Marc Steiner

February 20, 2008

New Links

Hi everyone, Please note the new header tab above with the words "Protest Links".  If you go there, you'll find links to the following sites: *Marc Steiner is not involved with these websites.  We’re just linking to them!*  Bring Marc Steiner Back-A website with information on how to get in touch with underwriters, Community Advisory Board Members, WYPR Board of Director members, and essays on why this firing is important to YOU. Save Steiner Show-a website run by local activists with information on how to join the daily demonstrations outside of WYPR. Bring Marc Steiner Back petition-Sign a petition decrying this move by WYPR. Wear protest threads-Link to a Cafepress store where a listener has set up a tshirt shop supporting Marc Steiner  Support Steiner on Facebook-On Facebook? Join this group to show your support. Have fun, kids. -Jessica
February 15, 2008

2/15 Marc on Norris again!

Don't miss Marc on the Ed Norris Show on 105.7 WHFS FM today from 10:30-11:30. He's joining them for their news roundup. Call and be part of the show at 410-481-1057 or email theshow@ednorris.com. -Jessica
February 15, 2008

2/14 from Marc

Well, I'm back. My road trip was great.   I know I am just a doting Dad (with my older ones who are gone now, and my little one at present) but she was brilliant on the stage.  Well worth the day off.  I don’t have much to say about the Dan Rodricks issue.  I have no control over it, can’t do anything about it and will just wait and see on that one.   There was a big hole left and opportunity to fill it.   Doesn’t come along every day.  He filled it.   What can you do?  That's life. I want to encourage you all to come to the Community Advisory Board Meeting at the BMA on February 20th.    It will begin at 7:00.  It is scheduled to last two hours.  The CAB was formed in response to a regulation that requires all public radio licensees to have a community board.   The event on the 20this your opportunity to speak your piece.  I hear it may be taped and made available on the WYPR website. A public radio station worth its salt should have some of those who make up the CAB be members of the Board of Directors.   The board, while made up of many good people, should be all inclusive.  It is not.  Listener members should be members of that board.   Community and corporate leaders should interact on the board to help guide the station.   That is a real democracy of the public airwaves.  Anita and others who wrote on the blog recently talked about how the crowd at the Obama rally held in the 1st Mariner Arena represented that same “view/world”, as she put it, as those who have supported me and my show.   I want to build on that.   We want to continue our public commitment to this community.  We want to create a new forum for all of us.   We are going to start on the web.   We will build it from there.    Jessica Phillips and I are already trying to work on ideas to produce and share with everyone.   Let us know what you think.    What do you want?  More documentary features?  Panel discussions?  One on one interviews?  What topics do you care most about?  What have you enjoyed in the past? It is Valentine's Day.    Gotta go celebrate.   Remember, it may be a Hallmark Card day and full of commercialism but reality is if you blow it... you're done.  I’m Marc Steiner, for whatever comes next that will be your public media Take care, talk soon. -Marc
February 13, 2008

2/13 I read the news today, oh boy…

Big news out today. Looks like Maryland will have two new faces in our Congressional delegation (unless Wayne Gilchrist and Albert Wynn choose to run as Independents and win). What are your thoughts? This could be the first competitive general election the Eastern Shore has seen in a couple decades. Does a Democrat have a chance on the Shore or is state senator Andy Harris going to sweep into office? What about Republican challengers to Donna Edwards?And of course, Obama wins in Maryland. Did you vote yesterday? I am still registered in Worcester County. I tried to travel home yesterday to vote. I meant to get an absentee ballot, but in the craziness that was my life the past two weeks, I plumb forgot. So I set out for Ocean City at 3:30 yesterday. I hit a wall of traffic several miles from the Bay Bridge and sat there until 6 pm, at which point I realized there was no chance I was going to make it home in time to vote. I won't make the same mistake in November! This is what we had planned to be discussing for the noon hour on the Steiner Show today. Since we're not there, give us your thoughts HERE. -Jessica
February 12, 2008

