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Maryland Morning


Maryland Morning with host Tom Hall aired its final broadcast on September 16, 2016. Programs airing from 10/15 - 9/16/16 can be found below.  Tom is now hosting Midday which can be found here.

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Sagamore Development

The Baltimore City Council is set to deliver the final vote on the Port Covington development project.

On Wednesday the Board of Estimates approved the $100 million community benefits deal. The deal, which includes a commitment to hire 30 percent of all infrastructure construction workers from Baltimore and mandates that 20 percent of housing units built must be affordable, was reached through negotiations between Sagamore and several local community groups. Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD) was one of the groups at the table and the organization contends that the community benefits deal will help residents of Baltimore in an unprecedented way. Critics say the deal doesn’t go far enough to ensure equity for Baltimore’s poorest residents, citing loopholes in the affordable housing commitment and low wages for construction workers.  Bishop Douglas Miles is the Pastor of Koinonia Baptist Church and a co-chair emeritus of BUILD. He joins Tom to talk about the community negotiations and the final deal. We’ll also hear from Monisha Cherayil, an attorney with the Public Justice Center. She shares her concerns about the deal, particularly its somewhat conditional promises of affordable housing. 

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. 

Mother's Lament

Mother’s Lament: So Many Names Unknown, So Many Sons Lost, a new oratorio being performed at Morgan State University explores the tragic homicide epidemic in Baltimore. Homicide is the national leading cause of death for black males ages 15-34. The piece is in response to last year's uprising and seeks to acknowledge and console the grieving families and communities that have lost sons to violence. Composers James Lee, III and Vincent Dion Stringer join Tom in the studio to talk about Mother's Lament.  Dr. Lee is on the faculty at Morgan State and Mr. Stringer heads the university's Opera Department.

Mother’s Lament: So Many Names Unknown, So Many Sons Lost premieres tomorrow night at the Gilliam Concert Hall in the Murphy Fine Arts Center at Morgan State University. Julien Benichou conducts the Mid-Atlantic Orchestra with soprano Marquita Lister, bass-baritone, Robert Cantrell, and the renowned Morgan State University Choir, the Boys Choir of Powhatan, Singing Sensations Youth Choir, and singers from several HBCU choruses.  The concert begins at 8:00pm. For tickets click here.

With the 2016 election just weeks away, Washington Post syndicated columnist E.J. Dionne joins Tom by phone to weigh in on this extraordinary presidential election season.  Among the topics they discuss: how Donald Trump managed to hijack the GOP and change the course of the conservative movement, and how immigration policy has been a central issue in the presidential race. Dionne also considers Hillary Clinton's recent "basket of deplorables" comment castigating Trump supporters, and what impact it might have on her campaign. 

In addition to his work as a syndicated columnist, E.J. Dionne is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, a professor at Georgetown University, and the author of several books; his latest is Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism--From Goldwater to Trump and Beyond 

Musicians In Their Words: Deerhoof

Sep 14, 2016

Punk-rock band Deerhoof has charmed audiences for decades with its distinct and evolving sound. Although the group has never made it big or had a major hit, they have enjoyed a large and loyal worldwide fan base. 

Band members Satomi Matzusaki, Ed Rodriguez, John Dietrich and Greg Saunier combine their different backgrounds and perspectives on music to create an original and eclectic mix. 

Freelance producer Max Savage Levenson sat down with Saunier, Deerhoof's founder and drummer (and Maryland native), to get an inside look at how the band works, and how it has managed to keep re-inventing itself for new generations of fans.

For more information on Deerhoof and their current tour schedule, click here.

Today, a look at the controversial issue of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. It’s a method of getting at natural gas that involves injecting millions of gallons of water, sand, and chemicals into the ground at high pressures to fracture the underlying rock and release the gas.

Fracking has expanded rapidly across the US in the past decade, mostly in western states. There are also thousands of fracking operations in the East, especially in the area known as the Marcellus Shale… a gas-rich rock formation that runs beneath parts of New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Maryland’s two western-most counties.

A Maryland commission-- chaired by Dr. David Vanko, dean of the Fisher School of Science and Marthematics at Towson Universty -- was created in 2011 to study the environmental and health impacts of fracking, as well as its potential economic benefits. Four years and 34 public hearings later, that commission recommended that fracking be allowed to proceed under strict regulations.  But the General Assembly intervened and imposed a two-year moratorium on fracking that expires in October 2017.  

While Maryland’s Department of the Environment may see fracking as a reasonably safe enterprise, public doubts have been fueled by a steady stream of troubling scientific research.  Dr. Brian Schwartz, a professor in the Johns Hopkins-Bloomberg School’s Department of Environmental Health, has co-authored a series of four papers over the past year that suggest fracking operations could be the culprit in a wide range of health problems.  Dr. Schwartz joins Maryland Morning co-host Nathan Sterner in the studio to discuss those findings.  Joining the conversation by phone is State Senator Bobby Zirkin, who first proposed a permanent ban on fracking back in 2014, and plans to do so again in Annapolis next year.

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. 

Carol Rosegg

Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom in the studio to talk about the new Broadway-bound musical, Come From Away, now playing at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.. The musical drama recalls the horrors of 9/11 and the fact that moments after those terrorist attacks, the US government closed US airspace and ordered thousands of airborne jetliners to land immediately at the nearest airports. 

Thirty-eight planes, carrying more than 6,500 passengers, were diverted to Gander, a small town in the Canadian province of Newfoundland, doubling the community's population overnight.  Come From Away tells the story of how Gander residents offered these stranded passengers -- complete strangers -- food, shelter and friendship during the difficult days following 9/11. 

Come From Away is playing through October 16 at the Ford's Theatre in Washington.  For tickets or more information click here

Chris Carlson/AP

Late last month, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to take a stand and sit during the National Anthem before one his games in protest to racial inequality and injustice in America. Kaepernick has continued his protest, by knelling during the anthem, and says he plans to keep it up until racial inequality is addressed is a meaningful way. 

His actions have prompted a backlash from fans and former players who’ve called him unpatriotic, among other things. He’s also received a flood of support from musicians, fans, current and former athletes and most notably President Obama.  Pulitzer Prize winning author E.R Shipp joins Tom to discuss Colin Kaepernick’s right to protest and the effectiveness of using a platform like the NFL to highlight social justice issues. 


Movie mavens Ann Hornaday of the Washington Post and Jed Dietz founder and executive director of the Maryland Film Festival join Tom to discuss the hits and misses of the latest string of movies and what to look for this fall, including Snowdena film about former CIA employee turned whistle blower Edward Snowden.

Large budget films like Suicide Squad and Ben-Hur have been major disappointments. While small breakout films like Southside With You, a fictional depiction of First Lady Michelle Obama and President Obama's first date, have done surprisingly well with critics.