Maryland Morning Podcast

As the Republican presidential candidates gathered November 10th in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for debate number four, low-polling Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee were relegated to the so-called "kiddie table" debate held two hours before the evening's main event.  Lindsay Graham wasn’t even invited to dinner.  Are national polls the best way to choose who’s in and who’s out?  And who gets to decide?   Tom puts those and other questions about the Republican contest to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist ER Shipp, from Morgan State University; Sheri Parks, from the University of MD; and Republican blogger Richard Cross.

Then, a conversation with Ellis Marsalis, jazz legend and patriarch. He's helping the Reginald F. Lewis Museum celebrate its 10th anniversary this weekend.  He’s been helping jazz musicians, including several of his own sons, celebrate this great American art form for more than 40 years.  

Baltimore Housing Commissioner Paul Graziano is under fire over how he is running the nation’s fifth largest Public Housing Authority.  No one in City government has headed an agency longer than he has.  Luke Broadwater from the Baltimore Sun joins me to assess Graziano’s tenure so far, what the future might hold for him, and for residents in public housing.   Plus, Steve Inskeep will be at MICA tomorrow night to talk about his book on Andrew Jackson, and his work on NPR’s Morning Edition.  Steve joins us live, with a preview. Then, Nathan Sterner speaks with George Timko from the MD Department of Natural Resources about keeping the deer population in check,  and J Wynn Rousuck reviews the new show at Baltimore’s Theater project.  And we close with a nod to Guy Fawkes Day, in which our own Nathan Sterner describes how he and his family annually mark this historical British commemoration. 

Fern Shen - Baltimore Brew

With our colleagues at Baltimore Brew, an independent online news source that focuses on local issues, we begin an occasional series on Maryland Morning that we're calling The Accountability Index.  When the stories warrant, we’ll take a hard look at public spending and public servants and we’ll ask:  How much are we spending, and why?  In the spotlight this morning:  two controversial city road projects are turning out to be a lot more expensive than they were supposed to be.  Investigative reporter Mark Reutter has written extensively about the projects, and joins Tom to discuss what's gone wrong and who might be to blame.

Plus, on Maryland Morning Movie Mayhem, film critics Jed Dietz and Ann Hornaday discuss the hottest new films on screenAnd Tom talks with Palestinian Bishara Haroni and Israeli Yaron Kohlberg, two of the most celebrated young pianists of their generation. The two play all over the world together as a duet, and for many, their collaboration symbolizes the hopes for peace in the Middle East.  

And Gil Sandler has a Baltimore story.  

Amy Davis

Tom begins today with a look at the challenges facing immigrant students at Patterson High School in East Baltimore, where one third of the student body is foreign-born. Many of them have fled war, urban violence and oppression.

Tom is joined by journalist Liz Bowie, who profiles some of these remarkable young people in her Baltimore Sun series called Unsettled Journeysand Margot Harris, who works with the immigrant students as head of the English for Speakers of Other Languages program at Patterson.

 Then – Fanon Hill on the work of The Youth Resiliency Institute he co-founded and leads.  The Institute  works with African American children and adults, primarily in Cherry Hill and Albemarle Square. One of its programs is called The Journey Project, which focuses on family engagement to help kids improve their performance in school. It includes an African Family Drumming Group, designed to build cultural and family connections in the community.  Cherry Hill residents and members of the drumming group join Tom in the studio.   Tom Pelton puts the Environment in Focus.  And Andrea Pippins, a designer and illustrator who teaches design at the Maryland Institute College of Art, joins Tom in the studio to talk about her latest project: a new coloring book for grown-ups called I Love My Hair: A Coloring Book of Braids, Coils, and Doodle Dos. 

Pedro Ribeiro Simoes//Flickr Creative Commons

Sunday, November 1st was the first day of the fall open enrollment period for the Maryland Health Benefits Exchange. The state agency runs the Web portal that Marylanders use to sign up for Obamacare coverage plans.  A recent state audit revealed significant management and security problems at the exchange -- problems the agency says it's fixing.  We’ll start with an update on the health benefit exchange, and we’ll look at how a non-profit called Health Care for the Homeless is helping the indigent find quality medical services. 

Then, a look at the changing theater scene in Baltimore.  Kwame Kwei Armah talks about his big plans for Center Stage.

Theater critic J Wynn Rousuck reviews the August Wilson play, Fences, at the Everyman Theater.

And for drama that’s a bit off the beaten path, a preview of the Charm City Fringe Festival, which launches this week.  

Smithsonian Museum of American History

  We’ll start with the race for Mayor in Charm City.  Mayor Stephanie Rawling-Blake is not running.  Sheila Dixon is in and hoping for a comeback.  State Senator Catherine Pugh came in second the last time.  Nick Mosby and Carl Stokes may not be the only current city council members vying for the top job.  And, there’s no shortage of political newcomers making, or expected to make, a bid.  

Then: WANN, an Annapolis radio station that began in the 1940s and was on the air for five decades, is featured in an exhibition at the Smithsonian about radio as a source of jazz and dance music to a growing African American middle class.

Plus: Ensemble Galilei:  They’ve toured the world, and they’re stopping in today to introduce their new CD.  

We’ll start today with a look at the Howard Conservancy.  Meg Boyd, the Conservancy’s Executive Director, and Howard County high school teacher Ann Strozyk tell us what they’re doing to educate students and adults about environmental stewardship. 

Then, Vladimir Nabokov is profiled in a new biography that concentrates on his fertile time in America, which led to masterpieces like Lolita and Pale Fire.  From his books to his butterflies, a new look at a literary master.  

Plus: Red meat and processed meat.  How much is too much?  The Nutrition Diva explains the latest research.

Wendel Patrick


We’ll start today with an installment of our series, Living Questions, where we examine religion and ethics in the public sphere.  This morning, a conversation with two environmental activists whose work is informed by their Muslim and Jewish faiths. 

Then – an intimate look at life in Northwest Baltimore, with the creative brain trust behind the special series, Out of the Blocks.  Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick give us a preview of the season premiere, which launches tomorrow afternoon here on 88.1.

Plus, Dr. Sanjay Gupta speaks with SK in advance of his appearance on the Baltimore Speakers Series and theater critic J Wynn Rousuck reviews Spell #7, at the Arena Players.

Baltimore Brew/Pietella


We’ll begin today with a conversation about the history of discrimination and planned segregation that has divided Baltimore neighborhoods for generations.  Elizabeth Nix from the University of Baltimore traces that history in the Baltimore 68 Project.  She’ll talk about how and why so many of the divisions that existed at the time of the 1968 riots were still in place as the Baltimore Uprising developed last spring. 

And we’ll touch base with Vincent Lancisi, the founder of the Everyman Theater, as well as Clinton Tuner Davis, who is directing Everyman’s current production of August Wilson’s iconic play, Fences. 

Plus, Maryland’s black bear hunt starts on Monday.   Nathan Sterner brings us a history of the hunt, and Gil Sandler brings us a Baltimore Story.    


More African American women are dying from preventable diseases than any other group.  Many of these women are spending so much time taking care of others that they neglect their own physical and mental health.  The Primetime Sister Circles aim to change that. Clinical psychologist Dr. Gayle Porter explains how. 

Next,  two icons of the metalworking art scene --  Betty Cooke and Joyce J. Scott -- talk about their new exhibition at the Baltimore Jewelry Center.   Then, popular Nepalese musician and local restaurateur Prem Raja Bahat tells us how to celebrate the Nepalese holiday of Dashain. And Tom Hall and Nathan Sterner close things out with a check of the Maryland Morning Mailbag.