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Culture & Artsby Brew Editors2:31 pmApr 22, 20120

Best of Brew Comments

Lots of reader riffs about news and Wagnerian drama in Baltimore.

Backstage as Baltimore Rock Opera Society prepares its latest: “Valhella”

“The only piece of operatic music I like is belted out with no dramatic visuals or sentimental sop to back it up. It is an aria I cannot identify from the Kohler shower commercial.”
– Unellu

“This show is greatest thing Baltimore has seen since the 1983 Os’ pennant run. Can I get a Valhellyeah?!?”
– Keith Becraft

“They’re some sort of Zombie freaks feeding off of the fermented remains of the souls they’ve claimed! And pretentious–who are they to presume that this ‘VALHELLA’ will be so bone-crushingly awesome that the full contents of my bowels will immediately and uncontrollably be released in a spasm of ungodly terror? Would they even be prepared to clean that up?”
– Hater in Chief

“I like my rock opera with a good dose of beer and sweat, and more sweat- Vikings didn’t have AC and neither shall we.”

“I hope the sound quality is better this time. And that it’s shorter. A group of us went last year and left about 2 hours into it because the breathing into the microphones became almost unbearable. . . If BROS seriously wants this to move beyond the ‘college friends do something wacky for a couple of years’ phase, then it’s going to have to get used to criticism far more robust than mine.”
– persanes

– Johnny Mara, via Facebook

“There is a fine line between transcendental uber pretension in excelsis and cringe worthiness.”
– Gerald Neily
What the neighbors and numbers say about losing Ladder Truck 15

“I wish I could win the lottery. You guys wouldn’t lose your funding and your truck. I’m originally from Highlandtown, but I’m waaaaay up near Canada now, but Bawlmer still has a big piece of  my heart.”
– JPs little sister

“Administrator James Clack has failed to tell the media that while he is closing the three fire companies and stealing the tax paid protection from the people in the communities he has handed out multiple $15,000.00 raises to members at fire department headquarters, members who don’t fight fire or run all night on a medic unit, they sit at a desk thinking of ways to cut more money from the budget.”
– Dcmusicpro

“Our fire companies are more than just ’emergency services’ – they’re our neighbors.”
– bmore slumwatch, via Twitter

“The City is drinking Kool Aid again.”
– The clockstrikes13

“Cuts to public services continue so that we can afford the tax breaks we give to developers.”
– iKrisBurnett, via Twitter
Councilman proposes selling ads on the sides of Baltimore fire trucks

“We all know how well the advertisements on MTA vehicles bring in revenue that keeps fares down, and helps maintain vehicle safety.”
– Surfstuff55

“Please don’t do this. I was so dismayed to see the Light Rail cars completely wrapped in a mattress company’s logo.”
– jan angevine

“Each ad MUST contain a disclaimer, ‘This vehicle is owned by the tax-enslaved citizens of Baltimore City – Help set US free, buy an Ad!’ on the top line.”
– Ktrueheart
Turning Baltimore’s vacant lots into garden plots

“I love the Digging in the Dirt program, however, we need to be working with community members to identify their needs. While this particular garden is a wonderful project, why didn’t anyone reach out to the neighbors?”
– nkasniun

“Re-open the Rec Centers and Pools by imposing a tax on Mayoral Scowling.”
– Smiley

“Everything looks great when it’s newly planted, but will this garden continue to be an asset in five or ten years? Once the mayor and the reporters leave, will the neighborhood adopt it and keep it going strong? Brunt Street’s response isn’t a good sign. There are many, many examples of gardens like this that failed after just a few months due to lack of maintenance, especially in places like Upton.”
– Andre Stone

“Sounds like Muhammed had a plan and worked proactively to see it through. Huh, dude was proactive. Community could learn from individuals on this one.”
– Gman
Below The Fold: Our Scowling Stephanie photo

“leading with the ‘kids’ pic was definitely the way to go – it brought a smile to my face as soon as I opened the story! I did notice some contrast in the next photo, but mainly I see kids who are engaged and enjoying what they are doing, a happy gardener, and a grumpy lady with too much makeup.”
– David M Taylor

