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WYPR Features

Just because Maryland's farm fields aren't green this time of the year doesn't mean you have to stop eating locally.  In fact it's high season for some of our most delicious vegetables.  Chef Jerry Pellegrino and I are big fans of root vegetables, which happen to be packed with flavor and nutrition.

Health Improvements And Longevity

Jan 20, 2020

Hector De La Torre, the executive director of Transamerica Center for Health Studies, discusses longevity– specifically the technological, regulatory and health improvements that have led to longer life expectancies in the United States just in the last several decades.


The frigid winter weather is here and our hearts and stomachs are craving those cozy comfort dishes to warm us up. Tony and Chef Cindy share recipes perfect for the season, with an eye toward health – soup, polenta, risotto, roasted veggies...and they might just sneak a bacon wrapped beef tenderloin in there.

On the night of January 16, 1967, the sidewalk under the marquee of the Mechanic Theatre at Charles and Baltimore streets was the scene of bright lights and cameras flashing and celebrities working the crowd. The occasion was the Grand Opening of the Mechanic—which would close after three years, stay dark for two years and reopen nine years later in n 1976. It closed for the last time in 2004—after 37 years, As they say in show biz, not a bad run.

As indicated by writer Glenn Ruffenach, many retirees enter 2020 in a good mood. After all, stocks had a terrific run in 2019, with the S&P 500 climbing a remarkable 29 percent. 

As of December, the economy had been expanding for a record 126 consecutive months according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Partially as a result, a recent survey conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that 82 percent of retirees were confident in their capacity to live comfortably throughout their later life, similar to levels of confidence observed in 2005.

"King Kong"

Jan 16, 2020
monsterforsale / Flickr/Creative Commons

A little known story behind the scenes of the making of the Hollywood blockbuster "King Kong" and its ties to Maryland.

A Performance Inspired By The Peabody Library’s History

Jan 16, 2020
Submersive Productions

One arts organization is creating a choose-your-own-adventure performance to explore a library’s history. Ursula Marcum, Co-Artistic Director at Submersive Productions, tells us more.

Office of Governor Larry Hogan

In 1983, 1987 and 2000, Maryland, Pennsylvania and the other Chesapeake Bay region states all signed much-heralded agreements to clean up the nation’s largest estuary.

But these agreements all failed to make any progress in the overall health of the Chesapeake Bay for a simple reason: They were purely voluntary, with no enforcement mechanism.

Then, in 2010, the Obama Administration – after being sued – issued a new and revised Bay cleanup plan that everyone praised as being the real breakthrough. For the first time, EPA set firm numeric pollution limits for the states, and threatened to penalize the states that failed to meet the cleanup targets by the deadline of 2025.

For a few years, there was real hope for the Bay’s restoration – despite the stubborn refusal of the Bay’s biggest polluter, Pennsylvania, to stop dumping on its downstream neighbors in Maryland and Virginia.

Then, on January 3, the Trump Administration’s EPA caused an uproar. The Administration’s Chesapeake Bay Program director suddenly announced that the 2010 agreement was, in fact, not enforceable, and was instead just “informational” and “aspirational” – just like all the previous failed bay cleanup agreements.  The Trump EPA would do nothing to crack down on Pennsylvania’s pollution.

Margaret River

Jan 15, 2020

The wines of Australia's Margaret River are among the most refined and graceful in a country that prizes big strapping wines.  They show true class. Click the links to purchase Cellar Notes recommendations at Kenilworth Wine & Spirits.   


On this edition of The Weekly Reader, we review Kiley Reid's debut novel Such a Fun Age. The book is a clever, thoughtful examination of race and racism in America, and, it's our selection for the next meeting of The Weekly Reader Book Club.  

Sage Advice

Jan 15, 2020

The Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education has made bold recommendations to improve Maryland’s public education system. Maryland Family Network knows that investing in young children offers a significant return on investment. Baltimore’s own Sage Policy Group agrees. Listen now to learn more.

Emerald Ash Borer

Jan 14, 2020

There’s nothing more calming and downright medicinal than taking a long walk through some our region’s beautiful hardwood forests. Pacing among the trunks of old trees, listening to the breeze lightly blow the leaves or – in the winter – the winds bend the branches. It’s perfection, all brought to you by nature.

During one of my recent walks, I was sad to see so many of these old-growth trees with small, D-shaped holes in their bark. Noticing these marks brought me from “meditative calm” to “moderate existential panic” pretty quickly. Why? These trees – most of which are ash trees – had been infected by an invasive species so damaging that we could see the complete eradication of ash trees in our region as a result. The emerald ash borer has been in Maryland since 2015 and has wreaked havoc on our ash trees since.

The National Aquarium

From record storm surges in Texas to rampant wildfires in California, the news about climate change is, quite frankly, a little scary. Listen in to learn how to empower kids to mature into conservation-savvy adults.  

Have you ever wondered how well prepared your Uber driver, tutor, or piano teacher is for retirement? Often when we discuss retirement, we think about traditional employees who work for an employer. Those who are not always top of mind, but are just as important, are the self-employed. How are they preparing for retirement or are they even considering retirement? Today, we have Catherine Collinson, president of nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, with us to discuss how the self-employed are shaping their retirement. 

