Midday | WYPR

Midday

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.  

Former FBI Director James Comey was center stage yesterday in public and classified appearances before the Senate Intelligence Committee. Following Comey's public testimony, President Trump’s private lawyer pronounced the President vindicated. The President himself tweeted the same thing this morning. Many observers, however, disagree. Partisanship was by no means absent during Comey’s testimony. Like beauty, Obstruction of Justice is in the eye of the beholder.  The cloud of scandal hovering over the Trump administration is perhaps murkier than ever.  

CreativeCommons

Today, a conversation about the relationship between religion and environmentalism on another installment of Living Questions, a monthly series exploring faith in the public sphere. 

Some have decried President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord as a “dishonor” to God. To what extent does faith play a role in motivating environmental activists? What do religious scriptures and faith leaders say about the human responsibility to protect the earth?

Rabbi Nina Beth Cardin is a Baltimore-based rabbi, writer, and environmental advocate.  She is the director of the Baltimore Jewish Environmental Network at the Pearlstone Conference and Retreat Center. She is also the founder of the Baltimore Orchard Project, a non-profit coalition of Baltimorians dedicated to growing the urban orchard and providing free healthy local fruit to people living in Baltimore’s food deserts.

Jodi Rose is the executive director of Interfaith Partners for the Chesapeake, a 5-year-old network of nearly 200 congregations working on the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake watershed.

Emmalee June Aman is a convert to Islam and the founder and lead advocate of Winds of Change Advocacy, a consulting business which advises environmental groups on effective ways to organize and mobilize. She also helps lead the Dayspring Permaculture Garden, a communal farming experiment underway on a private 200-acre environmental preserve and interfaith retreat in Germantown, MD.

Photo by Richard Anderson

Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck is back for her weekly review of a local production! Today, she discusses Baltimore Center Stage's Jazz, the world premiere of Nambi E. Kelley's adaptation of Toni Morrison's 1992 novel. Directed by Kwame Kwei-ArmahJazz depicts the turbulent relationship of a couple living in 1920s Harlem. 

Jazz runs at Baltimore Center Stage on North Calvert Street through Sunday June 25th.

Philip Montgomery for The New York Times

Today another installment of the Midday Culture Connection with Dr. Sheri Parks of the University of Maryland, College Park. Presidential senior advisor and first son-in-law Jared Kushner’s meeting with a Russian banker back in December is the subject of a federal and congressional investigation. ProPublica reporter Alec MacGillis conducted his own investigation into Kushner that hits closer to home. Kushner Companies owns and operates 15 apartment complexes in the Baltimore area. Although Kushner stepped down as CEO in January he’s still a stakeholder, with a share of the company estimated to be worth at least $600 million. 

Courtesy Harper Collins Publisher

With more than 6,000 hours of shows logged during an influential career that spanned more than 30 years, David Letterman’s impact on the landscape of late-night is unquestioned.    On today's Midday, a closer look at the life and work of the trend-setting funny man, through the eyes of a writer-journalist who's spent the past three years sizing up the Letterman legacy. 

Jason Zinoman writes about comedy for the New York Times, and has contributed to Slate, the Guardian and Vanity Fair.  He’s the author of three books:  Shock Value, a chronicle of the horror film industry, and Searching for Dave Chappelle, a probing look at the unexpected twists and turns in the career of that brilliant comedian. 

courtesy AP Photo

It’s the Midday News Wrap, our regular Friday look at the week's top local, national and international stories, with host Tom Hall and a rotating panel of journalists and commentators. 

We begin today with a conversation about a Maryland bill to require employers at businesses with 15 or more full time employees to earn at least five paid sick days a year.  The sick leave bill was sponsored by  Luke Clippinger, who, along with Robbyn Lewis and Brooke Lierman, represents Baltimore City in the Maryland House of Delegates.  The bill passed in late April.  Last week, Governor Larry Hogan vetoed it.  To discuss the prospects for overturning that veto next January, and how the law might impact the state's small businesses, Delegate Clippinger joins Tom on the phone today from Frederick, Maryland, where he is attending a meeting.

