Our May issue has it all: education, dance, food, and intrigue, but we’re expecting most readers to spend a little extra time on our cover story. But before you flip to that, let’s take a little Baltimore geography test.
So, we’re unplugging your search engines for a second here while you tell us where Knettishall is. No? How about Lauraville? Baltimoreans are often clueless even about places like Dickeyville and Ashburton.
Those are just some of the rocks we turned over in “Undiscovered Baltimore,” in which associate editor Jess Blumberg and assistant managing editor Amy Mulvihill went looking for little-known communities with lots going for them, whether it’s arts, entertainment, shopping, or good deals on houses.
And yes, I admit it: I didn’t know where Knettishall was, either.
Did I mention politics? One story I think will grab a lot of people’s interest is senior editor Evan Serpick’s piece on 86-year-old Congressman Roscoe Bartlett’s fight to remain the nation’s second oldest member of Congress. The folksy Bartlett, whose politics have ranged from maverick to Libertarian to just plain quirky, won his seat 20 years ago in the solidly Republican 6th District—which then included Western Maryland and northern parts of Carroll, Baltimore, and Harford counties. But the district has been redrawn by a Democratically controlled legislature to include more Democratic voters in Montgomery County. We’ll be watching closely to see if his popularity in the rural areas is enough to beat Democratic nominee, businessman, and political newcomer John Delaney.
Getting away from the issue for a moment, it’s been impossible to ignore the trials and tribulations of the company that owns one of Baltimore’s oldest institutions, the Baltimore Jewish Times. After the JT, owned by the same family for 93 years, went into bankruptcy in 2010, we feared it might go the way so many newspapers have over the past 25 years, whether folding completely, like the News-American, The Evening Sun, and, more recently, The Examiner, or suffering drastic cuts in content, as has the venerable Baltimore Sun, whose parent firm is in bankruptcy.
We were pleased to see the paper was rescued in a bankruptcy auction last month by investors that include WJW Group, the well-respected Rockville-based company that owns the Washington Jewish Week. WJW Group has proven it can put out a good product for an important audience. And that audience is especially important in Baltimore and in Maryland: For more than a century, the state has had one of the nation’s largest Jewish populations—and ours still ranks among the top 10 states at 241,050.
Though the family ownership has now ended, the new owners plan to keep the paper headquarted in Baltimore. And that’s good news for the Jewish community at large and the region as a whole.