Kathleen Cahill | WYPR

Kathleen Cahill

Producer, Midday

Kathleen is a producer for Midday With Tom Hall.  Previously, she was a producer for Maryland Morning and, before that,  a freelance radio reporter  for the WYPR newsroom.  She was for many years an editor at The Washington Post – on the Foreign Desk;  at Outlook  (The Post’s Sunday commentary section) and as a special projects editor for the Post’s Financial Desk.

Kathleen lived in Turkey for a couple of years in the ‘90s as Time Magazine’s stringer for the region and as deputy editor of  Dateline Turkey, an English-language weekly newspaper based in Istanbul.   (Sadly, her Turkish is rusty now, but if you know a few words, please stop by and say merhaba.)Early in her career, Kathleen was a frequent contributor to CFO, The Economist’s monthly magazine for financial executives, and a staff writer for Bostonia Magazine.

She is a graduate of Boston University and also attended University College Dublin, in Ireland.  She was a visiting media fellow at Duke University’s DeWitt Wallace Center for Journalism and Democracy and attended the wonderful Stanford Publishing Course.   She is the editor of two books.

Photo by Harris for Baltimore

In another installment of our Talking With the Candidates series, Joshua Harris, the Green Party’s nominee for mayor of Baltimore, joins Tom in the Maryland Morning studio.

Mr. Harris is 30 years old and lives in the Hollins Market area of Southwest Baltimore.  He is a community activist and co-founder of Hollins Creative Placemaking.  He is also managing editor of The Sphinx, the magazine of Alpha Phi Alpha, the African-American national fraternity based in Baltimore -- and a former legislative aide for Delegate Charles Sydnor, who represents parts of Baltimore County (Dist 44B).

A Chicago native and a graduate of Augsburg College in Minneapolis,  Mr. Harris moved to Baltimore in 2012.

Harris is running for mayor, he says, because, in the wake of the uprising and riots of 2015, Baltimore needs transformational change, not just -- as he puts it -- tinkering with the status quo.

This week, the relative political newcomer was named “Best Politician” in the City Paper’s annual ‘Best of Baltimore’ issue. 

We begin with a conversation about the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. There are some who believe that if this type of gas drilling were allowed in Western Maryland, it could generate up to 3,000 jobs and at least $5 million in annual tax revenues. But many have concerns about the impact on the environment and public health. We’ll hear from Dr. David Vanko, the former head of the Maryland Fracking Commission, and co-host Nathan Sterner talks to Dr. Brian Schwartz, a researcher from Johns Hopkins, and Senator Bobby Zirkin, who proposed banning fracking.

Then, Alan Walden, the Republican candidate for Mayor of Baltimore, joins Tom to talk about his vision for the future of Charm City. And theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck has a review of the new show at Ford’s Theater in Washington, Come From Away. The musical tells the true story of the 7000 airline passengers whose planes were diverted to the small town of Gander, Newfoundland, immediately after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and how the tiny community’s embrace of these stranded strangers became an inspirational counterpoint to the horrors that brought them together. 

Walden For Mayor

Republican candidate for Mayor of Baltimore City Alan Walden joins Tom in the studio. 

On Election Day  Tuesday, November 8th, Walden will face Democratic nominee Sen. Catherine Pugh and Green Party candidate Joshua Harris on the ballot.  Alan Walden was a morning anchor and commentator at WBAL radio for 16 years. For years before that, he was chief radio correspondent for NBC News worldwide.  He is 80 years old. He lives in Baltimore’s Cross Keys with his wife, Jeannie. They are the parents of two grown children.  Born in Brooklyn, New York, he says he is a “Baltimorean by choice,” having lived in the city since 1988. 

Local Government Insurance Trust

For the finale of our Focus on the Counties series with a look at Kent County. The smallest of Maryland’s 23 jurisdictions, it’s home to Chestertown, a popular destination for retirees, and Washington College. Kent County is one of nine counties in the state that does not have a county executive, instead administrators are appointed by a board of elected commissioners. 

