Cianna B. Greaves | WYPR

Cianna B. Greaves

Producer

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates  who will be on the June 26th primary ballot here in Maryland.

Tom’s guest today is Valerie Ervin.  She is one of nine Democrats running for Governor this June.  The winner will go up against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election in November. 

Last week, the former Montgomery County Councilwoman announced that she would be taking the place of her former running mate, the late Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, as a Democratic candidate for Governor.  She is the second woman, and one of four African Americans running for Governor in the Democratic primary. 

Ervin’s career includes politics, education and labor advocacy.  She was the first African American woman to serve on the Montgomery County Council where she served two terms; she was only the 2nd African American woman to serve on the Montgomery County Board of Education. 

Her running mate is Marisol Johnson, former Baltimore County school board Vice Chair.  She is the first Latina to hold public office in Baltimore County. 

Valerie Ervin also took your questions, emails and tweets.  Like all of Midday’s Conversations with the Candidates, this program was streamed live on the WYPR FB page.  Check out the video here

Photo Courtesy Friends of Rushern Baker III

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates who will be on the June 26th primary ballot here in Maryland. 

Yesterday, former Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin entered the Democratic primary race for Maryland governor, following the sudden passing of Baltimore County Executive and gubernatorial candidate Kevin Kamenetz, with whom she'd been running as a candidate forLieutenant Governor. 

We begin the program with WYPR's Baltimore County politics reporter, John Leeand his analysis of the changing dynamics of the governor's race.  

Tom’s guest for the balance of the hour is Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III, also a Democratic candidate for Maryland governor. 

Rushern Baker is one of three candidates in the race who is not a political outsider, and now, the only one currently serving as a county executive.  Baker entered politics in 1994, serving in the Maryland House of Delegates until 2003.  He lost his first two elections for Prince George's county executive, but in 2010, he beat incumbent Jack Johnson.  Soon after that election, federal prosecutors arrested Johnson on corruption charges.  Mr. Baker has been widely credited with improving the county’s image and ending its “pay to play” legacy.

Of the nine Democrats whose names will appear on Maryland's gubernatorial ballot on primary election day, seven are considered serious contenders.  Rushern Baker is widely thought to be one of the leading candidates in this crowded field, although none of the Democratic candidates have yet to poll better than incumbent Republican Governor Larry Hogan.

County Executive Baker is 59 years old.  He has been married for 31 years to Christa Beverly, a civil rights lawyer, who was diagnosed eight years ago with early-onset dementia.  Mr. Baker is her primary caregiver.  They live in Cheverly, and they are the parents of three grown children, Rushern IV, Aja, and Quinci. 

His running mate is Elizabeth Embry, a lawyer in the MD Attorney General’s office and a former candidate for Mayor of Baltimore. 

County Executive Baker also took your questions, emails and tweets.  Like all of Midday's Conversations with the Candidates, this program was streamed live on the WYPR FB page. Check out the video here.

Photo Courtesy Kevin Kamenetz for Maryland

Few events in recent MD history were as shocking or disruptive to the political landscape as the death of Kevin Kamenetz last week, from a heart attack. The 60 year old Baltimore County Executive was one of the leading contenders in the crowded field of hopefuls vying for the chance to run against incumbent Governor Larry Hogan in November.

With just a month until early voting starts in the primary, candidates are scrambling to assess the new and uncertain dynamics of the race. Will Valerie Ervin, Kamenetz’s running mate in the primary, choose to run herself, and if so, with whom? Will she run at the top of a newly formed ticket, or will she maintain her position in the Lieutenant Governor slot?

Kamenetz’s death also occasions many questions about the future of Baltimore County. Three Democrats and two Republicans are running in their respective primaries to face-off for the County’s top job in the fall. In the meantime, who will the County Council appoint to serve-out the remainder of Kevin Kamenetz’s term?

Today on Midday, Tom explores these and other questions with Pamela Wood, who covers Baltimore County government and politics for the Baltimore Sun; and Bryan Sears , government reporter for the Daily Record.

