August 9, 2011
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake was instrumental in landing Baltimore's first Grand Prix automobile race next month. It's destined to be a great profit-making extravaganza. But after the last car passes the finish line, the giddiness wanes and we clamber back to normalcy, the myriad problems facing our city will still be there. A high-profile automobile race will allow local folks only temporary respite from the real issues that somehow just don't seem to go away on their own. If only Mayor Rawlings-Blake could wave a magic wand like the Good Witch Glinda in "The Wizard of Oz" and eradicate homicides, the homeless situation, gang violence and rampant drug abuse.
September 4, 2011
Baltimore City cuts down 139 trees, and then calls its grand prix road race "green"? Inconveniences thousands of motorists whose cars idle while they wait to get where they're going, then says the event is "carbon-neutral"? ("Race aims to be 'green,' but challenges remain," Sept. 2). The pinheads who created this monstrosity and foisted it off on Baltimore and the citizens of Maryland (who no doubt are helping pay for it) should be forced to spend a day breathing in the fumes from all the traffic backed up at the Camden Yards off-ramp.
September 6, 2011
What an event Baltimore put on this past weekend! I'm living in Wisconsin now, and let me tell you Baltimore shined in more ways then one with the Grand Prix. I was in a local watering hole watching the race and was amazed at the comments the people were making about Baltimore, all positive. It made me proud to say I am from Baltimore, and everyone in the bar knew that. The views from the TV standpoint were awesome. I'm hoping next year I will be there and try to make this an annual event to attend.
August 30, 2012
Earplugs are a must for all those who want an up-close look at the race cars in the Grand Prix of Baltimore this weekend, health officials are warning. “Using ear plugs preserves healthy hearing and doesn't take away from the excitement of the event,"said the Baltimore City health commissioner,Dr. Oxiris Barbot. She said exposure to loud noises over an extended period of time can cause hearing loss. That includes IndyCar races, music concerts and other loud events. Hearing loss can affect people of all ages, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders . The groups says approximately 15 percent of Americans between aged 20 and 69 have some level of hearing loss that can be attributed to exposure to noises over 85 dB. Racing spectators are often exposed to noise above 96 dB to 110 dB, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health . Look for the information kiosks this weekend because Grand Prix organizers say they will be providing ear plugs.
September 22, 2013
In her recent commentary in The Sun, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake tries obfuscation to explain her sophomoric push for the Grand Prix, instead of admitting the truth - that it has been a financial flop, was a huge waste of taxpayer funds and tied the city in knots for a month each year (" Rawlings-Blake: No regrets on the Grand Prix ," Sept. 16). The excuse promulgated by City Hall that a "scheduling problem" caused the cancellation of the race is laughable, especially since Mayor Rawlings-Blake actually signed an agreement with the race promoter to hold the weekend open for next five years.
July 24, 2013
Urban blight in Baltimore is slowly oozing into more neighborhoods. Baltimore City Public Schools has made positive strides but have a long road to go in terms of improvement. Gang violence is on the uptick, and some neighborhoods are dying a slow urban death. Is it me or does it seem like Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake goes on a promotional bandstand this time each year for a needless open-wheel IndyCar race through the downtown streets? With a smattering of arrogance, the mayor is very intent on making this race work.
August 30, 2012
Little Italy is ready for the Grand Prix of Baltimore. Friday through Sunday, the neighborhood's main street will be will be converted into a pedestrian-friendly area, and restaurants will bring tables onto the street for al fresco dining. The affected blocks are on S. High Street, between Pratt and Stiles streets. Little Italy is definitely hoping for a bigger turn-out than last year, when expected crowds failed to show up for dining al fresco. The restaurants of Little Italy have been laying the groundwork for this year's race since the day last year's race ended, and High Street will again be blocked off to traffic.
February 17, 2012
It is safe to say that I know next to nothing about auto racing. But for the three days of Labor Day weekend last year, I became absorbed in the whirlwind of excitement of the Baltimore Grand Prix. The city was alive with people and the roar of engines, lots of entertainment and plenty of food plus free access to the whole Inner Harbor. From my viewpoint, it was a hit. In the months that have followed the race, the negative fallout has been overwhelming. Obviously, the learning curve of putting on an event of such magnitude proved to be a very sharp indeed.
November 17, 2011
On Labor Day weekend, my extended family flew to Baltimore for the Grand Prix. We all got rooms at a downtown hotel and spent the entire weekend there. We ate, drank, spent money and most of all enjoyed the amazing spectacle that these hard working, forward thinking, risk taking visionary race founders had brought us. The city was breathtaking on TV. The drivers and their pit crews were kind, accessible and impressed and excited about the race. I learned so much about a sport that I was otherwise not involved in. Please don't let egos and small thinkers destroy all the good that this event has brought to our city.
September 5, 2012
Wondering how many tickets were sold to this year's Grand Prix of Baltimore? Curious as to how the economic benefits of this city-subsidized event compare to last year's inaugural race? Well, you're going to have to just keep wondering. Race On, the organizers of this year's race, announced yesterday it will not release the number of tickets sold to the three day festival. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's administration, which provided about $800,000 in city services to support the race and spent $7 million last year preparing downtown streets to serve as a race course, is not commissioning a study of the economic impact of this year's race. Last year's "study confirmed what we know is an undisputed fact and that is the event has a significant positive economic impact," her spokesman Ryan O'Doherty said.