Dan Rodricks

Host, Midday

Dan Rodricks has been an award-winning columnist for the Baltimore Sun since 1979, and speaks of his adopted hometown as both its champion and its scold. He has observed local, state and national political trends for three decades.

His "Dear Drug Dealers" series in The Sun, a public call for an end to criminal violence in Baltimore bolstered by his one-man campaign to provide jobs or job training for ex-offenders, won the 2006 Excellence in Urban Journalism Award from the Freedom Forum and the Enterprise Foundation. His series, which exposed the obstacles that paroled felons face in finding jobs, was cited on national television and radio, and the Columbia Journalism Review. It won the 2005 Public Service award from the Chesapeake Associated Press. In 2006, he was named Public Citizen of the Year by the Maryland chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

From 1989 until 1993, Dan hosted a nightly talk show locally, as well as a five-hour Saturday morning show that ran until 1995. More than interviews and conversations with listeners, Dan's shows involved unique undertakings. His radio documentaries won acclaim, as well as the Silver Medal in an international broadcast competition in 1993. Listeners will recall some of Dan's popular radio features, including "Along The River," an outdoors travelogue and natural history, "Country Life Farm," a visit to a Maryland thoroughbred farm, "900 E. 33rd St.," a radio elegy to Memorial Stadium, "A Western Maryland Winter," and "The Greatest Game Never Played," a Chuck Thompson-Rex Barney play-by-play of a fictional game between the greatest Yankees and greatest Orioles.

A collection of Dan's columns, "Mencken Doesn't Live Here Anymore," was published in 1989, and in 1998 he authored, "Baltimore: Charm City," a celebration of Baltimore featuring the work of several accomplished photographers.

Dan also has performed in semi-professional theater in Baltimore.  His stage credits include: Young Victorian Theater Co., Samuel, The Pirates of Penzance, 1986; Monterrarat, Iolanthe, 1986; Shadbolt, The Yeoman of the Guard, 1987; Koko, The Mikado, 1988; Sir Joseph Porter, HMS Pinafore, 2001; and for Action Theater: Charlie, Death of a Salesman, 1999.  His performance in Pinafore was voted one of the Top Ten of the year by the City Paper.

Dan has lived in the Baltimore area since 1976, in the city since 1987.

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Midday with Dan Rodricks: Fri. Mar. 27, 1-2 P.M.
11:53 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Baltimore's Food Scene

The Brass Elephant, both the space and the name, was bought earlier this year by Steven and Linda Rivelis.

Amy Langrehr, who writes the Charm City Cook blog, and Richard Gorelick, restaurant critic for The Sun, talk about the regional food scene.

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Midday with Dan Rodricks: Fri. Mar. 27, 12-1 P.M.
11:42 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Midday Friday

Brenda Frese, head coach of the University of Maryland women's basketball team.

We take a look interesting stories, people and ideas from the Baltimore region and throughout the state. Journalist Joan Jacobson gives an update on legislation in the General Assembly aimed at correcting flaws in Baltimore’s tax sale system. Plus, the Midday business report from the Baltimore Business Journal and an update on the Lady Terps from Milton Kent, WYPR Sports at Large commentator.

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Midday with Dan Rodricks Thurs. Mar. 26, 1-2 P.M.
12:16 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

The Baltimore Saboteur

A respected Baltimore Businessman, Paul Hilken, was deeply and secretly involved in a World War-I German espionage-terrorism ring. With newly tapped archival information from Germany and the U.S., military historian, Dwight Messimer, tells the story in "The Baltimore Sabotage Cell: German Agents, American Traitors, and the U-boat Deutschland During World War I."

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Midday with Dan Rodricks: Wed. Mar. 25, 1-2 P.M.
2:36 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Get Ready to Garden

Nancy Taylor Robson planted two shell pea varieties: Easy Peasy (pictured here) and Tall Telephone.

After a long, harsh winter, spring is finally here and trees are budding. Nancy Taylor Robson, Maryland master gardener and writer, joins us to talk native plants, how to keep your lawn healthy without using fertilizers and what to look for when purchasing plants. Plus, we check in with farmers around the state about the start of the growing season.

Production assistance from Midday intern Mary Troutman.

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Midday with Dan Rodricks: Wed. Mar. 25, 12-1 P.M.
2:31 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Baltimore City School Payouts

Baltimore City education building on North Avenue.
Credit GROUPUSCULE VIA WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Last year, Baltimore city schools paid out $46 million in “accrued leave, bonuses, overtime, stipends and other compensation,” to officials and administrators according to an article in this week’s Baltimore Sun. These payouts were given in the same year that the school system accrued a deficit of $72 million. In Midday’s first hour, we’ll discuss the payouts to city school officials -- including a cash-out to former Interim CEO Tisha Edwards that totaled over $200,000.

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Midday with Dan Rodricks: Tues. Mar. 24, 1-2 P.M.
10:59 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Plucked: A History of Hair Removal

We pluck, trim, wax and tweeze. From the clamshell razors of colonial America to the diode lasers of today, Bates College professor Rebecca Herzig traces the history of hair removal and illustrates how choices about hair – what we let grow, what we remove – have become a battleground over social norms and expectations. Her book is "Plucked: A History of Hair Removal."

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Midday with Dan Rodricks: Tues. Mar. 24, 12-1 P.M.
10:53 am
Tue March 24, 2015

Green Rush

A new course at Anne Arundel Community College explores careers that could develop from legalized marijuana. We’ll hear from Shad Ewart, the business professor whose class has a wait-list for its second semester. We'll also talk to Corey Barnette, owner of District Growers, a licensed medical cannabis cultivation center in the District of Columbia, and Doug Fine, journalist and author of “Too High To Fail: Cannabis and the New Green Economic Revolution.”

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Midday with Dan Rodricks: Mon. Mar. 23, 1-2 PM
9:37 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Jobs Outlook, Skills Shortage

Middle-skills careers offer family-sustaining wages and do not require a four-year degree.

The latest Labor Department report showed a gain of only 500 jobs in Maryland in January. We take a look at the state of employment with Daraius Irani, chief economist for the Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson University, and Norman Augustine, the former Lockheed Martin CEO whose commission recently presented recommendations on building Maryland’s workforce. We’ll also discuss a new report on the region’s top "middle-skilled" occupations, like medical assistants, truck drivers and electricians.

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Midday with Dan Rodricks: Mon. Mar. 12-1 PM
9:27 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Rothko

Untitled (Blue Divided by Blue), by Mark Rothko, 1966

A conversation about modern art, artists and the creative life with Annie Cohen-Solal, French scholar, cultural historian, biographer of Jean-Paul Sartre and painter Mark Rothko. Her new book is: "Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel."

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Midday with Dan Rodricks: Fri. Mar. 20, 1-2 PM
11:16 am
Fri March 20, 2015

This Is What You Just Put in Your Mouth?

Exploring the strange-sounding ingredients of processed foods, science writer and former Wired columnist Patrick Di Justo pondered questions such as this: "If I Can't Believe It's Not Butter isn't butter, what is it?" His efforts to know the answer to that question and many others resulted in an interesting and humorous book: “This Is What You Just Put in Your Mouth?: From Eggnog to Beef Jerky, the Surprising Secrets of What's Inside Everyday Products.” 

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