“‘How political leaders are around their constituents matters, I think.’ Excellent point. With words you can spin a bit to one side or the other but with photos they are what they are. This is a wonderful explanation IMHO.”
– Barry Childress
 Mayor seeks $300k contract for friend and contributor

“When the prior company was let go why was there not a competitive bidding process to take over the contract?”
– Westside Resident

“she must be developing her own mind now she is becoming a enemy of the state. . . the moment u stop being a puppet they start to destroy you reputation.”
– Janedoe

“This should be run through BOPA, just like the other City festivals. Period.”
– FestivalGal

“Producers fee of $150,000? That is a ton of money to produce an one event. The event producer is making more than all of the entertainment and marketing combined? This uncommon and bizarre! . . . Good catch Brew! This is truly strange.”
– Baltimoreplaces

“hooking her friends up with jobs while the rst of bmoreans are left hanging, huh?”
– Tariq Nasir, via Facebook

“I thought we got rid of Sheila Dixon.”
– Jack

“Baltimore has a procurement process in-name-only.”
– AndrewAnsel, via Twitter

“for Shelonda Stokes and her great greiBO,
this deal, indeed, is a clever stroke,
but for cash depleted Baltimore–
it’s a step beyond being broke,
amazing how this simple truth
does not sting our politicos,
amazing how they engineer
their machinations on agile toes . . .”
– excerpt from poem by Unellu
Baltimore’s best buy: Thinking outside the big box

“The closing of the Best Buy in the Inner Harbor should not be viewed as a barometer for retailing in downtown Baltimore. Quite frankly, the store’s location presented many challenges which hindered the store’s ability to be successful from the start. The author was correct, retail is the most difficult to crack in the development business. . .  The development of Lexington Square with 250,000 square feet of retail will provide Baltimore residents and office workers a true retail destination.”
– John Smallwood, Lexington Square Partners

“This is a really good opportunity for the city to focus more on small and mid-sized retail and service providers. Take a tip from Hampden. . . it is ‘charming’, ‘interesting’, ‘fun’, and not like what they have at home. The restaurants offer food that blows the likes of Cheesecake Factory and PF Changs out of the water.”
– Baltimore True

“No one is going to pay to park to visit the same stores they can visit for free in the ‘burbs. That’s how Harborplace was destroyed: the management decided to fill it with a bunch of ‘me-too’ chain stores that can be found in any mall, getting away from the small and unique and local shops that the original development envisioned.”
– Lex Apostata

“‘If downtown tries to live by the big box, it can also die by the big box.’ Yep. Perhaps there are a few instances where big-box-style developments can work in a downtown setting (supermarkets sometimes seem to work better than other types of big boxes), but usually this model doesn’t seem to last long in smaller cities like Baltimore. . . As you said, a more walkable, more attractive streetscape will self-evidently attract more residents, businesses, and retail in a bottom-up manner, reducing the need to impose what could very well be grandiose megadevelopments.”
– Marc

“Why not build on the success of Fogo de Chao – turn the Best Buy and Filene Basement space into a cattle range and allow customers to pick the animal for their meal.”
– Brian
Inside City Hall: Armed guards for city pools nixed for now

“What happened to having off-duty cops?”
– J Kelly Lane, via Facebook

“Just makes you wanna smack em whoopside.”
– Daniel Ewald, via Facebook

“Don’t use that money on rent a cops, spend it on some more BCPD officers. Then smartly deploy an officer (or two) at any pools that have problems. . . Oh wait that probably wouldn’t help get $$$ to some politically connected business.”
– P Johnson

“Beats the hell out of a whistle.”
– Bob Lunner, via Facebook
John Cirri’s attempted comeback at Sparrows Point falls fall

“I must say that pretty much sums up what these low life bums have done to all of us. Very good post. Unfortunately, the snake still has a head, and it’s name is Dimebag Dave McCall. He is the union-destroying creep we should all collectively be setting our sights upon. Eradicate him, and the lapdogs have nobody to feed or care for them. You fellas did a standup job in getting rid of one high level lapdog though!!”

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