Jehovah’s Witnesses Return To Baltimore For Convention

For the first time in nearly 60 years, Jehovah’s Witnesses are back in the Baltimore area hosting their annual convention at UMBC Catonsville each weekend through August 18, 2019.

This year’s convention, one of the largest global conventions that spans six continents and more than 200 countries in excess of 400 languages, has the theme, “Love Never Fails.”

The first of the seven-week stay at UMBC began on Friday, July 12, 2019. The organization expects an average of 5,000 people for each day of the convention, which will run every Friday through Sunday.

Each day, the program begins at 9:20 a.m. with a music video that officials said helps prepare convention-goers for a series of bible-based discourses, video presentations, a baptism, and a special feature-length film about the life of the biblical character, King Josiah.

“We are highlighting this event because it focuses on positive things that the Baltimore community would love to know,” said McKell Miller, a local spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “You will see an audience of well-dressed single people and families, of all ages and backgrounds, enjoying bible discourses and videos designed to help them enjoy life more fully and each day promises to have a memorable discourse and event.”

Delegates will learn how love never fails and they’ll also learn how to strengthen their love despite problems like a troubled upbringing, chronic illness, or poverty. Through a series of short documentary videos about the natural world, convention-goers will “see evidence of God’s love,” according to Miller.

Several discourses will consider bible principles that help husbands, wives and children show unfailing love for one another while a talk titled, “True Love in a Hate-Filled World- Where?” will be given in which officials said will make clear how showing love is helping millions of people worldwide to overcome prejudice and hatred.

The feature film, “The Story of Josiah: Love Jehovah; Hate What is Bad,” about Josiah will be shown over two days and it depicts how Josiah grew up surrounded by bad influences but became known for his deeds of loyal love.

The gathering marks the first convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Baltimore area since the 1960s when the group, known for its door-to-door preaching campaign, assembled at the old Memorial Stadium which stood for more than a half-century along 33rd Street around Ellerslie Avenue until its demolition in 2012.

The convention also is expected to be an economic boon locally with hotels and nearby restaurants and shops benefiting.

Having the Jehovah’s Witnesses convention results in an economic impact of more than $3 million just from several days, said Donna Keyes of the Luzerne County,Pennsylvania Visitor’s Center, where the organization is also hosting a series of conventions at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre.

“Economic impact of having all these visitors coming in and staying in our local hotels and going to our local restaurants and everything from gas stations is a great financial win for everybody in the area when we have these conventions and the large groups that come into town,” Keyes said.

In Miami, Florida, where a series of larger conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses are taking place, even the mayor has taken notice of the impact.

“I love the fact that the message is ‘Love Never Fails.’ It’s a very positive message,” said Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez. “I think [the convention] is nothing but good for any major city in the United States or around the world,” Suarez said. Miller says the organization is “confident the UMBC Catonsville and the greater Baltimore Community will ultimately share similar experiences.”

Admission is free and no collections are taken. For more information, visit:

Baltimore Stands Up For Its City After Trump Tweets ‘No Human Being Would Want To Live There’


Baltimore Stands Up For It’s City

Baltimore stands up for its city after Trump tweets ‘no human being would want to live there’

Originally Published: 28 JUL 19 03:01 ET

Updated: 28 JUL 19 10:21 ET

By Madeline Holcombe, CNN

    (CNN) — Baltimore did not take President Donald Trump’s recent attack of the city lying down. Instead, Charm City was quick to stand up and fight back.

Trump lashed out at another prominent African American lawmaker on Saturday, tweeting that his Baltimore district is a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

The President’s tirade was directed at House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, who represents Maryland’s 7th Congressional District in the House and recently lambasted conditions at the border. Trump’s attack against Cummings was the latest verbal assault against a minority member of Congress who is a frequent critic of the President.

The President suggested that conditions in Cummings’ district, which is majority black and includes parts of Baltimore, are “FAR WORSE and more dangerous” than those at the US-Mexico border and called it a “very dangerous & filthy place.”

Cummings, the city’s leaders and residents were quick to defend Baltimore. The Twitter hashtag #wearebaltimore was trending Saturday night, with users posting pictures and comments expressing their pride in the city.

“Mr. President, I go home to my district daily,” Cummings wrote on Twitter Saturday in response. “Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors. It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”

Baltimore’s Mayor Jack Young also took the attack to heart, criticizing Trump for disparaging a “vibrant American City.”

