Justin

January 24, 2008

1/24/07 Green Governor

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Then-Mayor Martin O'Malley at an Earth Day Planting at Gilmor Elementary in 2005

Before I came to work at WYPR, I worked at a documentary company called Soundprint.  While I was there, they were working on a series of stories about urban forests that delved into the unique environmental issues that cities face.  For the documentary Watershed 263, we attended an Earth Day planting ceremony at Gilmor Elementary in Baltimore.  Gilmor was one of a dozen schools in Baltimore that had converted their parking lot into a garden.  Things like parking lots and roads are terrible for the environment.  When it rains, the rain gathers up all the oil and other pollutants that have been sitting on the pavement and then whooshes it all into a storm-water drain.  That all ends up in the Chesapeake, of course, where it wreaks havoc.  A garden, on the other hand, keeps that water right there, and puts it to good use.  It's a lot of fun for the kids, too, to get a day out of class to get their hands dirty and have a beautiful spot to play.  The purpose of that whole long story was to tell you that on that day, then-Mayor Martin O'Malley was at that school, and ceremoniously planted the first flower in the soil.  I remember being impressed that he would find time in a busy schedule to visit a school, make a speech, plant a flower, and hang out with the kids for awhile.  I left with the feeling that he cared about the environment. The impression I was left with would please the now Governor, and those who work to craft his image.  He has very purposefully cast himself as a "Green Governer".  But what does that term really mean?  As the environmental crisis in the Bay and beyond seems to grow more urgent, how does the criteria for being an environmental politician change?  What is the gold standard in environmentalism for a politician?  What is the leading edge-and is O'Malley on it? We'll discuss this today with people who all care deeply and have devoted their lives to the environment.  Join us, to share your thoughts on what you would like to see happen in Maryland. Poll: Do you think Governor Martin O'Malley is a Green Governor?

-Jessica

 

Here are some pictures courtesy of one of our guests today, Gerry Winegrad.  His descriptions are below:

 

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1.  brown bull headed catfish taken from the South River near Annapolis by USGS.  Nearly 2/3rds sampled had these cancerous tumors from water pollutants, most likely from stormwater runoff.
2.  BROWN TIDE KILLS 7,000 INNER HARBOR FISH   June 5, 2007 BALTIMORE -- State environmental officials said a lack of oxygen killed thousands of fish in Baltimore's Inner Harbor last weekend.  State program director Charles Poukish said the fish kill is  the result of an algae bloom or brown tide.  Poukish said the lack of dissolved oxygen is the result of a large bloom of microscopic algae. Recent warm water temperatures killed the algae and that depleted oxygen near the water‘s surface.   Massive fish kills also were reported in the Potomac during the summer and other kills in the Magothy and other rivers.
3.  rockfish with mycobactreiosis (chronic wasting disease).  A wasting disease that kills rockfish and can cause a severe skin infection in humans has spread to nearly three-quarters of the rockfish in the Chesapeake Bay, cradle of the mid-Atlantic's most popular game fish.  The disease also sends a grim message about the entire bay ecosystem. The rockfish remains bay conservationists' only success story -- a species nearly wiped out, then revived by fishing limits.  But as the number of rockfish surged, the fish remained in a body of water too polluted to support the level of life it once did.

-Justin

January 14, 2008

01/14/08 O’Malley and Annapolis

We're on the air right now with Andy Green from The Sun, Tom LoBianco from The Washington Times, and Erin Sullivan from City Paper... talking about the beginning of the legislative session, what to expect in the next 3 months, and, so far, the public's perception of O'Malley.  Yesterday, The Sun published a poll showing a low approval rating for O'Malley, mainly because of the tax increases approved in the special session last fall, it seems. What are your thoughts on O'Malley and the new tax increases?  How do you perceive yourself as being effected by the new tax plan?  Is a 1 percent sales tax increase something to complain about?  How about a 1.25% corporate tax increase? Poll: Do you approve or disapprove of the job Martin O'Malley has done as governor so far? -Justin
January 14, 2008

01/14/08 Archimedes Codex

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What role did the Walters Art Museum have in discovering the earliest surviving manuscript by Archimedes, which includes some previously undiscovered writings?  Join us at 1pm today to find out, as we're joined by the authors of The Archimedes Codex: How a Medieval Prayer Book Is Revealing the True Genius of Antiquity's Greatest Scientist.

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For more info in the meantime, check out this informative blog post by Dan Harlow.

-Justin

January 3, 2008

01/03/08 THE RAVENS!!!

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I'm a huge Ravens fan, so I could go on and on about all of the trivial things that only another Ravens fan would care about.  I had a bad feeling after we lost the first game of the season to The Bengals.  We should have won that game, right?  We were right there on the goal line....

That scenario repeated itself, in more and less similar ways, many times throughout the season, and it turned out to be a trainwreck of a season.  What went wrong?

Now Billick is gone, and fans seem to have divided opinions, with many not being sure whether it was a good decision to fire him, or not.  The questions we can ask now, as all we can do is look forward to next season, are endless, starting with who will be head coach.  And the whole coaching staff was fired, so what about the other coaches?  Who will start as quarterback?  Will we ever have a strong offense?

Lots of questions, and we'll welcome your thoughts from noon to 1pm today on the air, or right here at any time.

