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WYPR Features

Banking Time

Oct 7, 2020

Taking time to be fully present with your child, even for a little while, helps you both reconnect and gives you a well of strength to draw from when life gets hard. 

(Photo by iStock/monkeybusinessimages)  

After months of ridiculing scientific guidance on the use of masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus – and even demanding that his own employees inside the White House not take precautions around him – President Trump was hospitalized with COVID-19.

But it was not just Trump infected. It was much of the leadership of the Republican Party that has mocked and belittled public health protections in the midst of a pandemic. 

After spending time with the super-spreader in chief, Trump Campaign Manager Bill Stepien was diagnosed with COVID-19. So was Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, presidential advisors Kellyanne Conway and Stephen Miller, as well as the White House press secretary and three Republican Senators.

Ed Rollins, a veteran Republican political strategist and co-chairman of a pro-Trump super PAC, told the Washington Post: “Now we’re sort of the stupid party.”

Yes, the Republican party’s rejection of science has come home to roost in the White House. This is not just an issue with Covid.  President Trump and the Republican establishment have been equally skeptical and dismissive of the scientific consensus about climate change, which Trump has called a hoax.  


An Inspiration To Young And Old Alike

Oct 7, 2020
Provided by Kennedy Krieger Institute

Maintaining a positive attitude when you are a high school student who has had to endure multiple surgeries, as well as a brain injury, sounds like a difficult challenge. However, for Ronen, being positive and encouraging others is just part of his personality. While undergoing physical therapy at Kennedy Krieger’s Specialized Transition Program after several surgeries to repair injuries to his feet and ankles, Ronen inspired his fellow patients and therapists with his work ethic and enthusiastic attitude.

Isabelle Boucher via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Even though summer is officially gone, we still will have weeks of pleasant warm weather waiting just ahead. It certainly is way too early to pack up the barbecue grill, so to encourage you to keep it fired up, we have a dinner in mind that is easy and fun to make. It's one of Chef Jerry Pellegrino's favorites, that great grilled meat dish, churrasco.

Provided by Milton Kent

While it’s true that the family stands at the core of every success story, in order to truly make a mark, you need someone outside your circle of life to believe in you.

Maybe it’s a neighbor. Perhaps it’s a member of your church or synagogue. Quite often, though, it’s a teacher or a coach, an adult instructor who perhaps sees more in you than you see in yourself.

For two generations of Baltimoreans, that special teacher and coach was Walter Cole, who helped shape and mold the lives of thousands of kids in the classroom and on the track and the playing field. 


The Reports: Week of October 5th 2020

Europa Editions (l); Farrar, Strauss and Giroux (r)


On this edition of The Weekly Reader, our book critic Marion Winik reviews new novels by two queens of fiction: Elena Ferrante's The Lying Life of Adults, and Marilynne Robinson's Jack.

It’s the time of year when most companies have benefits enrollment, when you can sign up for or make changes to things such as your health insurance. Amid the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to know about your options and choose wisely. One option that many people have in their benefits package is a Health Savings Account, or HSA.

Today, Catherine Collinson, president of nonprofit Transamerica Institute is here to explain HSAs. Catherine, can you give a bit of background as to what an HSA is?

Candice Breitz

Oct 2, 2020

BMA Director Christopher Bedford and Berlin-based, South African artist Candice Breitz talk about her inspiration for the two works, Love Story, which addresses the worldwide refugee crisis, and  TLDR, a film about the treatment of sex workers in South Africa.  Ms. Breitz’s immersive, multi-media installation, Candice Breitz: Too Long, Didn’t Read, will be on view at the BMA through January 10, 2021.

Gil tells us about the last dinners to be served at Marconi's restaurant, a Baltimore institution that was in operation for 85 years. 

Reuters/Tom Brenner

Earlier this month, during a press conference in Jupiter, Florida, President Trump recalled how lawmakers from Florida asked him to sign a nonbinding resolution urging Congress to expand a moratorium on oil and gas drilling off America’s southeastern coast.

“They came to my office and they said that this will make us, and make you, the number one environmental president since Teddy Roosevelt,” Trump said from the podium. “I said, ‘Huh. Why does it have to go back only to Teddy Roosevelt, which is over 100 years? Why can’t we say from George Washington? Right from the beginning. It’s true. I’m number 1 since Teddy Roosevelt. Who would have thought? Trump is the great environmentalist.”

Trump’s endorsement of an offshore drilling ban in Florida – a key swing state in the upcoming election – was a switch for the President, who has opened up millions of acres of public lands to drilling and mining as part of what he calls his “Energy Dominance” policy.

But beyond that, what about this idea of comparing Trump’s environmental record to that of Teddy Roosevelt and other presidents?

The Chesney Medical Archives for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health

THIS IS A REAIR - Natalie Elder read about a simple clothing accessory one day at her job in the Chesney Medical Archives for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health. The Curator of Cultural Properties is still on a continuous quest to find it.  What can items like these teach us about a person and an organization’s past? How can medical archives help piece together someone’s story? Elder tells us more.

