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WYPR Programs

Courtesy of Medscape

It’s another edition of Healthwatch, our monthly conversations with Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Leana Wen.  She and Tom discuss a wide range of public health issues, from the weekend’s dangerous heat to the hot drama on Capitol Hill as Senate Republicans continue their struggle to repeal Obamacare. They also talk about White House plans to cut essential public health budgets, and about new state funds for a city program promoting healthier food options in the city's corner food stores. And Dr. Wen has the latest on the continuing threat of the mosquito-borne Zika virus -- remember the Zika virus?

Teens who have lost someone they love may feel angry or overwhelmed, struggle to ask for help and withdraw from their friends. The nonprofit Roberta’s House aims to let young people know they are not alone in grief, and help them develop tools to work through their grief and rebuild their lives. We speak to Dorenzer Thomas, coordinator of youth and school-based services at Roberta’s House, volunteer Mary Dorsey, and three young people who tell us what they’ve gained from activities at Roberta’s House.

Photo courtesy WBUR

It's the Midday News Wrap, with guest host Nathan Sterner sitting in for Tom Hall.  Among the stories Nathan spotlights in this week's review: the drama of competing healthcare bills, the wrangling and chaos within the Republican Party, and the still-unfolding puzzle of possible Russian ties to President Trump's inner circle.

 Early in the week, Senate Republicans lacked the votes for their latest proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act.  By Tuesday, President Trump announced, “We’ll let Obamacare fail.”  The confusion deepened later in the week with proposals to Repeal without Replace and Repeal with Delayed Replace.

Also this week, there was the drip, drip of revelations about exactly who else was in the room in June of 2016 when Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, the Trump campaign chief at the time, attended a meeting where they were promised Russian government help for their campaign and some dirt about Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.  Then on Thursday came the announcement that Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort have all agreed to appear before Senate committees next week to discuss Russia and the 2016 election.

Andy Green, Editorial Page editor of the Baltimore Sun, and Richard Cross, a longtime Republican communications staffer in both Annapolis and Capitol Hill, are here with background and analysis on the week's developments.

But first, Julie Rovner is on the line from DC to help us make sense of the week’s healthcare news.  Rovner is chief Washington correspondent for Kaiser Health News, where she is the Robin Toner Distinguished Fellow.  If her voice is familiar to you, that’s because Rovner was a health policy reporter for NPR for 16 years before joining KHN.  She is the author of the book “Health Care Politics and Policy A-Z,” now in its third edition.  

Actress Maria Broom sharing a story at the Stoop Storytelling event, “The Show Must Go On,” which took place at Everyman Theater in May. She shared some of the wisdom learned on set filming the HBO series,“The Corner,” here in Baltimore. You can find more stories like this, as well as information about live Stoop events, here.

Fluid Movement's Facebook page

Imagine a tour of Shakespeare’s greatest works, given by the Bard himself, except that he is a shark. Hard to wrap your mind around? Never fear: Fluid Movement, a performance-art group in Baltimore, will bring this wacky tale to life with singing, dancing, and costumes in “Sharkespeare - the water ballet”. It’s powered by goggles, face paint, and lots of sunscreen. Co-producer Rachel Kassman tells us about the group’s synchronized swimming talents.

Say goodbye to those iconic yellow boxes. The Baltimore Sun Media Group has announced it plans to close a recent acquisition, the Baltimore City Paper. City Paper first hit the presses in 1977. Over four decades, the local paper with an attitude has provided a forum for investigative reporters, writers, cartoonists, and oddballs alike. And every week, without fail, it has appeared on street corners throughout the city, for free. Current editor Brandon Soderberg and long-time City Paper writer Michael Anft join us to reflect on Baltimore’s beloved alt-weekly.

Public Domain

Roughly a fifth of the US population – and a third of the under-30 crowd – say they have become disaffected with traditional religious institutions and they’re telling pollsters that they don’t identify with any particular church or religious faith.

They‘re called "nones" -- as in "none of the above," but most say they still believe in God. So why are growing numbers of Americans turning away from the traditional church, synagogue, and mosque? And what are they looking for? Senior Producer Rob Sivak sits in for Tom Hall as host of today's edition of Living Questions, our monthly series examining the role of religion in the public sphere, produced in collaboration with The Institute for Islamic, Christian and Jewish Studies.

Joining Rob in Studio A are the Reverend Joseph Wood, assistant rector at Baltimore's Emmanuel Episcopal Church;  Joshua Sherman, program associate at Repair the World at Jewish Volunteer Connection;  and Terrell Williams, associate organizer for Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD).  Alan Cooperman, Director of Religion Research at the Pew Research Center and the author of its 2012 report, Nones on the Rise, joins us on the line from Pew headquarters in Washington D.C.

Spotlighters Theatre / Shealyn Jae Photography

Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins Senior Producer Rob Sivak in the studio today with her review of the musical Spring Awakening, produced by the Spotlighters Theatre.   It tells the story of a group of 19th century German teenagers trying to discover more about one another and themselves, under the intense scrutiny and repressive control of the adults in their lives.

National Renewable Energy Lab / Flickr via Creative Commons

Two wind farms off the coast of Ocean City could be supplying electricity for tens of thousands of Maryland homes in a few years, now that Maryland regulators have OK’d a subsidy through a charge on utility customers’ bills. The projects are required to make big investments in steel fabrication and upgrading the former Sparrows Point shipyard. Advocates predict wind power will create thousands of jobs here, especially if Maryland moves faster than other east-coast states to build an offshore-wind industry. We’ll discuss the prospects with Paul Rich, director of project development for U.S. Wind, and Liz Burdock, executive director of the Business Network for Offshore Wind.

Television Academy

The Emmy nominations are in. Saturday Night Live and HBO’s Westworld racked up 22 nominations a piece, while other popular newcomers like HBO’s Insecure were left off the list. With so many high quality options for viewers on television and on streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, are we entering a golden age of television?  The Emmy awards will air in September, today Bridget Armstrong, sitting in for Tom Hall, dishes about the television hits and misses of the season with her TV-talking partner, WYPR digital producer Jamyla Krempel

Radha Blank also joins the conversation. She’s a playwright, performer and screenwriter. She's written for Empire on Fox, Netflix’s The Get Down and most recently she worked as a writer and co-producer for Spike Lee’s latest series She's Gotta Have It which premieres on Netflix this Thanksgiving.

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