What's with the Domino Sugars sign lately? Baltimore's nightlight hasn't been blinking on at sundown as usual, say several spies who live along the waterfront and count on the neon icon to herald the end of the day - and prop up inflated housing values. ("Domino sign views!")
The sign should start glowing about 9 p.m. this time of year. But I'm told it was dark after 10 several nights late last week.
Domino officials initially insisted the sign was working as usual. But then I got Jim Cochran, engineering manager, on the phone. He said he'd look into it, and he called back yesterday to say that the timer was, for some reason, set too late.
"It was coming on about 10:30," he said. "We'll take a look at it tonight."
The unkindest cut
When we last left Mulchgate, Roland Park landscaper Devra Kitterman was chastising neighbors with a fondness for dyed shredded wood and other outdoor accoutrements she said belonged outside McMansions and Taco Bells.
Among the offended masses: Felicia Cannon, clerk of the U.S. District Court, who took issue with Kitterman's claim that the courthouse downtown had "laughably large piles" of mulch. Cannon says there's only an inch of mulch, on top of 2 feet of topsoil that had to be piled up to turn a concrete slab into a place where trees could grow.
Then there were Kitterman's defenders, including Bob Condlin of Baltimore, who said her work as a greensman on John Waters' A Dirty Shame was "a gardening tour de force." It involved creating topiary sex organs for the film.
And finally, we hear from Kitterman, who could not be reached for comment before Sunday's column. "I stand by everything I said," she told me yesterday. "I'm not saying anything that many, many neighbors [aren't saying]. It's just that I'm obnoxious enough to say it. That's one the joys of menopause, you start staying what you think."
Kitterman noted that her show-biz credits also include work for The Wire and West Wing, though her Dirty Shame gig was "a job of a lifetime as a gardener. It's not every day you get asked to put [BLEEPS] and [BLEEPS] and [BLEEPS] all over Hamilton."
Just keep it out of Roland Park.
Connect the dots
Gov. Robert Ehrlich is set to go on the air this week on Baltimore's television stations with campaign commercials promoting ... well, we don't know yet. The Guv's camp won't say. All campaign manager Bo Harmon would tell The Sun's Doug Donovan yesterday was, "Watch television. Tomorrow." Sources within the television market tell Donovan that Ehrlich is spending close to $130,000 to air commercials on all of the area's network affiliates and cable. ... Emanuel Brown, the veteran Baltimore District Court judge who got off the bench in a rent court case a while back to check out a problem public-housing unit for himself, is doing something else that raises eyebrows in legal circles: running for judge. Brown says he has tried for years to get on the city Circuit Court by way of gubernatorial appointment. Since that hasn't worked, he's looking to voters to promote him. ... U.S. Senate hopeful Josh Rales was on the Marc Steiner Show yesterday. That ticked off A. Robert Kaufman, one of his rivals in the Democratic primary, who called the station to say he's ready for his WYPR close-up. "His producer gave me a lot of gobbledygook," Kaufman complained. But he called me back later to say they'd booked him for July 18.
Checkup at the checkout
Delegate-doctor Dan Morhaim makes a special appearance at a supermarket Sunday for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. "In addition to volunteering as a guest celebrity grocery-bagger at the Owings Mills Safeway," the press release says, "Dr. Morhaim will ... "
Oh, say it ain't so! He can't actually be performing exams at the Safeway?
No. He'll just take questions about public health policy and preventive health. Nothing like talking health with the guy bagging your Tastykakes.
New bumper sticker for The Guv who calls multiculturalism "bunk."