October 6, 2009
The Baltimore Development Corp., the quasi-public agency that has shepherded countless major building projects in Baltimore to completion, has certainly done its share of good over the years in helping to revitalize the city. But the progress the agency has made also has come at a cost: The BDC operates under a shadowy set of rules that, even agency alums acknowledge, are rarely codified and instead are more or less handed down from generation to generation in a kind of municipal oral tradition.
November 9, 2007
Barney R. Putnam Jr. of Columbia wants to find help for a woman at his church who has cancer but no health insurance. Rick Larsen works for a small contractor, and his fiancee, Annette Martinez, is a waitress. Both Elkridge residents are healthy, but they, too, are uninsured. They were among the small group who came to speak to Howard County Executive Ken Ulman and Dr. Peter L. Beilenson, the county health officer, at the first of three public meetings on the Healthy Howard health access plan intended to eventually cover all 20,000 of the county's uninsured residents.
April 13, 2007
Harford County technology company SafeNet Inc. ended its life as a public company yesterday, shielding it from scrutiny of its accounting issues and stock options investigations and eliminating the threat that its shares would be delisted. The company was taken private by California-based private equity firm Vector Capital, which acquired it for about $634 million, or $28.75 per share. Shares halted trading on the Nasdaq about 9 a.m. yesterday, according to Nasdaq. "Vector Capital is a leading technology private equity firm, and we are extremely excited to have the opportunity to work with them," Chris Fedde, SafeNet's president and chief operating officer, said in a statement.
October 3, 2006
OK, so now Barry Bonds has some Hall of Fame company in the hot seat of public scrutiny - or, at least, he should. On Sunday, the Los Angeles Times reported that surefire Hall of Fame pitcher Roger Clemens is among the ex-teammates former major league pitcher Jason Grimsley accused of using performance-enhancing drugs in an affidavit filed with federal agents. Grimsley is the former reliever who has been out of baseball since June, when federal agents raided his home after he admitted using human growth hormone, steroids and amphetamines.
March 12, 2006
As an agency that does the public's business, operates with public funds and reports to a board dominated by mayoral nominees, the Baltimore Development Corp. could have acknowledged its responsibility as a public entity and conducted its business more openly. That would have been the right thing to do. Instead, the city's development arm last week chose to challenge an appeals court ruling that dismissed its claim to privacy because it is a nonprofit organization. Shame, shame. The BDC (represented by the city's top public lawyer and at public expense)
March 6, 2005
WASHINGTON - It doesn't matter much whether you liked the budget that President Bush presented to Congress last month or didn't. The spending plan is going to be changed a lot by Congress, and, in the end, it likely will be hard to tell just what was decided. Members of Congress will push a long list of pet measures this year. But barely any of the significant proposals will pass unless they're consolidated into a few large packages known as omnibus bills. This time-honored - and increasingly used - device means that members often don't have a chance to vote on individual policies that could affect their constituents.