Observing from beyond the solar system, a cultural outsider looks in.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

City Hall Revokes Kiefaber's Constitutional Rights

In a bizarre and illegal move, Baltimore City officials have banned former Senator Theatre owner Tom Kiefaber from attending public meetings at City Hall in clear violation of his constitutional rights.

Mr. Kiefaber has never harmed anyone and is not a physical threat, but City Hall officials clearly do not like what they think he might say. Kiefaber made one spontaneous peaceful protest at a City Council meeting and was thrown out. A week or so later, he was thrown out of a Board of Estimates meeting he had sat in for 40 minutes without saying a word and without doing anything, apparently because city officials thought he might have an opinion about the next item on the agenda, the West Side "Superblock" project.

The Baltimore Sun appears to be in collusion with City Hall on this, as I will illustrate below. When I saw the Sun article, which does not include a quote from Kiefaber, a hunch told me to call Kiefaber and find out what happened.

My call quickly confirmed that the Baltimore Sun had received the letter from City Solicitor George A. Nilson, but Kiefaber had not received it. When Kiefaber got a late Saturday afternoon call from the Sun about a letter he did not have, he questioned Sun reporter Tricia Bishop about why they had the letter and he did not. Bishop told him that Nilson had sent it to an address in Sparks, Maryland, where Kiefaber has not lived for over a year.

Bishop asked Kiefaber for a quote over the phone, but given Kiefaber's experiences over many years with the Sun, which has a pattern of either not quoting him or twisting his words and cherry picking the most negative part of his words out of context, Kiefaber insisted on putting the quote in writing. Kiefaber says Bishop then got miffed and wrote in her article that he refused to comment.

After the Sun article came out this afternoon, Kiefaber called the Sun and spoke with Steve Kilarp, who appeared to see that an injustice had been done and promised Kiefaber that if he sent him a quote in writing, he would make sure it got into later editions of The Sun. Kiefaber sent Kilarp the following quote in email:

I appreciate an opportunity to comment on this article for later editions of The Sun. Ms. Bishop reports incorrectly that I refused comment. That is not true. I merely insisted on providing prompt answers to her questions, in writing, a methodology that Ms. Bishop refused to indulge. She was apparently miffed and proceeded to mischaracterized my position in her error-laced article.

Rather than update the article as promised, however, someone at the Sun apparently decided they did not like the quote he sent them, and instead updated the article with the following lie in bold print:

Kiefaber refused to make a comment on the letter or criminal summons by phone, saying he preferred to do so in writing. No written statement had arrived late Saturday. He also said that The Sun was not covering him fairly.

Kiefaber then called the Sun again and spoke to Content Editor Andy Rosen. Kiefaber asked Rosen why the Sun had not printed the comment he sent them, and had instead lied and said he did not send a comment. Rosen told him they were not going to update the article.

Kiefaber also asked Rosen to meet with him to discuss the pattern of the Sun's documented smear campaign against Kiefaber. Rosen said no and hung up the phone, according to Kiefaber.

The Sun's article also falsely states that Kiefaber was recently escorted out of The Senator Theatre. I was there. Kiefaber came out on his own. Nobody escorted him. Kiefaber also called the police himself after his argument with the new operators.

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Kiefaber Agrees to Six Months in Heaven

Is it a punishment to agree to stay away from what unfortunately seem to be two of the worst run movie theaters in the city for six months? Methinks not.

Given how difficult it must be for Tom Kiefaber to see The Senator being degraded day by day by the questionable management skills of the new operators, I'm assuming he welcomes today's agreement that he will not go to The Senator or the Charles Theater for six months.

Boo fuckin' hoo, y'all!

The agreement comes after Kiefaber tried to intervene to protect a child with leukemia, when Kathleen Cusack had apparently decided to deny the boy's rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The resulting argument left the Cusacks with a fine opportunity to complain to the press about the man who once ran The Senator with a style and panache the Cusacks seem unable to approach or even comprehend. Their frivolous complaints look like an obvious political maneuver to harm Kiefaber's candidacy for City Council President.

Yawn. At least TK won't have to look at the marquee that the Cusacks can't seem to keep lit.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cusacks Said To Violate ADA By Failure to Accomodate Sick Child

My previous post revealed that at the opening midnight show of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2, the management of The Senator Theatre, at the direction of Kathleen Cusack, refused to provide space in one of The Senator's upstairs party rooms for a kid who has leukemia and a compromised immune system as a result. Instead, the sick patron had to sit in the packed auditorium, full of germs and viruses, if he wanted to go to the show, even though Cusack said nobody was using the party rooms that night.

