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NEWS
By Raven L. Hill, The Baltimore Sun | February 22, 2011
Baltimore County Council members on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill to bring public hearings on proposed developments closer to residents in nearby neighborhoods. The new legislation now requires meetings to be held within three to eight miles of proposed developments, or in Towson if other sites are unavailable. The hearings, known as community input meetings, allow residents to get information — about a proposed development's size and effect on traffic, schools and infrastructure — before the plan is submitted for approval.
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NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | October 18, 2010
The sale of chemically-treated herbs that mimic the effects of marijuana when smoked would be banned in Baltimore City under a measure proposed by a West Baltimore city councilwoman. The herbs, sold under the branch names "K2" and "Spice" are available in shops that sell smoking accessories. They are marketed as a form of incense and are sold for as much as $20 a gram — far higher than the street value of marijuana. The synthetic chemical that coats the leaves has an effect 10 to 15 times stronger than marijuana, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
NEWS
By Nicole Fuller, The Baltimore Sun | August 19, 2010
Anne Arundel County police lieutenants now have the chance to organize. The County Council has unanimously approved a bill that allows lieutenants to join a union or form their own, in an effort to provide greater fairness in compensation. Lieutenants, who occupy key supervisory roles, often are paid less than some of their subordinates because they are not part of a union and cannot earn overtime. The department, including Police Chief James Teare Sr., has sought to keep the lieutenants from unionizing, arguing that lieutenants joining less-senior officers in a union could present a conflict.
NEWS
By Nicole Fuller, The Baltimore Sun | July 24, 2010
Citing pay disparity and the potential loss of officers, Anne Arundel County Councilman James Benoit has introduced legislation that would allow county police lieutenants to unionize. Frustrated that subordinates earn more money and have greater job protections, the lieutenants have been trying to become part of a bargaining unit since last year but have been rebuffed by a county government that opposes unionization of management personnel. "The injustice is, the lieutenants get less pay than the cops that work for them," said Benoit, a Democrat.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | July 1, 2010
Holding signs that said "City Hall Has Turned Their Backs on Police and Firefighters," about two dozen police and firefighters union members protested the City Council's passage of a pension bill that took effect Thursday. The union members wore shirts saying, "We Protect You. Help Protect Us," and yelled as local city and business leaders entered a fundraising event for Councilman Bill Cole at Luckie's Tavern on Market Place downtown. The new pension bill drastically alters the police and firefighter pension plan.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,larry.carson@baltsun.com | February 2, 2010
Columbia, the planned Howard County town known for decades as a national model of rational suburban growth, is now poised for an urban heart transplant. The legal framework for a three-decade plan to transform central Columbia - from an auto-dominated, disconnected series of aging buildings and a shopping mall into a lively urban downtown - was unanimously approved late Monday by the Howard County Council. The votes follow more than 52 hours of formal hearings and work sessions over three months.
NEWS
November 18, 2009
The Baltimore City Council approved a measure Monday night that would require crisis pregnancy centers that do not provide referrals to abortion or birth control to post a disclaimer. The bill, which is opposed by anti-abortion groups, would affect four city centers that offer counseling, prenatal care and baby clothes to pregnant women. An amendment that would have forced abortion clinics to also post disclaimers was not approved. The measure is slated for a final vote before being submitted to the mayor.
NEWS
By Edwin F. O'Brien | November 5, 2009
In my first homily as the new archbishop of Baltimore, I made a firm and abiding commitment: "To all of those in crisis pregnancies, I pledge our support and our financial help. Let us walk with you through your time of trouble and find a new life with your child, or let us help you place that child in a loving home. But please, I beg you: Let us help you affirm life. Abortion need not be an 'answer' in this archdiocese." Sadly, we can't even agree that birth is a preferable option to abortion.
NEWS
By Larry Carson and Larry Carson,larry.carson@baltsun.com | November 1, 2009
A bid that would excuse disabled former public safety workers from county property taxes sounds simple but is proving complicated as the County Council prepares to vote on the bill Monday night. The current bill, backed by County Executive Ken Ulman and all five council members, would give the tax break only to former police and correctional officers, firefighters and volunteers who are 100 percent disabled and both work for and live in Howard County. Courtney Watson, the Ellicott City Democrat who introduced the bill, said the administration wants an amendment to include the spouses of such workers who die. The county's police union is pushing for a broader measure that would cover any public safety worker who lives in the county, regardless of the state or county agency they work for or where in the state they are stationed.
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