Tom is joined by Kent County Administrator Shelley Herman Heller and Chris Cerino, the mayor of Chestertown, to talk about their efforts to attract new jobs, young families, artists, and more tourists. Then, theater as therapy.  Joanne Lewis Margolius moved to Maryland 30 years ago from her native England to form the Magical Experiences Arts Company, which presents interactive theatrical programs for disabled children and adults to address the often overlooked emotional dimensions of their lives.

In the sixth and final installment of the Focus on the Counties series, Tom speaks with Kent County Administrator, Shelley Herman Heller. Kent County is one of nine counties in the state that do not have a county executive, instead administrators are appointed by a board of elected commissioners. Heller was appointed County Administrator in July 2015. She is a Kent County native, and was town administrator of her hometown, Betterton, MD, from 2011 -2014, and then the finance officer for the town before taking on the top job in the county. 

Also joining the conversation is Chris Cerino. He’s the mayor of Chestertown, the largest town in Kent County. As a part-time mayor, Cerino makes an annual salary of $7,500 a year. In his other day job, he is Vice President of the Sultana Education Foundation, a local nonprofit that focuses on the history and ecology of the Chesapeake Bay.

With just 20,000 residents, Kent is Maryland’s smallest county and the population is still declining. Heller and Cerino join to discuss the challenges of serving an aging and shrinking population. 

The Chestertown Riverfest takes place from Sept. 23-24 on the shore of the Chester River. The festival features food, crafts, water sports and other family activities. The festival is presented by Chestertown RiverArts, Washington College Center for Environment and Society and SANDBOX. 


Here’s a cheery thought to kick off your holiday:  The first two leading causes of death in the United States are heart disease and cancer.  The third leading cause?  Medical errors.  Researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that mistakes in prescribing drugs, miscues in surgery, and miscommunication between care givers leads to an astonishing number of preventable deaths every year.  One of the authors of the study, Dr. Michael Daniel, explains how the medical community is addressing this endemic problem. 

Then, 53 years after the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.  led the March on Washington, a conversation with an eyewitness to history: pioneering civil rights activist Gloria Richardson, one of the founders of what came to be called The Cambridge Movement on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

And, local author Kathy Flann on her latest collection of Baltimore-based short stories, Get a Grip.  

Civil rights activist Gloria Richardson spoke with Tom in January 2016 about her unique but unheralded role in Maryland's civil rights movement.

Richardson was part of the so-called Cambridge Movement in the 1960s on the Eastern Shore of Maryland – an area she has compared to living in the Deep South in terms of the profound and often violent racial divide.  As part of her effort to end racial bigotry and inequity in the region, Richardson helped organize the Cambridge Nonviolent Action Committee.

Russell Sage Foundation

What’s your identity project? The thing that puts a skip in your step when you wake up every day? Maybe it’s the instrument you play, or the poetry you’ve written. For a lot of kids living in Baltimore’s most impoverished neighborhoods, their identity project can be their ticket out of economic hardship. A Hopkins researcher spent 10 years studying kids in Baltimore’s public housing. Why are some kids able to break the cycle of poverty? Stefanie DeLuca on Coming of Age in the Other America.

Then, National Book Award winner James McBride on Kill 'em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul.

And, Smart Nutrition: Our Nutrition Diva, Monica Reinagle, has some tips about long term weight loss.

Russell Sage Foundation

Stefanie DeLuca's new book Coming of Age in the Other America (published by the Russell Sage Foundation), explores the lengths to which young people, born to impoverished families, must go in order to escape the cycle of poverty. 

Caroline Cunningham

National Book Award winner James McBride is out with a new biography of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.

Kill ‘Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul seeks to tell the “real” story behind one of the most fascinating and influential figures in the history of American music.

