City panel will abolish $300,00 in parking fees
ANNAPOLIS -- An Annapolis panel has agreed to abolish about $300,000 in parking fees owed by developers who are building or expanding properties along the city's West Street.
Two of the developers who owed $266,000 said they were unable to pay the fees because of the recession.
Another $35,000 that has been collected since fees began in 1987 would be returned under the plan, said Alderman Ellen O. Moyer, D-Ward 8. Ms. Moyers chairs the Economic Matters Committee that proposed the plan Thursday.
The City Council must approve the proposal.
The fees were intended to help developers rejuvenate inner West Street, where little parking is available, while contributing to relief of the downtown parking crunch.
But committee members said even if all the money was collected, it would not pay for new facilities.
The unpaid fees made it hard for developers to get loans or sell their buildings.
"What [the fees] did create was empty buildings," Ms. Moyer said.
Systems annalyst guilty, Jurors decide fate today
ANNAPOLIS -- A laid-off systems analyst has been found guilty of trying to murder his wife, but jurors must still decide today if he was criminally responsible for the crime.
Arthur Donald Copeland, 57, was found guilty of attempted first-degree murder, use of a handgun in a crime of violence and battery Friday.
Copeland shot his wife Mary Maxine Copeland twice and chased and pistol-whipped her in the Marley Station Mall parking lot on Jan. 17.
Defense lawyer Timothy Murnane tried to convince jurors Copeland did not know right from wrong or could not control his behavior.
"Treat Arthur Copeland as a sick man," he said. "Find him not criminally responsible and confine him to a state mental hospital."
But Assistant State's Attorney Fred Paone said the Pasadena man planned to murder his wife and make off with the inheritance.
Copeland could be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison on the attempted murder charge.
BG&E; enlists 'troops' to wage a war on trash
GLEN BURNIE -- Baltimore Gas and Electric officials won praise in a ceremony last week for raising a volunteer army to attack environmental hazards along Nabbs, Stony and Cox creeks.
BG&E; helped coordinate and finance a survey of the three Chesapeake Bay tributaries in May that identified sewage leaks, barriers to fish migration, eroded shoreline, illegal trash dumps and other problems, said Jonathan Pearson, a program director with Maryland Save Our Streams, a non-profit group.
Exposed sections of sewer line, sewage overflows and storm water pipes emptying into the creeks were reported to county officials. BG&E; will work with the Tri-Creek Committee and the North County Chamber of Commerce to clean up some of the severely littered sites next month, said Dyan McGrath, government affairs administrator for BG&E.;
Barbara Taylor, executive director of Save Our Streams, and Sam Minnitte, an aide to County Executive Robert R. Neall, thanked Ms. McGrath, Ronald W. Lowman, manager of fossil engineering at BG&E;, Jeff Jefferson, a public affairs representative, and Greg Kappler, an environmental scientist for the company. The ceremony took place on on the deck of Nabb Creek's Maurgale Marina, where last spring's cleanup began.
More than 120 volunteers -- residents from the watershed, BG&E; employees and other activists -- used canoes, row boats and a 30-foot sailboat to survey the shoreline. Others walked the banks, Ms. McGrath said. They discovered abandoned cars, scores of tires and other litter.
BG&E;, which operates the Brandon Shores and Wagners Point power plants near the three creeks, also gave Save Our Streams $3,000 to finance an educational packet on streams that the Glen Burnie-based group is sending out to state elementary and middle schools, said Ms. Taylor, a Baltimore County resident.
Columbus Center hires new president
BALTIMORE -- Former Baltimore magazine editor J. Stanley Heuisler, volunteer chairman of the group planning the $160 million Christopher Columbus Center of Marine Research and Exploration, has been hired to head the organization.
Mr. Heuisler, 50, has been named president and chief executive officer of Christopher Columbus Center Development Inc. (CCCD), the non-profit corporation building the high technology
research center on Inner Harbor Piers 5 and 6.
In his new position, which carries an annual salary of $125,000, Mr. Heuisler will oversee the project's physical development and will be responsible for its day-to-day management once it opens. He has been the volunteer leader of the organization for three years.
Mr. Heuisler was editor and general manager of Baltimore magazine from 1976 to May of this year, when the magazine was acquired by a group headed by Susan Souders-Obrecht. He said he has already resigned as chairman of CCCD, a post he has held since August 1989, and will resign within the next month as director of corporate development for Capital Gazette Communications in Annapolis, the job he took after leaving Baltimore magazine.
A groundbreaking ceremony will be conducted Oct. 12 for the Columbus Center, the largest Inner Harbor development to begin construction this year.
When complete in late 1994, it will include a center for marine biotechnology, a center for marine archaeology, a training and -- development center, and a public exhibition center.
The Columbus Center board filled the position after a nationwide search conducted by the Washington office of Korn/Ferry International. A resident of Roland Park, Mr. Heuisler plans to begin work this week at the center's offices inside the Candler Building on Market Place.
Planners will review county's rural plan
BEL AIR -- To some observers the Harford County Rural Plan has become a political football, and debate on the issue reached the two-minute warning at the final public hearing last week.
The outpouring of opinions has sent county planners back to the drawing board in an effort to come up with a proposal that would satisfy farmers. The County Council must pass the legislation by Oct. 6 or the plan will have to be withdrawn.
Convicted man gets 5 years for sex offenses
ABERDEEN -- A 21-year-old Aberdeen man, convicted of third-degree sexual offenses, will serve five years of supervised probation with certain conditions attached.
