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Courtesy of Jesse Colvin for Congress

Today, another in our series of Conversations with the Candidates.

Jesse Colvin is running for Congress in Maryland’s sprawling 1st Congressional District.  In a crowded primary field last summer, he beat five other Democrats. 

Now, with the November 6 General Election less than a month away, Colvin faces incumbent Andy Harris in the only Maryland congressional district that leans Republican.  Harris, a Republican, is seeking his 5th term in the US Congress.

Colvin served four combat deployments in Afghanistan as an Army Ranger and intelligence officer.  He says that running for Congress is another call to serve.  This is his first run for elective office.

Jesse Colvin joins Tom in Studio A.

We live-streamed this conversation on Facebook.  To see that video, click here. 

Library of Congress, NAACP

Between 1850 and 1950, more than 4,000 black men, women and children were killed in ‘racial terror lynchings’ in the U.S. At least 40 of those lynchings took place on Maryland soil--no one was convicted of these crimes.

We ask Professor Nicholas Creary, of Bowie State University, who has researched the Maryland lynchings -- who was killed, how and why. We also meet filmmaker Will Schwarz, president of ‘The Maryland Lynching Memorial Project,’ a non-profit hosting a conference this weekend with hopes to honor lives lost, and reconcile Maryland’s dark history.

Register for the conference here.

Franchise Opportunities / Flickr via Creative Commons

In four short weeks voters will decide who will lead the state--- incumbent Republican Governor Larry Hogan or Democrat Ben Jealous.

We speak with WYPR reporter Rachel Baye and Bradley Herring, an associate professor of health policy at the Bloomberg School, about health issues in the election, including Jealous’ Medicare-for-All proposal and why health-insurance premiums have dropped in Maryland.

Cover art courtesy Basic Books

The NFL is one of the most successful sports businesses in history.  With annual revenues hovering between $13 and $14 billion dollars, it is in many ways an unparalleled juggernaut.  But when the NFL’s first game was played in Akron, OH in 1920, it wasn’t nearly as popular as college football, and there were plenty of people who thought the five owners who formed the league were destined for failure. 

In his latest book, John Eisenberg chronicles the rivalry and the cooperation between those five owners -- Art Rooney, George Halas, Tim Mara, George Preston Marshall, and Bert Bell -- that set the stage for the NFL to grow to its present-day gargantuan proportions. 

Eisenberg is a columnist for BaltimoreRavens.com, and the author of nine books.  His latest is The League:  How Five Rivals Created the NFL and Launched a Sports Empire.  He'll be discussing his book tonight at 7:00pm at the Ivy Bookshop on Falls Road in North Baltimore. 

Now, John Eisenberg joins Tom in Studio A.

Image courtesy of Big Mouth Productions

The new documentary film Charm City paints an intimate portrait of life in Baltimore's Madison - East End neighborhood, one of the city's most distressed areas. The film offers a candid look at the neighborhood's residents, their relationship with the police and how they tackle day-to-day challenges.

Filmed over a three-year period, including the prelude and aftermath of Freddie Gray's death and the Baltimore Uprising, Charm City follows the stories of police officers, community leaders and city lawmakers as they grapple with violence and a crisis of confidence in law enforcement.

Today, Tom speaks with Marilyn Ness, the director and producer of Charm City. She is an Emmy, Peabody and DuPont Award winning filmmaker.

Images courtesy Columbia Global Reports

We begin today with a conversation about the rise of nationalism as a political movement.  Brazil is holding a run-off election at the end of the month following the near victory of Jair Bolsonaro, an admirer of some of Brazil’s past dictators.  Several countries in Europe have seen a far-right brand of nationalism ascendant in recent years, and of course, Donald Trump’s doctrine of “America First” and his rallying motto, "Make America Great Again" were key ingredients to his electoral victory in 2016.

Tom's guest is John Judis, who trains his gaze on the global rise of nationalism in his latest book.  John Judis is a former senior editor at the New Republic.  He is an Editor at Large at Talking Points Memo, and the author of seven books.  The new one is called The Nationalist Revival: Trade, Immigration, and the Revolt Against Globalization.

Photo courtesy Dr. Leana Wen

Dr. Leana Wen has been selected as the new president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.  She assumes her new role on  November 12. For the first time in nearly 50 years, a physican will lead the century-old reproductive health services and education organization.

As a patient advocate and an emergency physician, Dr. Wen has led the Baltimore City Health Department since January 2015. She has devoted her career to expanding access to health care for low income communities, reducing health disparities, and finding innovative solutions to some of the most challenging public health problems today, from opioid abuse and teen pregnancy to the epidemic of gun violence.

