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Baltimore City Office of the Mayor

Some Baltimore City Council members want fewer police patrolling around Johns Hopkins University and Hospital. But Mayor Catherine Pugh rejected the idea at her Wednesday news conference.

“First of all Hopkins does not exist on an island," she said. "It’s not 20 miles outside of Baltimore.”

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Baltimore has abandoned its troubled BikeShare program in favor of electric scooters and bikes. The city is launching a six-month pilot program with the scooters while shutting down the problem plagued BikeShare program after less than two years.

Mayor Catherine Pugh announced the move Wednesday calling it the "wave of the future" in transportation.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Earlier in the day, Interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said he was “disappointed” and “disturbed” by the video of Officer Arthur Williams striking civilian Dashawn McGrier in the head. Then Mayor Catherine Pugh tweeted she was demanding “answers and accountability.”

Monday night, City Council president Jack Young said the incident “causes great concern with the community when we’re trying to rebuild police-community relations.”

“It’s like the officer just lost it,” he said in the monthly meeting of the council’s Public Safety and Budget committees with the police department. “But this is the type of behavior that we can’t have.”

AP

Interim Baltimore Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle said Monday he was “disappointed” and “disturbed” by the viral video of one of his officers beating up a civilian Saturday on Monument Street.

It pointed out, he said, “another deficiency in our training that we can actually learn from.”

John Lee

Violent crime increased by more than 14 percent in Baltimore County last year. As the general election race for county executive gets under way, both candidates say they have plans to improve public safety in the county.

 

 

Baltimore’s law expanding inspection requirements to one and two family units went into effect the first of this month and housing advocates say they want to make sure renters know about the new law and continue to push for an increase in housing inspections.

Rachel Baye

A new poll of likely Maryland voters shows Democrat Ben Jealous lagging behind Republican Gov. Larry Hogan by nine points. Commissioned by Jealous’s campaign, the poll also shows that about a third of voters don’t know who he is.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Last month, an audit found that Youth Works, Baltimore’s summer youth jobs program for roughly 8,000 young people, was riddled with problems and in danger of losing state funds. Now, two city councilmen are trying to provide more support for young adults in those programs.

Council members, Zeke Cohen, who represents an East Baltimore district, and Kristerfer Burnett, whose district touches the western border of the city, are looking to expand “This is Working,” a program under the Youth Works umbrella.

Joel McCord

Last week, Governor Larry Hogan sharply criticized Pennsylvania and New York for not doing enough to slow pollution and trash flowing down the Susquehanna River into the Chesapeake Bay. Pennsylvania’s Secretary of Environmental Protection fired back, calling the remarks “careless and insensitive.”

But the two were a bit more conciliatory at Tuesday’s Chesapeake Executive Council meeting.

Photo Courtesy Associated Press

Today on Midday, a conversation about what has come to be known as the Black Tax.  It is imposed on people of color, in different ways, and in different places, every day. 

Reports of hate crimes are on the rise, and in 2017, once again, African Americans were targeted more than any other group.

And in the last few months, social media has been rife with example after example of people of color being harassed in public spaces, by white people.  A 7th grader mowing a lawn, a group of Black women playing golf, a former White House staffer moving into his apartment in Manhattan, a graduate student at Yale taking a nap. 

Dr. Kimberly Moffitt is an associate professor of American Studies at UMBC.  She’s also in the departments of Africana Studies and Language, Literacy and Culture.  She studies subjects ranging from Black hair to body politics and Disney movies.

Dr. Lester Spence is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Spence specializes in black politics, racial politics, urban politics, and public opinion.  His latest book is called Knocking the Hustle: Against the Neoliberal Turn in Black Politics. 

Joel McCord

Record rainfall across the Northeast in July has clogged the Chesapeake Bay and its beaches with logs, debris and other trash. And it’s required a herculean effort to clean it up.

Some 50 volunteers showed up at Sandy Point State Park, just north of the Bay Bridge, over the weekend to help park rangers clear those beaches.

Maren Hassinger

Aug 3, 2018
Mitro Hood

Artist Maren Hassinger discuss how her sculptures came to incorporate everyday materials such as newspapers, wire, and plastic bags, as well as her 20-year career as director of the Rinehart School of Sculpture at the Maryland Institute College of Art. The BMA recently opened Maren Hassinger: The Spirit of Things, a solo exhibition with sculptures, drawings, photographs of performances, and videos that span the artist’s career. The exhibition is on view in the BMA’s contemporary wing through November 25, 2018.

  

Two breweries are opening to the public in the Baltimore area, one Friday and the other several weeks ago. 

 

One company, an international giant, is opening in Southeast Baltimore County. The other is a relatively small operation, born and bred in Woodberry in Baltimore City.

 

But despite their differences, both have similar plans on how to get you to buy their beer. And one of them, Dublin-based Guinness, wants you to think of it as a local beer.

 

 

Ivy Bookshop

We think of species taking a long time to adapt to changes in their surroundings. Not necessarily, says evolutionary biologist and ecologist Menno Schilthuizen. In his latest book, "Darwin Comes to Town: How the Urban Jungle Drives Evolution," he asserts we don’t have to look far for evidence: Schilthuizen says plants and animals can adapt quickly to survive. Things like mating preferences and diets are in flux when it comes to city living.

Baltimore County

The Baltimore County Council was warned Tuesday that it risks losing police and corrections officers and firefighters to nearby counties if it doesn’t give them a tax break. 