2/12 from Marc

Hi everyone,  Let me say once again how gratifying and humbling it is for all this support.     This is a wild ride and it is not over yet.   There is much more news to come.   Some of it will be mind blowing.  Rumor has it that Dan Rodricks of the Baltimore Sun and formerly of WBAL will be the new host at the noon hour at WYPR.   If it is true,  I am not surprised.    They needed star power and personality to try to assuage and persuade the audience to stay or to come back.   Dan has always wanted to be a part of WYPR.    Now, he has his chance.    But who knows.   It could anybody.   Either way, I want you to know I am ok. I have a lot of plans for my own work and have a lot of options and opportunities that have surfaced over the last week. I thought it funny today that Tony Brandon keeps talking about “commitment to the public and community.”   Orwellian corporate speak is a frightening thing.   WYPR has become corporate speak zone.   More than you know, but you will soon know more.  It is because of all of you that the fund drive was cancelled.   I have heard the station has gotten well over a thousand letters and e-mails.  I don’t know the exact number but it has overwhelmed them.     Don’t forget on February 20th there will be open to the public Community Advisory Board meeting.   Right now it is scheduled to be held at the BMA at 7 PM.    As we know more, we will let you know what is up with that meeting.  My emotions with all of this  are all over the place.   Yesterday, I was tired and in a funk but today I feel really upbeat.  I started the day taking a long walk in the woods with my dog Charlie, talking for a long time with the lady in my life, Valerie.  I went to vote and went to the gym, then drove over to our digs in Hampden to start writing and talking with people.   We are going to do wonderful new things.  I really look forward to all of you being part of it.  What has been amazing to me is the diversity of this movement that has developed since the station let me go.     It has involved inner city community activists, elected officials, university professors, teachers, social workers, receptionists, truck drivers, doctors and lawyers.    The station has heard and I have heard from Orthodox Jewish leaders, the head of the African American Muslim Community, Baltimore Hebrew University, ministers of every possible Christian denomination, Arab Americans.   It has been Black, White, Asian, Latino, young, old, middle aged, rich, poor, middle class, gay, straight. It is everything I ever dreamed and hoped my show would mean.   When I began the show in 1993 I said I wanted it to be bridge between worlds and communities.  A place where all people and ideas could gather to speak together without fear of ridicule.  A lyceum, an agora, a marketplace of ideas.   A place where people who would never meet in life could hear and meet each other.     I feel very satisfied with what we have built together over the years.        The next time I write I want to share with  you the absurdity of all of this. But you know I want this blog to be a place where we can talk about anything, not just the madness and idiocy of what Tony Brandon, Andy Bienstock and Barbara Bozzuto  have done to our public radio. Soon we will be launching an Internet media site and much more.  I look forward to growing more with  you all and talking about all kinds of things.  I can’t write tomorrow because I have to spend some time my 10 year old daughter Maisie.  She is in a play tomorrow and I also want to celebrate the fact that she just won her first debate.  Did anyone see where she and a friend of hers were commenting on the Baltimore Sun website?  The best part of life is being a Dad.  No question. Thanks again!   I will  read all that you wrote and write some more. -Marc
February 9, 2008

2/8 WYPR Staff, the WYPR Board Meeting and the CAB Meeting

Hello everyone. I just wanted to share my thoughts on your latest thoughts.
I stopped by to say hello to the protesters at WYPR today. Some drove all the way from the Eastern Shore and Bel Air. I must say I am humbled by the outpouring. You all do love the soul of public radio. You get it.
The staff at WYPR is fantastic. They have been really supportive to me personally. When I taped my Maryland Morning segment many staffers were watching, cheering me on. They know the truth. They have confronted Tony Brandon and Andy Bienstock in meetings. Asking tough questions of management is never easy but they have done it. They are advocating for you, the listener. I know many of them feel lost but I have told them to work. They have families to support and mortgages to pay. Some have refused sit in my place on the air. Despite the difficulties I have faced with sectors of the management and some of the board, it has been a joyous experience to work with the producers and staff at WYPR. They are as upset about all of this just as you and I are. As for management...are they trying to cancel the March 12th WYPR Board meeting, or are they just trying to discourage people from coming? Certainly all mention of it has disappeared from the WYPR website, where there was previously a message giving you a phone number to call if you wanted to attend. There are also reports they they are considering try to cancel the Community Advisory Board meeting on February 20th, despite the fact that the CAB is meant to be independently operated. I have also heard they on the verge of hiring a host for the midday show. So, we will see. While the truth squads will keep working, we are going to work on developing new programming for the web and for the radio. I would love to hear what you think you would like us to do besides keep up the good fight. What are your ideas? Keep letting them know what you think, show up on the 20th and let us know what you want us to do. I have to read everything your wrote today. I will be back, and we will be in touch by e-mail and blog to let you know our next steps. Thanks... -Marc
February 7, 2008

2/7 from Marc

I just read each and every one of your entries on the blog. It is hard to know what say. For starters, show up at the Community Board meeting on February 20th. It will be at the Baltimore Museum of Art in the Meyerhoff Auditorium at 7 pm. I have no idea what the WYPR representation will say but I am sure that it will be a continued misrepresentation of the truth. What I am really worried about is the future of public radio in our community. WYPR will be here for a long to come. Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Car Talk, Prairie Home Companion and all the other national programming you love will be there. They won't go off the air. What is missing in the you in public radio. I think about all the times during the fund drives (which they cancelled for February) I said to you "that you are the public in public radio, that is why I named WYPR "Your Public Radio". I feel like you were betrayed and lied to. The management of the station has done a remarkable job building underwriting. Perhaps the best job in public radio But they have let membership wither on the vine. No money, or I should say very little money is invested in serving members, getting new members or marketing the station. While they may make enough money with underwriters to sustain themselves, the heart and soul of public radio is the listener members. There has to be a balance. The balance is gone. You are not cared about nor there to ensure the democratic nature of the station. The board has some wonderful people on it who love and are very devoted to public radio. While we need corporate and philanthropic leaders on any non-profit board what is missing are the everyday listeners who invest their money in this station. They are not heard. They do not have a seat at the table. Gary Levin is there as President of the Friends Group but he is ex-officio with no vote. The board does not reflect those listeners who invest in and support the station. These are just two of the battles I have fought and lost at the station. I will tell you more stories along the way on this blog, and soon we will begin some new productions on the web. Jessica Phillips, who was a producer on the Marc Steiner Show from October 2005 to February 2007, has come to work for me. I have a production company called The Center for Emerging Media that has produced a series on the Vietnam War and a series called Just Words, about the lives of the working poor and other marginalized groups. You can go to our website to see some of what we have done. The whole Vietnam series, Shared Weight, will be posted soon. The website itself is going to be rebuilt. I thought soon, even though we will continue for a time to talk about the station madness, we should talk together on this blog about the issues of day. We will be posting interviews and productions soon as well. So, we will all stay in touch. Thanks so much for your support.

