -- prospects for a cure or treatment, best ways of managing the disease or, if possible, delaying it.  Five million Americans already suffer from Alzheimer's, a number predicted to double as baby-boomers age in the next couple of decades.

Much of the research discussed this week is aimed at identifying people most likely to develop Alzheimer's years before symptoms appear, aiming to stall the disease if not completely prevent it.  Several specialists from Johns Hopkins are working to develop such screens.

The Shriver Hall Concert Series is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season. In recitals on the Homewood Campus of Johns Hopkins University, the Shriver Hall series has presented some of the world’s most famous musicians in an intimate setting, playing and singing some of the great masterpieces of chamber music, and introducing new works to the canon.

Fashion Magazines Are Rebranding Amid Digital Age

Jul 22, 2015

There’s always a new trend afoot in the world of fashion, and for a long time, magazines have been the handbooks for the fashion-forward. Yet now, in the digital age, there are many more mediums that compete to deliver trendy looks to fashion-hungry consumers. The beautiful, glossy magazines that once told us about these fashion trends are rebranding as lifestyle guides.  Regular guest and style guide on Maryland Morning Zoey Washington sat down with Sheilah in the studio to tell us more about what's changing in the fashion world. 

Elliott Plack // Flickr Creative Commons

The numbers capture only part of the pain of the crime surge in Baltimore, but they are sobering. There have been twice as many shootings as this time last year, and homicides are up by 50%. As the Baltimore Sun reports 171 people murdered in the city this year, 27 of them this month. Interim Police Commissioner Kevin Davis is asking the rank and file for suggestions about how to reorganize the department.

Sheilah Kast discusses how the city can approach changes to its policing with Delegate Jill P. Carter, who represents north and west Baltimore, District 41. She has served on the Judiciary Committee since she was elected to the House in 2002, and she’s been outspoken on criminal justice issues.

Seth Freeman

Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck reviews the new plays being presented at the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. These productions take on such topics as personality disorders, missing children, and Pussy Riot. The festival runs through August 2nd at Shepherd University:

Cohesion Theatre Company

It’s rare for women playwrights to represent the majority of a theater festival, or most of a typical season of plays at many American theater companies. Local theater companies are now cooperating to present a bunch of plays, this month and next, which are all written by women and transgender playwrights. The plays are taken from a list compiled by a collective in Los Angeles called The Kilroys.

Tom sits down with part of the team at the Cohesion Theater Company in Baltimore, which is presenting this festival, called ParityFest. Alicia Stanley is the director of ParityFest, and Jessica Kim is the Readings Curator.  

Young People Work To Bring Murals To Sandtown

Jul 20, 2015
Megan Lewis

Eighty young people have gotten summer jobs as "artist apprentices" in Sandtown in West Baltimore. It’s called Art @ Work: Sandtown. It’s an offshoot of Jubilee Arts’ year-round art programs for teens. This particular effort connects young people, aged 14 to 21, with master teaching artists to create seven murals and a mosaic in their community.

With Sheilah Kast to talk about the five-week program and its progress is one of the program’s teaching artists, Megan Lewis. Also with us are two of the artist apprentices: 18-year-old Eric Hendricks III lives in the Monroe neighborhood. He attended Frederick Douglas school. And 14-year-old Talia England. She lives in Sandtown, and graduated from Collington Square Middle school.

What Biopics Should You See This Summer

Jul 17, 2015
Sofi // Flickr Creative Commons

Whose life was more interesting? Marlon Brando's, Amy Winehouse's, or an African-American transgender prostitute's? Find out when Tom Hall speaks with our movie know-it-alls, Jed Dietz of the Maryland Film Festival and Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post.

Tom discusses the Summer's best biopics and documentaries including Listen To Me Marlon Amy as well as the surprising, subversive comedy Tangerine. Hear about all these films and more in Maryland Morning's monthly movie roundup. 

The planet Pluto was discovered in 1930. But until recently, we didn’t know much about it.

Our knowledge of Pluto is expanding exponentially this week as the “New Horizons” spacecraft beams a trove of pictures and data 3 billion miles back to earth.

Hal Weaver is a project scientist for the mission, and joins us from the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel for this update. 

Baltimore's Hollywood Blanks To Take The Stage At Artscape

Jul 17, 2015
Hollywood Blanks

The 34th edition of Artscape begins here in Baltimore this morning at 10am. One of the many bands that will be featured on the Sound Off Live stage is Baltimore indie rock quartet, Hollywood Blanks. Their sound is drenched in synth tones, sonorous drums, and gritty electric guitar. Since forming in 2012, their music has dipped into genres like psych-rock, punk, and even country.

In the three weeks since Gov. Hogan killed the nearly $3 billion-dollar light-rail project that would have connected east and west Baltimore, the city has been scrambling to figure out, what next?

Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford summarized what many planners are thinking when he suggested “Bus Rapid Transit.”  Rutherford told the Baltimore Business Journal last week, “I think rapid bus is the way to go – at least pilot the idea.”

In simplest terms, “bus rapid transit” is mass transit that runs high-speed buses on dedicated lanes of roads. But the term can mean different things in different settings, so we’ve invited two experts to tell us the key elements of “bus rapid transit,” why it works where it works, and what the potential problems could be.

Rethinking Family Dispute Resolution

Jul 15, 2015
NYU Press

In the last quarter-century, you could say the way we solve legal family disputes has been turned upside. It’s gone from confrontation toward collaboration, from the courtroom to the conference room. What’s expected of family-court judges has changed dramatically, as well as the roles of the lawyers who practice before them.

