Your Complete Guide to Inner Harbor Baltimore Restaurants, Hotels & Events.

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Michelle Goldberg: The right’s obsession with wokeness is a sign of weakness | GUEST COMMENTARY

March 21st, 2023|

Leonard Leo, a leader of the right-wing Federalist Society, an extraordinarily effective legal organization, is broadening his ambitions. Leo is hoping to transform American culture the way he transformed the judiciary. In the words of an investigative report produced by ProPublica and Documented, he aims to build a sort of “Federalist Society for everything,” devoted to helping reactionaries consolidate power in realms like Wall Street, Silicon Valley, journalism, Hollywood and academia.“I spent close to 30 years, if not more, helping to build the conservative legal movement,” Leo said in a video for the organization at the heart of his strategy, the Teneo Network. “And at some point or another, I just said to myself, ‘If this can work for law, why can’t it work for lots of other areas of American culture and American life where things are really messed up right now?’” That includes “wokeism in the corporate environment, in the educational environment,” biased media and “entertainment that is really corrupting our youth.”AdvertisementGiven Leo’s past success, he should be taken seriously. As Donald Trump’s adviser on judicial nominations, he helped put Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, all of whom have close Federalist Society ties, on the Supreme Court, making him central to the demise of Roe v. Wade. Leo has access to enormous resources; last year a conservative financier donated around $1.6 billion to a dark-money group that he controls. And since many elites resent the congeries of behavioral norms and linguistic innovations denigrated as wokeness, the Teneo Network will start from a place of strength, pushing on an open door.But while Leo’s grandiose project could pose a danger to liberalism, it can also be seen as a sign of existential crisis on the right. It demonstrates how conservatives are relying on fantastical ideas about wokeness to tie together a movement that has otherwise lost much of its raison d’être.AdvertisementAfter all, the nearly 50-year project of ending Roe is complete. Stirring crusades against Communism and then against radical Islam have subsided. The cult of personality around Trump has splintered. Many on the right would still like to obliterate the welfare state, but they’re deeply defensive about it. Hatred of wokeness is a brittle foundation for political identity, but it’s almost all that’s left.Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, a favorite for the Republican presidential nomination, declared during his January inaugural address that “Florida is where woke goes to die.” Mike Pompeo, a former secretary of state and a possible presidential candidate, recently tweeted, “Our internal threats — especially those trying to corrupt our kids with toxic wokeness — are more serious than our external threats.” At the Conservative Political Action Conference, the Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said, “Wokeness is a virus more dangerous than any pandemic.”Given that the COVID-19 pandemic has already killed over 1 million Americans, this is transparently insane, even if you find much of what falls under the rubric of wokeness annoying. Such threat inflation is best explained by the right’s desperation for a unifying enemy. But to support the weight they’re putting on wokeness, conservatives have had to create a hallucinatory conspiracy theory about how progressive social change works.Take, for example, a 2020 video that ProPublica and Documented surfaced, in which the Teneo Network’s co-founder Evan Baehr described how he believed the left operates. He asked his audience to imagine a luncheon at the Harvard Club featuring a billionaire hedge funder, a movie producer, a Harvard professor and a writer for The New York Times.“The billionaire says, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if middle school kids had free access to sex-change therapy paid for by the federal government?’” Baehr said. “Well, the filmmaker says, ‘I’d love to do a documentary on that; it will be a major motion film.’ The Harvard professor says, ‘We can do studies on that to say that’s absolutely biologically sound and safe.’ And the New York Times person says, ‘I’ll profile people who feel trapped in the wrong gender.’”This may be how the organs of the right-wing counterestablishment function, but it’s not how mainstream institutions work. (I was once seated next to a hedge fund billionaire at a dinner; he wanted to talk about how the Democratic Party had moved too far left.) Baehr seems to believe that cultural edicts can be handed down as imperiously as judicial opinions, so a handful of well-placed apparatchiks can redirect the zeitgeist. The Federalist Society project was fairly straightforward: Replace one set of judges with another. Trying to turn back social change across American life is a far trickier thing, especially when you don’t understand where that change is coming from.None of this is to say that the war on wokeness can't do enormous damage. Laws are being passed all over the country targeting trans people, particularly trans kids, and the right's language has turned openly eliminationist. (One speaker at CPAC said, "Transgenderism must be eradicated.") America is enduring a wave of hysterical censorship. In Oklahoma, the state Senate just passed a bill banning material with "a predominant tendency to appeal to prurient interest in sex" from all public libraries, not just those in schools.But I’m skeptical that anti-wokeness can be the basis for a durable mass movement. That’s not just because a recent USA Today poll found that a majority of Americans see the term “woke” positively but because wokeness is too niche a concern. The Federalist Society trained many young meritocrats who were willing to devote their lives to fighting legalized abortion. It’s hard to imagine the battle against neopronouns and the 1619 Project inspiring the same sort of single-minded intensity. Ronald Reagan used to describe conservatism as a three-legged stool, comprising social conservatives, fiscal conservatives and defense hawks. These days it looks a lot more like a pogo stick.AdvertisementMichelle Goldberg (Twitter: @michelleinbklyn) is a columnist for The New York Times, where this piece originally appeared.

