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Everything you need to know about great rum, with bartender Brendan Dorr (episode 424)

At the B"O American Brasserie in Baltimore, bartender and cocktail historian Brendan Dorr pulls out bottles of rum for a world-class tutorial and taste test.Rum has many uses in refreshing cocktails, but, as Dan discovers, some of the aged brands are best sipped neat.Also on this show, Brendan Dorr talks about — and offers us a taste of — the South American cousin of rum, cachaça, the basis of Brazil's national drink, the Caipirinha.


Overlooked history: The African-American men who fought with John Brown (episode 423)

In the late summer of 1859, the fierce abolitionist John Brown assembled a small army in a farmhouse in rural Maryland and prepared to raid the federal arsenal across the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry. Brown hoped to inspire a rebellion and establish a government of liberated slaves in the Appalachian Mountains. Among Brown's band of raiders were five African-American men, one of them an escaped slave, who have been largely overlooked by historians — John Copeland, Shields Green,...


A film critic's favorite films: Part II, with Linda DeLibero (episode 422)

In Part II of A Film Critic’s Favorite Films, we hear about some of Linda DeLibero’s favorites: Three Westerns ("The Searchers," "The Wild Bunch," "McCabe and Mrs. Miller"), one Hitchcock ("Shadow of a Doubt"), one Kubrick ("Barry Lyndon"), one film directed by Orson Welles and starring his voice ("The Magnificent Ambersons"), one Coppola ("The Conversation"), a film directed by Terence Malick ("Badlands"), one directed by Kenneth Lonergan ("Margaret") and one film directed by someone you...


A film critic's favorite films, Part I (episode 421)

Christopher Llewellyn Reed teaches filmmaking at Stevenson University, has worked on films, writes weekly reviews and monthly joins our other critic, Linda DeLibero, to talk about either classic movies or the current cinema. Today you’ll hear Chris talk about 10 of his favorites, from Spike Lee’s "Do The Right Thing" to "The Godfather" to "The Piano" and the 2005 film, "Nine Lives," directed by Rodrigo Garcia. He even throws in a musical and a science fiction comedy. Chris starts us in the...


The Great Uprising of the 1960s: Baltimore, York and Cambridge (episode 420)

In a second conversation with historian Peter Levy, we hear about The Great Uprising, some 750 urban riots -- more than most Americans might imagine -- that erupted in the 1960s, from Newark to Los Angeles, from Detroit to Baltimore. According to Levy’s new history, upwards of 525 cities were affected. The two largest waves of unrest and violence came in 1967 and during the spring of 1968, after the assassination in Memphis of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. In those two years alone, 25...


How to make the official sandwich of Labor Day Weekend

Come along for a visit to Dan's kitchen and a tutorial on how to make a traditional peppers-and-eggs sandwich, declared by our columnist as the official sandwich of Labor Day weekend."It’s a modest but delicious shift-worker’s lunch. So it’s a tribute to workers. And it’s made with a fresh ingredient from the late-summer garden. So it has the seasonal thing going for it, too. What's not to like?"Labor Day Peppers-and-Eggs SandwichIngredients4-5 sweet green peppers (cubanelles, if available,...


York's 1969 race riots and the death of Lillie Belle Allen (episode 419)

In his new history of the hundreds of race riots that erupted across the country in the 1960s, historian Peter B. Levy offers a gripping look at the violence in York, Pa. in the summers of 1968 and 1969, resulting in the deaths of a white police officer and a black woman from South Carolina. The deaths of Officer Henry Schaad and Lillie Belle Allen went unsolved until the daily newspapers in York published 30-year retrospectives on the riots. Those reports led to new investigations that...


The brave girls who integrated American schools (episode 418)

Long before the 1954 Supreme Court case that found "separate but equal" unconstitutional, black parents across the country tried to enroll their children in all-white public schools. In researching girlhood and race in the decades before the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case, historian Rachel Devlin discovered numerous stories about grassroots efforts to desegregate schools in the South, Midwest and in the District of Columbia. In most cases, the children who crossed the color line...


To the farmer's market for purslane and bourbon with restaurateur John Shields (episode 417)

Dan hits the Waverly farmer's market in Baltimore with restaurateur and Chesapeake cookbook author John Shields. The market, on 32d Street, is open every Saturday of the year, and Shields has been a shopper -- for his Gertrude's restaurant and for his kitchen at home -- for more than two decades. In this episode: Joan Norman of One Straw Farm, talks about the affect of all the spring and summer rain on the 2018 growing season; street performer Merdalf sings, "The Wind Cries Mary," Len and...


Exit interview: Peter Beilenson leaves his mark on Baltimore and Maryland (episode 416)

Dr. Peter Beilenson was an innovative health commissioner for Baltimore and health officer for Howard County over two decades before establishing Evergreen Health, one of 23 non-profit insurers created under the Affordable Care Act. Beilenson left his mark on the city with aggressive responses to AIDS, the crack epidemic and gun violence against youth. In the county, he found a way to provide health care to families that could not afford it. And that was before the ACA.In this episode:...


