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Tom Flynn

A recent study published in the journal Science found that North America has lost 29 percent of its bird population in the last 50 years. That’s nearly 3 billion birds of all different species, from meadowlarks to swallows to robins.

And to no one’s surprise, the Baltimore region has noticed that decline. For example, the whippoorwill and the American woodcock, once common around Baltimore and throughout eastern North America, are at risk because their habitat has been declining with urbanization.

"A Real Whole Lot" Facebook Page

Baltimore native Phil Kane enlisted in the Army in 1941. During WWII, he sent hundreds of letters home to his new bride, Jack. We hear their love story from their daughter, Jacqueline Kane, who collected their letters in the book, "A Real Whole Lot".

See David Folkenflik!

Nov 6, 2019

See David Folkenflik LIVE in Baltimore! Folkenflik serves as media correspondent for NPR News and as host and editor of On Point from NPR and WBUR. You can see David Folkenflik for one night only on Nov. 13 at Baltimore Center Stage!

Presale tickets for David Sedaris in Baltimore

Nov 5, 2019

Exclusive presale offer from your friends at WYPR! Get your tickets to David Sedaris in Baltimore on Saturday, April 11 before they go on public sale Friday, November 15! Reserve your seats at: 

Arbutus. College Town?

Nov 4, 2019
John Lee

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Arbutus are near each other. But when you think about Arbutus, “college town” probably doesn’t come to mind. 


A business is opening Monday morning in the southern Baltimore County community that hopes to help change that. 



Poe Theatre on the Air - The Cask of Amontillado

Oct 30, 2019

Insulted once too often by a vain and pompous "friend," a man lures his victim to the catacombs beneath his home with the promise of a rare bottle of wine. Too late, the friend pays the ultimate price for not being more polite...


Tom's guest today is Ophira Eisenberg, the host of NPR’s nationally syndicated comedy trivia show Ask Me Another, which we all listen to Saturday mornings here on WYPR. 

That show is just one facet of Ophira Eisenberg’s multi-faceted career.   She’s a frequent host and contributor to The Moth Radio Hour, and she’s a frequent headliner in comedy venues across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

The Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based entertainer is in Baltimore for a one-night standup gig at the Gordon Center for the Performing Arts in Owings Mills tonight, starting at 7:30, but right now, Ophira Eisenberg joins Tom in Studio A. 

Listeners are welcome to join us as well.

We live-streamed the conversation on WYPR's Facebook page.  To watch, click here.

AP/Patrick Semansky


The Baltimore City Council passed a bill on Monday that bans the use of gag orders in the settlements of all police brutality and discrimination cases and bolsters transparency throughout the city’s litigation system. 

AP/Julio Cortez

At 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, fifteen minutes before Morgan State University's Gilliam Concert Hall was due to open its doors, a massive line of mourners waited in line for their turn to say goodbye to Elijah Cummings.

Live Baltimore

Midday in the Neighborhood is an occasional series which spotlights the remarkable tapestry of communities that make up the city of Baltimore. 

Monday's episode (10/28) will focus on Park Heights, Butchers Hill and Franklin Square. Do you live, work, or play in one of these neighborhoods? Send us your photos

The deadline for entries is Friday (10/25) at noon. Selected photos will be published on the Midday page, in the WYPR newsletter, and the photographer will get an on-air mention! 

Tune in Monday at noon for the show! 

In this episode: The perfectly nice lady behind one of the most menacing overdubs in television history, the tireless purveyor of Baltimore’s most famous pizza, two barbers who’ve each paid their dues to learn their trade, the operators of a make-it-from-scratch ice cream shop, and a tenacious entrepreneur for whom failure is not an option.

Melissa Gerr

Zion Church of the City of Baltimore was founded in 1755 by German immigrants. It still holds services in German, and even offers German language classes. But like many venerable religious institutions, Zion is trying to figure out how to remain relevant as it honors the past.

John Clark Mayden / JHU Press

For nearly fifty years, John Clark Mayden has viewed life through a distinctive lens. His black-and-white photographs capture ordinary moments--passengers riding the bus, weary workers pausing for a break-and spark our curiosity. When was this photo taken? Where are these people now?