The deep south of France may not be as chic as Paris, but their wines are super.

Sweet Potatoes

Sep 29, 2020
Mike Mozart via Flickr

Although they're with us for most of the year, sweet potatoes seem especially in season these days. As the summer heat gives way to autumn coolness, the sweet potato seems to be at its best as the first frost draws near. Chef Jerry Pellegrino has pointed out, we Marylanders are fortunate that sweet potatoes do so well in our native soil.


Childhood Hunger

Sep 29, 2020

The number of food insecure kids in America has grown significantly since COVID-19. But by investing in early childhood we can provide nutrition for the brain and for the body. (Photo by iStock/SDI Productions)

The Reports: Week of September 28th 2020

Mindfulness And Meditation Amid The Pandemic

Sep 28, 2020

A recent survey found that only one in five people indicate they practice mindfulness and meditation on a consistent basis. Joining me is Mihaela Vincze, the Program Specialist for nonprofit Transamerica Center for Health Studies to discuss the importance of adopting these practices, especially during this pandemic.


kowarski via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

When I was a kid, I remember spending Sundays on the front porch of a friend of my older sisters, listening to old school R&B on their 45s and LPs. That sound nourished my young soul and left impressions and memories that live with me still today 50 years later.

I was especially struck by an album from the Temptations, called “In a Mellow Mood,” a collection of covers of showtunes and standards. I’ve subsequently heard dozens of adaptations of “The Impossible Dream,” but David Ruffin’s delivery of the line “to be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause,” makes the Temptations’ version the definitive one for me.

Like a lot of Orioles fans, I have been thinking of their last three years as something less than a glorious quest and more like that march into hell. A pair of 100-loss seasons in 2018 and 2019 went a long way toward bringing on that kind of thinking. 

But, the now-completed 2020 season may provide hope that good things may be on the horizon. 


Flickr/Creative Commons

Abolitionist “Captain” John Brown made quite an impression on Frederick Douglass when they first met, but, while bound by the same passion, the two men went on to fight to end slavery by very different means.

Clockwork 2020-09-25

Sep 25, 2020

On July 7, 2007, Baltimoreans whose habit it was to look up nine stories to the top of the Bromo Seltzer tower to check the time on one of its four clocks --  facing east,  west, north, south—were bewildered. The clocks were out of sync, one with the other, and showing different times. The story--when Baltimoreans didn’t know the time of day!

Oktoberfest Beers

Sep 23, 2020

For dedicated beer drinkers 'tis the season for the legendary Oktoberfest.

On August 31, Baltimore suspended its curbside recycling program. The coronavirus pandemic and fear of infection had caused about a third of the city’s solid waste workers to call in sick or take days off, which triggered a trash collection crisis in the city.

To address the problem, the Department of Public Works directed all remaining workers in that division to concentrate only on trash pickup.  As an alternative to curbside recycling, the city is asking residents to now drive their own recyclables to 14 drop-off centers scattered around the city, through November 1st.

One of the drop-off centers is here in Northwest Baltimore in front of Greenspring Middle School. Yesterday morning, a city worker tossed cardboard boxes into the back of a truck as he expressed anxieties about getting the virus on the job.

“Yeah, it’s been a hard time, with people being out,” the DPW worker said. “That’s why we’re having all this problem. I’m worried, but you know – you got to work, you got to work.”  

Riverhead (l); Knopf (r)

As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, death is an inescapable part of life. On this edition of The Weekly Reader, our book critic Marion Winik reviews two new novels that explore the topic with grace, wit and intelligence: Sigrid Nunez's What Are You Going Through and Yaa Gyasi's Transcendent Kingdom.

jeffreyw via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

It's the middle of September and our Maryland pantry is overflowing with incredible locally produced food. And it's so enjoyable to run through the list of our favorite Maryland foods and dream up delicious dishes.

Parental Revolution

Sep 22, 2020

We're starting a parental revolution. Are you in? 

Hillel Steinberg via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

  A good parent keeps an eye on what other parents do, but doesn’t let their decision-making impact on the choices they must make for their own kids. 

That’s what seems to have happened with the 14 Big Ten university presidents and chancellors who reversed course last week and approved a plan to get football on the field this fall.

These leaders buckled under the weight of whining players, parents and coaches, as well as a president desperate to win re-election and authorized a slate of games for mid to late fall.


The Reports: Week of September 21st 2020

Once again, we’re back with another edition of ClearPath – Your Roadmap to Health & Wealth.  I’m your host, Al Waller.

Now…social interaction can provide a sense of connectivity and community, which can often combat feelings of isolation.

However, amid the coronavirus pandemic it’s nearly impossible for many people, especially older adults and retirees, to have a lot of in-person social interaction.

Catherine Collinson, president of the nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies is joining us to share some virtual resources that older adults can take advantage of.

So, to begin with Catherine, can you elaborate further on the importance of older adults using technology as a means to remain engaged and connected during the pandemic?

How a December 1948 trip to a pumpkin patch broke a spy case wide open.

The Reports: Week of September 14th 2020