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Baltimore

Breaking News: Does nothing good ever happen in Baltimore?

First of all, a confession. I live in Howard County. Full employment. High income. My wife and I have given up long ago trying to find a neighborhood kid to do yard work. My guess is they’re too busy washing the hand-me-down BMWs and Subarus their parents give them. When I grew up, I saved my lawn mowing and snow shoveling money to buy an old two-door Ford Falcon with three gears on the column and a bench seat. Girls you were dating would sit next to you back in those days.

Howard County has a very low crime rate.

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Sign of the Times

The screenshot below is from yesterday’s Sun article about the billboard. Whether or not it is related to Mayor Pugh’s scandalous behavior and the FBI’s investigation, it marks an extraordinary moment in the continuing downward spiral of Baltimore’s public image.

Not surprisingly, some contributors to the Mayor’s $1 million campaign war chest are asking for their money back. These contributors can feign shock and disappointment all they want. The truth is that they put up their money to buy accessibility and influence once Mayor Pugh was re-elected. Now that the Mayor’s political future is toast, larger dollar contributors can’t

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Replacing William Cole

As what might be described as a casualty of the mess that has turned out to be the administration of Mayor Catherine Pugh, William Cole is resigning as the head of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC).  And not a moment too soon.  But then this isn’t about the specifics of why he should be replaced. It’s about a much larger problem, that being the entire mission of the BDC.

Cole, who used to represent downtown Council District 11 before coming to the BDC, was appointed to his current position in 2014 by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake who preceded Mayor Pugh.  He

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For the Birds

Of all the development options the owners of the Horseshoe could have proposed to go on the water, next to their Baltimore casino, is a Topgolf driving range/bar really the best they could do?

If you don’t already know, the owners of the Horseshoe Casino – the only one of Maryland’s 6 casinos that has been experiencing declining revenues in the past few years and with substantial support from Mayor Pugh and her Baltimore Development Corporation – are planning to put a Topgolf on these two adjacent waterfront properties…

The red Google Maps marker is M&T Bank Stadium “Lot J”

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Baltimore’s Shadow Government.

Who’s in control of the city?

The city of Baltimore has roughly 612,000 people. It’s a number that continues to decline because, let’s be honest, the city has very serious deficiencies. For most of its residents, particularly those without money, it is not a good place to live and work.

Unemployment is 5.6% compared to 4.3% statewide and only 4% in Baltimore County. Many lower income residents have jobs, but aren’t paid enough to make a living. Underemployment – when people have no choice but to take jobs below their potential – may be an even bigger problem.

By median

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Squandered Promise

It’s a good bet that Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh will be running for re-election in 2020. Why shouldn’t she? Incumbents are always hard to beat. She’ll have plenty of developer and other business money to fund her campaign. She’ll win the Democratic Primary and that will be that.

What’s striking is that the people who should be tossing Mayor Pugh to the curb in favor of someone new who really knows how to turn the city around aren’t old enough to vote. They’re not old enough to vote, nor do most of them realize the fundamental truth of Mayor Pugh’s

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Real Emergencies

Our President has recently called into question the common sense understanding of what constitutes an emergency or crisis. Is, for example, the lack of a wall across our southern border really as disconcerting as, let’s say, the abuse of opioids? Or the fact that 1 out of 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime?

Unfortunately, a similar “misunderstanding,” we’ll call it, is happening in Baltimore City where a situation seems to have been elevated to crisis level at the expense – in terms of expressions of persistent outrage and concern, not to mention real

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Topgolf: We dare you.

A conscientious reader of our website has sent us the following article from the Wednesday, February 13, 2019 edition of the Baltimore Sun.  It’s by Daniel Parsons, an English teacher at Frederick Douglass High School and it is essential reading for anyone who cares about the City and its people.  If you have trouble reading the version that you can see below, even after clicking on it to make it larger, click here to go to the article on the Sun’s website.

Please read it.

Here’s the thing…  We dare you.  We dare you to read Mr. Parson’s column in

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No-brainer.

Some choices are difficult for our legislature to make. This one is a no-brainer.

On one hand we have two counties ¬– Prince George’s and Baltimore City – that are desperately short of the funding they need to give their children even a minimum quality education. Of the 24 counties in the state, including Baltimore City, their public education systems are ranked 23rd and 24th respectively.

These counties need money, but from where? Well, the voters of Maryland approved casinos to generate additional funding for education. See the pie chart below.

As you can see, in Fiscal 2018 alone, casino

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Creating Jobs In the Heart of the Food Deserts of Baltimore

The other day, someone asked us how we would bring employers to Baltimore. It’s a good question that we’ve decided to answer in print.

Here, in no particular order, are some simple strategies that we think the state and/or city should be supporting. If you’re interested, you can buy us lunch at a cheap diner and we can talk about it in detail over some home-made cherry pie for dessert. (Can you tell that our principal writer is dieting and can’t stop thinking about food?)

By the way, at least one of these suggestions may seem a little radical to

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