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NEWS
July 20, 2011
The Board of Commissioners for Frederick County has it all wrong in its effort to privatize services currently provided by public-sector employees ("Frederick County struggles over privatization proposal," July 16). I have spent many days on Frederick County baseball fields watching my grandchildren play. I am amazed at the condition of all the fields, which are second to none thanks to the hard work of the public- sector employees. Frederick is trying to make ends meet, but the privatization of these services will mean layoffs and consequently less tax revenue.
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HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn and The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
The state health insurance exchange continued enrolling consumers in Medicaid, adding almost 22,000 new people to the rolls in the last month, according to a report released Friday. The report said 376,850 people in the state have gained coverage under the federal-state program for the low-income since the exchange launched a year ago under the federal Affordable Care Act. Another 2,425 people bought private insurance plans in the last month, though the open enrollment period is closed.
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NEWS
April 28, 2011
In his call for the privatization of Maryland Transit Administration buses, ("End the MTA monopoly," April 14), James A. Dorn several times refers to his disdain for unions and so-called "low-income riders who determine the state of mass transit. " Apparently, he believes that it is better for out-of-state (and in most cases international) private companies with no regard for anything but the bottom line to determine whether or not a particular bus route is worth running. Shouldn't such decisions be left to local leaders representing the more than 30 percent of Baltimore residents who have no car?
NEWS
By Michael Dresser and The Baltimore Sun | September 14, 2014
Hiring by Maryland's largest employer — the federal government — has fallen by more than 40 percent nationally over four years, and the state's job market is feeling the pain. Years of tightening budgets have brought federal hiring to the lowest levels in at least a decade. And each month for more than a year, Maryland has posted a decrease in federal employment from the previous year, creating a drag on overall employment. The decline in federal jobs has been a major contributor to Maryland's spotty employment performance in recent months.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2013
The Maryland Transportation Authority has thrown some cold water on the idea of leasing the Intercounty Connector as a relatively pain-free way of raising money to pay for other projects - saying such deals are too complex to enter into without extensive study. In a position paper sent to the legislature, the authority does not rule out privatization deals but warns “they are not easy and should be approached prudently.” The authority's statement comes in response to a bill from a Republican delegate that would require the state to issue an invitation for bids for the ICC and the Express Toll Lanes being built on Interstate 95 by the end of the year, but it also addresses one of the ideas raised by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller in a comprehensive transportation revenue bill.   Miller has proposed a study of the merits of entering into a long-term lease of the ICC to provide near-term funds for large transportation projects.
NEWS
June 23, 2014
The presence of the private water industry at this week's United States Conference of Mayors meeting threatens public health and democracy in Baltimore. Time and time again, experiences in other cities that have privatized their water systems have demonstrated that privatization fails to provide secure and equitable water access to residents. The industry's strategy of placing profits over the human right to water is reprehensible and undermines the democratic system. As a voter and someone who calls Baltimore my home, I strongly urge Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to take a stand at the USCM and keep the private water industry out of our city.
NEWS
December 13, 2011
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is getting a lesson in one of the major downsides of privatizing government services: When you ask outside groups to take over something the city has always done, their agendas won't always be the same as yours. That's what's happening with the mayor's plan to privatize some of Baltimore's recreation centers. One of the nonprofits that is bidding to take over two centers would provide programs not just for the kids that have traditionally been the rec centers' focus but also ex-criminal offenders and psychiatric patients.
NEWS
June 25, 1994
There's no doubt about it. The charter amendment up for final consideration by the Baltimore City Council at its special session Monday night is designed to do one thing: kill the movement toward privatization of city services.It's a bad bill that the Council never should have approved initially and which Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke rightly vetoed. Now Council President Mary Pat Clarke, and other Council members anxious to curry favor with the city's powerful unions, have called a special meeting in hopes of overriding the Schmoke vetoes of this bill and another labor-union special to allow high-ranking white-collar city workers to unionize.
NEWS
By JOHN BRAIN | September 8, 1994
"Lock 'em up and throw away the key.'' The correctional establishment promotes long sentences bringing jobs for guards and sales for prison-services peddlers. Prison building proceeds apace. New crack-down-on-crime legislation features ''three strikes and you're out,'' -- or rather in, for life. Before long half the population will be behind bars, supported in idleness by the other half. We need to find alternatives.One alternative would be simply to eliminate most of the prison population by extending the death penalty to a wide range of crimes and carrying out sentences fast and often.
