On the Record | WYPR

On the Record

What teen isn’t embarrassed by their parents? As we hear in this Stoop Story: For C E Snow, her mother’s intense celebrity obsession was particularly mortifying. You can find this story and others at the Stoop Storytelling site.

Friends of Patterson Park Facebook page

Music groups from around the world will gather for a concert at Patterson Park Sunday, part of a yearlong celebration of the centennial of President John F Kennedy’s birth and one of his signature legacies, the Peace Corps. Neeta Helms, president of Classical Movements, who will be performing and where they’re from. And we talk to Katie Long, program director and Hispanic liaison for the Friends of Patterson Park. She notes that Southeast Baltimore is a hub for immigrants, and says that makes this concert especially meaningful.

The International Rescue Committee works with refugees and other immigrants with low incomes who want to put down roots here by buying a home.  We speak with Nahlah Melaih, (center),  who coordinates Individual Development Accounts at the IRC. She explains what immigrants learn about financial terminology, building a credit score, setting up a budget to amass a downpayment and qualifying for matching funds. Then we meet two refugees who have done all that work -- Hamida Ebadi (left) from Afghanistan and Adote Akwei (right),  an asylee and community organizer from Togo, on Africa’s west coast.

More Than Words: Creativity As A Form Of Activism

Jun 28, 2017

For our final More Than Words story, Xavier started out interested in how activists in Baltimore see their work in the city as connected to and inspired by Civil Rights struggles of the past. As he researched and conducted interviews for this piece, he found writing to be an overlooked form of activism and decided to sit down with one of his favorite authors, D. Watkins.

Courtesy Autumn Burton "Mirrors" Facebook page

It’s a rare accomplishment to publish a book before completing high school. Autumn Burton, a new graduate of the George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology, has done just that, and people are noticing. We speak with her about her book, “Mirrors,” which is a combination of short stories and nonfiction that center on issues of social justice -- topics about which Burton is passionate, and which she believes need more exposure.

Courtesy Johns Hopkins Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience

The tiniest creature with the deadliest of bites … Professor Chris Potter's lab at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is working to understand why mosquitoes are attracted to humans, in order to quell diseases such as malaria and Zika, both transmitted by mosquito bite. By studying its sense of smell, Potter hopes to alter the way mosquitoes perceive human scent and flavor--in an effort to make us less appealing as a meal. Want to see what happens when a mosquito stops for a bite? Watch this. To see all that Potter's lab is up to visit his site.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr via Creative Commons

Under President Trump the U.S. Justice Department announced it will pursue tougher criminal charges and tighter adherence to mandatory minimum sentences than during the Obama years. We talk to retired federal Judge Alexander Williams Jr. about the life sentence he was required to impose in a drug case in Prince George’s County -- and to the man he sentenced, Evans Ray Jr., now free on clemency from President Obama.

Now, a Stoop Story from Faye Houston, about how a chance encounter while on the hunt for shark teeth took on a new meaning decades later.

You can find more stories, as well as the Stoop podcast and event information at stoopstorytelling.com.

National Press Foundation

Opioid overdoses are claiming more lives in Maryland, up by 70 percent last year over the year before, to an average of five a day. Gov. Hogan declared an emergency in March.

Photo by Amy Berbert

Two years ago Baltimore City homicides soared to nearly one a day -- the city’s deadliest per capita on record. The statistic grabbed national attention and the focus of Amy Berbert, a student at UMBC. To her, the number represented the tragic anonymity of lives lost. In response Berbert conceived her final senior project, “Stains on the Sidewalk,” for which she’s documenting the 318 homicides of 2016. She returns on the one-year anniversary, at the exact time and location where the violence occurred, to make a photograph, and then shares it on social media.

Louis Umerlik

Last week you heard from Deneira, a graduate of Frederick Douglass High School in Baltimore. She shared a little bit about her life with her mom and grandmother. Now she’ll give us some insight into her senior year. Deneira says she’s “not the normal teenager.” Who knows if such a thing exists, but those familiar with Deneira will tell you that she is an intelligent, resilient and unique young adult. In her last piece for More than Words, you’ll hear some phone conversations Deneira had with her sister about how they cope with anxiety and depression. More Than Words is supported by a generous grant from the Philip and Beryl Sachs Family Foundation.

Just Married!

Jun 21, 2017
Photo by Will Kirk

A wedding ceremony may be the union of two souls, but the day represents so much more--encompassing families, cultures and communities. Tracie Guy-Decker, Jewish Museum of Maryland associate director talks about what we can read into dresses, documents, chuppas and cake-toppers -- some of what's featured in the new JMM exhibit, "Just Married! Wedding Stories from Jewish Maryland."

Whether it’s repairing defects, growing tissue, or customizing cell patterns, new technology is boosting the potential of regenerative medicine. We speak to Professor John P. Fisher, chair of the University of Maryland Fischell Department of Bioengineering, about the school’s new Center for Engineering Complex Tissue. And postdoctoral fellow Laurie Bracaglia describes her work using pericardial tissue, the thin tissue that surrounds the heart, as a graft material, as well as making printable “bio-ink” from this tissue.