Mayden tells us how he got his start, and how his style changed over time. 

You can see Mayden's photos at the George Peabody Library, now through March 1, 2020. There is talk celebrating the exhibit and a book launch at Peabody on Sunday, Oct 27, at 4:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public.

Or you can check him out at the Baltimore Book Festival on November 3rd at 3 pm at the Ivy Bookshop stage.

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Maryland Rep. Elijah E. Cummings died early Thursday due to complications from longstanding health challenges. He was 68.

Tributes and remembrances have been pouring in since the news broke that Cummings passed, and WYPR is remembering our interviews with the longtime Democratic congressman. 

Matt Rourke / AP Photo

Like everyone in Maryland, On the Record is saddened by the loss of Democratic Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, who died early this morning. We extend condolences to his wife, Dr. Maya Rockymore, chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, and the rest of his family.

Melissa Gerr

Wait! Don't squash that spider crawling inside your kitchen sink! Studying the creepy crawlers can lead to important findings about our environment. Two entomologists weigh in: Professor James Young, from the Natural History Society of Maryland, discusses the value of insect collections and Fred Paraskevoudakis praises their worth as ecological harbingers. Plus, filmmaker Allison Otto talks about her documentary “The Love Bugs." It's a moving portrayal about the ‘love of nature’ and the ‘nature of love.’

The Love Bugs will be screening at the Natural History Society of Maryland followed by a lecture about insect collecting. For more information, visit this link.

As Climate Changes, Scientists Re-Think Phragmites

Oct 17, 2019
Pamela D'Angelo

If you visit the tiny Virginia town of Saxis, just across Pocomoke Sound from Crisfield, Maryland, you’ll be greeted by fields of bobbing, feathery heads of 10-foot phragmites.

The tall reed launched its invasion of the Chesapeake Bay centuries ago when the plants hitched a ride across the Atlantic with the first European colonists. And for the most part, it’s been seen as a pesky plant that clogged wetlands and waterways, taking over the habitat of native plants.

Pamela D'Angelo

The wetlands of the Chesapeake Bay are nurseries for blue crabs, striped bass, menhaden and other important species. The variety of plants in them absorbs pollutants like nitrogen that run off city streets and farm fields.

And they protect properties from flooding by stabilizing shorelines and absorbing storm water.

I Died A Spiritual Death: Jack’s Journey

Oct 15, 2019

Jack was introduced to heroin at age nineteen. At the time, he was behind bars serving a prison sentence. He talks with Theo about the early manifestations of his addictive personality, his multiple incarcerations, and the progression of his disease over three decades. 

Keeping Cuban Music Alive

Oct 11, 2019
Tom Flynn

Tracing the musical history of Santiago and all of eastern Cuba is like finding a treasure chest in which the traditional roots of the music still shine like gold nuggets.

Rodolfo Vaillant, head of the city’s musician’s union, says the traditional music became the source for most of the Latin music that we hear today.

After-party with NPR's Ophira Eisenberg

Oct 10, 2019

 Join WYPR for the exclusive after-party with NPR’s Ophira Eisenberg as well as her comedy set on Wednesday, October 30 at The Gordon Center. Tickets include reserved seating for the main event at 7:30pm and a private after-party with light snacks, dessert and beer/wine from our friends at Water for Chocolate Catering.

all photos by Wendel Patrick

Stories from a Dominican barbershop, a tattoo parlor, a lawyer’s office, a coffee counter, and a collaborative arts hub, all neighbors in the melting pot that is Eastern Avenue in Baltimore’s Highlandtown neighborhood.   

Tom Flynn

Santiago, Cuba, Oriente Province, is five hours by plane from BWI, via Miami, but centuries away in time. Horse carts clop around town and roosters rule from rooftops on every block of the old city.  And there’s music in the streets in late July.

That’s because the folks in this town, the capitol of this Spanish colony since 1522, are getting ready for the traditional summer Carnival. The final parade of the Carnival takes place July 26, the date of Fidel Castro’s attack on the Moncado Barracks that marks the start of the 1953 revolution.

Chris Shonting

Guitarist/keyboardist Ian Williams has blazed a unique path through underground music,with Don Caballero, Storm & Stress, and now with Battles. On this episode, the first of two that interview both Battles members, he talks about getting rid of emotion, free jazz, and machine music.

