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?'

Charm City Bluegrass Festival

Bluegrass music is often described as an amalgam of Appalachian mountain music, folk music, country music and even jazz. It turns out that Baltimore’s music scene played prominently in the birth of bluegrass.  We meet Phil Chorney, CEO and Founder of the ‘Charm City Bluegrass Festival’ and Baltimore Management Agency and Adam Kirr, the festival’s chief marketing officer to give us highlights of the event.

Also, Tim Newby, author of the book: “Bluegrass in Baltimore: The Hard Drivin' Sound and Its Legacy” explains bluegrass music's deep roots in Baltimore.

For information about the Charm City Bluegrass Festival, check out this link.

To view the festival documentary, visit this link.

Warren K. Leffler, U.S. News & World Report collection at the US Library of Congress

Fifty years ago today the landscape of race relations in America changed in a single tragic instant, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

Rev. Stephen Tillett, president of the Anne Arundel branch of the NAACP and pastor at Asbury-Broadneck United Methodist Church and Rev. Lauren Jones of Reid Temple AME Church in Glenn Dale, discuss why Dr. King’s last months focused on economic justice and why his Poor People’s Campaign is still painfully relevant today.

Find information about Tillett's book, "Stop Falling for the Okey Doke" here.

Read Jones' blog Throw Up and Theology, here.

Learn more about today's Poor People's Campaign, here.

Pixabay MabelAmber/1928 Images

There’s a lot of evidence that social isolation hurts the elderly. Zach Leverenz, vice president of Impact Areas at the AARP Foundation, talks with us about a pilot program using voice-activated technology to combat loneliness for seniors. We also meet Lisa Budlow, vice president of aging in community at The Associated’s Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc. CHAI'S clients are testing out the technology, and Weinberg Woods resident Edith Yankelov, 87, talks about her experience taking part in the project.

Here's a Stoop story by Janet Stephens, about how her passion for hair and archeology have come together. You can hear her story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com, as well as the Stoop podcast.

Johns Hopkins University - Sheridan Library website

‘Devouring a book’ takes on new meaning at the International Edible Book Festivals taking place around town. We meet organizers Heidi Herr , a librarian at Johns Hopkins University and Aaron Blickenstaff, Access Services Manager at MICA’s Decker Library. 

You can learn more about MICA's Edible Book Festival here.

Johns Hopkins Edible Book Festival information is here.

Towson University Book Festival information is here.

Johns Hopkins University website

Johns Hopkins University's quest for authority to set up a police force of sworn, armed officers is getting the attention of civic leaders, students and neighbors. JHU president Ronald Daniels tells us why he considers it urgent and  Andrea Fraser, a Hopkins graduate student calls it premature. David Tedjeske, from the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators and director of public safety at Villanova University in Pennsylvana, weighs in on national campus security trends.

AP Photo by Wilfredo Lee

Since the Columbine school shooting 19 years ago, tens of thousands of other students have cringed in corners or cowered in closets during other shootings or drills. What traumas do they carry? How should parents talk to them? After the fatal shooting in St. Mary’s County, the Mental Health Association of Maryland posted talking points to help that communication. We hear about those talking points from Senior Program Officer Lea Ann Browning-McNee. We also hear from Loyola University Maryland clinical professor Gayle Cicero, of the School of Education, about the changing skills school counselors need.

You can find the link to MHAMD talking points for parents, here.

marylandday.org

A knowledge of history leads to a better understanding of the present and, perhaps, insight into the future. Our guests today understand the power in that. We talk with Phoebe Stein, executive director of Maryland Humanities to learn about Maryland History Day, a statewide competition for middle- and high-school students to bring a favorite history lesson to life. And we also meet David Armenti, director of education at the Maryland Historical Society, who tells us why it’s worth our time to remember Maryland Day, this Sunday, March 25.

For information on Maryland Day events around the state, check out this link.

Interested in being a judge for Maryland History Day? Visit this link.

Here's a Stoop story from Hannah Feldman, about her encounters of the 'Merlin' kind. You can hear her story and others at stoopstorytelling.com or on the Stoop podcast.

Target

There are many ways to enjoy the great outdoors in Maryland … from mountains to ocean, and from forest to stream. Our guest today is dedicated to helping enthusiasts discover new adventures and learn more about the geography, flora and fauna that await. Biologist and naturalist Bryan MacKay walks us through his three new guidebooks: Cycle Maryland, Hike Maryland and Paddle Maryland. Whether you’re novice or seasoned, MacKay urges you to get out of the car and go into the wild.

