Peter Angelos was going to throw Martin O'Malley a $1,000-a-head fundraiser in his Camden Yards skybox during an Orioles- Red Sox game this month.
It never happened. The reason it never happened is (pick one):
(A.) So many tickets were sold that the event had to be moved to a larger venue.
(B.) The governor and the O's owner are on the outs over the massive, and, in Angelos' opinion, massively wasteful, State Center project.
Senate President Mike Miller, who was scheduled to co-host the event with Angelos and businessman Wayne Gioioso, says the answer is A. He said the event is simply moving to O'Brien's Oyster Bar and Grill in Annapolis next month to accommodate the many people who'd like to attend.
"We had more people than could fit in the owner's box," he said, declining to say just how many that was.
Miller said Angelos, who has long sparred with O'Malley and supported Bob Ehrlich in the race for governor four years ago, still will participate in the fundraiser when it takes place at the restaurant Oct. 5.
But several other people close to the situation contend that Angelos called off the Camden Yards fundraiser because he was upset about the State Center redevelopment project in Baltimore.
Part of the deal calls for the state to lease 500,000 square feet of office space from private developers for $34 a square foot. That is one of the highest office rental rates in Baltimore, and comparable to what Legg Mason pays in pricey Harbor East, The Baltimore Business Journal has reported.
Before the fundraiser was to take place, Angelos had a heated discussion with O'Malley about State Center and demanded that the governor undo the deal, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Since the governor didn't do that, the sources said, Angelos called off the fundraiser.
Angelos did not return my calls seeking comment.
The O'Malley campaign would say only that O'Malley would be attending the Oct. 5 fundraiser and didn't know whether Angelos would be attending or not.
Don't give 'em the ax
Often when I'm stuck at the traffic light at Charles and Centre streets, and always when the tulip magnolias are in bloom, I look up at Mount Vernon Place and think to myself: "This is the prettiest view in Baltimore."
Never have I thought: "I wish those trees weren't blocking my view of that guy-on-a-horse statue."
The Mount Vernon Place Conservancy wants to chop down all but one of the 100 mature trees in the park and replace them with younger trees that will be arranged so they don't block views to and from the monuments, my colleague Ed Gunts reported recently.
It's part of an $18.5 million plan to improve the four public squares around the Washington Monument. It's all private money, but they're public trees, so the city has a say over what happens.
Baltimore has no shortage of areas that could be prettied up. Why not shower that dough on one of the city's truly forlorn corners, and let the beauty we already have in Mount Vernon alone?
That's my opinion, anyway. But I don't claim to have any expertise in landscape architecture, or even a smidgen of artistic sensibility. When giving directions to my Southwest Baltimore house, I usually note that halfway down the street, there's a house with standout landscaping; we're the Clampetts next door.
So I asked an artist for his take.
"In general, the older the tree, the more beautiful the tree," Lee Freeman told me. "Some of those trees are incredible."
Freeman speaks not just as an artist, but as one who has incorporated Mount Vernon Place into his work. As a Maryland Institute College of Art student in the spring of 2008, Freeman wrapped a gold chain-link fence around the park and called it art.
There was an uproar, and the fence soon came down.
I wasn't a big fan of the fence, but I say bring it back if it keeps the tree-cutters at bay.
Nice weather, but …
At the dedication of the Baltimore County Center for Maryland Agriculture, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown remarked to a group of farmers that every time he comes to the county for a groundbreaking, dedication or ribbon-cutting, the weather is perfect, The Sun's Mary Gail Hare reports.
The farmers asked him not to mention government's role in the weather in his formal remarks. They said they feared they would never see another sunny day again.