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49 minutes | May 27, 2022
Dorothy Roberts' 'Torn Apart' calls out racial disparities in foster care
(This conversation was originally broadcast on April 26, 2022) Good afternoon and welcome to an encore edition of Midday. Tom's guest today is Dorothy Roberts, a professor of law and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of four books, including Killing the Black Body, about systemic abuse of African American women, and Fatal Invention, which explores the relationship between race, science and politics. Her new book argues that the nation's foster care system, putatively designed to protect children, instead deprives Black parents of fundamental rights and leads to traumatic consequences for Black children. The child welfare system, she argues, is “more accurately described as the family policing system,” and she calls for it to be dismantled. The book is called Torn Apart: How the Child Welfare System Destroys Black Families—And How Abolition Can Build a Safer World. Dorothy Roberts joined us on Zoom from Philadelphia. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10 minutes | May 26, 2022
Rousuck's Review: 'The Joy That Carries You' at Olney Theatre Ctr.
It's time for another visit with theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck, who joins Tom each week with her reviews of Maryland's regional stage. Today, she spotlights The Joy That Carries You, now getting a world premiere production at Olney Theater Center. Co-written by two local playwrights, Awa Sal Secka and Dani Stoller, the uplifting drama combines sharp comic dialogue with sparkling spoken-word poetry to tell a resonant tale of love and family. The play is directed by Jason Loewith and Kevin McAllister, and its cast includes playwright Dani Stoller with Billie Krishawn, Lolita Marie, Susan Rome, Michael Russotto, Bru Ajueyitsi and James J. Johnson. The Joy That Carries You continues at The Olney Theatre Center through June 12. Follow the links above for showtimes and ticket info. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
40 minutes | May 26, 2022
America's $1.6 trillion college loan debt problem: Some perspectives
Nearly 45 million Americans have amassed $1.6 trillion dollars in student loan debt. The Biden Administration is expected to announce its plan for student debt relief soon, perhaps as early as this weekend. One of the ideas the President is considering is an executive order that would forgive $10,000 of each borrower's debt, which would wipe out loans for 4.6 million borrowers. More than 1 in 5 borrowers have defaulted or stopped making payments on their loans. A payment moratorium has been in effect since the beginning of the COVID pandemic in 2020. It expires in August. We begin our conversation with Cory Turner, an education correspondent and Senior Editor at NPR who has covered the student-loan debt issue extensively over the past year. Corey joins Tom on our digital line from Silver Spring… Then, Tom gets the perspectives of two African American doctors who hold appointments at Yale University, and some student debt, as well. Dr. Jessica Isom is a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine… Dr. Carmen Black is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, also at the Yale School of Medicine. The two physicians co-wrote an essay in Newsweek Magazinerecently that argues for framing student debt as a racial justice issue. One of the debt relief options President Biden is reportedly considering is to cap the income at which borrowers would have their debt reduced or eliminated. Dr. Jessica Isom and Dr. Carmen Black are recommending a different approach. They both join us on Zoom. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
39 minutes | May 25, 2022
The Nurse 'Antigone': Ancient play spotlights nurses' COVID challenges
The trauma that the country feels in the aftermath of these all-too-common mass shootings is palpable, raw and not quickly relieved. And imagine what the medical staffs of the hospitals experienced as victims of these attacks are rushed into their facilities. And another kind of trauma continues to afflict them: COVID infection numbers are climbing again. For people who have been vaccinated, there is a tendency to think of the pandemic in the past tense. But for front-line health care workers, it is not at all a thing of the past. Even before hospitals faced the challenges of COVID 19, there were challenges that many health care professionals were unable or unwilling to overcome. In January of this year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that healthcare was among the top three professions in monthly "quits rate." That month alone, 33,000 health care workers quit their jobs, leaving hospitals, and the remaining workers, scrambling. On today’s installment of Midday on Ethics, we’re going to talk about moral