Photo Courtesy Baltimore Ceasefire 365

Over this past ceasefire weekend, the City saw 72 hours pass with two reported shootings, and one alleged case of first degree child abuse.  The event, which was intentionally scheduled to coincide with Mother’s Day, is the second ceasefire event with no homicides from gun violence. 

Tom is joined  in Studio A by Baltimore Ceasefire 365 Co-Founder, Erricka Bridgeford.   Erricka joined us this past February after the first Ceasefire event with zero homicides.   That ceasefire continued on for a record breaking 12 consecutive days without a murder in Baltimore City.

Photo Courtesy Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Tonight and this weekend at the Meyerhoff, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is screening Steven Spielberg's classic 1981 adventure film, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, and performing  composer John Williams' popular score for it.  Weilding the baton will be BSO Pops conductor, Jack Everly, who joins Tom in the studio with a preview of the BSO's latest Movies with Orchestra event.

In a career spanning more than 50 years, composer John Williams has created a vast catalog of music for screen, stage, symphony and sport.  He's garnered 51 Academy Award nominations for his memorable film scores including the aforementioned Raiders as well as Jaws, Jurassic Park, Superman, Star Wars, three of the Harry Potter films and Schindler's List.  

For this weekend's  Movies with Orchestra ticket information, click on the link below: 

https://www.bsomusic.org/calendar/events/2017-2018-events/movie-with-orchestra-raiders-of-the-lost-ark/

Baltimore County Executive's Office

We begin the show today with reflections on the life and career of Kevin Kamenetz, a fixture on the Maryland political scene for more than two decades.

Mr. Kamenetz died early Thursday morning from a heart attack.

He began his career in public service as a prosecutor in the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s office. He was first elected to the Baltimore County Council in 1994. He served four terms, before being elected as the County Executive in 2010. He was considered a leading candidate in the crowded field of people running for the Democratic nomination for Governor. He is survived by his wife Jill, and their two teenage sons, Karson and Dylan. Our hearts ache for them. Kevin Kamenetz was 60 years old.

Joining Tom on the line to remember Mr. Kamenetz are Donald Mohler III, who was a close friend of Mr. Kamenetz and served as his chief of staff in the County Executive’s Office, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, who served as Baltimore County Executive from 1994 to 2002, and Jim Smith, who preceded Kamenetz as Baltimore County Executive. He currently serves as the Chief of Strategic Alliances in the office of Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh.

Photo courtesy Baltimore City Public Schools

On today’s show, Tom is joined Dr. Sonja Santelises, the CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools.   As the City School Board considers the budget for the 2018-19 school year, we discuss some of the provisions within the proposal.  This budget does not call for any teacher layoffs, but does call for cuts to Charter Schools.  There is an increase in literacy coaching, and the overall budget has been developed to combat  shrinking enrollment, a persistent problem that speaks to the larger challenges of the city in attracting and keeping young families.

This conversation was streamed live on Facebook.  You can check out the video by clicking on the link below:

https://www.facebook.com/WYPR881FM/videos/10156434271953980/

 

Photo Courtesy AP News

It’s Midday Culture Connections with Dr Sheri Parks.  Today, we examine the mini-firestorms that have erupted over the past week surrounding journalist, a comedian and a rapper. 

Kanye West set the Twittersphere alight with a series of pro-Trump tweets that led more than a few people to question the rapper’s mental health, and even challenge his “Blackness.”

Photo Courtesy The Office of the Baltimore County Executive

Today, we continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates who will be on the June 26th primary ballot here in Maryland.  

Tom's guest is Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.  He is one of nine Democrats running for Governor on the ballot this June.  The winner will go up against Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in the general election in November.  

Photo Courtesy JHU Sheridan Library

Four days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with more than 100 cities across the country engulfed in riots, Congress passed a landmark piece of legislation known as the Fair Housing Act, prohibiting discrimination in housing based on race, religion, national origin or gender.

