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Charles Village Confidential
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Police Barricade - Sun Editorial,0,5631858.story

Police barricade

Our view: City police must come clean on public information or risk their credibility

October 30, 2009

Stonewalling is something reporters confront all too often with government at every level. Few public agencies reveal their inner workings without a fight, and bureaucrats have a formidable arsenal of legalese and excuses that put the high school standard "the dog ate my report" to shame.

But even by the customary dodge, duck and weave of officialdom, the Baltimore Police Department may be in a class by itself. To call how they've responded lately to requests under Maryland's Public Information Act mere stonewalling is like calling China's Great Wall a trifling of masonry.

More than once, Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III has spoken of the need for transparency. But his idea of transparency appears to be posting details of his choosing on Facebook and Twitter. That may be helpful, but it's hardly transparent.

On Wednesday, the management of The Baltimore Sun decided enough was enough and filed suit in Baltimore Circuit Court to compel city police to start living up to the law. Waiting one year to respond to a reporter's requests for information - and then asking the request to be refiled to another individual so it can be held back all over again - just doesn't cut it.

Foot-dragging is not the only tactic the police have employed. The department has begun to charge outrageous fees that cannot be seen as reasonable attempts to recoup costs but rather as a deterrent to inspecting public records.

The city has set up a virtual tollbooth for access to public information. It is charging $80 to burn the audio of a 911 call onto a CD, which retails for about 23 cents. Photocopies cost $1 for the first page, and police reports cost $10 apiece. Moreover, the department has insisted that The Sun not be allowed first to view the records to see if reporters actually want to copy them.

Ignoring requests, delaying official responses and denying access on the thinnest of legal grounds have become standard operating procedures as well.

All of this should be of concern to city residents, not because of any inconvenience it presents for this newspaper or its employees but because these are matters in which everyone has a stake. News reporters have no special status. Everyone should have the right to inspect public records.

What has become of a three-year-old murder investigation? What is the schedule of police disciplinary hearings? What involvement have city police had in spying on death penalty opponents? What have investigations into police shootings revealed?

To answer these questions satisfactorily requires an opportunity to view reports and records the department would clearly prefer outsiders not see. Denying access for no justifiable reason (such as a threat to the integrity of an open investigation or the safety of a police officers) is unacceptable, not only because it violates the public information act but also because it causes considerable harm to the credibility of the department.

Police need the trust of the community, something that's simply not possible when information that ought to be provided routinely is denied to all. Unfortunately, Mr. Bealefeld's misguided campaign to withhold the names of police officers involved in shootings - information that was provided in the past with no apparent adverse consequence, according to the department's own reports - has steered his agency toward a "you can ask, but we won't tell" philosophy.

The city is still too dangerous a place for the department to retreat into a proverbial bunker from which only carefully censored communiques are dispatched. The dispute is surely costing more than legal fees: It suggests too much effort has gone into building walls around the department and not enough into letting in the cleansing sunshine of public scrutiny.

Readers respond
A democracy depends on government openness and accountability and unfettered access to public officials and documents for the press. No police department should be exempt. I hope the Sun beats these obstructionists at their own game in the courts.

Well Wisher


(Note: Attempted to Email this editorial to a number of people and email was apparently blocked.)

Posted by allan366 at 11:07 AM EST
Monday, 31 August 2009
Letter to Crouch

Allan W. Garske

3101 Guilford Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3420

Mail: Box 27442, Baltimore 21285-7442


Phone: (410) 499-2401




August 31, 2009



Steve Crouch


Charles Village Apartments

2508 North Charles Street

Baltimore, Maryland 21218


By Mail and by Fax to (410) 843-3578



Dear Mr. Crouch,


This is to let you know that on or about September 3 I will be sending you a check for $600 representing $540 in rent and $60 on arrears.









