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On the radio, mayor defends Grand Prix, EWOs, developer tax breaks

“I sat in my car for an extra hour because I did not want to miss any of her horrendous sarcasm.  The Mayor seemed to blame everyone else but her own policies and mass exodus of City Hall positions.  Blame the radio for poor turnout to the ridiculous race car extravaganza.  Blame community partners for not seeking HER out to help with important decisions.  Last I checked, she was elected to run this city.  With airtime like last night, her sights set on higher positions of power look extremely dim.”
– From Butcher’s Hill

“I do not agree with SRB on most things, but she is correct when she says the media traffic hype kept people away from downtown during the race last year. It was very easy to get around downtown the days of the race. If you use 83 to get into the city the race was not going to impact you in any substantial way. The race promoters (and maybe the city) should have countered the rumors and told people to come down 83 and enjoy the beautiful weekend in the city.
– Dietrich Von Bacon

“I am simply ashamed that we elected this woman. No courage, and she is clearly never responsible for anything.
– Calvin Garner

“…During (Baltimore Development Corporation President M.J. ‘Jay’) Brodie’s failed 15 year tenure at the BDC there’s never been a preservation community professional permitted on the BDC board to represent an enlightened redevelopment philosophy that enhances and preserves our city’s irreplaceable historic structures. They’re our unique assets that we still possess in one of America’s most historic cities. Brodie’s BDC back-room *club* simply do not ‘get’ what the rest of the nation realized years ago, that enlightened and progressive adaptive reuse, historic preservation is real economic development of the best kind…
– Tom Kiefaber

“I am at a loss regarding the Mayor’s response (to questions about extra work orders, or EWOs, that raise the scope and cost of city contracts). If you’re auditing and you’re checking, why allow the 22nd work order? The 43rd? The 80-something-ish? If you’re watching and really paying attention the bid price and the first few EWO, which presumably could be explained away, what justification is there for agreeing to dozens?
-Melissa

“I am so over SRB.”
– J Kelly Lane, from Facebook
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State wants to see the money before investing big in school buildings

“How do developer tax breaks and the Grand Prix qualify as ‘investments’ but educating our future work force falls somewhere between a social burden and a charity case?
– John Stechschulte

“Perhaps it (a new bottle tax) will encourage lower sales of sugar laden drinks which we know are bad and encourage some healthy choices. And what they have to gain is more funding for schools…
– All or None

“…My testimony at Wednesday’s council hearing highlighted the fact that our Mayor is pushing her Bottle Tax on the backs of our children’s future instead of using already existing mis-spent revenue to fund the desperately needed school renovation initiative … Note that the Benton Bldg (417) is being renovated, school HQ and prosecutor Berstein is getting a new office! What do our children get … a new Bottle Tax.”
– Kim Trueheart

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BDC Proposes PILOT tax break for Liberty Street Residential Tower

“This is more evidence that the BDC operates under the principle that real estate supply creates demand. The entire city of Baltimore proves them wrong. There is a 97+% occupancy rate for apartments downtown. Rents should be going up, making it profitable for investors to add capacity without subsidies. …(T)he subsidies are a bad idea – again. They will almost certainly result in a net tax loss to the city. Stop the construction subsidies. Let the free market work already.
– Guest

“…(1) The BDC holds closed meetings so they can review and comment on developers’ proprietary information _on behalf of_ the city and its taxpayers. (2) Fixing the tax system would be wonderful, but it can’t be done without addressing the expense side of the budget, which is primarily driven by the number of employees and their health and pension costs…The West Side projects do provide the city with revenue through taxes other than property taxes. If they’re not built, they provide nothing. (3) Local people such as Betty Hyatt (Washington Hill) and Ed Rutkowski (Patterson Park) have led the revitalization of neighborhoods that were teetering on the edge of blight, but no locals have taken on a seriously blighted neighborhood without a lot of help from the city…
– James Hunt

“Most visitors to NOLA go to see The French Quarter….not the over-sized downtown buildings.
– Mair

City to pay $400,000 to replace floating walkway in Canton.

“The rec centers are MORE important. They keep hundreds of kids out of trouble and on the right path.
– Jules White, from Facebook

“I don’t know anything about the ecological impact of a change like this (for better or worse) but as a general comment from someone living in Canton, I really like the uniqueness of the floating walkway that is currently there. Why fight so hard instead of saving this money for other efforts?
– Jason Lancaster

“The Promenade in general is one of city’s greatest assets and has spurred development and has helped to attract middle-class tax payers to the city. It is a terrific asset and like all great public spaces it is doing a fantastic job at encouraging growth, recreation and community.”
– Baltimore Places

“…The bottom line of this issue is that developers who make agreements should be forced to keep them. Sadly, due to the length of this issue a few of these facts have been lost in the weeds.
– Former City Resident

“If done right, the new promenade can help with Healthy Harbor’s efforts to improve water quality. Could be used as an anchor for wetlands, oxygenate water, or can simply just control storm water runoff.
– Scott Meek

“…As a lifelone Democrat, I really, really wish Baltimore had a viable two-party system. I don’t care what that other party is — Republican, Green, Pirate, Libertarian, ANYTHING that would force incumbents to be accountable and to face meaningful electoral challenges from time to time. But I don’t think apathy is caused by the one-party rule the City suffers from; I think apathy causes the one-party rule.”
– Barnardine the Pirate

“It is interesting to see the City fight so hard for this walkway in a lovely neighborhood and agree to contribute $400k to the creation of a new promenade. It clearly appears they will continue to spend money in the pretty places and the areas with vacant homes that line East Baltimore can continue to get ignored.
– City Hall Sucks

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  • Dsthomas4007

    Ok Fern, the party is over. Finish your hurricane take off your beads and get back to work. This thing suffered without you. I suppose I’ll have to go along next year simply for reporting purposes.

  • May 28, 2015

    • For Baltimore police, contrition and apology seem to be the order of the day, and in West Baltimore Lt. Col. Melvin Russell was on point. As a throng of people in red shirts listened (participants in the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church), the veteran officer addressed them last night outside the Ames Memorial […]

  • May 27, 2015

    • The mayor and Board of Estimates today agreed to pay $42,500 to a 39-year-old woman who was mistakenly shot by a Baltimore police officer during an early morning scuffle on York Road. According to the out-of-court settlement, which ends a $1 million civil lawsuit filed by Tasha Coleman, Officer Quinton O. Smith discharged his service […]

  • May 26, 2015

    • Nine people were killed and at least 20 were wounded as gun violence continued to rack Baltimore over the Memorial Day weekend. The last reported shooting over the weekend took place at 1400 North Fulton Avenue, a well-known crime hot spot. An adult male was shot multiple times in the torso about 11:30 p.m. Monday. […]

  • May 20, 2015

    • The Ingenuity Project has been awarded a $100,000 grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to bring supplemental STEM programming to 500 high-achieving Baltimore middle-school students. Ingenuity provides about 530 of Baltimore’s advanced 6-12th graders with a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum and is hosted by three Baltimore City middle schools – Mount Royal, Hamilton, Roland […]

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    •   “Ha ha, so not a surprise.” “Shocking…not!!” We get applause but also the occasional eye-roll these days for our accountability reporting – like last week’s piece about how tax cuts promised by the mayor as a selling point for Horseshoe Baltimore probably won’t happen, thanks to the casino’s lower-than-expected revenues. We get where the […]

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