Widespread support -- well, numerous -- well, eight so far


May 26, 2006|By LAURA VOZZELLA

Doug Duncan announced the other day that he'd won the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Correctional Officers. Yet another politician bragging about a nod from yet another union. Ho-hum. The only place it got substantial ink was in the Hagerstown Herald-Mail, which reported on a "sparsely attended news conference" out that way. And that's when things got interesting.

"The Fraternal Order of Correctional Officers has no members yet, but the organization has lots of support in Western Maryland and in other parts of the state, organizer John Reamy said," the paper reported.

No members? Can that be right? A press release from the Duncan campaign had said the group "represents correctional officers throughout Western Maryland."

I reached Reamy yesterday at the Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown, where he's a correctional officer, and asked about the membership.

"As of this point, we really don't have a lot of members," Reamy said.

How many does that mean?

"Technically, we have none at this point," he said.

The union just came into existence on May 8, with the signing of articles of incorporation, Reamy said. That came after he and other organizers had collected 1,000 signatures from state correctional officers interested in joining such a group. Now they're busy making up bylaws and getting ready to sign up members.

"Even though there's no true membership yet, there is a lot of support statewide" for the union, which will focus on safety issues important to corrections workers, said Reamy, who is serving as interim president.

So just how many people does that Duncan nod actually represent? Eight - Reamy and the seven other members of the union board.

The O'Malley campaign called the endorsement claim misleading.

But Duncan campaign spokeswoman Jody Couser brushed off the criticism, saying the O'Malley camp "should not take out their frustrations about their stalled campaign on the state's hard working correctional officers, who put their lives on the line every day."

Random here, huge in Canada

Random 1, the reality TV show that aimed to give people fresh starts, is getting a chance to reboot. Off the air since January, the show is being revived on the Web, says Baltimore filmmaker John Chester, who starred along with former WBAL-TV fitness trainer Andre Miller.

Although it didn't pick the show up for a second season, A&E is allowing past episodes, pared down from 60 minutes to 12, to appear on www.random1.com starting in July, Chester said. The site will update fans on the fates of the homeless people and others who received the show's quirky brand of charity. Chester said they still get lots of fan mail, particularly from Canadian viewers.

"We're huge in Canada," he said. "I think they just see our homeless issue as an atrocity and we're just used to it."

Judge not, lest ye be expelled

Remember that aspiring judge who got kicked out of the local Italian-American lawyers club because he decided to run for Baltimore City Circuit Court judge? Well, Nicholas J. Del Pizzo III might not be lonely much longer, and not because the Justinians - led by Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Daniels - have had second thoughts about his ouster. Del Pizzo could have some company because another social club might do the same thing to one of its wannabe-judge members.

Arthur Frank says some members of the Battle Grove Democratic Club are trying to kick him out because he's running for Baltimore County Circuit Court judge.

Garry Mongan, president of the Dundalk-area political club, said he's heard some rumblings to that effect. But so far, he said, no one has filed any formal complaints against Frank.

Connect the dots

How do you handle a hungry man? At Whole Foods in Baltimore's Harbor East, which offers lunch specials to area construction workers on "Hard Hat Thursdays," the menu includes charred eggplant salad and citrus quinoa. ... Loyola Blakefield, criticized in Examiner stories for not calling police after finding drugs in a student's locker, takes a hard line on snowballs. "Because of the potential harm to persons and property, snowballs are not to be fashioned or thrown anywhere on the Loyola Blakefield Campus," the student handbook states. ... Congressional hopeful Andy Barth won an endorsement this week from David Halberstam. A campaign press release says the Pulitzer Prize-winning author reminisced about playing softball with Barth's father in the 1960s, when Halberstam was a reporter in The New York Times' Washington bureau and Alan Barth was a Washington Post editorial writer.

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