“It’s completely unacceptable for the political leader of our country to denigrate a vibrant American City like Baltimore, and to viciously attack U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings a patriot and a hero,” Young tweeted.

The Baltimore Sun’s editorial board published a response, highlighting aspects of the city they felt the president left out: the beauty of Inner Harbor, the history of Fort McHenry, the prominence of Johns Hopkins Hospital, and the national dependency on the Social Security Administration, which is housed in the city.

“And it surely wasn’t about the economic standing of a district where the median income is actually above the national average,” the board wrote.

“Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.”

Other Democrats came to Baltimore’s defense on Saturday, including California Sen. Kamala Harris, whose national 2020 presidential campaign headquarters is located there.

“Baltimore has become home to my team and it’s disgraceful the president has chosen to start his morning disparaging this great American city,” Harris wrote on Twitter.

‘City of good Americans’

Others called out the city’s character: “There’s a block party today on my southside street. This is a city of good Americans who deserve more than a grifting, hollow and self-absorbed failure of a man as their president,” tweeted author David Simon.

And while they defended their city, some had criticisms for Trump.

“It should be beneath the dignity of the President of the United States, the person who is supposed to be the leader of the free world, to disparage and personally attack a great American city and another great American leader,” Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott told reporters Saturday. “Instead of up upholding his oath of office to put the greater good of all American citizens, no matter where they live and who they voted for above all else, that he decided to do the opposite.”

Many of the elected officials who spoke out praised Cummings, who grew up in Baltimore, for his help in the recent developments the district has undertaken, though they acknowledge there is still more work to do.

“We stand ready and willing to work with the President, if he is willing to go beyond tweets, to help us solve some of the problems that are deep enrooting in Baltimore’s history,” Scott said.

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The Black Man Who Saved Memphis: Robert R. Church

With a 7 p.m. parade down Beale Street to Church Park, Memphis celebrated the birth of Robert Reid Church Sr. as a part of the Memphis Bicentennial.

Mayor Jim Strickland issued a proclamation that was received by Ron Walters, general manager of WREG TV and a local historian. Mini speeches took place and good fellowship abounded.

One hundred eighty years ago, on June 18th in Holly Springs, Miss., Robert R. Church was born to a slave girl named Emmeline and Captain Charles B. Church. Owner and operator of two of the most patronized steamboats on the Mississippi River, Church transported cargo and passengers between Memphis and New Orleans.

In 1851, Emmeline died and Robert Church was sent to live with his father on the Mississippi River. Emmeline had secured Capt. Church’s pledge that her son Robert would never be sold to another slave owner.

Sending Robert to his father was his intended passport to the North and the best education money could buy. Church bonded with his son, deciding to raise him and teach him the steamboat business.

From errand boy to steward, Robert served as an assistant to his father in many capacities, learning the principles of business, with an emphasis on bookkeeping. Capt. Church taught Robert to read and count receipts in French. A fast learner, Robert listened intently to his father’s instructions.

“Be considerate of others but always demand respect for self,” admonished Captain Church to his son. “Never allow anybody to call you a nigger.”

This hands-on education and the 11-year apprenticeship thoroughly prepared Robert for the tumultuous life he would face in the fast-growing river town of Memphis and the bustling street called Beale.

On June 6, 1862, the Civil War registered in Memphis as the Federal Fleet arrived in the Memphis Harbor with cannons blasting. Robert Church was serving as steward of the Victoria. When federal troops took over the Victoria, Robert was forced to make a decision: Be killed or be captured and become a prisoner of war. Robert chose to jump into the river and swim to the muddy banks of Memphis.

With the savings from his work on the river, Robert entered business in Memphis. His first investments were in real estate and soon he expanded to hotels, pool halls, brothels, saloons and, ultimately, a bank.

Soon after the Civil War, Memphis was consumed by the Yellow Fever epidemic and the racial tensions that led to violence, death and destruction. Four days after the announcement that the plague was present in Memphis, 25,000 people fled the city. Robert Church acquired many abandoned properties, expanding on his real estate holdings. He could have left in a panic, choosing instead to contribute generously to helping Memphis recover.