resilienceand why it is such an important component for the people our healthcare is entrusted to. And we'll tell you about The Nurse Antigone Project, a collaborative arts project spotlighting the unique challenges front-line nurses have endured during the COVID pandemic. Tom's guests today are two scholars from the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics. Dr. Jeffrey Kahn is the director of the Berman Institute, and our regular guest here on Midday for our Midday on Ethics programs. Dr. Jeffrey Kahn join us on Zoom from Baltimore. Dr. Cynda Rushton is the Anne and George L. Bunting Professor of Clinical Ethics at the Institute, and a Professor of Nursing and Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. She is the creator of the Rushton Moral Resilience Scale, and the editor and author of Moral Resilience: Transforming Moral Suffering in Healthcare. Dr. Cynda Rushton joins us on Zoom from Boston. The next performance of The Nurse Antigone takes place tonight (Wednesday, May 25), originating in New York City, from 5-7pm. To register for the free Zoom event, click here. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10 minutes | May 25, 2022
'Sandy Hook' author Elizabeth Williamson on the Uvalde killings
We begin today with Elizabeth Williamson, a feature writer for the New York Timesand the author of Sandy Hook: An American Tragedy and the Battle for Truth. Elizabeth joined Tom in March to talk about her very important book, and you can hear their Midday conversation here. As we know, another American tragedy occurred Tuesday at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, when a murderous rampage by an 18-year-old man with multiple weapons left at least 19 children and two teachers dead. Elizabeth Williamson joins us on Zoom… See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
14 minutes | May 24, 2022
A Baltimore County news update with WYPR reporter John Lee
The Fraternal Order of Police held a vote of no-confidence last night regarding Baltimore County Police Chief Melissa Hyatt, and called for her dismissal. The County school system is grappling with persistent transportation problems and a nationwide driver shortage. And concerns over Baltimore County teacher pay and school safety sparked a protest rally last week outside a school board meeting. Tom's next guest is WYPR’s John Lee, who covers all things Baltimore County for the station's award-winning news team. John joins us on our digital line with details on these and other developments. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
21 minutes | May 24, 2022
Shakeup in Port Covington's developers: who's out, who's in.
Now, we turn to Mark Reutter, a senior editor and investigative reporter with the Baltimore Brew. One of the stories he has been covering, for years, is the development at Port Covington, announced with great fanfare in 2016. But the scope and parameters of the project have changed since then, and Mark joins us on Zoom with an update on the most recent turns in the huge development project. Check out Mark Reutter's coverage of Port Covington on the Baltimore Brew Website. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
15 minutes | May 24, 2022
Bay's blue crab numbers lowest in 30 years, according to DNR survey
Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner, and in anticipation of all those summer crab feasts folks are looking forward to, we thought we’d take a look at the status of crabs in the Chesapeake Bay. Since 1990, the MD Department of Natural Resources has conducted a Baywide Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey, to determine the size of the blue crab population in the Bay. And this year, the news is not great. The survey found fewer crabs than at any time in more than 30 years. Why is that, and what can be done to increase the crab population in the Bay? Tom's guest is Michael Luisi, DNR's Acting Director of Fishing and Boating Services. He joins us on Zoom from Annapolis. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
49 minutes | May 23, 2022
Hopkins' Human Aging Project: Finding healthful ways to grow old
We are, as a general rule, living longer. The average life expectancy of Americans in 1960 was just over 69 years. In 2022, it’s 79 years. A team of physicians and researchers at Johns Hopkins University have formed a group to study ways that we can stay healthy as we get older, exploring medical and technological fixes for what might ail us. Dr. Jeremy Walston is the director of the Johns Hopkins Human Aging Project and Raymond and Anna Lubin Professor of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Walston joins us on Zoom from Baltimore. Dr. Peter Abadir is a scholar at the Human Aging Project. He is an associate professor of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and he holds a joint appointment in the School of Engineering. Dr. Abadir joins us on Zoom as well. Folks over 65 who would like to volunteer for the Human Aging Project can contact the team by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the Healthy Aging Studies Unit at 410-550-2113. For more information on pathways to staying healthy in your later years, follow the link to Hopkins' Aging Well Website. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
