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By Brian Griffiths | February 20, 2014
It does not take political expertise, a crime fighting background or an economics degree to understand that the city of Baltimore is struggling. As the economic engine for a metropolitan area of 2.7 million people, the continued vitality of the city is an issue of vital importance far outside its limits. Unfortunately for the last 15 years, a succession of mayors who are more interested in grabbing for the brass ring than they are in providing competent leadership for the city they claim to love have ruled Baltimore.
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NEWS
February 2, 2014
Baltimore's mayor hides a report highly critical of the city's red-light and speed camera program, claiming that the vendor, whom she hired yet again, was somehow incompetent ( "Mayor says audit firm was 'not sufficiently qualified,'" Jan. 29). Now the city police commissioner is criticizing the media for reporting the basic facts about homicides in the city! This is all too rich. City Hall has become a treasure trove of comedy. Stephan G. Fugate - To respond to this letter, send an email to talkback@baltimoresun.com . Please include your name and contact information.
NEWS
January 25, 2014
If you are like most of us living in the Baltimore area, you are probably sick of hearing about what a disgrace the city's speed camera program turned out to be - about the high error rate, about the slow response of city government to the problem and perhaps even about the stonewalling and vague explanations of exactly how it went so terribly wrong. We're sick of it. Our readers are sick of it. And it's probably the case that most everyone in City Hall from Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake on down to the youngest clerk-typist is tired of thinking about this embarrassment, too. Yet the latest revelation - one that the Rawlings-Blake administration clearly didn't want anyone to know about - is that the whole thing was even worse than previously reported.
NEWS
By Justin George and Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | January 24, 2014
Baltimore police are investigating three shootings Thursday night that wounded three men. All are expected to survive, police said. A 25-year-old man was found shot in the back in South Baltimore's Brooklyn neighborhood at about 5:30 p.m. Investigators said the man dropped a friend off in the unit block of Washburn Ave. when an unknown suspect pulled out a handgun and fired into the vehicle, striking him. The suspect fled and the victim was...
NEWS
By Scott Calvert, The Baltimore Sun | January 24, 2014
The founder of last year's 300 Men March and two Baltimore City Council members held an emergency planning meeting Friday evening at City Hall, saying the bloody start to the new year spurred them to develop a violence prevention strategy sooner than they had originally anticipated. The city recorded 16 homicides in the first 12 days of the year. January's toll stood at 18 as of Friday night. Last year, there were 235 homicides in Baltimore, an 8 percent increase over 2012 and a four-year high.
NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | January 14, 2014
City officials are poised to pay a New York-based firm $286,000 to redesign and host Baltimore government's website. The Board of Estimates is slated to vote Wednesday on a proposal to hire Interpersonal Frequency LLC to overhaul the city's site. The city's former chief technology officer began a redesign and overhaul of Baltimore's government website in 2012, but left the task unfinished, city officials have said. Interpersonal Frequency, which was among eight bidders for the job, worked with Baltimore's current Chief Technology Officer Chris Tonjes at his previous job at Washington D.C.'s library system.
NEWS
January 9, 2014
Getting ex-offenders back into successful employment is an important challenge for our city, but the "ban the box" proposal makes a better slogan than solution ("Ban the box in Baltimore," Jan. 8). Members of the Baltimore City Council want to stop private employers from asking "have you been convicted of a crime" on employment applications. Instead, a councilman argues, employers should grant interviews and only after offering a job, conduct background checks to determine if a former thief should work in a bank or an ex-dealer drive the bus. Being somewhat removed from the private sector, the councilman may not be aware that interviews and job training actually cost money.
NEWS
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | January 5, 2014
City homeowners could receive $3 million in property tax assistance under a plan Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is scheduled to unveil today, addressing concerns over bills that skyrocketed after errors in tax credits were discovered. Taxpayers who received historic tax credits can seek refunds to cover the difference between tax bills they had originally expected and revised bills issued in 2013, said mayoral spokesman Kevin Harris. The plan proposes allowing refunds for three years of tax bills.
NEWS
By Brian Griffiths | December 18, 2013
Two weeks ago I noted that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's advocacy on behalf of the farm bill working its way through Congress proved that she was just more of the same of the failed leadership that Baltimore has been subjected to over the years.  The latest stunt, as reported by WBAL-TV , re-emphasizes that point: "Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is looking for city residents to give input on how they think the city can...
NEWS
December 17, 2013
Red Maryland's Gregory Kline wrote a very good commentary regarding the pot legalization movement ( "The folly of marijuana legalization," Dec. 13). It's too bad that it didn't appear on the front page alongside the story about Johnny Johnson, 44, who admitted he was high on drugs when he struck and killed a man in front of City Hall ("Man pleads guilty in City Hall car crash that killed worker" . The innocent life of Matthew Hersl was taken when Mr. Johnson sped through downtown Baltimore.
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