Beverly Yuen Thompson / Flickr via Creative Commons

Last fall, fifteen companies won preliminary licenses to grow medical marijuana in Maryland, but the new industry has since been mired in legal challenges. Erin Cox of the Baltimore Sun gets us up to speed. Then, a large-scale study of a compound in cannabis finds it can reduce seizures that don’t respond to typical treatments. We speak to Dr. Orrin Devinsky, director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center at New York University Langone Medical Center. And Gail Rand, a mother, tells us how her son’s epilepsy prompted her to become an advocate for medical cannabis.

Kevin Darrow Brown shares a story about the joy and the pain of being a foster parent. You can find his story and others, as well as information about live Stoop shows, here.

Maureen Harvie / WYPR

This weekend Baltimore celebrates LGBT Pride with a parade, block party, food, music, and more. Mimi Demissew, executive co-director of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland, and co-chair of Baltimore Pride, tells us what this event means to her.

Insite

A stark picture of the toll that addiction is taking in Maryland came clear this month when the state issued its latest statistics: 2,089 people died from overdoses last year, an increase of two-thirds over 2015. Almost nine out of ten of these deaths were caused by opioids. In response to the epidemic, some are calling for approval of “safe consumption sites”--places where people can use illegal drugs with medical supervision. 

Louis Umerlik

In today's episode of More than Words, we’ll focus on women who sacrifice and provide for their families. Deneira is a graduate of Frederick Douglass High School. She walked across the stage last week. She lives with her mom, grandma and several pets.

One of the ways many fathers connect with their children is through sports. Looking ahead to Father’s Day, we speak to former Baltimore Colt defensive lineman Joe Ehrmann about what it means to be a dad and about combating society’s harmful messages about masculinity.

A storytelling event in Baltimore encourages participants to share old diary entries, letters, and poems. One of the event’s producers, Alex Hewett, tells us how Mortified gives people the opportunity to reclaim embarrassing moments, laugh at themselves, and be vulnerable.

From forgetting someone’s name to getting caught with spinach in your teeth-- we all experience cringe worthy interactions. Psychologist Ty Tashiro tells us why these moments happen and why some people are more awkward than others. His new book is Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome.

Courtesy CHANA website

There are more senior citizens every year, and more are victims of elder abuse -- last year 6, 300 cases were investigated in Maryland. The abuse can be financial, physical, sexual, emotional--or just neglect. We talk to Valarie Colmore, of Adult Protective Services are the Maryland Department of Human Resources and Nancy Aiken, executive director of the domestic-violence resource CHANA about who commits elder abuse, who should report it and how and what might prevent it. CHANA is sponsoring a program, on Tuesday June 13 at 8:15 a.m., featuring keynote speaker Dr. Leana Wen. Find out more here. You may register (free) for the World Elder Abuse Awareness Day conference here. The toll-free state hotline to report elder abuse is 1-800-917-7323 and CHANA’s number is 410-234-0030.

DeRay Mckesson shares a Stoop Story about the transformative power of teaching and how his work as an activist is rooted in that experience. You can find his story and others at stoopstorytelling.com.

After four decades at the helm of the Chesapeake Center for Youth Development, Ivan Leshinsky is retiring. He tells us about the at-risk students CCYD serves in South Baltimore and Anne Arundel County. And former student, Aaron Beale, tells us how CCYD gave him skills and confidence.

Photo by Edwin Remsberg Photographs

The folk arts weave a culture together, but can get lost in a fast moving digital world. The Maryland Traditions Apprenticeship Award helps preserve them. Ahead of Saturday’s Folklife Festival, we speak with two Apprenticeship Award winners: Jazz bass clarinetist Todd Marcus and waterman Captain Ted Daniels. We also talk to the director of Folk and Traditional Arts at the Maryland State Arts Council, Chad Buterbaugh, about why it’s important to conserve a craft.

Courtesy University of Maryland Medical Center website

Most teen car crashes occur because of driver inexperience. Research shows that clocking hours behind the wheel, with an experienced driver present, increases a teenager’s confidence and capability to react in an emergency. We speak with two advocates for the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital “Practice Driving with Your Teen” sticker campaign: emergency pediatric-medicine resident Dr. Lahila-Carina Ojeda, and Cliff Tompkins, whose 7-year-old son died in a crash involving a teenager’s inexperience. Learn more about the campaign here and connect to an emergency driving course here.

As the Supreme Court approaches the end of its annual term, we catch up with University of Baltimore law professor Michael Meyerson about Justice Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s travel ban, and the Court’s rulings on racial gerrymandering.

Comedian Chris Gethard is known for tackling tough subjects - like anxiety and depression - with vulnerability and candor. He joins us to talk about his podcast, "Beautiful Stories from Anonymous People," and why his talk show shuns traditional style for a more absurdist approach. Gethard will be performing at The Ottobar on Sunday, June 11th, the early show is a taping of his podcast.

David Ross shares a Stoop Story about childhood lessons from his grandmother, and how those lessons changed as he grew up. You can find his story and others at stoopstorytelling.com.

Food, music, art projects--and voter registration? The No Boundaries Coalition of West Baltimore is celebrating its 10th Annual Boundary Block Party tomorrow at Pennsylvania Avenue Triangle Park. The alliance of eight neighborhoods brings together residents across lines of class, race, and neighborhood, and encourages them to connect over issues like political engagement and the Baltimore police consent decree. We speak to two members of No Boundaries, Carol Moore, who serves on its board and co-director Ray Kelly.

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