Midday

A new report by national nonprofit, the Corporation for Enterprise Development, finds that more than half of Baltimore families are “financially vulnerable.” This means a sudden job loss or medical emergency could knock them below the poverty line. Furthermore, half of the city’s households struggle to borrow money affordably, so they risk becoming trapped in debt by high interest rates. Arohi Pathek from CFED helps us compare this snapshot of Baltimore to Maryland’s overall picture. Plus, Sara Johnson, director of the Baltimore CASH Campaign, lays out policies with the potential to help low-income families - including ways to give them recognition for paying their bills on time.

Elizabeth Manning / Flickr via Creative Commons

A proposal to combine the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore is before the General Assembly once again. Supporters of the move say it wouldn’t be a full-out merger, but a way to strengthen the formal partnership between the schools established five years ago. That generated applied research, joint-faculty appointments, and tech companies that now raise the question -- why not bring College Park and Baltimore even closer? Opponents fear it would be a takeover of UMB by College Park. A key question: should the joined schools be governed by one president or two? We’ll discuss it with James Brady, a member of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, and Barry Rascovar of the blog Political Maryland.

Mark Goebel/Flickr via Creative Commons

  

Twelve million gallons. That’s how much sewage Baltimore’s Department of Public Works estimates was dumped into the Inner Harbor last week after heavy rains overwhelmed the city’s dilapidated sewer system.This news comes on the heels of Baltimore missing the January 1 deadline imposed by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the state Department of the Environment to eliminate overflows and spills. Halle Van der Gaag, Director of Blue Water Baltimore and Mark Reutter of The Baltimore Brew, join us to discuss the city’s response to this massive discharge, as well as the impact of sewage releases on our trails and waterways, and on public health.

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.

Courtesy of Red Emma's Facebook page

The Great Recession fueled new interest in worker-owned cooperatives, in which employees double as business owners. Though rare, worker-owned co-ops are on the rise. Advocates say when employees are in control, workers benefit and businesses are more stable. But worker co-ops have to function in a capitalist world. Can they really compete? We’ll talk with Melissa Young, co-producer of "Shift Change," a documentary that goes behind the scenes at several worker-owned cooperatives. And we’ll talk with John Duda, communications coordinator for the Democracy Collaborative, a policy research institute that has helped launch several large co-ops. Duda is also co-founder of Red Emma’s, a worker-owned coffee shop in Baltimore.

WOTS Baltimore/Flickr via Creative Commons

Earlier this month, after public pressure from lawmakers, Governor Hogan asked that they direct $18 million intended for designing a new Baltimore jail towards construction projects at state universities. Some have lauded the decision, while others ask, can a new jail wait? Bryan Searsof the Daily Record and Debra Gardner, legal director of the Public Justice Center, update us on conditions at the Baltimore City Detention Center since the closure of the men’s jail last summer. Where were detainees moved? The complex has faced lawsuits dating back to the 1970s over squalid conditions. What is being done to upgrade facilities and improve medical care?

Jason Mrachina / Flickr via Creative Commons

Thirteen dead bald eagles were found on the Eastern Shore last weekend. Wildlife advocates are offering a $25,000 reward for information. Yet there is no shortage of bald eagles in the region. Our national bird was once endangered, but there are now more bald eagles on the Chesapeake Bay than there have been since Colonial times. Today we talk with eagle expert Bryan Watts and legendary Virginia conservationist Mitchell Byrd. The pair will fly out over the lower Chesapeake Bay in a prop plane next week, with a former fighter pilot who calls himself Captain Fuzzzo at the helm. It is the three-man team's 25th year scouting for nests together.

Courtesy of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives

Frederick Douglass was an escaped slave, a gifted author and orator, and a champion of emancipation and civil rights. But here’s something you may not know: he was passionate about photography. In fact, Frederick Douglass was the 19th century’s most photographed man. Why was a man who devoted his life to ending slavery and racism so in love with photography? A new book called “Picturing Frederick Douglass” explores that question. We’ll talk with John Stauffer, who co-authored the book. And we’ll meet Kenneth Morris, Jr., a Frederick Douglass descendant who is himself a modern-day abolitionist. Morris grew up surrounded by some of the 160 photos featured in the book.

Lucélia Ribeiro / Flickr via Creative Commons

 

Kik. Whisper. Yik Yak. Social media apps like these help teens and tweens connect in a digital world. Social media can broaden horizons, and help young people develop social skills. But the Internet has a darker side, especially for kids. The anonymity of the online experience allows easy access for sexual predators and cyberbullies. Plus, a frivolous social media post can live online … and damage future job and college prospects. How can parents stay informed about an ever-changing Internet landscape? How can they help their kids safely navigate that landscape? Adam Rosenberg and Drew Fidler of the Baltimore Child Abuse Center discuss the perils of the Internet for teens and tweens, and share tips for parents.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and Montana all allow terminally ill patients to seek aid in dying. The practice will take effect in California in a few months. New Mexico’s highest court is expected to rule on the issue this year. Here in Maryland, “end of life” legislation is once again before the General Assembly.

Today, a look at both sides of the “right to die” debate. Some call it "death with dignity," others see it as "physician-assisted suicide." We’ll talk to Dr. Michael Strauss, a board-certified internist and volunteer with Compassion and Choices, a nonprofit that supports expanding end-of life choices, as well as forensic psychiatrist Dr. Annette Hanson, who opposes the bill. Should aid in dying be legal? What are the implications for the elderly and disabled?

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