The Sunday trashing of Whitelock street: Stop treating Reservoir Hill like a ghetto!

Whitelock street runs through the center of the Reservoir Hill neighborhood of Baltimore. It used to be the “main street” of the area. The shops are long gone, but recently some hard working residents have been involved in rehabbing the German Park playground and setting up the now legendary Whitelock Community Farm. Both of these projects have brought a wave of positive energy and publicity to Reservoir Hill. Over the last decade quite a few new and old residents have been involved in all sorts of endeavors that have encouraged home ownership, clean streets, and less crime. Our (I live in Reservoir Hill) hard work has paid off. The neighborhood is in MUCH better shape than it was in 2000. There is a still a lot of hard work left, but if everyone stays on track then in a few years we are going to end up with something super special here that many people can not even imagine at this point.

Things are far from perfect here and we have to be honest about this in order to properly fix things. What is really annoying is when outsiders who do not live here come here and sell drugs and cause all sorts of other problems just because they feel that Reservoir Hill is their ghetto-playground. They get off on the legend of the area. They think it’s cool to keep a neighborhood down and portray it as a ghetto that it may have once been. Here is a photo of Whitelock street during the 1968 riots:

You can view photos (taken by Howard Fink) of the amazing positive things taking place around Whitelock street in 2012 here, here, and here. Some people who do not live here need to stop treating this place like it just experienced a riot. The riot took place 44 years ago! Get over it! Poverty pimps and hustlers need to GO AWAY!

Yesterday this guy (please note that most of the ghetto images used in this ghetto glorification video are NOT OF RESERVOIR HILL) brought his so-called fundraiser to Whitelock street. Last year there were many complaints about how the event trashed the area. Things were supposed to change. This year was worse. The area is trashed again. Below is an eyewitness account of some of what happened on Sunday:

“I went over to German Park today to see the festivities at about 8pm. I made a short video which you can see in the link below. The video doesn’t do the event justice as it was just briefly filmed on the basketball courts. After having my camera out for a few minutes I started to attract a lot of un-welcome attention.

I have not seen such a total disregard for or disrespect of Reservoir Hill in the 5 years I’ve lived here. When Stokey was selling drugs in Reservoir Hill it was treated like a toilet by the city and many of its residents. It seems like Stokey brings that attitude back to the community when he returns with his yearly fund-raiser. Here is what I saw.

When I first arrived at the party the dirt-bikers were in a full on confrontation with the TWO police officers who showed up to respond to the complaints of dirt-bikes racing on the sidewalks. The two officers walked slowly down Whitelock while the dirt-bikers raced up to them at full speed and then turned around at the last minute and slowly drove away, just out of arms reach for the cops. At some points the antics of the dirt bikers were so dangerous the police officers probably would have been justified in shooting these guys, but of course the BPD has better sense than that. While this confrontation went on, the crowd gathered on the sides of Whitelock cheering on the dirt-bikers and laughing at the police. The police kept their cool, but looked pretty nervous and got out of there as soon as they could.

The scene was chaotic and I was sure that at any minute someone was going to die in an accident. The crowds pressed into the street to see the dirt-bike show. Young children and toddlers raced into the street between parked cars into traffic. Dirt bikers popped wheelies or accelerated from 0 to 60 in 2-3 seconds zipping past parked cars and crowds and diving off onto the sidewalk or the empty lots on Whitelock to either show-off or escape police. At one time I counted 15 dirt-bikers participating in the antics.

When I entered the park, I was clearly entering the ‘party zone’. Marijuana smoke rolled out of German Park like fog out of a mountain forest. Several people with red, glassy eyes approached me asking me to take their picture (which of course I did, and might actually make an interesting exhibit one day). This was clearly the adult section of the event which with the darkness made for a night-club like atmosphere. I was reminded of college type parties or maybe Pimlico races of years past with people walking about zombie like, with blood-shot eyes after a hard night of drug or alcohol consumption. In the video you see the crowd off of the basketball court under the trees.

