Baltimore Polytechnic Student Wins 5th Annual Fred Lazarus IV Artscape Prize

— The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts (BOPA) announced that the winner of the fifth annual Fred Lazarus IV Artscape Prize (The Fred) is Kailah Foreman, a senior at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute.

The prize awards $1,000 to a Baltimore City student artist, as well as a stipend to produce a solo exhibition during the 37th annual Artscape, which takes place July 20-22, 2018 on Mount Royal Avenue and Charles Street. The winner is also invited to meet with the BOPA Youth Arts Council. Foreman’s work, will be on display on the median of Mount Royal Avenue in a portable gallery built by Open Works during Artscape.

The Baltimore native and visual artist along with five other students, worked hard to research and pioneer an AP Art studio program at Poly. Her work ethic as an artist and as a student leader, alongside her artistic process and technical ability make her this year’s Fred Lazarus Art Prize recipient.

The Fred is a competitive program that seeks to recognize and encourage artistic student talent in Baltimore City. Applicants must be high school students who live in Baltimore City. The prize is held in conjunction with Artscape and named in honor of the Maryland Institute College of Arts’ former long-serving president, Fred Lazarus IV. Mr. Lazarus was instrumental in launching the city’s annual Artscape festival, now the largest free arts festival in the United States.

Attracting more than 350,000 festival-goers annually, Artscape features a full schedule of performing arts including live concerts from national, regional and local acts on multiple outdoor stages; professional dance troupes and a wide variety of opera, theater, street theatre and classical music performances.

Additionally, the festival showcases visual artists from the Baltimore region and beyond through an artists’ market, outdoor & indoor exhibitions, prize programs and more. Admission is free.

For more information about Artscape or The Fred, visit

Dole and ShopRite Partner Bring Special Learning Garden to School

— Dole Packaged Foods partnered with ShopRite and Captain Planet Foundation to install Project Learning Garden at Liberty Elementary School

Jacob Klein of Klein’s Shoprite of Maryland joined officials of Dole Packaged Foods to mark the donation of a Captain Planet Foundation Learning Garden to Liberty Elementary School, a small elementary school located in Northwest Baltimore on Thursday, June 7, 2018.

The Project Learning Garden program provides a context for multidisciplinary learning, ranging from nutrition and science to social studies, math and language arts. Students benefit by expanding their palates, taste-testing healthy foods and learning about food origins; engaging in authentic science field investigations; working in the garden to understand math in real-life applications, and writing across all these disciplines.

Liberty Elementary School in the 2016-2017 school year served 460 students in grades pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Over the past five-years, Liberty has consistently performed academically in the top quintile of schools in Baltimore City. The school has also developed a reputation for innovation and social/emotional learning with a technology infrastructure that includes Chromebooks, iPads, 3D printers, circuit kits, drones, virtual reality headsets.

Don’t Manage Diabetes, Reverse It

Diabetes is reversible. That’s the exciting conclusion of a study I’m leading at Indiana University Health.

Two hundred and sixty-two patients with type-2 diabetes recently completed one year of a clinical trial examining the impact of a low-carbohydrate diet, which limits foods like grains and pasta while boosting consumption of healthy fats like avocados and butter. The diet didn’t restrict calories.

Using smartphone technology, health coaches worked with participants while physicians monitored and adjusted medications. A control group of 87 patients with diabetes received the American Diabetes Association standard nutritional treatment.

A full 94 percent of patients on the low-carb intervention have been able to reduce or eliminate their need for insulin. For six in ten patients, average blood sugar levels fell so low that technically, they had reversed their diabetes. These findings are promising for treating one of America’s deadliest, most expensive diseases.

Diabetes is a public-health emergency. Thirty million Americans suffer from diabetes. The illness is the nation’s seventh leading killer, with serious side effects

including heart disease, kidney damage, limb amputation, and blindness. Last year, diabetes cost the country about $327 billion in medical bills and lost productivity.

Despite this staggering cost, health experts have focused on managing the disease rather than reversing it. When patients consult the ADA website, they learn that “there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, but it can be managed.”

“Management” usually involves costly medications. Medical expenditures for people with diabetes total about $13,700 per year— double the figure for people without the disease.

