You can call her a right-wing QAnon nut. You can call her election last year to the House of Representatives a tragedy. And even some Republicans might distance themselves from her. But yesterday, with their infantile mask protest in the Capitol, Republicans pretty much fell in line behind the awful Marjorie Taylor Green. They embraced … Continue reading Republicans fall in line behind Marjorie Taylor Greene
I usually don't bother to respond to Trumpies who continue to espouse the Big Lie or deny that what happened on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol amounted to an attempted coup. I haven't much stomach for false equivalencies, what-aboutism and both-sides-bad because I don't believe both sides are bad. I believe Republicans in Congress … Continue reading Response to a tragically Trumped-up Terrence
My latest Sun column is about Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md-1) and his claim that the University System of Maryland should not mandate vaccinations against COVID-19 because of the risk of a side effect that, according to the CDC, occurs about 12 times in every 1 million doses. The column is available at this link. Risk … Continue reading Yes, Andy Harris, even anesthesia , your specialty, comes with risks
One of the brave police officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 testified before Congress Tuesday that some of the men who attacked him seemed — by their demeanor, attire or tactics — to have military or law enforcement experience. This, of course, has been established already. At least 45 of the approximately … Continue reading The Loser’s Army: ‘Trump sent us’
In 2016, the Baltimore Police Department did a data dive on people involved in shootings in the city — victims as well as the suspected shooters — and the BPD found this: Among suspects, 76% had prior criminal records, 62% percent had prior drug arrests, 52% had been arrested for violent crimes, and 41% percent … Continue reading Getting to inmates before they get back on the street and continue their criminality
Friday's column in The Sun — available at baltimoresun.com — is about the very strange and dangerous trend of right-wing politics and extreme ideology affecting a basic health decision: Whether to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. We have had the vaccine since December, but only half of the country is fully vaccinated, and public health … Continue reading Vaccine resistance is about many things, but mostly the warped, fevered politics of the right
On my drives from downtown Baltimore to points north, I often take Eutaw Place, between Dolphin Street and North Avenue, and it’s one of the best trips in the city — nine blocks of great rowhouses and a wide, shady median that pretty much constitutes a public park. On Friday, I did it again, driving … Continue reading Across the Eutaw Place divide: Summer music to unite Baltimore neighborhoods
My Sunday Sun column (available at baltimoresun.com) is about artist Tony Shore’s Tiny Tony project, something that might seem completely whimsical — and I’m a sucker for Baltimore-style whimsy — but it’s really an extension of the narratives Shore first developed in black velvet. For more than half his life, Shore has been painting on … Continue reading Tony Shore’s Baltimore narrative continues at 1/6 scale
I state in today’s Sun column — available at baltimoresun.com — that we all have stories of rescue. We have all heard a story about some quick-thinking someone saving another someone, often a stranger, from drowning or fire. Or we know someone who did. Some stories are family heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation. … Continue reading Everyone has a rescue story, and maybe even one in the family. Here’s mine.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore along with the Maryland Division of Parole and Probation, the Baltimore State’s Attorney and the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement are sponsoring a one-stop reentry resource fair on THURSDAY, JULY 15, 2021 FROM 10:00 A.M. TO 2:00 P.M. at the War Memorial, 101 N. Gay Street. Several organizations will be on-site … Continue reading Home from prison? Looking for help? There’s a job fair for you Thursday in Baltimore
Trey Mancini, leader of the struggling, losing, rebuilding Baltimore Orioles, was already the best story in professional sports, and then he put on a show in the home run derby on the eve of the Major League All-Star game. Amazing. Last year at this time, he was just a couple of months from finishing his … Continue reading Trey Mancini: Courage, strength and the gift of medical science
My Sunday column — available at baltimoresun.com — is the second one I've written since meeting Matthew King, founding president of the Harlem Park Community Development Corp. and one of Baltimore's most determined citizens. He and his collaborators have taken on a big challenge — redeveloping and repopulating a once-thriving neighborhood that tells the long, … Continue reading Reckoning with the past: The potential of a Harlem Park Renaissance in Baltimore
