For 20 years, the Baltimore Chronicle has been tilting at windmills local and global. From their converted rowhouse on W. 25th Street, editors Alice Cherbonnier and Larry Krause take on the Star Wars missile defense, right-wing regimes in Central America, domestic violence, Operation Desert Storm, illiteracy, health care, public apathy and, on stressful deadline days, each other. No topic is too overwhelming for this ma-and-pa monthly with a readership of 33,000.
There is "everywoman" Louella, whose exploits Ms. Cherbonnier has followed in a hair-raising serial based on true-life events that is now close to 7 years old. Once in a restaurant, a waitress who recognized Ms. Cherbonnier from her credit card got down on her knees and thanked the editor for Louella, who last time we saw her was involved in a nasty car crash with her gay boyfriend. Whether he will live or die will be determined in the next issue.
As for enemies, "We don't skewer people. We skewer philosophies," Ms. Cherbonnier says. "We try to be fair-minded. I remember we did an editorial called `No Fire in Schmoke,' but we are also encouraging of him." The Chronicle's most vociferous critic recently was a reader who called "about 20 times" to decry their decision to run a first-person account by a woman with "pro-life" convictions, who participated in an Operation Rescue protest, Ms. Cherbonnier says.