Wandering Eye: Gentrification in Baltimore, the BSO offers Golden Tickets for its 100th season, and more

The musicians of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra may not be particularly happy with their employer at the moment—the players' committee, which leads the orchestra's union, recently aired frustrations over low pay and vacancies—but the BSO isn't letting that get in the way of the celebration of its upcoming 100th season. Today, in honor of its announcement this evening of the centennial season, the BSO is giving away 100 "Golden Ticket" packages, "including a ticket to a concert in the 2015-2016 season for the winner and nine friends." The tickets are hidden in various locations around Baltimore, central Maryland, Montgomery County, and (weirdly) Washington, D.C. There are clues to the 100 locations on its website here. (Anna Walsh)


Governing Magazine has an interesting piece on gentrification, with a map of Baltimore's gentrified areas. The BBJ picked it up yesterday, making note of some of Governing's criteria, which are mainly about the rate of real estate price appreciation and the numbers of college-educated residents. "For instance, while most Baltimore residents would consider Federal Hill a gentrified neighborhood, it didn't qualify for the Governing analysis because home values and educational demographics were already high (home values rose 29 percent to $342,000 over 10 years)," BBJ says. Not discussed in either account: the gentrifying areas tend to be much whiter than the city as a whole. With the possible exception of a couple of neighborhoods near Johns Hopkins Hospital, just about every census tract in the "gentrifying" column is whiter. (Edward Ericson Jr.)


Former CP staffer Jeffrey Anderson has been drilling deep into a hyperlocal Washington, D.C. issue: redevelopment plans for the McMillan Sand Filtration Site, a now-defunct, 25-acre water-treatment facility that provided clean water to D.C. from 1905 until 1986. The latest installment of the Hill Rag investigative series, called "Eyes on McMillan," is cautionary: When development is politicized, the deal drives the process, not smart, deliberate planning, which in this case originated a quarter-century ago with a community-oriented vision that was radically different than the current, mixed-use plan. Prior pieces in the series gave credit for working to quash community opposition to Baltimore-based political P.R. shop Fontaine & Company and detailed the mounting costs to D.C. government. The situation is reminiscent of how, back in the 1990s, long-established plans for what to do with the Harbor East parcel on the Baltimore waterfront were torpedoed in favor of giving politically connected developer John Paterakis virtually everything he wanted, including lavish tax breaks. (Van Smith)

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