-Marc

February 6, 2008

Ed Norris

I'll be on the Ed Norris Show tomorrow the 6th of February at 11 am.  Tune in to 105.7 WHFS.  Call and talk 410-481-1057.
February 5, 2008

2/5 from Marc

First, thanks so much for all the support. In my next post I will respond directly to the thoughts and ideas you all have shared.

I don’t know if you all heard Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast today. They interviewed me and then they spoke with Tony Brandon,  who is president of the station  and who led the effort to get of me. Quickly, I want set the record straight on one thing that he said which was a bald-faced lie.

He has constantly attempted diminish what I and our listeners did six years ago in raising funds to purchase what was then WJHU. He said on the air that we raised only 5% of the $5 million to purchase the station. I have all the records, and the old bank statements. We raised close to $750,000 after I send an e-mail asking listeners to support our effort to buy the station. $400,000 of that came in huge contributions of six figure. Four people gave $25,000 and numbers more $15, $10 and $5 thousand dollar contributions. Hundreds more gave everything from$5.00 to $1000.00. None of them (those who gave $25 thousand and less) were ever acknowledged or thanked by the station.

At any rate, in many ways this is beside the point. The money is not important. It is more important to them than to me.  But it is important that the efforts of the listeners and early supporters not be diminished.

What is important is the future of public radio. What is important is that this is about integrity of public radio. It is about the corporatization of WYPR and of public radio.

When I raised the money from listeners I said I would return every dime to them if we did not buy the station. You trusted me. I met some people, like Tony Brandon, who I thought would be partners to build our community station. Instead it was hijacked.

There is a history here that I will relate to all of you over the next few days. Right now I have to go off to a lunch meeting so I can continue to ensure coverage of our world in print, audio and video on our blog and the Center for Emerging Media website.

So, I will share with you all our future plans, and my perspective on the history of the past six years at WYPR very soon.

Thank you all so much. I will back at you a bit after lunch and for the next few days.

Take care.. and thanks

Marc

January 30, 2008

1/30/08 The Geography of Bliss

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Living in Baltimore, I can't help but notice a lot of distinctly unhappy looking people  around town.  I know this is not exactly some kind of utopia, so is it reasonable to assume that people are, in general, happier elsewhere?

NPR Correspondent Eric Weiner will be joining us at 1pm today to discuss what he learned travelling the world purposefully seeking out happiness.  Check out his book The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World.

-Justin

January 29, 2008

1/29 Banished/Sundown Towns

January 29, 2008

1/29/08 Marc’s thoughts on today’s show

PAYING KIDS TO DO WELL Dr. Andres Alonso at noon Paying kids to do well on tests?!?!?!?!?!?!? My first visceral reaction was no way.  This is antithetical to what we all believe, that we should instill an intrinsic love of education.  Dr. Andres Alonso, CEO of Baltimore City Schools, is going to spend a million dollars, in part to pay kids in the 11th and 12th grade who failed one of the High School Assessment tests, if they improve their scores on future tests.   They will receive up to $110.00, depending on how much their scores improve.  Money will also be used to pay students to tutor other students. Some would argue, like Dan Rodricks, that middle and upper class families always bribe their kids with cash, dinner and objects of desire if they do well in school.  What is wrong with the city doing it for unmotivated kids also mired in poverty? Others argue it is a quick fix and a bribe that hides real issue of why students don’t have an intrinsic love of learning and why they lose in our schools. Is it a bad idea?  Looking forward to hearing what Dr. Alonso has to say.  Looking forward to what you have to say on air and on our blog.  BANISHED I was not amazed when I first heard that there was wholesale ethnic cleansing of African Americans from towns across America.  I was shocked when I found out that it occurred well into the depression era of the 1930’s. One of our guests, Marco Williams, recently made the movie Banished.  It's about the interactions of three Black families, who were descendents of the banished, and white people now living in those towns.   The issue of the day will be to find out what relevance this has on our lives now.  The Germans paid reparations to the Jews who survived the camps, the US paid reparations to the Japanese Americans and the descendents of those interned in camps during World War II.  Should the US do the same for those who are the descendents of those African Americans ethnically cleansed from their homes? Is it different because these are descendents of rather than the victims themselves?  Is monetary reparation the only possibility?  Does this give us as a society a chance for some reconciliation?  Is it just history, something for us to learn about and then let go? What do you think?  Call in or write in at one, or comment on the blog. Check with you later. -Marc
January 29, 2008

