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Midday

Today a conversation about homeless young people in Baltimore City. The Abell Foundation’s recent report “No Place to Call Home” found that there are 1,421 young people under the age of 25 who are homeless and without a parent or guardian to look after them. That figure is a lot higher than a previously accepted number based on the findings of a report conducted Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2011. Numbers in the Abell Foundation report were based on the findings of a Youth REACH MD study out of The Institute for Innovation and Implementation at the University of Maryland School of Social Work.

 There are only six homeless services providers that cater to the needs of youth. There are long wait lists to get into the programs and young people are often turned away.  So what’s being done to help these young people, and what are the barriers that keep them on the streets? 

Megan Lucy is a freelance journalist and the author of the Abell Foundation report. She joins from KUCI in Irvine, CA. 

photos courtesy Jacobson, Francis and Colton

Baltimore City residents are paying more for their water than ever before, as the city plans to spend $2 billion over the next six years upgrading its aging water system. This could have serious implications for citizens, especially low-income residents. This year alone, nearly 25,000 households are delinquent on their water bills.

Joining Tom in Studio A to discuss new strategies for making water more affordable in Baltimore is Joan Jacobson, a freelance journalist and the author of the new Abell Foundation report, “Keeping the Water On;”  and attorney Susan Francis, deputy director of Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Services, a group that provides legal assistance to low-income residents facing tax and water-bill  delinquencies.  Joining us by phone from Belmont, Massachusetts, is Roger Colton, a lawyer and economist at Fisher, Sheehan and Colton, with expertise in anti-poverty strategies; he has consulted on income-based utility-billing systems with cities around the country, including Philadelphia, which plans to launch one of the nation's first income-based water billing systems in 2017.   Midday invited Rudolph Chow, the director of Baltimore's Department of Public Works, to be on the show; his office declined the invitation, but sent us a written statement responding to the Abell Foundation report. Read the DPW statement by clicking here.

Center Stage

Today, a conversation about Center Stage. Maryland’s State Theater is undergoing a major facelift. The first phase of the renovation has been on display since Thanksgiving weekend, when previews for their current show, Les Liaisons Dangereuses opened in a spruced-up Pearlstone Theater. Center Stage hopes to complete their renovations in the next few months.  

How will the new space inform the programming at Center Stage and create opportunities for up-and-coming playwrights and actors?  Tom is joined by Center Stage Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah OBE, the theater’s Associate Director, Gavin Witt and Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck. They’ll also discuss Center Stage’s new program “Wright Now, Play Later” that takes theater-making outside the building and into the community by bringing accomplished playwrights, patrons and performers together to turn an idea about a play into a spontaneous, lively performance executed in Baltimore’s local businesses and well-known public places. 

photos court. John Eisenberg, Mark Hyman

Today, Tom talks sports with Mark Hyman, an author, consultant and Assistant Teaching Professor of Sports Management at George Washington University, and John Eisenberg, a columnist for baltimoreravens.com.

The Army-Navy Game is back at M&T Bank Stadium tomorrow.  The Midshipmen are trying to make it 15 in a row.  And on Monday, the Ravens take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.  If Joe Flacco and the offense have the kind of day they had last week against Miami, the Ravens could score a big upset.   Mark Hyman and John Eisenberg join Tom in the studio to handicap the Army-Navy and NFL match-ups, and they discuss the NFL’s aggressive campaign to get children hooked on football, despite growing parental concerns about injury risks.  Plus, off-season moves by the Orioles, and how the new Major League Baseball collective bargaining agreement might affect the Birds.   

Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck interviews writer, actor, and director Colman Domingo.

Colman Domingo is best known for roles in Fear the Walking Dead, Lincoln, and Selma, ​but he has also acted on and off-Broadway and directed shows at The Lark,  The Geffen Playhouse, and Lincoln Center's Director's Lab. He is also an acclaimed playwright, and his play  Dot  is currently showing at Baltimore's Everyman Theatre. Dot will be playing at Everyman through Sunday, January 8th, 2017.

photo courtesy CNN

It’s been a little over a month since the U.S. presidential election. Republican Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the electoral college tally -- despite Democrat Hillary Clinton’s 2.7 million-popular-vote plurality -- is an outcome that continues to stir passions across the country.

Trump’s election-day win stunned his political opponents. Many worry that a Donald Trump presidency could pose new challenges to civil liberties in this country -- and even legitimize racial and ethnic intolerance.

