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Power Rankings

Baltimore City Power Rankings

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

Illustrations by Alex Fine


1 Air Pollution

MIT scientists mapped pollution levels against early deaths in all 50 states and nearly 5,700 cities. The finding: 130 per 100,000 people die in Baltimore due to long-term exposure, making Charm City the air-pollution-is-killingest city in the whole U.S.A. Extrapolated, that means that 819 Baltimoreans per year—about four times the number who were killed by murderers last year. Well, we’re not quite number one in murders anymore (New Orleans, Detroit, and St. Louis outrank us there), so at least we’re finding other ways to die for no good reason.

2 Noise Pollution

On Grand Prix weekend the air is filled with the thrilling sound of turbo V6 engines screaming their 12,000-RPM song—which is right around 110 decibels if you’re 50 feet away, and the sports cars that raced last weekend—with their bigger engines—were even louder. Anyone wanting to have a conversation had to stay at least two blocks away from the downtown race course. If you live closer than that and choose to talk? SOL. Before last year, a fuddy duddy could call the state about too-loud noises, but last year the state legislature decided it was better to let local jurisdictions handle it. Noise complaints now go exclusively to the Mayor’s office.

3 Doug Gansler

Maryland’s attorney general—and gubernatorial hopeful—was among the first officials statewide to publicly support a plan to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10 an hour over the next two years. It’s an important move, because, if things keep going the way they have been, we’ll all be working for minimum wage at casinos by then anyway.

4 City Paper

You may have heard that Times-Shamrock Communications, the Scranton, Pa.-based company that owns Baltimore’s Most Profitable Alternative Weekly, has decided to sell all five of its alt-weeklies, including CP, to focus on its dailies and radio stations. We don’t know how far along the sale process is, and the uncertainly is certainly unnerving, but it’s also freeing and energizing to imagine the possibilities. Whoever buys us will get one helluva paper. And bar bill.

5 Towson University Cheerleading

The squad was suspended for an entire year due to a hazing incident. They haven’t announced any specifics, but it must be super-bad because Jim Lord, executive director of the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators, said he had never heard of such a drastic action being taken before. BCPR can only imagine that somehow the “cunt-punting” sorority sister from University of Maryland and the douchey racist from Towson’s White Student Union got together to dream up some truly unholy activity to ensure that cheerleaders were neither ethnically diverse nor “fucking boring.”


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