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New cuts in federal income taxes would raise state taxes, unless the legislature takes action. We ask the vice chair of the Senate’s tax committee, Rich Madaleno, why the Senate voted to increase the standard deduction than every taxpayer can claim. 

Photo Courtesy: Office of Councilwoman Vicki Almond

Today, another in our series of Conversations with the Candidates, in advance of the June 26th primary elections.

Tom's guest today is 2nd District Baltimore County Councilwoman Vicki Almond. Ms. Almond is one of four Democrats and two Republicans seeking their party’s nomination to run in the general election for Baltimore County Executive. 

Vicki Almond grew up in Catonsville and attended Catonsville High School.  She was elected to the County Council in 2010.

Early voting for the primaries begins on June 14th. 

Photo courtesy Al Redmer for Baltimore Co. Executive

Today, it’s another in our series of Conversations with the Candidates, in-depth interviews with contenders in key races leading up to the June 26th Maryland primary election.

Today, Tom's guest is Maryland Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, Jr.  The Baltimore County native hopes to build on his two terms as the state’s chief insurance regulator and four terms as a Republican state delegate to win his party’s nomination in the June primary for Baltimore County Executive.  Redmer is one of two Republicans in that contest, which is spotlighting his moderate conservativism, his wide-ranging family business experience and his close ties with Governor Hogan.  Where does he stand on school construction, immigration and affordable housing? Can he be the first Republican since 1990 to win Baltimore County’s top job? Candidate Al Redmer takes Tom's questions, and yours.

Live in Studio A: Trio Galilei

Mar 16, 2018

Ginger Hildebrand, Sue Richards and Carolyn Surrick are three highly respected musicians who play what many call “early” music.  They each play in various solo capacities, and when they play together as Trio Galilei , they play Irish and Scottish dance music, and music that goes way back to medieval times.

Today, the trio joins Tom in the studio to perform a little early music and (in honor of St. Patrick's Day tomorrow) a traditional Irish tune. With Carolyn on viola de gamba, Sue on Celtic harp, and Ginger on guitar, we hear "Lindsay's Keys," Grainne's Grace," and "O'Carolan's Draught."    

See the video of  Trio Galilei's Live-Streamed performance on the WYPR FB page.

Trio Galilei will be performing selected works of music at Christ Church in Easton, Maryland on Sunday, March 18th.   For more information check out the link below. 

http://www.egmusic.com/calendar/

Here’s a Stoop Story from Matt Hayat about finding his place in the deaf community.

You can hear his story and many others at stoopstorytelling.com, as well as the Stoop podcast.

Flour Power

Mar 16, 2018
Maryland Historical Society

EPA/ YULIA SKRIPAL/FACEBOOK

On this edition of the Midday News Wrap: Tom speaks with Dayvon Love, Director of Public Policy at Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle (LBS), about the comprehensive crime bill recently passed by the State Senate, over strong opposition from the Baltimore delegation.  The bill would introduce higher mandatory minimums for gun crimes and stringent sentencing for repeat offenders. 

Then, Tom is joined by John Fritze, Washington Bureau Chief for the Baltimore Sun, for a closer look at the race for Maryland's 6th congressional district, where the rising human toll of the opioid crisis looms over both constituents and candidates. 

Later, Will Englund, Foreign Assignment Editor at the Washington Post, veteran Moscow correspondent and a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, talks with Tom about the Trump administration's reactions to the alleged Russian nerve-agent attack in Britain on a former Russian spy and his daughter, and the new sanctions the White House has imposed on Russia for recent acts of political cyber-warfare.

The opportunity to tell one’s story can be empowering. Especially for those who think they don’t have a voice … or believe that others aren’t interested in what they have to say. We meet Johns Hopkins film student Amelia Voos along with illustrator and educator Jonathan Scott Fuqua ... they’ve been working with 8th-grade students at Morrell Park Middle School, to teach them the skills of telling their personal stories through video. Their films will be screened March 22 at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. More info here.

Photo by Michael Brosilow

Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck joins senior producer Rob Sivak with her review of a new production of Animal Farm, an adaptation of George Orwell's dystopian 1945 novella that's now running at Baltimore's Center Stage.

This popular adaptation of the novella, written in 1982 by Ian Wooldridge, is being co-produced in its new run at Center Stage with the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.  It re-imagines Orwell's anti-Stalinist allegory, in which the animals of Manor Farm rise up against their human masters and the tyranny of their forced labor, inspired by the revolutionary ideas that an old boar named Major shared with the animals before his death. They establish a new order based on Major's commandments of "Animalism," in which all humans are enemies, all animals are comrades, and all animals are equal.  But the revolutionary doctrines are soon twisted to empower a ruling clique led by a brutal, authoritarian boar named Napoleon. The citizens of Animal Farm begin to realize that some animals are more equal than others.

