Tag: the baltimore sun

Twitter is roasting the city over a story touting expanded services because, well, government should already be offering them

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Image via Twitter

Per The Sun, there’s a new “experiment” afoot in parts of the city that have for years experienced violence.

“The idea is simple: flood them with services,” the paper of record said on Twitter.

This would seemingly be good news in a city where the mayor is focused on changing the narrative–here are communities in need getting help. But many on social media saw it as something else: A municipal government patting itself on the back for jumping over the very low bar of using tax dollars to provide things that citizens need and want.

The Sun is Moving, and Staffers Past and Present Don’t Seem Happy About It

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The Sun’s N. Calvert Street headquarters. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

The Sun’s Sarah Gantz reported yesterday the city’s paper of record is leaving its downtown office and is on the verge of renovating space in its Port Covington printing plant to accommodate a state-of-the-art newsroom.

A Good, Short Life: Baltimore Remembers Writer Dudley Clendinen

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Writer and journalist Dudley Clendinen, 67, died on Wednesday – he had suffered from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, since 2010. Clendinen remained in his Baltimore home until Wednesday when he was relocated to the Joseph Richey House for hospice care. A reporter and editorial writer for The New York Times, Clendinen carved his name covering hot-potato topics about which he felt fiercely passionate or hugely curious — gay rights, crowded prisons, abortion, homelessness, elder care — challenging readers to think and to dialogue. A deep-voiced Southern storyteller never at a loss for words, he chronicled his own alcoholism, his difficult coming out and divorce, his friends lost to AIDS, as well as his degenerative illness, which he’d nicknamed “Lou,” all with strength and style.

Clendinen and reporter Adam Nagourney’s landmark book, Out for Good: The Struggle to Build a Gay Rights Movement in America, was published in 1987, A Place Called Canterbury: Tales of the New Old Age in America in 2008. For Canterbury, Dudley took up residence for 400 days in his mother’s retirement home in Tampa.

He also served stints as senior editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Baltimore Sun. In 2009 and 2010, he taught writing at Johns Hopkins University and the University of Baltimore. Recently, Clendinen conducted a series of radio interviews on “Maryland Morning” with Tom Hall called “Living with Lou: Dudley Clendinen on a Good, Short Life.” The man was also known as a world-class dinner party host.

I asked several Baltimore creatives who knew and loved Clendinen’s voice – and his spirit – to describe his presence in their lives.

Tom Hall met Clendinen 21 years ago when the journalist moved to Baltimore to take a job at The Sun.

“Linell, my wife, worked there at the time, and although Dudley’s tenure at The Sun was short, our friendship lasted until he passed away,” Hall said. “I’ll miss being at dinner parties with Dudley, who was one of the great raconteurs of all time. We always met wonderful people at his house, and the people we introduced Dudley to at our house were always charmed and engaged by [him]. We spent a lot of holidays together…and my daughter, who is now 23, grew up with Dudley’s fantastic presence, his support, and love. Our family will miss him dearly.”

You can listen to Hall’s remembrance of Clendinen at WYPR.org, and find related pieces.

Author and Baltimore Fishbowl columnist Marion Winik met Clendinen in 2008 at the University of Baltimore. She remembers his wit and great face, his scrambled eggs and salad.

It’s an Honor Just to Be Nominated

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Have you heard of the Mobbies? Neither had we until a friend emailed to congratulate us on being nominated in the Best City Blog and Best New Blog categories. Mobbies = the “best blog” awards given by The Baltimore Sun. Here’s the weird thing though: You can vote for yourself, and often! The rules allow one vote per person every 24 hours, but voters have to be registered at The Sun.

We’re so happy to be nominated we won’t even feel embarrassed to vote for ourselves 100 times — or ask our dear readers to do so — even if it is just a ploy to drive traffic to The Sun’s website.

Vote for us? Save us some clicks. Here’s the link:

http://data.baltimoresun.com/mobbies/2011/voting/?vote_for=859#859

Here are the rules:

  1. To be eligible, a voter must be a registered user of baltimoresun.com.
  2. Vote for your favorites daily. Registered users get one vote per category per 24-hour period. You can also vote once each day for the best overall blog.
  3. Rankings are updated daily. The nominee who receives the highest number of votes in each category at the end of the voting period wins. 
  4. Voting on the Mobbies finalists will started Oct. 31st at 8 a.m. and will end Nov. 10th at 5 p.m. Winners, prizes and partying commence at Illusions Magic Bar on Nov. 15th at 5:30 p.m. Details here

Please excuse our shameless self-promotion and thanks.

