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Pandemic, Fermentation, Art, Travel, And More With Chef Helena Del Pesco

Jan 15, 2021

In this episode, Sammy talks with Baltimore Chef, Helena del Pesco, owner and chef of Larder, a globally influenced restaurant featuring organic ingredients sourced from regional farms. We talk about how the pandemic has affected her first year owning a restaurant, our shared love of fermentation, food as art, and her journey to becoming a chef starting from her vegan childhood to her travels around the world!

Mark Gunnery

Racial injustices ignited a wave of protests that swept the globe last year and inspired a generation of young people with a lot to say about what they want to make right with the world.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

The Maryland General Assembly convened for its annual 90-day session Wednesday, and it is already unlike any session the state has seen before. Rachel Baye and Nathan Sterner discuss how lawmakers have adjusted their long-held traditions for a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Mayor Brandon Scott announced Wednesday Baltimore City recycling curbside pickup services will resume next week, ending a six-month suspension first enacted due to COVID-19 outbreaks among crews that led to a shortage of workers.

Kristin Hersh has built a devoted following with her one-of-a-kind singing and songwriting, as a solo artist and as leader of the bands Throwing Muses and 50 Foot Wave. On this episode of Essential Tremors, she discusses how traditional ballads, Nick Drake, and Vic Chesnutt impacted her own work.

AP Photo/Julio Cortez

President Trump, still objecting to the election, said Thursday there will be a peaceful transfer of power in two weeks. But the scars of the riot he incited at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday will not fade easily.


Gov. Larry Hogan announced new steps Tuesday designed to speed up the state’s rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.


The latest state data show that just under 77,000 Marylanders have received the vaccine, correlating with about 28% of the doses Hogan said have been distributed to health care providers. 

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

2020 has been a year for the record books. And thankfully, it's also been a year filled with good books as many of us have turned to turning pages as a means of escape during this difficult year.

If you're looking for a new read to lead you into 2021, WYPR's staff have you covered with 21 great titles. Why not 20 books for 2020? Trust us, we tried. There were just too many good ones to choose from!

Check out our book reviews, author interviews and recommendations below. 

Emily Sullivan/WYPR

Santa takes many forms throughout the holiday season: there’s the work party Santa, the  parade float Santa, the illustrious mall Santa. In Baltimore, there’s Santa atop a cargo bike carrying several hundred pounds worth of Christmas trees, trailed by the scent of slow-cooked pork. 

From the last week of Thanksgiving through the week before Christmas, Todd Coleman and Mike Santoro dress as St. Nick, load up to eight Christmas trees on their bikes and pack a cooler full of pulled pork sandwiches. The duo run Pork ‘N Pine: a local legend of a business that delivers Douglas firs and BBQ to your door.

Mark Gunnery

In a year when peoples' lives have been turned upside down by coronavirus many readers have found solace in science fiction. Science fiction has long been an arena where authors can speculate about the future from an uncertain present. One book that feels especially prescient during this moment of crisis is the 1975 classic Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany.

Justin Harris (used with permission)

What would it be like if people like Ida B. Wells, Tracy Chapman, Phillis Wheatley, Meshell Ndegeocello, and Bessie Smith were able to talk, dance, drive, drink, and sing with each other across boundaries of time and space?

That's a question Baltimore poet Jalynn Harris answers in her book Exit Thru The Afro. She describes her debut poetry collection as a museum charting the lives of Black women and trans people from different moments in history. 

Brandon Soderberg has worked as a music critic, an altweekly editor, and a reporter on the frontlines of protest. He’s now the co-author of I Got a Monster, a book about the Baltimore Police Department’s corrupt Gun Trace Task Force. On this episode, he discusses how music from OutKast, Fabio Frizzi, and Jason Isbell shaped his work.

Dance and Bmore (screenshot, elders dance video)

Scrambling to adjust operations due to lockdowns last March threw even the most experienced administrators and business owners into a tizzy -- how would it be possible to deliver … or teach … or engage … or assist ... when the only space to be shared was virtual? CJay Philip, founder and artistic director of Dance and Bmore, didn’t panic. Instead she paused to ask: how can we best serve our community of young people and elders? Simple, she thought. Just ask them!

Links: Elders Dance video, Voices of Carmen music video, and to nominate someone for Give Thanks and Give Back, email danceandbmore@gmail.com or call 410 871-8322.

University of Maryland Medical System

All hospitals and nursing homes in Maryland will have initial doses of the new COVID-19 vaccine in the next two weeks, Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday.

Screenshot via CharmTV

A series of new pandemic restrictions ordered by Mayor Brandon Scott in Baltimore, including the shuttering of indoor and outdoor dining, will go into effect at 5:00 p.m. Friday, as local hospitals approach capacity.