Since the election, there has been a spike in hate crimes and incidents of bigotry in schools.  Many young people have expressed concerns about the uncertain future of our country. Many teachers and administrators have appealed to education scholars for help and guidance in teaching their students about the election, about its potential implications, and about ways students can express and act constructively on their concerns.

Today on Midday, Tom talks to three education scholars who have responded to this need for a post-election lesson planThey are currently working with K-to-12 and even college teachers around the country to compile what they’re calling the "Trump Syllabus K-12."  That syllabus will be introduced at the Baltimore Trump Teach-In tonight (12/08) at 7:00pm at Red Emma's Bookstore in Station North, here in Baltimore.  That event is co-sponsored by the Teachers Democracy Project and Towson University's Social Justice Collective.

Photo by Gary Emord Netzley

Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins us today with her review of  A Christmas Story, The Musical -- a new rendition of the late author and radio-TV celebrity Jean Shepherd’s comic story of a childhood Christmas. Shepherd helped turn his story into a movie in 1983 -- he wrote the screenplay and narrated the film -- and it’s been a perennial holiday favorite ever since. Now it’s a musical, with book by Joseph Robinette and music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. A Christmas Story - the Musical is on stage at the Hippodrome through this Sunday, December 11.

University of Illinois Press

Today on Midday, an exploration of one of America’s greatest songwriters: Cole Porter. From songs like Night and Day to shows like Kiss Me Kate, Porter defined sophistication and elegance, and influenced generations of songwriters.

Baltimorecity.gov

Today, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake stepped down from office after serving as Baltimore's mayor for six years. Rawlings-Blake -- who previously held the position of City Council President -- assumed office after former mayor Sheila Dixon was forced to resign after pleading guilty to misappropriation of funds. Rawlings-Blake was elected again in 2011, in 2015 she announced she would not seek re-election.

Rawlings-Blake’s tenure was marked by notable achievements but also fraught with controversy. Nationally, the Mayor may be remembered for her response during the 2015 Uprising following the death of Freddie Gray -- she was criticized for not stopping the “riots” quickly enough and for referring to “rioters” as thugs.” But she will also be remembered for attracting businesses like Amazon to the area, overseeing the $5.5B Port Covington development deal, and launching major initiatives to address the city's aging infrastructure.

 

Three astute political observers who have followed Rawlings-Blake's term in office join Tom in the studio today to help us assess the former mayor's impact on Baltimore and the legacy she leaves as newly-inaugurated Mayor Catherine Pugh takes office:

 

Andrew Green is the opinion editor for the Baltimore Sun. He was the city/state editor before coming to the editorial board, and prior to that he covered the State House and Baltimore County government.

 

Jean Marbella is a reporter on the Baltimore Sun’s investigative and enterprise team. She joined The Sun in 1987 and has been a health reporter, a feature writer, a national correspondent, an editor and a metro columnist.

Bishop Douglas Miles, with Koinonia Baptist Church, is co-chair emeritus of Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD), and one of the city's leading community and civil rights activists.

Apprentice House Press

Tom’s guests today are two social justice activists who have lived and worked among some of Baltimore‘s poorest and most disadvantaged people for nearly 50 years. 

Brendan Walsh was a seminarian from The Bronx, and Willa Bickham was a nun from Chicago before they changed course, married each other, and started feeding and housing the poor -- in Baltimore. Bickham and Walsh were married in 1967 and in October of the following year, they opened Viva House in Southwest Baltimore (or Sowebo, to city residents). Since then, they estimate that more than a million people have come to them asking for help: shelter, food, financial assistance, or maybe just a little TLC.

Viva House is part of a network of places around the country that are part of the Catholic Worker Movement. Viva House serves two meals per week to about 200 people from the neighborhood and elsewhere; they give away hundreds of bags of donated groceries every month; and they agitate for non-violence. In their new book, Brendan Walsh writes: “Long ago, our society lost a fundamental understanding of the common good and the necessity for human solidarity.” Brendan Walsh and Willa Bickham have stood in solidarity with their neighbors in Sowebo, their fellow anti-war activists around the world, and the notion that the common good is worth standing for, worth fighting for, and worth bearing witness to. Their book is called The Long Loneliness in Baltimore; Stories Along the Way. Walsh and Bickham will be reading from their book at the Enoch Pratt Free Library on Jan. 24. For details about their reading, click here.  If you would like to volunteer or donate food for Viva House, or to buy the book, "The Long Loneliness in Baltimore," please call  Viva House at 410-233-0488. 

