Wandering Eye: An insightful interview with John Angelos, Redfin's flawed look at Baltimore real estate, and more

Nation sports editor, author of books such as "A People's History Of Sports" and "Brazil's Dance with the Devil: The World Cup, the Olympics, and the Fight for Democracy," and host of the Edge of Sports podcast, Dave Zirin recently sat down with the Baltimore Orioles' rather #woke Chief Operating Officer John Angelos to talk about the violence in April near Camden Yards, his empathetic and important comments on the city issues, and issues such as the deindustrialization of Baltimore (and all the other cities), the potential problems with internet gaming, Syrian refugees, and more. If you don't recall what Angelos said back in April, here's an excerpt: "The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids' game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards." His talk with Zirin is another 25 minutes or so of insight like that. And on the same episode, Baltimore rapper Son Of Nun, part of Ryan Harvey's Firebrand Records, talks about Freddie Gray and performs a stirring freestyle about the uprising. (Brandon Soderberg)

 

Redfin, the real estate data aggregator, sent a press release that so perfectly illustrates the limits of Big Data that we just have to share it. Linked to this lovely feature-story-like ad copy, the report opens with the Pew Charitable Trust's observation that economically integrated neighborhoods make for healthy and vibrant culture—and "greater economic mobility." Then it quickly shows its hand: "In Baltimore, only 11 percent of the land area has a mix of home prices. Tuscany-Canterbury and Otterbein were two of the economically diverse neighborhoods. Meanwhile, 86 percent of the city's land area is exclusively affordable homes. 3 percent of the city are [sic] areas of concentrated wealth." As any Baltimoron knows, Otterbein is only economically diverse if you graft on Sharp-Leadenhall (which Redfin does not do). Also balanced: Locust Point and, um . . . Canton? And let's not even talk about the idea that 86 percent of Baltimore's land "is exclusively affordable homes." (In the main article, linked above, $386,000 buys a "starter condo" in Redfin's home city of Seattle; the median "affordable" Baltimore home in this analysis is a $250,000 Brewer's Hill rowhouse.) The analysis is full of such howlers, which are completely apparent using the data Redfin analyzes (home sales and median income, which is $41,000 for a Baltimore city household. Try buying a $250,000 house on $41,000 income some time. No—actually, don't!). Chalk it up to the 30,000-foot perspective most big data people adopt. It bears recollection whenever the next expert speaks with the authority that comes of profound ignorance. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

Turing Pharmaceuticals, the company founded by tech bro Martin Shkreli, is reneging on its promise to lower the cost of Daraprim. As you might recall, Shkreli and Turing met tons of backlash after they bought the expired patent for the drug and jacked the price up to $750 a pill. "Most patients' copayments will be capped at $10 or less a month," the Associated Press reports. "But insurers will be stuck with the bulk of the $750 tab. That drives up future treatment and insurance costs." Meanwhile, another drug company, Imprimis Pharmaceuticals, promised to make the same drug for 99 cents per pill. "Imprimis Chief Executive Officer Mark Baum said Wednesday in an exclusive interview that orders are pouring in for its version of Daraprim from doctors and the company has dispensed more than 2,500 capsules since Oct. 22," according to the AP. Baum is now working with insurance companies to get his pills covered. (Brandon Weigel)

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