12 minutes | May 20, 2022
Love that tune! A conversation with hit songwriter Steve Dorff
We open with Kenny Rogers singing Through the Years, one of the many hit songs written by Tom's next guest, Steve Dorff. The winner of more than 40 BMI Awards, Dorff is an inductee to the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and he has written more than 20 top 10 hits for iconic artists like Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Anne Murray, Garth Brooks, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Dusty Springfield. He’s also composed countless scores for movies and television shows like Growing Pains, Murphy Brown, Murder She Wrote and the Clint Eastwood film, Every Which Way But Loose. He is giving concerts tonight and tomorrow night at 8pm in Annapolis to benefit the Classic Theater of Maryland. Follow the link for ticket information. Steve Dorff joins us on Zoom from Annapolis… See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
19 minutes | May 20, 2022
Movies: Cannes, 'Top Gun' returns, best new releases, and Vangelis
Time now for another edition of Midday at the Movies, our monthly look at films and filmmaking. Jed Dietz, the founder and former director of the Maryland Film Festival and Parkway Theatre, joins Tom to talk about the Cannes Film Festival, running May 17-28 in France, where one of the showcased new films is Top Gun: Maverick, the long-awaited sequel to the 1986 blockbuster action film. Tom Cruise returns in his starring role as the cocky test pilot and flight instructor. The film opens locally on May 27. Jed and Tom also review some of the best new theatrical and streaming releases, including the HBO series Julia, based on Julia Child's extraordinary life and her groundbreaking public TV show The French Chef, which essentially invented food television. And we note with sadness the passing of Vangelis, the acclaimed Greek musician and movie-score composer (Chariots of Fire, Bladerunner), who died Tuesday while being treated for COVID-19. He was 79. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
18 minutes | May 20, 2022
Coping with the baby formula shortage: Keeping infants safe
The White House has taken a number of steps to address the current shortage of infant formula. President Biden invoked the Defense Production Act to make sure ample supplies of formula can be created in the US and he has directed the USDA and the Defense Department to coordinate picking up and delivering formula from abroad. The first shipments are scheduled to arrive in the next few days. The government has loosened red tape surrounding WIC benefits so vulnerable families can buy different brands and different sizes. The President has asked the FTC and the Attorney General to crack down on price gouging, and the FDA has committed to quickly inspect and re-open the Abbott plant in Sturgis, Michigan that was closed after a bacterial infection was found there. But even with these measures, it may take a while for formula to find its way to store shelves. What options do parents who are dealing with this crisis have in the meantime? Many parents have many questions, and Tom's first guest today is here to help. Dr. Ashanti Woods is a pediatrician at Mercy Care Physicians here in Baltimore. Dr. Woods joins us on Zoom. If you have a question, we’ll do our best to get it answered… call 410.662.8780. Email: email@example.com Or Tweet us: @MiddayWYPR. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
10 minutes | May 19, 2022
Rousuck's Review: 'The Legend of Georgia McBride' at MD Ensemble Theatre
It's time for another visit with Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck, who joins us each week with her reviews of Maryland;s regional stage. Today she tells us about The Legend of Georgia McBride, playwright Matthew Lopez's quirky, tuneful 2014 comedy about show biz & social norms, now on stage at The Maryland Ensemble Theatre in Frederick, Maryland. Directed by MET's Associate Artistic Director, Julie Herber, the play features cast members Steve Cairns, Eric Jones, Ray Hatch, Michael Mattox, and Jeremy Myers. The Legend of Georgia McBride continues at The Maryland Ensemble Theatre in Frederick through June 12. Follow the links above for show details and ticketing information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
32 minutes | May 19, 2022
Mike Olesker's 'Boogie' celebrates Baltimore's rags-to-riches legend
