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by Matt Vensel | matt@bthesite.com and b free daily | February 12, 2010
Who doesn't love a good mailbag? Some good sportswriters do them — including two of my favorites, ESPN.com's Bill Simmons and SI’s Peter King. Maybe having my own will make me a good writer, too. Wait, Stuart Scott has one, right? Nevermind, I guess it’s not a cause-effect relationship after all. Oh well, you’re getting my mailbag anyway. It won’t be monthly, just whenever I feel like doing it. So send over your questions, and they might make it in b . jeffw171 on Twitter responds to Wednesday’s mock draft where I had the Ravens taking Illinois WR Arrelious Benn: "Why not Jermaine Gresham or Brandon LaFell?
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SPORTS
By Quint Kessenich, Special to The Baltimore Sun | March 29, 2012
With conference play heating up, and April - a month that's all about improvement - on the doorstep, I solicited questions on Twitter (@QKessenich) to see what's on people's minds.   National College Lacrosse League @NCLLax: If QK can change just one rule for 2013, what would he add or delete from the NCAA rulebook? QK: The No. 1 rule change on everybody's mind is the shot clock. Shot-clock advocates are growing, but change is a touchy subject. The rules committee works in a two-year cycle, and this offseason offers it the opportunity to enact reform.
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FEATURES
By Sandra Crockett and Sandra Crockett,SUN STAFF | November 16, 1995
ON A TRAIN SOMEWHERE BETWEEN BALTIMORE AND WASHINGTON -- It's a little after 8 a.m. and Bernie Smith could be home catching some well-deserved zzzzz's. Or he could be (( studying for his political science class. Or doing chores around his West Baltimore home.It's his day off, after all, and that's what days off are for. Instead, he's on the train to Washington where he will spend up to eight hours in a job that is short on money (none) and long on heartache (other people's).This Mr. Smith goes to Washington every Monday to read mail sent to the White House.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | June 6, 2010
One of the most rewarding pleasures of this job is interacting with readers who contact me with colorful comments or additional insights and observations about someone or something I've written about. Sometimes they also write letters and e-mails or call on the phone to correct me, and I'm most grateful for informed and correct criticism. The death last month of noted Baltimore artist Ann Didusch Schuler, who co-founded the Schuler School of Fine Arts with her husband, Hans C. Schuler, brought calls and e-mails from several former students who are now professional artists or teachers.
BUSINESS
July 5, 1998
A few weeks ago I addressed the concerns of landlord who sustained damage to her property from a tenant. The suggestions made to her -- and other landlords -- for future reference were to carefully check a prospective tenant's references and credit history, as well as to require a reasonable security deposit for protection.Well, the mailbag received a scolding from Charles Linkowich, who suggested that investigating tenants offers no guarantee that it will prevent a rental unit from being "destroyed" by them.
NEWS
By Robert M. Pennington from the archives of the Ann Arrundell County Historical Society | November 15, 1998
A mailbag fell off the platform at Annapolis Junction and was run over by an express train. The fragments were collected and sent to Annapolis where clerks are trying to ascertain the FTC addresses. -- The Sun, Nov. 1, 1898.The canning house owned by the Patuxent Preserving and Canning Company was destroyed by fire. -- The Sun, Nov. 1, 1898.Compiled by Robert M. Pennington from the archives of the Ann Arrundell County Historical Society.Pub Date: 11/15/98
BUSINESS
October 4, 1998
Dear Mr. Azrael:What action can a ground rent owner take when the city demolishes rows of houses?Irwin ElliottBaltimoreDear Mr. Elliott:A ground rent owner has no control over what happens to the improvements (houses or other structures) built on the ground. The owner of the leasehold can choose to construct a Taj Mahal or allow the building to become vacant and boarded up -- or even demolished.A ground rent owner has one right only -- to collect the ground rent from the person or entity who owns the leasehold.
BUSINESS
October 11, 1998
Dear Mr. Azrael:I have recently purchased some investment property at 30 percent less than the market value [with a mortgage] at 10.5 percent for 30 years.I am looking at refinancing the properties at the full-market value at a lower interest rate. Would this be wise?I am thinking that I could possibly pay off the current mortgage and use the rest of the income to possibly purchase more properties.Please give me some advice.Wave TaylorBaltimoreDear Ms. Taylor:Interest rates are falling. Now is a great time for folks to consider refinancing their mortgages.