Then, the Midday News Wrap continues with Tamara Keith, a White House reporter for National Public Radio and host of the NPR Politics Podcastwho joins us from NPR studios in Washington, DC; and Will EnglundForeign Assignments Editor and veteran Russia correspondent for the Washington Post, and author of March 1917: On the Brink of War and Revolution, who joins Tom in the studio.  They'll discuss the big stories in another very busy week in Washington, including President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accords, the political fallout from his first international trip, and the ongoing investigation of Russia's election meddling and possible ties to the Trump campaign.

Photo courtesy Warner Bros.

It’s the Midday Movie Mayhemour monthly get-together with movie mavens Ann Hornaday, film critic for the Washington Post, and Jed Dietz, founding director of the Maryland Film Festival

Ann has just returned from the Cannes Film Festival, which had its share of controversy this year.  So we’ll get a report on that. 

Jed and his crew at the MFF have now been in operation in their new theater, the Parkway, for about a month, we’ll get an update on that, and we’ll talk about a few of the movies that will be at The Charles Theater, The Senator, and the Parkway here in Baltimore in the coming days, including Wonder Womanthe much anticipated action-adventure flick from director Patty Jenkins. 

One of the controversies at Cannes has to do with requirements about Netflix movies having to be released theatrically in order to qualify for prizes, and how long after theatrical release those movies can be made available to stream, etc.

We also invite your calls, emails and tweets on the issue:  How important is it for you to see a movie in a theater, rather than on a TV or computer or tablet, or even your phone?

Photo by ClintonBPhotography

It's Thursday, and that means theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Tom in the studio with her weekly review of the region's thespian offerings.  This week, she's here to tell us about Noises Off, the British farce now playing at Baltimore's Everyman Theatre. 

Everyman’s Resident Company of actors collectively plays a British company of hapless actors in this broad comedy. With their opening night on London’s West End imminent, the company's actors blunder through their rehearsals, and things get worse as the actual play begins.  The cast struggles to control the chaos of lost lines and crossed lovers, and to pull their act together -- for the audience and for themselves.

Noises Off continues at Everyman Theatre through June 18.

Tom previewed Noises Off with Everyman's founding artistic chief and the play's director, Vicent Lancisi, and with Deborah Hazlett, who stars in the role of Dotty Otley...on the May 19 Midday.  To listen to that conversation, click here.

Organizers expect upwards of 5,000 people to assemble in Druid Hill Park this Saturday morning, June 3,  for the 10th annual Baltimore 10-Miler. If you’ll be running this weekend, or if you’re into cycling, swimming, soccer, baseball, or any number of other athletic pursuits, you'll want to listen to today's show.

Dr. Miho Tanaka joined Tom in the studio today. She knows the challenges that are faced by professional athletes and weekend warriors alike.  Dr. Tanaka is an orthopedic surgeon, an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery and the director of the Women’s Sports Medicine Program at Johns Hopkins Hospital. She is a team physician for U.S. Soccer. Before moving to Baltimore, she was the team physician for the St. Louis Cardinals and the St Louis Surge in the WNBA.  She has also served as assistant team physician for the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Liberty. Dr. Tanaka took your questions about fitness and how to get the most out of our exercise regimens, regardless of your age, gender or fitness level.  

Here's some good news for local joggers, runners and walkers: "parkrun" -- a free, weekly, 5K event -- is coming to Charm City. Parkruns take place in 11 U.S. cities, and 13 other countries.  Yesterday, the founder of parkrun, Englishman Paul Sinton-Hewitt, was in Leakin Park to announce the launch of Baltimore's free, weekly parkrun, to be held in the park each Saturday morning at 9 a.m. starting June 24.

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