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On the Record

Civic Works

Many of us plan to live out our years in our homes. But if the steps are shaky or the bathtub has nowhere to grab, we might fall and get hurt. Lauren Averella, of the Baltimore nonprofit Civic Works, tells us about its efforts to upgrade seniors’ homes and make them safer. From installing grab bars to adding ramps, they offer an array of modifications so residents can age in place. 

Jeff Djevdet/Flickr Creative Commons

Jobless levels have been dropping but long-term unemployment--out of work 6 months or more--is stubborn. We meet Judi Amey and Mark Kreiner, two educated, experienced jobseekers who discuss the frustrations of today’s impersonal job search, how age plays into it and the discouragement of being underemployed. And we hear from career counselor and coach, Janet Glover-Kerkvliet  who explains that sometimes taking a survival job can be a humbling but necessary step in the long term job search. You can connect with her regular group meeting here.

Having a successful African-American physician as a father and a white mother who read her the works of Black authors was no barrier against the racism Julie Lythcott-Haims faced growing up in white Wisconsin. In her new book, "Real American: A Memoir", she describes her journey to self-acceptance and insight about what it means to be Black in America.

Village Learning Place

Baltimore is known for its neighborhoods lined with block after block of neatly nestling row homes. It turns out the narrow, huddled houses are found in just a handful of American Cities … but the roots of the row home are steeped in politics across the Atlantic. Charles Duff, president of the public-interest design firm Jubilee Baltimore, has looked deeply into this iconic architecture. He walks us through how and why it got here. You can see and hear his lecture at Village Learning Place on Thursday, Jan.18 -- details are here.

WBJC classical music host Judith Krummeck tells a Stoop Story about her life in more than a dozen houses, across multiple continents. It taught her that home ... is where you make it. You can hear her story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com.

Baltimore City Health Dept.

343 people were killed in Baltimore last year, most of them, shot. In the wake of record homicides, two individuals are among those working on the street level to stop the killings. Erricka Bridgeford of Baltimore Ceasefire shares how she remains persistent and hopeful in the face of tragedy. And James ‘J.T.’ Timpson, Safe Streets community liaison officer, discusses the future of that effort, and what he thinks is behind the staggering number of homicides Baltimore saw in 2017.

UrbanFeel / Flickr via Creative Commons

After the Justice Department concluded the Baltimore Police Department had routinely violated citizens’ rights, Justice and the city last year agreed on a set of reforms, to be enforced by federal Judge James Bredar. He named a team to monitor police progress toward reforms, and that monitoring team has unveiled its plan for what the BPD needs to do, when. The principal deputy monitor, former Washington police chief Charles Ramsey, describes the process ahead.

Barnabus Tibertius / Flickr via Creative Commons

Computer scientist Philipp Koehn leads a group at Johns Hopkins University that’s building translation technology and targeting languages for which translated texts are not widely available - like Tagalog and Swahili. How do they do it?

NIH Clinical Center / Flickr via Creative Commons

As more people in America speak languages other than English, a program at Howard Community College prepares interpreters for the medical field. Instructor Lisette Albano and interpreter Hyon Lee describe how interpreters improve patient care while acting as a neutral party.

msa.maryland.gov

We talk with Baltimore Sun Opinion editor Andy Green and Barry Rascovar, columnist for Political Maryland, to discuss  the wide range of problems and aspirations Maryland lawmakers are bringing to the legislative session that starts Wednesday. Both agree that the election year will shape every issue into a contest for political advantage between the Democratic majority and the Republican governor ... from working to subdue the dire homicides in Baltimore and the escalating overdose deaths statewide, to jumping  hurdles thrown down by the Trump administration, like the new federal tax law that could shake up Maryland’s revenues and undermine health insurance. 

Here’s a Stoop Story from musician Wendel Patrick, co-producer of WYPR's Out of the Blocks, speaking about a photograph that inspired him. You can hear his story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com, as well as the Stoop podcast.

Svklimkin / Flickr via Creative Commons

If you have family photos collecting dust in shoeboxes or digital files encroaching on your computer’s desktop--it may be time for action! Light and water can deteriorate prints, and files can be lost as technology changes. Elizabeth England and Jim Stimpert, archivists with the Johns Hopkins University Sheridan Libraries' Special Collections, offer advice on photo preservation. They will be speaking on January 13th at an event at Hopkins' Homewood Museum.

Centers for Disease Control

We’ve heard it over and over: get your flu shot. If you’re older than six months, get your shot. The flu can be more than uncomfortable -- it can be fatal. What goes into the shot that inoculates against the virus? And why do we need a new one each year? Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, Professor and Director at the Center for Vaccine Development of the University of Maryland Medical School, tells us why the influenza virus is a master of mutation, modifying its proteins as it replicates from season to season. To find information on how to protect yourself against influenza, visit this site. For information on where to find flu shots in Baltimore County, go here and in Baltimore City, go here.

thebaltimorebeat.com

The Baltimore Beat  editors return for a regular pulse check. Deputy editor Maura Callahan tells us why arts coverage deserves the same care and attention as news coverage, and The Beat’s editor-in-chief, Lisa Snowden-McCray, talks about the cover story: New Year’s resolutions for Baltimore City--not from people in power, but from artists, professors, activists and The Beat’s own team. Priorities surface about police, public transit and arts funding.

