The Johns Hopkins Gazette: November 18, 2002
November 18, 2002
VOL. 32, NO. 12


In Brief

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

John Astin, students to perform work by JHU professor

Visiting professor John Astin will present John Bricuth's Just Let Me Say This About That in three performances this weekend at the Merrick Barn on the Homewood campus. Just Let Me Say This About That is a 124-page narrative poem on the "ultimate press conference" for the start of the 21st century.

"Bricuth" is better known at Johns Hopkins as the Writing Seminars' John Irwin, Decker Professor in the Humanities. Irwin's colleague, professor emeritus and novelist John Barth, describes the piece as "as strong and moving, funny -- and horrifically splendid a long poem as our language has been lately blessed with."

Actor/director Astin, a JHU alumnus, joined the faculty in spring 2002 to share his craft with Hopkins students, three of whom will appear with him.

Sponsored by Theatre Hopkins, the production will be presented Friday and Saturday evenings, Nov. 22 and 23, at 8 p.m., and on Sunday, Nov. 24, at 2:15 p.m. Faculty, staff and students may obtain free tickets (suggested $10 donation for others) at the Writing Seminars office in Gilman Hall, by calling Theatre Hopkins' box office at 410-516-7159 or by e-mailing

IPS and government leaders to discuss city's fiscal future

The university's Institute for Policy Studies and the Baltimore Efficiency and Economy Foundation will present a Roundtable on Baltimore City's Fiscal Future from 7:45 to 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21, at the Johns Hopkins Club.

IPS is the primary public policy and research arm of Johns Hopkins. BEEF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to expand the resources available to city government by providing it information obtained from independent research. Its projects are intended to help the city utilize its resources more efficiently and economically.

The forum is a follow-up to a recent report, authored by IPS' Marsha Schachtel and colleagues, called "Alternative Revenue Sources and Structures for Baltimore City." BEEF initiated the research to explore how other cities generate significant revenues and to look at Baltimore's own options. The report is at

Topics to be addressed include the options the city faces for raising funds from its own taxes or fees, intergovernmental aid and the city's efforts to control expenditures. Participants will be Maryland delegate Howard P. Rawlings, chair of the House Appropriations Committee; state senator Robert Neall; Jeanne Hitchcock, Baltimore deputy mayor for intergovernmental relations; and Schachtel, a senior fellow at IPS. Mayor Martin O'Malley is expected to attend.

The forum occurs just prior to the opening of the General Assembly and release of the interim report of the Commission on Maryland's Fiscal Structure.

Political scientists to give talk based on their new book

Matthew A. Crenson and Benjamin Ginsberg will present a talk based on their book Downsizing Democracy: How America Sidelined Its Citizens and Privatized Its Public at noon on Wednesday, Nov. 20, in Homewood's Shriver Hall.

In the JHU Press book, the two argue that Western governments have found ways to raise armies and taxes that do not require much involvement from citizens, rendering people into customers rather than engaged citizens: Through the use of the courts and by executive branch administrative regulations, they say, politicians have managed to govern without actually needing popular support.

Crenson is a professor of political science whose books include Building the Invisible Orphanage and Neighborhood Politics. Ginsberg is the David Bernstein Professor of Political Science and director of the JHU Washington Center for the Study of American Government. His books include Politics by Other Means and American Government: Freedom and Power.

Presented by the Office of Special Events, the talk is co-sponsored by the JHU Press. The book will be available for signing.

East Baltimore neighborhood celebration set for Nov. 30

The Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition, Monument Street Renaissance, Johns Hopkins Medicine and JHHS Corporate and Community Services have teamed up with the Monument Street Merchants Association for this year's annual Christmas parade and holiday celebration. Festivities include children's activities, marching bands and giveaways. It all takes place at the Monument Street business corridor from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Nov. 30.

The Wood's Tea Company, innovative musicians, to play

The Wood's Tea Company, Vermont-based folk musicians, will bring their boisterous sea chanties, intricate Celtic tunes, bluegrass, folk songs and dry comedy to the Homewood campus on Sunday, Nov. 24, when they perform at 4 p.m. in the Glass Pavilion. The group has received an outstanding innovation award from the Irish Heritage Foundation.

The performance is presented by the Office of Special Events. General admission tickets are $15 in advance; $17 at the door. For information, call 410-516-7157.

Still time to adopt a family for the holidays

The Adopt-a-Family Program, administered by the Office of Faculty, Staff and Retiree Programs, gives Johns Hopkins departments and individuals a chance to help provide families with gifts, clothing and food. To adopt a family or agency:

Go to or contact Matthew Smith at or 410-516-0345.

No 'Gazette' next week

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, The Gazette will not be published the week of Nov. 25. The next issue will appear on Dec. 2.