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What makes a salad, a salad? In this week's episode, Tony and Chef Wolf describe the various types of salad, give a tutorial on how to make a basic vinaigrette and mayonnaise, and share what wines to pair with salad. And stay tuned for a Chef's salad challenge.

AP Photo by Wilfredo Lee

Joining Tom for the NewsWrap today are White House correspondents Ayesha Rascoe of Reuters and Tamara Keith of NPR.   

In the wake of another massacre at an American high school, politicians who oppose any move toward gun regulation are keeping the families in Parkland, Florida in their thoughts and prayers, and keeping the NRA satisfied that no significant changes to federal gun policy are likely.

The Senate fails to find a fix for DACA, and resignation of White House aide Robert Porter’s raises questions about how casually President Trump and his staff handle top secret intelligence. 

Nearly 40% of the President’s original picks for his cabinet have been involved in ethical controversies in the last year.  The latest is the head of the Veterans Administration.

Ayesha Rascoe and Tamara Keith join us on the line from NPR studios in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Katie Simmons-Barth

Theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins us today with reviews of two plays now running in the region:  Red Velvet, by the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, and All She Must Possess, a world premiere at Rep Stage, on the Howard Community College campus.

Chesapeake Shakespeare's Red Velvet (profiled on Midday's January 31st showtells the story of Ira Aldridge, a celebrated and controversial African American actor who won international renown for his groundbreaking portrayal of Shakespeare's Othello at a London theater in 1833.  The play by Lolita Chakrabati is directed by Shirley Basfield Dunlap, and features Christian R. Gibbs as Ira Aldridge and Yuri Lomakin as a London theater manager.

All She Must Possess, directed at the Rep Stage by Joseph Ritsch, is the world premiere of a play by Susan McCully, who portrays the lives of Baltimore's Victorian-era Cone sisters -- Dr. Claribel and Etta Cone.  The iconic pair's passion for collecting art and curios from around the world brings them into the rarified company of many of the artistic and literary geniuses of their day, including avant-garde writer Gertrude Stein.

Red Velvet at Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, and All She Must Possess at Rep Stage in Columbia, both continue through February 25.

Here is a Stoop Story from Gwen Mayes about the lessons she’s learned from living with heart disease. You can hear her story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com, as well as the Stoop podcast.

Oregon Ridge Nature Center

Pancakes, waffles, ice cream--they all taste better with a drizzle of maple syrup. While Maryland isn’t known for commercial production of maple syrup, this month, you can get a locally-made taste at Oregon Ridge Nature Center. They tap maple and black walnut trees and turn sap turn into thick sweetness. We hear the ins and outs of making syrup and maple candy from the center’s Jessica Jeanetta.

It’s  Midday on Music and today we explore  music as a window into Muslim Culture, and the creative work of Muslim women, who are being celebrated in a series at the Creative Alliance in Baltimore this season called Nisa’a Women.  My guests this afternoon are Sudanese singer Alsarah and her band The Nubatones.  The group is in town as the second installment in the Nisa’a Women series.  They are conducting workshops at local schools, they’ll be at a community potluck for refugee and immigrant communities and they will give a concert at the Creative Alliance tomorrow night.

Later on, a discussion about the growing popularity of Contemporary African music. Despite Hip Hop  and Afrobeats artists dominating music charts around the world, they were not well represented at this year’s Grammy awards.  Stephanie Shonekan, University of Missouri Associate Professor of Black Studies and Ethnomusicologist, joins us on the telephone to discuss who wins awards, who doesn’t and  why.  

This live edition of Foreman Wolf on Food and Wine is chock-full of your calls and emails. From a father who gifted his son too many canned artichokes, some advice for a great beef stock, how to approach a wild goose and much more. It’s Foreman and Wolf and you on WYPR!

