Midday | WYPR

Midday

courtesy Keith Allison via Creative Commons

Cal Ripken and Lou Gehrig are forever linked in history as the two great “iron men” of baseball.  For decades, Gehrig’s record of 2,130 consecutive games-played seemed an insurmountable mark until Cal Ripken met it, and surpassed it by more than 500 games. 

By the time Ripken retired in 2001 the age of 40, he and Gehrig were the only two of 17,000 players in the major leagues who had played more than 2,000 games in a row. 

The history of their amazing achievement is chronicled in a new book The Streak: Lou Gehrig, Cal Ripken, and Baseball's Most Historic Record by Baltimore sportswriter John Eisenberg, who fills his account with stories not only of Ripken and Gehrig, but of the other ironmen who endured injuries and the vagaries of managers to make their marks as tenacious, every-day players. 

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Today, all eyes are on Hamburg Germany, the site of the G-20 summit, where about three hours ago, Donald Trump met Vladimir Putin for the first time as President. The meeting takes place as North Korea continues its sword rattling, the Syrian conflict continues to displace and kill thousands, big policy differences between the US and other G-20 members in areas like climate change are once again laid bare, and new economic agreements that exclude the US are taking shape.

On today's edition of Midday at the Movies, our monthly conversation with Jed Dietz, founding director of of the Maryland Film Festival, and Ann Hornaday, film critic for the Washington Post, Tom and our movie mavens will be talking about Ann’s new book: Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies.

In this veteran film reviewer's guide, Hornaday suggests that the best movies let us grapple with tough questions, reflect on cherished ideals, experience the world from another point of view, and know the joy of authentic human connection. So, how do you know you've seen a great movie? By examining the various aspects of filmmaking -- writing, acting, directing, cinematography, editing and sound -- Ann explains the ways that great filmmakers have produced work that resonates with audiences across generations.

Photo by Robert Neal Marshall

Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom in the studio each Thursday with her weekly reviews of the region's thespian offerings.  This week, she critiques the new production of The Tempest from the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

Today, we’re talking sports.  In May, the Baltimore Orioles had the best record in baseball.  In June, they broke a record by allowing 5 or more runs in 16 consecutive games.   They lost last night in Milwaukee.  They will send only one player to the All Star game next week, second baseman Jonathan Schoop.

As concerns grow about the catastrophic and often fatal consequences of concussive brain injuries in professional football players, some prominent voices are calling for an end to tackling in youth leagues, until players are at least 14. 

And on the basketball front, more than half of the players in the first round of the NBA draft were college players who played only one year.  That’s more Freshman than ever before who went pro.  We’ll talk about possible changes to NBA policy affecting what age young players will need to be in order to qualify for the league. 

Dr. Terry Anne Scott, an assistant professor of history at Hood College, is in the studio.  She’s currently working on a book about basketball legend Lenny Wilkens, among other projects.

Milton Kent joins us as well.  He’s the host of Sports at Large here on WYPR; he also serves on the faculty of the School of Global Journalism and Communication at Morgan State University.

And our longtime sports guru Mark Hyman is here too.  He’s on the faculty of George Washington University in their Sports Management program, and the author of a bunch of books, including Concussions and Our Kids:  America’s Leading Expert on How to Protect Young Athletes and Keep Sports Safe, which he co-authored with Dr. Robert Cantu.

Sheri Parks/D.Watkins

This program originally aired on May 2, 2017. 

Today another installment of Culture Connections with Dr. Sheri Parks of the University of Maryland. Author D. Watkins joins as we continue to reflect on the 2015 Uprising sparked by the death of Freddie Gray. D. co-hosts Undisclosed, a podcast that re-examines Freddie Gray’s death. 

This program was originally broadcast May 9, 2017.

Today, a discussion about what we might call the privacy paradox. We say one thing when it comes to online privacy, but many of us act in decidedly un-private ways when we’re on the internet. What do we mean by that? We often say that we don’t want to be spied on -- by big government or by big data, the companies that collect and sell information about every place we go online. But our behavior suggests that we don't really care about our privacy as much as we say we do.   We post all sorts of intimate details about our lives and our families. We voluntarily allow apps to know exactly where we are at all times. That information is valuable to all sorts of companies, and sometimes to certain government agencies. Do we, perhaps, care about privacy in some abstract way -- but not enough to behave online in a way that would keep our information more secure?  And if we say we value privacy, are we, as a society, able to articulate what’s wrong with losing privacy? Joining Tom at the top of the show today is Firmin DeBrander, a professor and philosopher who has thought a great deal about our relationship with online privacy and why privacy matters.  DeBrabander is an associate professor of philosophy at MICA here in Baltimore, where he has taught since 2005.  He is the author, most recently of the book, “Do Guns Make Us Free?”  He is working on a book about privacy, and an article that he wrote recently on the subject caught our eye, so we asked him to stop by Studio A to tell us more.

courtesy CNN Photo

When Senate Republicans unveiled their health care bill a little more than a week ago, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said it would be voted on this week -- before Congress’s July 4 recess.  But, on Tuesday of this week, McConnell, realizing he didn’t have the 50 votes needed to pass the bill, pulled the plug on the vote.  What’s next for the bill that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, would result in 23 million more people without health insurance in the next decade?   