African Americans remained in Memphis and by 1878 they were 70 percent of the population. African Americans constituted an overwhelming majority of the 3,000 nurses left to take care of the stricken. The entire workforce assigned by city officials to clean up the streets, bury the dead, clean up the dumps, drain the bayous, burn contaminated rags and spread lime over the vacant lots were African Americans. These heroic efforts were performed with great risk in the true sense of altruism.

The Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878 eroded the tax base and city coffers. Memphis was unable to service a $5 million debt, adequately provide city services and pay state taxes. The city was stripped of its charter and reduced to a taxing district.

The State of Tennessee appointed Dr. D.T. Porter and David Hadden to provide leadership to the “taxing district on the bluff.” Under austere supervision and tight fiscal controls, Memphis began to rise from the ashes of devastation.

Prominent citizens debated strategies to be relieved of the debt and restore Memphis to city status. But Memphis needed investors willing to take a chance on the future. The bond market was uncertain about the potential of Memphis and most citizens were reluctant to take a chance on Memphis.

Throughout, Robert R. Church remained bullish on Memphis. In 1885, he purchased the first $1,000 municipal bond, breaking the dam of fear. By that summer, local banks and wealthy individuals purchased more than $200,000 worth of bonds. Memphis accepted responsibility for the $5 million debt and continued to rid the city of unsanitary conditions.

In 1891, the Tennessee State Legislature restored Memphis’ charter and its city designation. Two years later, Memphis was given taxing authority and home rule. That accomplishment may well be attributable to Robert R. Church for his courageous act of selflessness and his commitment to Memphis.

An editorial in the Evening Scimitar in 1899 put Church’s legacy in this context: “It may be said of Robert R. Church that his word is as good as his bond. No appeal to him for the aid of charity or public enterprise for the benefit of Memphis has ever been in vain. He is for Memphis first, last and all the time…”

John Overton, Andrew Jackson and James Winchester founded Memphis in 1819. It is safe to say, in 1885, Robert R. Church saved Memphis.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Church; and thanks a million for Memphis and Beale Street!

Reverend Dr. L. LaSimba M. Gray Jr., pastor emeritus of New Sardis Baptist Church.

Dr. Patrice Harris Sworn-In As American Medical Association’s First Black Female President

In June, Dr. Patrice A. Harris, a psychiatrist from Atlanta, was sworn-in as the 174th president of the American Medical Association (AMA). She is the first African-American woman to hold the position.

During her inauguration ceremony in Chicago, Dr. Harris said she plans to implement effective strategies to improve healthcare education and training, combat the crisis surrounding chronic diseases, and eliminate barriers to quality patient care. She also promised to lead conversations on mental health and diversity in the medical field.

“We face big challenges in health care today, and the decisions we make now will move us forward in a future we help create,” Dr. Harris said in a statement. “We are no longer at a place where we can tolerate the disparities that plague communities of color, women, and the LGBTQ community. But we are not yet at a place where health equity is achieved in those communities.”

According to her biography on the AMA’s website, Dr. Harris has long been a mentor, role model and an advocate. She served on the AMA Board of Trustees since 2011, and as chair from 2016 to 2017.

Prior to that, Dr. Harris served in various leadership roles, which included task forces on topics like health information technology, payment and delivery reform, and private contracting.

Dr. Harris also held leadership positions with the American Psychiatric Association, the Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association, the Medical Association of Georgia, and The Big Cities Health Coalition, where she chaired this forum composed of leaders from America’s largest metropolitan health departments.

Growing up in Bluefield, West Virginia, Dr. Harris dreamed of entering medicine at a time when few women of color were encouraged to become physicians, according to her bio.

She spent her formative years at West Virginia University, earning a BA in psychology, an MA in counseling psychology and ultimately, a medical degree in 1992.

It was during this time that her passion for helping children emerged. She completed her psychiatry residency and fellowships in child and adolescent psychiatry and forensic psychiatry at the Emory University School of Medicine, according to her bio.

“The saying ‘if you can see it, you can believe it’ is true,” Dr. Harris said during her swearing-in ceremony. “And I hope to be tangible evidence for young girls and young boys and girls from communities of color that you can aspire to be a physician. Not only that, you can aspire to be a leader in organized medicine.”

Entrepreneur’s Night Brunch Brings Residents Together

Jason Bass knows all about how to attract people to a specific brand. For much of his adult life, the Baltimore entrepreneur has helped celebrate his hometown by calling attention to all of the good things the city has to offer.

