Baltimore Humane Society helps out, Hippodrome announces next season and more

Whitney Shumaker, of Shrewbury, Pa., and her dog Reese compete in a kissing contest during the BHS’ DogFest. (Photo by Steve Ruark)

BHS and Safeway help federal employees during government shutdown

Baltimore Humane Society through its Bmore Kind Pet Food Bank program will be distributing dog and cat food donated by Safeway to help federal workers who are struggling to make ends meet during the shutdown, according to a press release from the Baltimore Humane Society. The private no-kill shelter began its pet food bank service five years ago when people coming to the adoption center began asking for spare food to feed their pets. Part of Baltimore Humane Society’s mission is to end the homelessness of pets in the community. Safeway donated $10,000 of its Own Brand dog and cat food.  Pet owners needing help are asked to come to the Baltimore Humane Society during regular operating hours: 9 a.m-6 p.m., Tuesday- Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Monday.  Baltimore Humane Society staff will portion out a month’s supply of food per person until supplies run out.  Federal employee I.D. will be required to receive aid. For questions about Baltimore Humane Society’s aid for federal workers or to help unload trucks, call 410-833-8848, ext. 212.  Pet food will not be available until later this week.


Crashes are twice as common on I-83

Interstate 83 experiences more than twice as many car crashes as all other comparable Maryland highways, with the average driver exceeding posted speed limits along the stretch of the interstate that runs through the city, according to a new study by the Baltimore Department of Transportation. According to data compiled by the department, there are 37.8 crashes per year per mile on the 6.7-mile stretch of I-83 in the city. On all other Maryland interstates, the rate is 15.7. The department has previously said about 250 to 300 crashes occur on the highway per year. More than 125,000 vehicles take the expressway between Northern Parkway and North Avenue per day, and 67,342 continue on to I-83’s terminus at Fayette Street in downtown. The posted speed limit on I-83 is below the 55 mph or 65 mph on many other highways, all the way down to 40 mph in some places, but motorists routinely exceed those limits by roughly 5 mph, with 15 percent of vehicles going as fast as 60 mph in a 40 or 50 mph zone. A majority of incidents, 41 percent, on the road only involve a single vehicle, compared to 26 percent being rear-end crashes and 19 percent being side-swipe collisions. Forty-two percent of wrecks happen when the pavement is wet or snow-covered.

Read more from Baltimore Fishbowl: Study: Crashes more than twice as common on I-83 as other MD highways

'Dear Evan Hansen'

The cast of “Dear Evan Hansen.” (Photo by Matthew Murphy)

Hippodrome announces next season schedule

Tony Award-winners “Dear Evan Hansen” and “The Band’s Visit” are both on the 2019/20 Hippodrome Theatre season schedule, along with several classic crowd-pleasers, the theater announced Jan. 17. The season opens with Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera.” The lineup also includes a disco diva, an Israeli-Egyptian connection, some fantastic felines, a couple of tear-jerkers and several other Andrew Lloyd Webber hits. See the complete schedule here.


BSO musicians, management in stalemate

With their contract expiring at midnight Jan. 16, musicians in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra condemned management for refusing to offer an extension and back off proposals to cut the group’s schedule from 52 weeks to 40 weeks, according to Baltimore Fishbowl. “Our priorities are focused on maintaining a competitive compensation and benefit package that will allow the organization to attract and retain high caliber musicians, on maintaining and improving the health and safety of our musicians, and on empowering the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to bring transcendent performances to audiences in Maryland and beyond,” the Baltimore Symphony Musicians wrote in a release. A reduction in performances will also result in a drop in salaries and benefits, players said, that would damage the orchestra and its future. For now, the concerts will go on, with performers being compensated at the same pay scale as in the just-expired four-month contract. In a statement, orchestra leadership said they value the players and want to put to get the BSO on a better financial path to “help ensure that Baltimore and Maryland are home to a fine orchestra for many years to come, with a bright future and an organization better able to serve its family of audience members and donors, along with our broader community.”

Read more: As contract expires, BSO management, musicians remain in stalemate over cuts

Abraham Cahan

Abraham Cahan, one of the founders of the Forward, in 1936. (Wikimedia Commons)

The Forward ends print edition

The Forward, one of the most renowned and longest-running Jewish publications in the United States, will be ceasing its print edition and laying off its editor in chief and 40 percent of its staff. The New York Post reported Jan. 16 that the Forward would be ending its print run more than 120 years after it began publication in 1897. It will continue to exist online in English and Yiddish. A laid-off staff member posted the Post article on Facebook without comment. The Forward’s editor in chief, Jane Eisner, will be laid off after more than a decade in the position along with Executive Editor Dan Friedman. Also laid off are Kurt Hoffman, the art director; Dave Goldiner, director of digital media; and Kathleen Chambard, vice president of marketing, according to the Post.

Read more: The Forward is Ending its Print Edition, Laying off 40 Percent of its Staff

'Wonder Woman'

Gal Gadot (Clay Enos/DC Comics)

Gal Gadot to voice Wonder Woman in ‘The Lego Movie 2’

Gal Gadot will be heard as Wonder Woman long before the sequel to her megahit film is screened in 2020. Gadot will voice the character in “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” which will open next month in U.S. theaters, according to movie blogs and fan sites, including Flickering Myth. The Israeli actress will be joined by several others who portray DC characters on the big screen, with Jason Momoa voicing Aquaman and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn from “Suicide Squad.” “The Lego Movie” was released before Gadot first performed as Wonder Woman in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”–JTA


Women's March

Are you planning to attend this year’s Women’s March? It’s a tough question. (Photo by Amanda Krotki, Jmore)

The Women’s March

The embattled National Women’s March, which has faced controversy this year for allegations of anti-Semitism, takes place in D.C. Jan. 19 at 10 a.m. at Freedom Plaza. Organizer Linda Sasour released a statement on Nov. 20 in which she said: “The Women’s March exists to fight bigotry and discrimination in all their forms — including homophobia and anti-semitism — and to lift up the voices of women who are too often left out. We believe in a world where women from all backgrounds are equally represented in government, media, politics, and everywhere and invite everyone who shares these values to join us.” The unaffiliated Baltimore Women’s March takes place Jan. 19 at 11 a.m. at War Memorial Plaza. Speakers include Mayor Catherine Pugh, Marilyn Mosby and Rabbi Sarah Marion. You can decide for yourselves which one to attend.

Also see:

Don’t miss the best of Jmore each week. Go to to sign up for our weekly Jmore Newsletter and This Week in Baltimore Eating newsletter.