Bariatric surgery, the procedure that helps people lose weight by stapling, binding, or removing part of the stomach, has even become a “first line” treatment for obese individuals with diabetes. This was once seen as a last resort, as it costs about $26,000 and one in six patients experiences complications. Yet in 2016, the ADA led 45 international diabetes organizations to begin recommending the surgery as standard treatment.

That’s misguided. Plenty of research— including our own— shows that dietary adjustments can curb diabetes. A 2017 study from University of California San Francisco found that 60 percent of diabetic patients put on a very low-carb diet were able to stop common medications for their condition at one year. A 2008 study found that

95 percent of patients on a low-carb diet either cut back on diabetes medications or stopped taking them entirely. With conventional treatment regimens, according to a study in Diabetes Care, only 0.1 percent of patients achieve complete remission.

Nutrition-centric treatment was once the standard. In the 20th century, people with diabetes were told to avoid foods high in carbohydrates. That treatment fell from favor with the commercialization of insulin. Employing insulin, patients could again consume carbohydrates, and when the U.S. government launched its low-fat, high-carbohydrate advice via the dietary guidelines in 1980, those with diabetes fell in line with everyday Americans, eating bread and pasta with gusto.

Critics worry that low-carb diets are too difficult. But in our study, 83 percent of patients stayed with it. With individualized support, changing a grocery list is far less daunting than a lifetime of dependency on costly medications. Reversing diabetes is possible— and should be our goal.

Sarah Hallberg, DO, MS, is the medical director and founder of the Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program at Indiana University Health and an adjunct professor at Indiana University’s School of Medicine. She is also the medical director at Virta Health.

Historic Annapolis Hosting Gospel Brunch

— Historic Annapolis will host Gospel Brunch on Saturday, July 14, 2018 at the William Paca House and Garden located at 186 Prince George Street in Annapolis from 10 a.m. to noon. The highlight of the brunch will be a performance by Extensions of Faith Praise Choir.

The event is part of the year long celebration of the bicentennial of Frederick Douglass’ birthday. In October 1864, Maryland passed a new Constitution that banned slavery. Barely a fortnight had passed after the ratification of Maryland’s “Free Constitution” when Frederick Douglass returned to his home state. As he walked down the aisle of the Bethel AME Church in Baltimore the choir jubilantly sang, “Home, Sweet Home!” What better way to celebrate the life of Frederick Douglass than to hear the Extensions of Faith Praise Choir sing, the same hymn.

The Extensions of Faith Praise Choir is an interdenominational group of over 30 voices. They enjoy a powerful reputation for their high-energy, interpretation of gospel songs, hymns and spirituals.

Tickets are $45 for Historic Annapolis members and volunteers; and $50 for non-members and includes: both brunch and the performance. Reservations are required and can be made by visiting or by calling 410-267-7619.

To learn more about Historic Annapolis, visit:

Legacy Of Maya Angelou Carries On With African American Expressions And Caged Bird Legacy LLC Partnership

African American Expressions, America’s largest black-owned gift and greeting-card-company has joined forces with Guy Johnson, the son of the late Dr. Angelou, to create a curated line of products that honor the indelible power of her words.

Dr. Maya Angelou had a spirit full of love and hope. The power of her words and the stories she told were precious gifts given to us all. Now with the help of Caged Bird Legacy LLC, African American Expressions has created a multitude of products just in time for that wonderful time of the year, the Holiday season.

Featuring products such as the “Still I Rise” calendar from AAE’s best-selling series, to journals that will inspire you to write your own story. From the tote bag to carry a heavy load, home décor to remind you of your strength, and the first ever Christmas card with words from Dr. Angelou’s ‘Amazing Peace’ poem, these items are almost certain to disappear off the shelves as soon as they make their debut.

“Legacy is so important. Dr. Angelou empowered so many with her words of love, courage, and hope. With that in mind we created a line of products that not only reflected the beauty of her remarkable spirit, but products that allow everyone the chance to give that special someone the gift of her words,” said Greg Perkins, CEO of African American Expressions

The products will soon be available at various brick and mortar shelves around the world. However, for a sneak peak at the full line of Dr. Angelou products, as well as over 100 additional new products, visit: The website will be updated with the products available for pre-order.

Our Children Are At Risk!

