Baltimore City Power Rankings: CNN, Amazon, $RB, more


An influx of Baltimore artists and galleries infiltrated Miami last week for the major international art fair Art Basel, as well as the surrounding artist-run fairs and pop-up shows. Goya Contemporary, C. Grimaldis Gallery, RandallScottProjects, Terrault Contemporary, Platform Gallery, bb, and Open Space presented booths and installations, and even more Baltimore artists repped our city. We're jealous we couldn't share the warm weather, so here's hoping Baltimore takes over Art Basel again next year.


Once just a mere book-selling website, Amazon took a step closer to becoming Baltimore's next corporate overlord last week when it announced that it will start delivering carry-out food to certain ZIP codes in the city. We suspect that Amazon's ultimate goal, between the food delivery service, Prime Now's same-day delivery, and the entertainment available through Amazon Instant Video, is to make it possible for Baltimoreans to never leave their houses—except, of course, to go work at Amazon's non-unionized warehouse in Dundalk.


We're surprised we're even surprised anymore when Boss Hög slights Baltimore. Here’s the latest: Hogan announced last week that more than $4 million would be going to Carroll County to prevent the closure of three schools even as he whacks at education budgets here in the city. It’s typical of Hög's approach, but no less frustrating. Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz cried foul, releasing a statement chiding the governor for “turn[ing] his back” on the city, county, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County, while finding it “appropriate to give $5.6 million to Carroll, Garrett and Kent that have declining schools populations.” Kamenetz added, “it appears the governor is guided more by political advantage, not fiscal prudence.”


Last week, as the trial for the first of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray began, our lame-duck mayor was out of town. $RB is in Paris representing Baltimore at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. And hey, climate change is a critical issue and all, but when she was on the Marc Steiner Show on Monday, before she took off for France, she hedged when Steiner asked her about the incinerator in Curtis Bay, refusing to articulate her position and saying she needed to study the issue. The incinerator, as the Brew pointed out, “would burn 4,000 tons of waste a day and emit a number of toxic particulates, including 240 pounds of mercury a year, under its permit.” This is a big deal in our own backyard—she should know this stuff inside and out--though perhaps it’s more evidence that our mayor has all but checked out of Baltimore.


During a network town hall last Tuesday, CNN president Jeff Zucker acknowledged a controversial detail from a news story about Freddie Gray. The piece, posted on the first day of Officer William Porter’s trial, drew the ire of many on social media for reporting: “The April 19 death of Freddie Gray, the son of an illiterate heroin addict, made him a symbol of the black community’s distrust of police.” An insider told The Wrap Zucker said the “intent of the story was to show that Freddie came from a tough environment.” Come on. Really? As the big networks roll back through Baltimore for the trials this is a good reminder of what Sandtown-Winchester resident Shaun Young declared on April 21: “Fuck CNN.”

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