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Best of Brew Comments

Readers chew over recent Baltimore news, crime especially.

City’s top prosecutor visits a community that’s hurting

“This article is pure sensationalist crap. Shame on this news outlet for labeling a neighborhood, how dare someone who doesn’t live there tell people what an area is/isn’t like.”
– Big Stuff

“I LIVE HERE!! Have you heard about the recent murders, overdoses? Have you seen the blight, crime? Do you know what the unemployment rate is for this community? I actually take offense to you saying that MY neighborhood is doing great. RIDICULOUS!!!”
– James

“I live in Westport and things are bad. I can’t even go to and from the Light Rail without fearing that something is going to happen. A lot of people are afraid to get involved because they do not trust the Police. The developer who the City supports is having a hard time and the City is more interested in helping him and the investors out than helping people who have been here for a long time. Most of the time that you hear about Westport from other media sources it is a feel good article while we are dealing with real problems.”
– lutherh

“There were 6 cops investigating some broken apartment mailboxes this morning in a nice part of town. I hardly can believe [Gregg Bernstein’s comment] that ‘The police department makes their deployment decisions based on complaints.’”
– Michelle

“Did anyone ask him [Bernstein] about his new $89K/month offices on Lexington Street? Outrageous!!!”
– trueheart4life
Baltimore after 12 feet of sea level rise

“Population control is the answer. Untrammeled proliferation of the human species is the underlying cause of all its woes. . . The disbelievers will die with snide remarks on their lips as the waves roll over their heads. They will declare the rise of the oceans no more than a cyclical natural development, inevitable from time immemorial, and global warming to them will always remain a figment of extreme imagination.”
– ushanellore

“Population control? You first, dear.”
– James Hunt

“Globally, we are nowhere close to meeting our mitigation pledges and long lived CO2 emissions continue to accumulate in the atmosphere at an accelerating rate. It’s like civilization has collectively said: Fuck it.”
– Jack Wolf

“Everything changes always. There are no constants, even in climate. And, yeah, I have a lot of respect for the ‘vagaries of nature.’ See, my old property in New Hampshire had an ice sheet on it a mile thick 10 thousand years ago. . . I had enough of 25-below winter temps and moved back to sunny Baltimore. Bring on the heat!”
– James Hunt

“Much of the Eastern Shore will be inundated as well as Annapolis.”
– Daniel Ewald, via Facebook
Former fried chicken joint may soon serve Macbeth and Equus

“This itinerant theater group deserves a permanent place. There is no heart for art in an economy gone sour and that is tragic. I like their resilience, though, and their persistence.  They see opportunity in decay and dilapidation. Bravo! Equus? Bring it on! Let’s sing a dirge to the fried chicken place and let it stay buried for ever.”
– Ushanellore

“Station North Inc. has access to more funding than anyone in that neighborhood already. Is using kickstarter to raise money supposed to make the public happy? Station North Inc. is now creating competition for funding in Station North on the internet using tools designed for groups that truly do not have access to big funding. Best of luck to Annex Theater, they seem sincere in their endeavors.”
– bmorerealistic

“A story you won’t read (yet) in The Brew investigates the BDC’s horrific bungling, brutal condemnation-happy reign of terror for more than a decade in Station North, filling pockets, ruining lives and livelihoods, but not filling storefronts or the buildings they had vacated.”
– TomKiefaber

“Skulduggery is multifaceted and does not have to figure in every article for the article to inform and enlighten. The way I see the above article–it is not an investigative piece about the competitive influences and undercurrents at North Avenue and Charles. It is simply a straightforward informative piece about some of the more obvious players.”
– ushanellore
About Kevin: Portrait of an artist who sculpted his own life

“What a great article on Kevin. It describes him to a tee. I’ve known Kevin for over 20 years and he has never bored me, I love his tales of his travels and experiences they were discriptive and usually funny. We’ve done alot of laughing in the years I’ve known him.”
– Janet Leary

“Your remarkable words brought tears and laughter at so many stories and memories of Kevin. I was 20 years old when I met Kevin and I know his spirit has occupied and influenced my entire adult life. I remember the sculptures produced at Reinhardt and the antics of him climbing up windows for romantic erotic adventures. Stories by Kevin and about Kevin and my own misspent youth are wild and I never get tired of hearing them or thinking about them.”
– artichoke1100
As Baltimore’s homicide total climbs, D.C. murders plummet

“To make this comparison truly accurate you’d have to include Northern VA and even possibly the suburbs of both cities. Most of the crime in DC has moved to downscale suburban areas like PG County or Northern VA, while in Baltimore it’s still in the city. DC has gentrified faster, but eventually the same thing will happen in Baltimore.”
– Joshua Berlow

“D.C.’s ‘successful’ gentrification also provides those who would love to move entire low-income communities out of of the way for their purposes a ‘game plan.’ Everything people here hate about city development, BDC, tax breaks, the way low-income communities are handled, etc. will be accelerated 10-fold.”
– RealGman