Bass has worked with large corporations like MillerCoors and Jameson performing multicultural marketing and sales expertise and he once served as CEO and Creative Director of Treason Toting Company where he created travel bags and accessories that helped people pursue their passions. He has also developed products and partnerships that have helped businesses in the area thrive.

Using his Treason Toting Company, Bass raised more than $500,000 in venture capital and earned the Light City 2018 Ravens Pitch Competition award.

A noted and gifted motivational speaker, Bass has also spoken on panels and at universities.

Earlier this year, he co-founded “The Night Brunch,” to celebrate food, music and friends in the Baltimore area.

“It’s known that food and music attract people and bring them together to naturally create communities,” Bass said. “We don’t need more reasons to be a part, we need more reasons to come together.”

The Night Brunch is a series of pop-up and brunch-themed parties that occur at different eateries and venues throughout the city every month.

Bass co-founded the venture with Ryan Rhodes, aka, DJ Impulse, and the two have cooked up success with the idea, which this summer includes a summer lunch program geared toward feeding city children who count on the school district for healthy meals.

“You know, we have all these connections— there are all of these food and beverage companies and people we connect with so, we thought why don’t we try to solve one of the many problems that we’re facing,” Bass said. “We started seeing kids in need and we didn’t want that taken for granted and we realized there are a lot of people struggling in the community and so it was like let’s get these kids something to eat.”

Bass, who holds a BA in Business Management, says folks in and around Baltimore view him as “this trusted person that can inform people of things to do within the city and the potential we have here.”

“It’s just exciting to have the opportunity to promote a positive Baltimore and to create things that you might see in other cities,” he said.

Bass says he hopes to continue to encourage, motivate, educate Baltimoreans and the social aspect of The Night Brunch should provide many opportunities to do so.

The concept was launched earlier this year at R. House food hall and, since then, Bass noted that large numbers have attended The Night Brunch at places like Gertrude’s, Topside and Wet City.

The Night Brunch takes place on Wednesday and Saturday nights and the menu includes a wide-range of food and drinks.

Bass and DJ Impulse also provide cooking classes. It’s all part of their

desire to unite residents.

“We can have these kinds of events that can create the culture we want to see in our city,” Bass said. “I’m just happy to be in a position to help and to do positive things for our people.”

Firefly: The Experience

Anyone who knows my work knows that I am an avid music fan. Well, to use the word fan is an understatement. Besides listening to music, writing, performing and reviewing are some of the other activities that go along with my musical experiences. Let’s just say, I live and breathe this stuff!

Just recently, I had the opportunity to cover and attend the 8th annual Firefly Music Festival in Dover, Delaware. Firefly is one of the most popular festivals in the country, which has hosted some very notable names in the music industry. Some if the prior acts in the past, include: The Weeknd; Florence + the Machine; and Tom Petty, plus a slew of other performers in very high demand.

Before I get into the performances and my personal experiences with some of the artists, let’s talk about the overall feel of the festival. Firefly isn’t just a one-day thing— it lasts for three-days, with each day ending at about 2 a.m. It’s truly both a mental and physical investment for those who attend.

The first day of the festival, I got up very early to see if there were long lines in the will call area because the first act would begin at 11 a.m. People already started picking up their tickets 6 a.m. This itself was a true part of the experience— an unspoken subculture involved in the process.

With a collective jubilance is in the air, people were blaring music from their cars, people were dancing and chatting with friends in the parking lot— it all felt very natural and in order. The parking lot was full of vehicles with different license plates from around the country, a fun sight to see and the campgrounds were buzzing with people, full fledged tents, water coolers and all other necessities needed for the outdoors.

Post Malone


Post Malone

Now to the music— This year’s festival lineup did not disappoint. Panic at the Disco!; Travis Scott; and Post Malone all proved why they are headliners. All three acts drew massive crowds and used the stage to their best advantage. It was obvious they were all seasoned and knew the command they could have over an audience. It never hurts when each one of them has an assortment of hit songs and have reached incredible levels of success as well. Singing along was prevalent and people were not shy in letting the artists know how much they loved them.

When I wasn’t looking at the acts or trying to figure out what was for lunch, I was having conversations with some of the artists for my “SwanoDown SitDown” video series. Some artists that you can expect to see are Ziggy Alberts, Evan Westfall from the group Caamp, and Post Malone affiliate, Tyla Yaweh. Each artist was thoroughly engaging during our discussions, and I truly enjoyed speaking with them.