1/29/08 Dr. Andres Alonso and paying kids to perform

Did your parents ever give you an incentive to perform well in school?  As in, raise your grades and we'll raise your allowance?  Or, keep a certain GPA and we'll take you on a vacation?  Mine did.  Freshman year of college my mom wouldn't let me take my car to the campus first semester-and I wasn't allowed to bring it second semester unless I got a certain GPA.  I worked pretty hard to make sure I hit that GPA mark--I needed my car to escape campus every once in awhile. We all know that lots of parents do this.  But when the actual school system gets involved, we get very uncomfortable about the idea of learning having a cash/material reward system.  We want education to be pure-for students to be motivated by a love of learning-to learn for learning's sake.  But do we need to do a reality check? Do we need to abandon our high ideals and take a look at what is really going on, and maybe adopt a method that stems from a harm-reduction philosophy?  That's what we're talking about today at noon, with Dr. Andres Alonso, live and in studio.  Join us! Poll:  What do you think about Dr. Andres Alonso's idea that the school system pay students who improve their test scores? -Jessica
January 28, 2008

1/28/08 Black Conservatism

I remember in 2006 during the race for Maryland's vacant senate seat, a hot debate being sparked on our show when a guest said, "Any black person who votes for a Democrat in this election is a patsy."  Oh, the calls that came in for the rest of the hour-people were SO angry!  While it was a comment that probably could have been worded in a much more intelligent way, what it implied was interesting.  The implication was that the Democratic party was taking the African American vote for granted by not supporting the candidacy of Kweisi Mfume-and that blacks should vote for the Republican candidate, Michael Steele, an African American.  Most of the callers were offended by the very suggestion that the Republican agenda had anything to offer black voters. But according to statistics, more and more blacks are finding something about the Republican party to interest them. In 1972, fewer than 10 percent of African Americans identified themselves as conservative; today nearly 30 percent-11.2 million-do.  Those are the numbers presented by Christopher Alan Bracey in his new book, Saviors or Sellouts: The Promise and Peril of Black Conservatism, from Booker T. Washington to Condoleezza Rice. He points to the social issues that African Americans tend to be conservative on-abortion and gay marriage for example-and traces the history of politicla conservatism in the Black world. Figures like Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice, and Colin Powell--what appeal did they find in conservative politics?  Why do they remain such polarizing figures?  Join us today to discuss. -Jessica P.S. Go here for information on Bracey's event in Howard County this weekend!  
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 23, 2008

1/23/08 Operation Safe Streets

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Marc has said for years that the best way to address drug and gang related violence in Baltimore is to get ex-offenders, those wise men who have been there and come back to tell the tale, to work in outreach with troubled communities.  But there has always seemed to be an institutional and government aversion towards giving money to people who have been in prison.  Maybe things just had to get really, really, really bad before that changed.In 2000, Chicago implemented a program that was developed at the University of Illnois School of Public Health in Chicago.  This program began in  West Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago. Police Beat 1115 was chosen as the first CeaseFirezone in large part because of the high number of shootings.  The idea was to send ex-offenders, faith leader, and other community members into those neighborhoods to offer conflict resolution, help kids get out of gangs, and whatever else it took to save a neighborhood. In the first year of CeaseFire, shootings in beat 1115 dropped by 67%.  In the past few years, CeaseFire has seen continuing success, which you can read about here. Last year, Mayor Sheila Dixon and the Baltimore City Health Department brought Operation Safe Streets to Baltimore.  It is a program based on CeaseFire, and we're hearing that the pilot neighborhood has seen a tremendous drop in homicides and shootings.  Today at one, we'll talk with people from that community to learn more. Join us....

-Jessica

January 22, 2008

Marc is guest blogging

Marc is the guest blogger for the OSI-Baltimore Audacious Ideas blog.  Go check it out!
January 22, 2008

1/22/08 Americans and Money

As the subprime mortgage mess has gone into major meltdown mode, we're hearing a lot about "predatory lenders" while sympathetic words are being used for the people who are losing their homes.  But at what point do we say, "Wait a second--should these people bear some responsibility for making bad financial choices?  Why did they choose a loan that was not good for them?  Are they guilty of living beyond their means?" Ah, living beyond ones means.  An American tradition, some would say.  Advertisers and credit card companies surely want you to engage in this kind of behavior, and hey, it's good for the economy, which is good for America, right?  Or at least that's what we tell ourselves when those $230 Cole Haan shoes at Nordstrom are calling our name. But at what point does it become too much? If I buy the Cole Haan shoes, or use my credit card to pay for groceries or for my kids school uniform, and then I can't make the payments and my interest rate jumps not only on the credit card I didn't make the payment on but on ALL my credit cards--is that my fault for not being responsible with my money?  Or was I lured by dishonest and seductive promises about easy credit and low APR's into thinking that I could spend now, pay later? And if, as in the case of the subprime debacle, the government intervenes, what message will it send to people?  Will it help us become smarter spenders and borrowers, or teach us that we can engage in risky behavior and not bear the consequences? We're talking about issues of responsibility with debt today, and how our culture thinks about money and credit.  The subprime mess has showed us how far this issue reaches.  All sectors are hurt, not just those involved with the industry. Is it time for our country to radically transform the way we think about money, credit, and debt? Join us! Poll: Who do you think is to blame for the mortgage meltdown? Poll: Should the government intervene to keep people from losing their homes? -Jessica
January 17, 2008

