Domino Sugar, Doug Gansler, Under Armour, Martin O'Malley, and The Sharing Economy. 4/30/2014


1 Domino Sugar

The sugar company announced that its massive, iconic-and enormously energy-consuming-South Baltimore sign would go solar, with the installation of $125,000's worth of solar panels on the roof of the sugar refinery off Key Highway, capable of producing 41,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year. It's nice to know that the sign, a symbol of Baltimore's industrial past, will not only remain in place for the forseeable future, but that it will also become a symbol of the hope for the city's future as a leader in clean energy.



2 Doug Gansler

At this point, the state's attorney general and gubernatorial candidate is, along with Del. Heather Mizeur, a longshot to beat O'Malley's chosen successor, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, in the June Democratic primary, so it's hard to get too excited by his proposals. Still, we're hoping his endorsement of high-speed rail service between Baltimore and D.C., which could cut the commute down to 15 minutes, helps get the idea, which would undoubtedly help the local economy and make a night at the Black Cat a lot more convenient to boot-a boost. Luke Russert even tweeted he would "move to Charm City for a few yrs" if it happened; we like Russert, but we worry we'd be stuck too many D.C. politico d-bags.



3 Under Armour

The locally owned athletic-apparel company announced this week that first-quarter profits were up 73 percent and sales up 36 percent to $642 million, even though UA's stock was still a bit shaky. To celebrate, CEO Kevin Plank is opening his own Triple Rye whiskey distillery, possibly in Port Covington-helping to bring rye production back to Maryland. Let's hope it doesn't taste anything like sweaty gym clothes.



4 Martin O'Malley

For months, producers of House of Cards insisted they needed $3.5 million more in tax credits in order to continue shooting in Maryland and threatened to pack up their income-generating sets and move to Pennsylvania or Georgia if they didn't get them. But the general assembly-likely more out of incompetence than any real gumption-ended its session earlier this month without approving the credits and, after a Netflix executive publicly signaled that it was time to resolve the issue, producers backed down and announced they would, in fact, shoot Season 3 in the state. So, although the real benefits of shooting locally are debatable, state legislators and the governor get to release triumphant press releases about their "victory." Score one for drama.



5 The Sharing Economy

This week, the blogosphere was peppered with harsh critiques of what Silicon Valley calls "the sharing economy" of services like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb. City Paper's Edward Ericson Jr. called it "The Desperate Hustle as a Way of Life" and New York magazine declared "The Sharing Economy Isn't About Trust, It's About Desperation." Locally, a Maryland Public Service Commission judge proposed categorizing Uber and similar services as "common carriers" subject to the same regulations as taxi companies, a move that might amount to dismantling the business model. Sharing is not always caring.