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WYPR Features

Danielle Scott via Flickr (Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0)

As we gradually and carefully expand our social circles during the pandemic, many of us are planning small dinner get-togethers with trusted, healthy friends. A barbecue party seems perfect as it will get us outdoors and allow for social distancing. Chef Jerry Pellegrino and I talked about barbecue techniques two weeks ago, so it makes sense to talk about some of the side dishes we can offer up.

Jaidyn's Story: Overcoming A Reading Disorder

Aug 5, 2020
Robert Kneschke / Adobe Stock

Middle school, homework, and all the changes that adolescence brings can be overwhelming for any 13-year-old boy. However, imagine that you are unable to read like your peers. You become upset at the thought of reading in front of others and you have never been able to read anything for pleasure. Hear how Jaidyn, working with a Kennedy Krieger speech language specialist, is learning how to overcome his reading disorder through hard work, professional guidance and dedication. 

These flavor packed whites from the south of France deserve a bigger audience. And check out the values!


Singer and songwriter Caleb Stine – a folk music legend in Baltimore -- is playing his guitar on the porch of his rowhouse in the city’s Remington neighborhood.

He recently released a new song called “Let the Trees Do What They Will.” In a way, it’s a radical political statement about modern America – but not radical in the way most people would think.

“Hell, I guess in some ways you could call me a conservative,” Stine said during an interview on a recycled backseat from a van set up on his porch, his guitar beside him. “I want to conserve things. In fact, I might even be a radical conservative in that I think that not only should we conserve our environment, our natural lands, I think we should prevent development upon them, and we should regain and rewild lands that should not have been developed.  

CJ Anderson via Flickr (Creative Commons BY-SA 2.0)

The phrase “speaking truth to power” has been said so frequently of late that it’s bordering on triteness, if not outright cliche.

But when a group of more than a dozen college football players addressed the leaders of the most powerful conference in the land last week about the return of the game this fall, they provided evidence that things won’t be as they’ve been before.

Indeed, speaking truth to power may, in time, be replaced by a new phrase: "kind of not good enough."


A recent survey found that fewer than six in 10,  U.S. workers reported they are eating healthy on a consistent basis amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The origin of the coronavirus wreaking havoc around the world remains a source of mystery and controversy.

Scientists generally agree that COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease. That means it jumped from animals to humans, most likely from horseshoe bats to people perhaps near the city of Wuhan, in China.

But, how exactly did people come to such close contact with horseshoe bats and trigger this global pandemic?  And what does this fatal interaction between humans and wildlife say about the broader need to separate wild animals and people for the survival of both?

Author Debora MacKenzie offers some answers to these questions in her new book titled, “Covid-19: The Pandemic that Never Should Have Happened and How to Stop the Next One.”  


Cat Rodeo 2020-07-31

Jul 30, 2020

On the evening of July 12, 1929, a small crowd was gathered at the entrance of the Richmond Market. They stood staring at unexpected “Closed” signs on the door to the Market “due to a problem with mice.” And so began 'The Great Baltimore Cat Round Up.' The scheme, to turn cats loose to do what cats do to mice, turned out to be an embarrassing failure. The market management blamed the cats.

Rosés Are Here

Jul 29, 2020

Summer's here and the time is right for rosé wines. Here's a handful of suggestions.

Terrill: Remembering John Lewis

Jul 28, 2020
Provided by The Associated

As all are certainly aware, we recently lost Congressman John Lewis. This giant of a man was an icon of the civil rights movement and an extraordinary leader whose courage and resolve stood as a moral compass for our country.

John Lewis was a man of compassion, strength, fortitude and of love. He often repeated the words of Dr. Martin Luther King: "Hate is too heavy a burden to bear."

Image from page 646 of "Industrial history of the United States / Harold B. Lee Library/Flickr/Creative Commons

In July, 1877, the overworked and underpaid railroad men of the B&O went on strike. The strike began in Western Maryland, and rolled east, picking up steam as it headed toward Baltimore.

Graywolf (l); One World (r)

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, we review two new memoirs that examine the effects and aftermath of civil war and civil unrest: Wayetu Moore's The Giant, The Dragons, The Women, and Wes Moore's Five Days.


If you’ve been crazily working from home with your pre-schooler, and are now ready to send them back to child care, you may not want to hear this: you’re not done. The University of Arizona says parental involvement in your little one’s child care experience, is a major indicator of whether that child arrives at Kindergarten ready to learn. 