Keep an eye out for our SwanoDown SitDowns on The Baltimore Times website: and YouTube pages.

In the meantime… Stay Virtuous. Stay Idealistic. Stay Progressive.

Hijacked By Emotions At Work? Name, Tame And Transform Them

— The workplace can make people feel a full range of emotions— sometimes more intensely and frequently than one experiences at home.

The difference is, people are often reluctant to show or acknowledge to themselves their full emotions while on the job. But burying those emotions can cause bigger problems, says Cynthia Howard, author of The Resilient Leader, Mindset Makeover: Uncover the Elephant in the Room.

“Emotions are part of your survival kit,” says Howard (, an executive coach and performance expert. “But for too many, emotions are the black box in the aircraft. You look at them only when there has been a crash or a tragedy.

“In the workplace, emotions get ignored for a variety of old assumptions, such as they’re a sign of weakness. But the message that one can separate their emotions and still function well is a myth. Research shows that when you can identify your emotion, you are able to slow your reaction. Thus, you can name it, tame it, and then can take the right action to shift those feelings.”

Howard suggests using a journal to evaluate the following common emotions experienced at work and turn them into positives:

•Anger. “Get to know your anger,” Howard says. “When ignored, anger turns to rage, resentment, heart disease, and it shuts down your ability to be happy.” Anger alerts you to set boundaries and facilitate change. Ask yourself these questions: What happens as a result of experiencing anger? How does it affect other people and interfere with your goals? Who or what flips your anger switch on?

•Anxiety. “Anxiety arises from thoughts,” Howard says. “It can catch you in an endless thought loop. Did I sign off on that contract? Did I forget something? Anxiety can also serve as a messenger to help you clarify a situation, so you can take action.” Use your phone to create lists or download one of the many apps that will help you to stay organized and focused. Consider these questions: How does anxiety interfere with your goals? Who or what flips your anxiety switch on? What would you like to experience instead?

•Sadness. This emotion often brings a desire to withdraw and the need to cry. “It’s a cue you need time to reflect and let go of things that are not working,” Howard says. “Sadness gives you a window into what you value. And when you can acknowledge your own sadness, you increase the ability to demonstrate empathy. You develop the courage and ability to do other difficult things.”

•Discouragement. When left unchecked, discouragement can erode confidence, motivation and momentum. “Go from discouraged to determined,” Howard says. “Reframe it by identifying three things that are going well for you. Recognize that the discouragement is not permanent. Find a safe person to talk to, then let go of discouragement and focus on your big vision.”

“All these emotions tie into stress,” Howard says. “Chronic, unmanaged stress, often caused by an unwillingness to confront these emotions, interrupts the ability to think clearly, work well with others, and in general, perform. Identifying your emotions leads you to having more control over them.”

Cynthia Howard is an executive coach, performance expert and the author of The Resilient Leader, Mindset Makeover: Uncover the Elephant in the Room. She researched stress and its consequences in performance during her Ph.D. In the past 20-plus years she has coached thousands of professionals, leaders and executives toward emotional agility and engaged leadership. For more information, visit:

Improvements In Modular Homes Make Them A Competitive Alternative To Site-Built Homes

— For many decades the preferred homebuilding method has been to assemble all the construction materials on site and build from the ground up, usually over a period of about six or more months. This is still the method used to construct some 90 percent of homes being built today.

A completely different method of offsite homebuilding— modular construction— has also been around for many decades, but has not gained much traction until recently.

“Over the last 20 years,” said Maria Coutts, president of The Coutts Group and a senior officer of the Pennsylvania Builders Association, “the customization of modular homes has a consistent record of matching site-built homes and meeting customer demand, largely due to the use of computer-aided design.

“The use of overhead cranes also allows modular structures to be as wide and as high as desired.”

In modern modular construction, modules are manufactured in a climate-controlled factory environment.

“This decreases the possibility of the materials being exposed to rain, snow and wind,” Coutts explains. “Prolonged exposure to these elements can lead to warping, mold and nail pops throughout the home. Also, squeaky floors and steps can be an issue if it is raining or snowing during a site build.”

Jeff Holdren, district sales manager, western territories, for North Carolina-based Holmes Building Systems, agrees with Coutts that quality control is greatly enhanced with modular building.