Also this week, the President’s Travel Ban is back, in part. The Supreme Court announced that it will hear arguments next fall regarding lower court decisions that stayed the President’s executive order: And that parts of President’ Trump’s revised travel ban could be enforced.

The Trump administration made further claims about fake news this week.  

We’ll take on these stories and others this week on the Midday News Wrap:  Tom is joined  in the studio by AP White House correspondent Julie Bykowicz and, on the line from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, by Dr. Carol Anderson, the Chair of African American Studies at Emory and author of the NYT best-selling book “White Rage.”   

Photo by Dietmar Lipkovich

 

The members of Insingizi, a Zimbabwean musical trio, join Tom in Studio A. They specialize in performing inspiring concerts full of harmonious singing, call-and-response chanting, hand percussion and energetic choreography. The ensemble is stopping in the Baltimore area for the free Patterson Park Summer Series, at which they will perform this Sunday at 6:30 p.m., as well as in Washington, D.C. for Serenade: A JFK 100 Celebration, before making their way to Germany later in July. 

 Today, they join Tom in studio to offer a little preview of what’s to come this weekend.  Members Dumisani “Rama” Moyo and “Blessings” Nqo Nkomo are here with de facto leader of the ensemble, Vusa Mkhaya. Their performance today features “Boom Boom Jeys” (working translation: “It is important to know who we are and where we come from, so that we know where we are going”),  and the South African hymn “Siyahamba” (Zulu for “We Are Marching”), which closes out the show. 

Jeremy Daniel

Thursdays are for theater here at Midday, and theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck is here as always to review a local production. This week, she's discussing "Finding Neverland" at the Hippodrome Theatre. Directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus, "Finding Neverland" delves into the life of J.M. Barrie, the creator of one of the world's most beloved stories, Peter Pan. Barrie's relentless battle to find inspiration for a new play leads him to a single mother and her four children, whose imaginative spirits shape Barrie's stories and awaken his inner child.

"Finding Neverland" runs at the Hippodrome through July 2, 2017. 

Courtesy Penguin Random House

Today, Tom is joined by writer Daniel Mark Epstein for a discussion of his latest book, The Loyal Son: The War in Ben Franklin’s House.

Epstein is a prize-winning poet, playwright and biographer whose writing career spans nearly 50 years.  In addition to his nine books of poetry, he has written several plays plus acclaimed biographies of an eclectic group of historic figures including Aimee Semple McPherson, Nat King Cole, Bob Dylan, and Abraham Lincoln.

His new book examines the complex relationship between Ben Franklin and his only son, William. Benjamin Franklin was one of the most revered Founding Fathers of the country and an aid in drafting both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution; William Franklin, however, remained loyal to the British crown throughout and after the revolutionary war. The Loyal Son is a fascinating read about the turmoil within one prominent family during the struggle for American independence. Epstein makes use of previously unknown source material to place a saga of loves won and lost, illegitimate children, and family intrigue in the context of our nascent country’s formative first years.

Daniel Mark Epstein will be reading from his book  tonight at the Ivy Bookshop in North Baltimore at 7pm.

Photo courtesy Creative Commons

There's no shortage of think pieces exploring the ways Millennials, that is - folks born between 1981 and 1996, differ from older generations. Those pieces often paint a picture of a generation of entitled, lazy, participation trophy babies, but some experts say that perception is wrong and informed by our society's misunderstanding of Millennials and their relationships to technology. 

Courtesy AP Photo

The Senate version of healthcare legislation is the topic on most people’s minds on Capitol Hill. Senate leadership wants to replace the Affordable Care Act with The Better Care Reconciliation Act.  As of this moment, passage of the Senate health care bill appears somewhat in doubt. Yesterday’s CBO score, and a chorus of critics, say the Senate bill will cause at least 15 million Americans to lose their health insurance by next year. It remains to be seen what effect passing the bill would have on patients, doctors, hospitals, insurers, and public health agencies, although there are plenty of people from each of those groups who have criticized McConnell’s “discussion draft” of the bill.

