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Our readers react to the news.

City plans full speed ahead for South Baltimore casino, resident learn

“I am normally annoyed by such a lack of community input, but in this case I don’t have a lot of objection to it. The site is in the middle of an industrial area and as the map in this article shows, it is just barely adjacent to the far corners of a few neighborhoods. Furthermore I feel like it would be difficult and meaningless to conduct a traffic study on a bunch of roads that currently receive nearly zero traffic.”
– Gary Sever

“Believe it or not, Mr. Sever, there are people living adjacent to the ‘industrial area’ – residents who will be directly impacted, not only by the development and traffic, but by the loss of the $6 million that was originally promised to communities. These roads, contrary to your assertion, do not receive ‘nearly zero traffic’ – Bush Street, Bayard Street, and Ostend Street are all busy, especially during Ravens and Orioles games and rush hour. . . I would appreciate in the future that you would not imply that allowing my neighbors and I, and the residents of other communities, input on this and other projects would hold up what you consider to be progress. While I hope this project brings in much-needed revenue to the city, I also want to make sure it’s not at the expense of my neighbors, some of whom have lived here for decades.”
– Carol Ott, Founder and editor of Baltimore Slumlord Watch project

“So instead of planning for the already approved slots barn site the people who should have been working on ‘dusting’ off a (now) 3 year old traffic study and other matters related to the site were instead engaged in political activity advocating for the passage of Question 7. Are these city employees? Were they doing it on the city’s dime? And if not what were they doing instead of their job of planning for this development?”
– p johnson

“I work in transportation planning for the DC Area but I live in South Baltimore. I don’t even know where to begin with this. This article alarms me because it’s as if nothing was done to plan the traffic in and out of this area. I’m going to highlight an important area that needs to be addressed, The Southern Connection: Annapolis Rd. Was this forgotten? I know we’ll have traffic coming from Hanover St. and Russell St., but there will be folks coming from Waterview Ave. and Annapolis Rd. that might want to use a third alternative. . . This means working with the representatives of Wheelabrator and Greyhound to get a connection and improvement of Annapolis Rd to Warner St., which would include a bridge. I hope these important properties were considered.”
– Jose Santos Dory, via Facebook

“Gary, fortunately, folks who live in communities that are in close proximity to the proposed site, see the positive and negative benefits of this initiative. Their voices should not be muted. As a community resident of South Baltimore, we have real-time experience with like ventures (M&T Stadium, Oriole Park). Some portions of Sharp Leadenhall, Westport, and Pigtown are less than 2 minutes from the proposed site. If I leave home right now, I could be there in 1 minute. . . yes, 1 minute. The only ethical way of ensuring that all parties’ concerns are met, is to have all parties at the same table, making all the fair and inclusive decisions, at the same time. Had this been the case, we would not be here at this juncture; in such chaos.”
– James

“I think the employees of the casino would be the ones to decide about unionization, not the casino manager. The company isn’t promising to hire city residents at all and certainly has no commitment to any given number of employees. I understand that casino jobs aren’t generally well paid with the only source I could find saying that dealers made about $8.50/hr.”
– bmorepanic
Hyatt workers describe harassment in NLRB complaint

“Businesses have the right to enforce the rules and regulations in their handbooks. The only people that are going to make money in this are the lawyers.”
– Ethan Griffin, via Facebook.

