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WYPR Features

The Growth of the Inner Harbor

Feb 13, 2018

Michael Hankin, president and CEO at Brown Advisory, describes how downtown Baltimore has grown to be "integral to our identity" as a city, and discusses the 'Inner Harbor 2.0' project. 

apox apox/flickr

Hector walks us through a major accreditation program for physicians, health care plans and medical groups provided by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Voting on the Aquarium

Feb 9, 2018

On the evening of November 2, 1976, Baltimoreans were glued to their TV and radios—following the election results of Question 3 on the ballot—whether or not the city should build and operate what would be known as the National Aquarium in the Inner Harbor. It was a controversial idea from the outset, with City Councilman Emerson Julian calling the proposed aquarium, derisively, “nothing but a fish tank.” This is the story of how that so-called “fish tank” became one of the most visited tourist attraction in the world.

Also: Job loss due to automation and the coffee economy. 

Click the image for the Reports for the week of February 5.

All of us have grown up understanding the concept of retirement. The notion is very simple – we work, we save, and then we stop working and enjoy a whole lot of free time during which we take care of grandchildren, golf, knit, travel, or all of the above. But as indicated by Kiplinger, hundreds of years ago, most people didn’t grow old so there was no need to retire.  People often worked to survive until they were simply unable to work any longer...

Mike Janke, co-founder of Data Tribe, tells us why his company has invested in Baltimore, and why tech companies can flourish here. 

Baltimore Life Under Jim Crow

Feb 8, 2018

How can stories of desegregation during the Jim Crow era influence current policies around race, segregation, and opportunity in America in 2018 and beyond? Towson Professors Gary Homana and Morna McDermott explore this question, and preserve the stories of seven African-Americans who grew up Baltimore during the Jim Crow Era, in their documentary Voices of Baltimore: Life under Segregation.

The Billings Gazette

Last week, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee held a hearing on the Trump Administration’s management of the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Chairman John Barrasso, a Republican from Wyoming, made a case frequently repeated by the administration: that by eliminating environmental regulations and slashing the budget and power of EPA, President Trump had unleashed job growth and a booming economy.

“The administration’s deregulatory approach is working,” Barrasso said. “According to the last Energy Information Administration quarterly report, coal production in the West is 19.7 percent higher than in the second quarter of 2016.  In addition, the stock market is reaching record, all-time highs.”

That cheerleading faded a bit over the next few days when the stock market plummeted.

Economist Roger Bezdek said it would be wrong to credit President Trump for either the rise in the market – which actually began under President Obama – or blame him for its sudden fall.

Turning adversity into advocacy

Feb 7, 2018

Greg is a young adult who, as a teen, was diagnosed at Kennedy Krieger with a rare, currently incurable, neurogenetic disorder. Greg has turned his adversity into motivation to help others.

Dr. Ali Fatemi, Director of Kennedy Krieger’s Division of Neurogenetics, shares how Gregg is educating physicians about rare disorders like his and encouraging families to seek diagnoses from experts, like those at Kennedy Krieger.

Children have been sitting in front of screens ever since the advent of television. From TVs to smart phones and laptops to LeapFrogs children and adults are fascinated by the near endless possibilities of these devices...

Before he made a name for himself in the vaudeville scene in New York, Eubie “Mouse” Blake got his start playing honkytonk music in the pool halls, saloons, and brothels of East Baltimore.

Alaska, Ho!

Feb 7, 2018

On today's episode, we review two new novels that put the "wild" in the Alaska wilderness.

Cameron Kennedy/flickr

Al and Hugh discuss some interesting Grenache wines from France. 

Destination: Baltimore

Feb 6, 2018

Samuel Hoi, president of MICA (Maryland Institute College of Art,) on Baltimore's growing prominence as a visitor destination.

Pea Crabs

Feb 6, 2018
FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute/flickr

Excuse me waiter, there’s a pea crab in my oyster…If you’ve ever opened an oyster and found a little orange crab inside, consider yourself lucky! Many seafood lovers have called this tiny, spider-like crab a delicious surprise for many years. In fact, an article in The New York Times from 1913 recalls a story of a restaurant patron who sent his soup back with disgust upon finding a small orange “critter” in it. He was not aware that the tiny crab that had turned his stomach was a highly-prized delicacy - back in 1913, pea crabs sold for $2 a portion, which is roughly $50 today! Even George Washington was well documented as a fan of this fine food. So, what exactly is a pea crab?