Of all the absurdities we have suffered in this country since Trump came down the escalator and announced he was running for president, none beats this: The refusal of millions of Republicans — not just a few stupid thousand, but millions — to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Nearly half of Republicans told the Washington Post-ABC … Continue reading The absurd anti-vaxxers have been drenched in a 40-year flood of toxic rhetoric and lies
Chicken thighs marinated in peri-peri and grilled with rosemary sprigs To make the peri-peri: Six cloves garlic One red bell pepper cut into slices, seeds removed. (You can also use a hot red pepper or two for this; it’s up to you.) One half red onion cut into chunks Put these ingredients in a food … Continue reading Dan’s Portuguese Grilled Chicken
I learned long ago in the news business that anecdotes never tell the whole story, that most people regard the world through their own experiences or that of their peers, and that many successful people fail to understand why so many others come up short in American society. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan right now is … Continue reading Larry Hogan takes a stand on Mount Reagan
I have had this feeling for some time — that our sport fishing season in the Mid-Atlantic is getting shorter with climate change, that the only time to practice catch-and-release fishing is in the colder weather, October through maybe Memorial Day. Those who maintain a tradition of sport fishing in summer — whether on the … Continue reading It’s summer. Time top stop fishing, not start
The stubborn, contented or willfully ignorant American is a particular problem right now.
How did this happen? How much will the defendant pay? And who is that anyway? Who is to blame? What will the damages be? Lives crushed, the shock of unbelievable, tremors felt in blood lines, immeasurable pain turned goddamn angry, families condemned to heirloom nightmares. Are we not exceptional? How did this happen? Are we … Continue reading Collapse
You might call this wishful thinking — it’s certainly the wish of many small business owners like the ones I met in Baltimore’s Pigtown neighborhood the other day — but, as stated in today's Sun column, I think the death of brick-and-mortar retail has been exaggerated. I suspect that, coming out of the pandemic, people … Continue reading Retail won’t be what it was but it ain’t dead
The Greatest Generation persevered through the Depression, defeated fascism in World War II -- and got vaccinated without a lot of BS. I write about this aspect of our parents' and grandparents' generation in today's Sun column. Here's the link if you want to check it out. One thing I failed to mention: There was … Continue reading Vaccinated without a lot of BS
From The New York Times: The Roman Catholic bishops of the United States, flouting a warning from the Vatican, have overwhelmingly voted to draft guidance on the sacrament of the Eucharist, advancing a push by conservative bishops to deny President Biden communion because of his support of abortion rights. I remember one unfortunate thing about … Continue reading Hypocrites in shepherd’s clothing
I quote Tom Manger in my Friday column in the Sun. A native of Baltimore, he was police chief of Montgomery County for 15 years and is now a public safety consultant. He also served as a summer cop in Ocean City in 1976, after graduating from the University of Maryland. Here's more of what … Continue reading What a top cop says about the Ocean City mess
Just as I finished writing today's column about Rep. Andy Harris' efforts to move even further to the way-out Republican right, he adds another item to the resume, signing his name to a letter calling on President Biden to undergo a cognitive fitness test. Harris had been one of 21 Republicans in the House who … Continue reading A Maryland congressman’s race to the bottom
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’
The place looks so pristine and inviting, so constant and enduring, I sometimes feel unworthy of it, as if an intruder, a riparian peeping Tom who should just catch a quick glimpse and leave. There is nothing here but the real world of trees, clear water, rocks as old as time, flickering birds, dancing insects … Continue reading Nothing here but the real world
I would like you to know the following: Since my first day of work in a newspaper’s city room — June 1973, The Patriot Ledger, Quincy, Massachusetts — I’ve been intrigued, entertained, impressed, inspired, mentored, awed and enlightened by the people who worked there. I can’t think of one reporter, critic or editor who, in … Continue reading Great and good journalists I have known
Note: This item went for $750 at auction on June 17, 2021. Among the items that will be on the auction block later this month is an honorary fire chief's helmet given to the late Carol Channing in 1978 when the Tony Award-winning actress was in Baltimore (and I was but a cub reporter for … Continue reading Epilogue: Carol Channing’s Baltimore fire helmet up for auction
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.