And it all has enormous impact on the increasingly diverse families – fewer and fewer of them bound in marriage – who come before the courts.

The Many Ways Of Cooking Corn This Summer

Jul 15, 2015

The Baltimore farmer's market is loaded with a fresh supply of corn from a variety of different farms in the Baltimore area. While everyone seems to have their own way of cooking corn, there's no wrong way to do it. You can boil it, grill it or even throw it in the microwave. Joining us to talk more about the many possibilities for cooking corn this summer is  Sacsha Waltham. 


Deaths by overdoses of heroin or prescription opioids in Baltimore are alarmingly more frequent: about 25% more people in the city died of heroin overdoses last year than in 2013, and the numbers are growing. State and local officials have been scrambling to figure out a way to stem the surge in overdoses. Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake convened a task force to study the problem and propose solutions. Those recommendations will be released later today. With Sheilah now to give us a preview of them is Baltimore City’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen.

Keith Allison // Flickr Creative Commons

As the Orioles limp into the second part of the baseball season, Tom Hall talks sports with  journalist and George Washington University professor Mary Hyman.  Hyman also talks with us about a recent trip with students to China to examine the its efforts to export a top-notch professional baseball player.

Chelsea Dove

Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck reviews “Commander”, part of the Baltimore Playwrights Festival at the Vagabond Players:

Spyros Papaspyropoulos // Flickr Creative Commons

As you’ve been hearing on NPR, European leaders have reached a deal to bail out Greece and keep it in the Eurozone, a deal that entails more austerity moves in Greece.

Diane Rehm will have more about the financial deal for Greece in the next hour.  For many in the Baltimore region, the financial crisis is not a distant headline, but something that affects their own families.   

George Koronios, grew up in Sparta, and came to the U.S.  when he was 16, four decades ago.  He’s a landlord and contractor. He, his wife Krista and their four teen-aged sons spent the last several weeks in Greece; George and his sons returned from Athens over the weekend, and he joins us by phone from their home in Ruxton. Also joining us is Constantine Triantafilou of International Orthodox Christian Charities, the humanitarian aid agency of the assembly of Orthodox Bishops in the United States.  It’s headquartered in Towson. 

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake fired Police Commissioner Anthony Batts on Wednesday. Commissioner Batts had been under-fire since the April riots and the surge in violent crime that followed. The Mayor named Deputy Commissioner Kevin Davis, a veteran of the Prince George's County police department, who most recently served briefly as Police Chief in Anne Arundel County. He joined the Baltimore Police Department in January as a Deputy Commissioner.

Rebuilding community relations will be one of Interim Commissioner Davis’s most important tasks. With Sheilah in the studio to talk about how that can be done is Pastor Heber Brown III of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church. He led protests of police actions in the death of Freddie Gray.

Photo Courtesy of Beau Considine // Flickr Creative Commons

The intense debate around South Carolina’s vote to lower a Confederate banner leads us to think about Maryland’s relationship to symbols of the Civil War.

Roy Cox & Federica Dall'Orso

Rich Barry is a Baltimore-based guitarist, who plays in a number of different styles, from classical to pop, and who has appeared throughout the U.S. in venues large and small. By the age of twelve he had already studied with nine university level instructors, attended conservatory preparatory at Juilliard, Eastman and Interlochen and had won several music competitions. His latest CD is called simply, "Rich Barry: Solo Guitarist". He joins Tom Hall in the studio.

What Coppin State University's New President Will Focus On

Jul 8, 2015

Coppin State University traces its roots back 115 years to a one-year teacher-training course preparing African-American elementary school teachers for the classroom. From there, Coppin grew in Baltimore. In 1938, it began granting Bachelors of Science degrees and was named the Coppin Teachers College. Nearly 30 years later, it gave out its first Bachelors of Arts degrees and was renamed Coppin State College. In 2004, it became Coppin State University.

In recent years, Coppin State has struggled with financial management, poor graduation rates, and low morale. In 2012, Coppin’s faculty voted “no confidence” in then-president Reginald Avery; he resigned. An interim president has led the school since 2013, but as of July 1, the historically black university has a new leader: Maria Thompson, formerly the provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the State University of New York at Oneonta, is the first woman to head the school. She joins Sheilah in the studio to talk about her plans.

The Life Of Track Star Wilma Rudolph

Jul 8, 2015
New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection. - NYPL Digital

In the 1960s, African American track star Wilma Rudolph was known as the world’s fastest woman. She became the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympics in 1960. Hers was an unlikely path to Olympic gold. She was born in rural Tennessee in 1940, an Olympic year, the 20th in a family of 22 children. At age 4, she contracted polio, which had no vaccine at the time. She was fitted with a brace, which she wore for several years. Actress Gwendolyn Briley-Strand will play the role of Wilma Rudolph in the Maryland Humanities Council’s 2015 Chautauqua Series. 

Dave // Flickr Creative Commons

Before Interstate 68 paved a path through the forests of Western Maryland, and even before Highway 40 snaked its way through Maryland’s wooded hills and into Pennsylvania, there was another path West, blazed by a British general, Edward Braddock. In the summer of 1755, General Braddock set out from Fort Cumberland, at what is today the city of Cumberland, on his way to Pittsburgh to do battle with the French over control of North America.