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NEWS
July 31, 2012
In editorial "Cost vs. reliability" (July 30) you speculate that granting BG&E a rate increase "might be worth it" if it results in infrastructure improvements that lead to more reliable service. That implies several uncertainties. First, can we be certain that substantially all of the funds from a rate increase will actually be used for infrastructure? Second, if that is how they are used, will the investment actually lead to improved service? Finally, if they do improve service, is it "worth it"?
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NEWS
September 29, 2014
Most people who kill themselves do so from a place of great pain, hopelessness, self-worthlessness and despair. But suicide is best explained not with reference to the concepts of philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre (as was done in the Sept. 24 commentary, "Explaining the inexplicable: suicide" . That's like trying to explain why people die from malaria by quoting Aristotle. Severe depression is an illness. Everybody should know that. States with the highest rates of people taking their own lives have many characteristics in common, including a shortage of facilities for the treatment of mental disorders; proportionately larger populations of groups most prone to suicide, including Caucasians, Native Americans and men; higher rates of alcohol abuse, unemployment, poverty, geographic and social isolation; widespread gun ownership; and the "cowboy mentality" in which self-reliant individualism is lauded and help-seeking is eschewed, and as a result, psychology, psychiatry and mental health practitioners often are looked upon with suspicion or distain.
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BUSINESS
By New York Times News Service | March 14, 1994
Interest rates have climbed by more than a percentage point in five months, and the American economy is beginning to feel the pinch.The great rush to refinance mortgages at lower rates and lower monthly payments -- a big source of extra cash for consumer spending -- has slowed sharply, the Mortgage Bankers Association reports.Bank loans to individuals and companies are no longer rising. And many families are rushing to buy houses before mortgage rates go any higher, a flurry of activity that probably will not last, some economists say."
BUSINESS
By Jamie Smith Hopkins, The Baltimore Sun | January 9, 2014
Prepare for a year of more in the real estate industry - more improvement, mostly, but also more expense as mortgage rates, prices and rents rise. Analysts expect a solid 2014 here and nationally, after a year in which the battered housing market got on firmer footing. They predict home values will continue rising and expect to see more choices for home buyers as higher prices pull in more would-be sellers. Moody's Analytics is forecasting an 8 percent rise in average home prices in the Baltimore region this year, compared with a 5.6 percent increase last year.
BUSINESS
By Bloomberg News | September 4, 2005
Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes fell in July as higher borrowing costs and record prices pushed some prospective homebuyers out of the market. The index of signed purchase agreements, or pending home resales, fell 1.0 percent to 125.1, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday. The June index, which rose 0.6 percent, was revised to 126.4 from 126.3. The index has a base value of 100, which represents the 2001 average for pending home sales. The NAR said higher rates and record prices made homes more expensive in July.
BUSINESS
By Laura Smitherman and Laura Smitherman,Sun reporter | October 31, 2006
While he may not win friends among consumers with mortgages and credit cards by advocating higher interest rates as the lone wolf at the Federal Reserve, Jeffrey M. Lacker is actually a booster for the economy. Lacker, who is building a national reputation as the only rate-setting Fed official to break publicly with Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, said yesterday that he continues to believe the economy is "resilient enough" to withstand further tightening. Bernanke, who took over as Fed chairman in February, has been in favor of leaving interest rates unchanged.
NEWS
By JOHN FRITZE and JOHN FRITZE,SUN REPORTER | April 20, 2006
Wrestling with an issue that they have virtually no control over, Baltimore City Council members took BGE to task yesterday over the utility's decision to implement rate increases for its budget-billing customers months before they are scheduled to affect other ratepayers. Irate council members -- echoing a criticism made earlier in the day by Mayor Martin O'Malley's administration -- argued that the company is charging its most vulnerable customers the higher rates prematurely. Councilman James B. Kraft demanded that the money be returned.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella and Lorraine Mirabella,SUN STAFF | June 6, 2004
On June 30 the somewhat abstract idea of electricity deregulation in Maryland will become an all-too-real fact of life for businesses in much of the state. That's when rate caps end for 155,000 commercial customers - from banks and florists to advertising agencies and retailers - in Central Maryland and the Washington suburbs. The temporary caps on rates charged by utilities were set four years ago as part of Maryland's shift to a competitive electricity market. Once the rate caps expire, utilities will begin charging substantially higher rates for customers who have not chosen an alternative supplier.
BUSINESS
By Julius Westheimer | February 16, 2000
ARE YOU avoiding value stocks because they're underperforming high-techs? "Value investing hasn't paid off the way it used to," says Kiplinger's Personal Adviser. "Investors ignored solid earnings in favor of fast-growing technology companies. But true bargains are underpriced businesses now on the mend. There is still money to be made in undervalued stocks." It suggests considering these stocks: Unisys Corp., Delphi Automotive Systems Corp., Comdisco Inc., Devon Energy Corp. and TJX Companies Corp.