Reaction to last month's column on the progress on electric vehicles confirmed what we already knew: Some people look right past the positive to the negative. The column was essentially an update on the technological and commercial aspects of electric cars and trucks and it was mostly an upbeat report because there's a lot to … Continue reading BGE’s ramp-up on EV fast charging continues
It was nothing I did. It just happened. I never used an herbicide on the lawn in my Baltimore backyard, and never used fertilizer. And so we have plenty of clover (photo above, and yeah that's my paint-smeared shoe on the left), and it pleases the bees and the city rabbits. This is how the … Continue reading Benign neglect gets a clover lawn, bees and bunnies
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
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
Some rivers speak to us. It’s the sound of time. It’s the same sound the Native Americans heard way back when “the green dark forest was too silent to be real.” (Gordon Lightfoot). There are days when I’m fishing and I think the riffles are laughing at me. There are moments when, oddly, the pleasant … Continue reading The laughing river
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?
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
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?
I saw these offensive flags for sale on Amazon and decided this is the last straw -- I'm done buying products this way. I told myself several times over the years that I would stop this lazy practice of buying stuff through Amazon, and broke that pledge a few times, particularly during the pandemic. Now … Continue reading It’s way past time to stop using Amazon
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?
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
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
Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,In there stepped a stately Raven of the saintly days of yore. Baltimore claims Edgar Alan Poe because he lived here for a while and definitely died here. He's buried here. Poe's house is still standing on the west side and the city's … Continue reading Poe had the Raven, me the Woodpecker
Carl Schoettler, my late colleague from the Baltimore Evening Sun and Sun, (photo) was the mentor and advisor for several reporters many years his junior, and I was lucky to have been one of them. Way back, when I was still feeling my way through a relatively new assignment -- editors of the Evening Sun … Continue reading A place for the ‘mildly amusing’ story
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?
Other anglers must think it odd that I still use the old Pflueger Medalist reels. What can I say? I like how they feel and work. I like the feel of the rod when there's a little more weight at the bottom, the way I prefer older knives with thick handles when I'm preparing a … Continue reading This old reel, a reliable friend
Did you think about going solar at your house, then drop the idea? Are you counting on the electric grid in your region to become less dependent on fossil fuels and, therefore, greener? And does that make you feel it’s unnecessary to put solar panels on your roof? Or maybe you just think they’re ugly. … Continue reading Did you think about rooftop solar, then drop the idea?
And so I think about all those words Joe wrote, and wrote on deadline, clouded in cigarette smoke on the day Kennedy died, or in the fading sunlight of a Bonn afternoon, or in a hotel somewhere, or for the last 25 years of his career in an office on North Calvert Street in Baltimore. … Continue reading On the passing of Joe Sterne, journalist
Fully vaccinated, I went -- with a friend who is fully vaccinated -- to the Orioles' home opener on Thursday. Here's my mildly amusing Sunday Sun column on that experience. I assume others there were fully vaccinated, but, of course, I didn't know that. About 1.3 million people, or about 22% of the state’s 6 … Continue reading Are we there yet? Nope. Continue maskulation.
You, who voted for Trump — some of you will insist he’s behaving badly now because of the drugs they gave him at Walter Reed for his coronavirus infection. You will say he’s under a lot of pressure and that the Democrats and liberals in the media never gave him a chance to succeed. You’ll … Continue reading Dearest Trump supporters: You moved to the fence. It’s time to jump and end the crazy
Having sat patiently with the rest of the audience through my discussion of fly fishing, a man raised his hand at a recent talk about my book in Baltimore and asked, “What about the fatherhood part?” And he put me on the spot. He caught me avoiding a key subject of the book. An influential … Continue reading Fatherhood and fishing