On The Record | WYPR

On The Record

Weekdays, 9:30 to 10:00 am

Catch On the Record, hosted by Sheilah Kast, weekdays from 9:30 to 10:00 am, following NPR’s Morning Edition. We’ll discuss the issues that affect your life and bring you thoughtful and lively conversations with the people who shape those issues -- business people, public officials, scholars, artists, authors, and journalists who can take us inside the story. If you want to share a comment, question, or an idea for an interview you’d like to hear, email us at ontherecord@wypr.org.

Theme music created by Jon Ehrens.  Logo designed by Louis Umerlik.

Ways to Connect

The Women's Center at UMBC

The world of comic books is filled with feats of bravery and alien invaders. The most visible superheroes in pop culture--Superman, Spiderman, Batman--are all white men. But these days readers want heroes and villains who resemble themselves, so writers feature a more diverse set of characters. Comic-book enthusiast Prachi Kochar tells us about the stories that make her feel included--such as comics about the character Hawkeye, who like Prachi, is deaf. Read Prachi's blog post about comic books here.

For more comic book fun, check out Baltimore ComicCon, this weekend at the convention center. Click here for more information.

Oh, Rats!

Sep 21, 2017
Theo Anthony

Where there are people, there is debris, and where there is debris, there are rats … We meet Theo Anthony, the creator of “Rat Film,” a documentary that investigates Baltimore’s rat infestation, juxtaposed with its history of racist urban planning. And we talk with Karen Houppert, a journalist who documents the abundant rat carcasses she encounters in her Charles Village neighborhood. You can see "Rat Film" and attend a public health discussion afterwards on Sept. 21 at the Parkway Theater.

The Declaration of Independence lists the pursuit of happiness as one of our inalienable rights. But is happiness equally available to everyone in America? Our public debate about economic policy seldom looks at that.

We speak with Carol Graham, of the Brookings Institution and the University of Maryland School of Public Policy. Professor Graham has looked at research linking income inequality with well-being to show that the widening gap in prosperity is creating a parallel gap in people’s hopes and aspirations. Her new book’s title is a question: “Happiness for All?”

Carol Graham will be speaking tonight at the JHU Barnes and Noble at St. Paul and 33rd Streets at 7 pm. The event is free and open to the public. You can RSVP here.

Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts

At the 22nd Baltimore Book Festival this coming weekend at the Inner Harbor writers will have a chance to get a professional critique of their work, readers a chance to meet and interact with hundreds of published authors and everyone a chance to enjoy some live music. We speak with Kathy Hornig, festivals directors for the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, novelist Jen Michalski of the “Starts Here” writers’ readings and Carla Du Pree, executive director of City Lit Project, to hear about festival history and highlights.

BARCS Animal Shelter Facebook Page

For an individual with a visual impairment, a service animal can mean mobility, as well as independence. We hear from two volunteers with Guiding Eyes for the Blind - Gemma Carter, who is raising her second service dog, and volunteer coordinator Cindy Lou Altman. Altman’s guide dog Jada has been a major boost to her confidence. Click here for more information about the Baltimore Museum of Industry's working animals event on Sunday, September 24th.

Melissa Gerr / WYPR radio/Baltimore

Beyond the cacophony of bass drums, cymbals and snares, we hear about why participation in The Christian Warriors, a marching band in West Baltimore, means so much more than making music together. We meet the band’s assistant director, James Parker, who played in the drumline as a young teen. Founder and director Reverend Ernest King tells us about the legacy of dedication and community support that has held it all together. Watch a video of their rehearsal here.

Here’s a Stoop Story -- or rather a confession -- from Katy K., about her life lesson in marching-band hierarchy, and her brush with the dark side of her psyche. You can hear her story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com.

Tidewater Muse / Flickr via Creative Commons

The murder and rape of a young woman in Baltimore in 1987 led to the wrongful convictions of two men. Each served more than two decades behind bars, and when DNA belatedly showed they had not sexually assaulted her, both faced the same choice: accept an Alford plea--a type of guilty plea--and be released, or maintain their innocence.

Molly Adams / Flickr via Creative Commons

President Trump’s decision to end DACA, his predecessor’s order protecting from deportation young people who were brought to the U.S. as children, has been met with legal challenges from several states. Maryland has joined one of these challenges; Attorney General Brian Frosh tells us what’s behind that suit. Plus, how are DACA recipients coping with President Trump’s decision? We hear from Baltimore City Public School teacher Jose Torres, and from Heymi Elvir-Maldonado, who came to the U.S. when she was eight-years-old.

DC-Maryland Justice for Our Neighbors will be holding a free informational legal clinic for current DACA holders on September 16th at Salem Hispanic United Methodist Church, 3405 Gough St., Baltimore, MD 21224. The event begins at 10 am. You must call 240-825-4424 to make an appointment to attend. More information available at their Facebook page.

Jamyla Krempel

Food insecurity -- the inability to provide, or have access to adequate nutritional meals -- has been a decades long challenge in Maryland, and in fact 1 in 9 people in the state report as food insecure, according to the Maryland Food Bank. We talk with Lynne Kahn, founder of the Baltimore Hunger Project--a non-profit dedicated to making sure school kids have enough to eat on weekends. Seniors are a target of healthy food iniatives too, and we meet Laura Flamm, director of healthy eating and active living for Baltimore City’s Health Department, who oversees Baltimarket, a suite of food programs to assist in healthy eating and Glenn Smith, a neighborhood food advocate at his senior residence in West Baltimore and a volunteer for a ‘virtual supermarket’ program.

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