Baltimore City Paper

Wandering Eye: Growing tensions over transportation funds, the global consequences of consuming shrimp, and more

Maryland may pride itself on its Chesapeake Bay-grown steamed shrimp, but most of the shrimp in the U.S. is imported from Thailand, Indonesia, India, Ecuador, Vietnam, Malaysia, and China. In Lucky Peach, Melati Kaye goes to Indonesia and looks at the real cost of producing cheap shrimp there. Some of the costs?

"—Truncating marine ecosystems right at the base, as bottom-of-the-food-chain pelagic species get depleted for shrimp-farm feed stock.

—Destruction of storm-buffering, biodiversity-nurturing mangrove forests to make way for aquaculture ponds.

—Preemption of coastal communities' traditional land rights and subsistence fisheries, exposing them to labor exploitation.

—Public-health ramifications of eating shrimp that were fed antibiotics to help them cope with fast-evolving pandemics. . . .


—Displacement of established, ocean-going shrimp fleets." Welp. Once again, it looks like food production under global capitalism (and American demand—the U.S. eats more shrimp than every European country combined) has devastating results. (Anna Walsh)

The aftermath of Boss Hög's decision to scrap plans for the Red Line without an alternative—and shifting the $2.9 billion earmarked for the project to highway projects around the state (but none in Baltimore)—continue to reverberate. In an excellent story in The Sun, Luke Broadwater reports on growing tensions between state Democrats and Hög over $200 million of the $2.9 billion in Red Line funds that the nonpartisan analysts in the Department of Legislative Services say remain unused. Hög's spokesperson says the numbers are "bogus" and part of a Democratic plot, but state Del. Maggie McIntosh, the Democratic budget chief in the House of Delegates, says the money should be spent on Baltimore projects and, like others, brings up the sting of the absence of Baltimore City on a map that Hög tweeted out after announcing transportation projects for the state. "If there is money that is not dedicated, there are possibilities for projects in Baltimore," she said. "We want to have a transportation map that doesn't leave any jurisdiction off, including Baltimore. We need to get back on the Hogan map." Yeah, that one's going to sting for a while, Hög. (Evan Serpick)

No one reads Fusion, but you should read Fusion's article on the "Negro Silent Protest Parade" of 1917, which has some eery parallels to the contemporary #BlackLivesMatter movement. "Here's the backstory: In early July 1917, racial tensions boiled over in East St. Louis, when rumors circulated that a black man had killed a white man. The city erupted into violence–drive by shootings and arson lead to the deaths of hundreds of African-Americans, compared to nine whites. It was in one of the worst race riots America has ever seen." In response, African-American civic leaders in New York City decided to organize a silent march with about 8,000 participating. Some of the mottos used in the parade included "We are maligned as lazy, and murdered when we work"; "Your hands are full of blood"; and "We have fought for the liberty of white Americans in six wars; our reward is East St. Louis." And to think, Ferguson is just across the Mississippi River from East St. Louis. (Anna Walsh)