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WYPR Features

Larry Adler

Dec 1, 2017
Nicolas Buffler/flickr

On the Saturday afternoon of June 2, 1928, about 40 boys and girls were on the stage at Baltimore City College high school at 33rd and the Alameda, facing a standing room only crowd. They were here to compete for the title of Best Harmonica Player in Baltimore. The matter would soon be settled— the winner was Lawrence Larry Adler. His win would take him onto the world stage—and back to Baltimore, with a confession.

Jack Reitnauer, farm manager of Warwick Mushroom Farms, tells us how the success of Warwick, the largest of mushroom farm in the Western hemisphere, equals success for the region. 

"Man, Image, Idea:" Post-Stonewall Photography

Nov 30, 2017

"Man, Image, Idea: Photographs of Men from the Mark Rice Collection,” a new exhibition from the period after the Stonewall Riots of 1969, invites contemplation of the male body and engages the complicated dynamics of looking at the male form.  The exhibition is on display at University of Maryland Baltimore County Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery until December 12. The curator, James Smalls, Professor of Art/Design History & Theory, Affiliate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Africana Studies at UMBC, tells us why this groundbreaking photography is so important.

When people need cash in a hurry, their lack of emergency savings can create financial issues far beyond that short-term cash crunch.  

What does it mean when a book is a “best seller?” This week, we look behind the scenes at just how a title makes the cut. 

Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Plant from the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Next Friday, on December 8, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s administration is scheduled to release new regulations to promote a new water pollution control system called pollution trading.

It’s a scheme, originally invented by Republican policy makers, that allows sewage treatment plants, power plants and other polluters to pay for the right to pollute more if they send cash – through the purchase of pollution credits – to other facilities that pollute less.

The idea is provide a market-friendly alternative to strict government limits on pollution from individual plants and to avoid government mandates to install better pollution control systems.

“It really seems to be a policy more geared toward cutting costs than really reducing water pollution,” said Evan Isaacson, Chesapeake Bay policy analyst for the Center for Progressive Reform.

With Maryland lawmakers set to evaluate this new system, a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project documents how water pollution trading schemes already underway in neighboring Virginia and Pennsylvania create local pollution “hot spots” and undermine transparency and accountability for polluters.

Chianti Regions

Nov 29, 2017
Cameron Kennedy/flickr

The name Chianti comes from the Chianti region in central Tuscany. Al and Hugh give some picks from the many subregions. 


This past Thanksgiving I had turkey galore. And there was so much ham. Sausage for breakfast, I think. Some duck. Even bacon-wrapped venison at one point. I was quite the carnivore. But I’ve got nothing on one of our area’s hungriest carnivores and most efficient predators: the long-tailed weasel.


If you have a foodie, a gourmet chef, or a good old fashioned home cook on your shopping list, gift ideas are not hard to come up with. And as Chef Jerry Pellegrino of Schola Cooking School can attest, the Internet has made shopping for the kitchen very easy and very inspiring. Here's a few things we'd like to see under the tree.

On December 2nd, 1859, abolitionist John Brown met his end at the gallows in Charlestown, Virginia. 

The Money Myth

Nov 29, 2017

There’s a myth in America that anyone who is determined enough can get rich. But the family you’re born into is a much more likely predictor of future wealth.

Safe in our City

Nov 28, 2017

Rev. Alvin C. Hathaway, pastor of Union Baptist Church, comments on what should be done to address the violence in Baltimore. 

The National Aquarium

It’s unusual for people to have an incredible sense of smell. In the perfume industry, these people are called "noses." But in reality, you don't smell with your nose, you smell with your brain. Our sense of smell increases until we’re about eight years old, then plateaus and declines as we age. Yet even the best "noses" pale in comparison to others in the Animal Kingdom.

Joining us today is Ermis Sfakiyanudis, President and CEO of Trivalent, a company that provides solutions to IT and security owners.  

Click on the image for the MER's for the week of November 20.

Click on the image for the MER's for the week of November 13. 

David Wall/flickr

It may not be the happiest time of the year, but it's one of the most important when it comes to healthcare. Catherine shares some need-to-knows about open enrollment.

Questioning Retirement

Nov 23, 2017

So you want to retire early? There's some questions you should be asking yourself. 

Jamyla Krempel

Nov 22, 2017

Tom talks with WYPR’s Digital Producer, Jamyla Krempel.

Jamyla recommends Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott. 

Joseph Meyerhoff

Nov 22, 2017
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

On the evening of September 16, 1982, the scene at 1212 Cathedral and Preston was all black ties and evening gowns. The occasion was the grand opening of the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. When Mr. Meyerhoff was a boy he attended an accelerated middle school known as School 49, at 1211 Cathedral. A life’s journey from 1211 across the street to 1212, was a very long journey, but Mr. Meyerhoff  had made it.


Thursday is Thanksgiving, my favorite feast of the year. And although many of you will be turning to turkey as the featured dish, I would like to remind you of the many ways the Chesapeake Bay oyster can play an important role at the table.   Chef Jerry Pellegrino invited  Nick Schauman of Baltimore's hot new eatery The Local Oyster to be with us an share a few ideas about oysters.

The Local Oyster is in the Mt. Vernon Marketplace at 520 Park Avenue in Baltimore. Here are some wonderful holiday recipes.

Huffington Post

Last month, the Trump Administration banned from the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board any and all scientists who receive EPA grants.

Instead, the administration invited onto the board – which is supposed to be an impartial panel of distinguished researchers -- a vice president of the Phillips 66 oil company, Merlin Lindstrom; and an manager for a coal-fired power utility, Larry Monroe of the Southern Company.

Also picked for the EPA Science Advisory Board was a California professor, Robert Phelan, who takes the minority position that clean air is not good for children, because their lungs need irritants to learn how to ward off pollution.

John Walke, director of clean air programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council, sees a pattern.

“The Trump Administration’s views on climate change and other dangerous pollution are well outside of main stream science,” Walke said. “So the Trump Administration is purging those expert mainstream scientists and replacing them with outliers and deniers of basic science concerning climate change, smog and soot.”


Al and Hugh discuss their visit to Domaine Pfister in Alsace, a region in northeastern France. 

The National Aquarium

Each fall, the National Aquarium’s Animal Rescue team takes in cold stunned turtles from the northeast region. Learn more about what this condition means in these endangered animals.

Irvine Nature Center/Facebook

A few days ago, one of our teachers pitched me an idea for a weekend program, something called “forest bathing.” I’ll admit I was skeptical at first as she listed the benefits promised by this Japanese practice: reduced stress, lower blood pressure, and increased mindfulness. How could “taking a bath” in the forest increase your well-being and how exactly does it work?

Great stories take place in great cities. On today’s edition of The Weekly Reader, we have two novels set in New York, perhaps one of the greatest cities of them all.

A Horse in the Race

Nov 21, 2017

Michael Hankin shares why Baltimore would be a top choice for Amazon's second headquarters.

Gun violence, natural disasters, and house fires can make the world seem very scary. Maryland Family Network has resources available to protect children and help parents feel confident about leaving their child in the care of others. 

Sipp-Mack of Alsace

Nov 20, 2017

Al and Hugh visited Alsace, a region in northeastern France recently and they'll focus this week's episode on Sipp-Mack, a producer in the area.

Alan Cleaver/flickr

Hector shares some insights from a recent survey about caregivers.