1/17/08 Mexico’s Southern Border, and Synesthesia

Mexicans.  That is what many Americans call any person living in America who is from south of our border.  But the truth is that many of the people living in our country without permission began their journey south of Mexico-and they had to sneak into that country illegally as well.  That is the subject of a new article in this month's National Geographic.  Around 400,000 people sneak into Mexico every single year, making Mexico’s southern border feel "like the place in distant water where the wave first rises and swells and gathers uncontainable propulsive force."  We'll talk with the author of that article, Cynthia Gorney.  Please also check out the photographs of Alex Webb, who traveled with Cynthia as she reported the story. And then...

 

There is this cool test on the BBC website I took last week that measures whether or not your senses overlap. As in, do you connect days of the week, letters or numbers with color?  Is Thursday always green to you, and is the letter F always red?  What the test is really measuring is whether or not you may have a neurological phenomenon called synesthesia.  Synesthesia is only beginning to be understand by scientists and the people who have it.  There are several different types, the most common called Grapheme-color synesthesia, which is where an individual associates letters and numbers with color.  There is also spatial-sequence synesthesia, where numbers have spatial relationships to each other and to you-for example, 18 is further away and to the left, while 9 is rather close and above.  There are many other kinds and you can read about them here.   So what is life like for someone with synesthesia?  Today we are going to talk with writer Alison Buckholtz, who wrote a great article for Salon.com earlier this week called The Letter E is Purple about her personal experience with the condition-and how she feels about the fact that her son may have it..  Join us!

-Jessica

January 16, 2008

1/16/08 Baltimore City Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld

Baltimore City's 36th police commissioner has a lot of work to do to keep the homicide rate from following last year's trend, when it was the highest since 1999.  He's going to be in the studio today to discuss his plans, which include using community engagement, targeted enforcement, and strong partnerships. We're taking your questions for Baltimore City Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld.  Join us at Noon. -Jessica
January 16, 2008

1/16/08 Dicussing The Wire with David Zurawik

Baltimore is crazy for HBO's critically acclaimed series The Wire.  I think that many citizens of Baltimore secretly enjoy the violent and criminal reputation of the city, that they are perversely proud of it in the way that New Yorkers were of their city before Giuliani cleaned it up. We think it makes us look tough or something.  The Wire is a part of that--almost our way of saying to the world, "See how messed up and tough our city is?  I bet you couldn't handle this."  It's also just such a great show.  Baltimore Sun television critic David Zurawik, who you also hear weekly on WYPR's Take on Television, will be in the studio today to discuss the show.  We can also talk about the writer's strike and what it means for the next year of entertainment.  Is any end in sight? Join us, with your questions and comments for David.  What do you love or hate most about this new, final season of The Wire?  What television show are you going to miss seeing as a result of the writer's strike? Poll: What do you think of the fifth and final season of The Wire? -Jessica P.S. Aaron Henkin of The Signal, our weekly arts and culture show, did a great piece last week where he watched The Wire with former drug dealers and got their thoughts on how real or unreal the depiction of their lives is.  Listen to it here.
January 15, 2008

1/15/08 Dr. Nancy Grasmick

There is probably no one more suited to the role of having to defend their job from a Governor, two legislative leaders, and dozens of delegates and senators who are only too happy to give the men in charge what they want, than State Superintendent of Schools Nancy Grasmick.  But as equipped as she is, she has quite the fight ahead of her.  The Governor has said he wants her removed, and the Speaker of the House Mike Busch and Senate President Mike Miller have said they will change the law to give him what he wants.
So what is going to happen?  What are Nancy Grasmick's plans for defending her position?  And if she is successful, what is her agenda for the next four years?
Join us at one o'clock today, to find out.  We'll be joined by Dr. Grasmick live in the studio.
January 15, 2008

1/15/08 Middle East Peace

One of the most interesting things I have read about the situation in Israel and Palestine is a positive observation. The observation is that for the first time in many, many years, the leader of Israel and the leader of Palestine trust each other. The problem is, perhaps, that their own people may not trust them. Ehud Olmert, Prime Minister of Israel, is under investigation for corruption, has been blamed for the loss of the second Lebanon war, and according to some polls, only 8% of Israeli's support his government. Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian National Authority, is in a constant fight to keep the Palestinian populace loyal to his Fatah party as opposed to Hamas. And President Bush, who is meant to help usher these men and their nations towards peace, is generally disliked in the Arab world and due to leave office in a years time. Is there any hope? Join us at Noon today to discuss. We're going to talk with Aron Raskas, a Baltimore attorney who is national vice-president of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America and a director of www.onejerusalem.org, and with Daoud Kuttab, an award-winning Palestinian columnist/journalist and currently a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, as well as William Kern, Managing Editor of WORLDMEETS.US, a website that provides articles translated into English from an array of international media. Poll: Do you think this latest push for peace will result in any lasting agreements? -Jessica
January 7, 2008

