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 older you are, the more likely you take multiple prescription drugs. More medications mean more risks - potential drug interactions and a greater chance of making a mistake. Dr. Nicole Brandt, executive director of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s ‘Peter Lamy Center on Drug Therapy and Aging’, discusses how patients can talk to their doctors about paring down the number of med they’re taking.

Then, millions of seniors live with chronic pain. Dr. Beth Hogans, head of the National Institutes of Health ‘Center of Excellence for Pain Education’ at Johns Hopkins and medical director of the ‘Chronic Pain Program’ at Medstar Good Samaritan Hospital, offers strategies to reduce pain and increase quality of life.

Baltimore City is home to more than 30,000 veterans. It is also home to the Veterans Treatment Court - a special docket of Maryland’s District Court - which aims to rehabilitate, rather than incarcerate, former military members. We speak to two social workers from the VA-Maryland Health Care System, who work with veterans facing criminal charges, as well as with a Vietnam vet who graduated in January from the docket.

Cancer treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation can be harrowing, and the cancer often returns. But a new treatment has come into use: it harnesses the body’s own immune system to destroy cancer. So far, immunotherapy doesn’t work in most patients. But when it does, the results can seem miraculous. Cancer survivor Stephanie Joho had run out of treatment options when she discovered immunotherapy. She recalls a moment soon after she started treatment: “I sat at the dinner table and I remember crying. Because I looked at my parents and I said, ‘I’m hungry.’ I didn’t remember what that felt like. I hadn’t felt hunger in probably over a year.” She and Dr. Drew Pardoll, director of the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy at Johns Hopkins, join us.

How many people can call Antarctica home? Here's Meg Adams speaking in 2011 about her time living at the South Pole research station in Antarctica. You can listen to more stories, and learn about Stoop shows and The Stoop podcast, all at stoopstorytelling.com.

Today we continue our coverage of the $130 million dollar budget gap facing Baltimore City Schools. How does state funding for the schools work? Are the formulas that guide that funding adequate? Bebe Verdery, director of the ACLU of Maryland’s Education Reform Project, says that while factors like rising costs and falling enrollment are partly to blame for the massive budget shortfall, the real culprit is the funding formula itself.

Unless something changes, this coming fiscal year Baltimore City’s public schools will operate with their funds cut to close a $130 million budget gap, the largest in years. Schools CEO Sonja Santelises says more than a thousand people will be laid off. What would a cut of this magnitude mean for students? Today we hear from the principal of an elementary and middle school in Northeast Baltimore that stands to lose more than 20 percent of its funding. Dr. Patricia Drummond, principal of Hamilton Elementary Middle School in Northeast Baltimore, says, “When I saw my budget, I cried. I know how far we have come since I’ve been at Hamilton. And I just didn’t see a way that we can do that next year.” 

President Trump’s plan to cut diplomacy and foreign-aid budgets by more than a third has drawn a sharp push back from many former diplomats, retired generals, international aid advocates and members of Congress--including some Republicans. The chairman of a key Senate appropriations subcommittee called the idea “dead on arrival.” We’ll ask Bill O’Keefe, Vice President for Advocacy at Catholic Relief Services, and retired Army Lt. Gen. H Steven Blum what they think would result from deep cuts in foreign aid.

In his speech to Congress, President Trump blamed a “slow and burdensome approval process” for holding up medical progress and drug development. We look at whom the president is considering to lead the Food and Drug Administration and how that choice might affect the process of approving drugs for market. Plus, what are the consequences of two of the president’s executive orders - one demanding that two regulations be cut for each new one adopted and another instituting a hiring freeze. 

Dan Pancamo/Flickr via Creative Commons

Spring seems to have arrived, after a winter that nearly wasn’t. The odd weather this season has a lot of us thinking about climate change. Today we focus on how climate change is altering seasonal events in the natural world: things like migration, hibernation, and pollination. The study of the timing of biological events like these is called phenology. And, as UMBC ecologist Colin Studds says, in nature, timing is everything. “If you think about the unrolling of leaves and blooming of flowers as the setting on the table," he says, "a lot of things depend on just that perfect timing: the insects that eat the leaves, the birds that eat the insects.” 

In this story from 2014, former Baltimore Sun reporter and sports columnist Joe Challmes shares a story of high anxiety at the racetrack. He died two years ago. This story has been edited for brevity. 

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