“Governor Hogan said yesterday that the state of Maryland is in red. No, we're on fire,” Scott said in a Friday morning news conference. “We have to understand the dire situation that we are in.”

The office of Mayor Brandon M. Scott

Baltimore’s long-established divides, made even worse by the coronavirus pandemic, stretch before the Brandon Scott administration.

The ongoing threat of the pandemic coupled with the cold of winter, systemic inequality and the city’s brutal homicide rates are but a few of the issues that Mayor Scott, who took office Tuesday, and the rest of the new roster of City Hall officials face.

Sock Day

Dec 4, 2020

Happy National Sock Day! WYPR has new socks just in time for sock day and the holiday season. For each pair of socks requested, a pair will be donated to a person in need. Pick out WYPR socks when you make a pledge today! 


Giving Tuesday Goal

Dec 1, 2020

WYPR’s Giving Tuesday goal is 300 donations for the day! Help WYPR reach our donation goal by making a pledge today.

Already donated? THANK YOU! You make radio happen.

Cyber Hon Day

Dec 1, 2020

Happy Cyber Hon Day! Traditionally, this is the day when shoppers get all the online deals from major retailers, but here at Your Public Radio, we say why should they have all the fun?  So, we’re offering our own special online deals because we’re always looking for an excuse to give away gifts to our listeners.  


Sock Match

Dec 1, 2020

WYPR has a sock match this Giving Tuesday. All socks requested today will be matched with a pair of socks for someone in need. Pick out WYPR Socks when you make a donation! New socks are a classic holiday gift and a great way to stay cozy as the weather changes. 


Member Perk BMI

Nov 30, 2020

Special WYPR Member Perk! Join WYPR and the Baltimore Museum of Industry on Thursday, December 3 for a preview party for Sparrows Point: An American Steel Story podcast, a new project with WYPR’s Aaron Henkin.  This virtual event is for WYPR and BMI members only as a thank you for your support!  


Cyber Hon Day

Nov 30, 2020

Happy Cyber Hon Day! Traditionally, this is the day when shoppers get all the online deals from major retailers, but here at Your Public Radio, we say why should they have all the fun?  So, we’re offering our own special online deals because we’re always looking for an excuse to give away gifts to our listeners.  

388 Trees

Nov 25, 2020

Thanks to our members, Blue Water Baltimore will be able to plant 388 trees in our area after a successful pledge-for-tree match in September. WYPR members made this possible. Become a member today and support this community resource and others! 



Nov 23, 2020

It’s THANK-A-THON season! WYPR staff, board, CAB, and volunteers are calling 1,288 members to say thank you for providing this community resource. Membership provides nearly half of WYPR’s operating budget. Join the team by becoming a member today. #GiveWYPR2020



Activists experiencing homelessness in Baltimore led a march from the Shot Tower to City Hall on Saturday.

They chanted “evictions have got to go” and “cancel rent” and carried signs reading ‘homeless can’t stay home,’ ‘homeless, not hopeless,’ and ‘empty shelters now.“

Their demands included permanent housing for all, rent cancellation and an end to the use of congregate city-funded shelters.

Wine, Science, Baltimore Food Scene And More With Chef Jerry Pellegrino

Nov 22, 2020

In this episode, Sammy talks with iconic Baltimore Chef, Jerry Pellegrino via Zoom. He is currently the owner of Schola, a hands-on cooking school, and the owner of Strickland Hollow Farm & Distillery. We talk about the pandemic’s impact on the restaurant industry, discuss his WYPR talk show, Radio Kitchen, learn the science of making hard cider and more.

Car Donation

Nov 20, 2020

Don't let your ride gobble up your wallet with repairs; donate your vehicle! Learn more about WYPR's vehicle donation program https://www.wypr.org/cardonation or schedule a car donation by calling 855-277-2346.

WYPR is hiring!

Nov 18, 2020

WYPR is hiring! Apply today to be WYPR's Membership Associate. Learn more about this full-time position at https://www.wypr.org/employment-and-internships

The rise in Covid-19 cases prompts Governor Hogan to tighten restrictions. State workers say they're not properly equipped for telework. The City Council held its penultimate meeting ahead of a new regime, and they passed a bill to help those experiencing homelessness in Baltimore.

Have you ever faced a problem that seems insurmountable, only to have someone come along, view it from a different perspective and find a solution? That is the business model for the IMAGE Center of Maryland. Executive director Michael Bullis explains how the non-profit connects people with disabilities to solutions to help regain independence in their lives.

Plus, we talk with Rhonda Taylor and Shannon Clancy to learn about Volunteers for Medical Engineering -- one-off devices that are tailored to a client’s needs.