And now, a conversation about a guy that back in the day in Baltimore, struggled, scraped and faked his way through school, fought at the drop of a hat, and found himself on the opposite side of legal more than a few times. He was far and away the least likely to succeed. But succeed he did. Leonard "Boogie" Weinglass was a charmer, a delinquent, a star athlete, a gambler, a partier and a patron. He was a Dinerguy, immortalized in Barry Levinson’s classic movie. He was a salesman with a knack for fashion and food who became one of the most successful and transformative figures in American retail. He founded the Merry Go Round chain of clothing stores, which grew to include 1,500 stores and 15,000 employees. He transformed the fashion industry. And he has lived one of the wildest lives you can imagine. Tom's guest is Michael Olesker. He has written a terrific new book about Boogie Weinglass. It’s called Boogie: Life on a Merry-Go-Round. Mike will be talking about it at The Ivy Bookshop tonight and Boogie Weinglass, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday,will be there to join in the conversation. Follow the link for event details. Mike Olesker joins us now on the phone... See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
7 minutes | May 19, 2022
WYPR's Oliver details new joint agreement with Baltimore Banner
We begin today with some breaking news that will alter the media landscape in the Baltimore metro area. WYPR and the Baltimore Banner,a multi-platform news organization that is expected to begin publishing this summer, announced this morning that the two organizations have entered into a joint operating agreement. LaFontaine Oliver, the president of the Your Public Radio Corporation and the General Manager of WYPR, joins Tom now from WYPR's Studio B. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
24 minutes | May 18, 2022
WTMD's new doc spotlights 15 yrs of Baltimore's vibrant music scene
We open this part of the show with the music of the composer and performer Dan Deacon: a track called Sat by a Tree from his 2020 album, Mystic Familiar. Deacon is one of dozens of Baltimore musicians featured in a new film about the Baltimore music scene that is receiving its world premiere Thursday night at the Charles Theater here in Baltimore. It’s called Do Whatever You Want All the Time: The Baltimore Music Scene 2005-2020. Tom's next guests are the creative spirits behind this great project: Sam Sessa, the Baltimore Music & Community Engagement Manager and host of Baltimore Hit Parade at WYPR's sister station, WTMD, and Julia Golonka, a filmmaker and co-producer of the movie. There will be free public screenings at 7pm this Thursday at the Charles Theatre, and at 6 pm & 7:30 pm on June 23 at Maryland Art Place. Sam Sessa and Julia Golonka join us on Zoom from the studios of WTMD. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
25 minutes | May 18, 2022
Mayor Brandon Scott on Ethics Bd, SMART policing, Pimlico, COVID
It's Midday with the Mayor, another in Tom Hall's series of monthly conversations with Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott about key issues facing the city. With the national spotlight shining on Baltimore in this Preakness Week, City Hall is rocked by yet another ethics controversy, as the city's Ethics Board ruled that City Council President Nick Mosby violated ethics rules on campaign solicitations. Tom asks the mayor about that ruling, plus: new initiatives on SMART policing; drawing new police-district boundaries; allocating $8 million in federal funds to help curb the city's gun violence; redevelopment progress at Pimlico; and the latest data on how many city employees have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Mayor Brandon Scott joins us on Zoom from City Hall.You're welcome to join the conversation: call 410.662.8780. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tweet us: @MiddayWYPR. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
49 minutes | May 17, 2022
John Waters on his first novel, 'Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance'
Tom's guest today is John Waters. He’s the director of 16 films, a visual artist with museum shows to his credit, a spoken word artist who performs in venues around the world, an actor, and a pitchman for haute couture. He is also a Son of Baltimore and one of America’s most original and enduring voices in the arts, with a deep artistic palette. His early films in the 1970s —Multiple Maniacs, Pink Flamingosand Female Trouble — earned him monikers like “The King of Sleaze,” “The Pope of Trash,” “The Duke of Dirt,” and the classic, “Prince of Puke.” It should also be noted, BTW, that when it comes to names, the French Government calls him "an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters." His visual art has been featured in museum shows, he’s been nominated for a Grammy and his 1988 film, Hairspray, was adapted as a musical that won 8 Tony Awards. As an actor, he has a role in