BUSINESS
By BILL BARNHART | September 26, 2004
YOU WON'T GET a toaster, but you might get a free lunch. Banks and savings and loan associations, which many years ago gave away small appliances to attract retail deposits, are promoting savings again. Savers who rediscover banks and thrifts stand to win the trifecta: competitive interest rates at traditional banks and thrifts and at online banks; an opportunity to capture higher rates as they occur; and government insurance of their accounts up to $100,000 through the FDIC. "Unlike the rest of the investment world, you don't have to take additional risk in order to earn additional return by finding higher-yielding CDs," said Greg McBride, senior financial analyst at Bankrate.
HEALTH
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | November 22, 2013
Drew Greenblatt has bought health insurance for his 29 employees at Marlin Steel Wire Products for more than a decade - an expense he believes is essential for any safety-conscious manufacturing firm. But for Greenblatt, who has owned the Baltimore-based company since 1998, the effort was complicated this year when his insurer proposed raising premiums 49 percent because of new requirements in the Affordable Care Act. "Our plan, in effect, is not viable because it's not affordable," Greenblatt said.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | November 6, 2013
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Heather R. Mizeur is proposing an income tax cut for about 90 percent of the state's taxpayers — to be financed by imposing a higher rate on wealthy Marylanders. At a news conference Wednesday in Annapolis, Mizeur also rolled out an economic plan that calls for a minimum "living wage" that would reach $16.70 by 2022. Mizeur, a two-term delegate from Montgomery County, released the most comprehensive income tax plan announced so far by any of the Democratic or Republican gubernatorial candidates.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | August 2, 2013
With the start of classes just weeks away, Maryland financial aid directors sighed with relief that Congress has finally reached an agreement on student loan interest rates that will lower costs for borrowers this academic year. "We have been getting calls from students," said Zhanna Goltser, director of financial aid at Notre Dame of Maryland University in Baltimore. "It's great that it will save money for students who are borrowing now. " "Now" is the key word. Under a new formula created by lawmakers, the rate on certain federal loans could go up significantly in a few years.
NEWS
August 1, 2013
I read with interest your recent article on rising health insurance rates in Maryland ( "Health policy hikes OK'd," July 27). While it was troubling to learn that health insurance rates for individuals in Maryland were going up significantly subsequent to the insurance commissioner's approval, there was an glaring lack in the article. In more than a few instances it attempted to tie the increases to Obamacare. It could have been pointed out that under Obamacare, California, New York and Oregon, to name a few, have actually seen insurance rates for individuals drop - in some cases by as much as half.
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | July 26, 2013
Most checking accounts pay little or no interest, and fewer and fewer are free. But at Patapsco Bank in Dundalk, checking customers can earn about 2 percent a year in a free account or choose cash back or even iTunes rewards. And members of Money One Federal Credit Union in Largo can receive as much as 3 percent. Both institutions participate in a national rewards program for community banks and credit unions called Kasasa that helps them structure and market free checking accounts.
SPORTS
By Childs Walker, The Baltimore Sun | July 5, 2013
Maureen Hall cradled the bulbous, papier-mache mask with its black feathers and orange beak. The temperature had pushed past 90 degrees, but the 6th-grade teacher from Parkville didn't hesitate to pull it over her head as onlookers snapped photos of her and the surrounding orange-clad legion of Orioles fans. This was how summer was supposed to feel for a Baltimore baseball fan. The fellowship reminded Hall of childhood evenings in Waverly, where she could see the lights of Memorial Stadium from her back porch and hear the crowd chanting "Eddie, Eddie.
BUSINESS
By Thomas W. Waldron and Thomas W. Waldron,SUN STAFF | March 9, 2001
Reopening an issue that has divided the legislature for 20 years, Baltimore officials and the state insurance commissioner called yesterday for a change in Maryland law that would lead to lower automobile insurance rates for city residents. Steven B. Larsen, the insurance commissioner, said he has grown frustrated watching the General Assembly do little to bring rates down for city residents, who often pay hundreds of dollars more a year in premiums than residents of suburban or rural areas.
BUSINESS
By Ellen James Martin and Ellen James Martin,Sun Staff Writer | April 10, 1994
Andrea Brown was commuting to work last week, listening to the news on the car radio, when she got a sick feeling in her stomach. Mortgage rates were rising, and her family's dream home was fading away."
BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | April 29, 2013
College students taking out subsidized federal student loans will see their interest rate double in July unless Congress comes to the rescue. The rate on subsidized Stafford loans is a fixed 3.4 percent, but that's set to expire and revert to 6.8 percent for new loans issued starting in July. (Old loans stay at their current rate.) Subsidized loans, for which the government pays the interest while students are in school, are awarded to those in financial need. Unsubsidized loans, for which borrowers pay the interest, already charge 6.8 percent interest.
NEWS
By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | January 3, 2013
While most children see dream jobs, spouses and freedom in their futures, Brian Bailey saw only death. The autistic boy, who stopped speaking at 18 months, grew up with anxiety about getting older, and his rocky educational track record early on didn't allay his fears. "I was obsessing from the beginning about his future, asking 'What am I going to do?' " said his mother, Jennell Bailey, as she recalled his one week in a Baltimore public school general-education classroom, where she said he wasn't flourishing.
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