Creative Commons Mike MacKenzie www.vpnsrus.com

Maybe tech devices aren't actually conspiring to control our lives … but they clearly are developing capabilities that will more and more shape our experience. 

Amy Webb, who has her finger on the pulse of what’s coming, says it won’t be long before we’ll all have to choose if we’re an Apple home, a Google home, or an Amazon home. She also talks with us about the impending death of the smartphone, and paints a picture of what’s next.

Webb founded the ‘Future Today Institute,’ which researches and analyzes emerging technologies. 

Fast Friends

Oct 8, 2018

Two childhood friends go in on a shared dream and open up a beauty salon. At a tire shop, a tall guy and a short guy know how to make each other laugh. A crew of octogenarian pigeon racers trade tall tales. Two cousins move in and learn how to be roommates. An isolated shopkeeper finds trust and compassion in one of his regular customers. Two immigrants manage the multicultural staff at American Wings & Pizza. An unlikely friendship blossoms between a pair of residents at a halfway house. And two exes-turned-business-partners manage to stay friends through it all. 

DeRay Mckesson on the Case for Hope

Oct 8, 2018
Photo Credit Robert Adam Mayer

In his new book, the activist and organizer DeRay Mckesson writes that “Faith is the belief that certain outcomes will happen; and hope the belief that certain outcomes can happen.  He writes compellingly about faith, hope, and the work of social justice in this new era of civil rights activism, shaped by the Black Lives Matter Movement, and operating in a social media environment that has dramatically altered the capacity of organizers to direct protest in ways that only a few years ago were unimaginable. 

The book is called On the Other Side of Freedom: The Case for Hope, and is out now.   We livestreamed this conversation. To see the video, click here.    

Philippe Put / Flickr via Creative Commons

Research on autism can take years to trickle down to people affected. An annual conference later this week aims to bring new findings directly to an audience of families, health care providers, and educators.

Rebecca Landa, founder of the Kennedy Krieger Institute's Center for Autism and Related Disorders, gives a preview of her talk on early intervention. She says coaxing pre-verbal communication in toddlers, like gesturing at objects, is an important place to start. Registration information for the conference is here

And Rebecca Rienzi, executive director, and Thomas Whalen, who’s on the autism spectrum, describes the work of the nonprofit Pathfinders for Autism. Thomas will be speaking at the Annual Autism Conference on Friday.

Spain 101

Oct 7, 2018

Love the food and wine of Spain? Ever dream of visiting the unique and beautiful regions where these products are made? This week we bring you stories and insights from a wine producer and importer with intimate knowledge of Spain’s history, geography and culture, Jorge Ordóñez. Jorge hails from this diverse wine-producing country and joins us in studio to give a virtual tour of his home – region by region.

Pumpkin Papers

Oct 5, 2018
Sean Loyless/flickr

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

Courtesy of John Waters

Tom's guest for the hour is John Waters. He’s a filmmaker, actor, and writer -- not necessarily in that order. Early in his career, Waters established himself as an enfant terrible who was affectionately dubbed the "King of Sleaze." His filmography spans 40 years and 16 films, some of which are cult classics, while others, like Hairspray, are revered as popular icons.

John Waters is also the author of eight books, including Role Models, a collection of essays of people who have shaped his life in important ways; Carsick, his journal of a hitchhiking trip from Baltimore to San Francisco; and Make Trouble, adopted from a speech he delivered at the Rhode Island School of Design.

What is perhaps less well known by the general public  is that John Waters is also a prolific and insightful visual artist. On Sunday, the Baltimore Museum of Art will open a major retrospective of John’s work, in a show that includes 160 examples of art that show Waters to be a trenchant observer and analyst of popular culture. The show is called Indecent Exposure.  John and BMA curator Kristen Hileman will have a public conversation about the exhibition on the first of November.  And on Friday night, Nov. 9, the BMA will screen 18 hours of John Waters movies. There will be prizes for folks who complete the entire Waters film marathon.

Baltimore is also one of the stops on the John Waters Christmas tour this season. You can catch “A John Waters Christmas” at the Baltimore Soundstage on Dec. 19.

We livestreamed this conversation.  To see the video, click here. 


It's another edition of Midday at the Movies, our monthly look at new films and new trends in filmmaking, with our movie maven regulars:  Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday, and the Maryland Film Festival's founding -- and soon-to-retire -- director, Jed Dietz.