Baltimore Police identify 75-year-old woman from human remains found in container

March 21st, 2023|

Baltimore Police identified Versey Spell, a 75-year-old woman reported missing in October, as the person found inside a container in Northwest Baltimore this month.Spell, who uses a walker or cane, was reported missing Oct. 19 from the 3900 block of Barrington Road.AdvertisementOn March 7, police were called to the 3900 block of Liberty Heights Avenue and found a black container with human remains outside a house in the Forest Park neighborhood. The medical examiners’ office identified human remains inside the container and ruled the cause of death a homicide.Police say homicide detectives continue to investigate the homicide.


Baltimore Sun high school Athletes of the Week (March 13-19): St. Mary’s Jake Adams and Taylor Miles, Notre Dame Prep, lacrosse

March 21st, 2023|

Each week, The Baltimore Sun will recognize one high school player from a boys sport and one from a girls sport for their athletic achievements.The senior attackman has provided an early-season spark as the No. 3 Saints have enjoyed a 5-0 start. The UMBC commit opened last week with a two-goal, three-assist effort in a 21-2 win over Good Counsel on Tuesday, seeing time only in the first half as the Saints went to their reserves after jumping out to a big lead. In Friday’s 12-4 win over Pennsylvania power La Salle, Adams finished with four goals and one assist. In his second season on varsity, Adams has 11 goals and seven assists in the Saints five wins.AdvertisementThe Blazers opened the season with three wins last week — including two by one goal — and Miles was in the middle of all the success with 10 goals and seven draw controls. In Tuesday’s 11-10 win over Bryn Mawr, the junior attackman scored four goals and added one draw control. In Thursday’s 13-12 double overtime win against Good Counsel, she had two goals and four draw controls, the biggest coming with 34 seconds left that led to the Blazers’ tying goal to force the extra time. She closed the week with four goals and two draw controls in a 9-5 win over John Carroll.To nominate candidates, please email Glenn Graham at by 6 p.m. Sunday with details about the student-athlete’s performance from the past week.

Baltimore Sun girls track and field preview: Storylines, athletes to watch and top 15 teams heading into 2023 season