Allan W. Garske




Posted by allan366 at 5:32 PM EDT
Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Your Aug. 9 Washington Post Magazine article on the Washington City Paper‏
From:Allan Garske (
Sent:Wed 8/12/09 1:50 PM
Cc: Allan Garske (
At about the same time Russ Smith and Alan Hirsch of the Baltimore City Paper started their Baltimore paper, I attempted THE CHARLES STREET PAPER, an upscale tabloid monthly devoted to the arts along the Charle Street corridor. Unfortunately, I ran afoul of Baltimore politics and could not continue to publish.
Recently, I attempted to publish a blog and again was blocked. You can, however, hopefully visit my website at and get a sense of what I was trying to do.
About 5 years ago, I attempted to contact Tim Craig of your paper in a related matter and again was blocked. You might want to talk to Craig who has some experience of the Baltimore scene.
Let me know if you want to do anything with this. My phone is (410) 499-2401.

Posted by allan366 at 9:56 AM EDT
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
"Hop Cops" Harassment
Continued Surveillance by "Hop Cops"‏
From: Allan Garske (
Sent:Tue 7/28/09 6:21 PM
To:;;;;;;;; william.o';;;;;; Allan Garske (;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;


I continue to experience JHU security vans parking across the street from my apartment in what I take to be a form of harrassment. They are probably alerted to my leaving my apartment by my downstairs neighbor George Paniker. Before them it was Benefits District security and before them it was Northern District police.
The tag number for the Monday van was 448M995.
For more information, call me on (410) 499-2401 or visit my website at

Posted by allan366 at 2:37 PM EDT
Monday, 27 July 2009
Continued Harassment
Continued Harassment‏
From: Allan Garske (
Sent:Mon 7/27/09 11:34 PM
Today I emerged from my apartment building at 5:30pm to find a Hopkins Security wagon (tag 448M995) parked across the street at 31st and Guilford. My first floor neighbor Durak had apparently been outside immediately previously as I heard him enter his apartment as I came down the stairs and I knocked on the door and spoke with him about an art vendor show at the Waverly Farmers Market.
This is a continuation in a pattern of harassment which indicates to me that I should be relocated in the manner the Harwood activist Edna McAbier was relocated by Patricia Jessamy's office.

Posted by allan366 at 7:36 PM EDT
Updated: Monday, 27 July 2009 8:09 PM EDT
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
Email To Mayor Dixon
Now Playing: My Possible Eviction

My Possible Eviction‏


Allan Garske (


Tue 12/09/08 7:44 PM



After today I may become liable to eviction from my apartment. I have been working with my landlord, Charles Village Apartments, and his representative Steve Crouch (Phone: 889-1546) to pay off my arrears and relocate. Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke has been assisting me in this matter.
You may recall that I have been in touch with you and elected officials recently about my problems with the drug scene in Charles Village.
Any assistance you can give me in delaying my eviction by the Sherriff's Office until I can settle this matter would be appreciated.
My phone number is (410) 499-2401 should you have any questions.


Posted by allan366 at 5:05 PM EST
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Police Contact

On week of November 3, 2008 received call from Officer Gibson of Northern District police who may have been reSsponding to Mary Pat Clarke's Email of August 1. Email address:, phone 367-8491.

Sent him an Email suggesting we meet at my apartment at 3101 Guilford Avenue so that I could show him damages done and perhaps obtain a Police Report. He did not show and has not contacted me again. So far as I know he is community relations officer for Northern District police.

Posted by allan366 at 11:45 AM EST
Updated: Thursday, 13 November 2008 12:09 PM EST
Saturday, 1 November 2008
National Service: A Thought For The New President
15 December 2005 10:47 EST | Posted by allan366

PICKS & FINDS: James Salter
James Salter seems more like a European writer than an American. The author of six novels, his erotic “A Sport and A Pastime” was selected as a title in The Modern Library in 1995. His short story collection “Dusk” won the Pen/Faulkner Award in 1998 and in 2000 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Never a best seller, he has been honored for his style perhaps as much as anything else and has made a living through teaching and film work. A graduate of West Point, he flew more than 100 missions during the Korean War.

“Gods of Tin”, (Shoemaker and Horn, Washington, D.C., 2004, Edited and introduced by Jessica Benton and William Benton) is a narrative of Salter’s Korean War experience including sections from his novels and memoirs as well as sections of a journal he kept during the War.