NEWS
December 31, 1992
It's all the rage among think-tank gurus, pop-fad writers an grandstanding politicians. Privatization. To these groups, it represents the wave of the future. Sell off government functions to the private sector and deficit problems will disappear, taxes will drop and services will improve.It's a nice daydream, but it isn't real. Turning vast chunks of government over to the marketplace won't work miracles. It can't cure budgetary gaps created by too much spending on too many services. It can, though, provide an exciting option for some -- though not all -- government services.
NEWS
By David Horsey | September 9, 2014
With my job as a cartoonist and columnist for one the nation's biggest newspapers comes a modicum of minor celebrity, but I can't imagine a big market for naked pictures of myself. This is not the case for true celebrities, such as Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst, Kim Kardashian and Rihanna, who, along with as many as 100 others, had private nude photos of themselves stolen from Apple's iCloud storage system and posted for public perusal online. Whether the hackers who did this were out to make money or simply to prove their technological prowess, they caught the attention of the FBI, which is now investigating.
FEATURES
By Marie Marciano Gullard, For The Baltimore Sun | September 3, 2014
On Maryland's Eastern Shore, 6201 Swan Creek Road in Rock Hall reaches new heights in property ownership. A classic 19th-century farmhouse and a charming waterfront cottage sit on a private peninsula consisting of 177-plus acres of farmland. With gorgeous views of the Chesapeake Bay, the main farmhouse has been meticulously restored by the owner from the foundation up - including a major addition completed in 1998 that nearly doubles the living space. This has allowed for a modern kitchen, family room, guest room and an office.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | August 28, 2014
The medical system that provides care to Maryland's veterans signed a one-year contract with Evergreen Health Care in Baltimore to offer primary health services to new patients, federal and co-op officials said Thursday. The $485,000 contract aims to cut down on wait times that had become some of the worst in the nation. A June audit found Central Maryland's veterans were waiting an average of 80 days to see a primary-care doctor for an initial visit, the fourth longest wait in the nation.
FEATURES
By Marie Marciano Gullard, For the Baltimore Sun | August 21, 2014
Three nautical miles from downtown Annapolis but seeming worlds away is the private peninsula where Mill and Burley creeks meet the Chesapeake Bay - and where 2077 Maidstone Farm Road, a nine-acre estate with 2,000 feet of waterfront, awaits its new owner. A Tudor-style home built of stucco in 1916 harks back to an era of elegant living. Touches of period craftsmanship outside and inside were provided by Italian artisans commissioned by the home's owner and builder, James Bowdoin, great-grandson of the founder of Bowdoin College in Maine.
NEWS
August 14, 2014
If Baltimore were actually considering privatizing its water system, the 50 or so people who were protesting outside City Hall on Wednesday would have had a strong case to be upset. But it's not. Rather, Baltimore is looking for a consultant to evaluate the operation and maintenance of its aging system to find ways to increase efficiency - something that should be greatly in the public interest at a time when rates are constantly going up and broken water mains are distressingly common.
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | August 13, 2014
About 50 protesters rallied Wednesday outside Baltimore City Hall to object to a proposed study of the water system, a step they fear could eventually put the system in private hands. The group, led by labor organizers and the nonprofit Corporate Accountability International, is worried that a $500,000 consultant's study could lead to the private management of the water system. But the Department of Public Works request for proposals did not involve privatization, city officials said.
BUSINESS
By Michael Bodley, The Baltimore Sun | August 12, 2014
Baltimore's private dining clubs, longtime bastions of business networking and deal-making, are loosening up in an effort to attract a younger generation to keep their doors open. Dress codes are easing and lower dues are offered for young members at the Engineers Club of Baltimore in Mount Vernon and the Center Club downtown on the 16th floor of the Transamerica tower. Both have invested millions of dollars over the last five years to revamp aging facilities and maintain the appeal of exclusivity to attract those with money to spend.
NEWS
By Leonard Gilroy and Christopher Summers | August 11, 2014
Running parking garages is not a core function of government, so Baltimore Mayor Rawlings-Blake's plan to sell off city-owned garages would be an encouraging step toward shedding non-essential city assets and investing in more important priorities for the city's residents and long-term fiscal health. The mayor proposes selling four downtown city-owned garages to generate between $40 million to $60 million in net proceeds (after paying off $24 million in garage debt) that would be used to make improvements to city recreation centers.
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