Blade Runner

In case you missed it, Diane Rehm just revealed that her favorite movie is Blade Runner. I thought that was important to share.
January 7, 2008

1/07/2008 Valerie Plame

We've got  Valerie Plame on the show today. She's going to talk about her experience being at the center of a national scandal over the leak of her identity as a covert CIA agent.  Though no one has been held responsible for revealing her status, one man, Lewis Libby, has been found guilty of obstruction of justice and perjury in charges related to the investigation into who leaked her name.  She'll share her experience today and take your questions.  Last fall she released a heavily redacted autobiography, Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House. Poll: Do you think anyone will ever be held responsible for leaking Valerie Plame's status as a covert CIA agent?
January 7, 2008

1/07/08 Voting Machines and Kenya

Two topics today at one.
We're going to start with Clive Thompson, a contributing writer to New York Times Magazine who wrote the cover story this weekend titled Can You Count on Voting Machines? This is scary stuff, people.  In actual election situations, touch screen voting machines have crashed, lost votes, failed to properly print paper records of votes, and more.  These are the machines that roughly one-third of all Americans will be using to cast their votes in the 2008 Presidential election-an election that may be determined by very slim margins.  Including Maryland.  Poll: Do you trust electronic voting machines?
And then, we go to Kenya, where 486 people are estimated dead since the disputed Presidential election there last week.  Things have quieted down since both political parties have cancelled protest rallies and agreed to mediation.  But the situation is precarious and the humanitarian crisis remains with a quarter of a million people displaced.  We'll talk with Maina Kiai, Chairman of the Kenyan National Commission on Human Rights, who is currently in Kenya, and with Christopher Fumonyoh, Senior Associate for Africa at the National Democratic Institute.
January 2, 2008

1/2/07 Studs Terkel and Nelson Peery

Marc loves Studs Terkel, the great historian, author, broadcaster, and so much more.  So whenever he releases a new book or is anywhere near a studio and they offer us an interview, we know the answer is always yes.  Recently, he released a memoir called Touch and Go.  After decades of telling other people's stories, Studs is finally telling his own.  Today at one we bring you an interview with Studs that we recorded before the holidays.  It may be the last time we get to speak to this 95 year old American treasure, so don't miss it.  And then we'll talk with Nelson Peery, an author and activist whose latest book is Black Radical: The Education of an American Revolutionary.  This book examines the time in this communist's life after he returned home from serving in World War II to the time of the Watts Riots in 1965.  He challenges the notion that the Civil Rights Movement in America was led by the clergy elite. Instead, he believes that it was the experiences of black veterans of WWII that gave the movement the mass appeal that it needed to succeed.  He joined us to discuss his experiences in the Communist party, the freedom movement, and more.  A great show...today at one. Don't miss it.

-Jessica

January 2, 2008

1/2/07 Open Phones

We're back, so dry your tears and join us at Noon today for Open Phones.  What is on your mind?  We're interested.  1-866-661-9309 or 410-662-8780 or email at steinershow@wypr.org.  Or leave your comment here.

-Jessica

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 6, 2007

12/6/07 Mothers

In my work as producer for the Just Words series, I've come to believe that inner city mothers are the new stoics.  I can't tell you how many times I have asked a mother "How do you deal with all this?" and they just look at me like I am crazy to even imagine that they would take the luxury of considering NOT dealing with it all.  I do not know how they do it.  Being a mother is hard enough, I imagine.  But to be a mother trying to raise a child with drug dealers on the corner,without much money, with the schools in terrible shape and murders on the rise?  That's what we are going to hear about today.  We're invited three women who have been featured on the Just Words series.  Lorraine Mackey lost her son, Aaron Mackey, to gang violence over a year ago.  She's doing everything she can to keep her other son safe, and is trying to pick up the pieces and figure out, what went wrong?  Sheilah Cannon's daughter was caught in gang crossfire while going to pick her little brother up from school, and had to spend months in shock trauma.  Now Sheila is doing everything she can to find a place she can afford to move her children to.  Nargas Hyman began to worry about her eldest son years ago when she saw him and his friends hanging out after school, with nothing to do.  She created an afterschool youth program that she is still running, over a decade later, out of her mother's basement. What do these women go through as they struggle to keep their children safe?  We'll find out today.  Join us. To hear Nargas, Sheila, and Lorraine on JUST WORDS, go here. -Jessica
December 3, 2007

12/04 Jonathon Scott Fuqua and Zakes Mda

The Marc Steiner Show is getting into the Christmas spirit with a doorbuster opportunity for you today...A twofer!  At one o'clock we're going to bring you two authors in one hour.  First, we're talking with Jonathon Scott Fuqua.  When you were a teenager, did you ever have a book that just so perfectly captured your life or your feelings that you read it over and over again?  I did.  It was Girl, by Blake Nelson and I can't say it so much captured my life as it was the life I wished I had.  I also loved Unfinished Portrait of Jessica by Richard Peck.  Both of these books are about girls turning into women and how thorny that process can be.  Jonathon Scott Fuqua writes books like this.  They are books that come as a relief to the people reading them; finally, someone understands!  His latest book is called Gone and Back Againand is the story of Caley, a teenager whose dad has a personality disorder and whose brother is handicapped.  His parents are divorced and he's been moved all around the country, eventually ending up in Florida, which is where the novel begins.  It's a story that draws upon the author's own struggles with depression. And then we talk with Zakes Mda.  He's a writer from South Africa whose work is really about our interactions with history and memory and how we manage those things in the middle of present life.  His latest book is Cion, and is about Toloki, the hero from a previous novel, moving to Ohio with his family and learning about his ancestors, runaway slaves.  Join us today at one, for all that!

