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Old May 17th, 2007, 03:58 PM   #3681
30 Floors Up
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Well, it looks like the reporters got it wrong again. The renderings I've see of the Olmstead showed a building that was 12 stories tall. The above article states that the height could be icnreased to 360 feet. That would make it taller than Water Street which is a 31 story building. Unlikely. I think 160 feet may be correct. That would equate to a 15 story structure.

Last edited by 30 Floors Up; May 17th, 2007 at 07:46 PM.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 04:13 PM   #3682
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 30 Floors Up View Post
Seventeen Floors Of Mystery And Intrigue!

I walked by the Fidelity Building yesterday and saw that work is continuing on that structure. They have now suspended scaffolding from the roof and it appears as though they are repointing the mortar between the stone. There were a slew of new permits pasted on the door. I read them all but I still couldn't determine what the final product will be. I know they are welding, demolishing walls, and parking dumpsters in the curb lane since those are what the permits were for!

I asked two "official looking hardhats" what was going in there and they wouldn't tell me and played dumb (might not have been an act!). As you all know, Fidelity is now owned by Peter Angelos' Artemis Properties. http://www.onecharlescenter.com/ArtemisInfo.pdf

Angelos appears to be spending significant money on the building - but for what? Personally, I would love to see a Hotel Monaco in that building! If it is not going to be a hotel, then I would like to see some condos. I think the city needs more home ownership opportunity in that area. Oakwood, the Twin Charles Center Towers, and BG&E are all rental buildings. Balance is everything IMHO.

~~~~~

A NEW LOW - Even for Baltimore

Some genius spray-painted the base of the John Eager Howard statue (with a 6 foot giant *****), the Order statue base, and Mt. Vernon Methodist Church (with 666 and a Star). I called 311 and the city was already aware of it. Up until now, Mt. Vernon Square was always off limits to these monster vandals. I suppose that, too, has now changed. Everyone should be outraged at this. When the perps are caught they should be locked for a long, long, time.

Do you think Rush Limbaugh waddled into town and got revenge?

The Fidelity Building is one of my favs...I do wonder what he's doing with it.

When were the statue and church vandalized? Hopefully they can clean it up quickly…bringing some family up there this weekend. That really does get me pretty mad.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 06:18 PM   #3683
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Don't know when the vandals struck. I saw the damage yesterday.

Public housing in S.E. Baltimore razed
Mixed-income housing planned in O'Donnell Heights community


Sun Reporter
Originally published May 17, 2007, 9:56 AM EDT

Work crews began demolishing this morning 200 apartments in 30 buildings in the sprawling O'Donnell Heights public housing community at the far edge of Southeast Baltimore. About 9:15 a.m., large trucks smashed into the first of the structures that resemble Army barracks. They were built in 1943 as temporary shelters for wartime steel and aircraft workers during World War II and were later turned into public housing.

Many buildings in the community off O'Donnell Street near Interstate 95 have already been torn down, but several hundred residents still live in the area. Housing officials said plans are in the works to build mixed-income housing, a project that could cost $6.5 million.

"We're here, not so much to celebrate the demolition, but because of a rebirth of this wonderful community," Housing Commissioner Paul T. Graziano told residents and officials moments before the demolition began.

Also attending were Mayor Sheila Dixon and City Council President Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake. LaShawn Divers, 38, who lives in O'Donnell Heights, complained that the city keeps demolishing buildings without showing much progress. "It looks like we're living in a desert," said Divers, who brought her 3-year-old son, Malik Sadellah, to see the action. "They keep tearing it down, but they aren't building anything."

O'Donnell Heights has a long history of neglect and has been troubled by violence and drug activity. For more than 20 years after it was built, it remained the city's only all-white housing project, and was nicknamed "Hillbilly Heights."

Authorities called out the National Guard when integration took effect in 1967. It remains one of the few integrated projects in the city.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 08:25 PM   #3684
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Nice... I like that article on the Olmstead. Especially because I wrote the editorial for the News-Letter!
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Old May 17th, 2007, 08:27 PM   #3685
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Originally Posted by 30 Floors Up View Post
A NEW LOW - Even for Baltimore

Some genius spray-painted the base of the John Eager Howard statue (with a 6 foot giant *****), the Order statue base, and Mt. Vernon Methodist Church (with 666 and a Star). I called 311 and the city was already aware of it. Up until now, Mt. Vernon Square was always off limits to these monster vandals. I suppose that, too, has now changed. Everyone should be outraged at this. When the perps are caught they should be locked for a long, long, time.
