‘Difficult to articulate a level of threat or resistance to justify those knee strikes’

My colleagues from The Sun newsroom — Tim Prudente, Jessica Anderson and McKenna Oxenden — have a story today about the police in Ocean City and the videos of their violent confrontations with young men on the Boardwalk. The story quotes a retired police captain and use-of-force expert named Ashley Heiberger, and Heiberger focuses on … Continue reading ‘Difficult to articulate a level of threat or resistance to justify those knee strikes’

Father’s Day Creek: A book for outdoors lovers, anglers, and anyone who had a father.

A narrative memoir about fly fishing, fatherhood and finding your last best place on Earth. Published by Apprentice House Books at Loyola University Maryland. Available now in softcover and hardcover. Publication date: May 2019. Foreword by Lefty Kreh. . . . . . "Where would you want to be if you knew the world would … Continue reading Father’s Day Creek: A book for outdoors lovers, anglers, and anyone who had a father.

Memorial: A French homage to the Private John Kreiner who did not come home to Baltimore

As a columnist, I have interviewed many American combat veterans. That includes veterans of World War II, several of them when my editors in Baltimore sent me to Normandy to cover the 40th anniversary observances of the D-Day invasion and the beginning of the liberation of France. But, of all the stories I wrote -- … Continue reading Memorial: A French homage to the Private John Kreiner who did not come home to Baltimore

Republicans dishonor long-gone Americans who died to save the Union

Given the events of the last five years — and, in particular, the January attack on the U.S. Capitol fueled by Trump’s Big Lie about the November election — I was drawn this Memorial Day weekend to the one monument in the city of Baltimore that honors the more than 65,000 Marylanders who fought for … Continue reading Republicans dishonor long-gone Americans who died to save the Union

Why would any rational American want to remain a Republican?

Last week in my Sun column I suggested that Michael Steele, the former Maryland lieutenant governor and Republican national chairman, leave the Republican Party and become a Democrat. You can read my reasoning in the column — here’s the link — but anyone who has listened to Steele talk on MSNBC about the party knows … Continue reading Why would any rational American want to remain a Republican?

Bananas on Fire: Never judge a horse by a wacky name

You look at the list of Preakness winners over the years and, for the most part, they have names that range from serious to charming to the mildly whimsical: Citation, Secretariat, American Pharoah, Affirmed, Silver Charm, Spectacular Bid, Red Bullet, Lookin at Lucky. But some horses on the daily racing charts have truly wacky names. … Continue reading Bananas on Fire: Never judge a horse by a wacky name

Was that a turning point we just witnessed in Means’ no-hitter? Anyone remember Billy Rohr?

I don’t know if John Means’ no-hitter is a turning point for the still-in-last-place Baltimore Orioles, but — who knows? — we might look back on Means’ nearly perfect game in Seattle as an important marker in the club’s redevelopment. I know what you're thinking: "Let’s enjoy the moment, dude, but let’s not get carried … Continue reading Was that a turning point we just witnessed in Means’ no-hitter? Anyone remember Billy Rohr?

Does one bad opinion erase an expert?

Journalists are drawn to experts. We use them to add context to stories or to provide perspective in controversies. As a generalist in print and broadcasting, I have for years cited as sources people with great expertise in various sciences, all manner of medicine, criminology, the law, foreign policy, literature, immigration, climate change. They have … Continue reading Does one bad opinion erase an expert?

Knocking down the JFX and making a new city boulevard

In my Sunday Sun column, I again advocated that Baltimore find money, perhaps in the coming bundle of Biden infrastructure spending, to tear down the elevated Jones Falls Expressway (Interstate 83) south of Penn Station and create a grand city boulevard instead. The 1915 postcard to the right shows what the area of Penn Station … Continue reading Knocking down the JFX and making a new city boulevard

Life sentences for minors: Trump’s cruel and unusual Supreme Court

A couple of weeks ago, Maryland's progressive General Assembly, led by Democrats, abolished life without parole for defendants convicted of murder before the age of 18 -- and they did this over the veto of the Republican governor, Larry Hogan. (The legislature also took the Maryland governor, present and future, out of the parole process … Continue reading Life sentences for minors: Trump’s cruel and unusual Supreme Court

On racism and the moment upon us: Do Americans really want a better country?

My brother in Massachusetts had converted to DVD home movies that were shot by an uncle of ours in the 1950s and early 1960s. Many families have these old movies. Many families had one person who owned perhaps a Bell & Howell 8-mm movie camera, projector and screen. A lot of these old films are … Continue reading On racism and the moment upon us: Do Americans really want a better country?