I’m sure President Obama’s heart was in the right place.

A few years ago, his Department of Education, in conjunction with the Department of Justice, studied school discipline data and came to a troubling conclusion: African American students in the 2011-12 school year had been suspended or expelled at a rate three times higher than white students.

This news sent shock waves throughout the community and government. There were already concerns of a “school-to-prison pipeline” that funneled disadvantaged children to jail. Now, there was renewed agreement that things had to change.

And so, in 2014, the Departments of Education and Justice put public schools on notice. If they suspended or expelled students of any racial group more than any other, they could face a federal investigation. In place of discipline to punish bad behavior, they were urged to use positive reinforcement instead.

As the grandmother of five school-age kids, I watched this closely. And as one of the black students who integrated an all-white Richmond, Va., school in 1961, I was hopeful.

I hoped this policy would lead to safer schools. I prayed it would help students get a better education and I felt confident it would open the door to a brighter future for our kids. But like so many other parents and grandparents, I was wrong.

The federal government’s warning had an immediate impact. Schools across America quickly changed their discipline policies and reduced their suspension and expulsion rates. In doing so, they avoided the investigation threatened by the President but at the same time, they put our children at risk.

Today, kids who bully and assault their classmates too often do so without fear of punishment. They know teachers have lost control and they realize they can get away with behavior that never used to be tolerated.

As a result, when this summer is over, many students will once again face the fear of going back to school.

That’s a tragedy! Schools should be joyous places where learning takes place. That’s what my classmates’ and I fought for in 1961— and it’s what should be the reality today. Instead, danger lurks behind schoolhouse doors.

Joevon Smith is a heartbreaking example. A 17-year-old student with special needs who attended Ballou High School in Washington, D.C., Joeven was beaten up in his classroom and sprayed with a chemical. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, but never recovered. A few weeks after his brutal assault, Joevon died.

According to media reports, Joevon’s assailants wanted to steal his cell phone. That may be so. But because they were repeat offenders, loosened school discipline policies are also at fault.

That’s the case up the road in Baltimore, too. There, Jared Haga (age 10) and his 12-year-old sister Tamar have been bullied and threatened with violence. Tamar has even been sexually harassed and assaulted. In school!

As chronicled by “The Daily Signal,” Jared and Tamar’s mother tried to get this to stop. But when she complained to the principal, she was told nothing would— or could— be done.

Joevon, Jared, and Tamar aren’t alone. According to numerous reports, public schools are now less orderly and more dangerous. As Walter E. Williams has observed, the policy President Obama put into place has allowed “miscreants and thugs to sabotage the education process.”

Teachers apparently agree. In anonymous surveys, they describe how badly school safety has deteriorated. As one stated, “We have fights here almost every day. The kids walk around and say ‘We can’t get suspended— we don’t care what you say.’”

The sentiment was echoed by another teacher who said, “Students are yelling, cursing, hitting and screaming at teachers and nothing is being done but teachers are being told to teach and ignore the behaviors. These students know there is nothing a teacher can do.”

This is crazy. Every child deserves to get the tools they need to make their dreams come true. But if they are too scared to focus, they won’t get them. Many will drop out, limiting their chance to get a job, raise a family, and pursue their life goals.

All because directives from Washington have made school districts fear they’ll be investigated for keeping their classrooms safe.

We can’t bring Joevon back, and Jared and Tamar may never forget the trauma they’ve experienced. But we can take action to fix the mistake that has been made.

For starters, the Education and Justice Departments’ school discipline policy should be rescinded. And if any threats

remain, every family should be empowered with school choice so they can choose safer learning options for their children.

I know President Obama meant well, but his administration’s action was wrong. So it’s now time to make things right. Our children should be at risk no more.

Kay Coles James is the president of The Heritage Foundation. You can follow her on Twitter @KayColesJames

Ravens Need To Keep Linebacker C.J. Mosley For The Long-Term

The Baltimore Ravens got an outstanding player when they selected linebacker C.J. Mosley out of Alabama in the first round (No. 17 overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft. Mosley immediately took over as one of the leaders on the defense.

Edge rusher, Terrell Suggs was one of the few remaining players who played alongside Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis at the time. Having been a part of the Ravens 2012 Super Bowl team, Suggs has seen the impact a middle linebacker can have on the defense.