Here's a bet: the "monster vandals" will turn out to be middle or upper middle class kids in their early teens ("li'l bast**ds" would be my preferred term) who think it's funny that the reproductive bits on Howard's stallion are evident and thus enlarged them on the plinth for our edification and who further wished to scandalize MVUMC congregants with the "Mark of the Beast" and a pentagram on their beautiful church. The LB's will be caught but will do no time as their parents will make a hefty donation to the Friends of Mt. Vernon Place while proclaiming their children are "good kids."

Nothing against skateboarders as a class, but some of their number have been vandalizing the Maryland Line Monument at Mt. Royal and Cathedral for years. One was the son of a Sun writer who didn't seem too interested in the matter.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 08:33 PM   #3686
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Originally Posted by BaltoSteve View Post
[B]
Developer tries to jump-start Charles Village project

05/16/07
By Adam Bednar, Baltimore Messenger

[snip]
"They missed the bubble," Clarke said. "We're all in the same boat. We didn't create the economy."
[snip]
Odd statement. We all "create" the economy; there's no "economy" without us.
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Old May 17th, 2007, 09:07 PM   #3687
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Originally Posted by jamie_hunt View Post
Odd statement. We all "create" the economy; there's no "economy" without us.
Contrair Mo' Frair!!!

Don't you know the economy is created by the gubmint?

Well the gubmint and 'The Man.'
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Old May 17th, 2007, 09:20 PM   #3688
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Don't you know the economy is created by the gubmint?

Well the gubmint and 'The Man.'

City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke and her husband J.J. "The Man" Clarke create the economy? We're doomed.

On the bright side, though, there'll always be a surface lot on the NE corner of Redwood and Light we can park in.

And we'll never have to worry about Recreation Pier in Fells Point being "gentrified." It'll wind up in the harbor first.

Take it away, Eric Idle ...

"Always look on the bright side of life,
Always look on the light side of life,
If life seems jolly rotten,
There's something you've forgotten,
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing."
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Old May 17th, 2007, 10:11 PM   #3689
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamie_hunt View Post
On the bright side, though, there'll always be a surface lot on the NE corner of Redwood and Light we can park in.

And we'll never have to worry about Recreation Pier in Fells Point being "gentrified." It'll wind up in the harbor first.
that was a low blow.......lol
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Old May 17th, 2007, 11:46 PM   #3690
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Originally Posted by BaltoSteve View Post
Olmstead Story from Baltimore Messenger....................

Developer tries to jump-start Charles Village project

05/16/07
By Adam Bednar

Original plans for The Olmsted called for 119 condos up to 1,200 square feet and starting at more than $400,000. The need for smaller, less-expensive condos became evident because of slow sales in the Lofts, Neiman said.

Rough plans now call for The Olmsted to have as many as 252 condos that could be as small as 700 feet and would be priced as low as $250,000, Neiman said. The new plan also envisions a building as much as 43 feet higher than the 317 feet previously proposed.
Hmm, those prices seem pretty aggressive for that particular neighborhood. I'm sure there's a lot of hesitation from buyers when comparing to downtown and surrounding locations. Well, at least the smaller condos for $250K seems like a lot to me. And let me say the University Mini Mart is a huge loss. It must return ASAP.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 02:22 AM   #3691
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Originally Posted by HAudidoody View Post
Hmm, those prices seem pretty aggressive for that particular neighborhood. I'm sure there's a lot of hesitation from buyers when comparing to downtown and surrounding locations. Well, at least the smaller condos for $250K seems like a lot to me. And let me say the University Mini Mart is a huge loss. It must return ASAP.

The mini mart reopened last week! And looks great..super clean.

I agree about the condos......they need to figure out how to make them more affordable.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 02:34 AM   #3692
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Property taxes scare me away from the city, but if I could find a place for around $200,000 in a decent area I would definitely look to buy. I'd love to help increase the city population. In a few months when I get much more serious about this, I might have to solicit opinions on different areas in my money range. I have to say some places in the Patterson Park area seem fairly cheap and have got my interest.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 03:37 AM   #3693
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Property taxes scare me away from the city, but if I could find a place for around $200,000 in a decent area I would definitely look to buy. I'd love to help increase the city population. In a few months when I get much more serious about this, I might have to solicit opinions on different areas in my money range. I have to say some places in the Patterson Park area seem fairly cheap and have got my interest.

The property taxes are a problem. My place is about 900sqft and the next owner is going to step up to the full assessment and have to pay 7K+ a year for the privilege of living here in the city.

