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Author Archives: C. Fraser Smith

C. Fraser Smith's column appears on Fridays.

Commentary: The trials of Ulysses

State Sen. Ulysses Currie’s indictment is a crashing embarrassment for the political community of Annapolis. His fall from a top policymaking rung of the state Senate — and the clueless, venal escapade that apparently brought it on — offers a ...

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Commentary: Race, history and public safety

Will history be the winner in this year’s race for Baltimore State’s Attorney? I am talking about the historic suspicion of the police in the city’s black community. Does the current prosecutor’s war with a succession of police commissioners protect ...

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Commentary: In search of a city prosecutor

“Revolving door…Blame Game…15 years…” “Liar…Liar…Liar…” Here is a digest of the critically important race for Baltimore City State’s Attorney: “Revolving door” is the mantra of Gregg Bernstein, the challenger. “Liar” is the response of the incumbent, Patricia C. Jessamy. Both ...

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Commentary: Where summer spends the summer

BLOCK ISLAND, R.I. — We’ve barely set foot in the house when Zoe, simultaneously shy and irrepressible, finds the blackberries encircling the property in high hedges with camouflaged, possibly lethal stickers. Granddaughter No. 2 extracts a small, promising handful. Enough ...

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Commentary: Carnage amid the campaign

Before the names Pitcairn and Hill became widely known in Baltimore, this year’s race for state’s attorney looked like another win for the incumbent, Patricia C. Jessamy. She’s had the job for 15 years, a point her opponent, Gregg Bernstein, ...

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Commentary: Will better be good enough?

It’s all about the economy — and money: money for campaign commercials, money for staff and money for getting out the vote … We’re talking about political campaigns in general and this year’s race for governor in particular. At last ...

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Commentary: Delay of games in latest slots ruling

This week’s decision by the Court of Appeals leaves Maryland’s slots drama with more angles than a pile of coat hangers. Herewith, an incomplete list of the aforementioned: SLOTS: The once, future and perhaps forever state of play is delay. ...

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Commentary: The iceberg of our discontent

Tea party activists are learning fast, generating “earned media,” staying on message, turning out the faithful. In fact, they’re acting almost mainstream, of all things. And don’t think the mainstream political world hasn’t noticed. Both major parties — in somewhat ...

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Commentary: Searching for the essence of Chautauqua

Chautauqua, N.Y. — My kids think of it as nerd camp, that place Dad goes every summer. Like almost every description of Chautauqua, it falls well short of the mark. It’s not a serious effort, of course, and yet it ...

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The vision that changed a city’s psyche

On July 2, 1980, Mayor William Donald Schaefer and James W. Rouse, the tribune of America’s inner city renaissance, stood on a reviewing stand as Baltimore’s Harborplace was inaugurated. Acclaimed local boys making good, the world was their oyster. That ...

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