When I arrived on the court there wasn’t any kind of tournament. A lot of kids shooting hoops with music blasting, but that’s about it. More like a party than a fundraiser. Once and a while the DJ would shout over the song “Never Give UP!” and “Thanks for coming out to the cook-out”.

Stokey should lose his privileges for using German Park. Last year was a fiasco and we were promised that it wouldn’t happen again. This year it was even worse. But the fact that should matter is, this is putting peoples safety at risk. Whitelock was blocked. If there had been an accident or a fight or a shooting it would have been chaos and police and emergency services wouldn’t have been able to pass. A fire or emergency elsewhere in the neighborhood would have had the same problem. This event attracted a bunch of show-offs on dirt-bikes who could have killed one of the children who were running around unsupervised. Not once did I hear the DJ say: “hey you idiots on the bikes, go away you’re putting people in danger” or “hey you guys get away from the street someone could get hurt” and of course he never said “hey you people standing over there on the side, stop using drugs in front of so many children”.

My opinion is that the party that took place tonight was about one man, Stokey, helping himself at the expense of Reservoir Hill.”

Very short video of part of the party here.

What it looks like today:

“Looks like Never Give Up is also Never Clean Up.

For the third year in a row they have left the park and the St. Francis lawns a mess. Ironic that last week the St. Francis kids cleaned up the lawn and posted a bunch of Do Not Litter signs.

I guess Stokey thinks that cleanup is not his responsibility? Maybe he thinks the children who use that park need to step up.

Really, he should be ashamed of himself.”

About Adam Meister

Baltimore politics. The views of Adam Meister.
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6 Responses to The Sunday trashing of Whitelock street: Stop treating Reservoir Hill like a ghetto!

  1. Matt Steen says:

    What is he raising money for?

  2. cham101 says:

    Perhaps there is a lack of communication. Maybe Mr. Stokey’s definition of “party” is different than your definition of party. Rather than run him out of town it might be more advantageous work with him to come up with a reasonable solution for 2013. The last thing he probably wants is some young kid flattened by a dirt bike.

    • RESIDENT says:

      Nope, no lack of communication. When Adam wrote, “things were supposed to change,” what he meant was the fact that after the fiasco LAST year, a number of residents, under of auspices of the neighborhood association, actually met with the organizers to
      discuss problems with the event and to work towards making it more positive this year…..
      Many platitudes about “working together” were mouthed, and changes were actually agreed to. Apparently, however, not only was not ONE of the changes implemented, but the organizer didn’t even notify the neighborhood association this time around, or apply for permits…..and so the organizer clearly has no interest in “reasonable solutions.” In fact, the reason he snuck the party in this time around, it would seem, instead of notifying the neighborhood association was, given the brazen antisocial ambience and criminal activity at the party, apparently so that he wouldn’t have to WORRY himself with those pesky regulations, permits, and verbal agreements with the neighborhood who actually lives here.

      To your other comment about “definitions” — my definition of “crime” and “acceptable behavior” likely is different than other people’sk too…..some people think standing around a inner city street corner and slinging vials of crack cocaine and little ziploc bags of heroin, and using violent force to settle the business disputes that inevitably arise from these illegal activities is perfectly acceptable behavior…..does that MAKE it so, however? Does that mean it should be encumbent on the law-abiding members of a neighborhood where this goes on to “work with” these street corner entrepreneurs to help them in their enterprises…? And, anyway, it’s a moot point, because said members did try this, which was apparently a complete waste of their time.

  3. aaron wilkes says:

    what’s wrong cracker you hate it that black folk live in rervoir hill well cracker then move out we black folk wont miss you adam

  4. aaron wilkes says:

    reservoir not rervoir

  5. Nashelle smith says:

    first off i ont see how yu can down talk Stokey’s he does alot for the community more then i see yu white ppl doing i was raised around whitelock all my life and now im in a adult and children of my own its way different more activitys for community kids if yu knew wat yu were talking yu would write better articles.

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