I've found though that the assessment rates haven't caught up to the market value in a lot of neighborhoods though. Just have to get a few blocks off the waterfront.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 03:42 AM   #3694
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http://www.cimgrealestate.com/waterview.htm

Anyone have an update on this project? I was scoping out middle branch park tonight and saw the sign...Looks like the site work is complete.

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Old May 18th, 2007, 04:37 AM   #3695
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Originally Posted by southbalto View Post
The property taxes are a problem. My place is about 900sqft and the next owner is going to step up to the full assessment and have to pay 7K+ a year for the privilege of living here in the city.

I've found though that the assessment rates haven't caught up to the market value in a lot of neighborhoods though. Just have to get a few blocks off the waterfront.

That's just insane. They really need to adjust the rates to the recent run-up in prices.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 05:37 AM   #3696
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Originally Posted by HAudidoody View Post
Hmm, those prices seem pretty aggressive for that particular neighborhood. I'm sure there's a lot of hesitation from buyers when comparing to downtown and surrounding locations. Well, at least the smaller condos for $250K seems like a lot to me. And let me say the University Mini Mart is a huge loss. It must return ASAP.
I don't think the prices should be a problem. It's such a good location. I can see how any developer would be nervous about the market, however.

On this part - "The new plan also envisions a building as much as 43 feet higher than the 317 feet previously proposed." - that must be a misprint. 350 feet in height? That would accomodate about 30 stories. The illustrations only show something around the same height as the other buildings on that corner.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 06:55 AM   #3697
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Heard from the same source who told me that the box stores in Port Covington are closing so new condos can be built, that Trump bought that property.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 01:11 PM   #3698
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Old May 18th, 2007, 01:26 PM   #3699
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1 STEP FORWARD:
36 Hours in Baltimore
The New York Times



A tall ship in Baltimore's Inner Harbor, which was a working commercial port 50 years ago.

By DAVID G. ALLAN, Published: May 18, 2007

BALTIMORE is sometimes the forgotten middle child among attention-getting Eastern cities like Washington and New York. But a civic revival, which began with the harbor's makeover 27 years ago, has given out-of-towners reason to visit. Yes, there are wonderful seafood restaurants, Colonial history, quaint waterfronts and other tourist-ready attractions. But Baltimore's renaissance has also cultivated cool restaurants with innovative cuisine, independent theaters that showcase emerging talent and galleries that specialize in contemporary art. In other words, Baltimore is all grown up, but it's still a big city with a small-town feel.

4 p.m.
1) YOUR SEA LEGS

Get your bearings at the city's center, the Inner Harbor, and stroll along the edge of what was, 50 years ago, a working commercial port. Belying that workaday tradition is Harborplace & the Gallery, a pair of waterside malls that are good for little more than souvenirs and paddleboats in the shape of Chessie, the Chesapeake Bay's version of the Loch Ness monster. There's no avoiding the touristy kitsch, but authentic maritime history can be found in the well-maintained sloop-of-war Constellation (410-539-1797, www.constellation.org), the last all-sail ship built by the Navy and a veteran of the Civil War. For $8.75, you can explore the ship's sleeping quarters, galley and cannons. Before the war, the Constellation patrolled the waters off West Africa to block slave traders.

7 p.m.
2) WILL WORK FOR FOOD

Maryland blue crab is what's for dinner. Put down some butcher-block paper, grab a mallet and start whacking away at a steaming pile of spice-smeared crustaceans. The rite of passage is not complete, of course, without cold beer. Discerning locals go to Obrycki's (1727 East Pratt Street, 410-732-6399; www.obryckis.com), known for a homemade peppery crab spice that, pardon the blasphemy, rivals Old Bay. The faux-fancy décor (stenciled brick walls and fake windows) is not why you came. It's the freshness of the crabs ($43 for a dozen mediums), in an establishment that commendably shuts down for the winter when the local catch is lean.

9 p.m.
3) CRAWL, DO NOT RUN

For live music, go bar hopping along cobblestoned Thames Street (pronounced thaymes) in the Fells Point section. A recent Friday night uncovered a cache of performances: acoustic guitar at the rustic waterside Admiral's Cup (No. 1647; 410-522-6731); soul tunes at the dive bar Leadbetters Tavern (No. 1639; 410-675-4794; www.leadbetterstavern.com); and a band that plays Rusted Root covers at the Horse You Came In On (No. 1626; 410-327-8111), a raucous saloon in a cavernous space with antique lamps and a well-dinged bar that has a fine selection of microbrews.

Saturday
10 a.m.