I stated in my last update to that previous post that I suspected this was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). That previous post has gotten quite long, with several updates, so I wanted to post a new one now that it seems I was right about that. I checked with Isabel Tifft, a retired RN who has extensive experience with disability law. This was her reply:

The text of the law states that, where reasonable accommodation can be made without excessive cost or burden, then the public facility (including restaurants and movie theatres) is required to provide that accommodation without additional cost to the person with the disability. In other words, they still have to pay to get in, but they shouldn't be charged extra for using the party room.

-Isabel Tifft, RN (ret./dis.)

Since Kathleen Cusack stated that nobody was using the party rooms that night, they were apparently obligated under federal law to accomodate the child's medical needs, and at no extra cost to the child's family.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cusacks refuse to accomodate sick child, file restraining order against Kiefaber

The Baltimore Sun has just reported that Kathleen Cusack, one of the new operators of The Senator Theatre, have filed a restraining order to keep Tom Kiefaber away from the theatre he was the proud and loyal steward of for over 20 years. In typical Baltimore Sun fashion, they neglected to report the other side of the story, when it comes to Kiefaber.

I was there when the incident happened. Here's the comment I posted on the Sun's article, although it has come to my attention that it's somewhat misleading, and I address that in the update below.

laurajperk at 1:23 PM July 16, 2011
I was a witness to this incident. Kiefaber was attempting to protect the health of a sick child, who had been advised by his doctor not to sit in the auditorium at the Harry Potter midnight show, because he has leukemia and has no immune system left.

The boy in question had apparently been to all previous Harry Potter midnight shows at The Senator and was determined to attend. The Cusacks had been asked to accomodate the boy's medical needs by allowing him to use the upstairs party rooms, which would have separated him from bathing in the sea of germs in the auditorium. The Cusacks refused.

Kiefaber was there because he was outraged by this lack of concern for this boy's welfare. His intention was to persuade the Cusacks to reconsider. The incident got out of hand primarily because of the Cusack's unbelievable lack of concern for the kid's health.

There are emails that have been circulated between one of the child's parents and Kathleen Cusack that substantiate the reality of this situation. I will not quote them at this time, because I have not spoken to the family. In them, Ms. Cusack changes her story about why it is impossible to accomodate the child's medical needs several times.

Also, I did not follow Kiefaber into the building, but it's my understanding that the shoving was begun by the staff of The Senator, attempting to shove him out the door. Hopefully more on this will surface later.

UPDATE: I realized that my comment on the Sun site earlier had given some people the mistaken impression that Kiefaber was angry when he went into The Senator. That's not what I intended to convey. In fact, he was in a good mood when he went in, because he believed he had worked it out with some members of The Senator's staff (not the Cusacks) that they were going to go ahead and accomodate the kid's medical needs. He simply went in to ensure that this was in fact happening. It was when he found out that they intended to let the kid just sit there in the auditorium, being exposed to countless germs, that he got mad.

UPDATE #2: Kiefaber has now posted at least some of the email exchanges between the parents and the Cusacks, which were forwarded to him, in comments on the Sun site. He had sent them to the Sun, but the reporter refused to report on them, and slammed down the phone, apparently when the story stopped fitting her preconceived agenda.

UPDATE #3: Some of the info Kiefaber has posted in comments on the Sun site below:

PART 1 The reporter just told me she is "finished with this story" and slammed the phone down. The Truth hurts so I wioll now post the information she's chosen to ignore.


I understand that it is within my rights , in order to defend my self & my actions tonight at The Senator, to put the email exchange between us that I originally placed [within the exchange in writing] , off the record, on the record and release it if I care to do that. Presently that appears my only option to insure that the truth is adhered to in this needless drama,.this situation is absurd, and should never have gotten to this.

I was assaulted tonight at The damn Senator Theatre! Unbelievable. It's a real drag Adam. I simply tried to advise you, dammit, in good faith to just help this kid above all else, that's all, be Solomon remember? as you should note when you review your copy of the correspondence. It just didn't happen.

I was simply was in neighborhood tonight, in my district after campaigning all day, and stopped by the theatre line outside to renew od friendships etc. Then decided, for sound night's sleep, really, that's what I was thinking when I wandered into the outer lobby at around 10:30 to reassure myself that wisdom prevailed and the young man was safely in one of the lounges, where he wanted to be anyway. I was shocked, dude, when it was like, get out! What do you want?