Creative Commons/Wikimedia

Hemp literally shares roots with the same plant that produces marijuana--they’re both cannabis. But as marijuana laws loosen in most states, the laws surrounding hemp production--including in Maryland--remain rigid. Environmental reporter Rona Kobell explains industrial uses for hemp, and how it could provide farmers with a potentially profitable choice in their crop rotation. And we meet Anna Chaney, a hopeful hemp farmer who talks about how growing it can benefit the soil.

Baltimore Police Department

Tom's guest today is the newly appointed chief of the Baltimore Police DepartmentDarryl De Sousa is the Commissioner-Designate.  His confirmation hearing at the Baltimore City Council is slated for a week from today.  Mr. De Sousa has been on the job for less than a month, but he’s been a member of the Baltimore Police Department for more than 30 years.  Prior to his elevation to Commissioner, he served as the top commander in the patrol bureau. 

Mr. De Sousa takes the reins of the department as it is reeling from revelations that surfaced at the trial of two officers who were convicted Monday night on racketeering and fraud charges.  Ironically, and much to everyone’s delight, for 12 consecutive days, as the trial was underway, Baltimore experienced no new homicides.  Ericka Bridgeford, the founder of Baltimore Ceasefire, tells us that the city hasn’t gone that long without a homicide since 2014.  The Baltimore Sun reported that an unidentified man was shot and killed in Belair Edison yesterday afternoon, in a district that the Commissioner Designate served as Commander years ago.

Against the backdrop of a city still beset by crime, hopeful of a turnaround, and in urgent need of a police force it can trust, Darryl DeSousa joins Tom in Studio A.

photos courtesy RealNewsNetwork; LEAP

Following his interview with Baltimore City Police Commissioner-Designate Darryl D. DeSousa in the first half of today's Midday, host Tom Hall welcomes to the studio two guests with keen insights on the many challenges facing Mr. DeSousa and his beleaguered department.

Joining Tom is Maj. Neill Franklin (ret.), the Executive Director of the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP), a national organization that advocates for criminal justice reform and healing police-community relations.  In his 34-year career, Major Franklin served in both the MD State Police and the Baltimore City Police Department.

Stephen Janis joins Tom as well.  He’s a journalist with The Real News Network, who has covered the city for many years as an award-winning investigative reporter for the Baltimore Examiner and WBFF (Fox 45) Television.

Jason Shellenhamer

Two archeologists and scores of volunteers have been probing, digging, sifting and cataloging to unearth the mysteries hidden under a park in the city’s northeast corner. A big manor house no one knew about, and more. How does it all connect to the power families of old Baltimore? We hear about it from Jason Shellenhamer and Lisa Kraus, who direct the Herring Run Archeology Project. They entice their neighbors to get their hands dirty alongside them, digging up stories that reveal the past. Shellenhamer and Kraus give a talk on the project at the Engineers Club of Baltimore on Sun., Feb. 18 at 2pm. More info here.

We are joined  by the Emmy Award winning filmmaker, Stanley Nelson, whose latest documentary chronicles the history of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  The HBCU tradition in the United States was born out of necessity, animated after the Civil War by the conviction that education would be the foundation upon which the success of Freedmen and Freedwomen would be built. 

There are currently 101 HBCU schools, 20 fewer than in the 1930s.  Its graduates include Black luminaries like WEB DuBois, Thurgood Marshall, Spike Lee, Althea Gibson, and Toni Morrison.

Mr. Nelson’s film is called “Tell Them We are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges & Universities.”  The film speaks of the history, the legacy and the importance of HBCU’s to the Black community and to the whole of American Society.    

On this edition of What Ya Got Cookin'?, Midday's regular series on cuisine, we speak with Culinary Historian Michael Twitty.  His new book is called “The Cooking Gene: A Journey through African American Culinary History in the Old South.” and is part personal memoir, part history, and part cook book.  It’s a startling and poignant chronicle of how people held in bondage, with little to nothing of their own, created a culinary tradition and a lasting cultural identity, and how the author came to understand his own identity by studying the ways in which his ancestors cooked.  He joins us from the studios of NPR in Washington.

