On The Record | WYPR

On The Record

Weekdays, 9:30 to 10:00 am

Catch On the Record, hosted by Sheilah Kast, weekdays from 9:30 to 10:00 am, following NPR’s Morning Edition. We’ll discuss the issues that affect your life and bring you thoughtful and lively conversations with the people who shape those issues -- business people, public officials, scholars, artists, authors, and journalists who can take us inside the story. If you want to share a comment, question, or an idea for an interview you’d like to hear, email us at ontherecord@wypr.org.

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Theme music created by Jon Ehrens.  Logo designed by Louis Umerlik.

Ways to Connect

Time for the next installment in our weekly feature from the Stoop Storytelling Series. Sometimes, when you follow your dreams, things don’t turn out the way you hoped. In high school, Jeff Eline learned this lesson the hard way. Tune in to hear why matching outfits, a missed key change, and a nosebleed doomed his high school band. You can listen to more stories, and learn about Stoop shows and The Stoop podcast, all at stoopstorytelling.com. You can also buy tickets there now for The Stoop Holiday Show at The Senator Theater on Dec. 6th. 

Today we discuss music and the mind with a man who is an expert in both. Dr. Richard Kogan is a psychiatrist as well as a world-renowned concert pianist. He is known for his presentations on the psychology of the great composers--presentations that are half lecture and half recital, with Dr. Kogan illustrating his points by playing passages of music. Dr. Kogan is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Weill-Cornell Medical Center in New York City, where he is Artistic Director of the Music and Medicine Program. He will be performing at Goucher College tomorrow, and with the BSO on Sunday. 

Courtesy of Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap

When Melissa Badeker stopped teaching elementary school, she didn’t know what to do with all of the material she had accumulated, supplies she purchased with her own money. Sensing this problem was widespread, Melissa created the Baltimore Teacher Supply Swap to collect and distribute free school supplies for educators, home school parents, and daycare operators. Melissa Badeker recently received an OSI-Baltimore community fellowship to support her idea.

steve p2008 / Flickr via Creative Commons

With commercial drones on the rise and the skies becoming more crowded, what are researchers doing to prevent mid-air collisions? That’s the focus of the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Young Engineer Award in Maryland; he’ll tell us about his research. 

Gage Skidmore/Flickr via Creative Commons

Donald Trump campaigned on promises to make it easier to drill for oil and burn coal. He pledged to leave only “tidbits” of the Environmental Protection Agency in place, and to pull the U.S. out of international climate treaties. “We’re going to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement," he said last May, "and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.” Today we hear from two University of Maryland experts: First, we talk with Robert Orr, head of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park. He’s also senior advisor to the United Nations on climate change. Then Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, joins us. 

Greg Scott / WBEZ

Tens of thousands of Marylanders - of all ages, in all parts of the state - have a drug problem. Every time they use, they’re in danger of overdosing. The number of deaths in Maryland related to heroin tripled between 2010 and 2015. Yesterday we heard a young woman’s story of heroin addiction and recovery using methadone. Today we hear from Dr. Kenneth Stoller, director of the Johns Hopkins Broadway Center for Addiction, which provides outpatient drug treatment services. He explains how medication-assisted treatment works and why increased access would be a public health benefit. Can medication-assisted treatment stop the opioid epidemic?

An epidemic of opioid deaths is reaching into every corner of Maryland, and every age group. We look at a tool to fight addiction - medically assisted treatment - and hear the story of a young woman who used methadone to put addiction behind her.

Now another installment in our weekly feature from the Stoop Storytelling Series! Today, on Veterans Day, Marine Corps veteran Rich Blake shares a 2010 story from the Iraq War and a moment that could have been his last. It has been edited for brevity. You can listen to more stories, and learn about Stoop shows and The Stoop podcast--all at stoopstorytelling.com

Fort Rucker/Flickr via Creative Commons

Herbert Rogers served in the Air Force for 8 years. He was at the Dover Air Force Base for five years and his barracks was right next to where the planes took off. Seven years later, Rogers noticed he kept asking people to repeat themselves. Now he wears hearing aids. Hearing damage is common among veterans. We speak to Herbert Rogers, as well as Glen Baquet, the head of audiology and speech for the VA Maryland Health Care System, and Julie Norin, director of audiology at the Hearing and Speech Agency, a nonprofit in Baltimore. 