On today’s edition of Healthwatch, our monthly conversation about health and well-being in Baltimore with Baltimore City Health Commissioner, Dr. Leana Wen, we’ll talk about the impact the Senate bill might have on our city’s most vulnerable populations, and the ongoing fight to quell the growing opioid epidemic. 

Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

Last month, the Sinclair Broadcasting Group purchased dozens of TV stations from Tribune Media in a $3.9 billion deal. Based in Hunt Valley, Sinclair operates over 200 local television stations across the country. With their latest acquisition, Sinclair now holds stations in seven of the nation’s 10 biggest markets. The owners of Sinclair appear to lean conservative, as evidenced by the station’s robust and unchecked broadcasts of Donald Trump’s interviews throughout his presidential campaign. Sinclair’s conservative slant has left Washington insiders wondering whether Sinclair is trying to give Fox News a run for its money.

Tom is joined by David Folkenflik, the media correspondent for NPR and author of Murdoch's World: The Last of the Old Media Empires; and Hadas Gold, a reporter covering media and politics for POLITICO. 

Senate Republicans unveiled their health care bill yesterday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says there will be a vote next week. Democrats are predictably, not happy, citing the bill’s deep cuts to the Medicaid program. Senator Chuck Schumer called the bill heartless. At least four republican senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Ron Johnson have said they hope to get to yes, but they’re not there yet.

Former Minnesota police officer Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty of all charges in connection to the 2016 shooting death of Philando Castile during a traffic stop. Castile’s girlfriend Diamond Reynolds live streamed on Facebook the moments immediately after he was shot. A dashcam video of the shooting was released after the verdict, but it's left many people wondering how the officer was acquitted? 

Members of post-punk band Natural Velvet join Tom in-studio to talk about their latest album Mirror to Make YouThree of the four members of the Baltimore based band attended Maryland Institute College of Art. Their latest album, the second released on Friends Records, takes on feminine rage and what it means to be a feminist and independent thinker. 

Corynne Ostermann is the band's lead vocalist and bassist. Spike Arreaga is a gutiarist. They join Tom to talk about their new music and the process of creating an album.

What Ya Got Cookin'?: Creative Summer Grilling

Jun 22, 2017
Tookapic

One of the great joys of the summer season, of course, is cooking and dining outdoors. So today, we’re metaphorically firing up the grill.  Whether you have a traditional charcoaler or one of those gleaming gas ranges, we’ll talk about those fabulous flame-licked creations we make when we have meat or fish or veggies, and even fruit, and we bring on the heat.

Today, Tom hosts a roundup of great ideas for the backyard grill with  Midday's resident foodies: chef John Shields of Gertrude’s Restaurant, and Sascha Wolhandler of Sascha’s 527 Café.  In this installment of What Ya Got Cookin? John and Sascha share some of their favorite recipes for fabulous flame-cooked meals, and offer tips on getting the most out of your summer grilling experience.  Plus, we take your calls, emails and tweets on the subject.

Sascha says the best recipe for the mysterious hotdogs she offers Tom in the studio can be found here.

And here's the grilled chicken recipe Sascha describes during the show:

Photo by Britt Olson-Ecker

Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom for our regular Thursday focus on the region's thespian happenings. Today, she reviews the Single Carrot Theatre and STEREO Akt world premiere production of Promenade: Baltimore.

Not your conventional stage production, Promenade: Baltimore invites its audience to board an actual bus and travel around the city, passing through neighborhoods familiar to some, and unknown to others. Audience members watch from their bus as actors on the street perform scenes portraying various aspects of life in Baltimore, accompanied by a live-mixed soundtrack of music, narration, and stories inspired by and, in some cases told by, neighborhood residents.  

Know Your Neighbors: A Promenade Post-Show Roundtable, Thursday, June 22, following the 6:30pm performance.  See the Single Carrot Theatre website for details on this and other post-show events.

Promenade: Baltimore continues at Single Carrot Theatre through Sunday, July 2nd.

Photo courtesy the Brookings Institution

Last night was a long night for Democrats, who lost two more special elections to fill vacancies created by congressional Republicans who left for jobs in the Trump administration.  In Georgia’s hotly-contested 6th congressional district, Republican Karen Handel beat newcomer Democrat Jon Osoff by 4 points, a comfortable margin of victory in what most considered a close race.  And in South Carolina, Republican Ralph Norman defeated Democrat Archie Parnell by about the same margin, which was considered much closer than most people had expected.

That makes it 4-0 for the Republicans in Special Elections since President Trump took office.   

