Best of Brew Comments

Our readers take on local news – from a hoop house in Hampden to a dire forecast of city finances – with their views.

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Won’t you be my neighbor: a lesson in community

“While I side with ACCE [Academy for College and Career Exploration] in their desire to build a hoop house, I think the author makes a great point about building relations. What a great lesson for students if they were to attend the neighborhood association meetings!”
- Nina Therese Kasniunus, via Facebook

“Folks were definitely talking about burning down the hoop house. Communication with neighbors is important, empowering them is important, but at some point, you need to do what is right, not what caters to their unreasonable demands.”
- Jedediah Mackenzie Weeks, via Facebook

“Perhaps ACCE should follow the example of the Hamilton Crop Circle and involve the neighborhood directly?”

- Steve Kaiser, via Facebook

“It would have been nice for the school to involve the neighborhood directly, but really, it’s school property. Do they alert us when they’re giving a math test or doing a fire drill? They don’t have to tell anyone anything.”

- Jenny Trust, via Facebook

“I truly believe that when men and women think about parking, their mental capacity reverts to the reptilian cortex of the brain. How to get food, ritual display, territorial dominance – all these things are part of parking, and we’ve assigned it to the most primitive part of the brain that makes snap fight-or-flight decisions. Our mental capacities just bottom out when we talk about parking.”
- John Stechschulte (quoting Donald Shoup)

“These neighbors sound pretty entitled to me. They live in a city. Things change. I will never understand why people believe that free parking on public roads or in public parking lots is their constitutional right. Really, if they want their own parking spot, they should either install a parking pad behind their house or move to Glen Burnie.”
- awk82

 ”Edit, this is such a great article and I hope it’s viewed by the most well-intentioned activists.”
- claudelaw

“Biodiversity is at war in our country and when a great opportunity to educate children on such fundamentals as urban farming what do the locals do – squash it, all because they are too lazy to find a parking spot!”
- Orion Objects

“Good reminder about community engagement: Often, it’s not what you’re doing, it’s how you’re doing it.”

- Steve Early, via Twitter

“Nicely written piece that captures a complicated neighborhood issue well.”

- Rocky Ground
Release of city fiscal forecast sparks false reports of bankruptcy

“Thanks for covering this with a critical eye. Something didn’t smell right when I first heard that we were going bankrupt. I can’t be the only one who sees this as a cynical ploy to push through more PILOTs and superblock type projects in the name of fostering growth.”
- peter matchette

“I don’t envy the task of any mayor in this era when the Federal Government has turned its back on cities and states are trying to downsize anyway they can. But one potentially innovative – albeit contentious – idea would be to begin charging a property tax on nonprofit and religious organizations. Exactly why Johns Hopkins or the Catholic Archdiocese get away without paying a dime in tax on property they own is beyond me.”
- RickFromBmore

“Sounds like the major intends more austerity, perhaps a superficial reduction in the property tax, no change to the tax structure (distinguishing residential homes, small business, big business, vacant and blight like in D.C.), and a continued policy of huge tax breaks to developers.”
- Flint Arthur

“The Mayor deserves credit for looking at this trend head on. We have got to find the political courage to restructure the antiquated benefit packages for City employees.”
- MC2012
Hopkins selects Harbor East’s Beatty to develop Charles Village site

“Yeah just what we need: more surface parking.”
- peter matchette

“2 words. Super Walmart. . . It will have a grocery store, it will have a pharmacy, it will have inexpensive stuff for college apartments, it will have a McDonalds. . . it will have everything that is missing in CV.”
- Matthew

“Disappointing to hear students say CVS is what they most want in their community. Nothing drains wealth out of a community faster than an (inter)nationally owned chain selling products made 10,000 miles away, while the “jobs” they “create” are all minimum wage, with no opportunity for advancement or skills development.”
- ScottHW
Rite Aid seeks $600K to release restriction on Howard Park market

“It should be pointed out that for all the many millions being pissed away on this project, there are at least three large supermarkets within 3 miles of this location. . . seriously, spending in excess of $3 million just so people don’t have to go an extra few blocks to buy groceries seems idiotic even by Baltimore City standards.”
- Barnadine_the_Pirate

“A senior home and apartments was built so that seniors who had spent some 20, 30, or 40 years in the community, raised families, taught at community schools would continue to live in the area. The seniors said they would agree if viable businesses along with a supermarket to replace the closed market would be located in walking distance. . . Please be sensitive to our area with it’s rapidly aging community.”