I just wanted to know that it all worked out, and that the kid who was so ill was not being exposed to that invisible cloud of airborne virus and bacteria from a packed house when he NEEDED TO BE UPSTAIRS, before they let the crowd in. He has leukemia and his immune system is hardly there , if you recall. It's just that cut and dry, possibly life or death cut and dry. As you know, his doctors as Sinai forbade him to go at all !! Nada. And the management said there were 870 people in there. That's too packed. 870 in there is cheek to jowl. Starting to see this nightmare shaping up? Well I sure did, and I was trying to reason with a blank wall of go away.

So when all these hundreds of patrons were rolling into the auditorium coughing and shedding virus and bacteria, i am thinking of this very sick kid with no immune system is now stuck in there for OVER THREE HOURS, in a sold out show, I got a little jiggy wid it.

Alarmed and frustrated is more like it, at the abject s u p i d i t y of it all.

Part 3

So it became a bit of a scene, after I was treated very rudely for my simple, smiling inquiry. Then words were exchanged I was jostled and taunted by someone named "Chris", who was not even staff as far as I could tell. Like a friend of the staff. I plan to file assault charges on him in the morning downtown if I figure out who he is and how to do that. . I have never been treated like that anywhere, particularly there.., the guy really jammed me. Seriously.

Words were exchanged , I used some profanity, and then was assaulted by a few staff, [I'm OK] and the Chris guy in particular, and then screeched at by Katheen Cusack in my Face with, "the kid's sitting down stairs, That's it! Now please leave our building immediately".

Lounge A and B were both sitting empty. EMPTY. It was one of the most pointless, stupid and shamefully, dangerous things I have ever seen in 35 years running motion picture theatres, 25 of them winning award running the The Senator as professional, and not as a look-what-daddy-got-me-toy to now dangerously mismanage. And that's the truth. And you know it too.

From my informed perspective, the management of The Senator tonight committed some form of criminal negligence, of the most arrogant and stupid kind.

A very unpleasant end to an otherwise great day of campaigning.


[my account above was sent by me to a patch reporter.

PART ONE [of 2] of my email sent to reporter/slacker Julie B. earlier today.


There's more that's even worse but I don't want to hit the inbox too hard. That should keep you busy for a bit digesting what really is going on here. I am incredulous that filed this action against me. All I can figure is that they thought the Sun may do with it what's been down so far and not tell the real story because I have been accused of assult. Let's see what ensues.

By the way, she says they sold 870 tickets? to The Senator for the midnight show. If they did as KC states, you would need the lounges to seat the overflow. The Senator only reported 750 tix sold to Warner Bros. for that show. That's public record. That's a strange income discrepancy of over $1200 that Warner Bros. is apparently looking into. Something isn't right there. The film companies want each and every numbered ticket accounted for. Each Ticket!

Email to reporter Julie earlier today: PART two

So are they allowed to have people up there in the lounges or not according to the FD? That story keeps changing from KC. Kinda, no we can't for the midnight show, buuuut we will break the regs. later and slide him up, ignoring those FD safety regs when we can get away with it? ? What is all that about? . Please run that to ground. I would also check with the FD and find out is that is true or false, or what about new FD regulations on the Senator's mezzanine? Inquiring minds want to know. See where this leads? Gonna "go there"? I doubt it...

Regards, Tom


This email posted below was form Kathleen Cusack, and forwarded to me by those trying to arrange for the young man Sam, who has had his immune system wiped by chemo for a possibly lethal illness he was recently diagnosed with, sit upstairs for the special midnight premiere of HP at The Senator thrusday eve, I tried to stay out of this situation but got involved out of concern for the very sick young man's well being and fuiture.

Subject: RE: Help for a sick boy

good morning:

logistically we cannot accommodate your request to use the screening room at the midnight premiere. as you may imagine, it is sold out and it will be a mob-scene. there will be roughly 870 people there, who begin to line up for their seats around 9pm.

however, in the alternative we would like to suggest that perhaps sam and his mother come to the first scheduled matinee show that following friday or saturday afternoon.

we will need the full names of all of those that plan to come (in the event that he would like any friends to join them; we ask that there not be more than a total of 4)

additionally, they would need to arrive and be discretely seated upstairs one hour before the crowds arrive.

please let me know if you find this acceptable so that i can begin to make the appropriate arrangements.


