In The News

SADDEST NEWS OF THE DAY (for me at least)

Darren Brown, AKA Wiz of the AMAZING bands Mega City 4 and Ipanema has passed away. I just saw these guys play a few months ago and this is breaking my heart. From a messageboard:

The sudden and tragic death of Wiz (Darren Brown) has been announced.

Wiz died in hospital on 6th Dec 2007. His closest friends and family were with him.

Wiz was dearly loved by all his friends and family. He was a greatly respected and extraordinary musician and writer who touched the lives of many.

He will be deeply missed.

A page has been created with further news and comment.

Please leave your messages there.


Yeah, this has ruined my whole day. Wiz and his music have been a large part of my life for the past few years, and this is just stunning and horrible. It will be an all Wiz day on the ipod and then on the turntable at home.


A suit has been brought to the Circuit Court of Baltimore that
"seeks to call attention to the reality that any person arrested in Maryland should not expect legal counsel when they first appear before a judicial officer," said Doug Colbert, a University of Maryland, Baltimore law professor assisting Venable's attorneys.
Apparently, poor defendants are being sent to their bail hearings without a public defender. I am not a legal scholar (+perhaps some of the more lawyerly MD bloggers can help me out here) but this doesn't seem very fair.


Maryland is having budget problems.
Del. Murray D. Levy, a Charles County Democrat who is one of the Assembly's budget experts, said part of the problem is that Maryland's basic tax structure hasn't changed as its economy has evolved. Services are exempt from the sales tax, for example, but the economy is growing steadily more dependent on the service industry, Levy said.

Maryland could solve some of these problems by raising some taxes and lowering others to make revenue track more closely with the economy, but the process would be politically difficult because some people would inevitably come out winners and others losers, Levy said.

Franchot says he will beef up the revenue forecasting office, which he said has been off by as much as $1 billion in recent years.

"On the one hand, you appropriate money that turns out not to be there, and you have to cut dollars, or you are told money will not be there, so you make cuts in programs and then the money appears too late to be allocated," Franchot said. "The point is, these programs affect real people, so you want the figures to be as correct as possible."

First, its nice to know that Maryland will have progressive Peter Franchot as our new comptroller.

Secondly, what a shame it is that Martin O'Malley has been saddled by budget issues at the start of both his mayoral and gubernatorial careers. It makes me wonder what O'Malley would do differently if he had a budget surplus. One of his first tests it appears, is whether or not O'Malley can turn the State's financial situation around.


Despite what some national media coverage would have you believe, Baltimore City still has heroes.
A heroic rescue took place in West Baltimore Wednesday morning, as a sweeping fire swept through the second and third floors of a row homes on West Pratt Street.


Quick acting neighbors Nicholas Matkins and Jeff Kuhn were outside on the street as the fire spread inside the building.

"There were five kids at the window," said Matkins. "As they were jumping we were catching."

When they saw young children standing by a window ready to jump, Matkins and Kuhn were there to catch them.

Moments later, Kuhn climbed up to the window and began pulling the children out and handing them down to Matkins and other bystanders who were gathering around the building.

"I saw one of the kids jump and hit the small roof," said Kuhn. He added, "I figured one of them was gonna get hurt. I climbed up on the roof and just started grabbing them out the window and passing them down to the next people."
All involved in the fire, including the family dog, are alive and well save for some bruises.


Great news for Death Row inmates, Maryland may be recruiting the best and brightest doctors around....

...to kill you.

Yeah, yeah, its not all that doom and gloom and I have a rather cynical view here. Still, it just turns my stomach to see the death of a human being discussed in such a detached way. The moratorium seemed like a fine idea to me and it would help our courts avoid the difficult discussion of how gently they should carry out state sanctioned revenge killing.

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