this season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,and he will be touring his stand-up show in the fall. Waters is the author of several books of non-fiction, including his memoir, Mr. Know It All, a road trip diary called Carsick,and his compendium of profiles of people who have influenced his work, Role Models.His non-fiction commentary is fascinating, funny, insightful and often a bit outrageous. Waters's latest book is his first novel, a book that dials up the outrageousness in a big, wild way. His protagonist is as despicable as they come, and the entourage of people in her orbit are as odd as anyone we encountered in the cult classic movies John Waters made more than 50 years ago. The novel is called Liarmouth, which Waters describes as a “feel-bad romance.” John Waters joins Tom on our digital line from his home in Baltimore. You are welcome to join us as well. Call: 410.662.8780. Email: email@example.com. Tweet: @MiddayWYPR A word about our conversation today: the book has more than a few explicit sexual references, and we will likely refer to a few of them… See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
49 minutes | May 16, 2022
Jon Baron, Democratic primary candidate for Maryland Governor
Today on Midday, it’s another installment in our series of Conversations with the Candidates: 2022. Tom's guest is Jon Baron, who is running in the Democratic primary for Maryland Governor. Mr. Baron has experience in both government and the nonprofit sector. Before running for Governor, he was the Vice President of Evidence Based Policy for Arnold Ventures, which describes itself as a non-partisan philanthropic organization that works in criminal justice, education, health and public finance. Before that, Mr. Baron served as the President of the Coalition for Evidence Based Policy, an organization he founded in 2001. He also served on a Presidential Commission, in various roles at the Department of Defense, and as the lead staffer for the House Committee on Small Business. Mr. Baron is a graduate of Rice University. He holds a Master’s Degree from Princeton and a Law degree from the Yale Law School. He is 58 years old. He and his wife Jessica have lived in Montgomery County for 24 years. They are the parents of two grown children. This is Mr. Baron’s first campaign for elective office. He has chosen Natalie Williams, the Senior Director of Public Affairs at the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, as his Lt. Governor running mate. Jon Baron joins us on our digital line from Bethesda. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
49 minutes | May 13, 2022
Historian Kathleen Belew on 'A Field Guide to White Supremacy'
(This conversation first aired on December 8, 2021) The House Select Committee investigating the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 has interviewed hundreds of witnesses and made several criminal referrals to the US Justice Department for witnesses who have refused to appear before the Committee. Meanwhile, hundreds of rioters have been indicted and many imprisoned for their role in the attempt to subvert democracy. A federal jury in Charlottesville, Virginia, found 12 individuals and five organizations liable for $26 million in damages stemming from the Unite the Right Rally in 2017. Did the mob that stormed the US Capitol simply coalesce around the fantasy that the election was stolen from Donald Trump? What effect do monetary verdicts and criminal penalties have on the neo Nazi and White supremacist organizations that are behind this tragic deadly violence? Can the roots of the violence be traced back to rage about government that began in the 1970s? Today, we'll listen back to a conversation Tom had back in December, 2021, with Dr. Kathleen Belew. She’s an assistant professor of history at the University of Chicago, where she is also the faculty affiliate at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture. She is the author of Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America. And along with Ramón Gutiérrez, she is the editor of, and contributor to, a new collection of essays called A Field Guide to White Supremacy, in which she and other leading scholars explore how different forms of White supremacy and hatred manifest in events like those that took place on January 6th, and extend to domestic partner violence, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, anti-immigration, and anti-Semitism. The authors chronicle how hate groups have moved from the fringe to the mainstream in America, and they send a clear warning that the violence we’ve seen in recent years may well be repeated. Kathleen Belew joined us on our digital line from Chicago. (Because this conversation is recorded, we can't take any call or comments today.) See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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