October 1, 1990
""Eight-hundred-thousand-bid-and-now-and-a-half-and-a-half-by-a-half-and-a-half-to-go,eight-hundred-bid-and-now-a-half.I'm-bid-eight-hundred-thousand-now-eight-fifty.I'm bid-eight-and-a-half-and-now-nine.Eight-and-a-half-and-now-nine." Auctioneer R. Andrew Stafford's words dance around the empty automobile showroom, once home to Inner Harbor Ford, and into the cavernous service department, where a silver time clock has stopped at 4:20.At his side, acting as spotter, is Ray Nichols, president of Atlantic Auctions Inc. He watches for the oblique nod or wave that signals a new bid.All the while, against the auctioneer's seamless backdrop of words, Mr. Nichols is involved in a private drama.
January 30, 1997
"Have gavel will travel," is auctioneer Ann von Forthuber's motto, and she has the wardrobe to back it up. On any given day, "I don't know if I'm going to meet an attorney in an office in downtown Washington, and then going to an abandoned warehouse with no electric and heat, or whether I'll be talking to very simple folk after the passing of a loved one and what they want to do with the property," says von Forthuber, who operates Auction and Estate Representatives in Baltimore. "My clothes have to keep up with me."
April 23, 2004
THE HONORABLE RUTH Bader Ginsburg got it right. She opted to leave the Supreme Court out of the Maurice Clarett crusade so the court can decide more important things, like presidential elections. That doesn't mean Justice Ginsburg wasn't wrong. What will Rush Limbaugh and/or Al Franken have to say about this head-scratching refusal by a judge to overstep her bounds? An opera-loving, liberal champion of individual rights, Justice Ginsburg let the people down yesterday. As former Washington running back John Riggins once shouted to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor during a 1985 dinner function: Loosen up, Ruthie, baby.
August 15, 1992
The second annual Maryland Kids Convention will be held today and tomorrow at Towson State University. Sponsored by the Governor's Office for Children, Youth and Families and the Maryland State Department of Education, the Kids Convention will feature live entertainment, art activities, storytelling, a hands-on science arcade and many other activities.The event will be held in the Towson Center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. Admission is $2.50 per person. Family tickets are available for $7. Children younger than 3 are admitted free.
November 30, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Fate, and unfinished House business, played a mean trick on House Speaker Tom Foley. Defeated on Nov. 8 after 30 years in Congress, Foley came back to preside over the House of Representatives one final time as it met in special session to vote on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).Foley could easily have ducked the task. He could have remained home in Spokane, Wash., where voters brushed aside his seniority and influence in favor of a Republican political neophyte named George Nethercutt who said he wanted to be "a listener, not a speaker."
June 28, 1991
In the office of the administrative judge of Baltimore's District Court, two desks and two credenzas have been pushed together to form a large rectangle of dark wood on which sit stacks of legal journals, court papers and law books.Colleagues of Judge Joseph A. Ciotola say it's easy to understand why the stacks are so tall and the space to hold them so large: Judge Ciotola, who arrives for work at 5:30 a.m. and leaves well after the last case is heard, oversees Maryland's busiest and largest lower court system.
December 30, 1990
Last March, when Sunday school teachers Ralph and Betty Smith were convicted of subjecting two of their children to more than a decade of incest, daughter Lisa Smith Clark knew life would never be the same for her and her siblings.Crying happy tears, Clark gestured toward the sister and three brothers who had stood behind her. (Her other two sisters had testified on behalf of their parents.) "We start to live," she said that day. "This is our birthday."It wasn't just the criminal trial, although Clark and her siblings were quick to say they felt vindicated when a county Circuit Court jury convicted the Pasadena couple after deliberating only 40 minutes.
August 12, 2001
Texas has produced more than its share of commanding female storytellers, from Katherine Anne Porter to Mary Karr. The list would be incomplete without Patricia Highsmith, the Fort Worth-born author of 21 novels of suspense including Strangers on a Train (1950) and The Talented Mr. Ripley (1955). In addition to literary thrillers, Highsmith -- who died in 1995 -- also wrote seven collections of short fiction, five of which are now reprinted in an imposing volume called The Selected Stories of Patricia Highsmith (Norton, 724 pages, $27.95)
March 17, 2001
GEORGE W. won't be traveling to England. Not that he didn't want good relations with our allies. He just belongs here, near our seat of power. We're not talking about the current White House occupant; this is about his earliest predecessor. It took $20 million from a little-known foundation in Las Vegas to keep George Washington in the town named after him. That's because the most famous portrait of him -- Gilbert Stuart's life-size rendering -- has been owned by British royalty since the president posed for the painting in 1796.
November 18, 1999
QUICK: Name the Arundel County Council chairman. If you're sweating like George W. Bush during a pop quiz on foreign leaders, calm down. The answer is more important to politicians than to county residents.John and Jane Public may know issues important to them but probably don't care a lick that the chairman is Daniel E. Klosterman Jr.But the title is a big deal for council members because the chairman runs meetings, works with the county executive and deals with department heads.The clamor for the job is even more evident this year because County Council meetings soon will appear on cable television.