Pimlico grandstand plumbing begins failing hours into race day

The need for repairs at Pimlico Race Course became obvious less than five hours after gates opened Saturday welcoming Preakness Stakes attendees. Nearly all the women’s restrooms were closed for water issues, custodians told those in line. Marty Arnold, dismayed by the closed women’s restrooms in Pimlico’s grandstand, said the problems were just as bad during Black-Eyed Susan Day. “It was a disaster,” she said. Arnold and her friends said Pimlico workers said they were having plumbing and water woes. They said one bathroom remained open and workers encouraged them to use the men’s room. (Balt. Sun)

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Community Health Needs Assessment highlights disparities, social determinants of health

The most important aspect of the Community Health Needs Assessment has little to do with what many associate with health. Instead, the focus of the report is on social determinants of health, or the social, economic and environmental factors that attribute to someone’s wellbeing. “We tried really hard to emphasize in this report that health is a lot more than just ‘are you sick? Do you need to go to the doctor?’ The fact that our health is impacted by our decisions, and what we have access to, our environments, our neighborhoods." (News-Post)


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Dread about Pimlico's future hangs over race marked by condemned seats, closed bathrooms

The odd sight of a riderless horse racing down the track may have distracted from several other missing elements at Pimlico Race Course on Saturday — working bathrooms, Old Grandstand seats and a Kentucky Derby winner to hold out the promise of a Triple Crown champion. No amount of beautiful dresses and gorgeous hats at the 144th Preakness Stakes could brighten the sour faces of female fans enduring long lines for the few restrooms still working, one clear sign of the massive investment needed to rebuild Pimlico. Then, far above the fray, a small plane pulled a sign that displayed the stakes playing out between city officials who are fighting to keep Preakness in Baltimore and The Stronach Group, the Canadian company that wants to shutter Pimlico and move the party to Laurel Park. (Balt. Sun)

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At Pimlico, it's the Preakness jockeys who've had the most interesting moves

If Mike Smith rides the Bob Baffert-trained Improbable to victory Saturday in the Preakness, there will be no waves of shock and awe kicked up with the dirt inside Pimlico Race Course. Kentucky Derby winner Country House and disqualified winner Maximum Security are not running. Improbable is the morning-line favorite. Smith, 53, swept last year’s Triple Crown races aboard Justify. A Baffert horse has won the Preakness seven times. The only real mystery will be how it took so long for Smith to find his way to the chestnut colt. (Balt. Sun)

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Here's how higher regulatory costs are impeding housing affordability

Despite recent declines in mortgage interest rates, housing affordability continues to be a key concern for homebuyers. And, rising cost burdens mean a larger share of household budgets are spent on rent. For example, according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Opportunity Index, in early 2012 a typical family could afford 77.5% of all new and existing homes that were sold. Today, that share stands near a 10-year low at 61.4%. The percentage would be even lower if not for a recent uptick in income growth. It is widely understood that a lack of inventory – particularly a dearth of new construction at affordable price points – is the primary cause of today’s housing challenges. (HousingWire)

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Johns Hopkins Hospital sues patients, many low income, for medical debt

John Hopkins Hospital has filed more than 2,400 lawsuits in Maryland courts since 2009 against patients with unpaid bills, including a large number of residents from distressed neighborhoods surrounding the East Baltimore medical campus. The number of cases has been increasing, from 20 in 2009 to a peak of 535 in 2016, according a report released by the Coalition for a Humane Hopkins, which includes patients and neighborhood, faith and activist groups such as the AFL-CIO and National Nurses United, a union involved in a contentious organizing effort at Hopkins. (Balt. Sun)

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Kentucky Derby controversy puts eyes on jockey etiquette going into Preakness

Since Maximum Security became the first Kentucky Derby champion to be disqualified in the race’s 145-year history, there has been much discussion about the role played by and responsibility of jockey Luis Saez in what transpired. As a result of Country House being awarded the victory at Churchill Downs two weeks ago, and Saez later being handed a 15-day suspension by the Kentucky Racing Commission, some of the debate has centered on jockey etiquette. (Balt. Sun)

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Heather Cook probation terms include car-ignition interlock, substance-abuse tests and treatment

Heather Cook, the former Episcopal bishop who was released from prison this week after serving 3 ½ years for killing a Baltimore bicyclist in a drunk-driving accident, must participate in Maryland’s ignition interlock program and undergo treatment and testing for drug and alcohol addiction through at least May 2024, her lawyer confirmed Thursday. (Balt. Sun)

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