Chef David K. Thomas joins our conversation as well.   He is the executive chef at Baltimore’s modern soul food restaurant, Ida B’s Table, named for Ida B. Wells, the famous African American journalist and activist who was born just a couple of years before the Civil War.  

You can learn more about Michael Twitty, and his work as a culinary historian on his blog, Afroculinaria.com 

DoD Photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro / Flickr via Creative Commons

In 2012, an investment company led by Jared Kushner--son-in-law and senior advisor to President Trump--and his father, Charles Kushner, began buying up apartments and townhomes in Baltimore County.

Over time, Kushner Companies’ filed hundreds of suits against tenants, even seeking unpaid rent from people who moved out of the property before Kushner Companies owned it.

Now Baltimore lawmaker Delegate Bilal Ali has introduced the “Jared Kushner Act”, which would prevent tenants from being subject to arrest for failing to pay rent.

We speak to Propublica reporter Alec MacGillis who broke the story last May. You can read the latest on the tenant's class action lawsuit here

Baltimore Police Department

For two-and-a-half weeks, testimony in the federal courtroom shocked some and confirmed the fears of others: witness after witness described an elite unit of the Baltimore police gone rogue, stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, drugs, guns and luxury accessories while pretending the seizures were legitimate law enforcement. The trial ended last night with Detectives Daniel Hersl and Marcus Taylor convicted of fraud, robbery and racketeering. WYPR reporter Mary Rose Madden covered the trial, and she’s here in studio.

100 S Broadway, part 3

Feb 12, 2018
all photos by Wendel Patrick

If we’re truthful about it, most of us will admit it:  There’s a gap between who we are and who we yearn to be.  In this episode, people confront the sting of getting honest with themselves.  In the end, some find redemption, and some just stare into the abyss.  There’s darkness in this episode, yes, but rays of hope have a way of shining in through the cracks.  As you’ll hear Francesca say, “Life is too short, the world is too cruel. Just love one another.”

Matt Mendelsohn Photography

Today on Midday: three perspectives on immigration.

First, let’s consider what we might call "immigration amnesia." It seems like a good way to describe the affliction of politicians and others who speak derisively about immigrants -- when they themselves are, like everyone except for Indigenous People, descendants of people who came to this country from somewhere else.

Tom's first guest is Jennifer Mendelsohn. With her #resistancegenealogy project on Twitter, she has found a persuasive way to remind anti-immigrant Washington types of their own immigrant past. 

Mendelsohn is a Baltimore journalist. She is a former People magazine special correspondent and a columnist for Slate. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The L.A. Times and many other places. She’s also an avid genealogist who serves on the board of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Maryland.

University of Texas Press

Continuing with Midday’s focus on immigration today, Tom welcomes Dr. Perla M. Guerrero.

Guerrero is an Assistant Professor of American Studies and U.S., Latina and Latino Studies at the University of Maryland in College Park. Her new book is called Nuevo South: Latinas/os, Asians and the Remaking of Place -- on what can happen when an influx of immigrants settles in places that had been almost entirely white. 

Prof. Guerrero joined Tom on the line from her office in College Park.

National Immigration Law Center

Tom’s final guest today is Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. 

The U.S. Senate is scheduled to take up immigration reform tonight. During budget negotiations that resulted in two brief government shutdowns, Senate Democrats extracted a promise from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to begin debate on a fix for DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and comprehensive reform of immigration policy.

President Trump has issued a deadline of March 5th for Congress to come up with a fix for the DACA program, which Mr. Trump ended last fall.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has said that he, too, is committed to finding a fix for the 800,000 young people in the DACA program, but, despite Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s marathon speech on the House Floor last week, Ryan has made no promise about bringing immigration legislation to a vote in the Congress.

Hincapie, on the line from Washington, D.C., offers her perspective on what’s next for DACA, and for immigration policy moving forward.