Salter writes:

“You lived and died alone, especially in fighters. Fighters. Somehow, despite everything, that word had not become sterile. You slipped into the hollow cockpit and strapped and plugged yourself into the machine. The canopy ground shut and sealed you off. Your oxygen, your very breath, you carried with you into the chilled vacuum, in a steel bottle.”

Large numbers of the latest Soviet fighter, the MIG-15, flown mostly by Russians, challenged American control of the air. For American fighter pilots, the tour was 100 combat missions.

The War began in 1950 when North Korea invaded the south. A bit later, a friend of mine, tiring of junior high school in North Dakota, attempted to dynamite our school. He was given the choice of reform school or joining the Marines.

He chose the Marines and as a large boy, was named BAR man of his squad, carrying the large World War I assault rifle. When an overwhelming number of Chinese “volunteers” crossed into South Korea, my friend took part in the American retreat, exchanging his BAR for a lighter Garand and finally carrying a light carbine. He spent some time walking with the brains of his best friend frozen on his face.

The War was easier for me. Unable to afford to continue college, I was unable being eligible for the Draft to find a full time job. I enlisted in the Air Force and as an Air Weather Observer found myself in a war room under an English hill, plotting weather maps for bomb runs we helped plan daily into Russia.

My friend survived his first tour of duty, was discharged, came back to North Dakota, spent a few weeks driving a motorcycle around town, an Indian girl on the back, then reenlisted. I sometimes wonder if he has survived our wars between then and now.

It is worth noting that the North Koreans twice occupied the South Korean capitol of Seoul.

Over the recent Thanksgiving holiday a Baltimore television station had repeat showings of the superb 1989 film “Glory” starring Matthew Broderick as a young white Civil War officer leading America’s first unit of volunteer black soldiers portrayed by such actors as Denzel Washington, Andre Braugher and Morgan Freeman. As much as anything, it is the story of the creation of a fighting unit.

It is presently shown as part of American military training.

When I went through basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, I found myself with a cross section of America including Southerners with whom we refought the Civil War an argument which could always be ended by saying to the man in the bunk beneath us: “Well, we won”, leaving him grumbling.

Also with us were pachucos with their black baggy pants with the silver stripe down the side and their temporarily greasy haircuts, always telling each other what to do to their mothers.

As part of our training, we were shown the 1943 film “The Ox-Bow Incident”, about the lynching of three cowboys suspected of the murder of a rancher. When the men were suspended strangling, a lyncher stepped forward with a rifle and put two of them out of their misery, leaving the third, a Mexican played by Anthony Quinn, to die slowly.

Our instructor mentioned that Quinn was left to die horribly because he was Mexican, and thus began for many of us an education about discrimination.

Some of us continued in the military but many, like Salter, left to return to civilian life. But for many of us the military was a transforming experience, and one that many young people are poorer for never having known.

However and whenever our present war in Iraq is resolved, it might well be worth considering some form of national service for young Americans, whether basic military training or some form of civilian service like the Peace Corps or the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s.

Such service might be rewarded by a modified version of a G.I. Bill helping to finance perhaps two years of Junior College or training in a technical school, helping to close what seems to me a growing gap in American education.

And in an America where I see the races growing apart, such a program might help to bring us together again.


Posted by allan366 at 11:06 AM EDT
Updated: Tuesday, 12 June 2007 11:07 AM EDT

20 December 2005 10:17 EST | Posted by allan366

PICKS & FINDS: Fleet Street's finest
From Evelyn Waugh to Michael Frayn, novelists have portrayed journalists as bibulous, cynical and slothful. But for Christopher Hitchens, the tales of 'unredeemed squalor' and fiddled expenses evoke nostalgia for a vanished age
Christopher Hitchens
Saturday December 03 2005
To see this story with its related links on the Guardian Unlimited Books site, go to


Posted by allan366 at 11:00 AM EDT

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Posted by allan366 at 4:21 PM EDT
Sunday, 26 October 2008
Letter To Charles Village Apartments
Letter to Charles Village Apartments listing damages done in apartment was written on the advice of Officer Rill of Northern District Police (H803, phone 410-396-2455) who visited my apartment with her partner.

