Students ask regents for housing help

STATE DIGEST

April 14, 2007

The University of Maryland's student government president appealed yesterday to the state university system's Board of Regents for help in stemming future housing crises on the College Park campus.

Last week, university officials informed more than 500 juniors there was not enough housing to offer them rooms on campus in the fall, prompting about 50 students to form a makeshift tent city in protest.

"We're looking for the board to work with the university to help expedite off-campus housing developments, and at least consider the prospect of new traditional residence halls," said Emma Simson, the student government president.

Clifford Kendall, the Board of Regent chairman, urged UM administrators to pursue deals with private developers rather than hope for scarce state capital funds.

Former Montgomery County executive Douglas M. Duncan, who is now UM's vice president for administrative affairs, told the board that since the housing shortage has been publicized, his phone "has been ringing off the hook from private sector developers looking to build projects with us."

Regent David Nevins asked Chancellor William E. Kirwan to look into whether the university system's foundation might be able to help with housing development.

"We're feeling very badly we had to displace anyone," said UM Vice President Linda Clement. The university has secured leases with off-campus properties that will be dedicated to the affected juniors, she said.

Gadi Dechter

Loyola College

Brother removed from post

A Jesuit brother was removed from the Loyola College in Maryland campus in Baltimore last month over concerns about allegations of sexual misconduct while in a post at a Jesuit high school in Dallas more than a decade ago, officials with the Maryland Province Society of Jesus and the school said yesterday.

Brother Claude Ory, 69, had been in charge of maintaining the Jesuits' Ignatius House residence hall at Loyola, said Maryland Province spokeswoman Kate Pipkin.

Ory had been at Ignatius House since 2000 and was working under a "safety plan" in which he was restricted from all public ministry and was to have no contact with minors, Pipkin said.

The residence hall serves as living quarters for Loyola faculty members and Jesuit clergy.

Pipkin said Loyola's president, the Rev. Brian Linane, had been discussing Ory's status with the Maryland Province's top official, the Rev. Timothy Brown, since Linane took over as Loyola president in 2005.

No criminal charges were brought as a result of the allegations of misconduct against Ory in Dallas in 1994, although they were made public in a newspaper.

Mark Kelly, a spokesman for Loyola, said Ory's departure was by mutual agreement of Maryland Province and college officials.

"It is the policy of Loyola College in Maryland that any persons with criminal convictions or substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct shall not work at the university and should not be working at the Loyola College Jesuit Residence," Kelly said.

Greg Garland

Carbon emissions

Rates increase in Md., Virginia

Virginia's carbon dioxide emissions rose from 1990 to 2004 at a rate that was nearly twice the national average, in part because of urban sprawl, a new report found.

Emissions of the key greenhouse gas rose 34 percent in Virginia during the 15-year period, while Maryland's levels increased by 16 percent, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group said in the report released Thursday. The District of Columbia's levels decreased slightly; the national average increase was 18 percent.

"Scientists are telling us that we need to make dramatic reductions," said Rose Garr, Mid-Atlantic organizer for the environmental and consumer advocacy group. "And we are just sprinting in the opposite direction."

Environmentalists blamed Virginia's increase -- the 13th highest of all the states -- on development patterns that are producing longer commutes.

While Maryland's increase in carbon dioxide emissions was below the national average, the findings were troublesome, said Brad Heavner of Environment Maryland. "What we've been doing for the past decade or more is sitting on our hands and watching it go up," Heavner said.

Sasha Leonhardt, a spokeswoman for Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, said the state has taken steps this year to reduce emissions, including a bill passed by the legislature to tighten vehicle emissions standards by model year 2011.

Associated Press

Frederick

No cave found; housing OK'd

A low-income housing project in downtown Frederick is back on track after experts failed to find a cave beneath the site.

The Frederick Historic Preservation Commission approved Thursday a developer's plan for 36 residential units in the Cannon Hill neighborhood. Four of the homes will be sold at market rates and the others will be subsidized under a scattered-site public-housing plan.

Some neighbors had called the site unsuitable for construction, citing newspaper reports from 1892 about an apparent cave beneath the area. But developer Joe Venezia said an engineering firm he hired to investigate the reports found no evidence of a cave.

Associated Press

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