Monica Reinagel

The popular reality TV show "The Biggest Loser," has been a hit because audiences love to see those dramatic transformations, as the show's overweight contestants shed as much as 100 pounds in just a few months for a shot at some serious prize money and celebrity. It turns out, however, that those weight-loss victories have been short-lived. 

Goldman Environmental Prize

Today's podcast begins with our story, first broadcast this past May, on Destiny Watford. She's a winner of the 2016 Goldman Environmental Prize for her work with Free Your Voice, a grassroots organization that opposed construction of an incinerator in Curtis Bay.  The Goldman Prize is awarded to one person on each of the six inhabited continents.  Ms. Watford, at age 20, is this year’s winner for all of North America.  She joins Tom to talk about lighting a fire for justice in South Baltimore.  (See our full Destiny Watford web article for a statement from the incinerator's intended builder.)

Then: Yesterday marked the 53rd anniversary of the March on Washington, the peaceful demonstration that brought more than 200,000 protesters to the Lincoln Memorial to demand racial and employment equality.  In a conversion she had with Tom this past January, Helena Hicks recalls her role in the 1955 sit-in at the then-racially segregated Read's Drug Store, which took place eight years before Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Washington march.

And an Annapolis troupe of three actors offers The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) in a rollicking 90 minute parade of witty skits inspired by the Bard of AvonTheater critic J Wynn Rousuck has a review.  

Goldman Environmental Prize

This morning, we take a look at the successful, multi-year campaign to prevent a massive incinerator from being built in the South Baltimore neighborhood of Curtis Bay, and the young woman who was one of the leaders of that fight.

Destiny Watford was 16 years old when she started organizing against the incinerator that would have been built in her neighborhood and near her school. Destiny, now 20 years old and a student at Towson University, was awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for her tireless campaign against the incinerator. 

Christopher Myers/Baltimore Magazine

In 1955, civil-rights activist Helena Hicks was a student at Morgan State University. When she decided to enter the then-segregated Read’s Drug store in Baltimore with a group of classmates to escape the cold, she had no idea her actions would lead to the desegregation of the drug store chain a few months later. 

Dr. Hicks went on to participate in other protests and sit-ins, including a protest at the once-segregated Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore. 

 Dr. Hicks also comments on the Black Lives Matter movement and what she sees as the most important issue for people of color today.  Portions of this conversation aired originally on Jan 18, 2016. 

Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun


Since April of 2015, the narrative of the Baltimore uprising has been inextricably woven into the fabric of a broader national conversation about how police relate to communities of color, tempered by more deaths of Black and Brown people at the hands of police, targeted murders of law enforcement officers, and an acrimonious Presidential campaign. This morning, reporter Mary Wiltenburg brings us a Sound Montage from Baltimore’s West Side. Police and protesters: Voices from the Uprising.

Then, our Living Questions Series continues with the Rev. Dr. Robert Franklin, the President Emeritus of Morehouse College and Professor of Moral Leadership at Emory University.  Followed by Baker Artist Award winner Todd Marcus on the joys of the bass clarinet.

One Year Later: Voices of the Uprising

Aug 24, 2016
Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun

To mark the first anniversary of the funeral of Freddie Gray and the protests and street violence that followed, freelance reporter Mary Wiltenburg produced an audio montage of that tumultuous day and its aftermath.  The narrative surrounding the Baltimore Uprising is still a work in progress.

It's time now for another installment in our monthly series, Living Questions, in which we examine the role of religion in the public sphere. We’re producing this series in partnership with the Institute for Islamic Christian and Jewish Studies (ICJS).

In February, ICJS inaugurated a three-part lecture series on the theme of Imagining Justice in Baltimore. A Christian, Jewish and Muslim scholar each addressed the question of how each religious tradition refracts and understands the notion of justice. In light of the wrenching events in Baltimore last spring, the Institute is hoping to bridge ethnic, socio-economic and religious divides, and deepen and enrich appreciation for the place of justice-seeking in different faith traditions. 

