Europe moves ahead on electric ferries while we burn expensive gas to get across the Bay

A few years ago, I suggested that electric ferries across the Chesapeake Bay could relieve some of the traffic congestion on our bay bridges, avoiding the multibillion-dollar proposal of Gov. Larry “Road Warrior” Hogan to build a third span. Of course, while many readers thought my suggestion was worth exploring – even exciting – Maryland’s … Continue reading Europe moves ahead on electric ferries while we burn expensive gas to get across the Bay

‘Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you?’

In the NYT photo above, Wandrea "Shaye" Moss, a former Georgia election worker, is comforted by her mother Ruby Freeman during the fourth hearing held by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. "Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you?" Moss … Continue reading ‘Do you know how it feels to have the president of the United States target you?’

Responding to a letter from a ‘Trump supporting democrat’

Allow me to respond to an email I received about my Sunday Sun column on Trump and his supporters. Though the column was pointedly not about President Biden, readers who support Trump naturally tried to make it about the current president. From Michael Ernest, who calls himself “a Trump supporting democrat,” came this: “Joe Biden … Continue reading Responding to a letter from a ‘Trump supporting democrat’

Trump supporters won’t hear it from Fox, so they need to hear it from the rest of us

I might have completely lost my mind when I wrote this Sunday’s column on talking to Trump supporters about why they need, finally, to dump him. It probably strikes most of my readers as a futile exercise and an experience they wish to avoid. I write from the blue state of Maryland, where Joe Biden … Continue reading Trump supporters won’t hear it from Fox, so they need to hear it from the rest of us

Commencement address 2022: Make a duty of decency

For the 152d commencement, graduate ceremony, McDaniel College, May 21, 2022 President Jasken, members of the Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, honored guests and graduates, parents and significant others, friends, Professor Smith and any dogs that might be in the audience. . . . I thank McDaniel College for this honor, and I congratulate … Continue reading Commencement address 2022: Make a duty of decency

We still need you to read the newspaper

Originally published April, 2021. Updated today as we approach the 185th anniversary of The Baltimore Sun. Photo above is poster from 1987 anniversary celebration. The ultimate problem for American newspapers -- besides the level of profits demanded by corporate ownership -- is that not enough people feel a need to read a newspaper. Even digital … Continue reading We still need you to read the newspaper

A long Russian war on Ukraine will lead to more world hunger

This is an expanded version of my Baltimore Sun column of May 11, 2022. Russia’s unconscionable war on Ukraine could likely ignite a food catastrophe in parts of the world already dealing with shortages due to drought and the long-term effects of the pandemic. Staff from Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services (CRS) are seeing first-hand the … Continue reading A long Russian war on Ukraine will lead to more world hunger

‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and an April of discovery

If you don’t mind the personal indulgence, I’d like to reflect on something wonderful that happened to me, many of my high school classmates and the people of my Massachusetts hometown 50 years ago this month. It was a high school production of the great musical, “Fiddler On The Roof,” something that by now has … Continue reading ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ and an April of discovery

Baltimore, You Have No Idea: New play slated for December

Baltimore Sun columnist Dan Rodricks tells stories from the hard streets and sweet spots of Baltimore, with six supporting players and a guy on a piano. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll sigh. “Baltimore, You Have No Idea,” directed by Will Schwarz with music by Mat Lane, will hit the stage at the BMA Meyerhoff Auditorium, … Continue reading Baltimore, You Have No Idea: New play slated for December

Competent leadership can stop Putin. That’s not something you wish for. It’s something you vote for.

“Please don’t wish,” I heard a woman say. That was her retort to some wishful thinking about life, her answer to hearing someone express hope that things could be different. I look at Putin today and his barbaric attacks on Ukraine, and I wish we could just wish him away. When you feel powerless to … Continue reading Competent leadership can stop Putin. That’s not something you wish for. It’s something you vote for.

Don’t like Putin? Don’t support Trump and Republicans.

In coming elections, Americans will have a choice, as always, when it comes to the kind of government we want: An open, liberal, representative democracy or some version of the old monarchy the Founders rejected, and that would be, in the modern world, an autocratic form of government, if not a dictatorship. It would be … Continue reading Don’t like Putin? Don’t support Trump and Republicans.

