Midday | WYPR


Philip Montgomery / Bloomberg Businessweek

If you live or work in Baltimore, you may have been filmed by an aerial surveillance camera some time this year. In January, a private company began flying a Cessna outfitted with high-tech cameras over Baltimore City, on behalf of the police department. The program was paid for by an anonymous donor. Most of us, including members of the City Council and perhaps even the mayor, learned about the program just last week, when Bloomberg Businessweek published an article about it. What is this technology capable of, and why wasn’t the public informed? Has Big Brother come to Baltimore? Our guests: Monte Reel, reporter for Bloomberg Businessweek; David Rocah, staff attorney for the ACLU of Maryland; and Baltimore Police Department spokesman T.J. Smith

News coverage of the health care needs of LGBT individuals tends to focus on young people. What about the needs of older LGBT adults? Research shows that nearly half of LGBT older adults report they have disability, one-third report they are depressed, and more than one out of five say they have not disclosed their sexual or gender identity to their physician. With nearly 3 million adults age 50 and older in the U.S. self-identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, we discuss their unique needs and hear their stories. We speak to Bethany Henderson, a social worker who until recently worked with LGBT elders at Chase Brexton, and Jessica Rowe, a licensed clinical social worker and member of the Howard County Older Adult LGBT Task Force.

Clinton - Hillary for America/Trump - Michael Vadon / Flickr via Creative Commons

Hateful. Inflammatory. Empty. The word “rhetoric” has a bad reputation. But it has a pedigree: in history, rhetoric is a skill. Plato called it “the art of winning the soul by discourse.” As the campaign for president hits high gear, the public is getting a heavy dose of political rhetoric. How does the discourse this election season compare to campaigns of the past? What kinds of rhetorical strategies are candidates using? We’ve all heard of logical fallacies like the red herring and the slippery slope. How often do they crop up in political speech, and how can we learn to recognize them? From alliteration to tapinosis, the role of rhetoric in politics. Our guests: Trevor Parry-Giles, a professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Maryland, and Shirley Logan, a newly retired English professor from the University of Maryland. 

Two hundred forty years ago, just weeks after the colonies had declared their independence from Great Britain, George Washington’s army was outnumbered and outmaneuvered. The rebels would likely have been wiped out, and the revolution over before it began,.. except for the elite unit of Maryland fighters who repeatedly attacked British headquarters, buying a precious hour for the bulk of Washington’s army to escape. Two hundred-fifty-six Marylanders were killed in the Battle of Brooklyn. Where they are buried is still a mystery. But the Maryland regiments went on to supply the margin of victory in dozens of battles. Military historian Patrick O’Donnell tells their story in "Washington’s Immortals: The Untold Story of an Elite Regiment Who Changed the Course of the Revolution".

Park Heights Renaissance

The northwest Baltimore community of Park Heights is home to Pimlico RaceTrack and the annual Preakness Stakes. To the frustration of those who live there, it’s also known for vacants, crime, and blight. A decade ago, the city devised an extensive roadmap for redevelopment there. Since then, a few affordable housing developments have opened and a recreation center has been revamped. Two area schools are undergoing renovations. But the scale of the blight in Park Heights tends to dwarf efforts like these. What would it take to truly revitalize Park Heights? What would revitalization look like? Is the city’s roadmap the way to go? We hear from urban designer Klaus Philipsen, of ArchPlan Inc., and Cheo Hurley, executive director of the nonprofit organization Park Heights Renaissance

ELISA PAOLINI / Flickr via Creative Commons

"Memento," "The Bourne Identity," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." Amnesia is a Hollywood staple. Even the true stories often seem fantastical. Just last month an Ontario man named Edgar Latulip recovered his memory after 30 years. He’d been missing and presumed dead, despite living 80 miles from home. Acute memory loss fascinates us, probably because in many ways, we are our memories. What triggers amnesia? What happens to your sense of self when your memory is gone? What can amnesia teach us about memory? Dr. Jason Brandt, a neuropsychologist at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine who specializes in memory and memory disorders, joins us in studio to explore these questions. Also: Dr. Brandt is currently looking for older patients with mild memory impairment or early Alzheimer’s disease to take part in a clinical trial on dietary intervention. If you'd like to take part, call: 410-955-1647. Original air date: 

University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science


In late July the Chesapeake Bay saw one of the worst “dead zones” on record, an area with low-oxygen water. By early August, conditions returned to the typical range, but efforts are ongoing in Maryland and surrounding states to shrink the dead zone. We speak to Tim Wheeler, managing editor of The Bay Journal, and Dr. Don Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. What do low oxygen levels mean for the health of plants and animals in the Bay? How will climate change - expected to bring warmer water temperatures and rising sea levels - affect the “dead zone”? We take a deep dive into the dead zone.

Courtesy of Rodney Foxworth

Philanthropic institutions are overwhelmingly white. Less than 4 percent of foundation CEOs are African-American, for instance, and the numbers for executive staff are similar. My guests today say that, despite good intentions, foundations lack moral urgency in addressing the problems that plague poor black communities. Social entrepreneur and philanthropy consultant Rodney Foxworth recently wrote an essay on the subject on Medium.com, titled “The Need for Black Rage in Philanthropy.” Are foundations too complacent, too comfortable, too willing to take things slow when it comes to inequality? Is rage the missing ingredient? Rodney Foxworth and Erika Seth Davies from the Association for Black Foundation Executives join us.

Michael Sauers / Flickr via Creative Commons

“What’d ya say?” “Speak up, stop mumbling!” “Would you repeat that?” Sound familiar? Maybe it’s someone you care about; maybe … it’s you. About 30 million Americans have enough trouble hearing it interferes with communication, and it’s much more common as we age. It’s not a minor frustration – hearing loss is linked to health problems like falling, to depression, anxiety and onset of dementia. Yet only a fraction of Americans who could benefit from hearing aids wear them. In this hour we’ll talk to a noted hearing researcher at Johns Hopkins about the impact of hearing loss, what keeps people from getting help with their hearing … and new developments on the horizon that might change that. Our guest: Dr. Frank Lin of Johns Hopkins Medicine. His clinical practice is dedicated to the medical and surgical management of hearing problems, and his research focuses on the intersection of hearing loss, gerontology and public health.

SimonQ錫濛譙 / Flickr via Creative Commons

Water main breaks. Sewer overflows. Flooded basements. Baltimore’s water infrastructure is often in the headlines. But some listeners may find the most recent news from the Department of Public Works particularly unwelcome: water and sewer rates are set to go up, pending Board of Estimates approval. Baltimore City residents would see a 33 percent water rate increase over the next three years, plus two new fees. But there will no longer be minimum billing for water usage, so water charges for some users may actually decrease. Surrounding counties that use city water will also see changes to their bills. Jeffrey Raymond, Chief of Communications and Community Affairs for the Baltimore City Department of Public Works, answers your questions.