Ron Cassie's picture
February, 20th 2014

City Paper Bought by the Baltimore Sun

Baltimore magazine

The Baltimore Sun Media Group announced Thursday that it is purchasing the 37-year-old, alternative weekly City Paper.

Jennifer Marsh, a Baltimore Sun Media Group niche products director, was named City Paper's general manager. Previously, the City Paper noted, Marsh worked for more than 20 years at the alternative weekly, serving as publisher from 2011 to 2013 before leaving for the Baltimore Sun Media Group.

Distributed for free, the City Paper has a circulation of just over 50,000 a week, according to the Baltimore Sun, and receives about 200,000 monthly unique visitors via its Web and mobile apps.

The City Paper has often presented a differing editorial voice to...

Ron Cassie's picture
February, 18th 2014

Baltimore City Schools Name New CEO

Baltimore magazine

The Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners announced Tuesday that after a national search it has chosen Gregory Thornton, superintendent of Milwaukee's public schools, to be the next CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, according to a bio provided by BCPS, Thornton attended Philadelphia public schools and then Temple University, earning his degree in elementary education in 1977. After starting as a teacher, he quickly moved to the principal ranks, serving as principal at four elementary and high schools in Maryland, Delaware, and North Carolina between 1981 and 1997.

“There are defining points in one’s career and one’s life, and opportunities like this one, to really transform the lives of children, come along rarely,” Thornton said in a press release. “Baltimore’s school district is in an exciting place, where there is work underway and a strong base of...

Max Weiss's picture
February, 11th 2014

The Maryland Zoo's new lion cubs are ridiculously photogenic

Baltimore magazine

 This is Zuri. We call this one "Blue Steel with unnecessary green ball"

Seriously, every picture. Perfection.

They told Leia to do "The Simba"


Here's Zuri, Luke, and Leia posing perfectly. Gisele, take notes. (They'll photoshop that garbage pail out in post-production).


This is Luke and Leia  literally making love to the camera.


We can't wait til they discover selfies!


Photos courtesy of The Maryland Zoo

Ron Cassie's picture
February, 10th 2014

Radical Success Continues: Red Emma's Now Open in Station North

Baltimore magazine

Red Emma’s, Baltimore’s favorite radical bookstore and coffeehouse, has officially reopened in its new location at 30 W. North Ave.—the latest addition to the surging Station North Arts and Entertainment District.

Host to more than 1,000 events over the years—from films, lectures, readings, and live music to seminars and grassroots organizing efforts—the collectively run café has become a unique Charm City cultural institution since first opening in Mount Vernon a decade ago. In 2006, Red Emma’s launched the first annual Radical Bookfair and, in 2007, they began a partnership with St. John’s Church in Charles Village, using the space at 2640 St. Paul St. as a venue for cultural and political events. In 2009, Red Emma’s started the Baltimore Free School. And most recently, they've partnered with the collectively run Thread Coffee.

The move allows the bookstore to dramatically increase the number of titles it offers while also greatly expanding the amount of café seating. Plus, with the additional kitchen space...

Jess Blumberg Mayhugh's picture
February, 7th 2014

Powerful essay on recent crime

Baltimore magazine

Recent horrific incidents in Southeast Baltimore have left locals reeling.

There was yesterday's news of a 12-year-old girl being robbed at gunpoint while walking into Patterson Park Charter School at 7:30 a.m. There was Highlandtown resident Kim Leto being stabbed to death in her home by two teenagers. There was Baltimore Sun sports editor John Fogg being robbed and brutally assaulted in Canton.

And there is the overall frightening statistic that, in the Southeast district, robberies are up 35 percent and violent crime up 30 percent.

While City Hall boasts that overall crime in the city is down, those that live in Patterson Park, Butchers Hill, Highlandtown, and Canton are feeling frustrated and scared. One resident, Tracey Halvorsen, who is the president of interactive design...

Ron Cassie's picture
January, 30th 2014

Baltimore Auditions for America's Got Talent

Baltimore magazine

Hip hop dance troupes, twirlers, teen pop wannabes, comedians, crooners, classically trained musicians, magicians, belly dancers, exotic pink flamingo riding unicyclists—and, of course, Elvis impersonators because there always has to be at least one of those—filled Baltimore's Convention Center Thursday for America's Got Talent traveling open auditions. Oh yeah, bearded folk singers, too. And beatboxers. The place felt a little like being backstage at a carnival freak show. But we mean that in the best possible way.