Courtesy of Girl Problem Records

What it’s like to be a woman in the contemporary punk music scene? Producer Andrea Appleton speaks to two Baltimore musicians: Shawna Potter, frontwoman for the band War on Women, and Madi Shapiro, vocalist and guitarist for Wet Brain. Madi Shapiro also runs a feminist DIY music label based in Baltimore called "Girl Problem Records". On Friday, Girl Problem will release its third compilation, titled Justice. The record release show will feature War On Women, Rukut, No Way! and  two Baltimore hip hop acts, Toyomansi and Phizzals. The show will be at the 5th Dimension, 405 W. Franklin St. 

Courtesy of Humanim

Why take a vacant home apart brick by brick, rather than tearing it down? How can this approach create jobs without driving up costs? Details Deconstruction trains individuals coming out of prison or drug treatment in how to deconstruct rather than demolish buildings. Director Jeff Carroll tells us how deconstructing houses is a path to rebuilding lives--as well as salvaging valuable bricks and lumber.

nodigio/Flickr via Creative Commons

What does Donald Trump’s victory mean here in Maryland? Behind the Democrat vote totals in Maryland, what can we read into where Trump found support here? How did the presidential election affect down-ballot races? What was the effect of the state’s record-breaking early voter turnout? Todd Eberly, Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at St. Mary’s College of Maryland joins us. And we speak with Maryland Public Television political reporter Charles Robinson

Baltimore is in the midst of the fifth annual Charm City Fringe Festival. As the name implies, this may be unlike any theatre you’ve seen. Events include a one-man performance of the epic war film Apocalypse Now, an absurdist game show, and a play called Piper Bidet: Bathroom Detective. The festival runs through Sunday at a variety of venues. Charm City Fringe Festival co-founder and president Zach Michel sets the stage for us. And Chad Short, a performer in a Fringe Festival play called Yo, You Be Trippin’ explains how the play, an unusual take on the history of LSD, came to be.

Courtesy of Space Telescope Science Institute

If you’ve ever looked up at the night sky and felt dwarfed by the magnitude of the universe, prepare to feel even more insignificant. When astronomers analyzed deep space images gathered by NASA’s Hubble Telescope in the mid-1990s, they estimated that the observable universe contained about 200 billion galaxies. It turns out they were off by a bit. Well, more than a bit. New models reveal that the previous estimate is at least 10 times too low. There are closer to 2 trillion galaxies in the universe. So, what does this mean? How do scientists know this information? And, why, with 10 times more galaxies, are there still patches of darkness in the night sky? Joel Green, a project scientist in the Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Institute, joins us to answer these celestial questions.

Susan Sermoneta/Flickr via Creative Commons

Many people in the Baltimore region have a tough time keeping a roof over their heads. Rents have increased sharply in Baltimore in recent years, with no comparable rise in incomes. As a result, fully a third of Baltimore City residents pay more than half of their income for housing, according to a recent Abell Foundation report. We discuss a ballot initiative that may have escaped your notice in this dramatic election season: Question J on the Baltimore City ballot. It would establish what is known as an “affordable housing trust fund.” How would that work? How would it differ from the city’s current inclusionary housing program? How have similar efforts worked in other cities? Rachel Cohen, a freelance journalist and senior writing fellow at the monthly The American Prospect, joins us. Last week, In These Times published Rachel’s feature on affordable housing ballot initiatives, including the one in Baltimore.

Time for another installment in our weekly feature from the Stoop Storytelling Series. Annette March-Grier tells us what it was like to grow up in a funeral home, and how her unusual upbringing influenced her life. Her family opened Roberta’s House nine years ago as a community-based nonprofit that aims to address the grief of high-risk families and youth in Baltimore City. November is Children’s Grief Awareness Month. You can listen to more stories, and learn about Stoop shows and The Stoop podcast--all at stoopstorytelling.com

It’s been a year and a half since the unrest of April 2015 following the death of Freddie Grey, who was critically injured in police custody. The police trials are behind us, and much of the media attention. But MICA has a new exhibition that aims to ignite a conversation about the roots of Baltimore’s discontent: the social, political, and racial rifts that led to the uprising. Tony Shore, the chair of MICA’s painting department, gives us a tour of Baltimore Rising.

Plimoth Plantation

An early effort to convert Native Americans to Christianity produced a translation of the Bible into the language of the Wampanoag tribe. That translation preserved the language, and in the 20th century, the tribe’s descendants used it to revive the dialect. This is one of many examples Peter Manseau, curator of American religious history at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, points to as evidence of America’s rich religious past. We discuss Native American spiritual traditions, Muslims brought to the Americas as slaves, Maryland’s start as a Catholic enclave, and why fears about religious minorities are not new.

