Observing from beyond the solar system, a cultural outsider looks in.

Monday, April 12, 2010

He Who Must Not Be Named

My new series, “Get A Clue,” has already sparked a number of varied responses from readers. A few responders have pointedly advised against the new endeavor as too provocative and possibly damaging. The warnings seem well-intentioned and sincere, but they don’t specify who or what may be damaged or why.

Some expressed a surprising level of fear and loathing towards the subject of these first two clues in the series. In Baltimore there seems to be a tacit taboo against broaching this particular subject. The scary subject that triggers the trembling isn’t the alarming proliferation of violent gangs in the city, the drug-related murders, rampant poverty, or Baltimore’s notorious culture of corruption.

No, the subject that elicits these fearful responses among my readers is a person: Mr. Robert C. Embry, the titular head of the Abell Foundation.

Who knew? Based on the surprising level of cautionary feedback received so far, Mr. Embry is a powerful “playa” who over time has surpassed Voldemort as “He Who Must Not Be Named,” unless it’s to heap unconditional honor and praise upon him and his accomplishments.

I scanned a series of fawning Sun articles on Robert C. Embry, and quickly got the message. This guy could journey from his high altitude perch at Abell’s luxurious aerie and stroll over to Federal Hill directly across the Inner Harbor without getting his socks wet, and probably raise a dead seagull along the way.

I’ve never met this reportedly strange, taciturn character who elicits such fearful reactions. It’s become obvious, though, that Embry’s role as president of The Abell Foundation grants him significant influence over Baltimore City government officials and surprising control over how our city and state function behind the scenes. There’s clearly a lot more to learn about this odd little man, whose range of emotions is said to run the gamut from A to B.

I appreciate those who are transmitting these fascinating insights and revelations regarding “Darth” Embry, the Byzantine netherworld of our city government, and the intense infighting taking place behind the scenes.

Regarding Baltimore’s tangled web of well-funded, non-profit foundations and entities, I concur with the concerns expressed over the degree to which Baltimore’s elected representatives and civil servants have abdicated their responsibilities, and handed over municipal power and control to these elusive and private non-government entities and individuals.

Among those in the know, the complicated back story of over a decade of efforts by Embry and others in positions of power downtown to gain control of The Senator Theatre is legendary, so when I got advance notice that Embry planned to meet with TU President Robert Caret, there was general consensus that this did not bode well for the Towson/WTMD proposal, and predictions among my associates that the meeting spelled the end of Towson’s bid for the theatre. The Godfather does not come to you, unless he’s going to make an offer you can’t refuse.

Thanks to the tipster who provided additional information supporting the significance of the meeting that took place between Robert Embry and the TU President. As predicted, the meeting appears to have played a pivotal role in the university’s abrupt withdrawal of their superior Senator RFP. The economic challenges cited have raised more eyebrows among insiders, whose reactions have corroborated claims that funding was not a credible reason to quickly torpedo the TU/WTMD RFP, following the closed-door meeting in question.

This all seems to jibe with a clarifying, off-the-record tip I just received regarding the recent meeting, which brings us to clue #3. Stay tuned.

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Blogger Allyson said...

The Man who must not be named...but definitely needs to be. Met him a few times myself, know folks who know him, know folks he's harmed with his "power" and control over Baltimore, elected officials, developers....
He's pretty tightly connected to Buzz as well....

April 12, 2010

OpenID Darth Morgul said...

Is it true he appeared to be NAPPING during a C.H.A.P. meeting about The Senator last year?!.. One in which the overwhelming testimony was that the motion would dissuade potential buyers?... And, isn't Mr. Cusack a CHAP member as well?

April 13, 2010

Blogger Laura Serena said...

Yup. All true.

April 13, 2010


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