Whether to relieve stress, the boredom of long waiting lines, or just for fun, an impromptu dance-off broke out in the holding room at one point early in the afternoon (see above photo).

With hopefuls lining up at 5 a.m. on Pratt Street, executive producer Jason Raff told Baltimore that he expected maybe 3,000 to turn out over the whole day. "It's like when you throw a party, you never know how many will come," Raff said. "But we'll be here to midnight or 1 a.m. if that's what it takes to see everybody. As long as you're here by 7 p.m. and have a photo I.D. and sign the...

Ron Cassie's picture
January, 29th 2014

Baltimore City and County Graduation Rates Improve

Baltimore magazine

Baltimore City and Baltimore County public schools both have made significant strides in improving graduation rates over the last few years while also lowering dropout rates, according to a report released Tuesday by the Maryland Department of Education.

Overall, Maryland students set a record for high school graduation in 2013, according to newly released statewide data, posting an 84.97 percent mark for the class of 2013, up from 83.57 from last year.

In Baltimore City, the four-year graduation rate for the class of 2013 was 68.5 percent, a large step up from the 61.5 percent four-year graduation rate for the class of 2010.

Similarly, Baltimore County's four-year graduation rates made progress, reaching 83.8 percent for the class of 2013—up from the class of 2010's 81.4 percent figure.

Not unrelated, the dropout rate for Baltimore City schools fell from 23.8 percent for the class of 2010 to 12.1 percent for the class of 2013. "More telling than the reduction in dropout rate is the reduction in the actual number of students dropping out of school," Baltimore City Public Schools wrote in a...

Ron Cassie's picture
January, 28th 2014

Baltimore's Winter Olympian. Sort Of.

Baltimore magazine

The U.S. Olympic Committee announced its 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic team yesterday—the Games begin Feb. 7—with 38 states represented among the athletes. Alas, officially, Maryland was shut out.

Baltimore, though, snuck in. Sort of.

Technically, luger Summer Britcher lists Glen Rock, PA, just up I-83 over the state line, as her hometown on her U.S. Olympic Team bio. But the 19-year-old was born in Baltimore and her dad, Capt. William Britcher, serves in the City's Fire Department. Her grandfather and two uncles have also served as Baltimore City firefighters. 

According to the York Daily Record, Britcher got her introduction to luge at a USA Luge promotional event at Liberty Mountain Resort as an 11-year-old. She eventually went on to play soccer at Susquehannock High School in York County while training for the luge at Lake Placid, NY, and in Utah during the winter months.

Britcher's best finish to date was 8th...

Ron Cassie's picture
January, 27th 2014

Ravens Hire New Offensive Coordinator

Baltimore magazine

The Ravens announced this afternoon that former Texans' head coach Gary Kubiak will take over as the team's new offensive coordinator, replacing departed Jim Caldwell, who recently accepted the Detroit Lions' head coaching job.

Kubiak will bring his former Texans' offensive coordinator, Rick Dennison, in tow, to coach quarterback Joe Flacco. (And Flacco's back-up, of course.)

After interviewing coaches from both the pro and college ranks, the hiring of Kubiak—who was also in the running for the head coaching job in Detroit—will likely be viewed as an excellent pick up for the Ravens. A longtime former NFL quarterback, Kubiak was a successful offensive coordinator in Denver and directed successful offense teams during his years with the Texans.

“We left no stone unturned in this search,” Harbaugh said in a statement. “We are excited about the result and cannot wait to get to work."

Hey, the only place to go is up for the Ravens, who finished 29th last year in total offense and dead last in average rush per carry.

According to the...

Ron Cassie's picture
January, 23rd 2014

Legalize It? General Assembly Debating New Marijuana Laws

Baltimore magazine

As the marijuana legalization debate grows across the country, Baltimore County Sen. Bobby Zirkin and Howard County Sen. Alan Kittleman introduced legislation Wednesday that would decriminalize small amounts of pot in Maryland. Pointing to broadening public support for such measures, it’s worth noting that while Zirkin is a Democrat—the party viewed as more liberal on such social issues—Kittleman is a Republican running for county executive.

Senate Bill 364, if passed and signed into law, would reduce the possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana from a criminal to a civil offense, authorizing police officers only to issue citations for possession under specified circumstances. Last year, a similar measure sponsored by Zirkin and Kittleman passed Maryland's Senate by a vote of 30-16, but failed to win support in the House of Delegates.

Earlier this month, Sen. Jamie Raskin, Del. Curt Anderson,...

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