Baltimore is once again on track to reach a horrid and unacceptable milestone:  300 murders in one year.  As of today, 295 people have been the victims of a homicide in our city.  Plus, 620 people have been victims of non-fatal shootings.  Every Sunday, at Memorial Episcopal Church in Bolton Hill, they read the names and pray for the people who have died from violence in Baltimore during the previous week.  It may also be the case that other churches and houses of worship do this too, but Memorial is the only one we know of directly. 

Beginning today, we are going to read those names as well, every Monday, on Midday.  We will stand in witness to their untimely deaths, and we will remember their families and friends in their hour of grief.  A researcher named Ellen Worthing has been compiling a list of Baltimore homicide victims for the past 15 years.  We are indebted to her for the data she posts on her blog, chamspage.  See her blog here. We also consult the Baltimore Sun’s list of homicides, which they have been compiling since 2007. 

From the Saturday after Thanksgiving, through last Friday, the following people lost their lives to violence in Baltimore City:  Jacob Hayes, age 22, Charles McGee, age 23. Dwayne Dorsey, age 27, Davon Dozier, age 29, Troy Smothers, age 23, Jamal Stewart, age 18, plus an unidentified man who was 73 years old. 

IMDb

‘Tis the season to spread tidings of comfort and joy. If the cold weather – or the election – leave you craving comfort, we’ve got a few Comfort Movies to suggest on the Midday Monthly Movie Mayhem.

Our Movie Mavens, Ann Hornaday, chief film critic of The Washington Post and Jed Dietz, founder and executive director of the Maryland Film Festival, join Tom in Studio A to discuss the end of the year releases that tug hard at the heart strings.

From the out-of-this-world Arrival; to Loving, the profoundly moving story of interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving who married in 1958 in segregated Virginia; to the visually stunning documentary The Eagle Huntress; Hornaday and Dietz weigh in on which year-end flicks – and which Yuletide films – shouldn’t be missed. If you’re wondering what to see this weekend, look no further.

Sheri Parks

Much of President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign was premised on antipathy towards immigrants and promises to build a wall along the US- Mexico border. As we now know those sentiments resonated with a lot of voters. Some analysts and critics have speculated that the President-Elect’s rise was fueled by xenophobia and the fear of increased diversity. It is a fact that the country is becoming more diverse. According to the Pew Research Center by the year  2055, the U.S. will not have a single racial or ethnic majority. The Washington Post found that black and brown people are moving into towns and cities in the rust-belt and Midwest  that have traditionally been predominately white. How will this influx of diversity shape the electorate in the coming years, and how will it affect the presidency of a man whose campaign was premised on the fear of immigrants?

In the 10 days after the election the Southern Poverty Law Center received almost 900 reports of harassment and intimidation from across the nation. Many harassers invoked Trump’s name during assaults, making it clear that the outbreak of hate stemmed in large part from his electoral success.

Rousuck's Review: "Schoolgirl Figure" at Cohesion Theatre

Dec 1, 2016
Cohesion Theatre Company

Midday's theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck returns to Studio A with her weekly review of local area productions. Today it's Cohesion Theatre Company's production of Schoolgirl Figurenow onstage at the United Evangelical Church in Baltimore. Set in a high school, this edgy comedy examines the tragic complexities of body image in today's vanity-obsessed culture. The darkly disturbing play was written by Wendy MacLeod. It's  directed by Jonas David Grey, and stars Emily Sucher and Tatiana Ford, among the cast.

photos courtesy Monica Reinagel; The Elephant Restaurant

It’s time for another monthly installment of Smart Nutrition here on MiddayToday, a conversation about navigating the twists and turns of holiday party-going, and holiday party-giving.  Is there a better way of preparing those partridges in a pear tree than soaking them in lard and serving them with thickly buttered bread?  And what about the guests we invite to our parties who arrive with a list of food allergies, preferences and prohibitions that’s taller than the tree in Rockefeller Center?  Is there a way to be both naughty and nice when it comes to nutrition at this time of year?  

Joining Tom in the studio to help us sort it all out is the Nutrition Diva, Monica Reinagel.  She’s an author and a licensed nutritionist who joins us on Midday every month, and who blogs on food, diet and health issues at nutrition over easy.com.  Also with us to talk about the holiday's culinary challenges  is Andy Thomas, the Executive Chef at The Elephant Restaurant in Baltimore.

Tom and guests take your calls, comments and suggestions for good Yuletide eats on this edition of Smart Nutrition.

