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NEWS
June 15, 2014
Whether the air quality in a hookah lounge is outstandingly fresh or alarmingly toxic, the real benefit to those who use these facilities is they can continue their lifestyle without endangering us ( "Study discovers poor air quality in hookah lounges," June 12). We have to suffer toxic smoke fumes every time we go outdoors in Baltimore. What good would a study do anyway? We know unquestionably that tobacco smoke along with secondhand smoke makes the user and the bystander eventually suffer a premature, agonizing and slow death.
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NEWS
June 15, 2014
Whether the air quality in a hookah lounge is outstandingly fresh or alarmingly toxic, the real benefit to those who use these facilities is they can continue their lifestyle without endangering us ( "Study discovers poor air quality in hookah lounges," June 12). We have to suffer toxic smoke fumes every time we go outdoors in Baltimore. What good would a study do anyway? We know unquestionably that tobacco smoke along with secondhand smoke makes the user and the bystander eventually suffer a premature, agonizing and slow death.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By sam sessa and sam sessa,sam.sessa@baltsun.com | November 13, 2008
For years, Zeeba Lounge has been in a league of its own. When it debuted in 2004, it was Baltimore's first hookah bar. Even though a handful of other hookah bars have sprung up around town, Zeeba is still the city's swankiest spot for puffing flavored tobacco through big glass water pipes. And it's indisputably in demand: On Friday and Saturday nights, lines routinely snake out the door and onto the sidewalk. A few years back, a hookah bar called Three Kings of Egypt opened right across Light Street from Zeeba.
HEALTH
By Laura Barnhardt Cech, For The Baltimore Sun | June 11, 2014
Although hookah lounges are becoming more popular, smoking flavored tobacco through water pipes creates hazardous concentrations of indoor air pollution, according to a new study from the Institute for Global Tobacco Control at the Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health. In fact, airborne particulate matter and carbon monoxide levels exceeded those found in restaurants and bars that allowed cigarette smoking, the study found. "There is a mistaken notion that because the tobacco smoke is drawn through the water, it's somehow cleaner or not as bad," Patrick Breysse, a professor in the department of environmental health sciences and the study's senior author, said in an interview.
NEWS
By ARTHUR HIRSCH and ARTHUR HIRSCH,SUN REPORTER | July 3, 2006
FREDERICK -- Kent Bowers' first hookah drag tasted vaguely of strawberry, quite thick but mild going down, deep into his lungs, before he exhaled the smoke that floated toward the black tin ceiling at the Mirage Cafe & Grill. That was some three months ago, and now Bowers is back on a recent Friday night sharing another bowl of flavored tobacco - apple this time - with a couple of friends new to the hookah, a water pipe known also by other names: shisha, narghile, gouza, hubble bubble.
ENTERTAINMENT
By SAM SESSA | May 3, 2007
Venue Where -- 1027 Light St. Call -- 410-244-8445 Notable -- A huge flat-screen TV plays Middle Eastern pop music videos, dozens of board games sit on a shelf near the back. The place is BYOB (for a fee), and stays open until 4 a.m. some Friday and Saturday nights, depending on the crowd. Vibe -- Probably what hookah bars look like in Egypt: metal chairs, simple tables, some hieroglyphics. Crowd -- Everyone from late teenagers to 50-somethings smoke and sip tea late night. What to wear -- Something comfortable.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Sam Sessa | December 6, 2007
A couple of years ago, Three Kings of Egypt was undisputedly the cheapest, most authentic hookah bar in town. Sure, with the plain chairs and bare tables there was nothing fancy about the decor, but Three Kings delivered plenty of substance. Over time, the prices of hookahs crept up in the Federal Hill lounge, and the level of service drastically dropped. It felt like the owners didn't care about the place anymore, and just wanted to get as much money out of it as they could. As such, Three Kings' closing in October came as no surprise.
ENTERTAINMENT
By SAM SESSA and SAM SESSA,sam.sessa@baltsun.com | March 5, 2009
The owners of El Basha couldn't have picked a worse spot to open a hookah bar. I hate to say it, but it's true. It's almost unfathomable to think that a brand-new hookah bar like El Basha can sustain itself in downtown Baltimore, a stone's throw from The Block. That's right, El Basha, which opened last month, is on Baltimore Street, just a block or two west of one of the city's seediest strips. It's a shame, because El Basha has a lot going for it. Most of the city's hookah bars are small and can feel cluttered.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper and Julie Scharper,julie.scharper@baltsun.com | February 4, 2010
On the first day of kindergarten at Grace and St. Peter's School, a quiet girl was sitting alone, a new student in a room of boisterous children. Stephanie Rawlings marched up, introduced herself and took charge: "You're going to play with us and be our friend." That she was bossy and self-assured from an early age - her mother thinks her first complete sentence was "I did it myself" - might come as no surprise to those who have seen only the public side of Baltimore's next mayor.