Directed at Center Stage by May Adrales, the eight-member "Animal Farm" cast includes Melvin Abston as Napoleon, Jonathan Gillard Daly as Benjamin, Tiffany Rachelle Stewart as Squealer, Brendan Titley as Snowball, and Stephanie Weeks as Major.  Playing multiple roles, the actors deploy unique animal-head armatures created by Costume Designer Izumi Inabi to portray the creatures of Manor Farm.

Animal Farm continues at Baltimore's Center Stage through Sunday, April 1st.  

Flickr Creative Commons

We begin today with an update on the results of  Tuesday’s special election in the 18th Congressional District in Pennsylvania.

Tom is joined on the line by An-Li Herring, politics and law reporter for WESA, Pittsburgh's NPR News Station. 

Now it's time for another edition of Smart Nutrition, our regular focus on healthy eating.    Here’s a question that has puzzled philosophers and poets for ages: Should a veggie burger go out of its way to taste like a beef burger, or should it embrace its veggie-ness? A new meat-free burger has taken imitation to a whole new level of flattery.

It’s called the Impossible Burger. It’s new. It’s only available in restaurants -- and not many restaurants, so far -- and it is so much like a beef hamburger that it actually bleeds when you bite into it. But it’s made from plants, not from cows. Midday’s Nutrition Diva Monica Reinagel is here to help us size up the Impossible Burger, and to talk about other items of interest in the ever-changing landscape of healthy eating. Monica is a licensed nutritionist and the author of six books who blogs at nutritionovereasy.com. She is also the creator of the weekly Nutrition Diva podcast, which has become one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts since it debuted in 2008.

Baltimore Police Department

A crisis hotline, mobile teams that travel to residents in distress - just some of the services provided by the nonprofit Baltimore Crisis Response, Inc.

Executive director Edgar Wiggins describes how BCRI helps city residents living with mental illness or substance abuse. And how they train police to recognize the symptoms of mental illness and de-escalate stressful situations.

The 24-hour crisis hotline number is 410-433-5175.

Bloomberg News

Tom's guests today are three innovators who are working at the frontiers of high technology -- a technology that could be moving us closer to the historic milestone futurists call the “Singularity,” when human cognition merges with machines. 

Whether it’s intelligent robotic systems for the battlefield, or biomechanical limbs that really touch and feel, or those Internet-based oracles -- think Siri, Echo and Alexa -- that are starting to run our smart homes, it’s easy to believe that the "future" is very nearly upon us.  But are we ready for it? Do we understand how these smart machines will change our lives? Do we know how to navigate safely through the complex -- and sometimes dangerous -- cyber landscape that suddenly surrounds us?

Tom's three guests will help us answer those questions.

Joining us in the studio is Tina Williams-Koroma. She’s a lawyer, entrepreneur, educator and the founder and president of TCecure, a Silver Spring, Maryland, company that provides cyber-security and network intelligence to public sector and commercial clients.

Also with us in the studio is Bob Armiger.  He is a robotics expert who leads the Biological Sciences and Engineering Group at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where his current projects include developing neuro-prosthetic limbs that can restore full sensory function to warfighter amputees.

And joining the conversation by phone is Harris Edge.  He’s the Acting Chief of the Autonomous Systems Division of the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County, Maryland, and has been leading research on a variety of unmanned vehicles, drones and intelligent “limbed” machines designed to support military units, in and out of combat.

Rales Center for the Integration of Health and Education

Inadequate health care--or NO health care--can keep a pupil chronically out of school. The Rales Health Center and wellness programs inside KIPP Academies in Baltimore are in place to help combat that scenario.  The initiative is sponsored by the The Ruth and Norman Rales Center for the Integration of Health and Education and Johns Hopkins University Medical School. We hear about the impact it has on the classroom from teacher Carina Wells, and medical director Dr. Kate Connor explains why the effort has such a big impact in the KIPP community.

all photos by Wendel Patrick

Seattle’s Chinatown International District is a bustling, pan-Asian neighborhood of immigrants from China, Japan, Vietnam, and The Philippines.  It’s also a mix of generations, where Americanized children navigate a complex family dynamic with their non-English speaking elders.  Tradition is in a tug-of-war with modernity on the streets of Chinatown ID, where multi-generational family businesses stand side-by-side with the startups of young, artistic entrepreneurs. It all amounts to a beautiful, mutable monument to the American Dream.  This episode was produced in collaboration with KUOW and made possible by a generous grant from The National Endowment for the Arts.

We continue our series of Conversations with Candidates, which include those who currently hold public office.  Congressman John Sarbanes joins us for the hour today.  He has represented the third congressional district since 2007. 

