Andrea Appleton | WYPR

Andrea Appleton

Producer, On The Record

Andrea Appleton is a producer for On The Record. She comes to WYPR with years of experience as a freelance journalist filing stories for newspapers, magazines, and public radio. She has reported on topics ranging from bull riding to bionic fish, with an emphasis on science.  She is also former senior editor of the Baltimore City Paper, and a graduate of the Columbia University School of Journalism.

She and her husband live in Baltimore with their two young sons.

Andrew O'Brien / Flickr via Creative Commons

Sunscreen, bug spray, shampoo, deodorant. When we wash personal care products like these off of our bodies, they go down the drain, pass through wastewater treatment plants, and end up in our rivers and oceans. Scientists have found numerous ill effects from these chemicals, including the feminization of fish. Environmental engineer Lee Blaney, associate professor at UMBC, joins us to talk about his research in local waterways.

Christopher Connelly / WYPR

Marylanders have more than a year before they’ll cast votes for governor, but already the field is crowded. Six Democrats have declared their candidacy, and at least that many are considering it. Do any of them have what it takes to unseat Maryland’s popular Republican governor? We chat with political scientists Todd Eberly of St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Mileah Kromer of Goucher about Larry Hogan’s prospects, the Trump Effect, and potential strategies the Democratic party might take.

Andrea Appleton

When you think of forests in Baltimore City, you probably think of public parks. But 20 percent of the city’s tree cover lies in forest patches outside of parks, on land that can be bought, sold, and developed.

And that has landed the residents of Glenham-Belhar in a desperate fight to preserve their neighborhood forest.

Say goodbye to those iconic yellow boxes. The Baltimore Sun Media Group has announced it plans to close a recent acquisition, the Baltimore City Paper. City Paper first hit the presses in 1977. Over four decades, the local paper with an attitude has provided a forum for investigative reporters, writers, cartoonists, and oddballs alike. And every week, without fail, it has appeared on street corners throughout the city, for free. Current editor Brandon Soderberg and long-time City Paper writer Michael Anft join us to reflect on Baltimore’s beloved alt-weekly.

Earlier this month, Baltimore City Schools laid off 115 people to help plug a looming budget gap. But at the same time the school system was trying to fill 200 vacancies.

And that has left teachers and their representatives in layoff limbo.

"It’s just a mystery to me why you can’t find a place for these people," fumed Marietta English, president of the Baltimore Teacher’s Union.

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Every day doctors write more than 650,000 opioid prescriptions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In some of those cases, addiction follows. As a result, deaths from prescription opioids have more than quadrupled since 1999. Travis Rieder is a bioethicist at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute for Bioethics, and he personally experienced a dependence on opioids. He wrote about it in the January issue of the journal “Health Affairs,” and a portion of that article was excerpted in the Washington Post. Original air date: January 24, 2017.

Our criminal justice system is the largest and most expensive in the world. Critics have zeroed in on the disproportionate impact of mass incarceration on African-Americans. But many African-Americans supported the war on crime that began in the 1970s. Why? We speak to Yale law professor James Forman Jr., about his book “Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America”.

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Small-muscle athletes. In the medical field, that’s the term for musicians. Musicians are prone to a range of injuries. It’s a pitfall of the profession. But unlike their large-muscle counterparts, musicians don’t get much pro-active attention when it comes to pain. As Dr. Raymond Wittstadt, attending hand surgeon at the Curtis National Hand Center at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital puts it, “I mean even at the high school level, most sports teams will have a trainer on the sidelines. There’s nobody in the wings of the BSO saying we practiced too long today, or we repeated that passage too many times.” Wittstadt has held a monthly musicians’ clinic at the center for more than 15 years.

Roaches, rats, bed-bugs, and other people-loving pests have been with us for centuries. And despite our best efforts, they persist. That’s particularly true in cities, especially in neighborhoods with a history of disinvestment. Pests are living symbols of our long battle with inequality. We hear from UMBC professor Dawn Biehler, author of "Pests in the City: Flies, Bedbugs, Cockroaches, and Rats".

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President Trump’s goals for reshaping the U.S. are starting to come into focus. His plans may be altered by the Republican Congress. But it’s not too soon to start assessing what the Trump economic agenda might mean for Maryland. We hear from Darius Irani, vice president of Innovation and Applied Research at Towson University and chief economist for the Regional Economic Studies Institute (RESI), and Anirban Basu, president and CEO of The Sage Policy group.

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