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Photos courtesy AP; Mansfield Foundation

An international conference on the Korean crisis gets underway today in Vancouver, Canada, without representatives from Russia and China.  Have months of militant rhetoric between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un brought the world to the brink of an unthinkable war?  Will the talks between North and South Korea in advance of the Winter Olympics help ease tensions?

Tom explores those questions today with two astute foreign policy observers:

Frank Jannuzi is a US-Asian affairs analyst and the President and CEO of the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes understanding between Asia and the US. 

Josh Lederman covers the State Department and foreign affairs for the Associated Press.  

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.

100 S Broadway, part 1

8 hours ago
all photos by Wendel Patrick

Baltimore became a second home to members of North Carolina’s Lumbee tribe when they immigrated to the city after World War II, trading in farm work for factory and construction jobs.  Since then, the Baltimore American Indian Center on the 100 block of S Broadway has been a cultural hub for the transplanted Lumbee people and other Native Americans in the city.  In this episode: Conversations with Urban Indians about family, spirituality, and identity.

photo courtesy biography.com

On this Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday -- marking what would have been the slain civil rights leader's 89th birthday -- we are talking about Dr. King’s legacy, and how the movement for racial and economic equality and justice is positioned moving forward.

This year, we’ll also mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, as well as of the Fair Housing Act, which President Lyndon Johnson signed into law just a week after King’s death, as cities across the country were enveloped in violence.

Violence in many forms remains part of the American landscape, and with the political rise of Donald Trump, violent and abrasive rhetoric now permeate public discourse to a heart-breaking degree, from Charlottesville to the Oval Office.  

Joining Tom on this MLK Day edition is a panel of guests with keen insights into the long, continuing quest for racial justice in America:

DeRay Mckesson is a civil rights activist and the host of a podcast called Pod Save the People;  

Michael Higgenbotham teaches at the University of Baltimore Law School.  He’s the author of Ghosts of Jim Crow: Ending Racism in Post-Racial America;  

Taylor Branch is the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Parting the Waters, the first volume of his seminal history of the civil rights movement, America in the King Years

And joining the conversation on the line from Frederick, where she is on the history faculty of Hood College: Dr. Terry Anne Scott.  She teaches African American history and writes about African American social and cultural history.

Tom and his guests also respond to listener comments and questions.

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.

Photos courtesy Marin Alsop and Johnny Quirin

Today on Midday on Music, Tom is joined by Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop, who has been working hard to make the BSO as accessible and appealing as it can be. She began her historic tenure at the BSO in 2007, and in 2012 she also became the principal conductor of the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra in Brazil.  

Peter Kjome, who was appointed President and CEO of the BSO a year ago, also joins Tom and Marin in Studio A.

This weekend at the Meyerhoff in Baltimore and at Strathmore Hall in Bethesda, the BSO teams up with the Baltimore Museum of Art to present pieces by Maurice Ravel  (La Valse) and Claude Debussy (La Mer), two masters of musical impressionism. The performances will be accompanied by projections of Impressionist art, visuals provided by the BMA as a part of the BSO's ongoing Off the Cuff series.

The weekend also includes a new hip-hop version of Camille Saint-Saen's Carnival of the Animals and a piece by Baltimore native Philip Glass for two timpanists and orchestra.

Courtesy of Bruce F Photography

Today, Midday's intrepid theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck reviews the courtroom drama Inherit the Wind, now on stage at Vagabond Players.

Based on the 1925 Scopes "Monkey Trial," Inherit the Wind explores themes of science, religion, and intellectual freedom, as they swirled together in a historic courtroom debate over whether Charles Darwin's theory of evolution should be taught in public schools. Written in 1955 by playwrights Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, the play was a broadside at the contemporaneous McCarthy hearings, the infamous Senate campaign to purge suspected communists from jobs in the US government, industry and the arts.

Inherit the Winddirected by Sherrionne Brown, continues at Vagabond Players through Sunday, February 4, with show times on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here or at the door.

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.