ENTERTAINMENT
By BRITTANY BAUHAUS and BRITTANY BAUHAUS,SUN REPORTER | December 8, 2005
On the weekends when the bars close late but not late enough, hookah bars offer a place to sit down, smoke and unwind. Hoo-huh, you say? Hookah bars feature water pipes for smoking flavored tobaccos. Decor and dishes are Middle Eastern. There are three in the area, each with its own style. Zeeba Lounge Located on Light Street, Zeeba Lounge is Baltimore's first and most traditional hookah bar. Its hard-to-miss overhang is stamped with a picture of a large water pipe, and the bar's name is scrawled in a typeface resembling wisps of smoke.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | May 19, 2014
Three people were stabbed in two separate incidents outside a Towson hookah lounge Saturday night, Baltimore County police said Monday. Police learned of the stabbing while responding to a fight at Burke Avenue and York Road around 2 a.m., when one of the people involved said their friend had been stabbed earlier outside the Towson Nights Hookah Lounge Cafe. Police said the victim took himself to a hospital for treatment of non life-threatening injuries. The department said two other men — both 22 years old — were stabbed during a separate incident, just after 3:30 a.m. The victims were leaving the same hookah lounge when they were confronted by suspects, "who instigated a verbal argument that escalated to a stabbing," police said.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | May 5, 2014
The Baltimore County Council approved legislation Monday requiring coaches and other recreation volunteers who work with children to undergo background checks, a move officials said is meant to protect children from sexual predators. The county is the only jurisdiction in the Baltimore region that does not run background checks on volunteers for government-sponsored recreational activities. Council members passed the measure unanimously, giving county officials until July 2015 to work out details of a policy on the checks.
NEWS
Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | April 29, 2014
Hookah lounge owners in Baltimore County told the County Council on Tuesday that proposed legislation to make them close earlier would put them out of business. Council members are weighing a proposal by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz that would require the lounges to close at 8 p.m. on weeknights and 9 p.m. on weekends, restrictions Kamenetz says would prevent neighborhood disruptions and curb illegal activity. At a Tuesday work session, the council heard from business owners who said they are being unfairly targeted and from residents who say lounge patrons wreak havoc in their neighborhoods.
NEWS
By Jon Meoli, jmeoli@tribune.com | April 1, 2014
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz proposed legislation Tuesday that would mandate county hookah lounges close at 8 p.m. on weeknights and 9 p.m. on weekends, hours before their current early-morning closing times. "This is another common-sense effort to protect the quality of life in our communities," Kamenetz said in a statement.  "The legislation strikes a balance in that it allows these businesses to continue to operate in the same manner that local retail cigar and tobacco stores operate, but it prevents them from operating as late-night entertainment venues disrupting our neighborhoods.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | February 2, 2014
Three men was were shot early Sunday standing outside of a Randallstown hookah lounge, Baltimore County police said. The victims were being treated at area hospitals for treatment, but police did not know their current conditions or release information about how serious their injuries were. A single suspect shot the men shortly after 4 a.m. Sunday at the Fire and Ice Hookah Lounge in the 3500 block of Brenbrook Drive in Randallstown, police said. Police released no other details about the triple shooting or the suspect.
NEWS
October 23, 2013
The hookah lounge, a staple of Middle Eastern culture, has now gained a foothold in American culture, drawing the attention of legislators and health advocates across the country worried about the impact of these purveyors of a new type of tobacco smoking. Typically, the patrons are young adults and college students. What attracts them to these smoking bars is not just to puff on sweetened tobacco from an ornate water pipe, but to relax with friends and, frequently, to drink alcohol they bring in themselves.
NEWS
By Jon Meoli, jmeoli@tribune.com | April 1, 2014
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz proposed legislation Tuesday that would mandate county hookah lounges close at 8 p.m. on weeknights and 9 p.m. on weekends, hours before their current early-morning closing times. "This is another common-sense effort to protect the quality of life in our communities," Kamenetz said in a statement.  "The legislation strikes a balance in that it allows these businesses to continue to operate in the same manner that local retail cigar and tobacco stores operate, but it prevents them from operating as late-night entertainment venues disrupting our neighborhoods.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | February 2, 2014
Three men was were shot early Sunday standing outside of a Randallstown hookah lounge, Baltimore County police said. The victims were being treated at area hospitals for treatment, but police did not know their current conditions or release information about how serious their injuries were. A single suspect shot the men shortly after 4 a.m. Sunday at the Fire and Ice Hookah Lounge in the 3500 block of Brenbrook Drive in Randallstown, police said. Police released no other details about the triple shooting or the suspect.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | May 7, 2012
Baltimore County businesses that let customers bring their own alcohol would need a "BYOB" license under legislation spurred by complaints about hookah lounges that are raucous late into the night. The bill, introduced Monday by Lutherville Republican Todd Huff, would make all BYOB establishments close by 2 a.m. The businesses would have to apply for licenses from the county and could face fines of up to $500 for not doing so. Huff said he introduced the bill because of "multiple complaints" about hookah lounges that allegedly become loud very late and don't enforce laws on underage drinking.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann, The Baltimore Sun | July 10, 2010
From the very start, the VIP Hookah Bar & Cafe seemed out of place on Eastern Avenue in Baltimore's Little Italy. It had somehow managed to open without an occupancy permit in a red-brick rowhouse squeezed between the homes of a 98-year-old woman and an 86-year-old woman. One of its owners, Fawzi Abdou Atta Shehata, promised skeptical residents at a community meeting in October that in no way did he plan live entertainment — no singing, no scantily clad women — despite the sign on his door advertising "Live Belly Dancing."
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