Midday Podcast | WYPR

Midday Podcast

The Diamondback

 

Last week, Sean Urbanski, a white former University of Maryland student, was charged with a hate crime in connection to the fatal stabbing of Lt. Richard Collins III, a black Bowie State University student. In May 2017, Lt. Collins was stabbed at a bus stop while visiting friends on the University of Maryland College Park campus. The entire incident was caught on camera. Prosecutors plan to seek life without parole if Urbanski is convicted; the trial is set to begin in January. At the time of the alleged murder, it was reported that Urbanski was the member of an online hate group that posted bigoted messages and memes called “Alt-Reich: Nation.” Authorities say further investigation into Urbanski’s cell phone and social media accounts uncovered evidence that suggested that the stabbing was indeed racially motivated.

Maryland Historical Society

Tom speaks painter David Brewster and Alexandra Deutsch, the Director of Collections and Interpretation at the Maryland Historical Society, about the Society's current exhibition. Structure and Perspective: David Brewster Explores Maryland’s Social Landscape portrays Maryland's "social landscape" by juxtaposing pieces from the Society’s collection with paintings by David Brewster, who hails from Baltimore County but currently lives in Vermont. The show takes up several issues that resonate in contemporary culture like race, gender, sexuality, and the politics of immigration. 

Photo courtesy Creative Commons

Baltimore is home to approximately 50,000 small businesses, more than half of which are minority owned.  What do those businesses need to sustain themselves and to grow?  What do entrepreneurs who dream of establishing their own companies need to get started?

A new report prepared by Johns Hopkins University's 21st Century Cities Initiative looks at financing small business in Baltimore.  Today, a conversation with the authors of that report, about how we can help small business flourish, and how we can attract more companies to plant roots in Charm City.

Tom's guests today are former Treasury Department official Mary Miller, now a senior fellow with The 21st Century Cities Initiative; the program's executive director, Ben Seigeland Meridian Management Group president, CEO and co- founder Stanley Tucker, who specializes in financing minority and women owned firms. 

They join us today to talk about bringing the bucks to Baltimore business... 

AP Photo

It's another edition of the Midday News Wrap, our Friday discussion of some of the week's top news stories with a panel of journalists and commentators.  Joining Tom Hall on this week's panel: reporter Jenna Johnson, who covered the 2016 Trump Campaign.  Now, she covers the White House for The Washington Post, and she joins Tom on the line from The Post's radio studio.  Also on the panel and with us in Studio A is Pastor Shannon Wright.  She is the Third  Vice-Chair of the Maryland Republican Party and the first Black woman ever elected to any party office in Maryland.  In 2016, she was a Republican candidate for president of the Baltimore City Council.  She is also the co-host of the Wright Way With Shannon and Mike morning show  and a panelist on Roland Martin on News One.

Photo courtesy Liz Simmons

Now, a little music to take us into the weekend.  Low Lily is a vocal and string trio from Vermont whose modern acoustic sound also taps the roots of folk and fiddle music.  They join Tom live in Studio A. 

Low Lily is:  Liz Simmons on guitar.  Flynn Cohen on guitar and mandolin.  And Lissa  Schneckenburger on fiddle.

They’ll be playing at Germano’s Piattini in Little Italy here in Baltimore on Friday night.  Use the link to get details.

Photo courtesy The Aspen Institute

In his biographies of Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs, the historian Walter Isaacson has been drawn to his subjects by their uncanny capacity to make connections across disciplines, combining technical expertise with an artist’s eye for beauty, line and grace.  In his latest opus, Isaacson chronicles perhaps history’s greatest creative genius: the 15th century Italian artist, scientist and inventor, Leonardo Da Vinci.  From The Mona Lisa to The Last Supper, DaVinci's iconic paintings revolutionized how artists observed the world, and in fields as disparate as geology, botany, anatomy and engineering, he made lasting contributions.  Walter Isaacson joins Tom on the line from New York City to talk about the nature of genius, and the rewards of insatiable curiosity.

Photo by Matthew Murphy, 2017

It's Thursday, and that means our peripatetic theater critic, J. Wynn Rousuck, joins Tom in Studio A to review one of the region's many new stage productions.  Today, Judy's talking about the newly-revived traveling production of the Tony-Award-winning The Color Purple: The Musical, whose six-day run at The Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore continues until this Sunday, October 22.

 

On Saturday, thousands of runners will hit the streets to participate in the Baltimore Running Festival. More than 24,000 runners from all 50 states and 30 nations are expected to descend on the Charm City to run our historic streets. That’s a lot of folks taking a lot of steps, and that leaves a lot of room for twisted ankles, swollen knees and sore backs.  

Dr. Miho Tanaka is an orthopedic surgeon and the Director of the Women’s Sports Medicine Program at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Before moving to Baltimore, she was the team physician for WNBA teams the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Surge. She also served as assistant team physician for the Baltimore Orioles and professional women’s basketball team, the NY Liberty.

She joins Tom to talk about ways to avoid injuries on race day and beyond.

Photo courtesy Goucher College.

Elizabeth Strout is Tom's guest for this edition of Midday.  She is the author of six novels and many short stories; her most recent book is a series of linked tales called Anything is PossibleLinking stories together was a structural device that Ms. Strout also employed in what is perhaps her most well-known work, Olive KitteridgeThe book earned her the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction , and Frances McDormand starred in an adaptation of the story for HBO that won eight Emmy Awards.

Strout writes about people with big hearts who often live in small towns:  A disgruntled former school teacher, Somali immigrants, a school janitor, a successful writer who returns to rural Illinois to reunite with her estranged siblings.  We meet these and many, many more complicated and brilliant and flawed and eloquent characters who are powerfully and compellingly portrayed by a writer whose tremendous gifts of observation and explication are imbued with great magnanimity and compassion.

Elizabeth Strout is speaking at Goucher College this afternoon and again this evening.  For more information, click here or contact the Kratz Center for Creative Writing at kratz@goucher.edu

Photo by Zach Gross

Tom spends the hour today with Van Jones, a Yale-educated lawyer, former Obama Administration advisor, founder of several social justice organizations, and a commentator and host on CNN.  He's also an author, whose latest book is called 'Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart – How We Come Together'.

In his new book, Jones asserts that even in our current climate of strident bifurcation in the political arena, there are some issues about which voters and leaders of all political stripes can agree.  “Common pain should lead to common purpose,” he writes.  He criticizes both major political parties for letting down America time and again, and he suggests that a rebellion, like the one we witnessed last November, was justified.  A dedicated Democrat, Van Jones just thinks "the wrong rebel won."

He joins us today from NPR studios in Washington, D.C.

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