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Power Rankings

Baltimore City Power Rankings

Photo: Illustrations by Alex Fine, License: N/A

Illustrations by Alex Fine


1 Maryland Horse Racing

With seemingly endless financial struggles and downsizing, the local thoroughbred industry was due for some good news, and on Saturday, it got some: Baltimore County horse Orb, co-owned by local financier Stuart Janney, broke from the middle of the pack to win the Kentucky Derby. Orb’s trainer quickly announced plans to travel to Pimlico next week to get ready for Preakness, offering up hope for a homegrown champion in two Saturdays. BCPR is betting on the Triple Crown.

2 Andres Alonso

Few expected the ambitious schools administrator from New York to stay in Baltimore this long, and now that he’s leaving after six action-packed years, BCPR asks, What’s your hurry? Alonso’s legacy of downsizing North Avenue, closing failing schools, giving principals more freedom and parents more choices, signing a ground-breaking pay-for-performance contract with the teachers’ union, and launching an ambitious plan to fix schools’ infrastructure, all while increasing enrollment, test scores, and graduation rates is nothing short of miraculous. Whoever comes in next will have some big shoes (and suit jackets) to fill.

3 Johns Hopkins University and Hospitals

The Hopkins system announced an ultra-ambitious $4.5 billion fundraising goal this week. In an age where even the tenured university professor can’t feel secure in a job, the goal of creating as many as 300 endowed chairs serves the students and the community. With NYC’s billionaire Mayor Bloomberg on board—he announced a $350 million donation early this year—we’re hoping the excitement lessens the pain of JHU lacrosse missing out on the NCAA tournament for the first time in 41 years.

4 Maryland Film Festival

The film fest, in its 15th year, reaches a new level this year, landing a ton of high-profile films with national distribution deals, including a slew of locally connected offerings (see feature for reviews, blurbs, and listings). Give them a couple more years like this, and Kevin Spacey may not be the only Hollywood big shot holed up in Mobtown.

5 Martin O’Malley

The governor signed a bill ending the death penalty in Maryland, achieving an important and hard-won victory, but the accomplishment was overshadowed by the Black Guerrilla Family and inmate beating scandals, which he shrewdly but unconvincingly tried to spin as a reform effort, continuing to praise failed corrections boss Gary D. Maynard, who ignored years of evidence of an entrenched culture of corruption in our prisons. It’s hard to run for president with your head buried in the sand, Marty.


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