Emily Jan/The Atlantic, Patrick Semansky/AP, Johns Hopkins University

Today, a conversation about Safe Streets, a program that uses the street wisdom of former felons and reformed gang members to fight the epidemic of gun violence in some of Baltimore’s most dangerous neighborhoods. The concept was inspired by a similar program in Chicago called Ceasefire. Community outreach workers known as "violence interrupters" patrol neighborhoods, interacting with residents and stepping in to mediate tense conflicts before they escalate to violence. Many of the violence interrupters have criminal records and gang ties, and all of them have credible reputations on the streets, an aspect that proves important when stepping into potentially violent situations. 

Artist: James Pate; Reginald F. Lewis Museum / Willis Bing Davis, curator

Since the National Museum of African American History and Culture opened on the National Mall in Washington this past September,  it's been one of DC’s hottest tickets. Many predict the Smithsonian museum will remain one of Washington’s most popular attractions for the foreseeable future. 

Here in Baltimore, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture has been telling the story of Black Marylanders for nearly 12 years.  And just one month before the new museum in Washington opened its doors, the Lewis Museum appointed a new Executive Director, whose affiliation with the Lewis dates back to its founding in 2005.  Wanda Draper joins Tom to talk about what’s ahead for the Reginald F Lewis Museum.  Plus, we’ll speak with Willis "Bing" Davis, the curator of a powerful new exhibit, "Kin Killin' Kin" (see the slide show above for a small sampling of artist James Pate's work) that explores the epidemic of violence in communities of color.  

©2016 Succession H. Matisse / ARS NY

*This conversation originally aired on October 21, 2016. 

  Midday at the Museum:  Tom is joined in the studio by the recently appointed director of the Baltimore Museum of Art, Christopher Bedford, and by Katy Rothkopf, BMA curator of the new Matisse/Diebenkorn Exhibition. They'll be talking about this first major attempt to explore the influence of French artist Henri Matisse on the work of American artist Richard Diebenkorn. 

Co-organized with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) , Matisse/Diebenkorn brings together 92 objects—including 36 paintings and drawings by Matisse and 56 paintings and drawings by Diebenkorn—on loan from museums and private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe. The artworks, reflecting a wide range of styles and subjects, reveal the impact of Diebenkorn’s contact with the French artist’s work, and offer a new perspective on both painters. The BMA is the only East Coast museum mounting this ticketed exhibition. Matisse/Diebenkorn will be on view at the BMA October 23, 2016 – January 29, 2017

Will Kirk

This conversation originally aired on October 21, 2016. 

Midday at the Museum:  In our second segment today focused on notable new museum exhibits, Tom is joined in the studio by Dr. Marvin Pinkert, the Executive Director of the Jewish Museum of Maryland, for a conversation about the work of the JMM and one of its popular new exhibits: "Beyond Chicken Soup: Jews and Medicine in America."  The exhibit examines how medicine -- from traditional therapies to ritual procedures to public health practice -- has shaped the ways Jews are perceived, and the way they perceive themselves, for centuries. The exhibit will be on view at the Jewish Museum of Maryland through January 16th, 2017.

It’s time now for What Ya Got Cookin', where we talk about recipes, food trends, traditions and good eats with our resident foodies John Shields, chef, author and owner of Gertrude’s Restaurant at the Baltimore Museum of Art and Sascha Wolhandler who runs Sascha’s 527 Restaurant and Catering with her husband Steve Susser.  

No doubt most Thanksgiving cooks have planned a menu, done most of the shopping, and are ready to rock and roll.  

But let’s say, for argument’s sake, you are, in fact, the one doing the cooking tomorrow, and you haven’t done some or all of the above. Sascha and John are here to walk you through this.  And, even if you’re all set in terms of preparations we might unearth some ideas that you want to incorporate into your Thanksgiving festivities.  

Photos by Peggy Fox/K. Wilson

When you look up, what do you see? If you’re in Baltimore and many other U.S. cities, what you see are trees. When viewed from above, the tree canopy, as it is known, covers more than 27% of Baltimore. And, if today’s urban arborists have their way, that figure will be significantly higher 20 years from now.

Today, a conversation about urban forests. What purpose do they serve in our daily lives? Who planted them, and why? What lessons did we learn from the mid-20th century disaster known as Dutch Elm Disease, or the Emerald Ash Borer, which have decimated the urban tree-cover in cities across the U.S.? And what do today’s science and technology reveal about the importance of the grown environment in American cities?

