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Recreation Centers

NEWS
By Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | February 29, 2012
Funding for the Department of Recreation and Parks was a hot issue at City Hall on Wednesday - with the City Council president suggesting that police and other agencies transfer money to youth programs, an activist criticizing a proposal to hire a driver for the department and a councilman re-emphasizing the need for an audit of its books. Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young took the unusual step of suggesting at a public meeting that major city agencies, such as the Police Department, transfer 1 percent of their funds to the struggling department.
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NEWS
January 27, 2012
No matter how many articles are printed about the problems faced by the youth of Baltimore, they always seem to get pushed to the back burner ("Occupy right to question youth jail plan," Jan. 23). Gov.Martin O'Malley's plans to build a juvenile jail need to be pushed out the window. Instead of using millions of dollars to design jails for youth, take a couple hundred thousand and open recreation centers. Why? Because they work! Growing up in West Baltimore, Liberty Recreation on Maine Avenue was a second home to me. I played on basketball teams, played ping pong, shot pool, and did arts and crafts.
NEWS
January 19, 2012
Kudos to City Council President Jack Young for admitting that there are "so many other important programs and services which lack much needed support in the city" than the Baltimore Grand Prix ("Young urges mayor to end Grand Prix," Jan. 12). The city can start with the recreation centers that supply a safe haven for learning and recreational activities for our vulnerable youth. Youngsters need these outlets and exposure to better things than hanging out on the corners. The centers are supported by their communities, their schools, churches and local families.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | December 19, 2011
City officials are preparing to award contracts to three private groups to run recreation centers this week, following a string of delays, and have vowed to keep all of the city's centers open through June. Under a deal before the city Board of Estimates, four centers — Brooklyn O'Malley in South Baltimore, Easterwood and Lillian Jones in West Baltimore, and Collington Square in East Baltimore — would be handed over to private groups. A spokeswoman for the recreation and parks department said Monday that all city rec centers would maintain their current activities through the end of the fiscal year, a reversal of previous statements by city officials.
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.
SPORTS
December 13, 2011
The Sun's editorial last week called the Baltimore Grand Prix's finances "A grand mess" (Dec. 7). It certainly was that, but there is no reason Baltimore Racing Development should be able to leave the city holding the bag for expenses they had not considered or accounted for! The city has its own share of problems. Some of the recreation centers had to close, and there are not enough beds for the homeless. That is where the city money should be spent - not to bail out BRD. Anne Hackney
NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | November 28, 2011
Baltimore officials have missed a self-appointed deadline to issue a new request for groups to take over the city's recreation centers, the latest twist in the city's struggle to hand over the centers to private groups. Recreation and Parks director Gregory Bayor issued an open letter last week, saying that the city would release a second request Monday for proposals to take over the centers. Only seven bidders had responded to a previous request in August, fewer than officials had hoped.
NEWS
By Steve Kilar, The Baltimore Sun | November 3, 2011
A day after a hearing with Recreation and Parks officials, residents and City Council members were questioning the mayor's plans for consolidating and renovating or closing the city's 55 recreation centers. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has said that two dozen centers could be turned over to private operators or closed at the end of December. At the hearing, Bill Tyler, chief of recreation, said his agency's objective was to keep all the centers open with their full hours and staff.
EXPLORE
October 31, 2011
The Roland Park ciclovia on Oct. 23 was well attended on a cool, sunny Sunday. For the first time, I rode a bike on Roland Avenue. This was the first time I had ridden a bike in the ciclovia and the first time I had ridden in the street itself. As a child, everyone rode on sidewalks, and I have not had a bike since. Even without cars whizzing by, and few riders at 9 a.m., I had to be careful when riding in the ciclovia. Roland Avenue is rut city. A small child on a bike fell over near me when her training wheel stuck in one of the long ruts that run up and down what is supposed to be the grand boulevard of the area.
NEWS
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | October 25, 2011
Teenage boys dart around a basketball court at North Baltimore's DeWees Recreation Center, calling to each other in the chilly fall air. Inside, younger kids in mud-stained football jerseys hover around a pool table and play video games. The floors are scuffed and the blinds hang askew, but for Govans residents, the small brick building is the center of community life. That's why neighborhood leaders, with the aid of nearby Loyola University, drafted a plan to run DeWees after the city announced it wanted to hand over two dozen rec centers to third parties.
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