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We begin this morning with a conversation about what two of Maryland’s leading institutions are doing to address the longstanding problems in the struggling neighborhoods that bore the brunt of the violence during the riots last April.  At the core of the Baltimore Uprising is the fact that so many residents in neighborhoods like Penn-North and Sandtown Winchester are unemployed or under-employed, with meager prospects for positions that pay a living wage.   In August, Morgan State University President David Wilson announced the formation of a task force called “Gray Days, Brighter Tomorrows.”   Last week, Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Health System announced an initiative they’re calling “Hopkins Local.”   Both are attempts to address a wide range of problems that have afflicted some of Baltimore’s neighborhoods for decades.  Dr. Ray Wimbush joins us in the studio.  He’s the Director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State, and he serves on the Morgan task force.  Natalie Sherman is here as well.  She writes about Real Estate and Economic Development for the Baltimore Sun, which published her piece about the Hopkins initiative last Wednesday.

Brion McCarthy Photography LLC

In 2011, Tom's daughter, Miranda, served in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Anchorage, AL. Unrelated to the work she was doing in a chronic care facility, she was invited to participate in a series called Arctic Entries, where people from Anchorage were asked to tell a personal story in front of an audience. Seven story tellers told seven-minute stories; a local band performed, and the money they raised from ticket sales went to a local non-profit organization. The idea for Arctic Entries originated in Baltimore.

10 years ago, Jessica Henkin and Laura Wexler founded the Baltimore Stoop Storytelling Series, and it has become a staple of the performance season here in Charm City ever since. Tonight, The Stoop will launch their 10th anniversary season with a collection of story tellers assembled under the rubric, Beginnings and Endings: Stories about birth and death, creation and destruction, sparks and flame-outs. The curators of these proceedings, Jessica Henkin and Laura Wexler, join Tom today in Studio A.

Gallery CA

As Baltimore and the rest of the country brace for the trials of the six officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray last spring, the frayed relationship between African American men and the police are front and center in people’s minds. Tom's guest now is Gracie Xavier, a photographer with a background in psychology and social work, who took her lens and her artistic eye to one of the iconic locations in the Black community, the barbershop, where she explored perceptions of Black male identity, from the perspective of some of the men themselves, and the culture at large.

An exhibition of the photographs that grew out of that endeavor opens Friday night at Gallery CA on Oliver Street in Baltimore’s Station North Arts & Entertainment District. Gracie Xavier is currently living and working in Detroit, and she joins Tom on the phone this morning from the Motor City.

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced new efforts by the Obama Administration to cut down on overfishing and illegal fishing, which are severely depleting populations of marine species around the world.

“We need to double down on stopping illegal fishing, which has grown into at least a $10 billion-a-year industry,” Kerry said.  “We have to make illegal fishing harder and more expensive to get away with. And the way to do that is with more vigorous enforcement that puts as many thugs as possible behind bars.”

Kerry spoke at the international Our Oceans conference in Chile.  But the phenomena he described – including deception and fraud in the sale of seafood – is also common here in the Chesapeake Bay region.

Earlier this year, the nonprofit organization Oceana used DNA testing to examine the true origins of a food that is central to the identity of Maryland:  crab cakes.  Oceana bought 90 crab cakes that were described as “Chesapeake blue crab” from 86 different restaurants in Maryland – and found that 38 percent of them were mislabeled.

In Baltimore and Annapolis, almost half of the crab cakes were actually made from species of crabs from Asia – most often, the Indo-Pacific blue swimming crabs that were likely caught in places like Indonesia or the Philippines.

Its eye is the size of your head. It lives more than 3,000 feet deep in oceans around the world and is 30 feet long, yet it lacks a backbone. With eight arms and two tentacles, it is the origin of the myth of the Kraken.