Transformation: 20 acres of Baltimore back from the dead

My Friday column in The Baltimore Sun tells how the abandoned and contaminated PEMCO property in southeast Baltimore, across from Hopkins Bayview, became a new shopping center called Yard 56 and how a determined developer named David Bramble made it happen. Founded in 1911 as the Porcelain Enamel Manufacturing Corporation, the company once had 600 … Continue reading Transformation: 20 acres of Baltimore back from the dead

Getting billionaires and banks to give it up for Baltimore

In my Sun column last week I called upon billionaire Michael Bloomberg to do as he has pledged and give away a bunch of his money — and I specifically suggested that he make a donation of $1 billion to Baltimore Community Lending, an independent, nonprofit, federally-authorized lender that has been financing small businesses and … Continue reading Getting billionaires and banks to give it up for Baltimore

Local nonprofit ownership of The Sun will be great, but we still need you to read it

The Wall Street Journal reports another development in Stewart Bainum’s efforts to save the Tribune newspapers from the Alden Global hedge fund. I certainly hope Mr. Bainum succeeds and that we can establish The Baltimore Sun and other newspapers in our group as nonprofit institutions rededicated to comprehensive news coverage. But, that said . . … Continue reading Local nonprofit ownership of The Sun will be great, but we still need you to read it

The problem in Baltimore is not a lenient judiciary

Following up on recent columns about the continuing violence in Baltimore: Among other findings in Thiru Vignarajah's dive into data about homicide cases: Judges are not going easy on killers. A defendant who stood trial and who was found guilty of first-degree murder for a homicide in Baltimore Circuit Court in the years 2017, 2018 … Continue reading The problem in Baltimore is not a lenient judiciary

Slamming Andy Harris for his lousy vote against honoring Cap cops

The Sun has a strong editorial on this subject today. You can read it at this link. Statement From the Democratic Governors Association: Maryland GOP Rep. Andy Harris, potential candidate for governor and the standard bearer for the base of the Maryland GOP, chose to side with violent insurrectionists over Capitol police officers yesterday. Harris … Continue reading Slamming Andy Harris for his lousy vote against honoring Cap cops

Friday’s column: A battle for something better

Is this predictable or what? Someone who lives in a pricey house in an upscale, mostly White suburb owns a valuable corner property, zoned commercial, in a mostly Black neighborhood of West Baltimore. The property happens to be within walking distance of a college campus, a high school and an elementary school. The owner of … Continue reading Friday’s column: A battle for something better

American Reality Check: ALICE tells a fuller story

You will see in my Wednesday column a reference to, and brief explanation of, ALICE, a new and better way to measure financial hardship in America. ALICE stands for “Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.” It's the creation of United Way in its effort to give the nation a more precise reality check because the federal … Continue reading American Reality Check: ALICE tells a fuller story

‘Returning citizens’ stitching their lives back together

This year marks 16 since I started reporting on the problems faced by ex-offenders — former prison inmates or, if you prefer, "returning citizens" — as they earn release and come home. The challenges are many, but top of the list is employment. People with criminal records, particularly those who committed an act of violence, … Continue reading ‘Returning citizens’ stitching their lives back together

Resentment of tax cuts and billionaire wealth underpin public support for Biden, Democrats

Pundits keep looking for reasons to explain the wide public support for President Biden's $1.9 trillion disaster relief package, approved this past week without a single Republican vote of support in the Senate or House. Aside from the obvious (real economic pain and stress felt by millions of workers and thousands of businesses because of … Continue reading Resentment of tax cuts and billionaire wealth underpin public support for Biden, Democrats

On American tribalism and the burning of masks by children

According to polls, a majority of registered Republicans support President Biden's widely popular $1.9 trillion relief package to get us through pandemic and into recovery. How do we reconcile that with the fact that so many Republicans also remain Trump supporters, skeptical of science and public health experts? How do you explain parents in Idaho … Continue reading On American tribalism and the burning of masks by children

Where were you, what were you planning to do when the coronavirus arrived?

One year ago today, on March 5, 2020, Maryland’s Public Health Laboratory in Baltimore reported the first three positive cases of the novel coronavirus in the state. The infected people were from Montgomery County and had contracted the virus while traveling overseas. "We have been actively preparing for this situation over the last several weeks … Continue reading Where were you, what were you planning to do when the coronavirus arrived?

Lyneir Richardson’s Big Idea: “Inclusive ownership” of a Baltimore shopping center

Richardson If you receive the print edition of The Baltimore Sunday Sun, you'll find an outdated number in my column: Lyneir Richardson and Chicago TREND have raised $274,500 from 108 investors. I filed my column on Friday when TREND had raised $239,500 from 101 local investors. Because of The Sun's deadlines for print, I could … Continue reading Lyneir Richardson’s Big Idea: “Inclusive ownership” of a Baltimore shopping center

‘In Europe, they’ve been doing this for years’

"In Europe, they've been doing this for years." How many times have you heard that when it comes to, oh, about a thousand things? The nations of Europe have run ahead of the United States on public transportation and train travel, health insurance, care for the aged, firearms regulation, infrastructure, energy conservation, recycling and all … Continue reading ‘In Europe, they’ve been doing this for years’

Maryland should’ve had one-stop vax registration from the start

Anyone remember when Larry Hogan, as the Republican candidate for governor in 2014, bashed the O'Malley administration and his Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, over the messed-up rollout of Obamacare in Maryland? Hogan included the criticism in one of his campaign ads, saying Brown was a weak leader and "just not ready" to be … Continue reading Maryland should’ve had one-stop vax registration from the start

Baltimore: Time to take action against Wire Hell

Those ugly nests of dormant and live cables and wires that hang over alleys in rowhouse neighborhoods are a blight on Baltimore, and it's time to do something about them. Dozens of Baltimoreans have complained to me about them and shared photographs of the overhead tangles. Communications companies leave zombie wires hanging every time someone … Continue reading Baltimore: Time to take action against Wire Hell