Cassie Doyle-Hines

There’s a revolution afoot, and it’s being fueled by high school students across the country who are discovering the power of political engagement. Galvanized by the tragedy in Parkville, Florida at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead last month, students across the country have staged rallies and walkouts demanding stricter gun laws and an end to gun violence. Saturday, March 24, is a focus of much of the organizing--the ‘March for Our Lives’ in Washington DC. Hundreds of thousands of young people and families from all parts of the US are expected -- demanding their voices be heard.

We talk with Park School of Baltimore Freshman Liza Sheehy, senior class president Mahey Gheis and Rommel Loria director of civic engagement and service learning about what students in their school are doing to engage politically.

We also meet Ericka Alston Buck, founder of Kids Safe Zone, who will travel to the march in D.C. with a fleet of buses full of high school students, organized by Mayor Catherine Pugh. Finally, we speak with Michaela Hoenig, a senior at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, who has organized lodging for hundreds of students and families attending the March For Our Lives.

To sign up for FREE bus rides to the rally from Baltimore, visit this link: Baltimore and Beyond March for Our Lives Rally Tickets.

Melissa Gerr

It's no secret that water goes through filtration before we drink it, but there’s some crazy stuff that happens, like making it chunky in order to clean it.  This gravity led trip through the Ashburton Water Filtration plant answers all your H2O questions.

The opportunity to tell one’s story can be empowering. Especially for those who think they don’t have a voice … or believe that others aren’t interested in what they have to say. We meet Johns Hopkins film student Amelia Voos along with illustrator and educator Jonathan Scott Fuqua ... they’ve been working with 8th-grade students at Morrell Park Middle School, to teach them the skills of telling their personal stories through video. Their films will be screened March 22 at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. More info here.

Rales Center for the Integration of Health and Education

Inadequate health care--or NO health care--can keep a pupil chronically out of school. The Rales Health Center and wellness programs inside KIPP Academies in Baltimore are in place to help combat that scenario.  The initiative is sponsored by the The Ruth and Norman Rales Center for the Integration of Health and Education and Johns Hopkins University Medical School. We hear about the impact it has on the classroom from teacher Carina Wells, and medical director Dr. Kate Connor explains why the effort has such a big impact in the KIPP community.

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. Original air date: 11/8/17

Maryland Farmers Market Association

One in nine Marylanders depends on food stamps; half are children or senior citizens. The Trump administration is proposing deep cuts in food stamps, now called SNAP, for “supplemental nutrition assistance.” We ask chief external affairs officer Meg Kimmel and president and CEO Carmen del Guercio of  Maryland Food Bank about the likely impact if SNAP benefits shrink or become harder to qualify for. As that national debate heats up, farmers are calling for Maryland’s governor to put money into doubling the power of food stamps spent at farmers markets. Founder and executive director of the Maryland Farmers Market Association Amy Crone is leading that drive. We also hear from Sarah Steel, who uses SNAP to feed her family of four.

Read the Atlantic's explanation of the Trump administration's proposed bill here.

Find information about the SNAP program for Maryland Farmers Markets here.

Terradynamics Lab, JHU

Most people are repulsed by the sight of a cockroach … but we hear why Johns Hopkins researcher Sean Gart at the Terradynamics Lab finds inspiration in the creepy- crawlers … to inform robotic design. And we talk with Derek Paley, director of the Collective Dynamics and Control Laboratory at the University of Maryland-College Park. He examines the fluid movements of fish to improve underwater vehicle function and tells us why scientists look to nature for answers.

American Visionary Art Museum

The night sky is filled with billions of stars … we marvel at them, far off in the distance, suspended in space millions of light years away. And we're more connected to stars than we might think. That's the message of our guest,  astrophysicist Dr. Michelle Thaller. She's the Deputy Director of Science for Communications at NASA. She's also a presenter next Sunday, March 11, at the American Visionary Art Museum’s Logan Visionary Conference that focuses on ‘Two Views of Heaven: Spiritual and Scientific.’

Here’s a stoop story from astrophysicist and Nobel Prize winner Adam Riess, of Johns Hopkins and the Space Telescope Science Institute. He told his story at a tribute to Senator Barbara Mikulski, about her dedication to supporting scientific research. You can hear his story and others at stoopstorytelling.com or at the Stoop podcast.

Julek Plowy

Catholic Relief Services, whose humanitarian aid stretches across the globe, was founded to help to help the dispossessed after World War II. With a new podcast, CRS is highlighting some of the colorful characters and memorable events that make up its history. CRS producer and content creator, Rebekah Lemke and podcast host, Nikki Gamer, share stories and explain why Catholic Relief Services’ work is as necessary today as it was 75 years ago.

