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Best of Brew Comments

Our readers react.

 Early voter turnout unexpectedly high in Baltimore

“Early voting should be extended through out the weekend as well. . . Exercise your right to vote for your best candidate and genuine leader. How ever one feels about question 6 and 7 it’s your choice, so choose.”
– linda

“I waited an hr. Very proud to see a big turnout in NW. Wish this many people cared about City elections.”
– Jill Yesko, via Facebook

“The folks there [Public Training Safety Center] did a wonderful job!”
– Barb Ogden
Inside City Hall: Funds for communities used to sweeten casino package

“I don’t understand why these gambling developments that promise to be financial cash cows are given city money. . . why don’t they go to the banks for loans. If they are such great deals, where are the venture capitalists? Why does a struggling city lend wealthy, connected developers our community impact funds, at no interest? Why would the community be left out of that decision?. . . If it were not for the Brew, this would all go unreported. They are demonstrating the power and purpose of a free press.”
– Jan Angevine

“clearly corrective legislation is needed.”
– jill p carter, via Twitter

“Now the government of the people is cheating the communities out of the impact funds? To pay the casino project itself? Can this be really true?. . . The AIA Urban Design Committee proposed some 20 years ago to open up the Middle Branch as Baltimore’s second waterfront. Never did we imagine a huge inward looking casino box trumped by an even larger parking box. . . Sharp Leadenhall, Westport and the other communities around the Caesars Palace need every cent of the impact funds. . . A casino with views and daylight, imagine that! Where people will be treated like humans, not like zombies. And reinstate the impact payments to the communities from day one. Maybe our politicians will be more humble once we defeat them on question 7.”
– Archphips

“It’s interesting you pride yourself in ‘stirring things up’ however a few facts would be good. The contract you mention, is it APPROVED if so by whom? The Board of Estimates is the only entity who can ‘Approve’ contracts – as such have they done so? Misinformation is worse then no information.”
– Be true

“Among the article’s many facts is that the agreement was approved by the Board of Estimates.”
– MR, Baltimore Brew

“Closing Warner would deaden the entire surrounding area. It would also ensure that Russell Street will be a congested mess. The city has obviously given up on spin-off development in the surrounding area because they are making the Greyhound site at the south end of Warner a permanent bus station, when it was supposed to be temporary. It will be more isolated than ever, just about the worst possible use for that site.”
– Gerald Neily

“Does the pending construction of the casino here have anything to do with the idea to move the Greyhound station to this area? I never understood why the city’s main bus station would be moved to such a remote, hard-to-access location. Seems fishy.”

“Ms. Rawlings-Blake has failed over and over again to look out for communities and families at risk in Baltimore. She continues to pander to big business while her city starves, education fails, citizens are murdered, and leaders raping resources including herself. I am just done with this poor leadership. I will work aggressively to de-throne this mayor, she does not want what’s best for Baltimore, she wants what’s best for her friends, legacy and herself.”
– T-more

“I printed the @BaltimoreBrew article & passed it out to residents. I plan to pass the article to other residents throughout Westport.”
– Westport(Baltimore)
City defends $6 million grant to casino as only a recommendation

“How about this. Let the city take away money earmarked for Federal Hill and two other wealthy communities, instead of taking money from three poor communities. Maybe then we’ll see more outrage on behalf of those residents. Whether it’s simply a recommendation or a done deal – it’s disgusting to think money earmarked for three poor communities would ever be considered a ‘gift’ for the slots barn developers. Yet another reason why I’m voting no on Question 7. If this was a good idea for Baltimore, they wouldn’t have to bribe developers with community impact money.”
– Carol Ott

“I am hopping mad that she is taking money away from poor people who don’t have the resources to sue or find other relief in the courts. I am hopping mad at every legislator who is not holding her to account. One imagines the infrastructure changes are merely to facilitate people walking over from the bus terminal or the light rail to the casino and completely benefit only Harrahs. What kind of Christan robs the poor only to enrich private investors?”
– Bmorepanic

“You have lost all credibility w me. I have never/ will never give you my vote.”
– meg caprino, via Twitter

“I call BS @MayorSRB. Removing power from LDC is also BS”
– Jocelyn Reader, via Twitter

