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

MedSchool Maryland Productions

Academy Award winning documentary filmmaker Susan Hadary, from MedSchool Maryland Productions, talks about connecting with the six teens from the University of Maryland, Baltimore CURE program (Continuing the Umbrella for Research Experiences) in her documentary “From West Baltimore.” Also joining us is Shakeer Franklin, who reflects on life in his neighborhood.

Simon & Schuster

Ever wonder what your favorite authors wrote as kids? Author and creative-writing teacher Elissa Brent Weissman has collected their early writings in a new book titled, "Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew as Kids".

Weissman and several other local authors, will discuss their new books on Saturday, 11 a.m. at the Barnes & Nobel in Ellicott City.

This Thursday at 4 pm, Gordon Korman, author of the Swindle series, Schooled, Ungifted, and the Everest series, will be speaking at The Children's Bookstore in Roland Park.

Brion McCarthy Photography LLC

The Stoop Storytelling Series has been delighting Baltimore audiences with true, hilarious and heartbreaking tales from ordinary people, since 2006. Stoop founders and hosts, Jessica Myles Henkin and Laura Wexler, join us to talk about themes for the new season. They include senatorial roasts, freaky families, the 1980s and excursions into the unknown. Find more details here!

Here's a Stoop Story from Dr. Ethel Weld, about a memorable first encounter during an excruciatingly long ER shift, back when she was a first-year medical resident. You can listen to her story and others at stoopstorytelling.com.

Jen Pauliukonis / Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence

"No more numbers. Say their names": that’s the motto of a new campaign by the nonprofit Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence.

Behind the Statistics aims to build a personal connection through portraits and essays between the public and those devastated by gun violence. We speak to Jen Pauliukonis, president of the coalition, and Cynthia "KeKe" Collins, a member of Mothers of Murdered Sons and Daughters, whose 22-year-old son was killed in a shooting.

Then: University of Baltimore law professor Michael Meyerson describes the legal challenge facing Maryland’s assault-style weapons ban.

Miss Veteran America

Nearly 40,000 U.S. veterans are homeless, and within that group, the number of homeless female veterans is growing fastest. In many cases they are women with children. We talk with Veterans Affairs social workers Christopher Buser and Jackie Adams to learn how the VA is attacking the homeless vet problem in Maryland. First Major Jaspen Boothe, founder of Final Salute, Inc., and The Miss Veteran America competition, tells us why she’s dedicated to raising awareness about women vets who are homeless … and filling the gap of support available to them.

UMBC

One-on-one coaching, identifying students’ strengths and weaknesses, providing extra time to review skills. These are some of the tactics that Lakeland Elementary Middle School is employing, with help from University of Maryland-Baltimore County, to boost students’ math skills. We hear about this partnership from Lakeland Principal Najib Jammal, math teacher Katie Poist, and the assistant director of the UMBC Sherman STEM Teacher Scholars, Joshua Michael.

It’s been just over a year since David Cameron resigned from the British government, after six years as UK prime minister, and a decision by British voters to leave the European Union -- the Brexit vote, a shock to many. David Cameron will be in Baltimore this week for the Baltimore Speakers Series presented by Stevenson University.

Scott Mosher / Flickr via Creative Commons

Maryland has taken the EPA to court for failing to require power plants in five nearby states to control the air pollution they emit. Smog caused by these power plants is harmful to both public health and waterways. We discuss the lawsuit with Alison Prost, Maryland executive director for the nonprofit Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Amazon website

Baltimore is home to one of the country’s largest Jewish communities, and beginning tonight they’ll observe Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the Jewish year. So today we look inside Baltimore’s Orthodox Jewish community, through the words of author Eli W. Schlossberg. He talks about his new book, “My Shtetl Baltimore, Stories and Recollections by a Native Son," a compilation of anecdotes about a lifetime in Baltimore.

Here’s a Stoop story from the indie-mom of comedy, MEshelle, about her childhood move to a Jewish neighborhood and the cultural exchanges that ensued. You can hear her story and others at stoopstorytelling.com.

pixcooler.com

Caring for patients with memory loss or dementia can be challenging for even the most attentive, well-meaning caregiver. We meet Jay Newton-Small, a journalist whose new business aims to improve the lives of seniors with a new online resource called MemoryWell; in it, writers tell the stories of those who can’t tell their own. We also hear from Bertina Hanna, head of a caregiving team that uses MemoryWell, about the impact it can have on working with patients.

Howard County Public School System

In January, Howard County unveiled a building unlike any other in the state. The brand new Wilde Lake Middle School is Maryland’s first net-zero energy school: over the course of a year, it produces as much energy as it uses. The Director of School Construction for Howard County Public School System, Scott Washington, tells us about the school’s solar and geothermal systems and how its design anticipates energy usage.

Check out these videos of the school's construction.

baltimorecraftbeerfestival.com

In most states you can add beer or wine to your grocery list, and buy it when you pick up milk, bread and eggs. In Maryland, for the most part, you can’t--for decades only liquor stores can sell beer and wine. Some people argue that changing that would save customers money; others contend it would hurt small businesses. We talk with Adam Borden, president of “Marylanders for Better Beer and Wine Laws,” about the roots of the law -- dating back to prohibition -- and how the laws might change.

Reading Partners Baltimore Facebook page

For five years the nonprofit ‘Reading Partners’ has collaborated with low-income schools in Baltimore, pairing students who struggle to read with a community volunteer. This week those Reading Partners are back in schools, aiming to serve 900 students with the aid of 1100 tutors.

Today we’ll hear from executive director Jeffrey Zwillenberg about the project’s curriculum, and from returning volunteer Robin Kessler. Plus, Principal Najib Jammal of Lakeland Elementary Middle School describes how the benefits of one-on-one coaching extend beyond literacy.

Here’s a Stoop Story from Jeremy Stern, about love, comic books, and the adventures of “Adequate Man.” You can hear his story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com.

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.

Courtesy Ivy Bookshop

It was a tragedy that Chester Arthur became president. Not only the tragedy of his predecessor’s assassination in 1881, but the perceived tragedy by many that Vice President Arthur, a Republican party hack from New York, would bring his machine politics into the Oval Office. He had consistently opposed cleaning up the corrupt spoils system of federal jobs. But Arthur was inspired ... by letters of conscience from a stranger. We learn about those letters and Arthur's surprising legacy from biographer Scott Greenberger, who asserts Chester Arthur is worth remembering. 

Courtesy The Peale Center

The historic building near City Hall that houses the Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture has a rich and varied past. It was once a fine arts space, a temporary City Hall, the first African American school, and even housed the water bureau. So it’s no surprise The Peale is being re-imagined as a production center for storytelling. We talk with Nancy Proctor, the Peale's director, and Michael Burns, founder of the The Omnimuseum Project, about their upcoming collaborative effort, Be Here: EDU, a storytelling workshop all are invited to attend.

Laura Smith-Velazquez, an astronaut candidate for the Mars One program, tells her story about achieving her dream of working in the aerospace field. You can hear her story and others at stoopstorytelling.com

Tim Bouwer, Flickr - Creative Commons

Thousands of children in Maryland--including about one of every six kids in Baltimore--are being raised by their grandparents. The opioid epidemic, crime and incarceration are reshaping many families. We talk with the city’s deputy commissioner for aging Heong Tan about the supports offered by the Grandparents as Parents program. We also meet one of its participants, Donnaniece Carroll, who is raising her 11-year-old grandson. Also on the program is multimedia specialist Rich Polt, owner of acKNOWledge MEdia, who shares tips for a meaningful conversation this Sunday, Grandparents’ Day!

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