Note that in this one, she changed her story to it can't happen that night that the kid can go upstairs, when she initially said it couldn't happen because it was against Fire Department regs for anyone to be in the party rooms.

More from TK...

So the burning question remains, why wasn't this extremly vulnerable, ill young man not allowed upstairs Thursday night for his safety? The family was intially told it could not happen at all, because it was prohibited by the BCFD. What?

Then the story changed to what you see in the next post below. Then they were told by KC, it's OK but not for the critical midnight show? Too busy to bother with letting him upstairs that night. Really now?? and 870 tickets sold????. No, and that's a strange claim by KC. None of this fiasco in safe theatre management and operation adds up in my mind.

Ms. Cusack essentially lied to these folks multiple times, in writing, and so she was pissed that I found out about it. So she dug her heels in, the kid marinates in potentially lethal virus for three hours and I get a restraining order trying to do something about it when I found out what was up only after walking into the lobby that nigh to simply inquire about it?

Oh no. Not for this I should not be barred form the premisie. This upcoming hearing with the judge should be interesting. What do you bet The Sun does not meke it that day. Pinkie shake?

And to all who are judging me so harshy without any of these facts, what if it was your son in there? Would I be a loudmounth crazy man then?

Pitch to KC from the boy's family:Kathleen:Sam & his group have all their tickets for the premiere screening. The pediatric oncologists at Sinai got wind of Sam's HP plans & told us that seating him in such close proximity to so many others would be very dangerous, as his immune system is shot & his treatment regimen has made him vulnerable to contagious agents in a large crowd that would not be an issue if he was not so ill. Please allow me to hone in on the specifics of our request as I may not have been clear before. We are asking that only Sam & his mother, two ticketed patrons, be permitted at showtime to be seated in one of the the mezz lounges to enjoy the film screening. Sam is perfectly ambulatory & the concern is about his being so close to so many other patrons. His doctor nixed his being seated downstairs in close proximity for a two hour period, that's all. In that light we ask that you reconsider our request with those parameters. Hopefully with this clarification it will allow you & your staff to permit Sam & his Mom to enjoy this meaningful HP evening together on your theatre's mezzanine level, the two of them.Your compassion & assistance in this regard will be greatly appreciated by all concerned. Please let me know if I can supply any additional info per this request. The doctors are happy to provide verification of Sam's illness.


A reader asks why it was necessary that the kid be allowed to go to the midnight show, instead of some other show. My guess is the refusal to accomodate him was a violation of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act).

The ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) is huge, and I'm not a lawyer, but it prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in public places.

I would assume that this means that you can't discriminate against someone who has a disability caused by illness (in this case a disabled immune system), when it is possible to accomodate their needs.

The party rooms were empty, according to Kathleen Cusack. They could easily have accomodated the child's needs.

Furthermore, I don't think the ADA allows you to treat disabled persons as a second class of citizens and dictate, for example, what times they are allowed to be accomodated. If the kid wanted to come to the midnight show, and they could accomodate him then, I would think they were in violation of the ADA by not doing so.


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Monday, July 11, 2011

Free Sample Menu from Emma's Pennsylvania Kitchen

As any author eventually learns when publishing books independently, eventually you have to learn some marketing. I choose to look at that as an exciting opportunity, and I want to share what I'm learning with my fellow authors via this blog.

One good source of marketing tips is the Smashwords page on facebook.

The other day, they posted a link to this article by Michael Stelzner, which lists 9 ways to use social media to market a book. They all sound potentially useful, but I decided to start with one: creating a sample of my book in PDF form, and embedding a retweet button within it, so that people who like the sample can easily tweet about it. To learn how to do that, I followed the instructions in this other article. The only instruction there I didn't follow was to get Adobe Acrobat Pro, because actually, I found I didn't need it. I was able to embed the prepared tweet URL in a Word document, then save that as a PDF.

Here's the finished free sample chapter. Pretty cool!

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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Adventures in Independent Publishing

Over the past few months, I've been having adventures in the world of online self-publishing. I'd like to share my experiences, in case any of my readers is thinking of publishing their own books.

To start from the end and show you the finished product, after some trial and error, I decided it's important to publish my book on more than one site. I'm glad to have had a chance to do a dry run with my book of my Great Grandmother's Recipes, "Emma's Pennsylvania Kitchen," because I have at least 4 or 5 others books in mind and in various stages of writing and research.