Children in foster care may bounce around to different placements and different schools. But some of Maryland’s 4,700 foster children can count on a court-appointed volunteer to be a dependable presence in their lives. How does that work? We’ll hear from a volunteer, a mother whose son she worked with, and Ross DiEdoardo, executive director of the nonprofit CASA of Harford County.

The Baltimore Rock Opera Society’s new show is "Brides of Tortuga", a 17th-century feminist adventure on the high seas.


Thread, the nonprofit known for constructing extreme support groups for troubled kids, is branching out into a Conversation Thread, sewing strangers together across Baltimore. We’ll talk to Thread’s founder, Sarah Hemminger, and one of the new participants, Imhotep Simba of Concerned Black Men National.

Javier Romero Otero / Flickr via Creative Commons

What does our newfound ability to handle vast amounts of data mean for the future of medicine? Healthcare is likely to become more tailored to the individual. This has become known as ‘precision medicine.’ What will it mean for our health?

Courtesy of Stoop Storytelling Series

Time for the fourth installment in our weekly feature from the Stoop Storytelling Series! Bridget Cavaiola shares a story about nuns, a dead bird, and the value of neighbors. Her story has been edited for brevity. The full version is available here

Peter Favelle / Flickr via Creative Commons

Maryland has too many deer. They cause tens of thousands of car accidents every year and over-browsing by hungry deer damages native ecosystems. The state typically tries to keep the population down through hunting. But some animal-rights advocates believe wildlife managers should explore other methods. We hear from Brian Eyler, Deer Project Leader at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and Enid Feinberg, president of the Baltimore County nonprofit Wildlife Rescue, Inc. She spearheaded a deer sterilization projects in the county.

Library of Congress

By the time Maryland got around to ending slavery, 152 years ago next week, the Confederacy was within months of collapsing, black people in the District of Columbia had been free more than two years  and President Lincoln had declared emancipation in the South more than a year and a half earlier. What took Maryland so long? Historian C.R. Gibbs explains how Maryland’s elites split over what course to follow, how heroic fighting by black soldiers in the Union army affected public opinion, and, once a new state constitution to abolish slavery was put to referendum, how close the vote was.

Johns Hopkins Medicine

What does it mean to “eat the rainbow”? Why do nutritionists crusade for eating more fiber? We speak to Lynda McIntyre, a clinical dietitian specialist with Johns Hopkins Medicine and a nutrition cancer specialist at Sibley Hospital in Washington, about the power of diet in achieving good health. She’ll be discussing "Power Foods" and "Meatless Mondays" at the Johns Hopkins' annual Woman’s Journey conference next week.

Johns Hopkins Medicine

If you think inflammation is generally a scratchy spot that’s not very significant, you should know researchers are working to understand the connection between inflammation and chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer. We’ll learn about inflammation and how to reduce it. Our guest is Dr. Lisa Christopher-Stine, associate professor of medicine & neurology and director of the John Hopkins Myositis Center. She will be presenting at John Hopkins Medicine's annual Woman’s Journey seminar next week. 

Jimmie/Flickr via Creative Commons

Fall is here and the school year is well under way. But some parents don’t have to worry about packing a lunch or getting their kids to the bus stop on time. They are homeschoolers, and nationwide, they’re a growing demographic. In Maryland, there are about 27,000 homeschooled kids. What motivates parents to homeschool? Is homeschooling possible in households with working parents? What are the benefits, and the challenges? 

Baltimore Speakers Series

Ehud Barak is one of those statesmen whose Wikipedia entry stretches for pages. He was Israel’s tenth Prime Minister, from 1999 to 2001. That was after he had been Foreign Minister, and before several years at Defense Minister. Ehud Barak is coming to Baltimore tomorrow for the Baltimore Speaker Series.

"The Perpetual Line-Up: Unregulated Police Face Recognition in America" / Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law

Half of American adults may not know it, but their photos are in face-recognition databases used law enforcement, according to an investigation by a think tank at Georgetown Law. Police can compare millions of mug shots, driver’s license, and ID photos against images of unknown suspects. This technology is less accurate in identifying African American, younger, and female faces. And because African-Americas are more likely to be arrested, they are overrepresented in the databases. We talk to David Gray, law professor at the University of Maryland, who says this face-recognition technology raises questions about our right to privacy.