Our guests today in Studio A are Jill Jonnes and Erik Dihle.

Jill Jonnes is an author, an historian, and self-described “tree-hugger.” She’s also the author of six books. Her latest is called “Urban Forests: A Natural History of Trees and People in the American Cityscape.” She’s the founder of the Baltimore Tree Trust. She was a scholar in residence at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington and has been both a Ford Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities scholar. She is based here in Baltimore. She'll be reading from "Urban Forests" tonight at the Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore at 7 pm. 

Erik Dihle is Baltimore City’s Arborist and Chief of Urban Forestry. He leads Tree Baltimore, the city’s tree planting initiative, which works with non-profit partners, including the Baltimore Tree Trust, to increase the city’s tree canopy.

ABC-News

Today, in the November installment of our monthly series, Living Questions, a look at Native American spiritual practice and the sanctity of tribal land.  We’ll examine how tribal traditions have factored into the months-long conflict between the Standing Rock Sioux tribe of North Dakota and Energy Transfer Partners, a Dallas-based company trying to complete the 1200-mile Dakota Access Pipeline at a Missouri river crossing near the tribe’s reservation.  The standoff at Standing Rock has become an historic gathering of Native Americans and other activists.  We’ll talk with Akim Reinhardt, a professor of American Indian history at Towson University,  Ann Duncan, associate professor of religion at Goucher College, and Richard Meyers, an Oglala Sioux and coordinator of the American Indian Studies program at South Dakota State University, who’s joined the Standing Rock protests.  Spiritual practice and the intersection of religious freedom, property rights, and the US Constitution -- and your calls -- in this edition of Midday's Living Questions.

Creative Commons

The debate over the future of hydraulic fracturing in Maryland is heating up, with growing numbers of towns and counties across the state voting to ban the controversial natural gas-drilling method, also known as “fracking.” In January, state lawmakers will have to decide if they want to impose a permanent ban on fracking, or allow it to proceed when the moratorium ends next October. But with a changing political and economic landscape, dueling studies of fracking’s impact on the environment and new state drilling regulations, it is not clear how this long-running debate will be resolved. 

Drew Cobbs, the Executive Director of the Maryland Petroleum Council, and Mitch Jones, an anti-fracking activist and a senior policy advocate at Food and Water Watch, join guest host Nathan Sterner to explore the risks and benefits and the uncertain road ahead for fracking in Maryland. 

Photo courtesy Yudhijit Bhattacharjee

Before Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning earned notoriety for their theft of US government secrets, there was Brian Patrick Regan.  This hour,  guest host Nathan Sterner delves into the bizarre story of this little-known American spy.  In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Regan used his position in a US intelligence agency to steal huge amounts of secret government data, and tried to sell it off to foreign governments.

He was brought down, in part, because of his dyslexia.

A new book on the case is called “The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell: A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and the FBI's Hunt for America's Stolen Secrets.” Nathan talks with author Yudhijit Bhattacharjee in the first part of the hour.

Photo by Katie Simmons-Barth

For her regular Thursday review of regional theater, Midday's drama critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins senior producer Rob Sivak in the studio with her take on American Hero, a dark comedy by Bess Wohl that's been getting its regional premiere at the  RepStage Studio Theatre, on the campus of Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland.  Directed by Suzanne Beal, the play is set in a small subshop where three "sandwich artists" are trying to learn their new craft: a teenager, a single mom, and a dropout from the corporate banking world, all of whom are barely hanging on to the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.. When unexpected events shake things up in the subshop, they find themselves allied against the uncertainties and inequities of America's post-recession economy.

American Hero continues at the RepStage in Columbia,Maryland through Sunday, November 20.

It’s the Midday Healthwatch with Dr. Leana Wen, the Health Commissioner of Baltimore City.  There’s good news for babies in Baltimore: the infant mortality rate fell to record low levels in 2015.  And there is an effort afoot to help those healthy babies grow into healthy teenagers.  We’ll look at the ways the city is implementing its new Youth Health and Wellness Strategy.  Plus, the future of Obamacare:  If President Elect Trump makes good on his promise to repeal and replace the ACA, what will that mean for local health departments struggling to address the needs of the uninsured, and the under-insured?  Even though rates for some plans are rising, is the ACA still a good deal for some people?

Dr. Leana Wen joins Tom in the studio for an hour of conversation about important public health issues affecting the people of Baltimore, and she takes your calls, emails and tweets.

