For both Baltimore and Maryland, 2014 was loaded with power clashes. Here are a few.
Larry Hogan vs. Probability
When Republican Larry Hogan won Maryland’s gubernatorial race, he didn’t just beat Democratic opponent Anthony Brown, he beat the odds. Nate Silver’s statistics website FiveThirtyEight — famous for its solid election predictions — gave Hogan 16-to-1 odds. Hogan’s victory left FiveThirtyEight with some explaining to do. In the end, can we blame it on the rain?
City Paper vs. Mike Rowe vs. David Simon
Mike Rowe (of television shows Dirty Jobs and Somebody’s Gotta Do It) decided he would undo the damage done to Baltimore’s reputation by shows like Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire. City Paper’s Baynard Woods took issue with Rowe’s implication, as did Homicide and Wire creator David Simon. Rowe took issue with their issues. Simon took issue with that.
SRB vs. the City Council
Martin O’Malley vs. the Environment
Andy Harris vs. D.C.
Call him “Rep. Buzzkill.” The Eastern Shore congressman has been instrumental in blocking D.C.’s marijuana legalization.
Ben Carson vs. “slavery,” “communism,” and Jeb Bush
He first made his name as a brilliant neurosurgeon, but retired Hopkins doc has been firing up conservatives with his hyperbolic views on Obamacare and gay marriage. (And turning off others for the same reasons.) As a 2016 presidential candidate, he’s polling second to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
John Oliver vs. The Helmand
This one was pretty surreal. To get revenge on former Afghan President Hamid Karzai for his America-dissing farewell address, the comedian read negative Yelp reviews of The Helmand, Baltimore’s favorite Afghani restaurant, owned by Karzai’s brother.
Young Moose’s Music vs. Young Moose
In a controversial move, Baltimore Det. Daniel Hersl cited the rap lyrics and music videos of Kevron Evans (aka Young Moose) to obtain a warrant to search the rapper’s East Baltimore home. After two months in jail, a circuit court judge deemed his confinement without bail “cruel and unusual.”
The Baltimore Sun vs. Police Brutality
An investigative piece in the Baltimore Sun revealed that police brutality complaints have cost the city $11.5 million over the just the past four years. It was a wake-up call.. Officials were variously wringing their hands, claiming ignorance, and downplaying the lack of transparency and reprisals for officers with excessive force complaints against them. The city scrambled to put together a plan to reduce police violence.
Ocean City vs. Pole Dancing
Ocean City was up in arms this summer when Chelsea Plymale, dressed in a bikini, set up a portable pole on the boardwalk and danced for tips. But there was little that they could do legally. The city had received an injunction in 2012 to leave street performers alone. Plymale’s pole dancing got national coverage, and the woman branded herself “OC’s only pole doll.”
26th Street vs. Gravity
In April, much of a block of East 26th Street, including several cars but thankfully no people, fell onto railroad tracks Residents were displaced for months. And the city blamed the landslide on unqualified maintenance crews.
Bengies vs. Royal Farms
After two years of litigation, it was finally decided that the Royal Farms across the way from Bengies Drive-In did not owe the outdoor theater an $838,000, 800-foot-long light-blocking fence. The favorable ruling was set aside by a Baltimore circuit court judge. In August, the theater’s appeal was denied. That denial was affirmed in November.
Israel vs. Palestine
It doesn’t sound very local. But for at least one day, it was.
Hershey vs. Hershey
State Sen. Stephen Hershey Jr. was finally forced to quit it with the campaign signs that look like chocolate bar wrappers.
Michael Peroutka vs. Evolution
The Anne Arundel county councilman helped prevent a valuable dinosaur fossil from falling into the hands of people who might learn anything from it.
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