- pinkderby

“I live in this community and would love to have that market with a pharmacy. I think that Rite Aid holding this project hostage with their demands is ridiculous.”
- Michelle Brewington
City and Curran quietly let Royal Farms drop traffic study

“Not just asking why he’s shut us out – demanding to know why he openly stated repeatedly that he would stand with the decision made by the community association in which the development would be.”
- Dell Hagan Rhodes, via Facebook

“This behavior by our elected officials is par for the course. Until we residents organize citywide to put a stop to government-by-developers instead of government-for-the-people, we will keep going in circles with this affront to real input and participation.”
- Lawrence Django Du Bois, via Facebook

“City Hall is a disappointment to all residents. Their support obviously comes from outside of City boundaries.”

- Rhonda Wimbish
Banning panhandling: a national trend in hard times?

“Most of these folks are in need of mental health services – instead of criminalizing them, or enacting more meaningless feel-good puff laws, find a way to get them connected to the organizations that actually have a shot at helping them.”

- Carol Ott

“I was homeless and never used drugs, I have a college degree. I was a victim of domestic violence and had to move out.”
- Bonnie Lane

“Out of sight, out of mind is the motto of the powerful and the wealthy who, not for one minute, think but for their good fortune they could be sailing in the same boat as the homeless.”
- ushanellore
Pratt lawsuit against mayor thrown out by judge

“Growing bored with disgracing herself through her inaction, Pratt branches out into disgracing herself with her actions.”

- Barnadine_the_Pirate

“A blow to the Comptroller’s ego – in the end this is what the suit was about – her bruised ego. In this litigious society a whole lot of suits are about bruised egos. The comptroller thought dirty linen dragged through the city courts would teach the mayor who’s boss. Instead she got lemon squeezed on her face. Another victory for SRB. That woman lives a charmed life.”
- ushanellore
Inside City Hall: Sharpening the teeth of Baltimore’s watchdog

“Make it an elected office.”

- trueheart4life

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  • Gerald Neily

    Here’s an idea: Nominate your own “Best of Brew” comment by simply putting it here. I hereby submit my recent comparison of the late New York Mayor Ed Koch to our own Mayor Schaefer, which also enables me to link it to one of Mark Reutter’s greatest Brew articles among many – his 2011 Schaefer obituary:

    MAYOR ED KOCH’s death announced today reminds me of just how much he was
    New York’s answer to our own William Donald Schaefer. Just as Schaefer
    was elected mayor in the aftermath of one of Baltimore’s darkest events,
    the 1968 riots, Koch was elected after NYC’s 1975 bankruptcy and the
    world famous headline “Ford to City: Drop Dead”. Koch took Schaefer’s
    cue of nonstop boosterism and attention focused on himself, as the
    antidote for his city’s deep ailments. And it worked for a while, as he
    was re-elected twice until finally defeated by his city’s first black
    mayor, David Dinkins, whose message of empowerment was also similar to
    that of our own Mayor Kurt Schmoke. And that was seen as successful for a
    while too as an antidote for all that boosterism, although in
    retrospect it seemed not a whole lot actually got done in either city.
    Finally, New York got serious and elected Rudy Guiliani, who was able to
    slash the crime rate and revive New York’s traditional economic and
    human dynamism. Will Baltimore ever learn?

More of the Daily Drip »

Below the Fold

  • March 24, 2014

    • Last Thursday, I sent an email to the Mayor’s Office of Communications asking for some basic responsiveness: Please return our emailed queries and phone calls about stories. Please send us the same routine emails you send to other members of the media. Lately, more so than usual, they haven’t been. It’s a shame because, even [...]