Midday | WYPR

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

Archive prior to October 5, 2015

For many of us, ‘tis the season for shopping, and holiday glee. But for high school seniors, it’s the time of year where their thoughts turn to college and where they’ll be next fall. Unfortunately for most graduates of Baltimore City public schools who enter college there is the need to take remedial courses before they start on college-level work. A new report from the Fund For Educational Excellence finds that students also need sharper understanding of independence, time management and finances.

In this hour of Midday, we’ll talk to Cassie Motz of the College Bound Foundation, Joe Fisher of First Generation College Bound, and hear from students they’ve worked with including Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott, and Neyesia Lawrence, a junior at Towson University.

Arash Azizzada / Flickr via creative commons

A new survey finds that a large majority of Marylanders believe that police in their neighborhoods are doing a good job of fighting crime. On the other hand, many also believe that officers do not treating blacks and other minorities the same as whites. We speak to Ann Cotten, director of the University of Baltimore's Schaefer Center for Public Policy, about the results and how perceptions differ between residents in Baltimore City versus the rest of Maryland.

Plus, the trial of the first Baltimore police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray began this morning. Meanwhile, the release of dash-cam video of a Chicago police officer shooting an unarmed African American teen has triggered protests in the city. Is there a connection between the deaths of black men in police custody and the surge in homicides in Baltimore, Chicago, Milwaukee and some other big cities? With police-involved shootings under scrutiny, how are cops reacting? Some blame the crime spike on less proactive policing. Are cops pulling back? Are they worried about being filmed doing their jobs?

Now that holiday shopping can be done with the click of a button, why do people still line-up as early as Thanksgiving afternoon to get a start on big box store sales? In this Black Friday edition of Midday, we’ll take a look at consumer psychology, and hear what’s on many shopping lists this holiday season. Philippe Duverger is a professor of Marketing at Towson University. Barry Meyers is the founder and president of Get Geeked Media, a New York-based tech-marketing company.

Is The G.O.P. Too Polarized To Function?

Nov 25, 2015

  From filibusters and threats to shut down the government, to outsider presidential candidates and vows to keep out Syrian refugees, the Republican party is in a peculiar and "unprecedented" place. Is the G.O.P. too polarized to function?

In this hour of Midday, we take a  historical look at political insurgencies from the past: from the democratic Watergate Babies in the seventies, to the Tea Party and Freedom Caucus of today. Our guests: Barry Rascovar from the Maryland Reporter; Laura Blessing, the Senior Fellow Government Affairs Institute at Georgetown University and Geoffrey Kabaservice, author of ‘Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, From Eisenhower to the Tea Party.'

  Today we’ll dive deeper into Baltimore’s Vacants to Value effort. A recent report from the nonprofit Abell Foundation concluded that the successes of the Vacants to Value program had been overstated by about 40 percent. Two deputy city housing commissioners are here to respond to the report. Who decides whether a vacant should be demolished or rehabbed? What influence can the neighborhood have? 

In 2010 Baltimore unveiled Vacants to Value, an effort to rehab abandoned properties and eliminate blight across the city. But, while officials have boasted that more than 1,500 houses have been renovated and occupied through the program, a recent investigation found that the real number is closer to just 900 homes.

European Commission DG ECHO / Flickr via Creative Commons

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, along with governors in more than half of US states, is asking for the resettlement of Syrian refugees to cease until the federal government addresses concerns about potential terrorist threats. We discuss the screening process for refugees with Ruben Chandrasekar, the executive director of Baltimore's arm of the International Rescue Committee.

Student Activism, Race & Free Speech

Nov 18, 2015
Nick Schnelle/Columbia Daily Tribune via AP

The University of Missouri, Yale University, University of South Carolina, Occidental College, University of Kansas, Claremont McKenna College. The list goes on. College students across the country are leading protests and demonstrations to call attention to the issue of racial tolerance, diversity, and in some cases, the resignation of professors and high-ranking administrators. In this hour of Midday we'll view this topic through national and local lenses, and hear the points of view of academic reporters, students, a college administrator and a free speech advocate. 

Our guests: Scott Jaschik,editor and one of the founders of Inside Higher Ed; Julia Joseph, a sophomore and student journalist at Loyola University; Lisa Gray, assistant director of Student Life for Cultural and Spiritual Diversity at UMBC; Tyana Warren, a junior at Johns Hopkins University; and Robert Shibley, the executive director of Foundation of Individual Rights in Education. 

A 79-page analysis of the performance of the Baltimore Police Department during April's unrest was released yesterday. the report was compiled by a Washington, DC-based law enforcement think take. The report is available here.

In this hour, a look at the report's findings and recommendations. Plus, how does the BPD's handling of protests and rioting compare to other that of cities?

Can being black be bad for your health? In his memoir "Black Man in a White Coat," Maryland native Dr. Damon Tweedy reveals - through personal reflections and hard statistics - the disparities between blacks and whites in the world of medicine.

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