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.

One out of 15 kids in Maryland–more than 80-thousand young people –has had a parent behind bars at some point during their childhood. Nationwide, it’s more than 5 million children. How does that affect kids and the communities they live in? Research by the Annie E. Casey Foundation finds that the ripple effects for a child can be far-reaching and long-lasting. The emotional distress is on par with abuse, domestic violence, or divorce. And when a parent is put away, family incomes can drop sharply, adding to the stress. Is this collateral damage part of the price those convicted of crimes should pay? Or are there ways to minimize the impact of incarceration on innocent children? We discuss with Ryan Chao, vice-president for civic sites and community change for the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Joseph Jones, president for the Center for Urban Families.

Baltimore was once one of the country’s busiest ports for immigration. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, 1.2 million immigrants first set foot on American soil in Baltimore. Yet while Ellis Island draws millions of visitors a year, Baltimore’s immigrant history isn’t widely known. The new Baltimore Immigration Museum aims to remedy that. It tells the stories of the Europeans who landed here at the peak of immigration to the city, as well as the tales of those from other parts of the world who’ve come since. We’ll talk to the museum’s founders - Brigitte and Nick Fessenden - about those forgotten stories and the museum’s role in bringing them to light. Plus, JoAnn Best, a member of Locust Point Community Church, talks about a boarding house run by the church during the heyday of immigration to Baltimore. 

Aaah-choo! It’s allergy season, and as you may have noticed, this one’s a doozy in our region. As of this morning, Weather.com rates Baltimore as the number two pollen hotspot in the country, closely followed by Washington, DC. The season will eventually pass and with it, seasonal allergies. But allergies are on the rise in developed countries. And scientists say climate change is likely to increase pollen counts and extend the growing season for plants like ragweed. What new developments are on the horizon for treating hay fever? How effective are alternative treatments, like acupuncture? And what can those with allergies do to prevent the seasonal sneezes? Our guest: Dr. Sandra Lin, allergy expert and associate professor in the Johns Hopkins Department of Otolaryngology.

Check out this link with treatment advice. Scroll down to the "For Patients" section.

Courtesy of Code in the Schools

After the unrest last spring following the death of Freddie Gray, critics pointed to the lack of opportunities for young people in Baltimore. Under a national spotlight, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake added $4.2 million in funding for after-school programs. The money paid for nearly 2,500 new spots for kids, mostly in underserved areas. Sandtown-Winchester, the neighborhood where Freddie Gray lived, was among them. Now budget season has rolled round once more. The city began the process with a major shortfall, and the mayor wants to cut last year’s bump in afterschool funding to help make up the difference. What would this mean for young people? 

elycefeliz / Flickr via Creative Commons

Free range, cage-free, or pasture-raised? All-natural or organic? The grocery store is awash in labels appealing to our conscience. Some claim the food in question is free of pesticides or antibiotics or genetic modification. Others promise that animals were well cared-for or that workers were well-treated. There are labels touting their power to protect the rainforest and make life easier for birds. How is a consumer to know which are meaningful and which are false advertising? How did our food labeling system get so fractured? Expert label decoder Urvashi Rangan, director of Consumer Safety and Sustainability for Consumer Reports, helps us separate the wheat from the chaff.

Andrew Copeland / Maryland Historical Society

Crowdsourcing is a new term but it’s not a new idea. In the 19th century, thousands of volunteers submitted entries to the Oxford English Dictionary, for instance. But if you’ve ever used Wikipedia, you know the internet has made crowdsourcing possible on a much larger scale. Historians are among those taking advantage of the internet’s broad reach. How is our increased connectivity changing the way we tell stories about the past? We’ll talk with Denise Meringolo, a historian at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Joe Tropea, digital projects coordinator at the Maryland Historical Society, about how they’re collecting and archiving materials from the Baltimore Uprising of 2015.

Courtesy of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum

In the aftermath of last year’s unrest, what is the role of a museum dedicated to the history and culture of African Americans? Charles Bethea, chief curator at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum in Baltimore, started his job last fall, with the city still reeling from the death of Freddie Grey. He has pledged to take on current controversies, with input from the community. Potential future exhibits include one on black-on-black violence and another on the rapper Tupac Shakur, who was killed in a drive-by shooting. How can an institution like the Lewis engage new, young visitors at this critical moment in African American history without abandoning its preservationist mission?

urbanfeel/Flickr via Creative Commons

Which of Baltimore's neighborhoods are growing and which are shrinking? How do commute times vary across the city? A new report by the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance captures thousands of data points on everything from education and workforce development to transportation and the arts. Seema Iyer, associate director of the Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore, tells us what we can learn from this statistical portrait of city life. But first, we hear about a block party that aims to unite some of those neighborhoods across lines of race and class in Central West Baltimore. 

m01229 / Flickr via Creative Commons

No income tax cuts for Marylanders, but the aerospace corporation Northrup Grumman will get $37.5 million dollars in tax breaks. These were among the many last minute decisions the General Assembly made before the clock struck midnight last night. We look back at the session and examine which proposals made it to Governor Larry Hogan’s desk and what happened once they arrived. WYPR Statehouse reporter Rachel Baye brings us the latest from Annapolis. Plus: Barry Rascovar of the Political Maryland blog and Baltimore Sun opinion editor Andy Green offer their reflections on the testy relationship between our highly popular Republican governor and a legislature dominated by Democrats.

baldeaglebluff / Flickr via Creative Commons

Scientists have been telling us for a while that sea levels are rising as a result of climate change. Then, a few weeks ago, the world got some devastating news. The oceans may be swelling much faster than we thought. One study found that if we continue to emit greenhouse gases at the current rate, a giant ice sheet in the Antarctic could crumble, to devastating effect. Children alive today may witness a sea level increase of five or six feet. That would mean environmental devastation and the disappearance of many coastal communities. What level of sea rise is now inevitable? What can we do to prepare? And what’s in store for Maryland? We speak to John Englander, oceanographer and author of “High Tide on Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis”. 

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