Baltimore COVID-19 News Updates from Independent & Regional Media 5/7

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This week’s news includes: Spy plane speculation, imagining an improved Baltimore, Ocean City set to reopen Saturday, and more reporting from Baltimore Magazine, Baltimore, Baltimore Brew, and others.


As a homicide survivor, it’s not something that makes me feel safer.
Erricka Bridgeford
from Real News Network

Spy Plane Resumes Flights Over Baltimore Amid COVID-19
by Jaisal Noor
Published May 4 in Real News Network

Excerpt: The expensive aerial surveillance program won’t help heavily disinvested Baltimore, say Ceasefire co-founder Erricka Bridgeford and author Brandon Soderberg.


Jerrianne Anthony with then Mayor Pugh in 2018 (via BBJ)

Baltimore Homeless Services director placed on leave
by Fern Shen
Published May 4 in Baltimore Brew

Excerpt: The director of the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services, Jerrianne Anthony, has been placed on extended personal leave, her deputy has been fired, and her chief of staff has resigned, The Brew has learned.

The shake-up comes as the Covid-19 pandemic has infected shelter residents and forced the Young administration to move hundreds to hotels and other emergency housing amid criticism that the city’s response still leaves too many of the city’s homeless at risk.


Erricka Bridgeford with Baltimore Ceasefire members, photo by John Patterson

How to Fix Baltimore
by Ron Cassie
Published May 3 in Baltimore Magazine

Excerpt: It is no coincidence that Baltimore City’s population topped out two years later in the 1950 census and has been shrinking ever since. Subsequently, it has become one of the smallest major cities in terms of square miles. The closing of the city border was part of an even broader political effort that George Romney—the father of the Utah Senator Mitt Romney and Richard Nixon’s first Housing and Urban Development secretary—once characterized as a “high-income white noose” placed around the nation’s urban core. Romney had seen it play out in Detroit when he served as governor of Michigan. […]

Over the next six pages, we look at 12 bold ideas to move Baltimore forward in the 21st century after decades of segregation, isolation, and stagnation. Some are successfully employed elsewhere, some are new, and several are being explored. One worked here before. The overarching theme is Baltimore will remain stuck in place until its internal physical barriers and its city line—a de facto border wall—are torn down.


This is not an attack on any politician but the whole system.
unidentified billboard painter
photo by Jaisal Noor

“Cancel Rent and Fuck The Police”: Tagged Jack Young billboard “statement of solidarity,” one of those behind the action explained
by Brandon Soderberg
Published May 3 in Baltimore Beat

Excerpt: Presumably reimagined at some point late last night (and first reported by WYPR’s Emily Sullivan), the billboard blacks-out Young’s messaging and replaces it with, “CANCEL RENT AND FUCK THE POLICE! FTP” and a small three arrows image in a circle—the social-democratic logo associated with resistance to totalitarianism. A grinning Jack Young still remains along with the “By Authority Friends of Bernard C. ‘Jack Young. Martin Cadogan, Treasurer,” mischievously suggesting Young’s campaign has paid for this new, radical message.

The Beat spoke to one of the artists responsible for the changes to Young’s sign who asked to remain anonymous. They characterized the tags as a positive change to the sign.


Image: Zeke Cohen, City Councilman (Twitter)

50 Baltimore orgs are joining together to close the digital divide — during the pandemic, and beyond
by Stephen Babcock
Published May 5 in / Baltimore

Excerpt: The Baltimore Digital Equity Coalition includes 50 organizations from across the city to address the digital divide that has existed in Baltimore for years, but is being exacerbated in a time when school and work often require device and internet connectivity at home, and gathering points that would provide access like schools and community centers are closed. It brings together nonprofits working on tech access, organizations of parents and teachers working to improve education, foundations, school leaders and government.

They may be on different sides of the equation and look at the need outcomes in different ways — from education to financial access to job readiness to democracy. But there’s a recognition that internet and device access is akin to a utility for society, especially now.


Luke Broadwater On The Sun’s Pulitzer, The Paper’s Future

by Tom Hall + Rob Sivak
Published May 5 in WYPR Midday

Excerpt: The Pulitzer Prize is journalism’s most prestigious award. Yesterday, the Pulitzer committee announced that our local paper, the Baltimore Sun, won the 2020 Pulitzer for Local Reporting. Its series of reports on the Healthy Holly scandal, which began in March of 2019, were described by the Pulitzer judges as “illuminating and insightful.” The Sun’s reporting led to the conviction and upcoming imprisonment of former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, and to some significant anti-corruption legislative reforms.

Extra: Could The Baltimore Sun Become a Nonprofit?
by Max Weiss
Published May 4 in Baltimore Magazine


Coronavirus In Baltimore: Lord Baltimore Hotel To Host Positive Patients With Mild Symptoms, As City Sees 21% Increase In COVID-19 Cases
Published May 5 in WJZ 13 CBS Baltimore

Excerpt: The Lord Baltimore Hotel will host positive coronavirus patients who have mild symptoms and cannot isolate in Baltimore. Mayor Jack Young made the announcement during a press conference Tuesday, saying that the city has seen a 21% increase in cases since May 1. “As of this morning, the city has 2609 cases, 423 people have hospitalized with COVID-19 and 120 deaths, Young said. “We remain focused on continuing to scale up our response to this emergency to ensure residents of our city have the resources and support they need.”

The triage and isolation service is for patients who do not require hospitalization. “This includes residents who live in a multi-generational household, congregate living settings, individuals experiencing homelessness, and the housing insecure,” Young added. “We will be accepting referrals from hospitals and medical partners.”


Elegy for the Arcade: Long Live Lexington Market
by Dr. Nicole King
Published May 1 in Preserving Places & Baltimore Traces

Excerpt: Even though I knew the demolition of part of Lexington Market was coming, when I saw the pictures on social media, I needed to go for a walk down Eutaw Street and see it myself. I have a deep love of the Arcade, the retro atrium-style food court in Lexington Market, in part because it is a democratic public space in a city where such spaces are few and disappearing.


Ocean City by air. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo

Ocean City Beaches to Reopen to the Public on Saturday
by Bruce DePuyt
Published May 5 in Maryland Matters

Excerpt: As beach communities around the world struggle to decide when it’s safe to allow people to venture back to the water, the mayor of Ocean City has decided to reopen his town’s famous beach this weekend. Mayor Richard W. Meehan signed a declaration Monday that will open the beach and boardwalk starting Saturday.

Though the town draws hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the Mid-Atlantic region each summer, people who live outside Ocean City are being encouraged to abide by the state’s travel restrictions.


Photo by Jay Cannon/Capital News Service.

Despite reports, Maryland Jockey Club says there’s ‘no definitive date’ for Preakness
by Brandon Weigel
Published May 6 in Baltimore Fishbowl

Excerpt: The Maryland Jockey Club refuted a report that the Preakness Stakes will be held on Oct. 3, saying the organization is still searching for a date for the second jewel of horse racing’s Triple Crown.

An earlier story from WBAL-TV, citing corporate partner NBC Sports, said the race would run on the first Saturday in October. (The station’s story has since been updated.)

“At this point, there is no definitive date set and we continue to explore options,” Stronach Group, which owns the Maryland Jockey Club, said in a statement. “Once a date for Preakness 145 has been finalized, an official announcement will be made.”


header image: Illustration by Andrew DeGraff

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