The Mail 8/20/14

Cop Credibility
Suspect Everywhere

Van Smith informs us that the "Boys in Blue Blow It" and that they have a well-known credibility problem in Baltimore City (Mobtown Beat, Aug. 12). That statement is somewhat incorrect because police credibility is a problem wherever minorities live in this country. As a matter of fact the police department is one of the most corrupted institutions in America and has the history to prove it.


That history can be found in the documented archives of old newspaper companies, especially the archives of the Afro-American newspaper and Jet and Ebony magazines.

Leo A. Williams

Permanent Records

I would like to express my gratitude to Baynard Woods for two things: turning me on to a book that I might not have become aware of—Amanda Petrusich's "Do Not Sell at Any Price" ("Preposterous Routes," A&E, July 29)—and penning one of the most eloquent reviews I've ever read.

It's obvious the reviewer loved this book and his lyrical and insightful writing makes that plain. And I tell you, Mr. Woods, after finishing the poetic last sentence, my vision became a bit blurry. I send my sincerest thanks. And for those who missed it, I'm sorry. Pieces this good should be reprinted from time to time. I know: unlikely. But I'm just sayin'.

Brian McQuade

Editor's Note: those who missed it the first time can steer their internet browser to and click on "books."

Don’t Cry Suicide

The headline, "Constructive Crit," for Amy Greensfelder's attack on City Paper for mentioning the way Dr. Nikita Levy killed himself (The Mail, Aug. 6), struck me as too generous. My chosen heading would have been, GO TO HELL!

Just like a nasty cop asking "Ya don't mind if I take a little look in here, do ya?" Greensfelder wants to ever-so-gently "encourage" journalists to obey—oh, sorry, I mean "become familiar with"—some NIMH study showing that kids who listen to Judas Priest are more likely to shoot themselves in the face—uh, I mean that mentioning how Levy killed himself may lead to copycat suicides (presumably among Baltimore's many other black gynecologists with Russian-sounding first names). But why the hell should submitting to some government diktat override CP's obligation to report the news? What is this, Nazi Germany?

Personal to Amy Greensfelder: You're an idiot, but don't worry, it probably isn't contagious.

Jon Swift

Oh Say Can You Seal?

Ben Anderson's review of Nessie Press's new zine, "Monsters of the Deep," ("Monster Mash," Books, Aug. 4) leaves us thinking the Loch Ness Monster is just another unlikely or even mythical creature. What is any sort of reptile—a cold-blooded creature—doing in the icy depths of a far-northern lake?

One book on the subject explains that a huge, long-necked seal fits the beast's description and known distribution. Weird lake beasts are reported from British Columbia's Lake Okanogan to Celtic lakes on east to Siberia's Lake Baikal, but not from tropical lakes anywhere. The clincher is that Nessie has been heard barking, as seals do, by a number of witnesses. Saint Columba's Nessie encounter in the 6th century antedates the Celtic invention of whiskey.

Numerous sightings from a mere lake are good evidence but, on the other hand, a few reports of "Chessie" from our own vast bay may be due (thank the Celts) to whiskey.

Thomas L. Fox

From the Web, Facebook, and Twitter

I think it's great to have a spotlight on the overflows, but this article leaves out a couple of important points- 1. This was a 500 yr storm, and you just cant design a plants for that and 2. Overflows were diluted by the storm, so the nutrients/solids/etc weren't as concentrated as typical wastewater. That being said there should be better overflow solutions as big storms such as this become more and more frequent.

—”abj2009,” Aug.  18

Baynard calling out journalist's integrity? Reading a Baynard article one must endure his self-promotion (oh, you wrote a book?), name dropping (his friends), and hypocritical criticism (this article a case in point). He can't leave himself out of anything he writes. He's the pivot man in the circle jerk that is the Baltimore art scene, maybe he's playing us, can anyone be this much of a stooge?

—” megggabolt,” Aug. 17

Edward Ericson Jr. wrote this story so well. I've just finished reading it and was stuck to every sentence. Your dissection of Watford's business dealings throughout his life and your well narrated unraveling of the continuous fraud, deception and lies Watford's dealt in really paints a clear picture of what could be a confusing and mangled web of business names, stolen identities and unscrupulous bankruptcy filings. Great tie in showing how differently the government treats small and large corporations.

—” ezemyr1,” Aug. 16