“It’s sad this doesn’t even surprise me anymore. This administration’s complete disregard for consulting with the community is appalling and I don’t even know how to respond about the LDC issue, it borders on illegal.”
– Nina Therese Kasniunas, via Facebook
What kids need more than test-taking skills: grit and character

“Somehow we managed to have the best schools in the world a few decades ago with little more than a national test at certain grade levels. Those tests were scary enough for students. What we are seeing now, this micromanaging and data collection has nothing to do with students and achievement. It has more to do with making money through education technology companies.”
– Csals99

“Great article in last month’s Atlantic magazine (‘The Writing Revolution’) that, in essence, argues that kids don’t have the basic fundamentals and they need to be ingrained in them through repeition. By developing a strong base – which includes such mind-numbing excercises like memorization – then students can have the tools to more advanced thinking and expression.”
– Curtis
Under Armour brings pride, a new field – and gear – to Dunbar

“It is truly gratifying to know that Mr. Plank is continuing the American tradition of the giving back to the community. The success of one man, one company, returning the opportunity for possibilities to occur in the lives of many. I have watched the field rise from the depths of ruin to what we see today. It is good.”
– John D. Ferguson

“Great to hear about such positive things like this happening in Baltimore for our youth!”
– Kathleen Ramirez, via Facebook
Sandy floods basement of Hopkins cancer research building

“Hopkins does fantastic cancer research. They ought to spend more money to water proof their research buildings. I just can’t believe what came to pass in NYU hospital. A woman in labor was slid down a long, dark stairwell, even as she moaned in pain. She did deliver her baby but not without some terrifying moment.”
– Unellu

“Ah yes, high tech catacombs so we can keep some of our former mayors in suspended animation. . . or not.”
– JS
One small street for streetcars, one giant leap for transit

“What is the main crux of this opinion piece? Is it that MTA’s system should be carefully planned and serve the needs of the community? Is it that the Red Line is a boondoggle that will do many things, but all of them badly? Is it that streetcars are good for Baltimore? I’m with Mr. Neily on the first two points. MTA is not very integrated with the city and I think the Red Line will not do much other than cost a lot of money. But streetcars? Really? You lay down tracks, and that’s where the thing is going to be, always.”
– andrew

“Personally I’m not against streetcars (or even the Red Line if properly designed) – they definitely have their place. But assuming that there is money to pour into the Red Line and Charles Street streetcars, then wouldn’t Baltimore get more bang for its buck by simply redirecting that money into dramatically-reduced bus frequencies on important routes?”
– marc

“Actually, there are many well-documented things that Streetcars do, which buses cannot – primarily, attract people and investment. People rehab buildings, open shops and restaurants, new residents move in along streetcar lines. Baltimore was build around streetcars, and it’s how we can rebuild our city today.”
– MC

“I remember the first time I went to the streetcar museum and saw a map of the streetcars in Baltimore. WOW! There were that many? And they went that far? That was probably the pinnacle of Baltimore mass transit right there.”
– Jamie Schott, via Facebook
“Rachel from Cardholder Service” still getting through

“My wife thinks that Rachel is my girlfriend because I get so many calls from her. After 50 years of marriage, Rachel is causing a riff in my relationship with my wife. I just lost my job of almost 60 years at the old Bethlehem Steel mill, now Rachel is ruining my marriage too with her unsolicited advances towards me. I even called the local FBI office in Woodlawn to see if I could file some kind of a complaint with them or the FCC. They told that Rachel even calls them too and they do not know what to do. . . and are about to go nuts too!!”
– Walter

“What I’d like to know is who sold my phone number to this company? You can be sure I’ll never do business with that company ever again.. So, which company do all of the call recipients have in common?”
– Carol Ott

“Why is it that on Verizon I can only block 5 phone numbers? Many it’s because Rachel is using Verizon. Bastards.”
– JN102
Storm fells four-century-old tree

“My favorite tree in the park was supposed to last my life time, yet it succumbed on my ‘BIRTHDAY.’ It brought me JOY every time I saw it. I would always slow down and pay homage to it. I have lost a friend!”
– Francenabw

“City Forestry has put caution tape around the tree and plan to make table tops and other items out of the wood. It will be ‘repurposed’ as much as possible. We are thinking of having a ceremony around it as well. It was an old, majestic, living, working system. Trees, as you likely know, are the largest and oldest living things on the planet. It’s very sad to lose a great one.”
– Anne Draddy