Suggs views Mosley as the next elite player to man the middle for the Ravens.

“He’s half-man, half-amazing. C.J.’s done some great things, and he’s getting better and better every time that he takes the field, coming into his own,” Suggs said via the Ravens’ team site last year. “That’s what we’re known for here. But C.J.’s play kind of speaks for itself.”

Baltimore picked up the fifth-year option for Mosley’s rookie contract in April, which assures that he will be in a Ravens uniform in 2019. However, if the team wants to do right by Mosley, they’ll sign him to a long-term deal.

Head coach John Harbaugh has grown close to Mosley over the past few years and wants to keep him around in the future.

“He’s a great player. He’s a great person. He’s special in every way,” Harbaugh told reporters in March. “I do expect him to be playing for us for a long time.”

Mosley has become a complete player and one of the top linebackers in the NFL. He posted a career-high 132 tackles last season, 96 of them were solo tackles.

As a run stuffer, it’s almost like Mosley has a built-in GPS device to track the football and turbo boosters to run down ball carriers. Mosley also managed to register a career-high three forced fumbles in 2017.

The ability to defend the pass is equally as impressive. Mosley managed to break up seven passes last season. He finished last season with two interceptions, one of which was returned 63 yards for a touchdown.

The body of work is evident. Mosley has checked in with at least seven pass breakups every year of his career. He had four interceptions in 2016.

As a rookie, Mosley had three sacks and two interceptions. He followed his rookie season with four sacks in his second year.

Simply put, Mosley is the heart of the Ravens defense and arguably their defensive MVP. Baltimore will have to commit a substantial amount of money to sign Mosley to a long-term deal.

Signing Mosley will likely lead to a deal similar to the five-year, $50 million contract the Minnesota Vikings used to lock up inside linebacker Erik Kendricks.

Fortunately, the Ravens won’t have to worry about the looming contract extension hanging over Mosley’s head. He is focused on being a great football and letting everything else work itself out.

“I’m not really worried about it. I’m here just like everybody else to get better, to get ready for the new season and try to accomplish our goals,” Mosley said during a press conference in April. “All the contract stuff that’s what upstairs and my agent do. That’s why I pay him that three percent for it. I just play football.”

‘Text Neck’ Means Trouble For Anyone Addicted To Mobile Devices

Well before the invention of cell phones medical experts agreed that poor posture is the leading cause of back and neck pain. However, the explosion of 24-7 cell phone use has seriously compounded this problem— even giving rise to a new medical condition: ‘Text Neck.”

“Text neck” is the nickname for all the back, neck and spinal issues affecting those who spend too much time on their cell phones and mobile devices. It’s due to the constant hunching over people do to peer into their mobile screens, which malforms the spine. Physicians are reporting children as young as eight years old are affected.

Collectively, Americans check their smartphones over 8 billion times per day. And young adults age 18 to 24 send or receive an average of 109.5 text messages on a typical day.

“Just look at any crowd of young people, chances are most are exhibiting very poor posture from tilting their head down to read their device. This forces their neck & back muscles to work at awkward angles— just to keep the body upright, and pain and strain is often the result,” says Robert Gearhart, an operating room nurse and co-inventor of Body Aline (, an exercise machine designed to strengthen the back and realign the spine.

“Cell phones aren’t going anywhere, so it looks like text neck will become a health problem of epidemic proportion in the years ahead,” Gearhart said. “If the trend continues, it looks like in 20 years the number of people who will have spine issues due to this will be astronomical.”

He says the best way to check your mobile device is to stand up straight and look at your device at eye level instead of reading it next to your torso, which usually results in your chin going down towards your chest. Or lie on your stomach when spending long periods of time on your phone. This provides a safe and natural passive isometric exercise to restore the natural curve to the neck.

Of course, it is not just mobile devices that can give a person back problems— there are many causes and some, such as arthritis, have no easy answers. However, Gearhart says frequently the cause of back pain can be something that can be adjusted with proper lifestyle choices, such as:

•Take breaks from desk jobs. When working at a computer, take a short break every 15 or 20 minutes, then move around and change your body and head positions.