Maryland GovPics via Flickr (CREATIVE COMMONS BY 2.0)

If you’re the type that makes a wager on such things, and you bet that one of the major team sports wouldn’t be able to make it through its first week back from the pandemic without a problem, well, consider yourself a winner.

It only took four days from Major League Baseball’s launch on Thursday for the sport to hurdle into a potential crisis, as 13 Miami Marlins players and coaches tested positive for COVID-19, according to reports.

The Reports: Week of July 27th 2020

Well….we’re back with another edition of ClearPath – Your Roadmap to Health & Wealth. I’m your host, Al Waller. And…today, we’re going to discuss how the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act…..(otherwise known as the CARES Act) impacts loans and early withdrawals from 401(k) retirement accounts. 

A story about how Rivers Chambers and his band changed a country western lament to keep the party going. 

Danyell Irby

Jul 24, 2020

Tom talks with Danyell Irby, WYPR’s Executive Director of News and the producer of The Daily Dose, WYPR’s podcast compendium of stories from the WYPR News Team.  Danyell is recommending:

LEFT neglected by Lisa Genova

Not all delicious pinot noir comes from Burgundy. Here are three winners that hail from around the world.


samchills via flickr (Creative Commons BY 2.0)

If you accept the idea that grilling and barbecue are not the same thing...grilling is fast cooking over high heat, while barbecue is a long, slow cooking process using indirect heat...you'll realize that some days you just want to go long and slow and let time be your featured ingredient. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino points out, sometimes you just don't want to rush things.

Lynda Mettee lives in a house built high up on risers on a slender peninsula called Swan Point that sticks out into the Chesapeake Bay east of Dundalk, in Baltimore County.

She does not need scientists to tell her that floods are becoming more common. A neighbor in a kayak told her as he paddled right down the middle of her street on April 30.  She illustrates this by showing  dramatic flood photos on her iPhone.

“These are pictures where the water was so high that it covered the entire road and you couldn’t even see where the edges of the road were,” said Mettee, a 45-year-old physician’s assistant who lives on Cuckold Point Road. “Even in the past five to seven years we’ve noticed the coastal floods have been increasing. Where it used to happen once or twice a year, this year it’s happened three or four times.”

A new study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration concludes that flooding – driven by climate change and rising sea levels and higher tides – is accelerating at 75 percent of locations on the East and Gulf coasts. Last year, 19 areas broke or tied previous records for flooding, including six in Maryland and Virginia, according to NOAA oceanographer William Sweet.  

Watson Davis / Flickr/Creative Commons

In the summer of 1925, H. L. Mencken traveled to the small town of Dayton, Tennessee, to cover the trial of John Scopes, who challenged the law against teaching evolution in schools.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (l); Penguin (r)

On this edition of The Weekly Reader, we review two new memoirs that are very "of the moment": Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl and Becoming Duchess Goldblatt

An ever growing number of early childhood experts are urging Congress to invest at least $50 billion in the next, and perhaps final, COVID-19 emergency funding bill. The Child Care is Essential Act could save child care and get America back to work. 

Morning Economic Report Week of July 20th 2020

Jim the Photographer via Flicker (Creative Commons BY 2.0)

Like a steak tied at the end of a rope and thrust just out of reach of a hungry dog, the reappearance of live sports is being laid before us ever so elusively. 

NASCAR, men’s and women’s professional golf and soccer and mixed martial arts have made their respective returns, but those have only served to whet appetites for the main course.  

COVID-19 and the ensuing recession has been just so devastating for families across the country, as millions of Americans have lost their jobs—their health insurance—and in some cases both.

Gil tells us about what led up to the 'opening' of the Orleans Street Viaduct in 1935. 

My wife and I were strolling late at night in Fells Point, near Baltimore’s waterfront when we heard an odd sound coming from the trees in Thames Street Park.

A neighbor of the park, Rob Baumann, came walking along with his dog. He smiled at, what to him, were familiar noises.

“They sound like monkeys – they really do,” laughed Bauman, owner of a real estate data company who has lived in Fells Point for two decades.  “It sounds like a jungle, if you sit out here in the middle of the night and they are active. It’s crazy. It’s really cool.”

As it turns out, the calls were not from primates – but from a rare and growing urban colony of black crowned night herons. About 10 of the birds have built a small city of nests and are raising their young in the park’s trees.  

We think one of the best ways to keep simple everyday wines around is to go the bag-in-a-box route. They're surprisingly good!