Gary Young Photography

Award winning bass clarinetist Todd Marcus is teamed up with legendary clarinetist Don Byron for a one-night only show at Caton Castle in Baltimore.

In addition to being one of the only prominent bass clarinetists on the modern jazz scene, Todd runs the Baltimore based non-profit Intersection of Change. The organization addresses poverty related issues in Sandtown-Winchester and runs an art program to provide children with positive outlets. 

Creative Commons

On Monday night, the City Council voted to send a minimum wage bill back to committee. Luke Broadwater from the Baltimore Sun and WYPR’s Metro Reporter Kenneth Burns were in the council chambers for the debate and vote, and they will walk-us through how and why the council took this step, and what it will mean for the city moving forward.

 Plus, Natalie Sherman of the Baltimore Sun and Melody Simmons of the Baltimore Business Journal have been covering the complexities of the proposed Port Covington development for many months.  They’re give a status update on the enormous project. Then, the Nutrition Diva, Monica Reinagel on meat substitutes. Are they healthier? And are they worth the trade-off in taste?  

Tim Stephens

Suzanne Feldman's  debut novel, Absalom's Daughters,  follows the adventures of two teenage girls as they embark on a journey to find their father -- and themselves. 

The story is set in Mississippi during the 1950s, as the two young girls, one black and one white, learn that they share the same white father. He has abandoned both of the girls and left for Virginia. The sisters  set out on a road trip through the Deep South to find him.

The Frederick-based writer joins Tom in the studio to talk about her novel and its unusual inspiration.


Today, we continue our Focus on the Counties Series with a conversation with first term Harford County Executive Barry Glassman. He was one of three county executives elected in the Baltimore region in the 2014 Republican wave led by Governor Larry Hogan. Harford County is wrestling with a tenacious problem of opioid addiction, the tensions between rural and suburban land use, environmental contamination, and other issues.  I’ll talk to County Executive Barry Glassman on what’s ahead for Harford County.

 Then, Theater Critic J.Wynn Rousuck reviews "The Lord of Flies", an adaptation at the Annex Theater of William Golding’s chilling 1954 novel of not quite the same name.  

Baltimore City Gov.

We’ll spend the hour with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake. Within 5 months of the violence and uprising that ripped through the city in 2015, the Mayor had announced that she would not seek another term, saying she didn’t want to be distracted by politics while she worked to rebuild the city after that cataclysmic event.  What role will the Port Covington development play in those efforts, and have city officials properly vetted all aspects of this enormous project? What’s the status of the frayed relationship between police and communities of color?  And what does the future hold for a young former mayor, who’s no stranger to the national spotlight? 

Alex Wong/Getty Images

This week, the Democrats gathered in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention, aspiring to unify the party, rebuff criticism of Hillary Clinton as untrustworthy, and articulate the dangers of electing Donald Trump. First lady Michelle Obama, former president Bill Clinton, and President  Barack Obama were the headliners who all adduced strong arguments for historic nominee, Hillary Clinton. Fairai Chideya of FiveThirtyEight and Michael Fletcher of ESPN’s The Undefeated join Tom to discuss the convention and Sec. Hillary Clinton's Thursday night address. 

 Then, Marilyn Mosby has discontinued the prosecution of the officers indicted in the arrest that led to the death of Freddie Gray.  Our legal eagles, Edward Smith and David Jaros help us understand the ramifications moving forward.  


The Democratic National Convention kicks off today. Sheri Parks from the University of Maryland and Michael Higginbotham from the University of Baltimore School of law join Tom for a DNC preview. 

Then, theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck reviews Spamalot on at Cockpit in Court.   Then, Living Questions continues with Rabbi Jessy Gross, who’s recently been named one of America’s most inspiring Rabbis. She’ll introduce us to the Charm City Tribe, a group of millennials who are practicing religion in a different way.   