The Congressman was successful in his efforts to reinstate EPA funding for the Bay Journal, but Congressional Democrats have been frustrated by inaction on DACA.  Representative Sarbanes has also been working on addressing the crisis of opioid addiction, and he serves as the Chair of the Democracy Reform Task Force.   The Baltimore native currently lives in Towson. 

We are streaming all of our Conversations with the Candidates on WYPR Facebook page.

Gunpowder Valley Conservancy

As spring approaches and the weather warms, it’s time to go outside and reconnect with nature.

Robert Cook, master gardener for the Baltimore City branch of the University of Maryland Extension shares tips on planning and planting year-round vegetable gardens. Info for the March 21st event on edible gardens here. More on soil testing here.

And Peggy Perry, of the nonprofit Gunpowder Valley Conservancy, tells us about volunteer efforts in Baltimore County to keep streams clear of trash and riverbeds strong. Info on the March 17th adopt-a-stream training here.

Photo courtesy: Flickr

On this edition of the Midday News Wrap:  President Trump imposed stiff tariffs yesterday, raising levies on imported steel by 25 percent and 10 percent on Aluminum. The EU responded in kind, rolling out a plan to impose their own tariffs on American made goods.

Internationally acclaimed classical guitarist, Lily Afshar performs some of her works live in Studio A.  Lily will be performing a program of music at UMBC's Linehan Hall on Saturday at 8pm in association with the Baltimore Classical Guitar Society.  

Rhoda Smith shares a story about pursuing her dream to attend college. You can hear other stories and the Stoop podcast here.

Tonight at 8pm, catch a live stoop show at the Baltimore Museum of Art. The theme is Intercambio: Stories about Inspiration and Exchange Across the Border.

Jackson Davis

In the early 20th century, Morgan State University--then, Morgan College--planned a move from its congested campus in West Baltimore to the verdant neighborhood of Lauraville.

Protests and lawsuits followed, as angry white residents opposed the arrival of African-American students and faculty.

Historian Steven Ragsdale takes us back to Morgan’s fight against segregation and its mission to built homes and businesses around the campus.

His talk will take place next Thursday, March 15th, 7:30 pm at the Village Learning Place, 2521 St. Paul St. in Baltimore. The event is organized by the Baltimore City Historical Society.

Jack Garofolo/Paris Match via Getty Images

The 1960s and 70s were a time of protest and change in America, and while marches and rallies were bringing the messages of dissent and disaffection to a world stage, movement activists were also using the marketplace to share and promote their ideas. Their unique storefronts offered politically-conscious alternatives to conventional, profit-driven business models. Today we’re going to take a closer look at those radical shops -- why many failed, some succeeded, and what impact they had on their movements.

Joining guest host Rob Sivak in the studio is Joshua Clark Davis, an assistant professor of history at the University of Baltimore and the author of a fascinating new book, From Head Shops to Whole Foods: the Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs, which chronicles the struggles, successes and legacies of those pioneering storefronts.

Later in the hour, Darius Wilmore joins the conversation to share his unique perspective on activist enterprise. Wilmore is a Baltimore-based design artist who’s produced the award-inning barber-shop style social commentary show, Fades and Fellowship, as well as the monthly storytelling series, The Short Cutz Show, rooted in the African-American and civil rights experience.  As a self-described “social impact designer” who got his start with the legendary Def Jam rap music studio 20 years ago, he has been closely involved for the past decade in the creation and evolution of a successful Baltimore business called Taharka Brothers Ice Cream, a company that has used its products, and its profits, to support programs for young African American men in Baltimore.

Photo by Tessa Sollway

It's Thursday, and Midday theater critic J, Wynn Rousuck joins guest host Rob Sivak with her weekly review of local thespian offerings.  Today, she spotlights the new production of a two-woman play by Win Wells called Gertrude Stein and a Companion, at the Fells Point Corner Theater.

Directed by Anne Hammontree and starring Marianne Gazzola Angelella as Alice B. Toklas and Andrea Bush as Gertrude Stein, the play explores the complex relationship between Stein, the celebrated American avante-garde writer, and Toklas, her lifelong companion.

Gertrude Stein and a Companion continues at the Fells Point Corner Theater through Sunday, m,arch 25th.