 

Photojournalist Monica Lopossay Keeps It Real

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Name: Monica Lopossay (pronounced “low-PAH-say”)
Occupation: freelance photographer
Neighborhood: Hampden
Years in Baltimore: 10
New York Times front-page photos: 7
Pulitzer nominations: 3

Since 2001, Monica Lopossay has made her home in Baltimore, where she works as a photojournalist. It’s a job that lures her to curious places, like a garden party in Owings Mills last month, with Prince Edward as the guest of honor.

“There were moments he was in a sea of people, left completely alone with nobody to talk to, and just standing there fidgeting,” Monica recalls. “I felt really bad for him, but it’s not my job to make sure that Prince Edward feels comfortable at his party. I’m supposed to document the event.”

Even in semi-awkward professional instances like this one, Monica never seems to fall from her element. She’s come far from where she started in rural Durham County, North Carolina, though, according to Monica, it’s precisely her country roots that allow her to keep her cool in any situation. To see people as, well, just people.

“[My roots and my trajectory have] made me a social chameleon. Through jobs and through school I got exposure to middle and upper classes. But I’ve also got my upbringing. So I’m not surprised by much of anything.”

FROM THERE TO HERE

Her camera obsession began at age nine, when she watched a National Geographic nature special on her family’s 13-inch black-and-white television. “It was so rural out there [in Durham County] that PBS was the only thing that let you know that the world was round and not flat,” Monica remembers. “I was watching something with lions in the Serengeti, and I was like, ‘Whatever these dudes do, this is what I want to do.'” The camera panned to follow the movement of the lions, and a photographer was briefly brought into view. 

Inspired, she begged her father to buy her a camera. He got her a Polaroid. It didn’t remotely resemble the one she’d seen on television, and at first she was disappointed. “I was like, ‘What is this?!’ I was an ungrateful little impoverished brat,” she jokes. Nevertheless, she fell in love with photography and snapped pictures constantly.

Despite her devotion to the craft, taking photographs professionally never seemed like a reachable goal. “I loved taking pictures but I could never ever imagine in a million years somebody would actually pay me for being a photographer; that was insane,” she says.

Aiming for a degree in something “practical,” she enrolled in Guilford College’s Cultural Anthropology program. A remark from her advisor, upon seeing some of her photos, changed her educational trajectory, in another flash.

“He said, ‘These are your photos?'” Monica recalls. “I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘But these are great.’ I’d never really heard that before. Then he said the magic words: ‘These look like they should be in National Geographic.’ Now he’d really gotten my attention. He said, ‘I think you should pursue this.'”  Monica took his advice and left Guilford after her second year. 

After an unfruitful summer in New York City, and going back to school in North Carolina, she landed an unpaid internship at The Baltimore Sun.

In 2001, The Sun offered her a full-time job as a staff photographer.  She took it, and launched a career in photojournalism that would take her all over the world, but always bring her back to Baltimore. 

BALTIMORE AND BEYOND

After eight years on staff at The Sun, Monica was laid off and began freelancing, taking photos locally and for The New York Times.  To date she has shot seven Times cover photos (counting online multimedia), including last Tuesday’s cover shot of two Tea Party lobbyists. 

Publications will contact her when they’re running a story about the Baltimore area, like the recent hubbub over Harold Camping’s rapture prediction, or the funeral for William Donald Schaeffer. “The New York Times called me at 10 in the morning and said, ‘We want you to go out and photograph all the things William Donald Schaeffer succeeded at in Baltimore City, and all the things he failed at. And we need these photos by 2 p.m.'”

ABOUT THOSE PULITZER NOMINATIONS

To get to the heart of her stories, Monica often spends hours and hours with the people she photographs. Sometimes this dedication requires many repeat days of photographing, like it did in 2004 when she spent four weeks living in 12-year-old R.J. Voigt’s hospital room at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for a series of articles in The Sun, called “If I Die,” about palliative care for terminally ill children.  Occasionally, her dedication leads to a Pulitzer nomination, as it did with this story.

BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME

Even though she now brings Baltimore to the rest of the world, it’s her country upbringing that allows her to feel comfortable anywhere, from covering the war in Iraq to the effects of that war on poverty-stricken homes in Tennessee.

In one particularly impoverished home, Monica took several compelling photos (including one of a child pointing his father’s bazooka at his younger brother), while the reporter made it only so far as the living room before leaving and refusing to reenter for fear of disease. “That’s not typical of my experience with reporters,” Monica notes.

And of course, her social ease comes in handy at the Prince’s garden party as well.

“[Edward would] kind of like look in my direction, but he also knows he’s not supposed to talk to me; I’m the hired help. He was so desperate for someone to talk to. It’s like he’s about to say something like ‘Cheerio, lovely garden.’ Then he realizes, ‘Oh, it’s just the photographer.'”

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