Baltimore City Paper

Baltimore Arts, Martin O'Malley, Hopkins Hospital, Local 333, and the Department of Transportation 4/23/2014

1 Baltimore Arts

The National Endowment for the Arts just dropped more than 2.5 million bucks on the city, with large grants going to the Maryland State Arts Council ($700,000), the BSO ($100,000), the BMA ($80,000), and Artscape ($45,000). Plus, the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts (BOPA) announced the seven finalists for the Janet and Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize and, unlike last year, when more than half were more connected to D.C. than Baltimore, six of them are from Charm City.

2 Martin O'Malley

The governor took time off from campaigning for vice president to announce that the Baltimore City Detention Center will stop automatically helping the feds deport immigrants without records of violent crimes. The Sun reported that more than 40 percent of the people whom Maryland deports don't have any record of violence-or any record at all. Of course, it's totally a coincidence that the move will be popular among Latinos, a key Democratic-primary voting bloc. Whatever the motivations, it's the right move.

3 Hopkins Hospital

Though the three-day strike of hospital workers ended, it did so without an agreement, and they may be back on strike again soon. The union is pushing for a $15-per-hour minimum for 15-year veteran workers, which seems reasonable given all the dough that Daddy Bloomberg has poured into the joint over the last few years.

4 Local 333

The International Longshoremen's Association (ILA) is threatening to take over the Baltimore chapter after its investigation revealed missing funds and ILA debit cards used for non-union expenses. The move comes amid tense negotiations between Local 333, which represents over 1,200 workers, and the Port of Baltimore, and could weaken the union's position. As if the Greek and Frank Sobotka didn't do enough damage already.

5 Department of Transportation

Just what the bloated, bureaucracy-crazy city government needs: more high-level pencil-pushers. The city's DOT disclosed that, after a recent reorganization, there will be five new administrative positions, each earning at least $100,000. There were previously only two such positions total. BCPR hates to sound like a broken record, but full financial audits of city government would go a long way toward easing suspicion of such moves, and would almost certainly eliminate considerable waste in the process.