Where to buy "Emma's Pennsylvania Kitchen":

In print, and also in PDF download at Lulu.

In many different formats of ebook at Smashwords.

For Kindle (MOBI file) at Amazon.com.

Initially, I published the book on Smashwords. This had been suggested by my Dad, who has also published books on Smashwords, here.

Dad has a long history of traditional publishing as a professor of American Literature, but more recently he's been writing memoirs, travel books, and comedy, and has turned to electronic publishing. Since he's been doing this longer than I have, I decided to take his advice, which I think turned out to be good advice.

My experience with publishing sites:

Smashwords is exciting for anyone who wants to publish an ebook, because they have technology that converts your Microsoft Word file into many different formats for use in different devices, including EPUB, which Smashwords says is their most popular and most important format, and makes your book available for the Barnes & Noble Nook, Sony Reader, and "most e-reading apps," also MOBI (for Amazon's Kindle), also HTML, PDF, RTF, LRF (for older Sony readers), and Palm Doc (PDB). If your book conforms to their exacting standards, they make it available on many different partner sites, as part of their Premium Catalog. Publishing on Smashwords is free for authors, and you set the price of your ebook yourself.

Getting into the Smashwords Premium Catalog is no cinch, however, and currently takes a long time. Smashwords recently announced they have hired some new people to try to clear the backlog. My book has been on Smashwords for over a month, and still has not made it into the Premium Catalog, although I assume it will eventually be eligible, once I fix any formatting issues. The book was on their site for over two weeks before they got back to me and said it had a formatting problem for EPUB, which I worked on right away and uploaded a new version. I think this one is complete, but I'm still waiting to hear back from them.

One of the things I like about Smashwords, apart from the conversion into multiple formats, is that they seem to be genuinely eager to help independent authors. Mark Coker, CEO of Smashwords, has gotten back to me quite quickly on a couple of occasions with answers to questions I had submitted (through their customer support link at the top of the page on their site).

The author profile pages on the site are another way that I think Smashwords is very helpful -- they allow you to link to your web site, facebook, twitter (complete with a feed of your recent tweets) and even allow you to link to where you have your book available in print or audio book -- something they might be expected to view as competition, but instead, they take the more author-friendly approach.

Perhaps the downside is that, since they convert your book into so many different formats, they have very exacting standards for the format of your Word file going in. If you haven't followed their Style Guide carefully, you're likely to run into conversion problems. This seems a small price to pay for getting your book into so many formats, but I can see how it may be daunting to some authors.

While I've been waiting to get into the Smashwords Premium Catalog, I noticed that a facebook friend had simultaneously published her book about Tarot cards on Smashwords and Amazon.com. I wondered how she did that, since Smashwords does not currently make books available on Amazon.com, so I made it a priority to find out.

It turns out that Amazon lets independent authors publish for their Kindle device through their Kindle Direct Publishing site.

Publishing on Kindle Direct is free for the author. You can set the price of your ebook yourself, but it must have a minimum price of 99 cents. (Smashwords allows you to publish free books.) If you publish your book on Kindle direct, it will only be available in Kindle format (free apps are available for reading on other devices, such as your PC).

The benefits of publishing on Kindle Direct are that your book is available from one of the biggest online book retailers in the world, and that it's available very quickly.

My book only took about 48 hours to become available on Amazon, after I had uploaded it. However, I ran into a strange problem where, immediately after I had uploaded the book, I found something minor that I didn't like about the file I had uploaded. Instead of being able to upload a corrected version immediately, I had to wait for Amazon to approve the one I had already uploaded, which I knew had a problem. Only then did the link become available to upload a new, corrected version.

Another pitfall of publishing on Kindle Direct is that the process of preparing your book for upload is not all that straightforward, and they have buried the most relevant instructions, so that they are very difficult to find on their site. (Click the link in the previous sentence to read them.)

Now I had my book published on Smashwords and Amazon.com, so I was happy. I had a vague thought that some people may want traditional paper books, but I was so happy with the Kindle for PC app that I had downloaded from Amazon.com that I was getting used to ebooks very quickly. I incorrectly assumed this would be an easy switch for most people.

Not long after I had published the ebook versions, I ran into a friend of mine, who asked me when "Emma's Pennsylvania Kitchen" would be available in print. I told her I wasn't sure that it would be, because it was my impression that most self-publishing sites that make paper books available, do so at a premium to the author. I was aware that in most cases, self-published books are not big sellers (unless the author also becomes a successful marketer), so it's usually foolish for an author to spend hundreds of dollars up front to publish their books. Having looked into some of the vanity presses out there a bit, I was aware that on many of them, hundreds of dollars is what you pay. My friend told me she's definitely a paper book person, however, so I decided to look into it more and see if there wasn't an exception somewhere.