March 21st, 2023|

Here’s what you need to know for the 2023 high school girls track and field season in the Baltimore area.Can Oakland Mills win yet another dramatic championship?AdvertisementOakland Mills backed up its Class 2A outdoor championship last spring with an indoor championship in the winter. Both wins came down to the very end. Last year, the Scorpions ended Hereford’s reign with their groundbreaking championship. Their winter title came down to the final event, the pole vault, and Oakland Mills edged Century by three points. Oakland Mills, Century and Hereford all figure to be among top contenders this year. While Oakland Mills is the favorite, history has shown the margin is tight.Howard County remains wide-open.AdvertisementThe Howard Lions were the undisputed queens of Howard County track and field for quite a while. But graduation losses opened things up. Mt. Hebron won the indoor county championship by only 10 points over Oakland Mills. Howard remained a solid third place with River Hill close behind. At the Class 3A state meet, Mt. Hebron finished second behind Northern-Calvert, while River Hill was right on the Vikings’ heels. Expect all four teams to jockey for position all spring.Is Crofton ready to rise to the top of Anne Arundel County?Broadneck has been at the top of every Anne Arundel County track and field meet since the return from the coronavirus pandemic. Last year, the Bruins won by more than 50 points. Meanwhile, Crofton was in the middle of five teams separated by only nine points for second through sixth place. At a school in its infancy, the Cardinals did that with no seniors. This indoor season, they became a clear second to Broadneck, closing the gap but still 28 points shy of the Bruins. But Crofton remains an emerging sports program in all sports and is building a pool of athletes capable of continuing to close that gap. But how much can it close this spring, or will it surrender its place to Old Mill or Arundel?Led by the Cooper sisters, is McDonogh untouchable in IAAM?Sisters Ella and Elise Cooper were not only two of the top sprinters in indoor and outdoor track last season in the Baltimore area, but among the best in all of Maryland. The only thing was, they ran at different schools. Elise ran her freshman year at McDonogh, while Ella was a sophomore at Bryn Mawr. Ella joined Elise at McDonogh this year, and while they led McDonogh to an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference indoor championship, it wasn’t the runaway some might have predicted. Both Maryvale Prep and Archbishop Spalding had strong seasons and compiled a lot of points at the indoor championship. The question remains whether either can make a run at the outdoor conference title.How will additions and subtractions change teams between indoor and outdoor season?While the indoor season is a good indicator for the spring outdoor season, teams aren’t always an exact duplicate. In a lot of cases, basketball players could decide that track and field will be their spring sport of choice, while some speedy indoor standouts could decide that lacrosse is a better sport for them in the spring. For instance, McDonogh coach Phil Turner is expecting to lose indoor 55 hurdles IAAM champion Le’la Greene to lacrosse but is also hoping to see new athletes join after playing basketball, such as Ava McKennie, last year’s IAAM outdoor champion in the triple jump.Jasmine Cook, Old Mill, sophomoreAdvertisementCook blazed to a Class 4A indoor state championship in the 55, fishing in 7.16 seconds. She is coming off a fifth-place finish in the 100 at last spring’s outdoor state championships.Elise Cooper, McDonogh, sophomoreOne of the top sprinters in Maryland, Cooper won three IAAM A Conference indoor titles, winning the 55, 300 and 500. As a freshman last spring, Cooper won IAAM A Conference titles in the 100 and 200 and was undefeated in both races. She also ran on IAAM-winning 4x100 and 4x200 relays.Mary Gorsky, McDonogh, juniorGorsky is one of the premier distance runners in the IAAM A Conference and is coming off a phenomenal indoor season. She won conference championships in the 1,600 and 3,200 and finished second in the 800. Last spring, she finished second in the 1,600 and 3,200 in the conference.Bryce Hatcher, Arundel, juniorAdvertisementAt last year’s outdoor Class 4A state championships, Hatcher finished as state runner-up in both the 100 and 200. This year at indoors, she anchored the Wildcats’ state championship 4x400 relay team.Mt. Hebron's Arayana Ladson won a pair of outdoor state championships last season in the 100 hurdles and long jump. Arayana Ladson, Mt. Hebron, juniorLadson won a pair of state championships last season in the 100 hurdles and long jump. She also finished second in the 200, won the indoor state championship in the 55, and was third in both the 55 hurdles and 300.Ava McKennie, McDonogh, sophomoreA Maryland basketball commit, McKennie comes to outdoor track as one of the IAAM’s top jumpers. Last year at outdoors, she won the conference title in the triple jump and was second in the long jump.Oluwasemilore Olakunle, Oakland Mills, seniorAdvertisementIn her first year running track, Olakunle has already made a big impact. She won the Class 2A indoor state title in the 55, running a 2A-record time of 7.07 seconds. She also placed second in the 55 hurdles and ran on the state championship-winning 4x200 relay team.Estelle Snider, Hereford, seniorSnider is one of the area’s premier distance runners and is looking to close out her career in style. She was the Class 2A cross country state champion, finished second indoor in the 3,200 and placed third in the 1,600.Athena Stith, Archbishop Spalding, juniorStith was a big reason the Cavaliers made a move up the IAAM A Conference standings. The junior won indoor championships in the long jump and triple jump, and was second in the 55 hurdles.Westminster's Hannah Toth has proved to be the area’s best distance runner through cross country and indoor seasons. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun )Hannah Toth, Westminster, seniorAdvertisementToth has proved to be the area’s best distance runner through cross country and indoor seasons. She won the Class 3A cross country championship and won state championships in the 800 and 1,600 during the indoor season. She is a favorite to continue her golden senior year in the outdoor season after finishing second in the 1,600 and sixth in the 800 last year.1. McDonoghCoach: Phil TurnerLast season: IAAM A Conference championsOutlook: McDonogh more than doubled the score of second-place Maryvale Prep at last year’s IAAM championships and backed it up with another comfortable win at this year’s indoor championships.2. Maryvale PrepAdvertisementCoach: Jason MillerLast season: Second at IAAM A Conference championshipsOutlook: Maryvale has been second place behind McDonogh at last year’s outdoor and this year’s indoor IAAM championships. The Lions should contend yet again.Led by junior Athena Stith, who won IAAM championships in the long jump and triple jump last season, Archbishop Spalding is poised to be one of the area's top teams. (Courtesy Photo)3. Archbishop SpaldingCoach: Jessica BeardLast season: Sixth at IAAM A Conference championshipsAdvertisementOutlook: The Cavaliers made a major move this year, finishing four points shy of second place at the IAAM indoor championships. The Cavaliers are well-rounded and will be a force this outdoor season.4. Oakland MillsCoach: Chris BrewingtonLast season: Class 2A state championsOutlook: The Scorpions might have been a year early in winning a state title last spring, but they have arrived and are not going anywhere. The reigning outdoor and indoor state champions are the team to beat.5. CenturyAdvertisementCoach: Alexis DanielLast season: Seventh in Class 2AOutlook: The Knights fell three points shy of an indoor state title but feature a well-balanced team that will score in a lot of events and be a factor in the championship race.6. Mt. HebronCoach: Teyarnte CarterLast season: Tied for 11th in Class 3AAdvertisementOutlook: The Vikings jumped up to the top of Howard County this winter and finished as Class 3A state runners-up. Ladson can score a bunch of points, keeping her team near the top of any meet.7. BroadneckCoach: Josh WebsterLast season: Fifth in Class 4AOutlook: Broadneck hasn’t been dominant in any one particular area but has a well-balanced lineup that keeps it at the top of Anne Arundel County and in contention at big meets.8. HerefordAdvertisementCoach: Adam HittnerLast season: Class 2A state runner-upOutlook: The Bulls will pile up points in distance events but need to fill some holes in sprints and field events to get back to a championship level.River Hill’s Marella Virmani leads the pack in the 4x800 meter relay during the Class 4A/3A indoor track state championships. (Terrance Williams/for Baltimore Sun Media)9. River HillCoach: Ammera SchmidtLast season: Sixth in Class 3AAdvertisementOutlook: The Hawks had a strong indoor state championship meet, finishing third in 3A. Freshman twin distance runners Marella and Lauren Virmani will be names to watch as they progress.10. WestminsterCoach: Colleen KernanLast season: Tied for eighth in Class 3AOutlook: Toth will put a lot of points on the board for the Owls, as will the team’s crop of pole vaulters, as evidenced by their second- and third-place finishes at indoor states.11. Western TechAdvertisementCoach: Clarissa HigginsLast season: Class 1A state championsOutlook: The Wolverines have a lot of athletes and will be in contention again this year in 1A. They finished fourth at the indoor county meet and have the potential to improve on that standing outdoors.12. CroftonCoach: Stacy SevertsonLast season: 17th in Class 3AAdvertisementOutlook: The Cardinals broke out from a cluster of teams behind Broadneck at last year’s outdoor county meet to finish a solid second at indoors. The school features its first senior class this year.13. Old MillCoach: Justin MurdocLast season: N/AOutlook: The Patriots had a disappointing indoor county championships performance but made up for it with a strong state meet, finishing third in Class 3A, as Cook won an individual title.14. WesternAdvertisementVarsity HighlightsWeeklyGet the latest high school sports stories, photos and video from around the region.Coach: Robert CapersLast season: Seventh in Class 4AOutlook: Western was second at last spring’s Baltimore City outdoor championships and rose to win this year’s indoor title. The Doves will look to continue to build to move up the state standings.15. New TownCoach: Jordan DavisLast season: 15th in Class 2AAdvertisementOutlook: The Titans finished second behind Hereford at the indoor county championships and look to build off that performance as they seek to contend for an outdoor title.

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