Baltimore Chinese School

We’re four days away from the new year -- Lunar New Year. The Year of the Dog starts Friday, February 16. We talk with Colleen Oyler of the Walters Art Museum to hear what’s on offer at its celebration of the Lunar New Year this weekend--dances, music and art making and how it connects to the Walters’ famed collection of Asian art. And we ask Professor Wei Sun, principal and co-founder of the Baltimore Chinese School, what he’d like visitors to know about Lunar New Year.

On today's News Wrap, we review some of the week's top state and local stories. During the nearly three-week trial of two Baltimore police officers indicted on federal racketeering charges, a steady stream of witnesses --including other members of the now-defunct Gun Trace Task Force who'd pled guilty to similar charges -- described in detail the way members of the "elite" police unit routinely engaged in a variety of criminal activities, ranging from robbery and drug dealing to lying about overtime.

The jury heard testimony from more than 32 witnesses, some of whom were alleged victims of Officer Daniel Hersl and Officer Marcus Taylor.  The testimony unfurled a dark canvas of banditry and abuse that has further deepened the suspicion and mistrust of Baltimore's police force already long felt by many people of color throughout the city. By week's end, the jury had begun deliberations on a verdict for the two officers.

Joining us by phone is WBAL-TV's award-winning investigative reporter Jayne Miller, who has been covering the police corruption story since it began almost a year ago. 

Later, we turn our attention to Annapolis, where we are one month into the Maryland General Assembly's 2018 Legislative Session. WYPR’s State House correspondent Rachel Baye joins Tom with a status report on some of the key legislative developments thus far.

Here’s a Stoop Story from Shindana Cooper about an ill-fated voyage with the Middle Passage Monument Project. You can hear her story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com, as well as the Stoop podcast.

Jack Burkert, senior educator at the Baltimore Museum of Industry, takes us back to the colonial origin of the Port, moving tobacco and then grain, and to the Port’s alliance with the B&O railroad expanding trade to the west. We hear about the human cargo--slaves, ripped from their families and sold to the South--as well as immigrants who passed through the port, seeking a new life in America.

The event at the Baltimore Museum of Industry - in partnership with the Irish Railroad Workers Museum - is this Saturday from 11 am-12 pm. 

A conversation with Timothy Kreider, a writer who grew up in Baltimore, and has become one of the most highly respected cartoonists and essayists on the literary scene today.  For more than a decade, his cartoon, The Pain: When Will it End ran in the City Paper here in Baltimore and in other alternative weeklies around the country.  His cartoons have been published in three books.  His work has also appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker and elsewhere. 

His latest book is a collection of essays about love: love that is requited and unrequited, love for his cat, love for his best friend, love at the circus, and how scientists study our capacity to love.  It’s really good.  It’s called I Wrote This Book Because I Love YouTim Kreider has returned to his hometown and  joins us in Studio A.

MTA Facebook page

High frequency buses, dedicated bus lanes, new routes - BaltimoreLink launched last June, a $135-million-dollar reboot of the city’s transit system. What is ridership like? Are buses running on time?

Kevin Quinn, head of the Maryland Transit Administration, gives us an update on service and technology changes. And transit activist and blogger Danielle Sweeney describes her work tracking no-show buses and fostering rider feedback.

Photo by Kathleen Cahill

The Motor Trend International Auto Show opens today at the Baltimore Convention Center and runs through Sunday. There are more than 500 cars at the show, and we wondered: What’s hot and what’s not?

Midday host Tom Hall wandered around the car show last night with Rory Cahill. Rory knows a lot about cars, and his expertise has attracted the attention of a lot of folks. On two occasions, General Motors has shipped a car to Rory’s house in Baltimore and asked him to try it out for a week, and to give them his unvarnished opinion. In the biz, he’s known as “an influencer.”

So Rory seemed like a good guy to talk to when we wanted to find out which cars are the coolest cars at this year’s show. There’s only one thing Rory doesn’t know about cars: how to drive them. Rory is 13, three years shy of getting his license. Here’s a film about Rory that debuted at the Maryland Film Festival last year, plus a couple of his reviews from the 2016 New York Auto Show about the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and the Lexus LC 500.  Special thanks to director and engineer Luke Spicknall, who turned our trip to the Baltimore Auto Show into today’s Midday...