•Adjust your workspace. Set your computer monitor at eye level. Raise your smartphone to eye level rather than lowering your head. Get a tablet holder to elevate your device close to eye level. If possible, get a standing desk or an ergonomic chair. Don’t slouch at your desk.

•Use voice-to-text as often as possible. This cuts down on the amount of time you are looking down at your phone.

•Hold your phone at eye level. Do not look down and allow your chin to move towards your chest when you are on your mobile device. This causes the back of the neck to support the head instead of the shoulders.

“Taking some preventative measures,” Gearhart says, “is much easier than trying to treat a spine that is already out of alignment.”

Robert Gearhart, co-inventor of Body Aline (, is an operating room nurse. He noticed an increasing number of patients with back problems, and teamed with Jason Bowman, a certified personal trainer and former engineer, to create Body Aline, an exercise machine designed to strengthen the back and realign the spine.

Tribute To The Capital Gazette

Gerald Fischman

Gerald Fischman

Robert Hiaasen

Robert Hiaasen

John McNamara

John McNamara

Rebecca Smith

Rebecca Smith

Wendi Winters

Wendi Winters

During the American Revolution community newspapers in the embryonic country bound citizens together with provocative editorials and news of the day as citizens rose up to break free of the tyranny of a King. Many newspapers published the Declaration of Independence and helped to popularize the founding principles of our nascent country.

The Tories saw the news as divisive and slanted.

The Patriots proclaimed freedom of speech against despotic rule.

During the Civil War, community newspapers in a divisive country kept track of the dead, the battles and helped inform citizens with editorials and news often seen as opinionated and slanted.

During the Vietnam War, community newspapers told of boys going to war and men coming home broken or in coffins. The nation fought over the value of the news. Some considered it anti-establishment. Some saw it as grassroots reporting.

Throughout our history community newspapers have been the backbone of journalism and a cornerstone to our republic even as some have assailed the reporting.

Sewer rates. PTA meetings. High school and community sports. Pictures of our kids playing those sports. County Fairs. State Legislatures. County Councils. Infrastructure. Taxes. All of those stories and more adorn the pages of your typical community newspaper as do the public notices letting you know when and where there is a government meeting to attend.

What proud parent, upon seeing their progeny on the page of a newspaper hasn’t cut that picture out and hung that photo with a magnet on a refrigerator or put it away in a photo album?

This work is brought to you by civic-minded individuals who toil away for longer and for far less money than their television reporting cousins.

As first television and then the Internet have inundated the consumer news market, the community newspaper has chugged along – adapting to the computer age while doing the job with fewer people and less money as advertisers have steadily abandoned these newspapers for online click-bait.

Though squeezed hard by market forces, the backbone still survives.

Thursday, five people in Annapolis, working for the Capital Gazette, one of Maryland’s oldest and most venerated community newspapers, unwantedly gave the last full measure of their life trying to do their jobs.

Rebecca Smith worked to bring advertising and money into the paper. Wendi Winters, Robert Hiaasen, John McNamara and Gerald Fischman were senior members of the staff who wrote, edited, and mentored young talent and like everyone else involved in community newspapers, served any number of functions to help produce a newspaper to better inform members of their own community. They did not take this job lightly. They did not ask for accolades. They did their job. They are you and me. They were.

A disgruntled and apparently mentally troubled reader targeted the editors to die for perceived slights.

Each day community newspapers deal with those who don’t like coverage, or are upset with aspects often minor about the details of a story that has been reported. All of this is part of the editorial process. Editors have to decide whether or not to issue corrections and sometimes they explain the editorial process to those who will listen. They are responsible to their conscience, their readers and the owners to keep things as accurate as possible and present the most accurate version of the story available by deadline. It is a universal mantra in community journalism.

Though questions always rise as to the veracity of the news reported in our community newspapers, the extreme arguments of bias raised at the national level have for the most part not touched this world.

This is because most of the reporters and editors not only work in the community but live in the community. They raise their children there. They shop, go to school, church and dine out in the same community they cover for their newspapers. The high school coach knows them. The local council members have all seen the reporters toiling away long into the night at the same meetings in which the council members are trapped. Those reporters have eaten the same questionable finger foods at local political events as everyone else and washed it down with the same flat soda.

There used to be fewer cries of “Fake Media” or calling reporters the enemy of the people because at the local level it is all too observable that the reporters are people the same as everyone else. That has changed.