“Actually, if you think about it,” Holdren said, “a modular home is a lot stronger structure. You have to be able to pick it up, put it on a transport and wind tunnel test it to 60 miles an hour.”

Both Coutts and Holdren point to the relative speed of construction of modular versus site-built homes.

“The time a site builder might be involved in the construction process,” said Coutts, “is tremendous and with modular this time is cut in half.”

Holdren concurs, noting, “A home can be finished within 120 days from the time we start.

“Many of the homes featured on the television series ‘Extreme Home Makeover’ are modular homes because of the speed required by the production schedule.”

Coutts and Holdren also agree that the public at large is not aware of the many advantages of modular construction.

“Modular homes are much better than when I started in 2002, 17 years ago,” Holdren said. He attributes the lack of growth in part to the failure of his industry to better educate the public.

“We do not do a great job of educating people. There is still a general perception that a modular home is inferior,” Holdren notes.

However, Coutts is optimistic that this is changing.

“Site-built construction has been the standard for so long that consumers don’t always research both sides, pro and con, of these two styles. As the concepts and practices of modular construction are becoming more popular with the general public, more consumers are becoming very receptive to this building practice,” she said.

Perhaps as a sign of things to come, Coutts notes that modular construction has gained much more of a foothold in Europe than it has in the U.S.

“Modular construction will eventually increase in use similar to the northern European countries of Denmark, Sweden and Germany,” said Coutts, “where it accounts for 20 to 85 percent of total annual builds.”

Pennsylvania Avenue Corridor Designated Black Arts And Entertainment District

A large and enthusiastic crowd jammed The Avenue Bakery on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 to witness history.

Baltimore Mayor Jack Young and others formally announced the creation of the Pennsylvania Avenue Black Arts and Entertainment District, which officials say is the first of its kind in the state. Lady Brion Gill, the acting executive director of the district, says it’s one of just a handful throughout the country.

Jules Dunham Howie, director, UPC Westside CDC and Annie Hall, president, Penn North Community Association.

Joy Bramble

Jules Dunham Howie, director, UPC Westside CDC and Annie Hall, president, Penn North Community Association.

“It is really significant both on a local level and on a national level,” Gill said. “I have great hopes and dreams for what this is and what it means to revitalize this area,” she said.

Baltimore Councilman Leon F. Pinkett III said the designation should lead to a groundswell of new tourism and activity.

“The Black Arts and Entertainment District is an opportunity to build from the rich history of the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor and an opportunity to bring revitalization and redevelopment into the community,” Pinkett said. “There have been efforts in the past and I’m so proud of the partnership that came together to really make this a reality. This is a significant moment not just for West Baltimore and not just for the city, but for Maryland.”

The designation of the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor as Maryland’s first Black Arts and Entertainment District— which is uniquely designed to celebrate black cultural productions in Baltimore— actually occurred on July 1, 2019 when three tax credits and $15,000 in operational funding was awarded to the district.

Bro. TsHamba, chairman, Arch Social Club; Annie Hall, president, Penn North Community Association; Eric Costello, Councilman, District 11; John Bullock, Councilman, District 9; Anthony Pressley, executive director, Druid Heights Development Corp

Joy Bramble

Bro. TsHamba, chairman, Arch Social Club; Annie Hall, president, Penn North Community Association; Eric Costello, Councilman, District 11; John Bullock, Councilman, District 9; Anthony Pressley, executive director, Druid Heights Development Corp

Mayor Young called the designation “a shot in the arm,” while many have lobbied for the designation for years.

Rosa Pryor, an author, historian and columnist of the famous “Rambling Rose” columns, recalled fondly when Pennsylvania Avenue was a hotspot for Black Baltimore and it attracted such stars like Sammy Davis Jr., Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Bailey and Billie Holiday.

“Men were always dressed to the nines; you never saw tennis shoes and jeans in the evening on Pennsylvania Avenue, and women wore hats and their Sunday best,” Pryor said. “What people need to understand too, is that when we went out back in the day, they didn’t just play jazz, it was R&B and it was ‘doo wop,’ and there were the clubs like the Sphinx, Club Casino and the Royal Theater and I think after the Royal Theater closed is when things changed.”

Pryor says she hopes the new designation of the Black Arts and Entertainment District along Pennsylvania Avenue will help reignite that old spark. “I just need to hear more of the plans and where the money will come from,” Pryor said.