Samierra Jones

Today a conversation about the heating crisis in Baltimore city schools. School officials blame the problem on old buildings and underfunding. Gov. Larry Hogan points to what he calls mismanagement and ineptitude. So what’s really going on, and what should be happening moving forward? 

Governor Hogan also announced $2.5 million dollars in emergency aid for Baltimore schools. Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh directed the Department of Public Works to pitch-in and help with emergency repairs, and she called on the business and philanthropic community to help pay for it. A student at Coppin State University, Samierra Jones, started a GoFundMe page to raise money for space heaters and coats.   In a startling article in the Baltimore Sun, Luke Broadwater reported that the City has returned nearly $66 million dollars to state coffers that had been allocated for repairs. If money is short for needed repairs, how can this be? Many people concluded that the sub-zero temperatures outside exposed sub-par performance by school officials.  

Courtesy of Monica Reinagel and Dan Ariely

It’s the beginning of a new year, and for many of us, that means following up on resolutions to shed those extra pounds. Today, on this edition of Smart Nutrition, Monica Reinagel, the Nutrition Diva, joins Tom in Studio A to talk about a few weight loss strategies. They also check in with Duke University behavioral economist Dan Ariely about a strategy he’s developed to ease the angst of weight reduction.

Then, Monica and Tom discuss CRISPR-Cas9, a powerful new tool for genetically altering our foods, a new ranking of the best diets for 2018, and which ones might be worth trying.

Monica Reinagel is an author and a licensed, board-certified nutritionist.  She blogs at nutritionovereasy.com and she joins Midday for our Smart Nutrition segment every other month.  

Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and is the founder of The Center for Advanced Hindsight and co-founder of BEworks, Timeful, Genie and Shapa.

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.

 

The 438th session of the Maryland General Assembly begins tomorrow and Baltimore City is certainly on the agenda. Governor Larry Hogan announced a plan to appoint an investigator to look into what he described as corruption, mismanagement and ineptitude in some Maryland school districts. This comes after the announcement of $2.5 million dollars in emergency funding to restore heating to many Baltimore City public schools. 

The new federal tax overhaul could mean more revenue for the state. How to spend it is a point of contention. Democrats say they have enough votes to pass their version of paid sick leave After threatening to “take the knee,” The Legislative Black Caucus is confident that their bill to increase diversity in the medical marijuana industry will pass.  Rachel Baye covers Maryland politics for WYPR. Erin Cox is The Baltimore Sun's State House bureau chief, they join Tom for a preview of the 2018 General Assembly. 

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.

Jim Lukach/flickr

From the humble chickpea to lavish saffron rice. Tony and Chef Cindy talk about their favorite types of beans and peas and some delicious preparations for grains and rice. 

If you are interested in exploring some heritage varieties to cook at home, you can check out Anson Mills for some great ideas.

Courtesy of the Brookings Institute

When the sweeping Republican tax bill was pushed through and voted into law just before Christmas, critics ripped into it as a gift for the wealthy. Many of them focused on the benefits that it will bestow upon the wealthiest of all -- the top 1% — and especially the top 0.1%. Critics worry that the ultra rich are becoming wealthier, while incomes for most other Americans are stagnant.

Today's guest, Richard Reeves, says that the gap that poses the greatest threat to our culture isn’t the one between the insanely rich and the rest of us, but rather, it’s the gap between most people and the so-called Upper Middle Class, the top 20% of Americans, by wealth. That gap, Reeves says, is changing how families are structured and it’s informing our political and personal attitudes about everything. 

Richard Reeves joins Tom live from the studios of NPR in Washington, DC.

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.

Danni Williams via Facebook

On this week's edition of the Midday News Wrap: The Labor Department announced that the economy added 148,000 jobs last month, fewer than expected. The stock market is at record levels. The unemployment rate remained steady at 4.1%. Very few other things appeared steady this week. Steve Bannon’s list of BFFs is considerably smaller this week. President Trump says Bannon has lost his mind. People at Breitbart News think Bannon may soon lose his job. The President tweeted about the size of his nuclear button. A new bombshell book by a journalistic flame thrower suggests that many in Trump’s circle question the President’s basic competence for his job, confirming the impression held by about 70 million voters in 2016. And President Trump dissolved the Voter Fraud Commission.