There is but one person responsible for taking the lives of our colleagues and friends at the Capital Gazette – the man who pulled the trigger. But the vitriol leveled at reporters everywhere cannot be ignored. It is inherently more dangerous to be a reporter at every level today. We will not shy away from our job.

Those who died in Annapolis deserve that much. They did their job. We will serve their memory best by continuing to do ours and remembering those we’ve lost.

All five of the dead worked hard to produce and keep alive an award winning, long standing community newspaper dedicated to producing facts to better inform and make better the citizens of its community.

In a very real way these people represent all of us in our extended journalistic community, from the smallest weekly newspaper to the largest daily; from the smallest radio station to the largest television network.

We are all in this together. We are the people.

Brian Karem is the vice-president of the Maryland |Delaware | DC Press Association (MDDC) and the executive editor of The Sentinels. The Baltimore Times and The Annapolis Times are member newspapers of MDDC Press Association (Maryland- Delaware-District of Columbis Press Association). Joy Bramble. publisher of The Baltimore Times/The Annapolis Times is on the Board of Directors.


Tribute to The Capital Gazette

In a special tribute to the victims of the tragic fatal shooting in Annapolis last week, Rocky Twyman and his wife dedicated an afternoon to gain signatures in respectful petition to Baltimore’s politicians. These lovely, caring folks also collected notes, prayers, and condolences from people all across Maryland as they criss-crossed city hall, to send to the victims’ families, and The Capital Gazette employees.

UMMC Embarks on Youth Summer Jobs Program for 16th Year

For the 16th year, the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) is providing young people, ages 14 to 21 with work readiness skills training through targeted job matching to their career interests.

The program, which operates through the Baltimore City’s YouthWorks program at UMMC’s University and Midtown campuses, opened on Monday, June 25 with 70 interns undergoing a summer experience that officials said creates a lasting effect, including the opportunity for development of a detailed career path to college or the workplace.

“Each year we partner with the Mayor’s office, and this year we’re hosting 70 students, up from 65 last year, and they are placed within the various departments and given an opportunity to learn various skills,” said Samuel Burris, UMMC’s manager of community engagement.

“We realize that a lot of the students don’t have the essential skills, like how to conduct themselves, how to arrive on time or how to answer professional emails.”

Next year, Burris says that UMMC hopes to enlist as many as 80 students in the program.

To assist the young people in this year’s program, UMMC officials set aside one day to teach students the essential skills, which include financial literacy, public speaking and personal interaction.

“We want the students to be able to articulate in a professional and personal environment. It’s a holistic approach so the students not only have a summer experience work wise but they also learn the skills they need to become productive in their everyday lives,” he said.

After an application screening process where a panel from UMMC sifts through applicants, ages 14 to 21, students are interviewed and chosen for the coveted opportunity. They work 25 hours per week and are paid $10.10 per hour.

Dubbed, the “Summer to Prosper,” the program is a collaboration between YouthWorks, a summer jobs program sponsored by the Baltimore Mayor’s Office of Employment Development and UMMC Office of Workforce Development and Community Partnership, which coordinates several other youth and adult-job training programs with government and private-sector organizations.

The five-week program, which runs from June 25 through July 27, 2018, begins with an orientation where 50 students are assigned to UMMC University Campus, 10 to UMMC Midtown Campus; and 10 to participate in the Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Healthcare Fellows program, an internship for high school seniors that links them with local healthcare organizations for extensive training and mentoring in the field.

“UMMC’s participation in the program is part of a larger aim to reduce violence in school-aged children, increase student attendance and support school readiness initiatives by funding and working with area schools,” UMMC officials said in a news release.

Further, UMMC Future Workforce Program introduces youth to occupations in healthcare through internships, seminars, hospital tours and other programs.

“These youth-focused programs play a pivotal role in supporting the surrounding community,” said Burris, who as a young man, participated in the program.

“I am a Baltimore native and I participated when I was younger, and this program also helps to give young people an idea of what they want to do,” he said. “A lot of the students come from economically-challenged neighborhoods and so we look at how [to] provide opportunities for those students who live in our corridors.”

For more information about UMMC, visit and for details about the YouthWorks summer employment program, visit: