ICYMI: Schaefer Funeral Road Closings & Delays

MSP release


(Pikesville, MD) – Although a coordinated effort among state, county and city agencies is underway to ensure the funeral services for Maryland’s former Governor William Donald Schaefer go smoothly, Maryland State Police, allied police agencies and State Highway Administration officials are warning that motorists traveling through the Annapolis, Baltimore City and Baltimore County areas, may encounter possible traffic delays, detours and potential road closures on Monday, April 25 through Wednesday, April 27, 2011.

Maryland State Police are working with personnel from the State Highway Administration, Maryland Transportation Authority Police, Anne Arundel County Police, Annapolis Police Department, Baltimore City Police, Baltimore County Police, and the Maryland National Guard to coordinate traffic routes in the Annapolis, Baltimore and Timonium areas. The goal of this combined effort is to ensure the funeral procession travels as expeditiously as possible and creates few delays as possible for other motorists.

Beginning at about 2:00 p.m. on Monday, April 25th, Governor Schaefer’s funeral and his motorcade will depart the Maryland State House in Annapolis to begin a Farewell Tour of Baltimore City. Although road closures are not anticipated on the journey from Annapolis to Baltimore City, motorists are cautioned to expect possible delays in traffic.

The motorcade will depart Annapolis by way of Rowe Boulevard. It will then travel west on Route 50, merge onto northbound I-97 towards Baltimore and then merge onto I-695 West towards Towson. From the inner loop of I-695, they will travel onto I-95 North and exit at Caton Avenue to begin the Baltimore City Farewell Tour. Motorists can expect temporary road closures to occur during the motorcade tour of Baltimore landmarks.

On Wednesday, April 27, 2011, beginning at approximately 1:00 p.m., motorists can again anticipate temporary road closures during the procession. It will travel from Old St. Paul’s Church, located at 233 Charles Street and proceed to Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens in Timonium.

Departing Old St. Paul’s Church, the procession will travel north on Charles Street. It will proceed to the entrance of the Jones Falls Expressway near Penn Station at Mount Royal Avenue to the inner loop of I-695. It will then travel northbound I-83 and merge onto eastbound Padonia Road, crossing York Road and into Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.

There will be coordinated road closures and re-openings as it proceeds to the cemetery. Police urge motorists to plan ahead for temporary road and ramp closures on I-83 and the inner and outer loops of I-695 in the Towson area.

Every effort will be made to maintain the flow and efficiency of traffic on Monday, April 25 and Wednesday, April 27, 2011. The State Highway Administration will have signs, message boards, radio travel advisories and personnel on all the routes to direct motorists, in addition to law enforcement officers working posts throughout the area


Baltimore City Civil War Procession: Political Correctness or Historical Accuracy?

This post has been updated near the bottom.

There are two events this Saturday related to the 150th Anniversary of the Baltimore Riot (a.k.a. the Pratt Street Riot or the April Riot) and the beginning of the Civil War.

One is sponsored by Friends of the President Street Station. It starts with a parade that begins at the Recreation Pier in Fells Point and processes to the President Street Station, where a ceremony begins at 9 a.m. For more on this event, click here.

The other event is a “Civil War Procession” sponsored by Baltimore City’s Office of Promotion & the Arts. This event starts at 11 a.m. at Fleet Street & Central Avenue.

All groups including Confederate reenactors and the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) will be participating in the Friends events starting at 8:30. That is not the case for the events coordinated by BOPA and from what I’m hearing BOPA has changed the rules to fit whatever their particular whim is at the moment to make things go the way they want.
An excerpt from the application to participate in the BOPA event:

* Only the following types of groups will be accepted to this event: Union Re-enactors, Military Bands, High School/College Marching Bands,Fife & Drum, Equestrian and Honor/Color Guards
* Participants must be dressed in costumes or uniforms. No persons will be permitted to march alongside your group in plain clothing.
* All participants must behave in an appropriate manner and follow the direction of parade staff.
* All units must maintain proper spacing in the procession and keep pace with the line of march.
* Only necessary, pre-approved vehicles will be allowed in the line of march.
* Application does not guarantee acceptance. All applications will be reviewed by the Civil War Committee.

I’ve heard that Confederate reenactors and the Maryland Division of the SCV’s color guard were denied participation in the event, based on historical accuracy guidelines. The Division color guard of the SCV regularly participates in the Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. with no issues.

Delving farther into the “historical accuracy” guidelines, I’ve heard numerous facts that show that BOPA’s Director of Special Events Shelia Goodwin really has no consistency in any of the policies or enforcement of them.

If “historical accuracy” is your overriding concern then why would you be allowing high school marching bands to participate at all? Also, why would you divide your procession into “historical” and “modern” as BOPA has done yet not allow the MD SCV color guard to participate in the “modern” section?

This lets the Baltimore Police Department, Maryland National Guard, Maryland State Defense Force, and others participate in modern clothing. One list I’ve seen of participants in the events surrounding the actual Baltimore Riot includes the Mayor. If you want to get to the maximum level of historic accuracy that reenactors get into, the current Mayor of Baltimore (being an African American woman) would be excluded from participation, as would females and African Americans that might be involved in the Maryland Guard or Baltimore Police presence in the procession.

Historic accuracy is further degraded as a real reason for the exclusion when the 6th Massachusetts Band is involved. The Federal City Brass Band will be portraying the 6th Massachusetts Band during this procession even though the 6th Massachusetts didn’t even have instruments when they entered Baltimore on April 19, 1861. The Federal City Brass Band is rumored to be one of the parties behind the exclusion of the SCV or Confederate reenactors.

Additionally, word has gotten around that the reenactors from the 54th Massachusetts have been invited. That unit, made famous by the movie Glory, didn’t even exist until 1863. Word has it that the 54th Mass. is not going to be there Saturday, although that is unconfirmed.

In the interests of historical accuracy, the SCV and Confederate reenactors were offering to only fly flags that were extant in April 1861. None of these flags would be anything at all similar to what pop culture tells us the Confederate flag is today and the Division color guard carries an American flag. Additionally, radio spots for the event refer to the Baltimore Riot as the “first bloodshed” of the war. That is not technically true. While it was not a result of direct combat, Private Daniel Hough was killed after the surrender of Fort Sumter on April 14, 1861 when a cannon exploded as Union troops saluted the colors before evacuating the island fort in Charleston.

While BOPA and Shelia Goodwin can claim “historic accuracy” as a reason to totally exclude the SCV and Confederate reenactors all they want, that claim appears to be a farce based on other decisions and guidelines set up by Goodwin. It appears to be nothing other than a political decision. It appears that Goodwin is applying her arbitrary standards of historic accuracy only when they serve her purposes. We welcome any comments below (or an email to [email protected]) from anyone with BOPA who wants to respond.

A memo given to participants and other groups applying is below: (Continue reading…)

Baltimore City Gun Registry Ruled Unconstitutional


A Circuit Court judge has found Baltimore’s 4-year-old gun registry law to be unconstitutional in a nonbinding opinion.

The Baltimore Sun reports that Judge Alfred Nance said the city police department had failed to establish clear regulations for the registry, and that the program was “unconstitutionally vague and overly broad.”

The program requires those convicted of gun crimes to furnish addresses and other information to the city every six months for three years. Nance said a requirement that they provide “any other information” required by department rules seems to give police “limitless discretion.”


Rahm Emanuel to hire away Andres Alonso?


Baltimore’s School superintendent Dr. Andres Alonso is reported to be a top contender for the job of school superintendent in Chicago.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Alonso’s successes here in Baltimore during his near four-year tenure have drawn the attention of Rahm Emanuel.

Chicago’s recently elected mayor has made it a priority of his administration to seek a reform-minded school leader to take over Chicago’s struggling school system.

Alonso, whose contract in Baltimore expires June 30, says he does not comment on speculation about job offers from other districts.

It was not clear whether Emanuel has contacted Alonso.

Police corruption arrests in Baltimore City


The U.S. Attorney’s office in Baltimore confirmed that there have been arrests in a federal investigation into police corruption.

Vicki LeDuc with the U.S. Attorney said she can only confirm that there have been arrests of city police officers and it involves a corruption investigation.


A news conference with U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein, FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard McFeely and Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick Bealefeld is planned for Wednesday afternoon to announce charges in the case.

UPDATE: Justin Fenton reports that a “dozen or more” officers were arrested and the charges may relate to a towing company in town with the possibility the arrests are related to police officers pocketing bribes from citizens to avoid towing cars. Fenton also points out that he’s heard most of the officers involved are from the Northeast District and that “many” of them may be officers who were brought to Baltimore as part of a recruiting initiative in Puerto Rico a few years ago.

The press conference is at 3 p.m. according to Fenton.

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