Baltimore City Power Rankings: tronc, Artscape, liquor board, more

tronc

ICYMI: City Paper is now part of tronc, which is being widely lambasted inmedia around the country. Last Thursday, Tribune Publishing, the parent company of City Paper, The Sun, and other newspapers, announced it would rebrand itself as tronc (please note the lowercase "t"). This stands for "Tribune Online Content," which was then truncated (troncated?) to tronc. According to its tech speak-packed press release, tronc is a "content curation and monetization company focused on creating and distributing premium, verified content across all channels," and this "transformation strategy" will leverage "artificial intelligence and machine learning to create an interactive and customized user experience to benefit our 60 million monthly users." All hail tronc!

↓ Artscape

With everything from the Clinton Years being mined for memes and other clickable #content, reunion tours, pop culture reboots, and quite possibly another Clinton in the White House, it's only fitting for Artscape, Baltimore's multi-day outdoor arts festival, to get in on the '90s nostalgia trip. And boy did it deliver the goods, bringing rapper/singer-songwriter Wyclef Jean and third-wave ska group the Mighty Mighty Bosstones in as musical headliners. Meanwhile, the theme is um, space, with the sloppy tagline "Explore What's Out There" in a font that looks the logo for an old Macintosh game about space exploration. Artscape always has something worth checking out, but this year's is looking more lame than usual.

↓ Liquor Board

Since its appointment in a political power play a couple months ago, the liquor board has raised hopes for a fair, even-handed administration. Then it revoked the license of The Drinkery, a corner gay bar in Mt. Vernon, and then it reversed itself, restoring the license on a 2-1 vote two weeks later. Meanwhile, a former member is suing to make the current board null and void, saying the process by which he and his colleagues were ousted was unconstitutional. And the beat goes on at Baltimore's most drama-filled commission.

↓ DPW

We're concerned about Baltimore's sewer infrastructure, the Chesapeake Bay, and your basement toilet. Five months after Baltimore's billion-dollar, first-in-the-nation consent decree with the EPA was supposed to be complete—and 14 years after it began—the arrangement has been extended another 14 years, with the price of the city's sewer revamp climbing another billion dollars. The regularly-occurring shit-geysers from bathtubs and manhole covers will continue until the next extension.

↓ BPD

In settling the lawsuit filed by former BPD Detective Joe Crystal for $42,000, the department doesn't have to admit to any wrongdoing. In 2012, Crystal reported to internal affairs a fellow officer's beating of a drug suspect who broke into that cop's girlfriend's home, and then Crystal was harassed out of the department. Two cops were criminally convicted—Anthony Williams, the man who administered the beating, and Sgt. Marinos Gialamas, who stood by. But we still don't know who put the rat on Crystal's windshield.

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