You can listen to the anniversary podcast here.

Erika Clark/Make Studio

Artists who face challenges -- whether physical, developmental or emotional -- find a welcoming space at Make Studio. This month marks eight years that the nonprofit has been fostering a creative, inclusive community for artists. Make Studio also provides access to materials, studio space and exhibition prospects. We meet Erika Clark, a member-artist for five years, and co-founder Cathy Goucher, who talks about the intangible support Make Studio offers. 

They'll celebrate the anniversary at GO FIGURE: MAKE STUDIO Celebrates Our 8th! More info here.

Rohai Zod tells a stoop story about cultivating a patriotic and parental love, and the sacrifice that comes with it. He told it at last year’s Strong City Stoop event called ‘Live and Learn: The Immigrant Experience.’ This year’s Strong City Stoop Storytelling theme is “Keep Calm and ___” on Feb. 23 at 7pm at the University of Baltimore’s Wright Theater. More info here.

Creative Commons/Flickr

The latest edition of the Goucher Poll shows that none of the eight Democrats running for governor has a commanding lead and that four months ahead of the primary, “undecided” polls higher than all the Democrats combined. Governor Hogan remains popular, the poll finds, but less than half intend to vote to re-elect him. We talk with pollster Mileah Kromer and political reporter Bill Zorzi to decipher what all the numbers mean. You can see all the results for yourself at this link.

Goodreads

In the first few pages of Sunburnwe learn that its main character has walked out on her family--just left her husband and young daughter on a Delaware beach, and hitchhiked west. As the tale unfolds, we’re treated to the tropes of film noir--slick dialogue as the protagonists circle each other in a mix of distrust and desperate infatuation. We talk to Laura Lippman about the inspirations behind her latest mystery.

Faidley Seafood, located in Baltimore's Lexington Market since 1886, is nationally known for its crab cakes. Meet the cast of characters who hand produce hundreds of them daily for locals and tourists; learn what not to do while shucking oysters and finally, get the definitive answer to that burning question: what really is the difference between jumbo lump vs. back fin?

Creative Commons/Wikimedia

Hemp literally shares roots with the same plant that produces marijuana--they’re both cannabis. But as marijuana laws loosen in most states, the laws surrounding hemp production--including in Maryland--remain rigid. Environmental reporter Rona Kobell explains industrial uses for hemp, and how it could provide farmers with a potentially profitable choice in their crop rotation. And we meet Anna Chaney, a hopeful hemp farmer who talks about how growing it can benefit the soil.

Jason Shellenhamer

Two archeologists and scores of volunteers have been probing, digging, sifting and cataloging to unearth the mysteries hidden under a park in the city’s northeast corner. A big manor house no one knew about, and more. How does it all connect to the power families of old Baltimore? We hear about it from Jason Shellenhamer and Lisa Kraus, who direct the Herring Run Archeology Project. They entice their neighbors to get their hands dirty alongside them, digging up stories that reveal the past. Shellenhamer and Kraus give a talk on the project at the Engineers Club of Baltimore on Sun., Feb. 18 at 2pm. More info here.

Baltimore Police Department

For two-and-a-half weeks, testimony in the federal courtroom shocked some and confirmed the fears of others: witness after witness described an elite unit of the Baltimore police gone rogue, stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, drugs, guns and luxury accessories while pretending the seizures were legitimate law enforcement. The trial ended last night with Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor convicted of fraud, robbery and racketeering. WYPR reporter Mary Rose Madden covered the trial, and she’s here in studio.

Baltimore Chinese School

We’re four days away from the new year -- Lunar New Year. The Year of the Dog starts Friday, February 16. We talk with Colleen Oyler of the Walters Art Museum to hear what’s on offer at its celebration of the Lunar New Year this weekend--dances, music and art making and how it connects to the Walters’ famed collection of Asian art. And we ask Professor Wei Sun, principal and co-founder of the Baltimore Chinese School, what he’d like visitors to know about Lunar New Year.

thebaltimorebeat.com

In our monthly pulse-check with the alternative weekly Baltimore Beat, managing editor Brandon Soderberg shares his experience reporting from the robbery-extortion-and fraud trial of two former members of the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force. Soderberg said it’s affected him more than any trial he’s covered.  And, the Beat has labeled this week its annual sex issue. Editor-in-chief Lisa Snowden-McCray takes us on a visit to the legendary Millstream Inn Gentlemen’s Club. Read the whole issue and more at baltimorebeat.com .

Pages