Midday | WYPR

Midday

On Midday, Monday-Friday from noon-1:00, Tom Hall and his guests are talking about what’s on your mind, and what matters most to Marylanders:  the latest news, local and national politics, education and the environment, popular culture and the arts, sports and science, race and religion, movies and medicine.  We welcome your questions and comments. E-mail us at midday@wypr.org, tweet us: @middaytomhall, or call us at 410-662-8780.
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Meet the Midday team

Midday programs with Sheilah Kast as host ended on September 16, 2016

Archive prior to October 5, 2015

Photo by Joan Marcus

Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom in the studio, as she does each Thursday, with a review today of  the Broadway touring company production of The Bodyguard, on stage through Sunday (March 5) at the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore.  

Based on the 1992 hit film of the same name starring Kevin Costner and the late Whitney Houston, the award-winning musical showcases the extraordinary talents of the Grammy-nominated R&B superstar, Deborah Cox

Most audiences will likely recall The Bodyguard storyline: former Secret Service agent-turned-bodyguard, Frank Farmer, played by Judson Mills, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron, played by Cox, from an unknown stalker. Each is strong-willed and used to being in control, but in spite of themselves, they fall in love.  The Bodyguard features a playlist of popular classics, including "Queen of the Night," "So Emotional," "One Moment in Time," "Saving All My Love," "Run to You," "I Have Nothing," "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" and one of the biggest-selling songs of all time – "I Will Always Love You."

The Bodyguard was adapted from the Lawrence Kasdan screenplay with a book by Alexander Dinelaris.  The Broadway touring production is directed by Thea Sharrock, choreographed by Karen Bruce, with set and costume designs by Tim Hatley.  

The Bodyguard continues at the Hippodrome until Sunday, March 5th.

Baltimore City Council

Today a conversation with three new members of the Baltimore City Council. Last November, voters elected eight new members to the council. At that time, pundits predicted that these new, often younger members would shake things up. So how are the first few months going and what can we expect from the city council going forward?  

There’s a public hearing tonight on a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. On Monday, the council passed a resolution tranfer control of the  Baltimore police department from the state to the city. And, funding for the school system is front of mind. We’ll find out where these freshmen lawmakers stand on these and other issues facing them in their first weeks in office.  

cnn.com

There are an estimated 19,000 addicts who inject heroin and other opioids in the city of Baltimore.  They shoot up, in the shadows.  They even have a name for the vacant houses they sometimes use:  abandominiums.        

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health say that as part of a strategy to address this growing epidemic, Baltimore should establish places where addicts can use drugs in safer environments.  These “Safe Drug Consumption Spaces” would be monitored by medical personnel, who could intercede if someone overdoses, and addicts can, at the very least, be guaranteed the use of sterile needles. 

Dr. Susan Sherman recently published a report commissioned by the Abell Foundation that makes the argument for the creation of these safe spaces in Baltimore City.  She joins me today, along with Robert Kinneberg, the director of the Phoenix Recovery Center, who works to cure addiction.  And we're joined on the line from Annapolis by Del. Dan Morhaim, a Democrat and licensed emergency-room physician who represents Baltimore County in the MD House. He's just introduced a bill authorizing the creation of safe drug injection facilities in communities across Maryland.  We also take your calls, tweets and emails.

Photo by K. Whiteford

Today an update on the Maryland General Assembly. Late last week, a bill that would require many Maryland employers to provide paid sick leave advanced out of committee. The bill calls for companies with at least 15 employees to offer up to seven days of paid sick leave to full-time workers per year. Smaller companies would have to offer unpaid sick leave.

 There’s also legislation to make Maryland a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants. And, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh now has the authority to bypass Governor Hogan to challenge the Trump administration in court. A spokesman for the Governor says that this one of the nearly one hundred bills aimed at limited Governor's Hogan's power since he was elected three years ago.

 

The Trump administration is five weeks old today, and there’s never a dull moment. His solo press conference in week four was, depending on your political persuasion, either free-wheeling and refreshing, or out of control and terrifying. You might say that week five was calmer for President Trump than weeks 1-4. Or has this presidency, as some have suggested, become normalized, even though many people think that this White House is anything but? 

Bridget Armstrong

After a long day at work, a lot of folks just don’t feel like cooking an elaborate multi-course meal. Sometimes, it’s just easier to dump it all in a pot and start cooking. Resident foodies John Shields of Gertrude’s Restaurant and Sascha Wolhandler of Sascha’s 527 join Tom with tips on one-pot wonders.  

So, What Ya Got Cookin? Do you have a go-to lasagna dish? A favorite stew or soup?  Let’s share some recipes and tips for crock pots and dutch ovens and whatever your favorite pot is.  

 John is a chef, author and the owner of Gertrude’s Restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art.  Sascha and her husband Steve Susser run Sascha’s 527 Restaurant and Catering in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood of Charm City.

Primary Stages

Each Thursday, we cover the regional thespian scene with Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck.  Today, Judy brings us her conversation with Baltimore native Susan R. Rose.  She’s a theater and film producer whose Broadway credits include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Hurlyburly and Bloodknot. She has also produced movies for NBC, CBS, Showtime and Lifetime.

Rose's latest production, Motherhood Out Loud, is a compendium of more than 20 short pieces by more than a dozen playwrights. Motherhood Out Loud has been produced from coast to coast as well as abroad.  Tomorrow, it will make its Baltimore debut at the Vagabond Players, where it runs through March 19.

J. Wynn Rousuck spoke with Susan Rose on February 14th  from Argot Studios in New York , the city to which Rose moved when her production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat arrived there in the 1980s.

US News and World Report

Last week, the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, released an outline of how House Republicans hope to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama Care. The legislative blueprint, which offers no precise cost estimates, includes significant changes to Medicaid, grants to states, health savings accounts, and tax credits. Similar repeal-and-replace drafts are circulating as well among Republicans in the Senate, and will have to be reconciled with the House proposal.

On Wednesday, the US Conference of Mayors called for a National Day of Action to talk about the potential consequences of repealing Obama Care.  The Mayors point to  impacts on the health and safety of low income residents of their cities, and the financial strain changes may put on local hospitals.

Today on the Midday Healthwatch, Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore's  health commissioner (and first-time expectant mom!), joins Tom to talk about what the effects of an ACA repeal might be on Charm City.  We’ll take your calls, your questions and comments. 

President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia have become one of the most controversial and pressing issues of his administration.

Last week during a press conference the president denied having any ties to Russia or the country's president Vladimir Putin. Saying "I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge no person that I deal with does." Russian diplomats have suggested a different story.    

Yesterday, President Trump named Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his National Security Advisor. With Michael Flynn out, and McMaster in, what might that portend for relations between Russia and the US?  

Accidental Courtesy

 

Reaching across the aisle to engage with your enemy. It’s a concept we hear politicians throw around but it’s becoming increasingly less popular as our political discourse becomes more divisive and polarizing. For some, respectfully engaging with an enemy that seems fundamentally opposed to their very existence is impossible, but it’s exactly what Daryl Davis has been doing for more than 25 years. Mr. Davis is a musician who’s played with the likes of Little Richard and Chuck Berry. But, when he’s not on stage, Mr. Davis, who is a black man, meets and befriends members of the Ku Klux Klan. This hobby started in 1983 when an audience member struck up a conversation with Mr. Davis after a gig. When the gentleman in the audience revealed that he was a member of the KKK, the conversation did not end and after years of being friends, that man dropped out of the Klan. In fact dozens of former KKK members have given up their robes as a result of their friendships with Mr. Davis. 

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