Nothing unusual, considering the sources

This Just In...

March 30, 2001|By Dan Rodricks

I SEE WHERE Chesapeake Bay watermen, led by Larry "The Fishermen Ought to Make the Rules" Simns, have withdrawn their tepid support of efforts to save the declining blue crab population before it collapses altogether. Gee, that wasn't too predictable, was it?

The National Rifle Association wants its Eddie Eagle mascot - the Joe Camel of firearms - to be included in proposed mandatory gun-safety classes in Maryland schools. What a shocker.

For weeks, Sen. Walter Baker, the bushy-browed chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in Annapolis, said he wouldn't allow a vote on the death penalty moratorium, though a majority of committee members wanted him to.

Walter B. thumbing his nose at democracy? Walter B. standing in the way of progressive government oversight of an important public issue? I can't believe it.

At a time when the city faces a budget deficit, the mayor of Baltimore gives an extraordinary pay increase to police officers, knowing that firefighters have contractual parity that accords them a comparable amount.

He then announces that he may have to lay off 500 employees in other city departments.

Only Miss Cleo, the TV psychic with the fake Jamaican accent, could have seen that one coming.

Off-the-field heroes

Baby-faced Brandon "I Beat Jason Sehorn for a TD in Super Bowl XXXV" Stokely, at Martin's West for a function last week, decided to drop in on the annual mother-daughter fashion show of Seton-Keough High School, being held in an adjoining ballroom.

The Ravens receiver signed autographs, posed for pictures, then escorted each of the 13 senior models in their prom gowns down the runway.

And here's more from the Nice Guy Department: Ravens defensive end Michael McCrary has been chosen to receive the NFL Players Association's Byron "Whizzer" White Award for his humanitarian work in the community.

McCrary, who a year ago established Mac's Miracle Fund to support Special Olympics and who gives his time and money to the Baltimore Police Athletic League, gets the award at the association's April 6 banquet in Washington.

I'd high-five the guy, but he's still recovering from hand surgery.

Mobile panhandler

Monday's column reported on the Towson panhandler who asks for money then offers to pay back his benefactors with a free sandwich from the deli counter at Eddie's of Roland Park, where he claims to work.

According to numerous TJI readers, a guy telling the same story has been operating near Taylor's bowling alley in Stoneleigh, the York Road Plaza and outside the Baltimore Arena. For a guy with a blood-soaked bad foot, he sure gets around.

Help the park

Nouveau Cantonians - you know who you are - who want to get involved in a community project should report to the Virginia Baker Rec Center in Patterson Park tomorrow between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. It's the annual meeting of Friends of Patterson Park (FOPP).

Don't worry: No speeches, no award ceremonies. Just a chance to learn how some FOPP-ish groups use this great park.

Calendar note: The annual Patterson Park fishing rodeo is next Saturday on the boat lake. Bring your own rod and hooks. Worms provided, but I suggest roll-your-own Velveeta balls.

Bad call, ref

We love strange-but-true cell phone stories. Here's one from a reader named Curtis in Ellicott City: "One Saturday morning, I'm watching my third-grader's rec league basketball game.

"Shortly after the second half starts, a cell phone rings. It's the referee's cell phone, and he answers it while the game goes on! He's talking on the phone, running up and down the court with the kids!"

Bad call, mayor

Everywhere I go, I hear outrage over the O'Malley administration's plan to drop the city's blue-bag recycling program to save $500,000 in operating costs.

Politically, this was a dumb move; the curbside pickup of bottles, cans and plastic containers was one of the city's most visible services. The city is already a trashy mess and this could only make a bad situation worse.

"Welcome to Trashmore," says West Baltimore TJI reader Canice Murphy. "On the other hand," Harford countian Chuck Scott bright-sides it, "the homeless will be able to pick up more cans and sell them."

Bunny in the budget

While Baltimore struggles with budget woes, the Carroll County town of Sykesville splurges a little. This week, the Town Council authorized purchase of an Easter bunny costume. See, it's like this:

Every year, the town's Easter egg hunt draws nearly 100 tots, and they need a big bunny to lead them to treasures. Renting a costume every year runs about $100. Last year, the town borrowed a bunny outfit from Westminster, but Westminster insisted on a timely return of the suit and no grass stains or sticky fur.

So Sykesville paid $50 to have the costume dry-cleaned overnight and returned before Westminster's egg hunt the next day.

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