 

The council is weighing whether it’s worth the millions the county would lose in tax money.

 

 

AP

Jarrod Ramos, the man charged in the mass shooting at the Annapolis Capital newspaper, was expected to make his first appearance in court Monday. But his appearance was canceled after his lawyer filed papers on his behalf.

Ramos was scheduled to appear before Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge William Mulford, who, under normal circumstances, would read Ramos his rights, explain the charges against him and the maximum penalty for each count and tell him of his need for a lawyer.

The Baltimore Police Department’s top brass, along with lawyers for the city and the US Department of Justice were in the federal courtroom of Judge James Bredar Thursday. They spoke about the progress they’re making – and the challenges before them - in meeting the terms of federally mandated reforms.  

In the second hearing on the consent decree, Judge Bredar asked pointed questions and made recommendations about how the police department could move more swiftly to fix some problems.

Dominique Maria Bonessi

Three boats sank at the Chester Cove Marina, between Fells Point and Canton, almost a year ago and they’re still there, on the bottom, potentially polluting the surrounding water and annoying neighbors. And it's unclear whether anyone is doing anything about it.

Mary Rose Madden

Iris is a single mom who worked in a factory in Honduras. She tried twice to get to the United States. She and her son, Edmondson, made it on June 14th, crossing the border at El Paso, Texas.

But the next day, Edmondson’s sixth birthday, they were separated. Immigration officials put Iris in a Texas jail and her son in a facility in Arizona. 

She says she wasn’t able to communicate with him from jail.  Even worse, she didn’t know where he was.

Tradepoint Atlantic

  

Tradepoint Atlantic, the developer of the old Bethlehem Steel site in Sparrows Point, plans to ask Baltimore County for up to $150 million in tax increment financing, also known as a TIF.

 

The developer says it needs the financial help from the county for roads and water and sewer systems.

 

 

John Lee

There is a political time bomb ticking in Baltimore County, and it has to do with crowded high schools.

 

A study projects that in the next 10 years, there will be 1,700 fewer seats in county high schools than will be needed. County leaders find themselves looking for what one economist says is the least offensive way to deal with the problem.

Meals Abroad

Jul 23, 2018
@chefwolf/Instagram

It’s vacation season and Foreman and Wolf goes live to hear listener stories of the best meals you’ve had while traveling. From an email about fried crickets to a phone call that sends Tony and Chef Cindy into a battle over the right way to make a tomato sauce, it’s your questions and comments on Foreman and Wolf on Food and Wine.

Official Portraits

While Republicans and Democrats in Washington continue to snipe at each other over what the president did or didn’t say, or whether Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, recent events have led two Maryland lawmakers to reach across the partisan divide.

It was a little more than a week ago that the FBI told Maryland officials that a Russian-backed firm owns the servers where much of the state’s election data is stored. John Delaney, a Democratic Congressman from Montgomery County, says that felt like a punch to the gut.

Baltimore Department of Planning

Average citizens--the very people affected by city zoning and development decisions --are often in the dark about how to take part in the discussions that shape their neighborhoods. To help residents have a voice at the table, The Department of Planning is launching the Baltimore Planning Academy. We talk with Stephanie Smith, Assistant Director for ‘Equity, Engagement and Communications … and City Planner Martin French to learn why informed engagement is important.

Once you leave the supportive embrace of school, pursuing music can pose hurdles. Whether it’s playing an instrument or singing, how do you make time for rehearsals? Should you take lessons? And if you do, how to find the right teacher? How do you avoid physical strains and cope with performance nerves? Yet thousands of adults pursue it because they love it.

Baltimore native Amy Nathan surveyed hundreds for her new book, Making Time for Making Music. We hear from musicians Max Weiss, Baltimore Magazine editor, and Liz Sogge, a data specialist for Johns Hopkins.

Organic Wines

Jul 18, 2018
Stefano Lubiana/flickr

The good news for people who want to support organic farming and buy organic wines is that there's lots of choices out there. Click the links to purchase Al and Hugh's recommendations at Kenilworth Wine & Spirits.

Tom Pelton

Dean Naujoks fires up the engine of his boat at the Bell Haven Marina in Alexandria, Virginia, and heads out to his version of an office cubicle: the wide, windy, greenish-gray currents of the Potomac River.

“This is the Woodrow Wilson Bridge,” Naujoks says as he guides the boat on a sunny morning. “And then right over here is Jones Point Lighthouse. This is the oldest riverine lighthouse in the country.”

For the last three and a half years, Naujoks – a 49-year-old veteran environmental activist and son of a tool-and-die maker from Eastern Pennsylvania – has worked as the Potomac Riverkeeper, leading a nonprofit organization that advocates for cleaner water.

Rachel Baye / WYPR

Former state Sen. Nathaniel Oaks was sentenced Tuesday to three and a half years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. He also has to pay a $30,000 fine and perform 80 hours of community service.

@Manny_Machado13/Twitter

Sometime before 8:30 Tuesday night, Manny Machado will step into the batter’s box in Washington’s Nationals Park and prepare to take his cuts in the Major League All-Star Game.

By 9 or 9:30, Machado’s All Star duties will be done. So, too, likely, will be his tenure with the Orioles.

4 Blue States Sue Washington Over GOP Tax Overhaul

Jul 17, 2018
Rachel Baye

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland sued the federal government over the Republican-led tax overhaul Tuesday, alleging the new law championed by President Donald Trump unfairly singles out high-tax blue states.

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