Apology and Response: The Sun’s editorial on its racist legacy, and a thoughtful reaction to it

Here, for all to read, is a link to The Baltimore Sun's deeply researched editorial on the newspaper's history of racism, going back to its founding nearly two centuries ago. (Here is a link to a note from our publisher and editor-in-chief, Trif Alatzas.) I hope you take time to read it all, either online … Continue reading Apology and Response: The Sun’s editorial on its racist legacy, and a thoughtful reaction to it

Playing through the pandemic: 428 live stream concerts and counting from An die Musik, Baltimore

Henry Wong, the longtime impresario at An die Musik on Charles Street, in the heart of downtown Baltimore, has kept musicians performing and music lovers entertained throughout the pandemic with his series, An die Musik Live. Sunday night, there was another live-stream, featuring the Phil Ravita Jazz Group. Impressed with his commitment to arranging these sessions, … Continue reading Playing through the pandemic: 428 live stream concerts and counting from An die Musik, Baltimore

Small town, great man: Bob McCarthy of East Bridgewater

Whenever I relate a story about my hometown in Massachusetts, it’s important to remember that these are renderings from the first third of my life, and while they might sometimes seem idealized, I try to sketch with the candid perspective that comes with time. I have not lived in East Bridgewater since the age of … Continue reading Small town, great man: Bob McCarthy of East Bridgewater

Maryland couple who lost Marine son in ‘preventable training fiasco’ on 60 Minutes tonight

“60 MINUTES” LISTINGS FOR SUNDAY, FEB. 6 DEATH IN TRAINING – Lesley Stahl investigates accidents during training involving military armored vehicles. 60 MINUTES found that in recent years, more servicemembers were killed in training accidents than in combat, and a large percentage of those accidents involved military vehicles: from Humvees to light armored vehicles to AAVs. … Continue reading Maryland couple who lost Marine son in ‘preventable training fiasco’ on 60 Minutes tonight

The triumph of Obamacare despite Andy Harris and other do-nothing Republicans.

A Maryland official estimates that more than 30,000 people recently gained private coverage through the Obamacare market in Maryland’s 1st District — health insurance that their representative in Congress, Andy Harris, a six-term Republican, opposed for years. I report this trend to note how clueless Harris has been about some of the people he represents … Continue reading The triumph of Obamacare despite Andy Harris and other do-nothing Republicans.

Reading “The Raven” on Poe’s birthday in Baltimore

Wednesday Jan. 19 is the anniversary of the birth, in 1809, of Edgar Allan Poe. His birthplace was Boston. The Master of the Macabre lived in Baltimore and died here in 1849. On his birthday, in keeping with my stated resolutions for 2022, I hope to read, “The Raven” at his gravesite in downtown Baltimore. … Continue reading Reading “The Raven” on Poe’s birthday in Baltimore

Dear Joshua: What I said about Republicans is still essentially true.

Sharing some of the comments I receive from readers again, here's an emailed letter that arrived from a fellow named Joshua: "Your Steven Sachs column is very well done but, in my opinion, your quip, 'these days integrity seems as rare as a Trump-defying Republican,' is the very type of divisive and inaccurate statement that … Continue reading Dear Joshua: What I said about Republicans is still essentially true.

My 20-step plan to cook multiple meals and get the house warmed up at the same time

It's winter so I again offer my 20-step plan for staying warm and sufficiently fed, making optimum use of the stove for heating and for creating several meals. My plan involves a few hours of early-morning cooking, which compensates for the inadequacies of your home-heating system, and you'll get a good workout, an exercise in … Continue reading My 20-step plan to cook multiple meals and get the house warmed up at the same time

Herman Williams fought hardcore, demoralizing racism to become Baltimore’s first Black fire chief

From the Baltimore Sun archives: My column from Jan. 5, 2001, after Herman Williams, Baltimore's first Black fire chief, announced his retirement. The department on Sunday reported that Chief Williams had passed. Information was incomplete, but I believe he was close to 90 years old. PUTTING OUT fires for a living might have been the … Continue reading Herman Williams fought hardcore, demoralizing racism to become Baltimore’s first Black fire chief

Maryland Rep. Andy Harris was among the Jan. 6 seditionists and refused to honor Capitol cops. He doesn’t deserve a 7th term.

On this anniversary of the Jan. 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol, one of the worst days in American history, anyone who calls himself a patriot should vow to never vote for any member of Congress who took part in the effort to subvert the election of Joe Biden as president. For Marylanders, that … Continue reading Maryland Rep. Andy Harris was among the Jan. 6 seditionists and refused to honor Capitol cops. He doesn’t deserve a 7th term.