April 16, 2012
As long as the General Assembly's top leaders are planning a special session to pick up the state's budget where last they left it, here's another item to add to the agenda: No MTA fare hike unless it's part of a broader agenda to revive the financially-depleted Transportation Trust Fund. Little noticed in all the debate in Annapolis over spending cuts and new taxes was an instruction added to what's known as the BRFA (the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act), the bill that each year accompanies the budget, that requires the Maryland Transit Administration to raise fares on bus, light rail and subway services every two years to meet a 35 percent farebox recovery rate and keep up with the Consumer Price Index.
March 21, 2012
On March 12, my wife and I entered Catonsville, via Frederick Road, traveling east to a doctor appointment at 4 p.m. Suddenly, our car was enveloped in a cloud of steam coming from the engine, forcing us to stop on the side of the road. An urgent call to AAA assured us that assistance would arrive in 30-45 minutes. Some 15-20 minutes later, as I was examining the engine, a gentleman, approaching from behind, tapped me on my shoulder to ask the nature of our problem. I assumed he was the AAA service contractor.
February 3, 2012
The first time Rain Pryor visited the intimate Strand Theater, she knew she was in the right place. "I thought, 'It smells like theater. I'm home,'" says the actress, comedian, writer and musician who has just been named artistic director of the Strand. This 55-seat venue, part of the artistically bustling Station North district, was founded in 2008 by Jayme Kilburn to showcase women - performers, directors, writers, designers. Pryor, who relocated to Baltimore from Los Angeles about five years ago, only recently became acquainted with the theater, but she seems thoroughly comfortable there already.
January 24, 2012
Two men were given life sentences Tuesday for their roles in the May 2010 kidnapping and rape of a woman who was stranded in downtown Baltimore and seeking help, prosecutors said. Jerome Lee, 29, and Jamal Richards, 28, were convicted by Baltimore juries in November. On May 22, 2010, the men were driving when they saw a woman on North Eutaw Street seeking assistance and they offered to drive her home, according to a statement from the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office.
January 17, 2012
As a daily commuter who rides the Maryland Transit Administration's #11 bus northbound in the morning and southbound in the evening, I have to wonder: Could there be a more unreliable organization than the MTA? I have certainly never encountered one. The MTA must put forth a more significant effort to try to keep bus, train and light rail running on schedule than current results reflect. Two months ago, when I waited at a stop for two full hours while as many as four scheduled buses were no-shows, I called customer service - which offered absolutely no help.
September 28, 2011
The Orioles won't finish the season with a sweep of their perennial bullies, but they still have a chance to make October intolerable for Red Sox Nation. Paced by four homers, including the first two of rookie catcher Ryan Lavarnway's career, Boston beat the Orioles, 8-7, on Tuesday, remaining tied in the American League wild-card race with the Tampa Bay Rays, who beat the visiting New York Yankees, 5-3. With one game left in the 2011 season, Boston needs a win Wednesday and a Rays loss to avoid a one-game playoff Thursday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla. The reverse would send the big-money Red Sox home without the playoffs for the second consecutive season.