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Morning Economic Report Week of May 11th 2020

Morning Economic Report Week of May 4th 2020

Morning Economic Report Week of April 27th 2020

Morning Economic Report Week of April 20th 2020

Morning Economic Report Week of April 13th 2020

Morning Economic Report Week of April 6th 2020

Morning Economic Report Week of March 30th 2020

Morning Economic Report Week of March 23rd 2020

Silvision via Flickr

Around the country, states have eased social distancing restrictions, ended stay-at-home orders and opened up more parts of their economies.


Although Maryland remains under a state of emergency, Gov. Larry Hogan allowed retailers, hair salons, manufacturers and places of worship to reopen at 50% of their maximum occupancy last Friday, pointing to the state's decline in hospitalizations as a key statistic in his choice to reopen.


Just days later, Maryland announced 1,784 new cases of COVID-19, the highest number of new daily cases since the outbreak began.

meeneegeen via Flickr

For millions, the just concluded ESPN series “The Last Dance” has been an eye-opening experience, a pass into a locker room like you couldn’t imagine.  

The 10 chapters, spread over five weeks, were supposed to open a window into one of the successful runs in American sports history, the six NBA championships of the Chicago Bulls during the 1990s. 

And those episodes should have provided a peek into the soul of one of the most significant figures in international popular culture over the last 40 years, that of Michael Jordan.


Last week, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican, vetoed 38 bills passed in March by the Democratic-majority General Assembly. The governor explained that the economic crash caused by the coronavirus had opened up a massive state budget deficit which made the new proposals– including for increased funding for public schools – suddenly unaffordable.

However, at least one of the bills Hogan vetoed had absolutely nothing to do with state funds or the coronavirus.

That was Senate Bill 300, which would have outlawed the use of a pesticide called chlorpyrifos that researchers have concluded can cause brain damage in children and kill aquatic life in the Chesapeake Bay and elsewhere.

Ware: Remembering The Architect

May 14, 2020
Provided by Ware

The Architect was born a century ago at the confluence of three rivers, where nature carved a perfect spot for trout. “Not so good for humans, though,” because the land was hard and isolated. Four distinct trails led Native Americans to and from the fresh water, but only a handful of people ever put down roots.

His family left quickly, too, following his physician father to Spokane, where a hospital had been built for homeless patients and orphan children. The building was a Beaux Arts castle, with tall ceilings and big windows that invited light and air into lives that had known little of either. “In it I saw the gift that order can bring to chaos,” he said.


Colorado State University Extension via Flickr

All of us who are staying at home on a full-time basis are finding that we have a lot of time on our hands. I'm constantly keeping my eyes open for little projects that will eat up some of my spare time. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you, a kitchen can be a place for creativity and enterprise.

Knopf (l); Berkley (r)

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, we review two new, dystopian novels that imagine a world in the throws of a pandemic: Marion Winik on Lawrence Wright's The End of October and Sarah Pinsker's A Song for a New Day.

SupportPDX via Flickr

It’s been said that you learn a lot about people when money’s on the line. If that’s true, we’re about to learn a lot about the integrity of the men and women who run colleges and universities.

That’s because in the next few weeks, those presidents and chancellors will have to make the call on whether college sports return in the fall or if they’re delayed on account of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

You’ll notice that cancellation was not among the choices. The games will go on and for the most obvious of reasons: there’s too much money to be made. 

Rosemary 2020-05-08

May 7, 2020

It was on the cold morning of February 3, 1964 when the wrecker’s ball smashed into the south wall of Ford’s theater, between Eutaw and Howard streets, where it had stood since 1871. A pile of rubble was all that was left of the grand store house of theater memories. Later that morning, two elderly ladies, could be seen sprinkling on the debris what was later reported to be rosemary. One of the ladies was heard to say, “As Ophelia said in Hamlet, ‘Here’s rosemary, for remembrance.’” The ladies remarked that it was a cold morning. For Baltimore theater goers it was a very cold day. 

Argentina Beyond Malbec

May 7, 2020


Think of Argentina, think of Malbec. But wait, there's much more.

The weather on August 6,1995, the day of the funeral of City Councilman Dominic “Mimi” DiPietro, was unseasonably pleasant—low humidity in the low 80s, and bright sunshine, and some among the mourners, noting the out-of-season weather, wondered whether there was a connection between Mimi’s reputation for “going to the top” to get things done for his constituents and the gloriously fair weather. Father Esposito, in his eulogy, wondered out loud about the question. The citizenry is left to decide.