OSI-Baltimore

Alex Long, an Open Society Institute Baltimore Community Fellow, talks about his “McElderry Youth Redemption Boxing Program” where kids learn to meditate, have fun, and blow off steam. He believes the discipline of boxing teaches much more than physical skill.

Creative problem solving is a valuable skill to have in work and in life. Open Society Institute fellow Jackie Bello is dedicated to that concept. She talks about her program, “Bet on Baltimore,” where she teaches young people to think like designers to solve problems.

Scout out talented students at HBCUs, prepare them for the rigors of law school, mentor them throughout their careers. The Fannie Angelos Program for Academic Excellence aims to boost diversity in the legal profession. We hear from the co-founders, University of Baltimore law professors Michael Higginbotham and Michael Meyerson, and we meet two graduates at the start of their law careers, Annice Brown and Keon Eubanks.

Chris Wilson, social justice advocate and entrepreneur, shares a Stoop Story about how his traumatic childhood and a life sentence led him to turn his life around and ultimately, help others.

Melissa Gerr / WYPR radio/Baltimore

Beyond the cacophony of bass drums, cymbals and snares, we hear about why participation in The Christian Warriors, a marching band in West Baltimore, means so much more than making music together. We meet the band’s assistant director, James Parker, who played in the drumline as a young teen. Founder and director Reverend Ernest King tells us about the legacy of dedication and community support that has held it all together. Watch a video of their rehearsal here. Original air date: Sept 15, 2017.

Diapers, bottles, onesies, pacifiers: Babies need a lot of things, including a safe place to sleep. For some families, the cost of a crib may be out of reach. For others, the birth may have come sooner than expected. And, if the baby spends the night away from home, a safe place to sleep is needed because cribs aren’t very portable.

It can be a matter of life and death. This year, 12 infants in the city died while sleeping -- a frightening increase compared with 7 deaths in 2016.

In May we spoke to Shantell Roberts, executive director of the nonprofit ‘Touching Young Lives’. She's now been named an Open Society Institute Baltimore Community Fellow.

Fresh produce can be hard to come by in the city’s Sandtown neighborhood. That’s why chef Ausar Daniels has created a farm - to grow fruits and vegetables for the community and educate kids about plant science. He tells us about his plans to expand "The Greater Mondawmin Empowerment Project" into a food co-op and biocellar.

OSI fellow Matt Burke is a volunteer who runs Food Rescue -- a project of the Baltimore Free Farm, through which unwanted but nutritious food is distributed. Part of mission: rescue some of the nearly 40 percent of the country’s food that goes to waste simply because it’s imperfect. Check out more information - including how to get involved -  here.

Because music transcends language barriers and evokes emotion, it’s the tool one of this year’s ‘Open Society Institute Baltimore’ fellows intends has singled out: Amy Tenney plans to harness music’s therapeutic potential with her project, ‘Healing and Community Integration through Music for Refugees and Immigrants.’

Think again if you’ve been assuming curiosity is constant, like gravity. We talk to astrophysicist Mario Livio about his book, "Why: What Makes us Curious". Not only are some people more curious than others, and curious about different questions, but homo sapiens’ capacity for curiosity grew as its brain evolved. For all its variations, Livio deems curiosity an unstoppable drive. Original air date: July 11, 2017.

Creative Commons/Wikimedia

Nonprofits typically benefit from a flood of holiday donations … in dollars, gifts or time. We meet two women who take a more do-it-yourself approach to giving … by creating their own events to benefit those in need in Baltimore. Shannon Dixon will host her first  “Cookies and Hot Cocoa for the Homeless” event that will take place Sunday, on Christmas Eve from 6pm to 9pm. And Mary England is preparing for her second annual “Scarf Abandonment Project.” She talks about why promoting kindness is a worthy cause all year round.

Here's a Stoop Story from Taya Dunn Johnson about how being a rebellious fourth grader directly affected her Christmas that year -- a lesson that has stayed with her always. You can hear her story and others at stoopstorytelling.com.

Drivers know all too well the frustration of clogged roads. Experts at the University of Maryland’s Center for Advanced Transportation Technology are diving in the ‘why’ --so deep into the data about traffic that about half the states turn to them for tools to manage congestion. CATT’s director Michael Pack says they can not only pinpoint the worst bottlenecks, but identify what caused them, how long the backups are, and how much they cost. Plus, Victor Henry and Ed Stylc, chief traffic-congestion management experts at the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, tell us how they use data to make recommendations to the state. 

This holiday season, while you’re baking cookies and cakes, note that line “baking powder” in some recipes. In the final product, it is invisible and tasteless, but what does baking powder do? And how has it shaped American cooking?

Food historian Linda Civitello’s new book is “Baking Powder Wars: The Cutthroat Food Fight that Revolutionized Cooking”.

A portrait of a president, an probe of Southern cuisine, a reboot of the Black Panther comic books. We’ve got books suitable for all the readers in your life--young and old, fans of pop and counterculture. These titles are perfect to read over the holidays, to give as gifts, or to share among friends.

Cullen Nawalkowsky of Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse and Deborah Taylor of the Enoch Pratt Free Library share their picks for the best recent books. 

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