Maryland Morning

On Maryland Morning we talk to the people who matter most to Marylanders:  people making news, people making art, and people making a difference in Baltimore and beyond.  Politics and poetry, sports and science, race and religion, movies and medicine: if it's on your mind, it's on our show.  Find out more about us, check out shows that aired prior to February 2014, listen to our series, and listen to each day's show.  Got a question or comment? E-mail us at You can also leave us a voicemail or text us at (410) 881-3162.

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Ensemble Galilei

Ensemble Galilei has been mining the rich traditions of folk and early music for 25 years.  They have played in concert halls and churches across the US, and for six years, two of its members played weekly at Walter Reed Hospital, providing the comfort and consolation that only music can, to wounded warriors.  This weekend, they will unveil their latest CD, From Whence We Came, an eclectic mix of original compositions and music from around the globe.  Ensemble members Carolyn Surrick and Kathryn Montoya join Tom in Studio A to talk about the new release.  

Howard County Conservancy

We begin today with a look at the Howard County Conservancy, a 200-acre tract of rolling hills, forest, meadow and streams called Mt. Pleasant Farm, at Woodstock, about a half-hour’s drive west of Baltimore. The Conservancy -- which marked its 25th anniversary last Sunday, introduces young people and adults to environmental stewardship and conservation.

To tell us more about the Conservancy, Tom is joined in the studio by its executive director, Meg Boyd, and by Ann Strozyk, an award-winning environmental educator in the Howard County school system who is based at the Conservancy. On Friday night at 7:00, there’s a Flashlight Hike to check out the nocturnal life at the Conservancy, just in time for Halloween.


In 1955, Vladimir Nabokov began his most famous novel, which shocked the world, and placed him in the highest echelon of modern writers. In a new biography, my next guest examines Nabokov’s time in America, in the years leading up to and after the publication of Lolita.

Robert Roper is a novelist and journalist who is on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University. He’ll be appearing at the Ivy Bookshop tonight at 7:00. His new book is called Nabokov in America: On the Road to Lolita.

Socially Responsible Agricultural Project // Flickr Creative Commons

Back in the day, when we heard this music by Aaron Copland, we knew it meant one thing: Meat. In the 1990s, it was “what’s for dinner,” according to the Beef Council. Last February, the Federal Government revised their guidelines about what we should eat, and they said we should eat less meat, and in fairness to meat, they also suggested we eat less sugar. On Monday, The International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, published a report that seems to have upped the ante a bit. Red meat has been declared a probable carcinogen.

The verdict on Processed Meat, according to the study, is more severe. When it comes to bacon and beef jerky, they drop the qualifier, “probable,” and say that it is a carcinogen. So what does this mean? Whenever we have a question of this kind, we turn to the Nutrition Diva, Monica Reinagle, who blogs about nutrition at Nutrition Over Easy and hosts a podcast at Quick and Dirty Tips.


Last June, Pope Francis published an extraordinary encyclical on the environment.  For the first time, the leader of the Catholic Church stated that climate change is real, that it’s being caused mainly by human activity, and that it poses a particular threat to the world’s poor.

Like the Pope's call to the faithful to take actions to heal the Earth, followers of Islam and Judaism are also drawing on their religious traditions to confront the challenges of climate change.

We learn of two such faith-driven initiatives as Tom talks with Kori Majeed, the founder of the Web-based environmental group, GreenRamadan, and with Rabbi Arthur Waskow of The Shalom Center in Philadelphia, co-author of a Rabbinic Letter on the Climate Crisis that's been endorsed by more than 400 rabbis since its publication last June.

Wendel Patrick

Tomorrow afternoon at 1:00 PM here on WYPR, producer Aaron Henkin and musician Wendel Patrick will unveil their season-opening installment of Out of the Blocks. Out of The Blocks gives listeners an intimate look into the lives of people who live and work on one specific block in Baltimore.  In the past, they’ve taken us to Greenmount Avenue in Waverly, to Patapsco Avenue in South Baltimore, and right after the unrest in April, they took us to The Penn North intersection that was the epicenter of the violence.  Tomorrow, they’ll introduce us to folks in the 4700 block of Liberty Heights Avenue, in Northwest Baltimore, and this morning, Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick join with a seasion preview. 


Arena Players


Ntozake Shange created a sensation with her 1975 play, “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf.” Her groundbreaking, heartbreaking celebration of African-American women was televised in 1982 and made into a feature film with an all-star cast just five years ago.

Arena Players produced its own impressive take on “for colored girls” in 1995. Now it has boldly mounted one of the playwright’s lesser-known works, “Spell #7.”

 CNN’s medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta is coming to town tomorrow for the Baltimore Speakers Series presented by Stevenson University. He’s not only a journalist and multiple Emmy winner for reports on CNN, he’s also a practicing neurosurgeon, associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, and assistant professor of neurosurgery at Emory University. WYPR's Sheilah Kast is host of the Speakers Series. She spoke with Dr. Gupta last week.

Baltimore Brew/Pietella



The Open Society Institute, the non-profit group founded by billionaire philanthropist George Soros, is sponsoring a popular series of lectures called Talking About Race.  The lectures, presented at the Enoch Pratt Library's Central Library, have been delving into the nuanced and complex issue of race and its impact in our community.  The speaker on Tuesday, October 27th will be Dr. Elizabeth Nix, an assistant professor in the Division of Legal, Ethical and Historical Studies at the University of Baltimore, and one of the members of the steering committee of Baltimore ’68: Riots and Rebirth, a project that examined the causes and effects of the riots that took place here and across the country following the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in April of 1968.   Dr. Nix joins host Tom Hall for a conversation about the history of racial segregation in Baltimore and the seeds of this spring's unrest.

Fences, by August Wilson, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award for Best Play when it debuted on Broadway in 1987.  When it was revived on Broadway 5 years ago, it won another Tony for Best Revival.  The play is in the middle of Wilson’s ten-part Pittsburgh Cycle, in which the playwright chronicles the African American experience with a trenchant and powerful voice unparalleled in American theater.  Fences opens at Baltimore’s Everyman Theater tonight.  Vincent Lancisi, the founding artistic director of the Everyman, and Clinton Turner Davis, who directs this fine production, talk with host Tom Hall about their unique staging of this August Wilson classic.