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

Maryland Agricultural Resource Council

The learning curve for beekeeping is steep. How do you make sure your bees are healthy and happy--and that they don’t sting you? Devra Kitterman, pollinator program coordinator for the Maryland Agricultural Resource Council, tells us about their beginning beekeeper course--and her work as a swarm catcher. And managing director Wes Jamison tells us what else you can do on the 150-acre farm park --from hiking and sunflower picking to learning how to back up a horse trailer.

Will Kirk/Homewood Photography

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Until he escaped Maryland--and slavery--at age 20, where did he live? Who did he rub shoulders with? Where did he work? Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Distinguished professor Lawrence Jackson and his students have created an interactive map of the time Douglass spent in Maryland. Jackson tells why exploring the physical environment helps us better understand Douglass’s growth as a black leader, starting as a product of his community.

That was a Stoop Story from Melani Douglass, great, great grandaughter of Frederick Douglass and founder of the nomadic Family Arts Museum. She told of a holiday party that turned ugly ... and setting the record straight with a racist guest. Particularly meaningful as we commemorate the 200th anniversary of Douglass’ birth this month. You can hear her story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com--as well as the Stoop podcast.

Melissa Gerr / WYPR

One of the most powerful forms of healing is peer support -- receiving advice and encouragement from someone who truly understands what you’ve been through because they’ve been through it, too. Our guests today live by that philosophy. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Society, or LEGS, says it provides "resources and emotional peer support for gentlemen who are diversely abled." LEGS co-founder Calvin Mitchell explains the distinction. We also hear from members Bong Delrosario and Derrick Waters.  

Amazon

What do very old people know about being happy that most of us don’t? Can we put their approach into use in our own lives? New York Times journalist John Leland spent a year with six elders and put what he learned in his new book, Happiness Is a Choice You Make -- Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old.

Each day in the U.S. more than 86,000 older adults fall. That’s about one per second, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for the elderly.

We talk with Dr. Kelly Westlake and Dr. Mark Rogers, researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who are working to help seniors react faster and stay safer if they take a tumble through innovative balance training.

To participate in the study visit this link or contact Kathleen Simpson at 410-605-7179 or by email at Kathleen.Simpson@va.gov

 

The summer before he starts high school, 14-year-old Miles doesn’t have much to do but get into trouble. He smokes weed; fights with his younger sisters; clashes with his parents, who are divorcing; obsesses over a crush; has few friends; and takes his skateboard anywhere around Baltimore that might pierce his adolescent boredom. We know all this from his diary-- it is the just-published novel "Kill Me Now," by author Timmy Reed.

Reed will be speaking at Atomic Books on February 1 (in conversation with Madison Smartt Bell) and Bird in Hand on February 8th (in conversation with Jane Delury).

Brian Flanagan, who was a Baltimore City firefighter, shares a Stoop Story about his scariest experience on the job. Flanagan passed away last fall.

You can hear his story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com.

Fred Pridham, February 9, 1904 / Wikimedia Commons

One hundred fourteen years ago, flames consumed Baltimore, turning entire city blocks into smoking rubble. How did Baltimore rise from the ashes? We speak to historian Wayne Schaumburg ahead of the fire's anniversary on February 7th. 

Those who escape the clutches of human trafficking often face a hurdle in building a new life: A criminal conviction that stems from the coercion they endured--charges like trespassing or prostitution, can block them from a job--or safe housing or a scholarship.

Lawyers Jessica Emerson and Laurie Culkin from the Human Trafficking Prevention Project - a partnership of the University of Baltimore School of Law and the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service -  describe how they help victims clear their criminal records.

Survivor advocate Shamere McKenzie tells us how she came to be trafficked and how charges arising from it have followed her. Shamere McKenzie is the Anti-Trafficking Program Director for the Salvation Army of Central Maryland, which runs a safe haven for victims of trafficking called Catherine’s Cottage.

Courtesy United Way website

We’ve been reporting on the United Way of Central Maryland’s statewide analysis that revealed a staggering statistic: one out of three households in Maryland has income above the federal poverty level … but not enough to cover basic necessities like food and housing. The acronym is ALICE: Assets limited, Income constrained, Employed. Last spring we interviewed two mothers who are ALICES … and wanted to check in with them again. In our conversation, Heather Housand talks candidly about trying to get ahead, and Victoria Cox explained how she’s navigated a job loss and several other obstacles over the past year.

Ivy Bookshop

We talk taxes with Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and author David Cay Johnston, who will be at the Pratt Tuesday, Jan 23, to discuss his new book: “It’s Even Worse Than You Think: What the Trump Administration is Doing to America.” Johnston explains how he forsees the new tax law affecting the economy.

Baltimore Speakers Series

Robin Wright has built her expertise in foreign affairs from the ground up. She reported from more than 140 countries on six continents for the Washington Post, the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine and other publications. Next month she’s off again to Moscow and the Middle East. Ahead of her appearance at the Baltimore Speakers Series, we asked what she expects could unfold next in North Korea and Iran. 

Baltimore Police Dept.

Even before Mayor Pugh presented her new police commissioner to the press, Darryl DeSousa said, he had put into action his plan to curtail violence with waves of police on the street. We asked Councilman Brandon Scott and Councilman Ryan Dorsey, chair and vice of of the city council’s public-safety committee, how will that work? And executive director Ray Kelly gives us the view from the No Boundaries Coalition.

Peter Pucci

How do you depict the history of human migration through dance? Award-winning choreographer Peter Pucci has returned to his native Baltimore to put together a large-scale dance project called, Migration. It brings together local high school, college, and professional dancers, using movement and music to represent humankind’s connected lineage. Peter Pucci tells us about his unforeseen pivot from sports to dance, and why our linked ancestry matters. Migration will be performed on Sunday, January 28th in the Wellness and Athletic Center of CCBC Essex at 2 p.m. The performance is free, but tickets are required. More information here.