I'm friends with quite a few young folks in their 20's who are just starting out, and for many, cooking is a mystery. To them, my first piece of advice is, don't worry, that's how we all started. My second piece of advice might be to start with something pretty basic and useful: classic winter stews. Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you there are a few basic tips that will come in handy not just for this winter, but for the rest of their lives.

Gamber: Education, Innovation, And Equity

Jan 14, 2020
Heart of the Schools / ATB Productions

On Friday, January 17, hundreds of eighth-graders in Baltimore will submit their high school choice applications. This one day will be the culmination of months of research, planning, and  soul-searching by students, families, guidance counselors, and others. 

Capone (01-10-20)

Jan 10, 2020

On the night of Nov. 16, 1939, notorious gangster Al Capone was released from Lewisberg penitentiary - and headed for Baltimore. Capone was a sick man and planned to seek treatment at Johns Hopkins. He settles in the Oswego Avenue home of Manasha Katz, Captain of the Maryland State Police. But because he planned to stay in Baltimore a while, he though to arrange to have his favorite Italian food personally prepared for him at the then well-known restaurant, Maria's, in Little Italy. So he sent a lieutenant there to meet Maria and asked if he might inspect her kitchen. Very bad mistake. This is the story of why.

Army And Navy Hospital Ships

Jan 10, 2020
National Museum of Health and Medicine

Have you ever heard of a floating hospital? Did you know that The Army and Navy have sailed almost 60 hospital ships since the Civil War? Steven Hill, Exhibits Manager at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, talks about our nation’s history of hospital ships.


Over the last twenty years the opioid epidemic has exploded across America. From 1999 to 2013, the number of women in the U.S. with an opioid use disorder while giving birth has quadrupled. How we address this crisis affects everyone.

During the final days of last year, Congress quietly passed a $1.4 trillion federal spending bill. Among the most newsworthy items, for the first time in 45 years of federal pension law, taxpayer dollars will be used to bail out a fund for workers in the private sector. 

Anirban tells us what that dying pension fund represents. 

Little Brown (l); Farrar Strauss Giroux (r)

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, we review two new, important memoirs that don't shy away from ugly truths: Ronan Farrow's Catch and Kill and Chris Rush's The Light Years.

Moffitt: The Importance Of The CROWN Act

Jan 8, 2020
Photo provided by Moffitt

Locs, braids, Afros, twists. Black hairstyles on black bodies have always been highly-policed in America. Black hair is revered for its uniqueness and creativity and simultaneously reviled for the perceived offense of having naturally curly or coiled hair that distinguishes it from other races.

In 2019 the CROWN Act, or Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, was signed into law in California, banning race-based workplace discrimination based on one’s traditional and natural hairstyles. Similar legislation has now found its way to Maryland and Baltimore.

A lot of us have invested heavily in the holiday season, and now it's time to cut back a little bit.  But you don't have to give up your favorite wine. Here's four bargains.

A Young Woman With Heart And Tenacity

Jan 8, 2020
Maxwell Monty / Adobe Stock

Abigail has conquered life-threatening health issues that would sideline many people.  When her failing health pushed her to depression, she and her family turned to experts for help.  Listen to her inspiring story told by Dr. Bradley Grant, one of her doctors and a child psychiatrist at Kennedy Krieger’s Psychiatric Mental Health Program. 

The Maryland General Assembly’s annual legislative session opened today. The two most important environmental issues being debated this year in Annapolis are – once again -- climate change and the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay.

State Delegate Kumar Barve, a Democrat from Montgomery County and chairman of the House Environment and Transportation Committee, is proposing legislation that would shut down Maryland’s six remaining coal fired power plants.

“I do want to emphasize the pernicious effects of coal on our environment,” Barve told a telephone press conference organized by the Sierra Club. “Of course, coal not only produces more carbon dioxide for the atmosphere, but coal soot – the soot that’s not caught by the power plants, and ends up going into the atmosphere. It’s a terrible pollutant for human and animal life.”

The National Aquarium

You may be in hibernation, but the Chesapeake Bay region is an important migratory stop for an array of wintering waterfowl.


Jan 7, 2020

With our short days, long nights and frigid temperatures, our listening area is firmly amidst the Maryland winter. 

It’s a great time of year for me to eat homemade comfort foods and nap by a cozy fire. My kids tease me that I’m like a bear in hibernation.

And surprisingly, that’s partially true! My winter habits may be bear-like, but neither of us hibernate.

Here in Maryland it seems completely appropriate that our greatest natural resource, the Chesapeake Bay, is the home to one of the greatest fish in the whole world:  the celebrated rockfish. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino will tell you, the rockfish is hands-down one of the best tasting fish you'll ever come across.

2019 Consumer Survey – Wellness

Jan 6, 2020

Hector De La Torre, the executive director of nonprofit Transamerica Center for Health Studies, discusses some highlights from their 7th annual Consumer Healthcare Survey. The new survey results include some interesting insights about the current status of health and wellness in America.

On the podcast this week: the irrelevance of the federal minimum wage, the limits of economic theory, the millennials are coming, and more!