Justice Delayed, Justice Denied
A tale of two incomes.
I work with a man. A nice guy. Hard worker. Supports his family. Even though he earns something well south of the Great American income divide, he gets by. In other words, he is poor.
He got stopped by OCPD. Seems his license was expired. A fairly routine stop. Got a ticket and a court date. They let him go. So far, so good.
Well, he missed the date. Had, had, to work. Uh oh. Judge issued a FTA (failure to appear), an arrestable offense. Lock him up. Get him off the street. Swift justice. No delays here. A man of character, he turned himself in. He had made a mistake. Knew the consequences. Off he goes to spend four days in the Worcester County Jail. Lost four shifts. Now he has late rent, late bills and lost the ability to enjoy his labor, as in the enjoyment of a once-a-week pizza with his family.
What a difference, if only he had money. He could have afforded to keep a lawyer on retainer. Someone who could call the court. Maybe speak to the judge. Quash the FTA. “Sorry your honor, my client made a mistake, he’s a very busy man,” “You understand, I’m sure, Thank you, sir. See you at the bar association meeting, Friday. Good. Good. Let me know if you need a ride home.” “Wink Wink, harharhar.” Where would this money have come from? His business. One, with say, 400 employees. Kicks out plenty of cash. Enough to throw at a problem.
Now say, maybe someone he knows has run over a human being, a child? Leaves the scene. A much bigger problem. What to do? Should be a no-brainer. It would be if he had any “character” left but with all that money, he’s lost his soul and become amoral.
Instead, let’s hide the car (obstruction?) Then wash the car, again and again (to destroy evidence?) Next, hire some fine, expensive, legal talent. Only the best. Let the manipulation begin. Manipulation that only the rich can afford. To shield. To blur. To avoid accountability.
Now what? Well hell, might as well be comfortable. Let’s head south. Sun and sand. The warm surf. Look for a yacht club. Go to happy hour. Check out the babes. Spend our spare time rationalizing. Ain’t money great.
Too bad. What a sad mess. For one family, the pain continues. No resolution in sight. The other family, apparently, is trying to diminish their culpability. Unaware of or incapable of empathy. I go with the latter. Is getting away with it, the hoped for outcome? Instead of standing tall. Facing judgment. Accepting deserved consequences and easing the pain of those left behind. I guess some people are just too weak to answer for their sins.
Justice for Gavin. Justice delayed Is Justice denied. My opinion.
James R. Hughlett
Yes To Universal Healthcare
Recently, Governor-Elect Wes Moore published a video on his social media that told the story of how his father died because he couldn’t get the healthcare he needed. I express my condolences for Governor Moore and his family over this tragedy. I hope his father’s memory remains a blessing and he finds joy in the times they spent together. Governor Moore’s story of loss highlights something we all already know, the American healthcare system is broken and immoral.
Our healthcare system is broken and immoral because it leaves people behind, resulting in millions of Americans having gone bankrupt, unable to afford the medical care they needed, and even the loss of loved ones because they couldn’t get the care they needed to survive like Governor Moore’s father. This has all occurred while every other industrialized nation on earth has achieved universal coverage and solved the issues listed above.
Meanwhile, here in America we have millions underinsured or uninsured and unable to afford the care they need. Here in Maryland, 6% of our state’s population remains uninsured and Marylanders living in or near poverty are almost three times as likely to be uninsured. In addition, rural areas like the Eastern Shore have a dangerous lack of access to vital health services resulting in most of us traveling more than two hours to a metropolitan area or to a different state for care.
The Lower Shore Progressive Caucus was proud to support Wes Moore because he ran on addressing these issues by leaving no one behind. We now ask that our new Governor extend his Leave No One Behind approach to healthcare by embracing the Commission on Universal Health Care bill sponsored by Delegate Sheila Ruth.
Del. Sheila Ruth’s Commission on Universal Health Care bill would establish a Kirwan-like commission to develop a plan for our state to finally achieve universal healthcare coverage and would be a significant victory for the Eastern Shore and the entire state.
The path to Universal Healthcare coverage in Maryland is possible and this commission will show us the path to do it. We know that providing health care coverage to all Marylanders will drastically lower costs for the state through more efficient investment in preventive care and providing better health outcomes in our communities. That is why we ask Governor Moore to join us in supporting Del. Sheila Ruth’s Commission on Universal Health Care bill so we can finally get this vital bill over the finish line.
(The writer is the chair of the Lower Shore Progressive Caucus.)