Pinkett says that funding mechanism is already in place and more are being sought. He is optimistic that there is enough money available to make the dream of a revitalized Pennsylvania Avenue a reality.

“There are significant dollars in the heritage tourism industry. If we make strategic and intentional investments in communities like the Pennsylvania Avenue community, there will be support not just from inside Baltimore but from people throughout the nation,” Pinkett said.

Mayor Young said he is fast at work in ensuring financial and other backings. He said he’s talking to several new businesses from outside of Baltimore hoping to convince them to move to the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor, including a restaurant in Washington that he said is well known. Young says businesses that commit must realize the plan to stay open past normal hours.

“We’re going to have to stay open late to keep our own folk here,” Young said.

The goals of the new district include “empowering creatives and residents, expanding the arts and cultural ecosystem,” Gill said.

“The good thing is that we have the assets but we need the infrastructure,” said Jim Hamlin of The Avenue Bakery.

At the press conference, retired city firefighter Bill Hennick salivated over what the new arts district could do for the local economy.

“Once this thing starts rolling, it will create possibly 2,000 jobs or more,” Hennick said.

Rambling Rose: Baltimore Musicians Do Their Thing!

Hello everyone, I hope everyone is well. I have so much to tell you and some good and some not so good. I will start off with the good things first.

2015 recipients of Rosa Pryor Music Scholarship Fund, young saxophonists, Ebban Dorsey and her brother Ephraim opened the Keystone Korner Night Club”s first “Jam Session.” They will open every Tuesday night at 9 p.m.

Anderson Ward

2015 recipients of Rosa Pryor Music Scholarship Fund, young saxophonists, Ebban Dorsey and her brother Ephraim opened the Keystone Korner Night Club”s first “Jam Session.” They will open every Tuesday night at 9 p.m.

I am so excited and so proud of two of my little musical children, the Dorsey siblings, a brother and sister team, Ebban and Ephraim Dorsey, who were 11 and 12 years old when they became the first and second place winners of the 2015 Rosa Pryor Music Scholarship Fund. Today they are the hottest, most talked about saxophonists and musicians on the East Coast. Many of our veteran musicians have taken these two teen musicians under their wing and have opened the door for them to become national musicians at their young age. These two babies, will open the “First Jam Session” at the Keystone Korner Night Club located 1350 Lancaster Street in Baltimore. This “Jam Session” is held every Tuesday night at 9 p.m. I will see you there!

“Liberty Live Outdoor Concert” is jumping up and down doing the “James Brown” and is back with some outstanding line-ups every Friday evening from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. located 4111 Deer Park Road on the DreamLife Ministries side parking lot in Randallstown, Maryland.

Another note in sadness is my dear good friend, one of my former artist I managed for over 10 years, and Baltimore’s own renowned entertainer vocalist “Tiny Tim” Harris (Timothy Harris) is in the hospital and has been in there now for a few weeks. He needs your prayers. He is in Mercy Hospital on St. Paul Street in Room 1121. Send cards, visit and let him know you care.

On a final note, Shorty and I attended the “DipNic Festival last Saturday held at its new location, “Pearlstone Center in Reisterstown, Marylandand. It was awesome and was filled with old and new patrons, the music was great, the sound of dancing music was heard all over the park. People came from all over Maryland and the Washington, DC area with their canopy tents, grills, folding chairs, bathing suits and umbrella tables and had a ball. It was really lovely and the weather was perfect. Well done Charles Faison, Carlos Hutchins, Millie Battle, Pat Coursar and Millie Battle who are part of the committee that helped to make this event a success. See you all next year same time, same place.

Wendel Patrick Quartet performs at the BMA (Baltimore Museum of Art) on Saturday, July 27, 7 p.m. in the Sculpture Garden with his band located 10 Art Museum Drive at North Charles & 31st Street.

Roots Lounge still hanging on with my girl Ronnie Jackson, the owner (who seems as though she has been there for a hundred years), located 2148 Vine Street on the corner of Smallwood Street is having their annual “Christmas in July Party” on Monday, July 29 starting at 5 p.m. You don’t want to miss this. A lot of fun, party, music, food and meeting old friends from back in the day.

Well, my dear friends and followers, I am out of space, I have to go. But remember, if you need me, call me at 410-833-9474 or email me at: UNTIL THE NEXT TIME, I’M MUSICALLY YOURS.