The New York Times reported last night that Special Counsel Robert Mueller appears to be investigating false statements made by the President and inquiries made by the Attorney General as a matter of possible obstruction of justice. And two new Democratic senators were sworn in this week: Doug Jones, the first Democrat to represent Alabama in 25 years, and Tina Smith, who replaces Al Franken as the junior Senator from Minnesota. The Senate now includes a record high 22 women in its ranks, and the Republican majority has been shaved to one.

In Baltimore, sub-zero temperatures have exposed sub-par performance by city and state officials, as classrooms in nearly one third of schools in Baltimore had heating problems. And the FBI made the stunning decision to refuse to accommodate Police Commissioner Kevin Davis’ request that it take over the investigation into the death of Detective Sean Suiter.

Joining Tom in Studio A to discuss this week's news: Julie Bykowicz covers national politics for the Wall Street Journal. Before joining the Journal, she covered the Trump White House for the Associated Press. Michael Fletcher is a senior writer at The Undefeated, the on-line platform of ESPN. He was for many years a national reporter for The Washington Post, where he covered economics and the White House. 

Rachael Boer Photography

Baltimore-based classical guitarists Jorge Amaral and Mia Pomerantz-Amaral joined Tom in studio to give us a fabulous preview of their concert this weekend.

Duo Amaral will be performing a program of Latin American music this Sunday, Jan. 7, at 3 p.m.,  in Columbia, Maryland, as part of the Sundays at Three Chamber Music Series. Click here for more information and tickets.

Photo by Jack English

On this month's edition of Midday at the Movies, Tom is joined by our regular movie maven Jed Dietz, the founding director of the Maryland Film Festival, and by special guest Max Weiss, the managing editor and film critic at Baltimore Magazine, who also writes about culture at Vulture.com, the entertainment website of New York Magazine.

Awards season is underway, and our guests weigh in on some of the films in contention for the year's first major awards presentation: the 75th annual Golden Globes, which happen this Sunday (January 7th at 8PM ET on NBC).  They'll talk about a few interesting omissions from the roster of nominees…and a couple of new biopics: one about Britain's World War II-era prime minister Winston Churchill, called Darkest Hourand a second, which opens tomorrow night, about another legendary figure, of a different sort: 1994 Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding, whose gritty backstory is the focus of I, Tonya.

And we field your calls, emails and tweets about the movies on your mind...

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.

Today, we continue our series of conversations with members of the Baltimore City Council who came into office in late 2016 as part of a wave of energetic and idealistic legislators who were elected on the promise of change and new ideas.

One thing that hasn’t changed: Baltimore’s insistent and insidious plague of violence.  In 2017, record numbers of Baltimoreans, lost their lives to homicide. Today we’ll focus on Baltimore City and the issues before the city council as this New Year gets underway. 

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.

pixabay.com

A warning to listeners who may be tuning in with young children: we will be talking about mature topics today on this edition of Midday Culture Connections.

The sexual assault allegations against powerful men in Hollywood and pretty much every other industry has shined a light on the pervasiveness of predatory sexual behavior. Today, we’ll examine the ways hypersexualized images of women on television, on the internet and in print distort the ways our culture views and treats women. Scholars have called it “pornification.”  

 Pornography dominates the internet. More people view internet porn every month than click on Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined. So how does pornography affect mainstream popular culture? And how do the images of women we encounter every day affect the ways women view themselves and the ways men view and interact with women?

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.

(This conversation originally aired on November 15, 2017.)

A student is suspended from the University of Tulsa for statements his husband made on Facebook; posters advertising “Straight Pride Week” ordered removed from bulletin boards at Youngstown State University. A law professor is asked to resign when she wears blackface to a Halloween party, to promote a conversation about race. Today on Midday, a conversation about free speech on college campuses. Are trigger warnings and safe spaces in higher education stifling intellectual thought and violating the first amendment or creating intellectually diverse and inclusive campuses? 

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