-Justin

January 3, 2008

01/03/08 Mania, Depression, and Manic Depression (and Bipolar Disorder)

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Emily Martin, professor of anthropology and author of the book above joins us at 1pm today.  She has a lot of insight to share on mania and depression, and we hope you'll join us with questions, and to share your own experiences with these common parts of our lives, as well.

-Justin

December 13, 2007

12/13/07 The Bay

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I went down to southern Maryland last August and took this picture standing in the Chesapeake Bay at Calvert Cliffs, although maybe that wasn't such a good idea.  Beautiful place, but the water didn't quite look as clean as it might have.

This hour we'll be talking about what really would need to be done to clean up the Bay.  Is it realistic at all to see a cleaner Bay?  Efforts have been made for decades, but results are less than hoped for so far.. What do you think?

-Justin

December 12, 2007

12/12/07 In 15 Minutes..

..we go on the air.  Just time for a quick post today. In the first hour, we'll be looking at the role religion is playing in the '08 presidential campaigns, so far, and more broadly at the role religion plays and has played in American political life.  What does it say about our society that a candidate's religious beliefs have become a central part of political campaigning?  Are Democrats trying to out-biblethump the Republicans?  What did you think of Romney's speech last week?  When will we elect our first openly atheist president?  More at noon... In the second hour, we'll have what has now become an annual show commemorating Homeless Memorial Day, which is actually next Friday, December 21st.  We were talking here recently and I asked if anyone else had noticed a more visible, larger homeless presence in certain parts of downtown (Guilford Ave under the JFX, St. Vincent's Church...) We all had noticed, but didn't know what to attribute it to, so I called Jeff Singer at Healthcare for the Homeless and got the scoop from him.  He'll be here at 1pm to discuss with us further on the air, but basically he said, yes, the homeless population is growing in Baltimore and has been for years.  He attributed it to factors including homeless shelters closing, some shelters that are still open have become transitional, rather than emergency, shelters and offer less beds, the rising cost of housing, the decrease of available public housing units, and the increasing difficulty of obtaining public assistance for single adults.  On top of all that, for those that do get public assistance, it hasn't been adjusted for inflation in about five years.  More at 1pm... -Justin
December 11, 2007

12/11/07 Foster Care Reform

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Here's a picture from earlier this year of Governor O'Malley swearing Brenda Donald in as the new Secretary for Maryland's Department of Human Resources.  With her job, comes the responsibility of running the state's foster care system.

About a month ago, we had a show looking at the foster care system, which I described at the time like this:

We’re starting off the hour with a look at Baltimore’s foster care system, which, no one would argue, is in need of some huge reforms.  A class action suit was brought on behalf of 2,500 foster children in 1984.  In 1988, the court entered a comprehensive consent decree requiring reforms, and nearly 20 years later we’re still waiting for those reforms.  Change doesn’t happen overnight, but two decades is a long time by anyone’s standards.  If you’re unfamiliar with this lawsuit, or the foster care situation here in general, a good place to start would be this article from Tuesday’s Sun.

Where are things now, another month later?  Brenda Donald will be here at 1pm to let us know, and take your questions, as well.

-Justin

December 10, 2007

12/10/07 Surge?

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What effect has the increased level of US troops, 'the surge,' had in Iraq?  Statistics show decreased levels of violence, but does that constitute a success?  There are still tragic amounts of daily violence, and a host of other problems, throughout Iraq.  What would a "good" outcome to the war look like at this point?

 Joining us today is Nancy Youssef, who just returned from Iraq where she reports for the McClatchy newspapers.  Read her articles here.  Also joining us is Adil Shamoo, who recently wrote an article supporting a military withdrawal from Iraq, which you can read here.

 

Join us...

-Justin

December 10, 2007

12/10/07 Kid’s Books

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Does anyone remember this book, "Owl At Home?"  I remember a lot of great books from my childhood, but this one has really stuck with me for some reason.  I picked it up again a few years ago, and was struck by how emotionally evocative it was.  Arnold Lobel, also the creator of the Frog and Toad books, is a genius.

What are your favorite kid's books?  We had great response from our kid's books show a year ago, so we're bringing back the same guests today at 1pm for another round.

-Justin

Useful links:

Enoch Pratt Free Library

Children's Bookstore in Roland Park

Red Canoe Bookstore and Cafe

December 6, 2007

12/06/07 What to Eat?

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Marion Nestle will be here at 1pm today, and looking at the cover of her most recent book above, you can see the some of the questions we'll be discussing.  She's got a great blog - check it out here.  And don't forget to let us know what you think as you listen to her on the air with us today.  Continue the discussion with your comments here!

-Justin

December 5, 2007

12/05/07 Deputy Mayors

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Dixon at yesterday's inauguration.. who's the guy in the suit?

Sheila Dixon was sworn in as Mayor of Baltiomore yesteday, after being Mayor for about a year already, since the guy in the suit left this small town for a nice position in Annapolis.  Can't blame him, being Mayor is not an easy job.

Today we'll welcome two of the people Dixon has chosen to help her run the city:

Andrew Frank - Deputy Mayor for Neighborhood and Economic Development

Salima Marriott - Deputy Mayor for Community and Human Development

What would you like to ask, or tell, the people running this city?  Call us between noon and one pm today, 410-662-8780, while we're on the air with Baltimore's Deputy Mayors.

-Justin