General Assembly, WTMD, Amazon, Flying Dog, and Pete Welch 4/9/2014

1 General AssemblyState legislators had a tough act to follow this session, after last year eliminating the death penalty, legalizing gay marriage, and passing the DREAM Act. But this year's milestones, including raising the minimum wage to $10.10/hour, decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana, and reforming the speed camera program, were almost as momentous, if diluted-the wage increase doesn't fully kick in until 2018, the marijuana bill doesn't go nearly far enough, and the speed camera program still exists. Still, progress!

2 WTMDIt seems like it was a good move for the Towson University-based public radio station to hire Sam Sessa away from the Sun. Since hiring Sessa, the station has hosted a number of live shows at its new studio and even collaborated with BMore Art to put on a visual art show. And now that First Thursdays has moved to Canton, WTMD has upped the ante, booking more high-profile acts, like The Hold Steady, Joan Osborne, and Los Lonely Boys. That'll ease the pain of the concerts moving from the idyllic Mount Vernon surroundings.

3 AmazonThe Sun reported this week that Amazon is moving to open a second local distribution center, which could provide as many as 325 jobs. The warehouse, located beside the company's planned facility at the old GM plant, will never employ the number of people Sparrows Point once did, but these days, almost any major hiring effort is worth applauding. Can we get a job flying those delivery drones?

4 Flying DogLast week's local beer news was full of legal action, from Ozzy Osbourne sending The Brewer's Art a cease-and-desist letter over its Ozzy Ale to DuClaw suing Left Hand over trademarks. Things brightened this week with news of Flying Dog's "Dead Rise Ale," brewed with Old Bay, coming this summer. As a commenter suggested, maybe they could make the crabs taste like Natty Boh?

5 Pete WelchAccording to a report in the Baltimore Brew, the councilman for the 9th District, which includes much of West Baltimore, and is the city's poorest district, raised the fifth-most money of any council-person, and 95 percent of it came from outside of the district, with some of the biggest contributions coming from "liquor store owners, lobbyists, developers, a prominent strip-club manager, a video gaming supplier and a tire recycler." Worse, Welch rarely speaks at council meetings and is known for regularly skipping committee hearings. The 9th District can do better.

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