Today, a conversation about equality and equity in the housing market, 50 years after President Lyndon Johnson the Fair Housing Act into law.

Tom is joined in Studio A by, Dr. Ray Winbush.  He’s the Director of Institute of Urban Studies at Morgan State University; and joining us from NPR DC is Lisa Rice, the President and CEO of the National Fair Housing Alliance.

Tom speaks with Brittany T. Oliver,  activist and founder of the Baltimore grassroots movement, Not without Black Women. Ms. Oliver was recently appointed to the Baltimore City Commission for Women, and this weekend she will be participating as a panelist at the 2018 Women of the World Festival, presented by Notre Dame of Maryland University. 

Photo Courtesy www.brittneycooper.com

Tom speaks with Dr. Brittney Cooper about her latest book, Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower; a trenchantly argued and provocative look at the status, expectations, and barriers that Black women face in contemporary American society.  

Dr. Brittney Cooper is a professor of women and gender studies and Africana studies at Rutgers University, and a columnist for Cosmopolitan  Magazine.

On today’s edition of Healthwatch, with Baltimore City Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen:

Behavioral Health System Baltimore and the Baltimore City Health Department have announced plans to open the city’s first Stabilization Center, with $3.6 million in funds from the State Legislature. 

Cuts by the Trump Administration to the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Initiative threatens the  progress made locally and nationally in reducing the number of unwanted teen pregnancies.  We speak with Healthy Teen Network President, Pat Paluzzi, DrPH, about the impact these cuts will have on her clients. 

Finally, senior citizens in Baltimore fall more often than seniors elsewhere.  Roughly 5,000 visits to emergency rooms last year were because of people taking a tumble.  What can be done to keep older folks on their feet?

Dr. Wen answers our questions for the hour, and takes your calls, emails and tweets about your public health concerns.

Cover art courtesy Apollo Press

Today, a conversation about the power of history.

The struggle for civil rights that we’ve remembered in the life and death of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.  and other leaders of the movement a half-century ago is a struggle that continues today.  But how much do we really know about what happened in Montgomery and Selma and Memphis back in the 1950s and 60s, and about how to connect Dr. King’s work with today’s Black Lives Matter movement? 

We don’t know enough, says Baltimore author and youth advocate Kevin Shird, who joins Midday senior producer and guest host Rob Sivak  this hour to talk about his new book, The Colored Waiting Room:  Empowering the Original and the New Civil Rights Movementsthe author's effort to make America’s civil rights history come alive in the context of today’s fraught racial landscape.

Mr. Shird gained a new appreciation for the power of history after he struck up a friendship two years ago with 84 year-old Nelson Malden of Montgomery, Alabama.  Malden is an African American who’d been an eyewitness to the historic civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 60s that played out in Montgomery and elsewhere, and who was, for more than six years, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s barber.

Mr. Shird found in Nelson Malden a willing mentor and history guide, someone who could satisfy his yearning to know more about the American civil rights struggle than what he’d learned in school.

In his new book, Kevin Shird describes his friendship with Nelson Malden, and the pilgrimages he made to the American South and to Malden’s Montgomery home.  It's a personal narrative that tells the story of the civil rights struggle through Nelson Malden’s shared experience, and draws lessons from it for today’s new movement for racial justice.

Associated Press photo

Regular Midday listeners know that every couple of Mondays, we check  in with The Afro-American Newspaper, the venerable news operation just down the road from WYPR.  Today, The Afro’s  managing editor, Kamau High, joins guest host Rob Sivak to spotlight some of the stories the paper is covering this week. 