Shameful Coaching Display
Upon reviewing the local paper, I stumbled across an item in the sports section that I first thought must have been a misprint. This was the score of the Jan. 10, 2023 girls basketball played between Stephen Decatur and Mardela. The final score of this game was 59-2. I decided to investigate this a bit more and am absolutely irate with what I discovered.
Let me first say that I have a bank of experience with children’s athletics. I played the full circuit of baseball, football and basketball as a youngster and lacrosse as I got older. I had both good coaches and a few who lacked in the skills department. In adulthood, I would move on to coach girls’ softball for many years and also be a Director of the league. It was an enriching and enjoyable experience. As a Coach and a Director you can really play a tremendous role in the development of kids. I have seen firsthand how a kid can change from making bad choices and be headed for doom to becoming a leader and respected among their peers thanks to intermural sports. A decent coach garners respect from the kids and makes friends with the parents who entrust their kids to you as a decision maker. A Coach really can be a life changer.
As I investigated the 59-2 victory of Stephen Decatur over Mardela, I became incensed as to what I learned. Coach Scott Kurtz was interviewed after the game and made some statements that should upset many and open the eyes of all in the community. Among the many cringe worthy statements were how the members of his team “…just get robotic when plays breakdown”, “we try to get our Guards to attack when there’s openings and be aggressive”, “we need to push them in practice to get them to be more aggressive”. You have got to be kidding me. I reviewed other scores from earlier in the season and see he has racked up victories including scores of 50-15, 57-30, 56-13, 71-37 and 62-10.
It is my belief that Coach Scott Kurtz is not a Coach at all. It seems to me that anyone who has won a game by a score of 59-2 is nothing but a loser himself. The two points scored by Mardela were from the foul line, meaning not a single basket was scored the entire game from the floor. And these two points were also in the first half meaning they pitched a shutout in the second half. Yet, Coach Kurtz is upset about a lack of aggressiveness and robotic play?
I am not some snowflake woke person who thinks everyone deserves a trophy. I admire and respect hard work and think those that work hard deserve to reap the rewards that their success brings them. Congratulations to the girls who won the game. However, Coach Kurtz had numerous options to make this 59-2 situation a learning experience and one that comes with sportsmanship. Perhaps his girls could have not taken a shot until a couple of minutes wound down on the clock on each possession. Maybe they could have just played zone with hands held high for defense. Maybe those starters could have sat much of the game and let the subs play more minutes. Maybe he could have even elected to play 4 kids on the court. But instead of doing anything that would resemble good sportsmanship, Kurtz demands more aggressiveness and less robotics.
I think that Coach Kurtz’s needs to be admonished for his totally unacceptable behavior. Principal Thomas Sites needs to let the community know if he is comfortable with a Coach displaying such poor sportsmanship. Superintendent Louis Taylor should let the citizens of the school district know if he believes a 59-2 rout over Mardela is something that is good for the players involved. There must be accountability for such bad behavior. I see that on Feb. 14 these same two teams play again. If Coach Kurtz is still employed, will he once again demonstrate such egregious behavior? This is, of course, if the girls from Mardela even opt to keep playing. Shame on you Coach Kurtz. You are an embarrassment to the coaching world and need to change your ways. And anyone that would advocate such abusive behavior needs to do a gut check on their own values.
State Bills To Watch
I am writing to inform your readers of some pending legislation in Maryland which may be of concern.
The first Bill is HB119 Primary and Secondary Education-Health Education Framework-Established. This bill would require all counties in Maryland to create an “age-appropriate” curriculum that is consistent with the Comprehensive Health Education Framework. The framework requires that seventh grade students be able to “identify solo, vaginal, anal, and oral sex along with possible outcomes of each”. In addition, the framework requires that students in Kindergarten through second grade “recognize” and “identify a range of ways people identify and express their gender,” Frankly, the thought that my 11 or 12-year-old would be required to describe these sex acts is abhorrent. The bill sponsor is [email protected].
The other bill of concern is SB1-Criminal Law-Wearing, Carrying, or Transporting Firearms-Restrictions (Gun Safety Act of 2023). This bill, if passed, would prohibit a concealed carry license holder from carrying a firearm on or near any public accommodation. This would pretty much negate the carrying of firearms anywhere except on the owner’s own property. The bill sponsors are [email protected] and [email protected].
If you disagree with these proposed bills, please contact the sponsors as soon as possible and be sure to copy our senator, [email protected] and our delegates, [email protected] and [email protected].
The full text and status of these bills can be read at mgaleg.maryland.gov.