BUSINESS
October 18, 1998
Dear Mr. Azrael:I recently signed a contract on a house. We are scheduled to go to settlement at the end of [the month]. Being a single mom, I have a limited income. The contract contains the FHA addendum that states the seller is willing to pay for any repairs that the FHA inspector finds up to 2 percent of the selling price of the house.My question for you is that they are now asking me to pay for these repairs, and I feel that we have a signed "legal" contract.So, am I responsible for making these repairs if I want this house or are they legally responsible for these repairs?
NEWS
By Michael K. Burns | October 26, 1990
A slate of challengers won the majority of offices in Baltimore's largest labor union yesterday, but failed to capture the presidency in balloting that was complicated by belated discovery of a missing mailbag of ballots.The challengers won 11 of 20 races for executive officers and board members after 677 wayward ballots were counted yesterday and official results announced for Local 27, United Food and Commercial Workers union.Thomas Russow, a former vice president of the international union who has headed the local since 1984, was re-elected to a three-year term as president over Garland Humphries Jr., a longtime Giant Food store employee who headed the opposition slate.
ENTERTAINMENT
by Matt Vensel | matt@bthesite.com and b free daily | February 12, 2010
Who doesn't love a good mailbag? Some good sportswriters do them — including two of my favorites, ESPN.com's Bill Simmons and SI’s Peter King. Maybe having my own will make me a good writer, too. Wait, Stuart Scott has one, right? Nevermind, I guess it’s not a cause-effect relationship after all. Oh well, you’re getting my mailbag anyway. It won’t be monthly, just whenever I feel like doing it. So send over your questions, and they might make it in b . jeffw171 on Twitter responds to Wednesday’s mock draft where I had the Ravens taking Illinois WR Arrelious Benn: "Why not Jermaine Gresham or Brandon LaFell?
BUSINESS
June 19, 2005
Playhouse used as storage shed runs afoul of local association Q. I purchased a new home in Fallston Valley Farms in 2003. I later put a "playhouse" in the rear yard. I submitted all required information to the community association, including a plat of the property showing where the structure would be placed, dimensions of the structure, material and color of the structure and landscaping around it. I even faxed a picture of the "playhouse" to them. In August 2004, I received a certified letter from the architectural review committee of the Fallston Valley Homeowners Association Inc. [saying]
BUSINESS
November 21, 2004
I had a new home built four years ago. Unfortunately, the flashing for the windows was poorly done and rain can easily make its way underneath the siding. Over the years, and unknown to me, my house has been rotting. The problem became apparent only when I had water leaking into my basement. A handyman removed some siding, and the rot was so bad at points, that insulation could be seen sticking through the rotted fiberboard. The handyman has located other parts of the house that will need to be repaired.
BUSINESS
February 15, 2004
Dear Mr. Azrael: Recently, my mother passed away and I am the executor of her will. There are two ground rents that she owned. How do I turn them over to other family members? Can I do this myself or do I have to have a lawyer to process the papers? How much would this cost, as the properties are very old? Dear reader: Under Maryland probate law, there is a specific process that must be followed to transfer real property of a decedent to the persons who are legally entitled to receive the property.
BUSINESS
October 19, 2003
A reader asks if there is a standard rate for mortgage insurance and how to calculate it. Dear Reader: Mortgage insurance protects a lender against loss if the borrower stops making mortgage payments. Most lenders or investors require mortgage insurance when the mortgage amount exceeds 80 percent of the property value. FHA loans are covered by a mortgage insurance program administered by the federal government. Private mortgage insurance is sold by a number of companies - Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp.
BUSINESS
June 13, 1999
Dear Mr. Azrael:We're looking into buying a new home in Farmington Village in Pasadena. We're looking at two different houses, one is a Ryan home and one is a Grayson home. They are about the same price. I just wanted to know possibly which way we should go. We're very confused and we're trying to decide between the builders and we really don't know who to go with.Janet Sumner CrownsvilleDear Ms. Sumner:Since the two new homes you are considering are not identical, you should focus on which home has the features you want most.
BUSINESS
March 21, 1999
Dear Mr. Azrael:What recourse do we have for dealing with a mortgage that's charging late fees, but the cause of the fee is actually their delay in processing?We were recently charged a late fee by [our mortgage company], but my payment was not processed for over 20 days after it was mailed. It was mailed from Baltimore to Pittsburgh in late January and was not processed until Feb. 17, 1999.They charged me a late fee of $67.50. To this point we have not been able to get any help through their customer service line, which takes over an hour to get through at times.
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