Photo by Stan Barouh

It's Thursday and time for our weekly visit with theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck, who joins us today with her review of the new production of Eugene O'Neill's dark classic, Long Day's Journey Into Night, now on stage at Baltimore's Everyman Theatre.

Director Donald Hicken​ helms a seasoned cast of resident company* and guest actors in O'Neill's iconic, semi-autobiographical play that recounts a summer day and night in 1912 in the Connecticut home of the Tyrone family.  A stream of interactions quickly reveals the family members' deep emotional wounds and long-simmering conflicts.  James Tyrone (played by Kurt Rhoads, in his Everyman debut), his morphine-addicted wife Mary (Deborah Hazlett*), and their two sons, Jamie (Tim Getman*) and Edmund (Danny Gavigan*), struggle to connect with each other through their tangled webs of drug addiction, alcoholism, anger and love.  The production also features actress Katherine Ariyan as Cathleen, the Tyrone's housekeeper.

Long Day's Journey Into Night continues at Baltimore's Everyman Theatre til Sunday, March 4.  For ticket information click here.

Cover photo courtesy Farrar, Straus, Giroux

Few musical artists of our day have had a more sustained impact on contemporary culture than Canadian singer-songwriter, Joni Mitchell.

As a composer, Mitchell’s harmonic language and literary sophistication are unparalleled.  As a performer, she has riveted audiences for decades from her days as a willowy, guitar-slinging soprano, to her long career as an exacting and imaginative bandleader whose opus runs the gamut from popular idioms to modern jazz. 

David Yaffe is Tom's guest today.  He’s a professor of humanities at Syracuse University, and an award-winning music critic.  He’s the author of an acclaimed biography of Bob Dylan, and for his most recent book, he’s turned his attention to Joni Mitchell, tracing her life from her beginnings in rural Canada to her position in the upper echelon of creative artists.  The book is called Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell.

David Yaffe joins us on the line from public radio station WAER in Syracuse, New York.


In our monthly pulse-check with the alternative weekly Baltimore Beat, managing editor Brandon Soderberg shares his experience reporting from the robbery-extortion-and fraud trial of two former members of the Baltimore Police Gun Trace Task Force. Soderberg said it’s affected him more than any trial he’s covered.  And, the Beat has labeled this week its annual sex issue. Editor-in-chief Lisa Snowden-McCray takes us on a visit to the legendary Millstream Inn Gentlemen’s Club. Read the whole issue and more at baltimorebeat.com .

Illinois US Senator Tammy Duckworth made headlines recently when she announced that she would be expecting her second child this spring.  She will become the first sitting Senator to give birth.  While her announcement might be an historic first for Congress, Sen. Duckworth is one of 25 million working mothers in the United States.

The #MeToo movement has given voice to women from assembly lines to corner offices around the persistence of sexual harassment and assault.  While working mothers with children under the age of 18 make up  for a third of the women in the labor force, many women face workplace discrimination based on pregnancy.  More than 30,000 claims of discrimination were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission between 2010 and 2015.  3,000 claims were filed just last year. 

New mothers also face obstacles when it comes to breastfeeding with fewer than 40 percent of women having adequate break time or access to acceptable nursing facilities on the job.

We take a look at the politics of pregnancy in the workplace.  Do women still have to choose between starting a family and pursuing a career? And what protections are afforded expectant mothers by their employers under the law?

Dr. Sheri Parks joins us in studio A for Midday Culture Connections on the first Tuesday of every month.  She is an Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland College Park. She’s the author of Fierce Angels: Living with a Legacy from the Sacred Dark Feminine to the Strong Black Woman.   

Michelle Chen joins us on the phone from New York.  She is a contributor to The Nation, and host of Dissent Magazine’s podcast, Belabored.