4) ROCK 'N' CINNAMON ROLLS

The Blue Moon Cafe (1621 Aliceanna Street, 410-522-3940) in Fells Point is busy, so you may have to share a table with cheerful regulars. This popular breakfast joint, with exposed brick, pressed-tin walls and rock music (Talking Heads, Stevie Nicks), serves large, satisfying portions (takeout boxes are common). Favorites include the gooey cinnamon rolls ($3.50), crab Benedict ($14.95), and specials like stacks of caramel-drizzled banana-bread pancakes with whipped cream ($7.95). The exceedingly friendly servers won't let you see the bottom of your mug, refilling it with an organic blend from the local Bluebird coffee company.

11:30 a.m.
5) CITY ON A HILL

For a historic view of the city, climb up Charles Street to the old neighborhood of Mount Vernon. You'll find manicured lawns, hear young violinists practicing inside the Peabody Conservatory (1 East Mount Vernon Place; 410-659-8100; www.peabody.jhu.edu) and see an early memorial to George Washington ($2 to climb the 228 steps to the top), predating its better-known cousin 40 miles south. Mount Vernon is also home to the recently renovated Walters Art Museum (600 North Charles Street, 410-547-9000; www.thewalters.org), which has an eclectic collection that includes Fabergé eggs that Czar Nicholas II gave to his mother and his wife. At 1 p.m., take the scheduled tour of the newly restored Basilica of the Assumption (408 North Charles Street, 410-727-3565; www.baltimorebasilica.org), the first cathedral built in the United States.

2:30 p.m.
6) DOWN UNDER, THE SEA

Stop by Attman's (1019 East Lombard Street, 410-563-2666; www.attmansdeli.com), one of the last delis standing on what is known as Corned Beef Row, for a corned beef sandwich ($5.99) before heading over to the National Aquarium (501 East Pratt Street, 410-576-3800; www.aqua.org). Yes, the aquarium has ball-tossing dolphins and busloads of children, but it also has a diverse collection that includes sharks and a giant Pacific octopus. A new Animal Planet exhibition recreates a river gorge in Australia's red-rock Northern Territory, with 120 indigenous species, including crocodiles, snake-necked turtles and gray-headed flying fox (fruit bats). Time your visit for the 2:30 feeding at the 260,000-gallon stingray tank, or the 3:30 feeding at the reef tank.

5 p.m.
7) LE-NORE! LE-NORE!

Baltimore's darker side has a long history. Edgar Allan Poe, who lived on and off in the city, died in Baltimore in 1849 of mysterious causes. Visit his grave at the Westminster Hall burial ground (519 West Fayette Street, 410-706-2072; www.westminsterhall.org). Actually, there are two sites: one, topped by a stone raven, marks the original spot; the other, a larger monument donated by Baltimore schoolchildren in the late 1800s, marks where Poe and his wife, Virginia, are now buried. The city's National Football League team, the Ravens, which plays at M & T Bank Stadium, just might be the only football team whose name was inspired by a poem.

6:30 p.m.
8) KABULI COOKING

Had your fill of crabs? Make pretheater reservations for the Helmand (806 North Charles Street, 410-752-0311; www.helmand.com), an Afghan cafe that draws a well-dressed clientele and regularly makes the local best-of lists in multiple categories. It's surprising that this place has been in business 18 years because the dining room, hung with Afghan textiles, has all the buzz of a new hot spot. The prices are reasonable, the service is fast and helpful, and the food is inventive while consistently good. Start with the kaddo borawni (baked baby pumpkin drizzled with garlicky yogurt for $4.50) followed by an entree of aushak (leek-filled Afghan ravioli for $11.50) served with pallow (cinnamon-spiced rice). For dessert, don't miss the cardamom-flecked ice cream ($5.25).

8 p.m.
9) TRIPLE PLAY

Alternative arts in Baltimore — a tradition that includes the filmmaker John Waters and the musician David Byrne — is alive and well. You can check out promising young playwrights and revivals of old favorites at the intimate CenterStage (700 North Calvert Street, 410-332-0033; www.centerstage.org). Or head to the strikingly modern Meyerhoff Symphony Hall (1212 Cathedral Street, 410-783-8000; www.baltimoresymphony.org), where in addition to traditional classical fare like “Peter and the Wolf,” the current season includes a tribute to Cole Porter. Or, if you prefer indie cinema, head to the 68-year-old Charles Theater (1711 North Charles Street, 410-727-3456; www.thecharles.com), a Beaux-Arts landmark.

10 p.m.
10) BEER AND A CHASER

The city's night life has outgrown its working-class, corner-bar roots. In its place are stylish new places like the art- and hops-friendly Brewer's Art (1106 North Charles Street, 410-547-6925; www.thebrewersart.com). The Belgian-inspired microbrews include the divine Resurrection brown ale ($4). For cocktails, head around the corner to the high ceilings and stained-glass windows of the Owl Bar at the Belvedere Hotel (1 East Chase Street, 410-347-0888; www.theowlbar.com). A young, stylish crowd can be found mingling along the mahogany bar.