With more legalization looming, how to talk to your kids about marijuana (episode 415)

Up first: Dr. John Cmar of Sinai Hospital, an infectious disease expert, talks about mosquitoes and the diseases they carry. Mosquitos are reported to have tripled in number with the wet spring and summer on the East Coast. In mid-July, Maryland health officials reported the first case of West Nile virus; it occurred in the Baltimore area. There is still a chance of more problems, with the mosquito numbers way up, and with Maryland’s mosquito season usually lasting until October. Dr. John...


The Orioles are doing what the whole city needs to do (episode 414)

In the midst of a historically bad season, the Orioles have decided to tear down the house and rebuild, trading popular players for an infusion of youthful talent. It marks a fresh start, but it comes with risks, as Sun sports columnist Peter Schmuck explains. Still, breaking from the status quo, scrapping what wasn’t working, investing in youth, and working patiently and deliberately toward a better future -- the Orioles are doing what the whole city of Baltimore needs to do.


Maryland crabs, Maine lobsters, Atlantic menhaden -- sustaining fisheries on a crowded, warming planet (episode 413)

With climate change, population growth and an insatiable global demand for seafood, how can we continue to harvest fish without destroying the fragile ecosystems of the oceans and bays? And should Americans eat more fish and shellfish for the sake of their health and the environment?In this episode of Roughly Speaking: An update on the status of the Chesapeake blue crab, a deep dive into the Omega-3 industry and the merits of seafood, and a look at effect of warming waters on Maine’s lobster...


Running a Baltimore school, Part 5: Marc Martin, Commodore John Rodgers Elementary-Middle School (episode 412)

In the last of a five-part series of conversations with accomplished Baltimore principals, Dan speaks with Marc Martin about turning around a failing school with falling enrollment. Eight years ago, Martin took over Commodore Rodgers, replaced most of the staff, enrolled his own children and generally raised expectations. His approach has guided the school on an impressive turnaround in academic performance and enrollment, and Martin now mentors leaders of other troubled city schools.Also in...


Running a Baltimore school, Part 4: Cindy Harcum, Baltimore City College High School (episode 411)

In the fourth of a five-part series of conversations with award-winning Baltimore principals, Dan’s guest is Cindy Harcum of City College. With all of her students focused on getting to college, Harcum implemented a student-to-student tutoring program while making college-level courses the norm. City’s senior class set a local record for International Baccalaureate diplomas. Harcum also talks about having to deal this spring with the violent death of one of the school's most promising...


Running a Baltimore school, Part 3: Emily Hunter, Arlington Elementary-Middle School (episode 410)

In the third of a five-part series of conversations with accomplished Baltimore principals, Dan speaks with Emily Hunter, principal at Arlington Elementary-Middle School in northwest Baltimore. The daughter of a former Baltimore schools superintendent, Hunter created a wellness center and a series of monthly events to encourage students to stay focused on studies while engaging their parents in the life of the school and in preparing their children for it. Arlington has made steady academic...


Running a Baltimore school, Part 2: Kimberly Hill-Miller, Lockerman Bundy Elementary School (episode 409)

In the second of a five-part series of conversations with accomplished Baltimore principals, Dan’s guest is Kimberly Hill-Miller, who wrote and produced a music video to help her students prepare for the iReady assessments in math and language arts. Students duct-taped Hill-Miller to a wall in March as their reward for making gains in their reading and math scores. Her goal and reward-oriented motivation techniques are designed to make learning fun and inspire her students.Also in the...


Running a Baltimore school, Part I: Matt Hornbeck, Hampstead Hill Academy (episode 408)

In the first of a five-part series of conversations with accomplished Baltimore principals, Dan speaks with Matthew Hornbeck, now in his 15th year at Hampstead Hill Academy, a strong and diverse public charter school in southeast Baltimore. Hornbeck, from a family of educators, talks about the challenges of running a city school in the face of budget cuts, and he has a lot to say about Maryland's commitment to funding education.In the series:-Part Two, Episode 409: Kimberly Hill-Miller,...


How Baltimore's free blacks asserted their rights before the Civil War (Episode 407)

Martha Jones, a professor of history at Johns Hopkins University, has performed a great service -- dusting off records and throwing open the windows of the old Baltimore courthouse to show how, in the decades before the Civil War, free blacks used the law to gain a foothold as citizens. By the 1830s, Baltimore was home to the nation’s largest free-black community. While some 25,000 former slaves and free-born blacks lived and worked in the city, their rights were greatly restricted by...


The tragic death of a gifted son: The Jeffrey Peck story (episode 406)

Jeffrey Peck was an "academically precocious" kid who graduated from high school at 11, and from Towson University at 15. He was a profoundly gifted boy who seemed destined for a career in biological sciences. But, at 24, Peck drove to an abandoned elementary school north of Hunt Valley and killed himself with carbon monoxide. His devastated parents set out to learn why their only son had committed suicide. His mother, Dolores Peck, says her son was the victim of cyber-bullying during the...