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NEWS
By Adam Sachs and Adam Sachs,Staff Writer | May 9, 1993
For Columbia residents who assume that they live in a "city" governed by conventional democratic tenets, the controversial Long Reach Village election could burst that notion.The election, which has triggered charges of unethical behavior and corruption in the voting system, manifests Columbia's identity as a huge and diffuse property owners association, divided into 10 entities, with no overriding authority at the helm.Take away two "bloc ballots" totaling 276 votes and a Long Reach challenger for a Columbia Council seat would have handily won the April 24 election.
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NEWS
By JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV and JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV,SUN REPORTER | March 26, 2006
Howard County school officials are trumpeting the health benefits of their new school and nutrition policy, even as they promise to fine-tune that policy as needed over the coming year. The policy - approved on a unanimous vote last week after months of sometimes-rancorous public debate - essentially eliminates the sale of high-fat, high-sugar snacks and sodas during the school day and encourages staff to incorporate physical activity when possible into classroom instruction. But it also comes with a cost: System officials project the loss of $1.8 million in revenue from snack sales.
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NEWS
By Adam Sachs and Adam Sachs,Staff Writer | November 18, 1993
The Columbia Council is sponsoring a meeting tonight with Columbia village associations to explain a recent court decision clarifying the unincorporated city's unusual voting rules and to find out whether residents want to change them.The council wants to know if residents favor including money in the 1993-1994 Columbia Association budget for a Columbia-wide campaign to begin a one-person, one-vote system in village elections. Current voting rules in eight of 10 villages are based on property ownership, with one vote per property or condominium.
NEWS
By GWYNETH K. SHAW and GWYNETH K. SHAW,SUN REPORTER | October 21, 2005
WASHINGTON -- Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele told a House subcommittee yesterday that key provisions of the Voting Rights Act should "absolutely" be extended in order to continue the progress made over the past 40 years in ensuring the right to vote for all citizens. "It's as relevant today as it was in 1965, and, I would say, more so," Steele said, referencing the year in which the landmark law, credited with knocking down many discriminatory barriers to the ballot box, was enacted.
NEWS
By Laura Cadiz and Laura Cadiz,SUN STAFF | April 16, 2002
Columbia Council candidates from Hickory Ridge squared off last night, pitting a contentious challenger who wants to reform the homeowners association against an incumbent whose ideas are more reserved. Incumbent Miles Coffman and challenger Joel Yesley fielded questions in front of an audience of fewer than 20 people at the village's Hawthorn Center. Those attending were interested in the candidates' views on issues ranging from village voting rules to the Columbia Association's management of its facilities.
NEWS
January 26, 1995
Members of the Columbia Council who have raised doubts about the wisdom of allowing residents to bring community issues to referendum are on the money.Referendums surely have a place, particularly in charting a course on broad issues, but they are not an effective way to run government. As long as there are elections to public office, there should be no need for these so-called "non-binding" polls to dictate how those elected officials perform.Michael Rethman, a Columbia Council member from the village of Hickory Ridge, initially supported the idea of allowing referendum, but had a change of heart.
NEWS
By Adam Sachs and Adam Sachs,Staff Writer | June 4, 1993
A Howard Circuit Court judge declined yesterday to intervene in a repeat Columbia Council election set for tomorrow in Long Reach village -- at least for now.Leaving the court the option of having final say, Judge Raymond J. Kane Jr. refused six-year incumbent Dr. Gail Bailey's request for an injunction halting the contest and an immediate ruling on her apparent ballot victory over challenger Roy T. Lyons in a disputed April 24 election.Regardless of who wins at the Long Reach polls tomorrow, attorneys for both candidates say the case, which likely will be heard next month, will hinge on an interpretation of Columbia's voting rules.
NEWS
By Adam Sachs and Adam Sachs,Sun Staff Writer | April 5, 1995
For the second time in the past year, the board of Columbia's Wilde Lake village is embarking on a campaign to give every village resident of voting age the chance to vote in its elections.The effort to change voting rules -- from one vote per property to one vote per person -- is aimed at increasing participation in village affairs and creating a more democratic system for electing representatives to the village board and Columbia Council, said Verna Lawes, chairwoman of the Wilde Lake One Person, One Vote Committee.
NEWS
By Adam Sachs and Adam Sachs,Sun Staff Writer | September 3, 1995
Columbia has no harbor or merchant ships, but that didn't stop residents from simulating the Boston Tea Party yesterday to protest what they view as a yoke placed on the planned community by its founder: a property-based voting system.After parading through Wilde Lake village -- Columbia's oldest village -- residents, community leaders and Howard County politicians dumped tea bags inscribed with "One Person-One Vote" into a receptacle marked "The Harbor" by Wilde Lake's edge to draw attention to a year-long effort to change the voting rules.
NEWS
January 11, 1994
Leaders in Columbia's Wilde Lake are mounting a courageous effort to change voting rules in their village to "one-person, one-vote." Their crusade, to be sure, is a long shot. Reforming the village's election rules require that 90 percent of Wilde Lake homeowners vote in favor of the change. If successful, the ramifications could extend to other villages and might push Columbia toward a more traditional -- and democratic -- form of governance.But the process of getting 90-percent participation is awesome, involving mailings, phone calls and door-to-door visits.