“Surely the most Notable Tree in the City of Baltimore. . . news reports out this way indicate that Baltimore dogged the bullet but it would appear ole Sandy was a pretty devastating Frankenstorm after all:-( “
Marion J. Bedingfield

“The osage orange tree is an ancient species. Seeds have been found in the stomach of creatures from the Pleistocene era like the mastodon, giant sloth and mammoth. The dense wood burns with a BTU rating close to coal.”
– Apexbud

“What a magnificent tree. At the bottom it resembles a belly dancer’s sway. At the top it is rich with the dense verdure of a life force only trees can sport. . . The worst and the best in humans will always be drawn to trees. They give us life and take away our lives. We give them life and take away their lives. Our link to trees is nothing short of a sublime tragedy.”
– Unellu
Inside City Hall: Auditing the costs of “CAFRgate”

“I think I will tell the big three credit rating agencies that I make $2 million yearly, have $10 million in assets and $0 liabilities. Wonder how that will work out for me? That is basically what is going on in our city. Self-reporting with no verification. No audits, no ‘extra eyes,’ Eventually, this is has to affect the City’s ability to issue bonds, obtain credit, etc.. The wolves are watching the hen house. Citizen confidence in City Hall. Fuggetaboutit.

“You know, the failure to account for depreciation could MAYBE be written off as an ‘honest mistake.’ But the water department fiasco has been years in the making and every single Baltimore City Council member has fielded countless constituent complaints about the waste, stupidity, and almost indescribable incompetence of the water billing department for decades.”
– Barnardine_the_Pirate

“Gallagher, Failings Blake, Black, and the rest of them just laugh it off like – oh well honest mistake. But as the Brew pointed out that money could have kept a fire house or rec centers open. This is just another of the DAILY examples of gross waste of the taxpayers money. Give em casino’s and give me more money to waste. Audits, Audits, Audits.”
– Fire and Metal
No travel on Baltimore streets after 6 tonight

“I’m having difficulty remembering another time where a mayor did this. I mean, forbidding travel like this. What if your job requires you to attend? What if you have a relative in the hospital? What if you need to go to an elderly relative who can’t ride the storm out without care? I think she’s just grandstanding. . . the kids could have easily gone to school today. Every hour past 4:30 saw a diminishing forecast and she should have changed plans with it. I lost two days of income that I’ll never get back.”
– Bmorepanic

“Her Majesty must always collect her tax.”
-Ethan Giffin, via Facebook

“There’s PLENTY to attack SRB over in the day-to-day issues of her administration. If you don’t like her, just say ‘don’t like the woman.’ No one, except some very obtuse folk who’s comments I used to read with an open mind but will now be extremely skeptical about moving forward, is going to attack her for being cautious while coordinating with the overall MEMA plan.”
– Gman
Inside City Hall: Squabbling over transparency

“Both of them are actually lying, as reported in Sunday’s Examiner post; as it was the brainchild of about sixty city residents affiliated with IMPAC, the Independent Movement Political Action Club who demanded that the Council President implement such reforms in our public meeting with him at Eden’s Lounge immediately following his swearing in as Council President in February 2010. So both the mayor and Council President need to get off their hi-horse and tell it like it really is!”
– Hassangiordano

“Young, Pratt, and Rawlings-Blake disgrace themselves daily with their witless bickering.”

“The sad truth is the unknown total cost to deploy this long overdue capability. The Mayor’s office of Technology (MOIT) didn’t have the technical skill in-house so this work had to be contracted out. . . Let me offer that Occupy BMore protestors were streaming video of their nightly assemblies from McKeldin Square on a shoe-string budget. The systemic failure of our municipal government is rooted in an aged workforce and a 1980’s technology infrastructure that combined are inadequate (skills & technology) to perform at the level citizens expect in the 21st century.”
– Kim Trueheart

“Transparency is only as good as the people’s desire to know the issues. It is important that all social organization leaders connect people with the practice. We are watching the politics of the 5% now. The 95% must roar to be heard!”
– Cwals99
BDC seeks to revive a long-stalled development on South Calvert St.

“Great news. Those building will really add to the character of that stretch of Calvert Street, and as apartments will do much to add to the street life in downtown.”

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