Maryland Morning Podcast

Today, the latest on the fast-spreading Zika virus.  Once just a Latin American health problem, the mosquito-borne disease has become a global health emergency, with dozens of cases reported across the US, several in DC and Virginia, and on February 11th, the first reported case in Maryland. Baltimore City Health Commisioner Dr. Leana Wen sits down with Nathan Sterner to tell us what’s known about the Zika virus, and what steps the city is taking to raise public awareness of this emerging public health threat.

Then, a rollicking studio session with Juanito Pascual and his New Flamenco Trio, giving a taste of what they’ll be sharing tonight at the Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick.

And just in time for the romantic weekend, our regular foodie and restaurant owner Sascha Wolhandler stops by with some delectable dessert ideas for Valentine’s Day.


Today, we continue our series of weekly conversations with candidates for Mayor of Baltimore.  State Senator Catherine Pugh joins me to share her vision for Charm City.  She’s 65 years old, and a Democrat.  She is the Majority Leader of the Maryland Senate, where she has served for nine years, representing a district that includes the west Baltimore neighborhoods that were at the epicenter of the violence last spring.

Then, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 100th anniversary tomorrow.  Today, a conversation with a woman who has played a big part of that storied history.  For more than four decades, Rheda Becker has been delighting and exciting kids as the narrator and creator of countless BSO children’s programs. 


One in four residents of Baltimore lives in a food desert, without easy access to healthy eating options.  Holly Freishtat, from the City Food Policy Office and Robert Thomas, who oversees Baltimore’s Public Markets, tell us what the city is doing to solve the problem of food insecurity.

Then, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will be in Milwaukee on Thursday night to face-off in their 7th debate.  James Blue is producing this event for the PBS Newshour.  He’ll give us the inside scoop about all that goes on before the candidates take the stage.

Then, when Diana Nyad swam from Cuba to Florida in 2013, she inspired millions with her tenacity and determination.  She’s speaking at the Meyerhoff tomorrow night.  She speaks with us this morning.

And, Theater Critic J Wynn Rousuck has a review of Under the Skin at the Everyman Theater.  First, the news.

President Obama visited the Islamic Society of Baltimore on Wednesday in Catonsville.  In the crowd, Baltimore Imam Earl el-Amin and Muslim educator Danette Zaghari-Mask  listened to his plea for greater religious tolerance. They’ll share their thoughts on the President’s first visit to an American mosque.

Then, Jed Deitz and Ann Hornaday pick their Oscar favorites, and talk about the lack of racial diversity in this year’s list of Academy Award nominees.  

Finally, J. Wynn Rousuck reviews a new version of the “Phantom of the Opera,” along with Gil Sandler's  Baltimore Story. 


Today, we continue our series of weekly conversations with candidates for Mayor of Baltimore City. David Warnock joins me to make his case on what sets him apart in this year’s crowded race for Charm City’s top job. He’s 57 years old, a Democrat, and a successful businessman. He is the founder of a private equity firm and co-founder of the Green Street Academy, a charter school in West Baltimore. Warnock is also the chairman of a charitable foundation that has funded a variety of educational and community-focused organizations, including The Center for Urban Families.

Then, former Baltimore Sun pop music critic Rashod Ollison joins me to talk about his new book, Soul Serenade: Rhythm, Blues and Coming of Age Through Vinyl. It’s a memoir about growing up in rural Arkansas in the 1980s and 90s, and how he sought refuge in music and literature as he navigated the treacherous paths of a difficult childhood.


One in four Baltimore residents lives in a so-called food desert -- a place without easy access to healthy, nutritious food.  The Reverend Heber Brown, a pastor and social justice activist, is helping to solve that problem.  He joins Tom to talk about the Black Church Food Security Network, which gets good food from local farmers into the hands of city residents.

Plus, a conversation about how our relationships with our siblings evolve as we get older.  Geoffrey Greif and Michael Woolley have written a book about adult brothers and sisters, love and loyalty, complications and consequences. 

Then, Dr. Skipp Sanders, who has just stepped down as the director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, talks with Tom about the unique role the museum plays in Baltimore’s cultural life. 

And Theater Critic J. Wynn Rousuck has a review of the all-female production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, at Baltimore’s Center Stage.


Today, we start with presidential politics.  The Iowa caucuses are on Monday.  Once again, it’s in to be an "outsider" -- a candidate who's outside the political mainstream, at any rate.  That might be good news for Trump, Cruz and Sanders, but Clinton, Rubio and Bush may take comfort in knowing that as many as 60% of American voters have yet to make up their minds.  Jenna Johnson is covering the Trump campaign for the Washington Post.  She joins us on the phone from Des Moines, Iowa, along with Tom's studio guests: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist E.R. Shipp from Morgan State University, and political science professor Lester Spence from Johns Hopkins. 

Plus, actor and director Seamus Miller joins Tom to talk about Blood and Courage, a new troupe of up and coming actors at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company.  Their new production opens tonight.  It’s a pastiche of some of the Bard’s clips from the cutting room floor.  


Today, we continue our series of conversations with candidates for Mayor of Baltimore City.  Nick Mosby joins us today.  In 2011, he was elected to represent the 7th District on the Baltimore City Council.  Last spring, he and his wife, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby, garnered national attention during the unrest following the death of Freddie Gray.  Now, he has entered a crowded race for Mayor.  I’ll ask Nick Mosby about his vision for the City.

Then, the US Department of Agriculture has issued a new set of Dietary Guidelines.  Think about that:  is the Department of Agriculture, which regulates the meat and dairy industry, for example, the best agency to suggest guidelines about how much meat and dairy we should all eat?  Our Nutrition Diva, Monica Reinagel, is here to help us sort it all out.  

Jonna McKone/WYPR

As streets and sidewalks slowly, slowly find their way back to black, we’ll check with the Emergency Operations Center in Baltimore for an update on plans to clear the streets.  What city residents and businesses can expect on Day 2 of the big dig. 

Then, Justin Fenton of the Baltimore Sun and attorney Edward Smith walk us through last week’s important developments in the trials of the officers accused in the death of Freddie Gray.

And the Rev. Dr. Robert Franklin, the President Emeritus of Morehouse College in Atlanta, joins me to talk about how Christians imagine justice.

Plus, Ayaan Hirsi Ali -- who has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-Muslim extremist -- is scheduled to appear on the Baltimore Speakers Series tomorrow night.  WYPR’s Sheilah Kast  talks with the controversial activist and author. 

And Theater Critic J. Wynn Rousuck reviews the Vagabond Players' production of  Our Town.   

Wide Angle Youth Media

The Maryland General Assembly is 10 days deep into this year’s session.  WYPR’s Annapolis reporter Rachel Baye and Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith join me to recap some of the early action, including efforts to overturn a veto on voting rights for felons.

Then, Mark Hyman drops in to talk about the big money the Orioles have thrown at first baseman Chris Davis, the big splash in the Big Ten made by the University of MD men’s basketball team, the big game in its 50th year, and a big loss for the city of St. Louis. 

Plus- students from Wide Angle Youth Media explore “food deserts” in Baltimore, and: more and more shoppers are looking to update their wardrobe in consignment stores.  Fashionista Zoey Washington Sheff shares some tips for finding treasures in the resale racks.