Posted by allan366 at 12:46 PM EDT
Updated: Sunday, 26 October 2008 12:51 PM EDT
Sunday, 19 October 2008
Letter To Mary Pat Clarke

ALLAN W. GARSKE 3101 Guilford Avenue, Baltimore, Md 21218

MAIL: Box 27442, Baltimore 21285 EMAIL: PHONE: (410) 499-2401


October 20, 2008

Mary Pat Clarke, Baltimore City Council, 14th District

100 North Holiday Street, Baltimore, Md 21201

Dear Mary Pat,

On August 2, you sent an Email to Major Ross Buzzuro, Commander of  the Northern District City Police asking him to investigate my situation with the possibility of relocating me out of my current and longtime Charles Village home.

I have not heard from Major Buzzuro and have had to keep a combination lock on my apartment door to keep my Charles Village drug and occult neighbors out. Since it became apparent that I might have to leave my apartment where I have been a tenant for the past 25 years, I began to withhold my rent money.

On October 15, I attended Baltimore City Rent Court and may shortly be evicted from my apartment and thus become homeless

My problems with the Charles Village  community date back to the late 1970s when I briefly dated a young woman who returned to her original boyfriend, an individual by the name of David Mills who is still active in the Charles Village. Although I was disturbed by her action, I had to let her go. I would not be blackmailed and I was busy caring for my teenage son Erick whom you know. So far as I was concerned, his interests came before those of anyone else.

In order to strengthen the Charles Village community, I approached the Charles Village Civic Association (CVCA) and offered to change their CHARLES VILLAGER newsletter from a letter size publication into a controlled circulation advertising supported tabloid size newspaper. With the assistance of Sandy Sparks, then a graphic designer, this I did do. Samples of  both versions of  THE CHARLES VILLAGER are on file in the Maryland Room of  The Enoch Pratt Free Library. I edited this first new version of THE CHARLES VILLAGER from 1980 to 1982. At that point Pam Kelly, then an assistant to Mayor William Donald Schaefer, became CVCA President. In the meantime, as an entrepreneur, I had begun to publish THE CHARLES STREET PAPER, a free 15,000 copy newspaper covering the arts in the Charles Street corridor and Baltimore city generally. I was able to publish 20 issues before running out of money. Copies of THE CHARLES STREET PAPER and other Baltimore publications I have been involved with have been donated to The Enoch Pratt Free Library but are not on file.

In 1993, the CVCA which had been losing money on THE CHARLES VILLAGER for years invited me back to revive the newsletter. With the assistance of a part time ad sales person this I did do. When the salesperson became ill, it became apparent to me that I could not handle both editorial and sales and so had to resign as editor. As a result, while the newsletter continues to publish and retain the format I established in 1980, it has been years since I have been responsible for the content.


Allan W. Garske to Mary Pat Clarke, October 20, 2008 , Page 2

I am not a Baltimore native. I came to the city in 1966 to serve as public relations director for the Maryland Association for Mental Health, a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the State mental hospitals and promoting treatment in Maryland communities. I had previously worked as public relations director for the Brooklyn (New York) Tuberculosis & Health Association. I earned a Journalism degree from the University of Minnesota in 1961 and was stationed with the US Air Force in England from 1954 to 1958. I have been a resident of  Charles Village for most of the 40 years I have lived in Baltimore and have been a tenant at my present address for the past 25 years.

From 1970 to 1989 I was employed by the Baltimore City Department of Social Services initially as public relations director for that agency. At that time, City Councilwoman Agnes Welch was employed by the same agency as a community worker. In 1989, I was fired from State employment for refusing to perform porter’s duties.

In an attempt to protect myself, I am sharing this letter with a number of officials whom I have contacted concerning my situation. I will also post this letter to my weblog at

Any assistance you can give me will be appreciated.


Allan W. Garske

CC: Mayor Sheila Dixon; Baltimore City States Attorney Patricia Jessamy; Baltimore Police Commssioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III; Deputy Commissioner Anthony Barksdale; Lt. Colonel Richard Hite; Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney District of Maryland; Steven J. Hess, Law Enforcement Coordinator & Victim-Witness Manager, U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Maryland

Posted by allan366 at 9:08 AM EDT
Updated: Monday, 20 October 2008 9:34 AM EDT

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