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.

Do classical musicians have a role to play in advancing social justice? We talk to composer Judah Adashi, who is on the faculty of the Peabody Institute. Adashi is teaching a new workshop at the Peabody on Art and Activism, and he frequently takes on social issues in his work. He talks with us about art, activism, and the delicate balance between social critique and propaganda.  

Preservation Maryland

Ellicott City’s historic Main Street reopened yesterday. It’s been closed since flooding devastated the area in July. One of the challenges property owners face is rebuilding in a way that meets the requirement of the historic district. We talk to Jennifer Johnson, owner of two storefronts that were saved from demolition, and Nicholas Redding, executive director of Preservation Maryland. Then, we hear a haunting true tale that takes place in a morgue. It’s the first installment of a new weekly feature on our show, a story from the Stoop Storytelling Series.

Now we’re going to hear the first installment of a new weekly feature on our show, a true tale from Baltimore’s Stoop Storytelling Series. Our first storyteller is Kate Pratt, a certified eye-bank technician and transplant coordinator. Her job is to surgically remove eye tissue from donors who recently died for use in transplants and research. In this story, edited for brevity, Kate describes the case of a teenager who died in a skateboarding accident. Out of more than a thousand procedures, this one stayed with her. We join the story just after Kate Pratt has been called to the hospital.

Frank Harris III, a journalism professor at Southern Connecticut State University, traveled the country talking to people of all different backgrounds about their experience with a highly controversial term: the N-word. His film is playing locally this weekend as part of the Baltimore Black International Film Festival at the Murphy Fine Arts Center, 2201 Argonne Drive, on the campus of Morgan State University. The film will air at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 7. For more on Frank Harris' project, visit his Tumblr page. 

The Justice Department’s critique of the Baltimore Police Department accused city police of systematically under-investigating reports of sexual assault: failing to collect evidence, interview witnesses, or test forensic evidence. We talk to an advocate for survivors of sexual abuse about what police misunderstand about victims of trauma and what changes the city should make. Then, we talk to a journalist and filmmaker who traveled the country asking people about a highly controversial term: the N-word.

Courtesy the National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African-American History and Culture exhibits a stone once used as a slave auction block in Hagerstown. We discuss slave auctions of enslaved and free blacks in western Maryland and the fissures still felt from those sales.  Our guest is Mary Elliott, a museum specialist at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. She helped research, conceptualize, and design the “Slavery and Freedom” exhibition at the museum, where the auction block is housed.

Then: civil rights activist Laura W. Murphy discovers a bundle of papers tied with a ribbon. They turn out to be letters between her great-grandparents, written when they were courting in Reconstruction-era Baltimore. They provide a glimpse into what life was like for a particularly successful African-American family in Baltimore, just a few years after the end of the Civil War.

Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post

Not long ago, civil rights activist Laura W. Murphy discovered a bundle of papers tied with a ribbon. They turned out to be letters between her great-grandparents, written when they were courting in Reconstruction-era Baltimore. They provide a glimpse into what life was like for a particularly successful African-American family in Baltimore, just a few years after the end of the Civil War. 

Courtesy the National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African-American History and Culture is exhibiting a stone once used as a slave auction block in Hagerstown. We discuss slave auctions of enslaved and free blacks in western Maryland and the fissures still felt from those sales. Our guest is Mary Elliott, a museum specialist at the National Museum of African-American History and Culture. She helped research, conceptualize, and design the “Slavery and Freedom” exhibition at the museum, where the auction block is housed.

Simon & Schuster

The young adult novel “All-American Boys” takes on police brutality from the perspective of two teenagers: one black, one white. Jason Reynolds, who is black, and Brendan Kiely, who is white, wrote the book as a call to action. We’ll talk to the authors about how their conversations about race brought them together and what action they hope will be sparked by their depiction of two teens coming to grips with a police beating.

UB School of Law

True crime procedurals like the Netflix documentary "Making a Murderer" have shone a spotlight on the problem of wrongful convictions. How true-to-life are these stories? How hard is it to overturn a wrongful conviction? And what’s it like to serve time for a crime you didn’t commit? We talk to a man who served five years for murder before he was exonerated, and to his lawyer, about the hard road to proving your innocence once you’re no longer presumed innocent.

Wikimedia Commons

Around the world, 65 million people have been forced from their homes by wars and other disasters--the biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II. Humanitarian agencies are calling for a new approach to aiding refugees. We talk to Sean Callahan, incoming president of Catholic Relief Services, one of the international nonprofits based in Baltimore which took part in a meeting this month at the United Nations. Then, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, the first in this season’s Baltimore Speaker series, shares his thoughts on what it takes to compromise.

Wikimedia Commons

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, the first in this season’s Baltimore Speaker series, shares his thoughts on what it takes to compromise.

Brion McCarthy Photography LLC

Today we get the backstory from the co-founders of The Stoop Storytelling Series, live performances in which ordinary people in Baltimore tell true stories from their lives. The Series is about to start its eleventh season. What makes for a good story? What makes for a good storyteller? Do you have to be an extrovert? Jessica Henkin and Laura Wexler share their thoughts. Then, Paula Poundstone, Emmy-Award winning stand-up comedian and a regular panelist on the weekly news quiz show "Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!", will cruise through Maryland this weekend as part of her current stand-up tour. Sheilah chats with her about her new book and what running for class president in the 6th grade taught her about politics.