I had been a site visitor to Lulu.com before, and I knew that they at least claimed you could publish on their site for free. I had also heard people express the opinion that this wasn't really true. I decided to investigate.

Actually, it turns out that publishing a paper book on Lulu is almost free.

The truth is, you can upload a book and publish it for free on Lulu, but if you want them to distribute it to Amazon.com and list your ISBN in major bibliographic databases, then you have to at least buy one copy as a proof copy (for printing cost plus shipping), which you have to approve before they do their distribution. Their Extended Reach distribution is then free (after you buy your proof copy), but more extensive distribution options are not free. I opted for the free extended reach distribution, because my ebook was already available in other places, and I just wanted to be able to give people a link to where they could buy a print copy.

Lulu is currently running a promotion where your proof copy is free, too.

Getting your book ready to upload on Lulu is fairly simple. Just use their downloadable Word template for the book size you choose, and you can easily format your text correctly. You may want to use their printing cost calculator (on the left margin of the linked page) before deciding what template to use. You don't want to design your book for a specific template and then find out the printing cost is too high.

The template downloads also include a cover layout template, so you can design your own cover. Unlike with the ebook publishing sites, for print books on Lulu, you need both a front and back cover, and a book spine. For less experienced users, they also have a book cover designer, but I'm not sure how well it works, because I designed my own cover in Adobe Photoshop.

Once you use their templates, the book conversion process is largely a matter of what you see is what you get. They say they prefer PDF uploads, but I uploaded mine as a Word document, and this worked fine. The one problem I ran into with the conversion is that I had left certain pages blank on purpose, so that chapters would start on odd numbered pages. They removed the pages I had left blank on purpose, so once I discovered that by looking at the PDF file they created, I had to go back into my Word document and put something on the pages that were blank intentionally, then upload the file again. It was quite easy, though.

Lulu shipped my proof copy to me quite quickly, and there were no problems with it, so I approved it for distribution. They say this will take 6 - 8 weeks.

Between the three sites, Smashwords, Amazon, and Lulu, I'm quite happy with the online availability of my book in various formats, at basically no cost to me as an author. This doesn't mean I'm expecting big sales, and one of my major goals is to learn how to market my writing better. It's a major feeling of accomplishment to have the book published on these three sites, though, and one I'm celebrating.

Why publish independently?

There used to be a stigma against self-publishing, but that is changing.

Traditional publishers can offer authors a certain level of proven marketing expertise, although authors generally still end up having to market their own books to a great degree. Traditional publishers are also pretty good at picking out books that meet a certain basic level of quality, so having a book chosen by them is an accomplishment. (Even if you think much of what gets published by corporate publishers is crap, at least most of it is saleable and edited well enough to be at least intelligible.)

Why self-publish, when I'm sure with a year or two or a few of effort, one or more of the books I have in the works could be accepted by a traditional publisher?

The simple truth for me is that I'm not big on accepting authority. I like to do things my own way. I like it a lot. Although I would welcome being published by a traditional publisher, I'm not inclined to seek their permission to publish. They act as gatekeepers. I've jumped over the fence.

At some point, I'm sure I will submit some work to traditional publishers, especially once I have established a proven sales record with self-publishing. For now, though, it seems more important to me to write and publish, not wait and wait. For me, independent publishing is empowering! That seems like a good enough reason.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

It's official: Tom Kiefaber running for Council President

I hear it's official. Former Senator owner Tom Kiefaber has now filed to be a candidate in the Baltimore City race for Council President. He's challenging incumbent Council President Jack Young.

This all comes after Kiefaber was recently removed from a Board of Estimates meeting pre-emptively. He had been seated quietly in the meeting for over 40 minutes, not saying a word, when the Board of Estimates took a break in the meeting to eject him from the room.

Apparently the next issue on the agenda was the West Side "Superblock" project, which Kiefaber has a strong opinion about. As an advocate for preservation of West Side historic buildings, Kiefaber was recognized by the New York Times about a decade ago for having turned the tide for West Side preservation, by screening a short film called "Baltimore's West Side Story." This seems to be where Kiefaber's political troubles with the downtown power elite began.

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