Anne Arundel County Office of Planning & Zoning

As time passes and towns grow or shrink, first-hand knowledge about important places fades away. A virtual trail of African-American heritage in Anne Arundel County aims to halt that loss and preserve historical sites from the past four centuries.

Jane Cox, of the county’s Office of Planning and Zoning, tells us about putting the Four Rivers Heritage Trail together. And Lyndra Marshall recounts how they collected oral histories from residents, including memories of businesses, schools, and places of recreation. 

MERIT Health Leadership Academy is recruiting the next generation of doctors, nurses, and researchers.

Executive director Jake Weinfeld tells us how internships, SAT prep, and college visits, put motivated Baltimore City high school students on the path to a career that will improve public health and reduce disparities. We hear from MERIT alumna Jessica Cooley and current participant Kanira Jones

John Lee

The Baltimore County Council is expected to vote Monday night on whether it will sue Monsanto Company for contaminating the county’s environment with Polychlorinated biphenyls, also known as PCBs.


WYPR’s Baltimore County reporter John Lee and Morning Edition host Nathan Sterner hashed out the details.



Poe Theatre on the Air - Morella

Oct 4, 2019

A man’s love for his scholarly wife fades as her fascination turns to morbid themes. On her deathbed, she gives birth and curses the man to ensure that he will never be freed from her memory.

Photo by Matt Dine

Today on Midday, we break from the news of the day, and focus on that which is great and good about the human condition.  It’s Midday on MusicA little later, we’ll be treated to some tunes by the guitar/harp duo, Robin Bullock and Sue Richards.  Their performance is posted separately here.

We begin today with Hanzhi Wang.  This virtuoso concert accordionist was born 29 years ago in China. She now lives and teaches in Copenhagen, Denmark. 

She is the first accordionist to win the prestigious Young Concert Artists Auditions in New York.  Ms. Wang is not your grandfather’s polka-playing accordionist, nor is she the organ-grinder busker in Little Italy with the dancing monkey.  As you will  hear, she is a virtuoso on an instrument that is not usually associated with art music.  We streamed our conversations today on the WYPR Facebook Page, so you can see that the instrument she is playing -- the button accordion -- doesn’t even look like most accordions you’ve seen before.   

During her live performance on Midday, Hanzhi Wang plays three pieces, in this order:

“My Story” by Hanzhi Wang;  “Etincelles” by Moritz Moszkowski; and “La Muerte del Angel”  by Astor Piazzolla.   

Hanzhi Wang performs Saturday night (October 5) at a concert at the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center at Howard Community College in Columbia.  It’s part of the Candlelight Concert Society series.  She'll play music of Bach, Rameau, Scarlatti, Grieg and Schnittke.  The concert starts at 7:30.  Wang's latest CD is called On the Path to H.C. Anderson on the Naxos label.  It includes music by contemporary Danish composers.  Hanzhi Wang is on the faculty of the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen.   She posts on Instagram.  

Photo by Don Baker

Today's edition of Midday on Music continues now with two great musician friends of Midday joining Tom once again in Studio A: They are Robin Bullock, who has appeared as a solo artist and as part of Helicon; and Sue Richards, who has played here previously as a member of Ensemble Galilei.  Now, they have teamed up as a duo and released a terrific CD of traditional Celtic music called Highland Ramble. Robin plays  guitar, mandolin and cittern, among other traditional string instruments.  Sue is a four time National Scottish Harp Champion. 

We streamed their performance today on WYPR's Facebook Page, and you can watch the video here, beginning at 36:00 into the feed.

The duo plays two tunes from the Highland Ramble CD: "Loftus Jones" by Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan, and "Farmors Brudpolska," a traditional 19th century Swedish wedding polska.

Robin Bullock and Sue Richards play at 7:30pm tonight (Friday, October 4)at the Church of the Redeemer in Baltimore, as part of the Common Ground on the Hill Concert Series.

If you miss them tonight, they’ll be back in Baltimore on December 6th at Govans Presbyterian Church; Robin will be playing a solo all-Bach concert at An Die Musik in Baltimore on November 1st.