The National Aquarium

Mysterious, misunderstood jellyfish are swimming right in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Let's take a look at what their presence indicates and how climate change is playing a role. 

This episode originally aired in March 2017. 


Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School and I invited a long-time friend of the show, Liz Nuttle to come on and tell us how the creative application of oils and vinegars can make a huge difference.

Say oil and most people think olive oil, especially the authentic extra virgin kind.  But most oils come not from fruit (which the olive is) but from nuts and seeds.  Some of the most popular include our favorite, roasted sesame seed oil, almond oil, hazelnut oil, sunflower oil, grape seed oil, macadamia nut oil, peanut oil, pumpkin seed oil, soybean oil, flaxseed oil, and walnut oil.

Glenn Carstens-Peters/Unsplash

A new study by the Transamerica Institute highlights the promises and pitfalls faced by 'Baby Boomers,' Generation X-ers and Millennials. As these younger groups could live longer lives, Catherine shares what the implications could be for retirement. 

Also for the week of February 2, American fertility rates. 

Zöe Charlton

Feb 2, 2018

Chris Bedford and Baltimore-based artist Zöe Charlton discuss the meanings behind her surreal life-size figurative drawings and how people relate to images of bodies.

McKeldin's Speech

Feb 1, 2018

On the summer night of July 11, 1962 at the Republican National Convention in Chicago, those in the hall and millions watching television saw and heard Theodore R. McKeldin, former Mayor of Baltimore and incumbent Governor of Maryland, nominate General Dwight David Eisenhower for president of the United States...

Venroy July, Counsel for Miles and Stockbridge on what draws people to Baltimore, and what makes them stay.

We’ve spoken repeatedly about the notion that you would likely be better off financially in retirement if you worked for more years and waited to begin claiming Social Security.  Not only does working longer allow one to save more money for retirement, but delaying the receipt of Social Security benefits increases the value of monthly benefits.  Here’s another reason to hold off collecting those Social Security checks – if you retire early, you are more likely to die earlier as well...

Ira Aldridge: London’s First Black Othello

Feb 1, 2018

In 1833, English audiences were shocked to see an African American man play the role of Shakespeare’s Othello. Ira Aldridge was London’s first African-American Othello and is the subject of the play Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti. Shirley Basfield Dunlap, Director of Red Velvet at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, tells us about Aldridge. Dunlap is an Associate Professor, and the Theatre Coordinator, at Morgan State University.

After working together for 22 years, Matthew Henson and Robert E. Peary located the North Pole in April, 1909. History, however,  would record only Peary's name as having made the discovery.


Al and Hugh give their picks for Spanish Garnachas, a red grape variety. 

Invest Now.

Jan 31, 2018

Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman explains a simple idea in which everyone profits: invest in little kids. 

Tom Pelton

Twelve years ago, Baltimore spent $2.2 million on an erosion control project in a stream called the Stony Run that flows through a beautiful wooded park in North Baltimore. The city brought in bulldozers, cut down about 150 trees, and built rock walls and dams in an effort to slow the water’s flow.

The project succeeded in creating a series of pools in which minnows now live. But there is no evidence that it achieved its main objective: catching and reducing sediment, nitrogen, and phosphorus pollution being washed downstream into the Chesapeake Bay.

Then, about two years after it was built, rain storms overwhelmed the system. The storms knocked the streamside boulders down into the waterway and required the construction crews and backhoes to return to the park again to fix it, temporarily.

A few years later, this fix was undone by another set of rain storms that again bashed the rocks out of place -- requiring a new round of repairs, this time costing $500,000. 


Jan 30, 2018
Elsie Hui/flickr

I sometimes wonder if the concept of long, slow cooking didn't develop in the bleak mid-winter.  There's something about filling your home, hour after hour, with the aromas of something tasty bubbling away in a kettle. One such dish that I try to make at least once a winter is goulash, that soul satisfying stew of slowly cooked beef and onions...and of course a bowl full of spices. And Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School can vouch for this, it should come as no surprise that goulash comes in about a million different versions, as is typical of most simple, irresistible dishes.

With today's episode we start our second year of the Weekly Reader... which means there are now 52 shows archived on our website. Today, we add to those recommendations with a couple of fascinating new memoirs.