Those stories include the second of a two-part series by Morgan State U. professor and Pulitzer Prize winning columnist E.R. Shipp, looking at The Black Press and the Baltimore '68 Riots

Another retrospective on that troubled time, and on something good that came out of it, is J. K. Schmid's exclusive feature for The Afro on the city's legendary "Goon Squad," an organization of a dozen-plus ministers, professors, and even a judge, that campaigned for Baltimore causes for decades. Some of the few surviving members share their memories  with Schmid, and we're reminded that they launched a food bank during the riots that eventually morphed into the Maryland Food Bank. Goon Squad members were also involved in the creation of Baltimorians United for Leadership Development, or BUILD, still one of the city's most important centers of community activism. The Afro's Baltimore Editor Sean Yoes also reports on the Civilian Review Board's conclusion that Kevin Davis, Jr. was wrongfully arrested on a murder charge by Baltimore police back in 2015. The CRB is urging disciplinary action against the arresting officers.

Others stories spotlighted in the current issue of The Afro:  the road ahead for the newly elected chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, Darryl Barnes; and how the Maryland General Assembly's busy final days led to new opportunities for minority licenses to grow and market medical marijuana.

Photo Courtesy Jim Shea for Maryland

On this latest installment of our series of Conversations with the Candidates, Tom's guest is Jim Shea, a Democrat who's running to be his party's nominee for Maryland Governor.  Shea is one of nine Democrats who'll be on the gubernatorial ballot for the June 26th primary.  The winner will face Republican Governor Larry Hogan in the November general election.  

Shea announced his candidacy last summer, and has chosen Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott as his Lt. Governor running mate.  

Mr. Shea is 65 years old.  He grew up in Towson and he currently lives in Owings Mills.  He is a father of four children and the grandfather of two.  He has been married to his wife Barbara for 39 years.

On today's program, a conversation about housing in Baltimore, through the lens of gentrification and social justice.

While perhaps more than 16,000 houses in Baltimore are vacant and many neighborhoods have to contend with persistent blight, other areas are booming.  Station North and Greenmount West, on the North Avenue corridor, for example, have seen sustained commercial and residential development over the last decade, with investment from private developers, the city and the state. But who benefits from this kind of development?  Some of the neighborhoods that are part of the Baltimore Renaissance have attracted a population of transplants that are young, college educated and mostly white.  

But does our city also have investment that is creating opportunities for Baltimore’s low income minority population?  Can we have economic growth and equality? 

Tom is joined in Studio A by, Dr. Seema Iyer who oversees the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance at the Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore; Dr. Lawrence Brown, Associate Professor in the School of Community Health and Policy at Morgan State University and a long-time advocate for racial equality in Baltimore.

And, Cultural Anthropologist and activist, Sabiyha Prince,  author of the book  African Americans and Gentrification in Washington, DC: Race, Class and Social Justice in the Nation’s Capital.

Photo Courtesy Morgan State University Opera

Tom is joined in Studio A by, internationally acclaimed classical soprano, Marquita Lister and the conductor and keyboard virtuoso Lester Green.  They are Artistic Director and Music Director, respectively, for the production of Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadows, which opens at Morgan State University on Tuesday,  April 10th. 

The Opera and its libretto were written by the composer, Steven M. Allen.  It is suffused with Dunbar’s verse and correspondence between Dunbar and Moore, both of whom are recognized as luminaries of American literature.

Photo courtesy Flickr

Today, we mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a reflection on his legacy, and a discussion about the state of Civil Rights in America today.  Fifty years on, what has changed for people of color and economically underserved populations in our country?

Tom is joined in Studio A by, Rev. Dr. Heber Brown, Senior Pastor of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church and founder of Orita's Cross Freedom School; and Rev. Dr. C Anthony Hunt, Senior Pastor of Epworth United Methodist Chapel and King scholar.

Joining us from NPR studios in DC is Myesha Braden, Director for the Criminal Justice Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Tom speaks with Congressman Elijah Cummings, who represents the 7th District here in MD, about his annual job fair, and the fight against opioid addiction in Maryland and around the nation. The Congressman recently penned an Op-ed with Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, which called on Congress to pass a comprehensive legislation on this issue.

Rep. Cummings  is the ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. 