Jed and Ann, long-time partners on these monthly Midday get-togethers, spend a few minutes considering the important and enduring changes that have come to the Baltimore film scene since Jed launched the MD Film Festival twenty years ago. One of those changes is the successful restoration of the SNF Parkway, one of the city's oldest movie houses, which now plays a vibrant role on the first-run and art-house film circuits.  The annual Maryland Film Festival, Ann notes, has also energized local filmmaking, and given moviemakers from around the world an important new venue for showcasing their work.

Photography by Bill Geenen

It's time for another weekly visit with our peripatetic theater critic, J. Wynn Rousuck, who joins Tom today with reviews of not one but two theater-season openers here in Baltimore.

The first is the new production at Baltimore's Center Stage of Tennessee Williams' sultry American classic, Cat on a Hot Tin RoofThis searing drama about multi-generational family ties and unsustainable deceptions unfolds over the course of a sweltering summer night, in the mansion house of a sprawling Mississippi Delta plantation.  Tony and Obie Awards laureate Judith Ivey directs the strong cast, led by actors David Schramm as Big Daddy, Andrew Pastides as Brick, and Stephanie Gibson as Maggie.

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof continues at Center Stage through Sunday, October 14.

Matt Wade / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Supreme Court is now in session. The high court began its new term this week with just eight justices on the bench. How does the empty seat influence which cases the court decides to hear, and how the justices rule?

University of Baltimore law professor Michael Meyerson steps us through some of the arguments over criminal law the high court will hear this term--including a case that could upend the long-standing interpretation of the Fifth Amendment.

And we discuss the contentious nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh and its potential impact on how the public perceives the court.

Vivian Marie Doering

Get to know Baltimore and its history this weekend. Doors Open Baltimore is offering open-house events at 60 sites across the city, from Lord Baltimore Hotel to 18th century homes in Fells Point. We speak to organizers Victoria Kraushar-Plantholt and David Ditman about exploring the city. The events are free and organized by the American Institute of Architects Baltimore Chapter and the Baltimore Architecture Foundation.


Click here to plan your visit and check out participating sites. Register here for guided tours.

photo courtesy time.com

It’s anybody’s guess whether or not President Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, DC Circuit Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh, will replace retired Justice Anthony Kennedy on the High Court.  The FBI is reported to be finishing up its supplemental background check on Mr. Kavanaugh, looking into multiple allegations of past sexual assault and misconduct made in recent weeks against the nominee.

Former college classmates and current friends of the Judge have weighed in on his fitness for the Supreme Court, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised a vote this week. 

Today on Midday, perspectives on the Kavanaugh nomination from Cleta Mitchell, a former counsel to the National Republican Senatorial and Congressional Committees;  Ian Samuel, associate professor at Indiana University's Maurer School of Law and co-host of First Mondays, the weekly podcast about the Supreme Court; and Thiru Vignarajah, a former federal prosecutor, former Deputy Attorney General of Maryland and currently a litigator with DLA Piper in Baltimore.

The Kavanaugh confirmation process and the future of the Supreme Court, today on Midday.

On today’s Midday Culture Connection with Dr. Sheri Parks: a conversation about sexual assault in education.   When Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, not only was it another pivot point in the #MeToo Movement, it also afforded a window into a culture of drinking and bad conduct among privileged young people in the 1980s.   Was that culture of privilege and excess substantially different from the 1970s or 1960s?  Did the culture change in the next millennium at elite private high schools and the nation’s most exclusive colleges and universities? 

In years past, Baltimore’s Chinatown was a bustling area, home to restaurants, shops, and cultural parades. Today, only a handful of Asian-owned businesses remain. We talk with Katherine Chin, a longtime community leader and Stephanie Hsu, an organizer with the Chinatown Collective, two women who are leading a revival of the area, hoping to unite Asian American identity in the city.

View pictures of the recent Charm City Night Market event here, and see historic photos of Baltimore's Chinatown here.

Photo Credit Enoch Pratt Library

This week, two important gatherings are taking place in Baltimore that will explore ways to increase investment in small businesses and other ventures that will help the city grow its economy.  Today, tomorrow and Wednesday, the Johns Hopkins 21st Century Cities Initiative, in conjunction with the Federal Reserve of Philadelphia, will host a conference called Investing in Opportunity.  And later this week, the first Baltimore Homecoming will launch.  It’s an effort to identify prominent people with Baltimore roots, bring them back home for a few days, and acquaint them with companies and causes they may find appealing.

On today’s show, Tom speaks with Mary Miller.  She was for many years a senior executive with T Rowe Price, before a five year stint at the US Treasury during the Obama Administration, where she served as the Acting Deputy Treasury Secretary and the Under Secretary for Domestic Finance.   She’s now a Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins University in the 21st Century Cities Initiative, and she serves on the Host Committee of Baltimore Homecoming. 

