Levinson moved, left his name

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August 03, 2008|By LAURA VOZZELLA

B arry Levinson has come a long way from the knotty pine club room and marble front stoop. All the way, in fact, to "10,000 sf on 2 level acres, pool, guest quarters, separate studio, 7BR, 8 full & 3 half baths," just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.

The filmmaker moved from that spread seven years ago to a place in West Redding, Conn. But to Sotheby's International Realty, the California property will always be Levinson's home. "The Barry Levinson Estate," as it's called on the Sotheby's Web site, is listed at $17.5 million.

"It's kind of retained its stature as the Barry Levinson estate," said listing agent Bill Bullock. "That's what it's known as."

The house sits in the phenomenally expensive but low-key town of Ross, a Marin County burg rich enough to sustain several glorious restaurants but small enough not to rate postal delivery.

"You have to go to the post office to get your mail there," Bullock said.

If picking up the mail is part of the charm, so is not having to pick up the mail, or the laundry, or groceries or anything else. "These folks have staff, full-time staff, many of them," Bullock said. "They send their staff down there, but it might not be unusual to see Sean Penn down at the post office."

Levinson moved to Ross in the mid-1990s and sold the home in 2001, said Bullock, Levinson's listing agent. The filmmaker-owner added to the appeal the last time the place changed hands.

"In fact, he had his Oscar sitting in there in his study on one of the shelves in there," Bullock said. "It was kind of an interesting side note when people came to see the house."

Some "very wealthy woman" - Bullock wasn't saying who - bought the house from Levinson and is selling it now. But even after it sells again, Bullock expects the Levinson name to stick.

"We sold Andre Agassi's house last year. That's still known as the Agassi estate."

Former Dixon spokesman returns to the airwaves

Former mayoral spokesman and radio host Anthony McCarthy is back to public affairs and the public airwaves.

The Anthony McCarthy Show, a news talk program, debuted last week on WEAA. It airs Fridays from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

McCarthy has hosted several radio shows over the years, on the Morgan State station and on WYPR, and worked for Sheila Dixon when she was City Council president. In January 2007, he became Dixon's communications director. He left after several months, when he became the subject of a police investigation, which did not result in charges.

Let's hope McCarthy, subpoenaed in June by state prosecutors investigating Dixon, uses his new radio gig to tell City Hall tales out of school. Don't save it all for the grand jury, Anthony!

Vermin in anti-litter effort wasn't tax-supported

Time to eat some crow - or rat, in this case: Baltimore City tax money was NOT squandered on a $200 freeze-dried rat.

The rodent was purchased to star in Mayor Dixon's "Cleaner, Greener" anti-litter campaign. It's a municipal initiative, but the advertising end of it isn't costing the city a dime. The Baltimore Community Foundation has raised money for it from other foundations and private donors.

Bound for Beijing, trying to pack a little lighter

WBAL's Kate Amara left last week for Beijing. The day before she took off for her Olympics assignment, she was getting her hair cut - crossing off No. 3 on her to-do list.

"I hate to sound superficial, but it will be tough to chase Michael Phelps through Beijing with a microphone in one hand, a camera in the other, while simultaneously pushing the bangs out of my eyes," she said via iPhone.

No. 2 on her list?

"Remove half the stuff in my suitcase and repack. Even the airlines 'preferred journalist rate' for overweight baggage is astronomical," she wrote. "Almost $400 for ONE bag that's over 80lbs. And the funny thing is, almost everything in the suitcase - including the suitcase - is made in China! I was really surprised by the extent of it: dresses, shoes, jewelry, 3 cameras, 2 laptops, iPhone, BlackBerry, even my official Olympic hat & hoodie, and my official NBC Beijing Olympic ChapStick with SPF15!!

"Top of the to-do list is saying goodbye to all the American stuff I love to bits: my boyfriend, burgers & fries, and reality TV. Project Runway & a pint of AmeriCone Dream on the couch with my lawyer-better-half ... what a perfectly patriotic way to say goodbye!"

Connect the dots

Michael isn't the only Phelps in training. The Olympian's mom, Debbie Phelps, took part in the Maryland Principals' Academy last week. Debbie Phelps, principal at Baltimore County's Windsor Mill Middle School, called the three-day professional development program rigorous. But she'll put school behind her Wednesday, when she flies to Beijing. "I'm not taking my laptop with me," she said. "I'm going over there to enjoy." Said state schools chief Nancy Grasmick: "It's not surprising that Michael is a world-class swimmer because he's got a world-class mother." ... The Gazette put Jim Smith, the term-limited Baltimore County exec running for who knows what, on its list of 10 Marylanders with the most clout. "He has God-like popularity," Potomac Inc. pollster G. Keith Haller told the paper. The exec isn't letting the hosannas go to his head, spokesman Don Mohler said. "As a product of Jesuit schools, he's very uncomfortable being compared to the deity."

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