1 Baltimore Museum of Art

After a court battle, the venerable arts institution won back "On the Shore of the Seine," a Renoir painting that was stolen from the museum 63 years ago (see "Lasting Impression,"). It's just the latest victory for the BMA, which entered CP's Best of Baltimore Hall of Fame last September, soon after the debut of a dynamic new contemporary wing. Now, we can't wait for the German Expresionism show.

2 Baltimore Arena

Developers have long since left the erstwhile 1st Mariner Arena (and Civic Center) for dead, pushing for a pie-in-the-sky, new, bigger venue connected to an expanded convention center, plus more hotel rooms the city can't fill. Meanwhile, the existing arena keeps booking high-profile shows, like upcoming ones featuring Kanye West and Justin Timberlake, and it just announced a big-time Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view event for April with MMA star Jon Jones, brother of the Ravens' Arthur Jones. The arena's got some fight in it yet!

3 Ed Reisinger

The council VP is pushing to put the brakes on a longtime (40-year) plan to phase out liquor establishments from some residential areas using the zoning code-calling for a "compromise" to let some of the 100 or so places continue in business. Reisinger (or his wife) ran Good Times Tavern on Washington Boulevard for years, but also fought the bad things that bars and liquor stores sometimes attract-in 2004, he got a black eye after demanding a man pick up trash he dumped near the bar. The councilman may have good intentions with his compromise, but zoning is often uncompromising.

4 Baltimore Schools

Look, the polar vortex of doom sucked all around. And we totally get the concerns that students who walk to school or wait for buses could have faced serious danger in those temperatures, so it would have made sense to close schools at the height (depth?) of the vortex. But delaying schools two hours, as the Baltimore City and County systems did, was the worst of all possible decisions. Temperatures went up exactly 1 degree during the delay, and meanwhile, parents were inevitably inconvenienced and school schedules citywide were thrown off while many were doing HSA testing. Fail!

5 City Council

When the council held its first meeting of the year, there had already been 14 homicides in the city. And yet, the council had more pressing business: a ban on smoking near playgrounds or schoolyards. This is the kind of band-aid on a gunshot wound the city can do without. If the council really cared about children's atmospheres, they would stop the Energy Answers incinerator from being built less than a mile from Benjamin Franklin Elementary-and deal with the deisel-truck traffic that already heavily pollutes the area. But again, the council takes action by focusing on an irrelevant side issue.