-Jessica

November 29, 2007

11/29/07 Ghetto Nation

"Prostitution is hilarious!"

I'm always shocked when I hear about some stupid group on a college campus having a Pimp's and Ho's party, or a "Ghetto" themed party where you are encouraged to bring 40's in brown paper bags and "wear your favorite gang colors!"  I mean, do these people really not get it?  Are they really unaware that someone is going to be offended by this?  Where is the motivation, anyway?  Why do people want to emulate ghetto stereotypes and celebrate the worst of human behavior? These are the questions that Cora Daniels asks in her most recent book, Ghetto Nation: A Journey into the Land of Bling and the Home of the Shameless.  Why do people like Paris Hilton appropriate ghetto attitudes and style?  How can corporate America defend it's practices of making so much money off harmful ghetto stereotypes? Do we really live in a world where Pimp and Ho"  for children costumes are available?  Yes.  We sure do. Let's discuss...at Noon...

-Jessica

November 28, 2007

11/28/07 Joel Hafvenstein

 

In 2004, Joel Hafvenstein went to Afghanistan as part of an aid program to help Afghan opium farmers find alternative ways to make money.  Predictably, the program ran into resistance from the area's drug trafficking warlords, and responded with ambushes.  Within just a few months, nine of his colleagues were dead. He's our guest today to talk about his time in Afghanistan, which is chronicled in the new book Opium Season: A Year on the Afghan Frontier. It's a really exciting account of his time there, and a quite educational story about the complexities of Afghan society and the larger issue of the problems present in U.S. attempts to bring aid to foreign countries. So join us, to hear this fascinating story....

-Jessica

November 27, 2007

11/27/07 Kaufman and Hancock

A socialist and a capitalist walk into a bar.... The beginning of a joke, right?  Not today.  Today we have a socialist (A. Robert Kaufman) and a capitalist (Okay, well not specifically a capitalist, but a business writer, so he writes about capitalism and for the most part we're all capitalists, after all....anyway it's Jay Hancock from the Baltimore Sun) and they are coming in together to talk about how they both came to this conclusion: the War on Drugs has failed and must be ended.  Jay Hancock revealed this belief in a column on November 7th.  Kaufman has been advocating this for years.  They're going to talk about how they came to this conclusion from very different places. Join us, to share your thoughts on the War on Drugs. -Jessica
November 26, 2007

11/26/07 Annapolis Peace Summit

Seems like this week's Middle East peace conference in Annapolis has come back from the dead.  Everyone was saying that the conference had become irrelevant--that no one was coming, it would only be one day, and it wouldn't make a dent in the enormous amount of work and negotiation that needs to occur between Palestine and Israel. But things seem to be looking up.  As President Bush emphasizes his desire to make peace in the Middle East part of his legacy, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and other nations of the Arab League have agreed to attend.  So looks like we're going to have a bona fide conference.  Today at Noon we're going to discuss what issues are going to be at the top of the heap.  What are the likely sticking points?  What is a reasonable set of things we can hope to see accomplished? We'll talk with our friend Ali Zaghab, a Palestinian-born local businessman who has joined us many times in the past to discuss these issues, and Dr. Elli Lieberman, a retired Israeli Army major, a PhD in Middle East studies, and a local businessman.  We're also going to here an essay on peace and interfaith understanding and love from John Oliver Smith. So join us.  What do you want to see accomplished?  Do you feel optimistic?

-Jessica

November 20, 2007

11/20/07 Charm City: A Walk Through Baltimore

 

Today, local author, Goucher professor, and friend Madison Smartt Bell is joining us to discuss his new book Charm City: A Walk Through Baltimore.  The book is what it sounds like; the author takes us on a walk through Baltimore, pointing out the important cultural, historical, and social points of interest along the way.  He visits typical Baltimore tourist spots like the Inner Harbor and Fells Point, but also goes to places off the tourist track, like the vibrant Greenmount Avenue and Greenmount Cemetery.   Producer Justin went out with him last week and captured the sounds of some of these spots...we'll be playing those on the air today while we talk with Madison.  So join us with your comments, questions, and stories of your favorite parts of the city!