Sunday
11 a.m.
11) OH, SAY CAN YOU SEE?

Take a water taxi from Fells Point to the Fort McHenry National Monument (2400 East Fort Avenue, 410-962-4290; www.nps.gov/fomc), which is situated on a green peninsular park. The story of the writing of national anthem is the subject of a 15-minute video that's either quaintly educational or unintentionally funny, depending on your sensibility. As told by the pipe-smoking actor in early-19th-century garb, Francis Scott Key wrote a poem called “The Star Spangled Banner” after he watched the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British during the War of 1812 and the flag was there still. Perhaps you'll be inspired to hum the anthem as you take the 15-minute water taxi back (410-563-3901, www.thewatertaxi.com; $8).

2 p.m.
12) MARKET SPECIALS

The fruit and vegetable stalls of Cross Street Market (1065 South Charles Street) are shut on Sundays, but Nick's (410-685-2020), a jovial assortment of fresh seafood bars, keeps the 1846 market buzzing. Locals are drawn to its thick crab cake sandwiches ($13.95), heaps of freshly shucked raw oysters ($7 a half dozen) and Old Bay-topped mussels ($6.95 a pound). Come to think of it, you can't get food like this in Washington or New York.

VISITOR INFORMATION
Many major airlines serve Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Flights from Kennedy Airport in New York start at about $225 on Delta. The MARC train (www.mtamaryland.com/services) is about a 20-minute ride ($4) from the airport to Pennsylvania Station on North Charles Street, which is a stop on several Amtrak routes. The city has bus, subway and light-rail service.

The Inn at Henderson's Wharf (1000 Fell Street, 800-522-2088; www.hendersonswharf.com) is in an old tobacco factory. Rooms come with a leather-topped desk, a bottle of wine and a choice of views. A two-night stay is required on most weekends; starting at $179 a night.

The Admiral Fell Inn in Fells Point (888 South Broadway, 410-522-7377; www.harbormagic.com) dates from the 1770s and is inhabited by actors who play ghosts. Rates start at $209.

The Hyatt Regency near HarborPlace (300 Light Street, 410-528-1234; www.baltimore.hyatt.com) was renovated last year with flat-screen TVs and an outdoor pool. Ask for rooms above the sixth floor for views of the water. Weekend rates start at $245.

Last edited by 30 Floors Up; May 18th, 2007 at 01:37 PM.
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Old May 18th, 2007, 01:31 PM   #3700
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TWO STEPS BACK:
Baltimore Considering Becoming A Police State

(This story is on the AP and is in at least 70 newspapers today)

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

In these days of Alberto Gonzales and the National Security Agency, I thought I'd begin with that review. But, unlike the massive and widespread trampling of the Fourth Amendment by both Gonzales and the NSA, I would like to draw your attention to a smaller and more limited attempted abuse of the Bill of Rights.

When I first read the story, I had to check to see that I wasn't reading The Onion. But, no, this story is straight from the Associated Press. It seems a member of the Baltimore City Council would like his city to be run by the police. As City Council Vice President Robert W. Curran originally told The Baltimore Sun, "Desperate measures are needed when we're in desperate situations."

Here is his proposal, from the AP article:
Under Curran's plan, the mayor could declare "public safety act zones," which would allow police to close liquor stores and bars, limit the number of people on city sidewalks, and halt traffic during two-week intervals.

Police would be encouraged to aggressively stop and frisk individuals in those zones to search for weapons and drugs.

Later in the article, he explains where he got the idea:
Curran said he modeled his plan after an approach advocated by Philadelphia mayoral candidate Michael Nutter, who won the Democratic nomination Tuesday. Nutter has called for declarations of a "state of emergency" in high-crime neighborhoods, where police would conduct aggressive stop-and-frisk searches and impose curfews.

Perhaps these two gentlemen are merely misunderstood. Maybe the idea comes across better in the original German, I don't know.

But at least there seems to be some Baltimore politicians who remember that the Fourth Amendment doesn't say "except in Baltimore," and are willing to inject a bit of sanity into the debate:

Councilman Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., a mayoral hopeful, said Curran's idea was an interesting concept but it raised questions about civil liberties. "We have to make sure we're not declaring martial law," he said.

Yeah, that pesky Bill of Rights does have a way of making it impossible to declare your city a police state, doesn't it? Good thing, too, with Curran and Nutter trying to run things their way.
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