Baltimore County Digest

BALTIMORE COUNTY DIGEST

September 06, 2006

Council, Verizon discuss TV franchise

Representatives from the Baltimore County Council and Verizon Communications began negotiations last night on a license that would allow the company to offer television service in the county.

The council voted unanimously to enter into talks with the company, which seeks a franchise to enter the cable market. The talks could last up to 90 days, with the possibility of an extension.

FOR THE RECORD - An item in Wednesday's Maryland section incorrectly described Woodlawn Middle School's results on state tests. The school failed to meet state standards twice in the past five years, but it met standards in the past school year.
The Sun regrets the errors.

Councilman Kevin Kamenetz, a Pikesville-Ruxton Democrat who is handling the talks for the county, said Verizon will be held to standards similar to those imposed on the county's only cable TV provider, Comcast, which has been required to offer service to areas with a density of at least 30 homes per square mile.

Donora L. Dingman, Verizon's assistant vice president for external affairs, said the company expects to begin construction in October of a fiber-optic network that would allow the company to offer cable, Internet and telephone services.

In other council action, the council unanimously approved legislation to make it a code violation to stop construction on a house before completion, and, by a 6-1 vote, to extend to Jan. 15 a building moratorium in the Carney and Cub Hill areas that was to have expired last month.

Josh Mitchell

Schools

200 vacancies in support staff

The Baltimore County school system is looking to fill nearly 200 vacancies in support services, according to a report on the first day of school.

The vacancies make up only a fraction of the 7,500 support service positions, which include bus drivers, cafeteria workers and teachers' aides, said school spokeswoman Kara Calder.

Although more than 50 bus driver positions were vacant on the first day of school, all buses were on time, she said.

The county Board of Education is slated to discuss a plan to restructure Woodlawn Middle School and consider funding for renovations to Pikesville Middle School at a meeting tonight at the Greenwood campus. Woodlawn Middle School has failed to meet state testing benchmarks for several consecutive years.

The board is also scheduled to consider final funding for a new program to test county second-graders to determine whether they should be in gifted and talented classes.

Julie Scharper

3rd District

Candidates to speak at Goucher

The League of Women Voters of Baltimore County will sponsor a forum for candidates from the 3rd Congressional District at 7 p.m. today in Merrick Lecture Hall at Goucher College.

The free forum is one of several political events scheduled this fall at Goucher, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson. Goucher President Sanford J. Ungar and Marc Steiner of WYPR-FM will moderate.

Information: 410-377-8046.

Dundalk

Candidates due on campus

A candidates forum of those seeking county and state elected office representing the Dundalk area will be held tonight at the Community College of Baltimore County's Dundalk campus.

The forum is sponsored by the Greater Dundalk Alliance, an umbrella organization of neighborhood associations. Republicans and Democrats running for House of Delegates, state Senate, County Council and other county offices have been invited to attend.

The event is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in Room 101, Building G of the Dundalk campus, 7200 Sollers Point Road. Information: 410-282-6700.

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 of the event.

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