Everywhere but church and the pizzeria


November 13, 2005|By LAURA VOZZELLA

Was that Paris Hilton with the itsy-bitsy dog on her arm at Baltimore's historic preservation board meeting the other night?

Well, no. It was BettyJean Murphy.

But the Baltimore developer and preservation board member seems to share the celebutante's sense of propriety, at least when it comes to where it's OK to bring along four-legged friends.

Like Hilton's Tinkerbell, Murphy's fluffy white Maltese, Jock, is a dog about town.

See Jock at the office. The bank. The board meetings in municipal buildings that, officially at least, don't admit tail-waggers unless they're leading the blind. (Murphy often sports dark sunglasses indoors, but she says her only visual impairment is something LensCrafters can fix in about an hour.)

"He's just my buddy pal, and I just take him everywhere. He does not like to be left," Murphy said. "When I take him to meetings, he's absolutely quiet. ... I used to hide him, but most places now just accept him."

With yippy dogs the only PC way to wear fur these days, Jock is Murphy's living, breathing fashion accessory everywhere but church and restaurants. Not that Murphy is altogether understanding about laws barring pets - even objectively "adorable" ones - from eateries.

"You can't even take them into carry-outs," she said. "I mean, that's the weirdest thing I've ever heard. I mean, just carry out. Can't set foot in any food purveyor. He waits in the car."

Readers must wash hands

The author dashed it off in two weeks, a quick read about his personal experiences fighting a good fight, expected to come out before the September primary.

Sound suspiciously like a campaign book?

Well, yes. But Peter Beilenson says his manuscript - under review by Hopkins University Press and tentatively titled A Healthy Fight: A Dozen Years at the Helm of the Baltimore City Health Department - was in the works long before he started running for Congress in the 3rd District.

(Of course, one might ask, when wasn't he running for Congress?)

The book looks at a range of health and social problems - AIDS, teen pregnancy, drugs, etc. Even if it does offer "innovative" solutions to those problems, the book is hardly the upbeat stuff of your average candidate memoir.

Jokes Beilenson: "STDs -- yeah!"

Channeling Nefertiti?

Is Julie Stankivic, a newly elected Annapolis city councilwoman, a reincarnated Egyptian princess?

Carl Snowden thinks the people have a right to know.

While moderating a candidates' forum before last Tuesday's election, Snowden asked Stankivic if she had made that claim in a letter to Del. John Leopold, a Republican candidate in the 2006 county executive's race.

"Her response was, verbatim, `I don't care to respond to anything that Del. John Leopold has said,'" Snowden said, recalling an exchange first reported in the Annapolis Capital.

Stankivic did not return phone calls seeking comment. Leopold would only say, "I can't talk about it."

For some reason, the letter containing the alleged claim was forwarded to the attorney general's office. Kevin Enright, spokesman for the office, declined to release it. "Our involvement was only as a personnel matter," he said.

Well, we all know a candidate's personal life sometimes becomes fodder for political attacks. But past lives?

Snowden, a local civil rights activist who serves as an aide to County Executive Janet Owens, thinks that's fair game.

"If, indeed, it's true," he said, "it goes to a person's judgment and temperament."

Lump, backfin, shell, stick and pads

The Johns Hopkins University is plunking down a big lump sum - $30,000 - for a big lump of crab.

The university forks over its clams tomorrow for one of the Crabtown sculptures that have been on display around the city since the summer.

Which one? No big surprise there. The school picked the crab made to look like a Hopkins lacrosse player, complete with helmet and gear.

Sixty crabs will be auctioned off Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Maryland Institute College of Art, and 80 more will auctioned off over the Internet. Visit www.crabtown.org for more information.

Money from the crab sales will go to the city's Believe in Our Schools campaign.

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