Harford Circuit Judge Cypert O. Whitfill imposed sentence on Michael Lee Brinegar, who has been incarcerated for more than a year following his arrest on charges of various sexual actions with a child.
Black students applaud the leadership retreat
CHEVY CHASE -- What was billed as a unity and leadership retreat for 48 black young people from Howard County high schools this weekend in Chevy Chase was in reality a rite of passage. Students returning home from the 42-hour experience say they have been irrevocably changed by it.
"It gave us self-awareness," said Dahya Ramsey, a 17-year-old Wilde Lake High School student. "It gave us a lot of weapons against miseducation from school. It helped us understand what we need to know about ourselves, our history, and our past in order to plan our future better. It was a unifying situation that will help us solve problems in our schools."
The students worked hard -- discussing, debating, sometimes arguing with one another and their seminar leaders. But no one was complaining. After each workshop -- whether an exercise in self-discovery called "I am who I am," or seminars on black history and racism -- the students seemed hungry for more.
Schools are getting teaching help from NSA
FORT MEADE -- Mathematicians and scientists from the National Security Agency have begun teaching regularly in Howard County schools this year under an educational partnership.
Beginning this school year, about 10 mathematicians and scientists from the NSA's Mathematics Education Partnership Program are each working one hour a week with students in math and science.
NSA officials applauded the new partnership.
"The quality of education of the general population is an issue of national security," said NSA math adviser George Alberts.
Last year, NSA mathematicians taught in a handful of Howard County schools, said the assistant to the superintendent, school/business relations, Paula Blake. So far this year, eight schools are participating, she said.
"We would like NSA employees at every school, not only with kids in the gifted and talented program, but with kids who may need a little extra spark," Ms. Blake said.
Ecker hopes governor is listening to him
ELLICOTT CITY -- County Executive Charles I. Ecker hopes Gov. William Donald Schaefer is still listening to him.
"We did not agree to fight the governor," over his proposal to slash $150 million in state aid to counties, Mr. Ecker said. "We agreed to work with the governor in making the budget cuts. Hopefully, we'll be able to meet with him again this week."
Mr. Ecker took issue with a statement by Prince George's County Executive Paris N. Glendening, though he didn't mention him by name.
Regardless of who said what to whom, Mr. Ecker would like to move swiftly to resolve the issue with the governor, because the current fiscal year is already three months old. The later it gets, the less flexibility the county will have cutting its budget, he said.
Based on last year's experience, Howard County's share of the state-wide cuts should amount to about $7 million or $8 million, Mr. Ecker said, adding he's "hopeful that we will be able to avoid furloughs and layoffs."
11 property owners redesign subdivisions
GLENWOOD -- Eleven west county property owners will have to go back to the drawing board and redesign their subdivisions with smaller lots because of the county's new rural conservation zoning.
The owners had to legally record their lots or get out of the planning process Wednesday -- the deadline for grandfathering lots under the old rural zoning category.
Developers of two of the larger proposed subdivisions, the 170-acre McKendree Estates in Glenwood and a 108-acre portion of Warfield's Grant in Daisy, notified county planners that they have opted to build residential developments under new zoning rules approved Sept. 18 by the County Council. Under the new rules, developers will have to cluster houses on smaller lots, leaving large open parcels in rural western Howard.
"We've been patiently awaiting the passage of this law, which at least gives us the parameters of acceptable development," said Dick Pettit, vice president of Gaithersburg-based Pettit & Griffin Inc., developer of McKendree Estates. "We're not at all opposed to cluster development. We think it's very appropriate out in that part of the county."
The new comprehensive rezoning plan eliminated a requirement that all residential developments had minimum three-acre lots, replacing it with rural conservation (RC) and rural residential (RR) zoning classifications designed to preserve farmland and other open space.
Phelps Luck man killed in car wreck
COLUMBIA -- A 26-year-old Phelps Luck man was killed early yesterday morning when his car struck an embankment, overturned and caught fire at Tamar Drive and Snowden River Parkway, county police said.
Police said Jeffrey Robert Jones of the 5500 block of Phelps Luck Drive was driving north on Snowden River Parkway at 2:16 a.m. when he failed to halt at a stop sign. The car continued across the intersection and into the embankment, police said.
Mr. Jones, who was alone in the car, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Potomac man dies in a storm-swept sea
POTOMAC -- A Potomac man drowned when waves whipped by tropical storm Danielle swamped a sailboat off Island Beach State Park, N.J., yesterday.
The body of Stephen Gallin washed ashore before dawn. Two other men, both of Alexandria, Va., managed to swim to shore safely after waves tossed them off the 35-foot sailboat Katsura. Marine police said a fourth member of the party was still missing.
The vessel was en route to Alexandria from Martha's Vineyard, Mass.
Maryland's highways ranked among worst
ANNAPOLIS -- A national study ranks Maryland's highways among the worst in the country and lays much of the blame on departmental waste by high-level bureaucrats.
The report, from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, graded all 50 states on road conditions, traffic congestion and spending from 1984 to 1990. Maryland's highway system finished 48th, ahead of only Rhode Island and Arizona.
The report says Maryland gets less bang for its transportation bucks than most of the rest of the country: Last year, Maryland spent more than $206,000 per mile on state roads. The national average was about $55,000.
"The bottom line is Maryland spends 3 1/2 times the average of the other states, and its system is only in average condition," said David Hartgen, author of the study. The state also has the worst urban interstate congestion problems in the country, he said.
State officials challenged the report, which they said was full of pot holes. "It's a perversion of reality," State Highway Administrator Hal Kassoff said.