Paula Poundstone, Emmy-Award winning stand-up comedian and a regular panelist on the weekly news quiz show "Wait Wait...Don’t Tell Me!", will cruise through Maryland this weekend as part of her current stand-up tour.  Sheilah chats with her about her new book and what running for class president in the 6th grade taught her about politics.

BRION MCCARTHY PHOTOGRAPHY LLC

Today we get the backstory from the co-founders of The Stoop Storytelling Series, live performances in which ordinary people in Baltimore tell true stories from their lives. The Series is about to start its eleventh season. What makes for a good story? What makes for a good storyteller? Do you have to be an extrovert? Jessica Henkin and Laura Wexler will share their thoughts. 

smysnbrg/Flickr via Creative Commons

Emails of the Democratic National Committee were leaked this summer. Last year, a Chinese hack of the US Office of Personnel Management exposed the personal data of millions of Americans. So, how safe is the ballot box? Dr. Richard Forno, Assistant Director of the UMBC Center for Cybersecurity, walks us through the potential vulnerabilities of voting systems in America. Plus, we hear from local filmmaker Bob Rose about what it’s like to make a movie in just 29 days.

What kind of movie can a filmmaker put together in just one month? You can find out this week at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore. More than two dozen short films shot and edited in just 29 days will premiere. Now in its eighth year, the 29 Days Later Film Project is a competition meant to inspire local filmmakers and get their work in front of an audience. We chat with local filmmaker Bob Rose, a longtime participant and former grand prize winner, about the appeal of the competition and what makes for a good short. And we'll discuss the bizarre short Bob made for last year's competition, titled "Black Jeans Whoa." 

On the first “On the Record,” with technology replacing more and more jobs, there’s more talk of a universal basic income--the idea of the government giving a minimal income to everyone, no strings attached. We speak with former labor boss Andy Stern. He and others, from the right and the left, are pushing the idea of a universal basic income, in which the federal government would pay everyone a monthly stipend, no strings attached. Stern's new book is: “Raising the Floor: How a Universal Basic Income Can Renew Our Economy and Rebuild the American Dream.”  

LARRY WEANER LANDSCAPE ASSOCIATES

If you’ve ever planted a flower garden, you know what’s required: planting, watering, maybe adding fertilizer and compost. And then there’s that never-ending task, weeding. But what if there were an easier way to create a beautiful, rewarding garden? There is, according to landscape designer Larry Weaner, author of "Garden Revolution: How our landscapes can be a source of environmental change." He argues that many traditional gardening practices are not just time-consuming: they’re counterproductive and harmful to the environment. When we plant species that aren’t suited to our local landscape, we set ourselves up for struggle, he says. Instead, the natural processes of native plant communities should guide us. Stop pulling weeds, retire the rototiller, and start a revolution . . . in your garden. Original air date: July 26, 2016.

Defence Images/Flickr via Creative Commons

Under President Obama, drones have become this country’s weapon of choice in our fight against terrorism. Over half of the pilots now trained by the Air Force are drone pilots. Advocates say drones allow us to find and destroy our adversaries without endangering American lives. They can stay in the air for countless hours, tracking movement below, gathering information, and waiting for a good shot. But critics say drones too often kill civilians and function as a recruiting tool for terrorists. They also charge that drones operate outside the bounds of international law. How have drones changed the face of warfare? What are the ethical implications of this technology?

Wonder_Al / Flickr via Creative Commons

Tipping. It’s as American as that slice of apple pie on the menu. But in most states, employers pay their servers well below minimum wage. In Maryland, that means as little as 3 dollars and 63 cents an hour, with tips making up the rest. Tipped employees never know what they’ll earn, unlike the rest of us. Critics say that isn’t fair. They propose abolishing tipping. Restaurants in a few cities have begun to ban the practice in favor of higher pay...and higher prices. What would skipping the tip mean for workers, customers, and the restaurant industry? Are tips a perk of the job or an injustice? Our guests: Michael Saltsman, research director at the Employment Policies Institute, and Jay Zagorsky, economist and research scientist at The Ohio State University.

Jon collier/Flickr via Creative Commons

The Spanish flu of 1918 led to more than 500,000 deaths in this country. What if a pandemic like that were to hit now? Intensive care units are already frequently strained to capacity. If there were a severe pandemic, there wouldn’t be enough resources to go around, like life-saving ventilators. Whose lives should be saved first? Should it be first come, first serve? Should children get priority? Should we remove a ventilator from an ailing patient if a healthier person has a better chance of surviving? Should we treat healthcare workers first? A team of Maryland doctors has asked the public to weigh in on these thorny ethical decisions. 

It’s been nearly a month since the U.S. Department of Justice released its report on the Baltimore Police Department. It chronicles years of unconstitutional and discriminatory policing, especially of African-Americans. The report also exposes inadequate training and staffing, and a lack of follow-up after citizens file complaints. Now the city must draft a consent decree detailing plans for reform. We’ll talk to a reporter who’s looked at the effect of federal intervention in police departments in other cities. And we’ll meet the organizers of a town hall, scheduled for tomorrow, who want to know what the public would like to see in its police. What will it take to fix the Baltimore Police Department?