Later in the program, Tom is joined by the architects behind Baltimore Homecoming, Co-Founders, Nate Loewentheil, who is also serves as  President of the non-profit organization, and Treasurer, J.M. Schapiro.        

Larry Canner/JHU

About two million people in the U.S. have lost an arm, a hand, a leg or other limb. Many opt to use a prosthesis -- a fabricated upper or lower limb. Luke Osborn, a graduate student in biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University, tells us about an electronic skin that can create the sensation of touch for the user of an upper-limb prosthesis. And George Levay, a research participant who lost his arms to meningitis, describes what it was like using the electronic skin on his prosthetic hand. Original airdate: 8.11.18

Kenneth Leung/flickr

It is one of the most efficient and cost effective (not to mention delicious!) ways to get your protein. This week it’s all about beans. Tony and Chef Cindy explore what is and isn’t a bean, they share some recipes and chat Ian Seletsky of Richfield Farms in Carrol County, MD. Ian grows a variety of beans on his farm and shares some first-hand insights on these lovely legumes.

Photo Courtesy Dr. Carol Anderson

When Democratic Senator Doug Jones won his election in Alabama against Roy Moore last year, many credited his victory to the large turnout among African American voters. Yet more than 100,000 Alabama voters can’t vote because they don’t have the ID required by the state. In fact, Alabama is one of the most difficult places to vote in all the land.  Most of the people who are affected by strict voting regulations, in Alabama and elsewhere, are people of color.

Today, a conversation about voting.  In a lot of places, and for a lot of people, registering to vote and the act of voting itself is hard.  While there is consensus that Democracy is best served when most people are engaged in the Democratic process, there is much less agreement about how voting should be made both uncorrupted and easy for individual voters.

Tom’s guest is Dr. Carol Anderson, the Charles Howard Chandler Professor of African American Studies at Emory University, author of, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide.  Now she has turned her scholarly gaze to the often unspoken truths around voting. Her latest offering is called One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy.  

Acme Corporation/Single Carrot Theatre

Is ‘truth’ always about the facts? Or is it constructed simply by where we choose to place our focus? “Putin On Ice (That Isn’t the Real Title of this Show),” delves into that question with a lot of fantasy, a load of humor and a bit of candor. It’s co-produced by the Acme Corporation and Single Carrot Theatre. We meet playwright Lola B. Pierson and director Yury Urnov to get some insight on the play.

For information on tickets, visit this link.

Sean Beier tells the story of meeting his intimidating Russian father in law for the first time ... and why every man should own a watch. You can hear his story and others at Stoopstorytelling.com or on the Stoop Podcast.

Joan Gaither

Warm, cozy--and able to tell a story. Artist and Baltimore native Joan Gaither uses quilts to preserve and document American history. Her quilts are covered with beads, buttons, photos, and fabrics of all colors. Gaither describes putting her heart, soul, and identity into her quilts. Listen to our full conversation from December.

Then: the comedy stage has not always welcomed women and gender minorities. But for stand-up comic Violet Gray the stage is a second home. She says comedy gives her the chance to humanize her experience as a trans woman and break down stereotypes. Listen to our full conversation from May

Photo courtesy Fox News Channel

Today: President Trump’s record on race.  In Kenansville, North Carolina, in September of 2016, Mr. Trump declared that black communities in the United States today are "absolutely in the worst shape that they've ever been in before."

Putting aside the president’s apparent ignorance of slavery and Jim Crow, Trump’s basic pitch to African American voters came down to a phrase that Juan Williams of Fox News appropriates in the title of his new book, "What the Hell Do You Have to Lose?": Trump’s War on Civil Rights. 

Williams -- a former NPR and Washington Post correspondent who now writes a column for The Hill and co-hosts the Fox News Channel's roundtable debate show, The Five -- examines Mr. Trump’s racial belligerence, from his response to the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA, to his contention that undocumented immigrants and other ineligible people voted by the millions in the 2016 election. 

Juan Williams joins us for the hour from the studios of NPR affiliate WABE in Atlanta, Georgia. 

The Concert Truck

Classical pianist Susan Zhang is one of the masterminds behind “The Concert Truck,” a mobile concert hall that brings music to the people, with free concerts at public places. Then whether it’s gathering dust in a drawer or worn every day, nearly everyone owns jewelry. We speak to Shane Prada, the director of the Baltimore Jewelry Center, which offers classes in metal work, enameling, and more. And artist Mary Fissel tells us how jewelry making is like problem solving.

Information for The Concert Truck performances can be found here and class schedules at Baltimore Jewelry Center and exhibit information can be found here.