Melissa Gerr | WYPR

Melissa Gerr

Producer

Melissa Gerr is a producer for On the Record.  She started in public media at Twin Cities Public Television in St. Paul, Minn., where she is from, and then worked as a field producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland. She made the jump to audio-lover in Baltimore as a digital media editor at Mid-Atlantic Media and Laureate Education, Inc. and as a field producer for "Out of the Blocks."  Her beat is typically the off-beat with an emphasis on science, culture and things that make you say, 'Wait, what?'

Deborah Roffman

The intense reckoning America is experiencing around sexual harassment didn’t come out of nowhere.  We talk with Deborah Roffman, author and human sexuality educator at the Park School of Baltimore, about eye-opening events in the past five years that changed attitudes about taking what you want versus getting permission. Roffman teaches boys and girls as young as 9--fourth graders--and says forming personal boundaries starts with building self-respect.

Vera Institute of Justice

As the Trump Administration bears down on immigration enforcement, what is the recourse of immigrants facing deportation, who are often without funds to enlist a lawyer’s help, or even the basic understanding of what that would mean? We hear from Annie Chen a program director from the Vera Institute of Justice about the SAFE Cities Network initiative. It’s a nationwide effort to bolster access to legal representation for immigrants and also provide education regarding legal rights. Also joining us is Tracy Brown, deputy director of Open Society Institute Baltimore that works with the local immigrant community. We also meet  Val Twanmoh, director of the Catholic Charities Esperanza Center, which will receive some of the SAFE Cities funding, and Heather Benno, managing attorney of immigration legal services at Esperanza Center.

Helen Glazer

Artists have always drawn inspiration from nature. The grace of a crashing ocean wave, the warm palette of autumn leaves, the luminescence of a full moon. But … a stark, snow and ice-covered tundra? That’s where photographer and sculptor, Helen Glazer, toured and made images over the course of seven weeks as part of the ‘Antarctic Artists and Writers’ program. She won the grant from the National Science Foundation in 2015. Her exhibit, Walking in Antarctica, is on display through January 12, 2018 at the Rosenberg Gallery at Goucher College.

Here's a Stoop Story by Meg Adams, talking about her travels to Antarctica and finding the warm feeling of home, even in a frozen tundra. You can hear her story and others at stoopstorytelling.com

Robert Shetterly americanswhotellthetruth.org

Baltimore welcomes a new discussion series that promises ‘conversation with a purpose.' It's called Great Talk. Co-founder Diane Davison gives us an overview, and we meet former National Security Agency executive and whistleblower, Thomas Drake. He will headline the panel for the inaugural event next week, titled: ‘Cyber Wars, the Secrets, the Spies’. A few years into his tenure at the NSA, Drake brought concerns about wasteful spending and questionable surveillance to his superiors, ... but was thwarted, then charged with espionage ... His life hasn't been the same.

Open Society Institute Baltimore

Combining his longtime advocacy for people with disabilities and his criminal law background, 2017 ‘Open Society Institute Baltimore’ fellow, Munib Lohrasbi plans to create the ‘Prisoner Protection and Advocacy Committee.’ Working in partnership with Disability Rights Maryland, Lohrasbi will perform site visits and observe how intake screenings are done; then he’ll compile and disseminate the data. OSI is a nonprofit that focuses on addressing the needs of Baltimore’s underserved communities and supporting innovative solutions to longstanding problems. 

With no end in sight to the opioid overdose epidemic, the oversight committee of the U.S. Congress will hold a field hearing at Johns Hopkins Hospital this afternoon--to look at how the Trump administration is responding to the crisis. We speak to the committee’s top Democratic, Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings.

Eric Beatty, who dreamed about life as a father, but as a divorced dad didn’t think it would come true for him. After 18 years of marriage he moved into a house five minutes from his ex, and set out to co-raise their three kids, Dylan, Georgia and Sam. Here’s some of what he learned along the way.

You can hear other Stoop stories and the Stoop podcast at stoopstorytelling.com.