NEWS
By LOUISE ROUG and LOUISE ROUG,LOS ANGELES TIMES | October 6, 2005
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A suicide bomber attacked a Shiite Muslim mosque packed with worshippers marking the first day of Ramadan last night, killing at least 36 people and wounding 95, Iraqi hospital officials said. The Ibu Nama Hilli mosque in Hillah, south of Baghdad, was full of mourners who had gathered to remember a local restaurant owner killed three days ago by insurgents. There were conflicting reports about whether the bomber was in a car or on foot, but several witnesses said a man walked into the mosque carrying explosives around his chest and in a bag. The blood bath came on a day when Iraqi politicians moved to quell sectarian tensions by reversing a controversial decision that would have made it harder for Iraq's draft constitution to be defeated in a national referendum Oct. 15. Outside the Hillah mosque, the explosion sent bodies and limbs flying into the street where flags had been hung to celebrate Ramadan, Islam's holiest month during which observant believers fast from dawn to dusk.
NEWS
By Christian Retzlaff and Christian Retzlaff,LOS ANGELES TIMES | July 2, 2005
BERLIN - Facing high unemployment and an inability to reform the welfare state, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder deliberately lost a confidence vote in Parliament yesterday, opening the way for early elections that are expected to push his liberal coalition from power. Schroeder called for the vote after a series of political defeats and widening divisions within his Social Democratic Party over how to reform one of Europe's most generous welfare states. President Horst Koehler is expected to dissolve Parliament in the coming weeks, and new elections are likely by mid-September, a year before Schroeder's term was to expire.
NEWS
By Jill Zuckman and Jill Zuckman,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | April 28, 2005
WASHINGTON - The House voted overwhelmingly last night to toss out controversial new rules governing its ethics committee as House Speaker Dennis Hastert gave in to public pressure to do so. The change paved the way for the panel to consider possible ethics violations by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. "I'm willing to step back," Hastert told reporters as he left a closed-door meeting of the House Republican conference hours before the full House voted, 406-20, to reinstate rules it used in the last session of Congress.
NEWS
By Richard Simon and Richard Simon,LOS ANGELES TIMES | January 5, 2005
WASHINGTON - The House opened the new congressional session yesterday by voting to make it harder for the Ethics Committee to initiate investigations of members, as Republican leaders salvaged one key element of a discarded plan for easing ethics standards. Under the new rule, a majority of the Ethics Committee's members will have to vote to launch an investigation. Previously, an investigation could proceed even if the committee - with five Republicans and five Democrats - was deadlocked.
NEWS
By Hanah Cho and Hanah Cho,SUN STAFF | November 4, 2004
When Howard County school board chairman Courtney Watson votes later this month on a new high school boundary map, she will do so without qualms about a conflict of interest. After an inquiry from Watson, school board's ethics panel and its attorney found that a board member can participate in votes related to redistricting even though that member has children who may be affected by those decisions. "By voting on redistricting proposals, board members are carrying out their statutory responsibility and in that way are performing a usual and customary service," wrote Judith Bresler, the board's attorney, in her opinion delivered last month.
NEWS
By Andrew A. Green and Andrew A. Green,SUN STAFF | September 21, 2004
Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader will be on the Maryland ballot in November, thanks to a ruling yesterday by the state's highest court. Reversing a decision by an Anne Arundel Circuit Court judge, the Court of Appeals decided that state elections officials must accept 542 signatures that they had previously declared invalid. The ruling gives Nader the more than 10,000 signatures he needed to create the new Progressive Party and put him on the Maryland ballot as its nominee.
NEWS
By Adam Sachs and Adam Sachs,Staff Writer | January 6, 1994
Wilde Lake village leaders have decided to go ahead with an admittedly long-shot bid to change voting rules to allow a "one-person, one-vote" system in the community's elections.The reform effort, which will involve mailings, follow-up phone calls and door-to-door visits, will be difficult because of restrictive covenants requiring the approval of 90 percent of the village's roughly 2,200 homeowners, which includes absentee landlords."But if we don't attempt it, it's a zero shot, and I think our odds are much better than zero," said village board Chairman Howard Feldmesser.
NEWS
By Adam Sachs and Adam Sachs,Staff Writer | May 20, 1993
Roy T. Lyons said yesterday that he will not challenge a Lon Reach village board decision to repeat the village's Columbia Council election."If I pursued an injunction or an action to delay, it would further complicate things," said Mr. Lyons, who filed a protest of the April 24 election. "The opposition could have done likewise and we could have had this thing dangling around forever. I decided to participate."Mr. Lyons had threatened to take legal action in response to the village board's decision on Friday night to schedule a special election June 5 to resolve the controversy that has left the council in limbo.
NEWS
By Christine Spolar and Aamer Madhani and Christine Spolar and Aamer Madhani,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | March 6, 2004
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The planned signing of an interim constitution by the Iraqi Governing Council, heralded by the U.S.-led coalition as a key sign of democratic reform, foundered yesterday amid last-minute political maneuvers. Behind the scenes, an influential Shiite Muslim cleric played a pivotal role in undermining the council's hard-won agreement on the interim law, unsettling U.S. plans for the turnover of sovereignty July 1. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani apparently succeeded in persuading Shiite Muslim members of the council that the constitution gave too much ground to the Kurdish minority.
NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel and Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF | February 18, 2004
The state's highest court said yesterday that the one-person, one-vote rule does not apply to the voting policies that maintain Democrats' control of the Anne Arundel County state legislative delegation until 2006. The Court of Appeals' explanation comes nearly a year after it ruled against Republicans in March, ending a three-month political power struggle within the delegation. In December 2002, just weeks after the general election, the Democrat-controlled delegation changed its voting rules.
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