Donald Trump officially accepted the Republican nomination for president Thursday night, after a solid majority of delegates from around the country cast their votes for him earlier in the week at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

It was a roller-coaster convention. On Monday, party leaders blocked a noisy anti-Trump delegate challenge to the rules binding them to vote for Mr. Trump.  Later that evening,  Mr. Trump's wife, Melania, gave the keynote address. News media were soon abuzz with reports that her address had plagiarized two passages from Michelle Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. The Trump Organization released an official statement on Wednesday explaining that speech writer Meredith McIver accidentally incorporated excerpts from Obama's speech into Mrs. Trump's address.


With two days down and two to go, Republicans in Cleveland are making the case for Donald Trump to a general election audience.  With so many A-list Republican luminaries skipping the convention, and in the aftermath of a divisive and controversial primary campaign, has Trump begun to unify the party, and to bring the country together around his cause? Jenna Johnson has been covering Donald Trump for the Washington Post for most of the last year.  She joins Tom by phone from Cleveland. 

Then, analysis of the verdict in the trial of Lt. Brian Rice, one of the six officers charged in connection to the arrest and death of Freddie Gray, with our legal experts, attorney Edward Smith and University of Baltimore Law professor David Jaros. Plus, the Nutrition Diva, Monica Reinagel on “The Mind Diet;” foods that feed the brain, and may help ward-off Alzheimer’s disease.  


It’s the third day of a Republican National Convention that has been nothing short of eventful. Delegates have convened in Cleveland to set the party’s agenda and declare Donald Trump the official Republican presidential nominee. 

On opening day, delegates who were unhappy with the rules committee’s decision to reject a vote to unbind delegate votes, launched a last effort protest on the convention floor. If that was not enough, Melania Trump, Donald Trump’s wife, is facing allegations that she lifted sections of her RNC speech from a speech Michelle Obama delivered in 2008 at the Democratic National Convention. 


Tom speaks with Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh for the Focus on the Counties series. 

Schuh was one of three county executives elected in the Baltimore region in the Republican wave led by Governor Larry Hogan. When Steve Schuh took office in late 2014, he was the third person to head the county in two years, following the scandal-ridden administration of John Leopold, and the brief tenure of Laura Newman. His working relationship with the county council has not always been smooth; he talks about his plans to streamline government, reduce taxes, and build more schools.   Then, Baltimore author James Magruder on his latest novel "Love Slaves of Helen Hadley Hall," a tale about the love lives of graduate students in the 1980s.        


In our occasional series Focus on the Countieswe've been talking with Maryland county executives about how they're addressing the needs and concerns of the region's residents.  In today's program, Tom is joined in the studio by Anne Arundel County Executive Steven R. Schuh.

Schuh  was  sworn  in as Anne Arundel's 9th County Executive on December 1, 2014, after defeating incumbent Laura Neuman in the Republican primary and defeating former three-term Sheriff George Johnson in the General Election.

The 55-year-old Baltimore native and long-time Anne Arundel County resident holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and political science from Dartmouth College. Schuh holds two Master's degrees – a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Science in Education from Harvard University and Johns Hopkins University, respectively.  He is the father of two college-age children.

Before his election as County Executive, Schuh served two terms in the Maryland General Assembly as the Republican representative of District 31, which includes Pasadena, and parts of Glen Burnie and Brooklyn Park.


We continue our Focus on the Counties series with Howard County executive Alan Kittleman, In 2014, he won election as a Republican in a place where Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly two to one. Howard County is diverse and multi-cultural, and it’s one of the wealthiest jurisdictions in the country. As the town of Columbia prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, will fewer people be able to afford to live there? Can Columbia continue to be a model for sustainable, diverse communities nationwide? Alan Kittleman on what’s next for Baltimore’s neighbor to the south. 

Then, from Howard County to The Bridges of Madison County. Theater Critic J.Wynn Rousuck joins Tom to talk about the musical production of the Kleenex classic at the Kennedy Center.