-Jessica

November 15, 2007

11/15/07 Iraq and Pakistan

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Well, I hope if any of you aren't members, you will become one after today, because we're gonna be running up the phone bill here at WYPR!  First--we're going to go to Iraq, to talk with Nancy Youssef of the McClatchy papers.  She's going to share her first-hand perspective of the political and security situation in that country. Then, we're traveling to Pakistan.  We're going to talk to Shahan Mufti of the Christian Science Monitor, who is reporting from Pakistan.  We'll also talk to Washington College professor Tahir Shad, a Pakistani who is currently in Argentina.  And we'll talk with Kamran Asdar Ali, a Pakistani and professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas. What do you want to know about the situation in Iraq and Pakistan?  Bring them to the show!

-Jessica

November 14, 2007

11/14/07 Economy

Can I let you in on a little secret?  I am loving the housing slump.  It is my favorite thing in the world.  I hope it just keeps falling and falling.  I, of course, am a prospective buyer.  But you, the owner, are cursing me for celebrating the loss you are experiencing in your net worth! The differences in our attitudes explains in part why it is so hard to come to a consensus about the economy and how it is doing.  In my eyes, the economy was flying so high that someone like me, young and without much money, couldn't really get my foot in the door and buy stocks or a house.  It was not an economy that was friendly to beginners. I felt priced out of that economy. But to someone whose foot was in the door already, the economy was perfect-great-never been better! We're going to talk today with people who have different ideas about what the economy we have today means.  Does the housing slump portend a recession-or is the market just correcting itself?  Are oil prices rising higher and higher because of actual supply and demand issues, or is it market manipulation? Why does the Federal Reserve seem so optimistic? And what role do hedge funds play in alll this? Join us...with your comments and questions...or offers to sell me your house at a reduced price!

-Jessica

October 23, 2007

10/23/07 Diana Walker

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Today we are talking with one of the finest photographers working in journalism today. Her name is Diana Walker and she is a contract photographer for Time Magazine. She's spent over two decades covering the White House, and has photographed Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. Today she is joining us because of her new book The Bigger Picture: 30 years of Portraits. It's an amazing book, and she is full of amazing stories of behind the scenes on the campaign trail and behind the public face of public officials. National Geographic, which published the book, was kind enough to share with us some of the photographs in the book. Just click here to check them out! Want to meet Diana? She'll be doing a talk and book signing at Politics & Prose in Washington D.C. on November 11th. Call 202.364.1919 for more information. -Jessica
October 18, 2007

10/17/07 Travis Price

When this book came in, I was immediately transfixed.  We get a lot of books coming through everyday, and when a pretty one comes in, it's a nice break from the policy tomes we see all the time.  But this book goes so far beyond that.  It is way more than pretty pictures.  It's a poetic argument in favor of reinvigorating architecture with a sense of purpose and spirit.  It's a passionate plea from an architect who is seeing our world become increasingly devoid of metaphor and grace. This book is so visually stunning, and the conversation is bound to focus on a lot of the images of the buildings that Travis Price has designed and built.  He was kind enough to let us use some of his images to create a little visual exploration for our blog readers.  Just click here and enjoy! Join us on air or here in the blog to talk about your favorite buildings, what you think about American design today, and whether or not you think our world has lost it's way in terms of design. And don't forget to become or renew your membership!

-Jessica

October 11, 2007

10/11/07 Voices of Lombard Street

Lombard Street, back in the day

 

Lots of people pitch show ideas to us all of the time.  Sometimes they're good, sometimes they're not, but we only have so many hours in a week, and we could never get to them all even if we wanted to. The idea for his hour's show came to us from the Jewish Museum of Maryland, who want to promote a new exhibit they have opening on Sunday.  In general, if someone is pitching an idea that is a thinly vailed promotion, I would politely decline.  In this case, however, I realized this idea had some great potential for us. The exhibit is called "Voices of Lombard Street: A Century of Change in East Baltimore."  The idea of actually bringing together a group of people with deep roots in one neighborhood, so that we could explore the history of the neighborhood from a personal level, is what really appealed to me in putting this hour together.  In a place like Baltimore, the combination of neighborhood histories and personal stories always makes for something interesting. If you, or someone in your family, grew up around East Lombard Street, have memories of the area at different times, or live there today, we'd love to hear from you.  As always, you can call or email while we're on the air at 1pm today, and also leave your stories here. We're thinking about adding a new segment on the air in which we'll read emails and blog posts from listeners reflecting on shows that have already aired either later in the week or the following week.  So, don't hesitate to keep writing after each show. Go here to see more pictures! -Justin
October 11, 2007

10/11/07 Personality Disorder

Today we're going to return to a topic we've been covering since the story broke, and that's the case of wounded soldiers being discharged from the Army under Chapter 5-13 "Personality Disorder."  This enables the Army to avoid paying medical and disability benefits for these soldiers.  It was being applied despite the fact that these men passed the Army's rigorous psychological entrance examinations and displayed no prior evidence of mental disorders.  Joshua Kors from The Nation is the one who broke this story (the original article is here,  and he's back with an update, which you can read here.  We'll also be joined by Congressman Phil Harefrom Illinois, who has introduced legislation to stop this kind of discharge, and from Congressman Bob Filner from California, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

We'll also have a statement from the Army.  They declined to come on live. You can read their statement here.  You can also read the statement they sent us on March 27, 2007 here. -Jessica