Thursday, May 29, 2008

Annapolis Market House Appeal Dropped

In December of 2007, Market House Ventures, which leases Annapolis Market House, filed a two million dollar suit against Annapolis city, claiming the lease had been breached by a failure on the city's part to install an adequate HVAC system.

On March 17, the city was ordered to temporarily halt collection of rent by an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge. The city of Annapolis appealed this decision in Maryland Court of Special Appeals.

Recently, on May 20th, the city of Annapolis dropped this appeal, paving the way to a resolution, a sufficient HVAC system, and a more fully subleased Market House.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

National Report Flunks Maryland

A national report gives Maryland a grade of F regarding the release of information of child abuse cases involving death or serious injury.

Two studies released by two national child advocacy groups, First Star and the Children's Advocacy Institute of the University of San Diego School of Law, report that Maryland creates barriers to the release of this information by requiring charges to first be filed in the case and by allowing state officials to repress the information if they deem it to be in the best interest of the child.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Status Quo Set by Use of Fetus Death Law

Last month, David Lee Miller's conviction in Baltimore County Circuit Court of killing his pregnant girlfriend set a status quo for use of a law passed in 2005 protecting the rights of the unborn.

Both pro-choice and pro-life advocates alike supported the bill when it was passed, specifically because it is applicable only to criminal cases (and not those involving abortions). It does not apply to abortion cases because it does not recognize the unborn fetus as a "person"; this was critical to Planned Parenthood of Maryland’s support of the bill three years ago.

Under the statute, a “person who intended to cause the death of a viable fetus" can be prosecuted in a murder case. Maryland joins 34 other states which recognize unborn children as victims in murder cases (according to the National Right to Life Committee).

Source: The Daily Record

Saturday, April 12, 2008

New Speed Camera Bill likely to Pass in MD; Details emerge on ticket revenue flows

Just as a new speed camera bill is expected to pass the Maryland House (after passing the Senate), details emerge that Texas-based Affiliated Computer System, Inc., is receiving almost 40% of every citation issued by their speed cameras, or $16.25 of every $40 ticket.

A press release of ACS relates that "Under the contract [with Montgomery County], ACS processes violations; generates and mails notices; schedules adjudication and appeals appointments; provides document imaging and correspondence management; provides walk-in customer service; maintains camera equipment; and provides pay-by-web, pay-by-phone, and integrated voice response systems".

Though these services are extensive, such high fees, almost half of which are flowing out of the State of Maryland, raises questions about the usefulness of this method of enforcement. 

Source: The Sentinel

O'Malley signs more than 100 bills into Law

Among the bills that Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed into law in early April are those that relate to energy efficiency. These bills prod Maryland energy companies to sell more alternate energy sources, and Maryland as a state to reduce power use by fifteen percent in the next seven years. One bill that was not passed involved a movement to cut carbon dioxide emission 90 percent by 2050.

Additional measures included a mortgage lending reform measure, a repeal of computer service tax, and permission for banks to wave closing costs on mortgages paid before due.

Source: MD Daily Record

Perdue asks Tyson to Stop Misleading Claims

Tyson claims its chickens do not contain antibiotics that may contribute to drug resistance in humans. The curiosity is that no poultry producer is known to have such products. Perdue, which is based in Salisbury, MD, has asked a federal judge to stop making such claims regarding antibiotics used in its chickens.

Perdue claims it has lost around $10M in the last year due to the claim's by Arkansas based Tyson. 

Source: The Capital