Plank Industries

Kevin Plank founded Under Armour in 1995. Ten years later, he took the sports apparel company public, and today, as Plank himself said last week, Under Armour employs around 350,000 people worldwide. It is behind only Nike in the US, in the highly competitive sports apparel industry. Kevin Plank has big plans for Under Armour, and for the city of Baltimore.

Today, a conversation with the guy who runs Mr. Plank’s private company, Plank Industries.

Tom Geddes is the CEO of Plank Industries, whose portfolio includes, among other things, horse racing, rye whiskey, a tech incubator, and Sagamore Development, the company behind the huge plan to create what many are calling a “city within a city” on the waterfront in South Baltimore.

Port Covington will include a new corporate headquarters for Under Armour, coupled with housing, retail establishments, and recreation.

The city of Baltimore has committed nearly $660 million in what’s known as a TIF, or Tax Increment Financing, which will provide infrastructure to support all the new buildings and parks in Port Covington. The State and Federal government may chip in as well. The total price tag for Port Covington is expected to be in the neighborhood of $5 billion. The company has also committed to hiring local residents for some of the construction jobs and permanent jobs, and they’ve agreed to about $100 million to fund things like job training, affordable housing, and profit sharing with the city.

Many observers call the company’s commitment to the Community Benefits Agreement historic, with the potential to set the standard for such development projects nation-wide.  

Tom Geddes is our guest for the hour, and he takes your calls and emails as well.

Ted Eytan

Six days ago, Americans elected Donald Trump to be the 45th president of the United States. Almost immediately after the election results were in, anti-Trump protests and rallies sprung up in cities across the country including here in Baltimore. People are taking to social media to express their dissent, using hashtags like #NotMyPresident. Despite calls for unity from President Obama, Sec. Hillary Clinton and the President-elect himself, it doesn’t seem likely that the anti-Trump sentiments will dissipate anytime soon.

So, how do the more than 64 million Americans who did NOT vote for Trump, come together, and reconcile their moral and ethical stances given Donald Trump’s consistently offensive rhetoric over the last 18 months? 

There are about 2.2 million people who are incarcerated in the United States, many more than are imprisoned anywhere else in the world, equal to the combined prison population of both China and Russia. 

In a new book, a law professor from California writes about the more than 81,000 inmates who are kept in isolation from other prisoners, with almost no access to sunlight, activities, or other human beings.  These are the people imprisoned in a “SHU,” the Security Housing Unit.  They are there for a variety of reasons, and some of them are kept there for years, even decades at a time.  Author and criminal justice scholar Keramet Reiter’s new book examines the reasons that so many people are kept completely segregated while in prison.  It’s called 23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-Term Solitary Confinement.  Keramet Reiter is Tom's sole guest for the show, and we invite listeners to join their conversation.

Keramet Reiter will be discussing her book at Red Emma's Bookstore & Coffeehouse Friday night at 7:30pm. Details and directions here.

Tom closes the show today with a special musical appreciation of Leonard Cohen, the legendary Canadian-born poet, songwriter and singer who died Monday at his home in Los Angeles, at the age of 82.  

Two days after the election, we continue the conversation about what a Donald Trump presidency will mean going forward.

Tom is joined in the studio by Michael Fletcher, a senior writer for ESPN’s The Undefeated, and the co-author of Supreme Discomfort: The Divided Soul of Clarence Thomas.

Joining on the phone is Sheri Parks. She's an Associate Dean for Research, Interdisciplinary Scholarship and Programming at the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of MD College Park, where she is also an Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies. Dr. Parks is the author of Fierce Angels: Living with a Legacy from the Sacred Dark Feminine to the Strong Black Woman.

Photo by Stan Barouh

Up-and-coming playwright Jen Silverman's The Roommate, which opened November 6th at Baltimore's Everyman Theatre, is described in the theater notes as "a mash-up between 'Thelma and Louise' and 'the Odd Couple.'"  If you're too young to get those cultural references, let's just say The Roommate -- set in a "big old house" in Iowa City -- is a funny play about two very different middle-aged mothers, played by Everyman's Deborah Hazlett and Beth Hylton, who wind up living as roommates, and whose close-quartered experience yields both friendship and self-discovery.  Silverman's wry comedy is directed by Johanna Gruenhut, with set design by Timothy Mackabee, lighting by Jesse Belsky, and costume design by Sarah Cubbage.  

As she does most every Thursday here on Midday, theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom in the studio today with her review of The Roommate.

The Roommate continues at Everyman Theatre through Sunday, Nov. 27th.

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