“Baltimore is largely a festering slum, lacking major well paying employers (Johns Hopkins or more correctly – Broadway Industries does not pay well). Baltimore is now en league with Gary,Ind., Newark, NJ, Detroit and Flint, Mich., it is a slum where murder will only get you five years and really very few people care.”
– Brandon

“There is no easy answer here, but I would suggest that more police will not solve our city’s crime problems. We should focus on infrastructure improvements (more transit, fewer busted water pipes, etc.) to make the city more inviting to newcomers and more livable for long time residents. I would be more than happy to see the police budget cut to re-direct funding towards better parks, better transportation, better schools, etc.”
– RickFromBmore

“If you go to Washington the first thing you notice is the wealth factor and the gentrification that has happened at the speed of light. The financial collapse happened and the reforms to build cities financed by huge stimulus spending created a taxpayer-fueled affluent development across the country, but especially in DC. As poor and working class are pushed out, the crimes of poverty go with them. The shootings in urban areas are crimes of poverty.”
– cwals99

“My short answer from a physical planning standpoint is that Baltimore has very consciously shielded its gentrification from the effects of the overall urban decay, clinging to the waterfront like clinging to a security blanket. Harbor Point and Locust Point are like gated communities.”
– Gerald Neily

“About 2,500 people have been murdered in Baltimore since the September 11 attacks, which killed 3,000 people. This country went to war twice over those 3,000 people, but it can’t be bothered to respond in a thoughtful way to the problems within its major cities. Until a bunch of American mayors stand together and call for a real solution to this problem, nothing changes. SRB can be sad all she wants, but if she wanted to change things (which she doesn’t), she’d have to take a political risk and mention that the drug war is the actual cause of the violence. I’m betting that her political future is more valuable to her than the lives of a few poor Baltimoreans.”
– Andrew Waldman

“Sandtown-Winchester, where murder #200 happened, has had many many millions poured into it, and is only a couple blocks from the Upton Metro station which has been open decades longer than the line serving DC’s U Street Metro Station.”
– Gerald Neily

“The short-term spike in the homicide rate comes from the city’s shifting of the charging function for homicides from the police department to the State’s Attorney’s Office. Drug and gang murders tend to be related. Sometimes they can be prevented by quick action. The State’s Attorney’s office has slowed down the works.”
– Mark Adams

“I was thinking the same thing when I read that section—that Baltimore *has* done a lot of those things.Baltimore has seen years of gentrification, but somehow things are changing. Do we have greater drug trafficking? Weaker gun control? I wish we could pinpoint the answer.”
– Renee Libby Beck

“The high murder rate can be summed up in three little words: lack of opportunity.”
– Bmorefree
City announces school closings coupled with renovation plan

“It was an impressive coalition of support at the event on Tuesday. While a terrific kindergarten teacher and the principal of the host school did a beautiful job, it is sad that the official representatives of the systems thousands of employees – the Balto Teacher’s Union nor the Administrators Union were there. They should have applauded their members at Calvin Rodwell and also stated how they will support this effort.”
– CarOl

“The physical condition of Baltimore’s institutions speak more than words about the city’s (and the state’s, and society’s) priorities. The schools are a shambles, despite our pious mouthings about how important education is. . .  But we’ll get a new juvenile prison soon enough – the second in recent memory.”
– Barnadine_the_Pirate

“Let’s take a moment to celebrate a very important day for Baltimore’s schools and our kids. This is the first time in my memory that all of the players (mayor, school board, legislators, parents and advocates) are working together on systemic reform. Well done, ACLU, BEC, Alonso, et al.”
– Rocky_Ground
City approves tax break to fill empty downtown building

“My problem with the situation is this: the development company knows the city is desperate for development, therefore they can negotiate more of a tax break, and make more profit. The city will always agree if it means they will increase the tax base, to at least more than it is now. So given this, I think the real question is: Do the developers need the tax break? Would they turn a profit anyways without the tax break? Are they using the desperation of the city to negotiate more tax breaks aka a better deal?”
– Aaron

“Aaron: Not one of the recipients of recent tax breaks from Baltimore City have promoted themselves as a socially responsible enterprise, so I think its safe to assume that ROI in terms of $$$ remains their bottom line. Let’s be clear that a business should seek opportunities to maximize their investment and if the BDC makes an offer that results in MORE PROFIT why should/would they turn it down?”
– trueheart4life
Top developer lawyers helped vet city’s new development chief

“‘A top banker and several business lobbyists were also on the interview committee, but no representatives of Baltimore communities or the City Council.’ I would consider Kirby Fowler to be a representative of Downtown, which is a thriving neighborhood.”
– Alexis Green

“Sounds like [Brenda McKenzie] is going to fit right in. It is amazing how much power the mayor of Baltmore has compared to other city mayors. With that said she could change a lot of lives for the positive – not just a politically connected few.”
– Christian Dunn, via Facebook

“I think citizens who are concerned about BDC transparency should meet en masse at the December 20th meeting of the BDC.”
– Nina Therese Kasniunas, via Facebook

“RE suggesting a neighborhood [for McKenzie]. She could move to BelAir, where Don Fry lives.”
– Mark Adams

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