Lisa Nickerson/Kennedy Krieger Institute

When an adult has a stroke, signs and symptoms are often recognizable. But what if the victim is a toddler? Or an infant … someone who may not be able to sense or communicate that something is amiss? Pediatric stroke is more common than you think. We hear from Dr. Frank Pidcock, medical director of Kennedy Krieger Institute's ‘Constraint Induced Movement Therapy’ program. Then we visit Brooklynn, who suffered a stroke at the age of one and a half, and her mother, Nikki Wolcott at a therapy session. Original air date: 11/8/17

Wiki Commons

On this episode, we turn our attention to the epidemic of gun violence in Baltimore. Baltimore suffered 342 homicides last year.  And that’s up 17 percent from the year before. If you do the math, this means that about 56 of every 100,000 people in the city are murdered.  While mass shootings often make the headlines, the slow burn murder rate in cities like Baltimore usually aren't fully addressed. On this episode, we meet a shock trauma surgeon, a journalist uncovering the illegal gun trade across state lines, and a young man who miraculously survived being shot twenty-three times. 

Like the Grand Canyon/Flickr Creative Commons

WYPR producer Jamyla Krempel hosts today’s show.

There’s been lots of talk lately about changing the narrative in Baltimore. Last month, Mayor Catherine Pugh told an audience at the Parkway Theatre that Baltimore had a “perception problem.” She also said she wanted to “work on the media not depicting Baltimore always as this negative place to be.” The Mayor’s statements got many people, including Jamyla, thinking about how Baltimore is perceived.

For the first half of the show, Jamyla welcomes two journalists who’ve spent a lot of time thinking and writing about the city. Lawrence Lanahan is a freelance journalist whose work has appeared in Al Jazeera, Columbia Journalism Review and other outlets. He was the creator of WYPR’s The Lines Between Us series. And he was senior producer of the WYPR show “Maryland Morning.” Lisa Snowden McCray is a longtime Baltimore journalist. She was a writer and associate editor for the Baltimore City Paper and then editor-in-chief of The Baltimore Beat, a weekly alternative paper which, sadly, ceased publication yesterday. 

Later in the show, Jamyla welcomes Al Hutchinson, the president and CEO of Visit Baltimore, and Annie Milli, the executive director of Live Baltimore to talk about Baltimore’s narrative going forward.

Meager education, a criminal record, gaps in employment - all can stand in the way of getting a good job.

Today we hear about two job training efforts in Baltimore: One at The Samaritan Women, a residential program for survivors of human trafficking, which launched a program for safe food-handling. Susan Schneider tells us about their foray into baking and we hear from resident, Eddie, who is marketing the treats.

The second, at the nonprofit The Lazarus Rite. Founder Christopher Ervin thinks Baltimore is uniquely situated to support careers in commercial driving. And graduate Kendall Bellamy describes his job driving for the city’s Department of Public Works.

Photo Courtesy Marvel Studios

Black artists are enjoying more mainstream success behind the camera as well as on the screen, in roles crafted to speak to the entirety of the black experience throughout the African Diaspora.  

Perhaps no film embodies that truth more so than Black Panther.  The latest offering from the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been smashing box office records around the world, and thus far, has grossed nearly $900 million world-wide.

On today’s edition of Midday Culture Connections with Dr. Sheri Parks, we reflect on the history of race, representation and inclusivity in the world of comics, and how Black Panther has flipped the script on feminism in film.

From problematic caricatures steeped in racist stereotypes for the consumption of white audiences, to King T’Challa, the billion dollar box office powerhouse; it appears we are seeing an important evolution of Black comic book characters. 

Sheri Parks is an Associate Professor in the Department of American Studies at the Univ 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.

And from the studios of WBEZ in Chicago, Dr. Stanford Carpenter joins us.  He’s a cultural anthropologist, comic book creator, and scholar of comic books. He serves on the board of the annual Black Comic Arts Festival, and Pocket-con a convention that focuses on comics for young boys and girls of color.

Maryland Farmers Market Association

One in nine Marylanders depends on food stamps; half are children or senior citizens. The Trump administration is proposing deep cuts in food stamps, now called SNAP, for “supplemental nutrition assistance.” We ask chief external affairs officer Meg Kimmel and president and CEO Carmen del Guercio of  Maryland Food Bank about the likely impact if SNAP benefits shrink or become harder to qualify for. As that national debate heats up, farmers are calling for Maryland’s governor to put money into doubling the power of food stamps spent at farmers markets. Founder and executive director of the Maryland Farmers Market Association Amy Crone is leading that drive. We also hear from Sarah Steel, who uses SNAP to feed her family of four.

Read the Atlantic's explanation of the Trump administration's proposed bill here.

Find information about the SNAP program for Maryland Farmers Markets here.

Terradynamics Lab, JHU

Most people are repulsed by the sight of a cockroach … but we hear why Johns Hopkins researcher Sean Gart at the Terradynamics Lab finds inspiration in the creepy- crawlers … to inform robotic design. And we talk with Derek Paley, director of the Collective Dynamics and Control Laboratory at the University of Maryland-College Park. He examines the fluid movements of fish to improve underwater vehicle function and tells us why scientists look to nature for answers.

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