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In the Media: Freddie Gray Arrest a Year Ago Today; Monument Quilt Covers North Ave

On Sunday, FORCE's monument quilt covered two blocks of North Avenue, between Charles and Howard Streets.
Matan Zeimer
On Sunday, FORCE's monument quilt covered two blocks of North Avenue, between Charles and Howard Streets.

A digest of Baltimore news from local sources.

Freddie Gray was arrested a year ago today. Watch and read reflections from the Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Magazine.

From the Baltimore Sun: “A year later,Baltimoreans discuss what Freddie Gray means to them"

From Baltimore Magazine“A Tale of Two Cities” 

From the Baltimore Sun: Actor Wendell Pierce eyes Baltimore for next real estate investment

"Actor Wendell Pierce, famous for playing detective William 'Bunk' Moreland on 'The Wire,' said Monday that he hopes his involvement in a $20 million apartment complex in Station North is just the beginning of his investment in the city.

"Pierce is one of developer Ernst Valery's partners on the project, a 103-unit apartment building on Lanvale Street. They hope to form a group of 'good developers' who can also tackle projects in West Baltimore as well as help train local youths to do their own real estate work, Pierce said.

"'This is the first of hopefully many projects,' he said, adding that he also has looked at sites in West Baltimore.

"'Especially after what happened in Baltimore last summer, I wanted to have an answer to it,' he said in an interview.

"Valery, a principal of SA+A Development, introduced the plans for the Nelson Kohl building to the city last year, winning approval from the city's design panel for the apartment project in October. He hopes to break ground in July.

"The complex, on land that is now a parking lot, is slated to have a Milk & Honey market, a yoga studio and an art gallery. Valery has said previously that he expects to charge about $2.20 per square foot for the apartments, but wants to keep prices affordable for a mix of renters."

Full Article

From the Washington Post: Police and sentencing reform pass, tax-relief fails in Annapolis

"The Maryland General Assembly approved sweeping changes in criminal sentencing policies and adopted broad new police training and accountability procedures Monday, the final day of the state’s annual legislative session.

"Lawmakers hailed both bills as major reforms that would significantly alter how criminals are punished and how the public interacts with police.

“'It’s a meaningful step,' Larry Stafford, executive director of Progressive Maryland, said of the police bill, which passed the House and then the Senate with about an hour left until the end of the annual legislative session. 'There will have to be more steps in the future.'

"Advocates were disappointed that the bill does not give civilian review boards independent investigative powers. But Stafford said he was pleased with other areas of the bill, including an investment in community policing and tax credits for police officers who live in the communities where they work.

Full Article

From City Paper: The Monument Quilt brings art, performance, mayoral candidates to North Avenue

"A thousand quilt squares inscribed with messages of empowerment and stories of rape and sexual assault covered two shut-down blocks of North Avenue, between Charles and Howard streets, yesterday afternoon. The display, titled 'Not Alone Baltimore,' was the largest yet from the Monument Quilt, a project of FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture, the national art activist group founded in Baltimore by Rebecca Nagle and Hannah Brancato.

"The quilt squares spread from the street into the Ynot Lot, where they spelled out the words 'NOT ALONE' in front of the stage as poets and musicians performed and speakers discussed combating rape culture in the city throughout the day. Singer-songwriter Ama Chandra led multiple processionals along North Avenue with dancers, berimbau players, and children while burning sage. Drivers rolled down their windows and slowed past.

"Written by survivors of sexual and domestic violence and their allies, the quilt squares continued to grow in number throughout the afternoon as visitors were invited to sit at tables set in the middle of the road, where they could record their own testimonies. In a tent mounted at the Howard Street end of the display, emotionally-burdened visitors could receive massages and reiki treatments and talk with other survivors or one-on-one with healer Shameeka Dream. A knitting circle formed on couches and visitors enjoyed slices of pie at tables—a healing station called "Carle's Comfort Kitchen" was run by baker Krystal Mack and Gather Together, a sexual violence survivors support network established by Brancato as part of her Open Society Institute-Baltimore community fellowship. At one table, a young woman recalled the first time she created a square for the Monument Quilt—it was the first time she had ever been vocal about her sexual assault.

"The quilt squares have been amassing since the project's launch in 2013. Since then, FORCE, which was previously best known for its viral parody of Victoria's Secret lingerie, has toured and organized quilt-making workshops across the country. Here, the pieces lay flat on the road while visitors sidestepped and jumped across the pieces and a buzzing drone shot aerial video footage from above."

Full Article