Penn State/Flickr via Creative Commons

Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed. Plato, Socrates, Hippocrates. All of them had at least one thing in common. They fasted. It turns out these influential figures were on to something, at least when it comes to health. Some scientists say that regularly abstaining from food for even short periods of time may improve health, boost brain power, and fight diseases ranging from cancer to diabetes to Alzheimer’s. It could even extend lives. The catch is that you have to periodically put down your fork. Could you permanently say goodbye to breakfast if it meant you might live longer? What about skipping all your meals two days a week? We speak to Mark Mattson, chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging, and University of Maryland molecular geneticist Steve Mount, who has been a practitioner for the last 12 years. Original air date: May 18, 2016

AFGE/Flickr via Creative Commons

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is a massive undertaking. The text of the trade accord is more than 5,000 pages. If it’s approved it would be the largest regional trade agreement ever, governing nearly 40 percent of the global economy. The Obama administration argues the TPP would support American jobs and protect workers’ rights and the environment throughout the dozen countries in the deal. Critics say the agreement is geared to protect the interests of multinational corporations, and would hurt American workers. The Trans-Pacific Partnership has become a hot topic on the campaign trail. What exactly is it? And what would it mean for citizens of the United States and the 11 other Pacific Rim countries involved? 

Philip Montgomery / Bloomberg Businessweek

If you live or work in Baltimore, you may have been filmed by an aerial surveillance camera some time this year. In January, a private company began flying a Cessna outfitted with high-tech cameras over Baltimore City, on behalf of the police department. The program was paid for by an anonymous donor. Most of us, including members of the City Council and perhaps even the mayor, learned about the program just last week, when Bloomberg Businessweek published an article about it. What is this technology capable of, and why wasn’t the public informed? Has Big Brother come to Baltimore? Our guests: Monte Reel, reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek; David Rocah, staff attorney for the ACLU of Maryland; and Baltimore Police Department spokesman T.J. Smith

Clinton - Hillary for America/Trump - Michael Vadon / Flickr via Creative Commons

Hateful. Inflammatory. Empty. The word “rhetoric” has a bad reputation. But it has a pedigree: in history, rhetoric is a skill. Plato called it “the art of winning the soul by discourse.” As the campaign for president hits high gear, the public is getting a heavy dose of political rhetoric. How does the discourse this election season compare to campaigns of the past? What kinds of rhetorical strategies are candidates using? We’ve all heard of logical fallacies like the red herring and the slippery slope. How often do they crop up in political speech, and how can we learn to recognize them? From alliteration to tapinosis, the role of rhetoric in politics. Our guests: Trevor Parry-Giles, a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland, and Shirley Logan, a newly retired English professor from the University of Maryland. 

Park Heights Renaissance

The northwest Baltimore community of Park Heights is home to Pimlico RaceTrack and the annual Preakness Stakes. To the frustration of those who live there, it’s also known for vacants, crime, and blight. A decade ago, the city devised an extensive roadmap for redevelopment there. Since then, a few affordable housing developments have opened and a recreation center has been revamped. Two area schools are undergoing renovations. But the scale of the blight in Park Heights tends to dwarf efforts like these. What would it take to truly revitalize Park Heights? What would revitalization look like? Is the city’s roadmap the way to go? We hear from urban designer Klaus Philipsen, of ArchPlan Inc., and Cheo Hurley, executive director of the nonprofit organization Park Heights Renaissance

ELISA PAOLINI / Flickr via Creative Commons

"Memento," "The Bourne Identity," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." Amnesia is a Hollywood staple. Even the true stories often seem fantastical. Just last month an Ontario man named Edgar Latulip recovered his memory after 30 years. He’d been missing and presumed dead, despite living 80 miles from home. Acute memory loss fascinates us, probably because in many ways, we are our memories. What triggers amnesia? What happens to your sense of self when your memory is gone? What can amnesia teach us about memory? Dr. Jason Brandt, a neuropsychologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who specializes in memory and memory disorders, joins us in studio to explore these questions. Also: Dr. Brandt is currently looking for older patients with mild memory impairment or early Alzheimer’s disease to take part in a clinical trial on dietary intervention. If you'd like to take part, call: 410-955-1647. Original air date: 

Courtesy of Rodney Foxworth

Philanthropic institutions are overwhelmingly white. Less than 4 percent of foundation CEOs are African-American, for instance, and the numbers for executive staff are similar. My guests today say that, despite good intentions, foundations lack moral urgency in addressing the problems that plague poor black communities. Social entrepreneur and philanthropy consultant Rodney Foxworth recently wrote an essay on the subject on Medium.com, titled “The Need for Black Rage in Philanthropy.” Are foundations too complacent, too comfortable, too willing to take things slow when it comes to inequality? Is rage the missing ingredient? Rodney Foxworth and Erika Seth Davies from the Association for Black Foundation Executives join us.

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