9/3/07 Labor Day

Happy Labor Day folks!

We’re celebrating by taking the day off and putting on a couple choice interviews that you might have missed earlier this summer.

At noon, we have an in-depth look at the history of the Pentagon.  The interview is with Steve Vogel, a reporter at The Washington Post and author of a book fittingly called The Pentagon: A History.  It actually has a longer, second subtitle as well: The Untold Story of the Wartime Race to Build The Pentagon – And to Restore It Sixty Years Later.

At one, we have a guest who should need little introduction, Michael Chabon.  Here him talk about his novels, including The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and his most recent book, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, as well as his enthusiasm for Barack Obama and plenty more.

Also, keep an eye on our website this week for the premier of a new section featuring behind the scenes videos of the campaigns leading up to the Baltimore Primary Elections, and our coverage of them.  We’re all thrilled to see the dialogue taking place here after the mayoral debate on Tuesday.. hope to see more as the election draws near.

-Justin

8/30/07 The Digital Divide

Interesting story of how this show came to be..

I keep a list of ideas for possible future shows.  Marc had an idea last fall about “expanding/democraticizing internet access.”  Months passed, and nothing came of it.  Then, earlier this summer, a friend of a friend named Pete showed up to play basketball at my house one evening.  He was telling me about his job as a research associate for a non-profit in DC that works to improve internet accessibility in the US.  I was telling him about my job here, and then realized he was the perfect person to talk to about this show idea from long ago.

Fast forward, Pete hooked me up with a ton of information and other people to talk to in planning a show about the digital divide, and why it matters that people have fast and affordable internet access.  It’s crazy to look at how quickly a lot of other countries have progressed in this area, while the US has been dropping further and further behind.  The internet was invented here, but while other countries have treated as a neccessary part of infrastructure that government should ensure is developed, we have treated it like a luxury commodity, allowing the big telecommunications companies to make huge profits but not ensuring that our population is best served.

Time for the show.. hope you enjoy it, and I look forward to hearing what you have to say afterwards.

-Justin

08/30/07 Public Safety

Join us today at one o’clock when we will be talking to the Presidents of Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 3, Baltimore City Firefighters Local 734,  Baltimore City Fire Officers Association Local 964,  and Baltimore City Sheriff’s Office Lodge 22.  They’ve formed a public safety alliance and have information for the public about how to be safe…and there is lot’s of policy issues to discuss, from the turmoil in the fire department after the death of a young recruit last February, and the uncertainty in the Police Department as an interim commissioner takes the lead (with others circling) and an election takes place. 

Join us with your comments and questions today.

-Jessica

08/29/07 Mayoral Forum

I complained here about the lackluster spirit surrounding the mayoral debate and how disappointed I was in it.  I had been looking forward to the excitement surrounding the elections since the Senate and Congressional races wrapped up.  I love elections; I think they are so much fun.  All the civic enthusiasm, watching people get excited and angry–it’s fun for me.  I’m a dork, I guess.  I had been disappointed with how ho-hum it was all shaping up to be.

But last night restored my faith!  We held our mayoral forum at the Enoch Pratt Free Library.  In attendance were Sheila Dixon, Andrey Bundley, Robert Kaufman, Mike Schaefer, Jill Carter, and Keiffer Mitchell.  The crowd was intense and very involved.  I heard a lot of “Tell it!” and “Yes you did!” and “No you didn’t!”  We had to stop and ask people to be quiet several times.  There was quite the peanut gallery in the back of the auditorium, where I was standing.  Emotions were running high.  Of course I had to tsk-tsk some people for talking over the candidates but I was also thrilled that people were inspired! 

I hope you’ll listen to the forum today, which we are rebroadcasting from 12-2 pm on the show.  And then come here and let us know what you think!

Poll: If the primary were today, who would you vote for?

-Jessica

8/28/07 Linda Perlstein 1pm

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Back to school.. never my favorite time of the year.  So, I’m thankful that as students from nursery school to grad school go back to school this time of year, I’m not among them.

That being the case, I wouldn’t have chosen to do what author Linda Perlstein did.  She spent a year immersed in the life of Tyler Heights Elementary School in Annapolis.  Her book, Tested: One American School Struggles To Make The Grade, chronicles the time she spent there.  Its focus is on the effect No Child Left Behind, and the increased focus on standardized testing in education, is having on school administrators, teachers, and most importantly, students.

Public education in the US has changed a lot in just the past few years.  If you have first-hand experience with those changes, as a student, parent, teacher, or through any other perspective, we welcome your thoughts, as always.

-Justin

8/28 Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Tom Perez

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For the first time since they’ve kept records, beginning in the 1950’s, home prices are expected to go down. Across the country mortgage foreclosures are becoming an increasing problem. What happens to the economy if a large number of homeowners go into default? Marc’s guest this hour is Maryland Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Thomas Perez. Tomorrow he’s scheduled to testify before the Maryland Senate Finance Committee regarding the foreclosure problem in Maryland.  

In addition to mortgage foreclosures Marc will talk to Secretary Perez about the ongoing issue of slots in Maryland. Perez recently completed a report concluding slot machines are necessary to protect the state’s horse racing industry.

                                                                                                                                         Marcus

Information for first time home buyers: 1-800-784-0316

Don’t miss Tonight!

Tonight Marc is moderating a mayoral candidates forum at the Enoch Pratt Free Library. It’s at 7-9 pm in the Wheeler Auditorium. It’s open to the public but seating is limited so make sure to get there on time. Thanks to the League of Women Voters of Baltimore City for arranging the event! This forum will be broadcast on our show tomorrow.

-Jessica