Tom discusses the significance of these election results, and  the state of the body politic, with E.J. Dionne, a syndicated columnist for the Washington Post and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.  He is also a university professor at Georgetown University, and the author of several books, including Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism – From Goldwater to Trump and Beyond.  His newest book, due out in September, is called One Nation After Trump: A Guide for the Perplexed, the Disillusioned, the Desperate, and the Not-Yet Deported, which he has co-authored with Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein.

Photo by Doby Photography/NPR

On the very first page of his very unsettling book, Richard Harris points to some of those ground-breaking, fantastic studies that we sometimes hear about as the next big thing, the next miracle cure.  These are studies that are often published in prestigious scientific journals.   And Harris says that “too much of what is published is wrong.”

Harris knows his way around medical studies.  He’s been a science correspondent with NPR for more than 30 years.  His new book is called Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions. 

The book is an assiduously reported indictment of a culture in the scientific community that often allows for short cuts to be tolerated and for basic research principles to be ignored.  Richard Harris joins Tom from the studios of NPR in Washington.

James VanRensselaer Homewood Photography

Last month, the stabbing death of Bowie State University student 2nd Lt. Richard Collins III grabbed national headlines and left students and faculty wondering how the frightening and tragic incident could happen on a college campus. Collins, who was black, was stabbed on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park by UMD student Sean Urbanski. Urbanski, who’s white, was a member of an online hate group that shared bigoted memes and messages. While Urbanski has not been charged with a hate crime, students of color at UMD say Collins’ death is not an isolated incident and that racial climate on campus is fraught with bias and bigotry. In early May a noose was found hanging in UMD frat house. 

College Park is not the only campus battling bigotry. Last month, bananas hung by nooses were found on the campus of American University in Washington, DC. Harvard, Columbia, Dartmouth and other universities across the country have reported dozens of incidents of bias in recent months.   Some scholars have observed that racism on predominantly white college campuses is as old as the universities themselves.  Tom is joined by Lawrence Ross, the author of several books including The Divine Nine:The History of African American Fraternities and Sororities. His latest is called Blackballed:The Black and White Politics of Race on America's Campuses. He is a frequent contributor to TheRoot.com.

Baltimore Link

The Baltimore Link, Charm City’s new transit system, is making its debut. After almost two years of planning, the $135 million dollar revamped system was launched in the wee hours of Sunday morning.  MTA Director Kevin Quinn, along with Brian O’Malley, president and CEO of the Central Maryland Transportation AllianceSamuel Jordan, president of the Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition; and city planner Klaus Philipsen join Tom today to discuss the new system and its impact on city residents. MTA officials say that it will speed up time for commuters and get people closer to more of the places where they work.  But not everyone is convinced.

photo courtesy Arizona Republic

Last Wednesday, on a baseball field in Alexandria, VA, Republican Congressman Steve Scalise and three others were shot, including a Capitol Hill police officer who lives in Baltimore County.  Congressional leaders vowed to tamp down their vitriolic rhetoric.  But in a week that included the anniversary of the worst mass killing in US history, there seems to be no end in sight to this violence,  even in our political discourse. 

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh and DC Attorney General Karl Racine filed a lawsuit against President Trump for what they say is a violation of anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution. Congress has filed a suit too.  Jeff Sessions gave often defiant testimony to the Senate Intel Committee on Tuesday.  And there are now published reports confirming that President Trump is himself a subject of an investigation into possible obstruction of justice.  Plenty to talk about with Tom's News Wrap guests, Ayesha Rascoe, a White House correspondent for Reuters, and Alan Walden, who was last year's Republican candidate for Mayor of Baltimore.  

Courtesy Peabody Consort

We end Friday's Midday with a little music from yesteryear.  Like, way yesteryear.  Members of the Peabody Consort join Tom in Studio A.  They specialize in music from the earliest eras of what we have come to know as classical music.  The consort is on their way to the Indianapolis Early Music Festival next week, and in November, they’ll appear at Early Music Hawaii, another prestigious festival (in a great place to be in November).

And this weekend in Baltimore, they'll be giving a concert of music from the three Abrahamic religions, performing at an event called Words and Music of Three Faiths.  It takes place this Sunday night (June 18) at 7:00, at Second Presbyterian Church, located at 4200 Saint Paul Street in Baltimore (21218).  

Today, they join Tom with their instruments to offer a little preview.  Soprano Julie Bosworth is here, and Brian Kay is here with his oud.  The founder of the consort is Peabody faculty member Mark Cudek.

Their performance today features the Cantigas de Santa Maria: "Tanto son da Groriosa" (No. 48) from the Court of Alfonso X or “el Sabio” (1221–1284); an improvisation on the Arabic “oud,” the ancestor of the lute; and a Sephardic romance: the anonymously composed "Cuando el Rey Nimrod,” which closes out the show.

