Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Lie We All Live In

Earlier this week, my next-door neighbors Devon and Trina Ward noticed the letter N sprayed into their front lawn, accompanied by an empty container of Skoal, beer bottles and chicken bones. Soon after it became mailbox conversation and sidewalk small talk.

On Friday, police officers were canvassing the street, interviewing neighbors about the unfortunate incident. I myself got a ring at the doorbell from officer Rodriguez. None of us had noticed anything out of the ordinary. The police downplayed the incident and advised the Wards to cover it up.


The Wards reached out through other channels; local papers, WBAL TV-11 News and myself.
Melissa Carlson and John Cassini from WBAL interviewed the Wards, my mother and myself. Do I feel safe in my own neighborhood, they asked.

"Its the lie we all live in," I told Carlson. Its Columbia and anyone who thinks civility is the categorical imperative of our town needs to add Tom Paine to their bumper. Einstein said time and space are relative. I think he should add safety to the list.

Now I'm asking the readers of this blog and other local blogs to spread the word. The "not in my neighborhood" mentality ends where the driveways meet the streets. And on Columbia's summer streets, many a youth walks around with nothing to do.

So if you've got nothing better to do, or you'd like the details, tune in to 11 News at 11pm for the story and thanks for reading.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Declaration of Independence

WHEN in the Course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the Powers of the Earth, the separate and equal Station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the Separation.

WE hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness--That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient Causes; and accordingly all Experience hath shewn, that Mankind are more disposed to suffer while Evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the Forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security. Such has been the patient Sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the Necessity which constrains them to altertheir former Systems of Government. The History of the present King of Great-Britain is a History of repeated Injuries and Usurpations, all having in direct Object the Establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid World.

-Excerpt from The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776-

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Demise of Dobbin Donuts & Deli

What happened here? From the lonely view through the front door and windows, the place looks deserted. I remember walking in a few weeks ago and having breakfast, The couple who ran the place told me that business had been slow.

They never gave me any indication that they'd fold, nor had I heard from any outside source as to the precarious state of their operation. Regardless of the cause, the effect is the same. Dobbin Donuts & Deli is closed.

My father and I have frequented this "Mom & Pop" type of restaurant for years. As we approached the front door this morning, the grim reality finally set in.

Juicy details. You want them, I don't have them. Actually I'd like them too. Journalism doesn't work so well when you don't have credible sources to interview or patrons to observe. The only bit of information I could find was a sign on the back door.

So for anyone reading this with inside information concerning the demise of Dobbin Donuts & Deli, spill it. When did it close? Why? How has Dobbin Pizza affected the business? Did the business move or is it gone for good?