“Ethan, I think you don’t know labor law. Businesses have the right to enforce the rules of their workplace, sure. They don’t get to enforce them rigidly only against union supporters during an organizing drive. They have to apply the rules consistently. There aren’t any lawyers who are going to be making much money with an unfair labor practice charge. You don’t need a lawyer to file a ULP. Some unions do have lawyers that can help with ULPs, but those lawyers are generally on salary. When the NLRB takes up a ULP charge, they generally find in favor of the claimant. They weed out the weak cases before filing a complaint. The smart thing for the employer to do would be to settle before the Board issues a definitive finding.”
– Flint Arthur, via Facebook

“People need to know that all these issues surrounding labor, poverty, and race used to be protected in court by public justice organizations and ACLU.  What we have now are laws that limit government/public justice organizations ability to file class action/civil lawsuits.  We have a ACLU-MD that is silent over the most egregious of civil/labor justice that historically made them the organization they are today.”
– cwals99
Anne Arundel officials and residents object to city trash-burning plant

“Cecelia Fabula speaks the truth! So sad that Maryland Dept of Environment is a rubber stamp for projects that threaten the health of all Marylanders and pollute the Chesapeake Bay.”
– Rebecca Kolberg

“Who cares if the Incinerator hurts the citizens, she’s [Mayor Rawlings-Blake] got donations coming from businesses like crazy.”
– trueheart4life

“Wait. What? Aren’t these the same Republican legislators that have been a rubber stamp for Purdue and the chicken farmers polluting the Bay? Aren’t these the same people who have worked hand in hand with Tea Partiers to demonize the Federal EPA and environmental regulations in general? Regardless of the validity of their claims, am I the only one who sees this as an opportunity for the right wing extremists in District 31 to do some O’Malley/Baltimore-bashing?”
– RickFromBmore

“So Rick, you’re saying that squelching ‘O’Malley/Baltimore bashing’ is more important than ‘the validity of their claims’?”
– Gerald Neily

“Partisan politics? More like strong bipartisan, anti-pollution politics aimed at protecting the health of Maryland citizens. We need more strong, common sense voices like these.”
– rkolberg
A gnarly challenge for the forager: Osage orange seed balls

“Certainly a cure for insomniacs.”
– ushanellore

“Marta combines botanical research with her usual culinary daring and fun writing style. Carry on!!”
– Joanne Hall
New water main break floods at Madison Street beneath I-83

“I hear this is just part of the Mayor’s plan to attract 10,000 new residents to the city. Everyone loves waterfront property!”
– Bmorefree

“The alternative – sensible preventative maintenance and upgrading of aged infrastructure – is apparently too horrible for the city, state, or federal governments to contemplate.”
– Barnadine_the_Pirate
Water main break turns Charles Street into raging torrent

“Clearly our city’s future is being impaled on completely misplaced priorities! Aging infrastructure for basic public utilities like water and sewer should not have to undergo such continued neglect and snail’s pace of repair while city dollars get wasted on window dressing like the Grand Prix.”
– Artc12

“Aging infrastructure indeed!” (LINK)
– Rachel Kassman
Hilco mum on the status of Sparrows Point mill

“I am surprised at the continued theme in many posts to look to the USW for help in saving the Sparrows Point steel plant. Wasn’t the USW the party that refused to cooperate with CSN when CSN wanted to buy Sparrows Point six years ago? Did the USW refuse to allow workers at Sparrows Point to vote on a contract offered by Severstal – a contract that would have likely been accepted? Did the USW support a deal with private equity kingpin Ira Rennert calling it “the only deal available” after refusing better deals with established steel companies? The refusal of the ‘Union’ to cooperate with any serious operator contributed to the closure of Sparrows Point.”
– FormerBethSteelEmp

“The US labor unions have nothing to do with over-production both domestically and abroad, nor did they cause the EU and some Pacific Rim economies to go belly-up. Even the US Treasury is borrowing money from China because Uncle Sam is broke just like you and me!!”
– OxygenMaskedMan
Brew editor swept away: by the need to deal with Sandy

“This ‘new normal’ business is nonsense. . . We’ve been hit by worse, and more frequently. The succession of the huge storms in the 50s comes to mind. Difference this time: we’ve developed more near the shore and fewer people are prepared to live without power.”
– James Hunt

“Climate change or not, we will all be hit by disasters in our lifetime. The key is to prepare as communities in advance. Plan for the worst, hope for the best.”
– ecogordo

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