Wandering Eye: BOE set to terminate Energy Answers deal, gentrification in Baltimore, and more

The City of Baltimore's Board of Estimates (BOE) is set to terminate the city's power-purchase agreement with Energy Answers, the company that's been approved to build a controversial waste-to-energy plant on the city's Fairfield peninsula—planned as the largest in the country. The agenda for tomorrow's BOE hearing gives the background: "On April 13, 2011, the Board approved a Power Purchase Agreement with Energy Answers International, Inc. The agreement contained certain milestones that have not been met by the vendor. The vendor has been given 30 days termination notice in accordance with Section 5.1 of the agreement. The Board is requested to terminate this contract for convenience effective April 17, 2015, as being in the best interest of the City." (Van Smith)

 

Here is NBC News showing something about class and race disparity that seldom is aired. Following on an interesting documentary by Andre Robert Lee, it illustrates the complex interplay between wealth and educational attainment in American life—the complex interplay behind the statistic that, on average, college-educated African-Americans have less wealth than white high school dropouts. The figures come from Darrick Hamilton, Ph.D., a New School economist. "We tend to think that if you get a good education, you've got it made," Hamilton says. "But to make it with some security, you first need wealth." The piece marries the stats to an encounter between the filmmaker, who went to prep school on scholarship at 14, and the son of the owner of the factory his mother worked at, who was Lee's classmate all those years ago. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

City Paper contributor D. Watkins is back in Salon, where he has previously tackled issues surrounding poverty, race, and the "two Baltimores."  This time, Watkins writes about the effect of "gentri-fuckin-cation" on black Baltimore, mourning the disappearance of the the world he grew up in, while also acknowledging a certain complicity that comes from having free dinners and drinks with the kinds of guys who represent the forces of that gentrification, in order to help them come to some understanding of "Black Baltimore—or what's left of it." It is an elegiac piece, reminiscent of the essays of Rafael Alvarez, another CP contributor who mourns another East Baltimore of another era. (Baynard Woods)

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