Dennis Wong / Flickr via Creative Commons

Why do some smells repel us more than others … and why do some immediately trigger a memory? How does our sense of smell interact with other senses, like hearing and sight? Why does an older woman, if her sense of smell grows less acute, have a smaller social circle -- but the same is not true of older men? We talk about all that and more with Johan Lundstrom, a cognitive psychologist who does research at the Monell Chemical Sense Center in Philadelphia and the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. Original air date: 7.17.17

thebaltimorebeat.com

At a time when many weeklies, and even daily print publications are folding, Baltimore is home to a new weekly newspaper, The Baltimore Beat. We meet editor-in-chief Lisa Snowden-McCray, to learn how it differs from now-defunct City Paper ... as well as what readers can look forward to, and her hopes to increase diversity in the newsroom.

Here is journalist Wil Hylton’s Stoop story about the importance of following a hunch … and being open to hear the truth when you get there. Hylton is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, and the author of Vanished. Don’t miss the next Stoop show, “Breaking with Tradition: Stories about Unconventional Holidays” coming up on Tuesday, December 12, 7:00 pm at The Senator Theatre.

Summer Skyes 11 Creative Commons

Recent Johns Hopkins research suggests the physical activity of 19-year-olds is on par with that of 60 year-olds. The study’s senior author, Vadim Zipunnikov discusses the ramifications of such a sedentary lifestyle, and Julie Lincoln, senior fitness director at the YMCA of Central Maryland, talks about innovative programs that motivate kids to get up and move.

Flickr Creative Commons

An estimated 20,000 surgeons in the U.S. are over 70--no more immune than the rest of us from weaker vision, slower hand-eye coordination or forgetfulness. Yet there’s not a clear system for telling a doctor it’s time to retire from surgery. Dr. Mark Katlic, chair of surgery at LifeBridge Health Sinai Hospital, has devised a two-day evaluation to test the physical and mental fitness of surgeons. It's called the Aging Surgeons Program. We also talk with Dr. Herbert Dardik, who resisted the testing but now is a strong proponent. 

Returning combat veterans often wrestle with post-traumatic stress disorder, the aftermath of brain injuries or chronic pain. Relief can be fleeting. Dr. Carol Bowman, medical director for patient and family-centered care at Veterans Affairs, tells us about holistic therapies used successfully to treat military veterans. We also meet Renee Dixon, executive director of Freedom Hills Therapeutic Riding program in Cecil County, and participant Don Koss, a Vietnam vet, to learn how just being near horses can have a calming effect.

Lisa Nickerson/Kennedy Krieger Institute

When an adult has a stroke, signs and symptoms are often recognizable. But what if the victim is a toddler? Or an infant … someone who may not be able to sense or communicate that something is amiss? Pediatric stroke is more common than you think. We hear from Dr. Frank Pidcock, medical director of Kennedy Krieger Institute's ‘Constraint Induced Movement Therapy’ program. Then we visit Brooklynn, who suffered a stroke at the age of one and a half, and her mother, Nikki Wolcott at a therapy session.

A month into office, President Trump declared the press to be the enemy of the American people. By several measures, hostility against journalists is ratcheting up. Beth Am Synagogue has asked four journalists to analyze “press freedoms under siege.”

We’ll hear from Ben Jacobs, a reporter who was bodyslammed by a Republican congressional candidate last spring, And TV producer David Simon, a former Baltimore Sun reporter, who will kick off the series this weekend.

Walters Art Museum

Though the name sounds foreboding, the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is in fact a celebration of life. The Walters Art Museum has built a traditional altar, or ofrenda … and has planned several events to bring the holiday to life in Baltimore. We talk with Amanda Kodek, Director of Education, and Alexander Jarman, Manager of Adult and Community Programs, to learn about the activities, and the holiday itself. Creative Alliance also has many Dia de los Muertos activities planned, and you can learn more about them here.

On today's look back at the Stoop, Debra Diamond, Wall Street money manager turned psychic, medium and medical intuitive tells about the day she discovered these extrasensory gifts. You can hear her story and others at StoopStorytelling.com.

