A SALUTE BEFOR DYING
We all mourned the sad, sad news earlier this year of yet another AAN sister paper shuttering. Baltimore City Paper has this week published its final, fini, last, ultimate, Best Of. In an editorial titled, “2017 Best of Baltimore: We Who Are About to Die Salute You,” as tinged with anger, reflection and vive lá resistance as it is, somehow, hilarious—“Our last big-deal issue—the one that even the people who really, really hate us pick up,” he writes—editor Brandon Soderberg delivers a full-throated endorsement of the alternative newsweekly model, which is a far cry from the PR-driven, gaggle-after-gaggle, pay-to-play practiced by those other guys who shall not be named (THIS time).
It’s been 40 good years since the BCP burst onto the scene of Charm City (no, we don’t get why they call it that; clearly Annapolis is the charmer of the MD Western Shore), and they shall be deeply, and dearly, missed.
“EXPLORING” THE LITTLE ROCK MAYOR’S OFFICE
According to our Midwest pals at the Arkansas Times, Frank Scott Jr. is running for mayor of Little Rock. Well, sort of. He’s technically “exploring” a run starting in July 2018 for the November election—apparently Little Rock city ordinance prohibits fundraising until five months before the election, presumably to minimize the impact of moneyed interests. (Hint, hint, Northeast Florida.)
Scott, an African-American banker and former state highway commissioner, said in a release, “Most people didn’t believe a kid from southwest Little Rock would grow up to do these things, and many may not believe that same kid can become mayor of the state’s largest city. But anything is possible if we marry vision and purpose to our potential.” Scott is facing incumbent Mark Stodola and Democratic state legislator Warwick Sabin, whom Arkansas Times quips “announced his own ‘exploration’ of the mayoral race in July.”
ACCUSATIONS OF TERRORISM BECOME A MUSE
After an anonymous false tip that he was stockpiling explosives in a Florida storage unit led artist and lecturer Hasan Elahi to be detained by the FBI a few months after the 9/11 terror attacks, Boise Weekly reports, he turned the experience into something far more meaningful: an art project called Tracking Transience. For the project, Elahi posts most details of his life online, from his precise location to photos of his meals. Though he conceded in a fascinating Q&A with Boise Weekly that it was never intended to be an art project, Tracking Transience has taken on a spiritual and philosophical meaning that calls into question how we define privacy, whether God is the original voyeur or, if you prefer, surveyor from above, and if it’s possible to extrapolate anything when you’re being told “everything.”
DEADLY TREASURE HUNT INSPIRES PUSH FOR REFORM
Eric Ashby is presumed by many to have drowned on June 28 after his raft flipped over while searching for the $2 million fortune author Forrest Fenn may have hidden in the Fremont County, Colorado area, reports Denver’s Westword. Since Ashby’s disappearance, friends and family have taken to social media to call out the four people who allegedly failed to report that he didn’t make it to the shores of the Arkansas River after their raft capsized. According to Westword, human remains recovered from the river on July 28 are believed to be Ashby’s; dental and DNA records tests are pending.
In the hope of saving the next person from the negligence of others, Tennessee’s Allison Bennett has created one of two Change.org petitions that are promoting “Eric’s Law” in his honor, which would create a duty to report in bystanders who witness a life-threatening situation. Kinda like those horrible teenagers in Cocoa who mocked a drowning disabled man. Florida, thank goodness, does have such a law, but the teens are being charged with failure to report a corpse—no, we don’t get that, either.