Here’s a Stoop Story from English teacher Murph McManus about finding an unexpected dance partner and a memorable polka. You can hear her story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com, as well as the Stoop podcast.

In the mid-19th century, an off-beat form of spirituality swept the U.S. People turned to mediums and seances, desperate to reach dead loved ones, especially those lost during the Civil War. Peter Manseau, curator of religion at the Smithsonian, describes how the advent of photography collided with the Spiritualist Movement, resulting in so-called “spirit photographs”. Manseau has written: “The Apparitionists: A Tale of Phantoms, Fraud, Photography, and the Man who Captured Lincoln’s Ghost”.

Civic Works

Many of us plan to live out our years in our homes. But if the steps are shaky or the bathtub has nowhere to grab, we might fall and get hurt. Lauren Averella, of the Baltimore nonprofit Civic Works, tells us about its efforts to upgrade seniors’ homes and make them safer. From installing grab bars to adding ramps, they offer an array of modifications so residents can age in place. 

Jeff Djevdet/Flickr Creative Commons

Jobless levels have been dropping but long-term unemployment--out of work 6 months or more--is stubborn. We meet Judi Amey and Mark Kreiner, two educated, experienced jobseekers who discuss the frustrations of today’s impersonal job search, how age plays into it and the discouragement of being underemployed. And we hear from career counselor and coach, Janet Glover-Kerkvliet  who explains that sometimes taking a survival job can be a humbling but necessary step in the long term job search. You can connect with her regular group meeting here.

Having a successful African-American physician as a father and a white mother who read her the works of Black authors was no barrier against the racism Julie Lythcott-Haims faced growing up in white Wisconsin. In her new book, "Real American: A Memoir", she describes her journey to self-acceptance and insight about what it means to be Black in America.

Village Learning Place

Baltimore is known for its neighborhoods lined with block after block of neatly nestling row homes. It turns out the narrow, huddled houses are found in just a handful of American Cities … but the roots of the row home are steeped in politics across the Atlantic. Charles Duff, president of the public-interest design firm Jubilee Baltimore, has looked deeply into this iconic architecture. He walks us through how and why it got here. You can see and hear his lecture at Village Learning Place on Thursday, Jan.18 -- details are here.

WBJC classical music host Judith Krummeck tells a Stoop Story about her life in more than a dozen houses, across multiple continents. It taught her that home ... is where you make it. You can hear her story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com.

Baltimore City Health Dept.

343 people were killed in Baltimore last year, most of them, shot. In the wake of record homicides, two individuals are among those working on the street level to stop the killings. Erricka Bridgeford of Baltimore Ceasefire shares how she remains persistent and hopeful in the face of tragedy. And James ‘J.T.’ Timpson, Safe Streets community liaison officer, discusses the future of that effort, and what he thinks is behind the staggering number of homicides Baltimore saw in 2017.

UrbanFeel / Flickr via Creative Commons

After the Justice Department concluded the Baltimore Police Department had routinely violated citizens’ rights, Justice and the city last year agreed on a set of reforms, to be enforced by federal Judge James Bredar. He named a team to monitor police progress toward reforms, and that monitoring team has unveiled its plan for what the BPD needs to do, when. The principal deputy monitor, former Washington police chief Charles Ramsey, describes the process ahead.

Barnabus Tibertius / Flickr via Creative Commons

Computer scientist Philipp Koehn leads a group at Johns Hopkins University that’s building translation technology and targeting languages for which translated texts are not widely available - like Tagalog and Swahili. How do they do it?

NIH Clinical Center / Flickr via Creative Commons

As more people in America speak languages other than English, a program at Howard Community College prepares interpreters for the medical field. Instructor Lisette Albano and interpreter Hyon Lee describe how interpreters improve patient care while acting as a neutral party.

msa.maryland.gov

We talk with Baltimore Sun Opinion editor Andy Green and Barry Rascovar, columnist for Political Maryland, to discuss  the wide range of problems and aspirations Maryland lawmakers are bringing to the legislative session that starts Wednesday. Both agree that the election year will shape every issue into a contest for political advantage between the Democratic majority and the Republican governor ... from working to subdue the dire homicides in Baltimore and the escalating overdose deaths statewide, to jumping  hurdles thrown down by the Trump administration, like the new federal tax law that could shake up Maryland’s revenues and undermine health insurance. 

Here’s a Stoop Story from musician Wendel Patrick, co-producer of WYPR's Out of the Blocks, speaking about a photograph that inspired him. You can hear his story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com, as well as the Stoop podcast.

Svklimkin / Flickr via Creative Commons

If you have family photos collecting dust in shoeboxes or digital files encroaching on your computer’s desktop--it may be time for action! Light and water can deteriorate prints, and files can be lost as technology changes. Elizabeth England and Jim Stimpert, archivists with the Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries' Special Collections, offer advice on photo preservation. They will be speaking on January 13th at an event at Hopkins' Homewood Museum.

Centers for Disease Control

We’ve heard it over and over: get your flu shot. If you’re older than six months, get your shot. The flu can be more than uncomfortable -- it can be fatal. What goes into the shot that inoculates against the virus? And why do we need a new one each year? Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, Professor and Director at the Center for Vaccine Development of the University of Maryland Medical School, tells us why the influenza virus is a master of mutation, modifying its proteins as it replicates from season to season. To find information on how to protect yourself against influenza, visit this site. For information on where to find flu shots in Baltimore County, go here and in Baltimore City, go here.

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