May 5, 2013
If the state of Texas executes Duane Buck, it'll be because he is black. Well, mainly it will be because in 1995, he shot his ex-girlfriend, Debra Gardner, and her friend, Kenneth Butler, to death at Gardner's Houston home, and also wounded his own stepsister, Phyllis Taylor. But it will also be because he's black. In Texas, they have this rule: a jury contemplating the death penalty must evaluate the likelihood a defendant poses a future danger to the community. Jurors in Mr. Buck's trial were told he poses said danger because he is a black man. Mind you, this came from a defense witness, whose ultimate finding was that Mr. Buck himself represented little danger.
May 2, 2013
Few Americans are on the road more than the manager of a major league baseball team. But Buck Showalter, the Orioles' famously persevering manager, rarely stays put even in the offseason, when he's canvassing the country for new talent. After all, being stagnant would never have earned him two American League Manager of the Year awards or helped him turn around the Orioles' 14-year stretch of losing seasons. His most recent motivator? "When we [the Orioles] were leaking a little oil in mid-season (2012)
May 1, 2013
In my reading and listening about the fertilizer plant fire and explosion in West, Texas, I have noticed a dearth of comments about the dangers faced by first responders ("Obama to honor firefighters killed in Texas fertilizer blast," April 24). One of the purposes of the various federal and local chemical reporting requirements is to provide nearby fire companies with information for protecting themselves and for appropriate methods of reacting to an incident. That knowledge, buttressed by fire company inspections of nearby plants, can save lives.
April 22, 2013
Here is an item that I have been anticipating. Rep. Bill Flores, a Texas Republican, was being interviewed on TV the day after the explosion of the fertilizer plant which is located in the district he represents. He said in that interview he was pleased to report that he has been assured that the federal government will supply all assets needed to help that community in Texas. Good job, congressman. But here is the thing. Rep. Flores voted against federal aid for the victims of Hurricane Sandy last year!
April 1, 2013
The Orioles have decided to take advantage of a new rule that allows for the hiring of a seventh coach. Former big league catcher Einar Diaz, who was ticketed to be the field coach at Bowie, will now be an assistant major league coach, helping hitting coach Jim Presley as well as other members of Showalter's staff. “I've had Einar as a player [with the Texas Rangers in 2003],” Showalter said. “Einar is just a solid human being. He'll fit in real well to the clubhouse, pretty seamless.” Showalter said one of the most important things about Diaz is that he's a good batting practice pitcher, something needed with the departure of last year's third-base coach DeMarlo Hale.
March 18, 2013
Texas Roadhouse of Fallston announced recently it has formed a partnership with the Upper Chesapeake Health Foundation in support of The Senator Bob Hooper House, Harford County's first residential hospice facility. Texas Roadhouse will be donating entrees and providing food service to an estimated 750 guests who will be in attendance for the 14th annual Upper Chesapeake Hospice Regatta planned for June in Havre de Grace. The restaurant is committed to making a positive impact by providing all food at free for this year's Hospice Regatta.