Monday, the 19th of June, is Juneteenth, the day that commemorates June 19, 1865 when enslaved African Americans in Galveston, TX were informed by Union soldiers that slavery was legally over, months after the end of the Civil War and more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by Abraham Lincoln. Juneteenth is one of the most widely celebrated emancipation days in the country. It’s officially recognized in 45 states; Maryland became the 43rd state in 2014. Today a conversation about Juneteenth. What’s the historical significance of the day and as we reflect, how does it inform our understanding of slavery and the reconstruction era?  What was life like for African Americans as they transitioned from bondage to freedom? 

Tom is joined by Dr. Terry Anne Scott; she’s an assistant professor of History at Hood College in Frederick. Also joining are B. Cole and Aisha Pew, entrepreneurs and the owners of the Dovecote Café in Baltimore, and the leaders of Brioxy, a network of innovative people of color who are creating economic opportunity for themselves and others. This weekend they’re hosting a Juneteenth Home and Garden tour in their Reservoir Hill neighborhood.  

David Spence of David Spence Photography

Theater Critic J. Wynn Rousuck returns to Midday with her weekly review of a regional production. This week, she’s talking about Fred’s Diner at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre in Frederick, MD. The new dark comedy by award-winning playwright Penelope Skinner transports the audience to an American Diner on an English motorway, brimming with captivating characters and deadly secrets. After premiering London, this is the 2nd time the play has been produced in the U.S. and first time it's been produced on the East Coast. Fred’s Diner is directed by Peter Wray, and runs through June 18th, 2017.  

Photo courtesy Md. Attorney General

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh joins Tom at the start of today's show to explain why he’s suing President Donald Trump for breaching the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution. He and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl A. Racine announced on Monday that they have filed a lawsuit against the president, claiming that his widespread business entanglements violate constitutional anti-corruption clauses. 

This is one of two big lawsuits filed in the last couple of days.  The other has been filed by nearly 200 congressional Democrats, who are also claiming that the President's global business holdings, and his failure to consult with Congress  about them, violates the U.S. Constitution. 

Courtesy Crystal Forman/ Courtesy Valley View Farms

The summer gardening season is in full-swing here in Maryland, so we’re turning our attention today to the joys and challenges of keeping those flower beds blooming and those vegetable gardens bountiful.  We’ll get tips for you today on plant care, soil management and bug and weed control from two local gardening and urban farming experts, Carrie Engel and Crystal Forman. These two veteran green thumbs will do their best to answer your questions about what to plant and when, how to deal with pests and predators, and how to ensure that those veggies make it from the garden to the family table

Carrie Engel is a long-time plant specialist and greenhouse manager for Valley View Farms Garden Center and Nursery in Cockeysville, Maryland.

Crystal Forman is a certified Master Gardener and the interim director of The Farm Alliance of Baltimore.  She’s also the owner of Holistic Healthy Living for All, and the director of Holistic Wellness and Health, which promote healthy eating, physical fitness and wellness.

photo from Johns Hopkins University

Today, Tom talks with  bioethicist Dr. Jeffrey Kahn about clinical trials and diversity. Why is so much medical research still done with white subjects -- and more often with men rather than women -- and what are the consequences of that, particularly for women and people of color?

If clinical trials are done by examining only parts of our society, what does that mean for the efficacy of the findings, and how reliably can those results be extrapolated to apply to the rest of the population?

And what are the consequences when that research is then used to develop treatments? Will they be effective for everyone, or primarily just for the group at the heart of the research?

To wit: African Americans have a far greater incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease and a far lower rate of inclusion in clinical trials. What, if any, is the connection between those two realities?

Dr. Jeffrey Kahn is the Director of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics and he stops by Midday from time to time to talk about how ethicists help us frame complex questions like these.

Courtesy Congressional Pictorial Directory

Today on Midday, a conversation with Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger, the representative of Maryland's Second Congressional District. Like several other Maryland congressional districts, the second is a sprawling -- some would say gerrymandered -- district that includes pieces of many jurisdictions:  Baltimore City and Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Harford and Howard counties. Rep. Ruppersberger, a Democrat, was first elected to the Congress in November 2002.  He has been re-elected seven times.  He is a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

Before heading to Capitol Hill, Ruppersberger was the executive of Baltimore County from 1994 until 2002. Before that, he was an attorney in private practice, and in the 1970s, Mr. Ruppersberger was an assistant state’s attorney in Baltimore County.   He was born and raised in Baltimore City.  

Pages