Photo courtesy PodOMatic

It’s Midday Culture Connection, with our regular guest, Dr. Sheri Parks of the University of Maryland.  Today, a conversation about the Neo Soul movement

In the 1980s and the early 90s, musical artists like Erykah Badu, Lauren Hill, India Arie and others came to define a musical genre.  

But Neo Soul has evolved into something much more than music.  Today, the term Neo Soul suggests a lifestyle that's premised on spirituality, self-care, and diet, and that favors beauty-care products made with natural ingredients.

Dr. Sheri Parks is on the faculty of the University of Maryland College Park, and the author of Fierce Angels: Living with a Legacy from the Sacred Dark Feminine to the Strong Black Woman

Joining Sheri and Tom in Studio A is the singer, producer, holistic-wellness practitioner and arts activist, Navasha Daya. We hear also from Jamyla Bennu, the co-founder and creator with her husband Pierre of Oyin HandmadeTheir Baltimore-based company markets an Africa-inspired line of natural beauty and hair-and-skin care products that embody many aspects of the Neo Soul lifstyle.  Bennu's conversation with Tom was recorded earlier.

Photo Credit Baltimore Sun

On our latest installment of Midday with the Afro, a rally was held in Baltimore support of Stephon Clark, the young man who died at the hands of police in Sacramento, CA. 

The bills concerning black ownership of medical marijuana licenses are coming down to the wire. 

Also, Nathaniel Oakes, the Senator from the 41st district is out of office, but he is on the ballot in the June Primary.  And there has been a leadership change in the MD Legislative Black Caucus..

Kamau High is Managing Editor of The Afro American Newspapers.  He joins Tom live in Studio A. 

The AFRO’s Second Annual High Tea is Saturday April 21st, 2018.  This year’s theme is “We Too Support #METOO”, and a portion of proceeds from this event will benefit The House of Ruth.  For tickets and info, click the link below: 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-afro-american-newspapers-second-annual-high-tea-tickets-43717333722

Photo courtesy Mary Frances Berry

Today on the show, a conversation with Dr. Mary Frances Berry.  She is a scholar, an author and activist whose new book chronicles the history of American protest and resistance movements, from the Roosevelt administration through the Obama years.

From the Vietnam War, to the end of Apartheid in South Africa, to her long tenure on the US Civil Rights Commission that the spanned several administrations, Dr. Berry brings deep experience and erudition to this fascinating book.  It’s called History Teaches Us to Resist: How Progressive Movements Have Succeeded in Challenging Times.  

photo courtesy Hood College

A special Midday broadcast today, live from Hodson Auditorium on the campus of Hood College, in historic Frederick, Maryland.

Our topic today: Frederick at the Crossroads.

Founded in 1748, Frederick has seen its share of American history.  It was founded at the crossroads of a major north-south Native American trail and the east-west route from the Chesapeake Bay across the Appalachian Mountains to the Ohio River Valley.  Frederick County is home to Ft. Detrick and a branch of the National Cancer Institute. The Catoctin Mountain Park, and the presidential retreat, Camp David, are here.

It is quaint.  And beautiful, as anyone who has been in downtown Frederick can tell you. But while it may be old, it is anything but standing still.  In fact, the city and the county are among the fastest growing parts of Maryland. The population of Frederick City, with its 70,000 residents, has grown 32 percent since 2000 and a whopping 73% since 1990.  And with growth like that, Frederick finds itself at a crossroads once again. How does it honor its past, while being thrust into the future by incredibly rapid growth?  How does it remain charming, despite the pressures to become a bedroom community of Rockville and, by extension, Bethesda and Washington, DC?

Photo Courtesy Brian Frosh

We continue our series of Conversations with the Candidates, which includes those who already hold public office.   Maryland’s Democratic Attorney General Brian Frosh joins us live in Studio A. He is unopposed in the primary in June.  He’ll be running against Republican Craig Wolf in November.  Mr. Frosh was elected to the AG’s office in 2014, after serving 10 years in the MD Senate.

He lives in Somerset with his wife Marcy.  They have two daughters. 

