Baltimore County Digest

Baltimore County Digest

March 21, 2006

Council agrees to change the review for tax credits

The Baltimore County Council agreed last night to change the way that the county government reviews applications for property tax credits.

Currently, if the county does not respond within 30 days, the application is denied. With last night's change, applications will be approved automatically if the county does not respond with reasons for denial within 30 days of receiving an application. The bill, by Councilman T. Bryan McIntire, a north county Republican, was approved by a unanimous vote of the seven council members.

In other council action, Councilman Stephen G. Samuel Moxley introduced a bill to allow dog-grooming stores in community conservation areas. Moxley, a Catonsville Democrat, said his proposal responds to a constituent's interest in opening a dog-grooming shop in a communty conservation area of his district.

Josh Mitchell

Jacksonville

Couple with tainted well in lawsuit

A couple whose well has been contaminated by a gasoline additive are among the plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit filed Friday on behalf of Jacksonville-area residents, alleging that negligence by Exxon Mobil Corp. and a service station operator led to a huge gasoline leak that threatens the area's drinking water, court papers say.

The well for John and Barbara Larrabee's home in the Hampshire Glen neighborhood is the only residential well that has tested positive for elevated levels of the additive methyl tertiary butyl ether, or MTBE, since testing was ordered in response to the leak of 25,000 gallons of gasoline from an Exxon station in Jacksonville.

The Larrabees' backup well has gone dry since the oil company began pumping water and gasoline out of the ground as part of its cleanup efforts, according to the lawsuit filed in Baltimore County Circuit Court.

Two other Jacksonville couples, Paul and Gina Dipino, and Charles Riegger and Julia Dipino-Riegger, also are named as plaintiffs in the lawsuit, according to the court documents. None of the plaintiffs could be reached for comment yesterday.

Attorney Mary V. Koch of the Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos had said late Friday that the lawsuit had been filed, but did not name the plaintiffs at that time.

Besides punitive damages of $535 million, the lawsuit asks that Exxon Mobil be required to clean up the contamination and pay for well testing and the cost of connecting affected residents and businesses to an alternative water supply or the costs of carbon filtration systems.

Laura Barnhardt

Chase

Oysters to be topic of lecture

Efforts to increase the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay will be the topic of a lecture by a Maryland Department of Natural Resources official tonight at Marshy Point Nature Center.

"The Oyster Dilemma," a talk by Christopher Judy, director of the shellfish program, is part a lecture series at the nature center, 7130 Marshy Point Road in Chase. The free lecture is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Towson

Lecture is set on race and gender

Towson University will host a discussion tomorrow night on race and gender in society as part of its 2006 Graduate Lecture Series. A lecture, "Searching for Claire Huxtable: Realities of Life for Black Professional Women," will be presented by Elizabeth Higginbotham, a professor at the University of Delaware, at 7 p.m. in the University Union.

Author to speak at Notre Dame Prep

Lisa Machoian, author of The Disappearing Girl: Learning the Language of Teenage Depression, will speak at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Notre Dame Preparatory School, 815 Hampton Lane, Towson. The event is free.

Machoian has worked with teenagers as a psychotherapist, researcher, teacher, self-esteem coach and consultant.

Projects

Arts panel accepting grant requests

The county Commission on Arts and Sciences is accepting applications for project grants. Groups eligible must be Baltimore regional arts and sciences' organizations and be tax-exempt and nonprofit. Information: co.ba.md.us/agencies/recreation/cmmsnartsnsciences/ projectgrantguidlines.html. The deadline is April 7.

Events or news items for the Baltimore County Digest may be submitted to baltco.news@baltsun.com. Information should be sent at least 10 days in advance.

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