Blake's bounty inspires revolutionary ideas

This Just In...

March 09, 1998|By DAN RODRICKS

That story about USF&G Man Norman Blake getting $44 million for making stockholders fat and happy while costing the jobs of about 2,000 employees prompts me to say: "Bring on the revolution, baby! Ralph Nader for President! Marian Wright Edelman for Vice President! Mario Cuomo for Chief Justice! Jesse Jackson for Secretary of State! Kweisi Mfume for Speaker of the House! Put Ben & Jerry at Commerce and Labor, Bill Bradley at Treasury, Jane Fonda at Interior! Dennis Miller gets Rush Limbaugh's job. Lech Walesa for baseball commissioner!"

A prescription for closure

On a recent cruise through Pikesville, Cereal Mom was shocked - shocked, I tell you - to find the century-old pharmacy counter at Fields dark, with all accounts transferred to the Gucci Giant around the corner. It's another sign of our managed-care-big-drugstore-chain times. Jeff Levin, one of Fields owners, says small third-party reimbursements on medicines for many of Fields' 5,000 customers were the prime reason for the closing. "You don't interrupt a 106-year institution without lots of second thoughts," he told TJI. "But on a purely rational level, it had to be done. Our pharmacy business last year grew by 12 percent, but reimbursements were cut by more than that. You've got to pay bills and if the third parties aren't allowing you to ... "

Fields still has its famous 121-seat restaurant and its cosmetic counters. Levin said the store will expand its hosiery, greeting card and stationery lines this spring.

Fan wasn't shut out

In a recent TJI, we expressed the hope that Dan Jones, the Orioles fan who grabbed Eddie Murray's 500th home run ball at Camden Yards in 1996, had lined up his duckies when he sold the souvenir for a $300,000 annuity to Psychic Friends tycoon Mike Lasky, now in deep financial trouble. "Yes," says Jones, "all my duckies were lined up. I was able to secure all funds before Mr. Lasky went into bankruptcy. Thanks for your concern, though. In case you were wondering, I have put the money to good use. I own a staffing service, Jones Networking Associates. We put people to work in the administrative and office support fields. To paraphrase the pro ball players, it's my way of giving back only I don't get the tax deduction."

Female DJs make waves

Not since the Lisa Simeone days - or was that an era? - have we heard such wonderful female voices coming from WBJC-FM, where there are now three divas on the air, two of them brand new. ... The one who sounds as British as Emma Thompson is actually South African. Judith Krummeck, on Baltimore's classical music station during evening drive time, was born in Namibia and lived for most of her life in South Africa. In addition to working for public radio of South Africa, she was host of national telecasts there of the London Philharmonic. Her husband, Douglas Blackstone, was managing director of the South Africa National Symphony Orchestra and is managing the symphony of Wheeling, W.Va. WBJC's other new voice is that of Colette Lambert, a veteran of public radio in Washington. She can be heard weekday mornings. Dyana Neal, also with a delightful, sensual voice, is host weekend mornings, as well as middays Mondays through Wednesdays. (The station does have a couple of on-air guys: Jonathan Palevsky, who I suspect is a tenor, and Reed Hessler, who strikes me as a baritone.)

No one home

Carroll County District Judge JoAnn M. Ellinghaus-Jones, trying to obtain information to mail trial notices to an itinerant defendant: "What is your mailing address?"

The 43-year-old defendant, looking a little rough around the edges, mumbles that he lives wherever he can find work. "Here and there," he says.

Judge: "Well, sir, where can we send mail to you?"

Defendant: "You can't."

Judge: "Well, where did you live before being arrested for being drunk and disorderly? Who did you live with?"

Defendant: "My parents."

Judge: "Will you get the mail if we send it there?"

Defendant: "I don't think so."

Judge: "Why not?"

Defendant: "They're dead."

Phantom of the architect

Overheard at Angelo's Pizza, 36th and Keswick, Hampden, home of the "big slice."

First guy: "Yeah, I just redid the bathroom. Next, I'm puttin' a deck out back, and in the summer I'm gonna screen it in. It'll be just like havin' another room. I designed it all myself."

Second guy: "Hey man, what do you think you are, some kinda Andrew Lloyd Wright?"

What's a few more miles?

Greg Glessner, former Fells Point bartender delivering drinks and wisdom at the Oregon Grille in Hunt Valley, says: "I have an idea. Since there is now growing concern over the future owner of Deep Creek Lake, let's get Big John Paterakis to buy it and build his Wyndham Hotel there, instead of at Inner Harbor East. We'll have local ownership of this great natural resource and he'll have a hotel which will be the same distance from the Convention Center - in the eyes of potential conventioneers - as Inner Harbor East. I'm tellin ya, it's a win-win."

This Just In appears three times a week. Contact columnist Dan Rodricks at The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or at 410-332-6166, or by electronic mail at

Pub Date: 3/09/98

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