Val’s Story: Overcoming Obstacles To Thrive

May 6, 2020
lePhotography via Flickr

Val was born at 23 weeks and 5 days gestation and spent 120 days in the NICU. As a result, she struggled throughout her life with what she calls “invisible disabilities.” Today, Val is a dynamic college student who majors in music and has presented on Tedx Youth Talks about her journey. Listen to Kennedy Krieger pediatric neurologist Dr. Joanna Burton as she shares Val’s remarkable story.

Jo Zimny via Flickr

It seems that an enormous number of Americans have hit on the same idea for coping with the Big Lockdown: they're learning how to bake bread. Chef Jerry Pellegrino, an experienced baker, knows this is a very worthwhile activity in so many ways.


Baking bread is a fundamental part of being human; we started doing it literally thousands of years ago. The basic concept hasn't changed much. All you need is flour, yeast, salt and water...and a hot oven. But like so many things that seem to be simple, there's a lot of technique involved that takes a while to master.


Via Publisher Roman and Littlefield

With the number of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. seeming to decline, but unemployment soaring and the economy in free-fall, President Trump held a press conference recently to talk about a political imperative: getting capitalism off the stretcher.

“There is a hunger for getting our country back and it’s happening faster than people would think,” Trump told reporters. “Ensuring the health of our economy is vital to ensuring the health of our nation.”

Part of the prescription the president is expected to announce later this week, during a rollout of a new administration plan to stimulate the economy, is a slashing of environmental regulations, as well as further tax cuts, loans and grants for business.

Knopf (l); Algonquin (r)

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, our book critic Marion Winik reviews two new great novels by two great writers: Anne Tyler's Redhead by the Side of the Road and Julia Alvarez's Afterlife.

Terrill: A Change In Perspective

May 5, 2020
The Associated

Perspective. If anything has been clearer over the last month and a half, it's that perspective can change in a single moment. The way we view the world. The things we might embrace as givens. It might be health, a roof over our heads, a job, food or simply gathering with friends.

This last month and a half has shown just how fragile perspective can be.

Willis Lam via Flickr

Almost since Sports at Large premiered here 18 years ago, we’ve consistently hammered the NCAA for its clumsy handling of collegiate sports. 

And why not? The self-appointed arbiters of amateur athletics have proven themselves, time and again, to be targets of scorn and ridicule with their ham-handed treatment of the people they claim to protect.

And to paraphrase M*A*S*H’s Hawkeye Pierce, when you invite abuse, it would be impolite not to accept. 

So when the gang from Indianapolis finally gets one right, it seems only fair to point that out, too. 


Chilean Reds

May 1, 2020


Chilean whites are gaining an audience, but Chilean reds already have arrived.


On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day last week, documentary maker Michael Moore and his longtime collaborator Jeff Gibbs released a powerful new movie called “The Planet of the Humans.”

Like many Michael Moore films, itʼs highly controversial and flawed. But you should watch the movie because itʼs very well done, thought-provoking and gut- wrenching. Itʼs free on YouTube, and you can find it there by just searching for "Planet of the Humans."

In the film, just after the opening sequence, Jeff Gibbs, the writer and narrator of the documentary, is driving on a highway at sunset. He asks: “Have you ever wondered what would happen if a single species took over an entire planet? Maybe theyʼre cute, maybe theyʼre clever, but lack a certain – shall we say – self - restraint?”

Itʼs a theme, the dangers of human population growth and consumption – delivered in a cool, rational tone, thankfully free of Mooreʼs trademark grandstanding – that the movie returns to and builds on.

Nick Olejniczak

During this period of lockdown and social distancing, a lot of us are starting to feel like pioneers living on the prairie. Since we are making fewer visits to the grocery store, we are doing more planning for stocking up on the essentials we need to keep going. Chef Jerry Pellegrino, has given this some thought and has put together a good list.

Knopf (l); Harper Collins (r)

Reading is often considered a form of escapism, a break from the real world around us, which, sounds pretty good right now. On this edition of The Weekly Reader, we present two new novels that will take you away from your own day to day reality, and maybe, remind you that things can always be a little worse. Marion Winik reviews Emily St. John Mandel's The Glass Hotel and Elizabeth Wetmore's Valentine

Penn State via Flickr

  In football, players are taught to keep the activity going until the whistle blows. But when the echo of the whistle ceases, what’s supposed to happen then, beyond the next play, that is?

What are you allowed to know about the people on the other side of the whistle? Are they merely nameless, faceless gladiators on a field or on a TV screen or are you entitled to peer into their lives?


Little Brown

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, we review two new memoirs that remind us how important a sense of humor can be to surviving both trauma and drama. Marion Winik on Leslie Gray Streeter's Black Widow and Alia Volz's Home Baked.