Today's conversation, like all our Conversations with the Candidates, was streamed live on WYPR's Facebook page.

This weekend, the epidemic of gun related violence, particularly mass shooting in schools, has once again focused our nation on the issue of gun control. 

Some 200,000 people converged on Washington DC for the “March for Our Lives.”  800-plus sibling marches took place in cities around the world, including here in Baltimore. 

Students of all ages and races took to the podium Saturday with impassioned appeals to elected officials to act on the issue of gun control, and for the wider citizenry to assert their power at the ballot box this November.  

Thirteen year-old Asiane Phillips joins Tom in Studio A this afternoon.  The 7th grader at Hampstead Hill Academy, a Baltimore public school, is a student activist who organized a recent walkout at her school in response to gun violence.  Asiane also created a list of demands for changes to legislation and school policy aimed at reducing gun violence and improving school safety, and she's been engaging in dialogues with school administrators and community leaders.   

Photo Courtesy Johns Hopkins University Press

On today's show, environmental journalist Tom Pelton joins us live in Studio A. He’s been writing about the Chesapeake Bay and other environmental issues for more than two decades.  He is the Director of Communications for the Environmental Integrity Project, and the host of The Environment in Focus, which airs Wednesday mornings and evenings here on WYPR.  His new book is called The Chesapeake in Focus: Transforming the Natural World.

From Baltimore’s leaky sewer system to farms in Pennsylvania and even pollution from factories in the Midwest, the Bay and its ecosystem face serious challenges.  What will it take to meet them?

 

Photo Courtesy: Office of Councilwoman Vicki Almond

Today, another in our series of Conversations with the Candidates, in advance of the June 26th primary elections.

Tom's guest today is 2nd District Baltimore County Councilwoman Vicki Almond. Ms. Almond is one of four Democrats and two Republicans seeking their party’s nomination to run in the general election for Baltimore County Executive. 

Vicki Almond grew up in Catonsville and attended Catonsville High School.  She was elected to the County Council in 2010.

Early voting for the primaries begins on June 14th. 

Today's conversation, like all our Conversations with the Candidates, was streamed live on WYPR's Facebook page.

Live in Studio A: Trio Galilei

Mar 16, 2018

Ginger Hildebrand, Sue Richards and Carolyn Surrick are three highly respected musicians who play what many call “early” music.  They each play in various solo capacities, and when they play together as Trio Galilei , they play Irish and Scottish dance music, and music that goes way back to medieval times.

Today, the trio joins Tom in the studio to perform a little early music and (in honor of St. Patrick's Day tomorrow) a traditional Irish tune. With Carolyn on viola de gamba, Sue on Celtic harp, and Ginger on guitar, we hear "Lindsay's Keys," Grainne's Grace," and "O'Carolan's Draught."    

See the video of  Trio Galilei's Live-Streamed performance on the WYPR FB page.

Trio Galilei will be performing selected works of music at Christ Church in Easton, Maryland on Sunday, March 18th.   For more information check out the link below. 

http://www.egmusic.com/calendar/

EPA/ YULIA SKRIPAL/FACEBOOK

On this edition of the Midday News Wrap: Tom speaks with Dayvon Love, Director of Public Policy at Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle (LBS), about the comprehensive crime bill recently passed by the State Senate, over strong opposition from the Baltimore delegation.  The bill would introduce higher mandatory minimums for gun crimes and stringent sentencing for repeat offenders. 

Then, Tom is joined by John Fritze, Washington Bureau Chief for the Baltimore Sun, for a closer look at the race for Maryland's 6th congressional district, where the rising human toll of the opioid crisis looms over both constituents and candidates. 

Later, Will Englund, Foreign Assignment Editor at the Washington Post, veteran Moscow correspondent and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, talks with Tom about the Trump administration's reactions to the alleged Russian nerve-agent attack in Britain on a former Russian spy and his daughter, and the new sanctions the White House has imposed on Russia for recent acts of political cyber-warfare.

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