PBS Against All Odds

When it comes to daily headlines, the black middle class is nearly invisible. The news tends to focus on dysfunction in poor black neighborhoods, confrontations with police, disappointing achievements in urban schools. There's a lot missing from that narrative. To find out more, we talk with journalist Bob Herbert, who wrote and produced the documentary “Against All Odds: The Fight for a Black Middle Class.” He brings decades of reporting and analysis together to explain what African-American families have confronted in pursuing the American Dream. Please note, the local screening and panel discussion of this event at the Parkway Theater is SOLD OUT.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In 1932 the U.S. Public Health Service enlisted African-American men in Macon County, Alabama in a syphilis study. The men weren’t asked for informed consent -- and were told they would get treatment. They didn’t, even after penicillin was shown to cure syphilis.

We meet Peter Buxtun, a public health employee who discovered in the 1960s what was happening and bioethicist Nancy Kass, from Johns Hopkins’ Berman Institute, explains how Buxtun’s whistleblower helped shape the rules and regulations surrounding research today.

Peter Buxtun will be speaking at UMBC tomorrow at 4 pm in Lecture Hall 1 in the Biological Sciences Building.

Iraqi Jewish Archives

During a search for weapons of mass destruction in 2003, it was discovered that Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters held priceless artifacts ... then the building was bombed and burst water pipes and flooded the basement nearly destroying the contents. Marvin Pinkert, the director The Jewish Museum of Maryland, tells the story behind the dramatic rescue of these artifacts, several of which are featured in the museum's latest exhibit, “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage.” The centuries-old records detail communal life, religious practices and eventual persecution of Jews in Iraq.

Louis Blank tells the story about how even the uninvited guests to his wedding felt special. Don't miss the Stoop’s season kickoff, The Stoop in The Dark: Stories about the Unseen, Unknown, and Untold, Thursday, October 26, 7:00 pm at the The Senator Theatre. You can find information and more stories at stoopstorytelling dot com.

The Sixth Branch

Few neighborhood rebuilding groups can claim they’re driven by a military sense of purpose. Today we hear from Rich Moore, founder of The Sixth Branch in Baltimore. He and Scott Goldman, the nonprofit's executive director talk about how the group channels the leadership skills and commitment of military veterans to serve local communities through organizing, building and maintaining projects. Regina Hammond, joins us too, to talk about the lasting impact The Sixth Branch has had on the Johnson Square neighborhood. Find out how you can get involved here.

That was neurosurgeon Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa telling his stoop story about a special patient who, facing his fight against brain cancer, taught the doctor a important lesson about life. The story was part of a special stoop event: “Hopkins Medicine, A World Inside a City,” in May 2012. More stories at stoopstorytelling.com.

Project Bridge

YouTube

More than 300 million people across the globe don’t see the world with what is considered normal color vision. Today we meet glass scientist Dr. Donald McPherson, who accidentally discovered he could help those people. He’s the mind behind Enchroma glasses, designed to unlock color vision for those with color-deficient sight. We also capture the moment when local illustrator and art educator Jonathon Scott Fuqua tries the glasses for the first time. It changed the way he was used to seeing the world.

United Way of Central Maryland Project Homeless Connect

A show about the power of human connections ... Scott Gottbreht of United Way of Central Maryland tells us how ‘Project Homeless Connect’  breaks barriers and provides urgently needed medical and dental care, and other services for the homeless and poor. It’s a two-day event at the Convention Center this week. 

MedSchool Maryland Productions

Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker Susan Hadary, from MedSchool Maryland Productions, talks about connecting with the six teens from the University of Maryland, Baltimore CURE program (Continuing the Umbrella for Research Experiences) in her documentary “From West Baltimore.” Also joining us is Shakeer Franklin, who reflects on life in his neighborhood.

Brion McCarthy Photography LLC

The Stoop Storytelling Series has been delighting Baltimore audiences with true, hilarious and heartbreaking tales from ordinary people, since 2006. Stoop founders and hosts, Jessica Myles Henkin and Laura Wexler, join us to talk about themes for the new season. They include senatorial roasts, freaky families, the 1980s and excursions into the unknown. Find more details here!

Here's a Stoop Story from Dr. Ethel Weld, about a memorable first encounter during an excruciatingly long ER shift, back when she was a first-year medical resident. You can listen to her story and others at stoopstorytelling.com.

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