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Another 'House of Cards' casting call set for Bel Air on May 18

Anyone from Harford County, or from elsewhere in the region, who might not have landed a part in the first season on the Netflix drama “House of Cards” will have another shot later this month.

Michael Krantz, director of human resources and administration for the town of Bel Air, announced during a town commissioners work session Tuesday a casting call will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 18 at the Bel Air Reckord Armory.

The Baltimore Sun reported principal photography for the second season of the series, which stars Kevin Spacey as a U.S. congressman with his eyes on the White House, began in Maryland Monday.

Production of the first season, much of which took place around Harford County, had an economic impact of $140 million in Maryland and employed more than 2,200 locals, The Sun reported, citing a statement from Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Two casting calls were held in Bel Air last year for the show’s first season, and several scenes were shot in and around Havre de Grace, which was used as Spacey’s character’s fictional South Carolina hometown.

Grafitti enforcement

Bel Air Police's police chief says graffiti painted on the walls of buildings in the downtown area won't be tolerated and police will continue their crackdown on taggers, while urging property owners to remove or paint over graffiti as quickly as possible.

During Tuesday's town commissioners work session, Chief Leo Matrangola briefed other town officials on anti-graffiti efforts and said his officers have had much success in dealing with the problem in recent years.

Matrangola said the spray-painted tags on businesses, public buildings and other structures have declined around town in the past decade as officers take an aggressive stance on investigating and arresting perpetrators.

He stressed the graffiti is not typically gang-related – officers are trained to detect gang graffiti.

"Mostly it's for sport, people trying to get their tags in as many places as possible," Matrangola said.

"They're young adults, not normally juveniles, not normally under the age of 18," he added.

Matrangola said tagging is "described by some people as an addictive kind of thrill, just like shoplifting."

The chief said there were 13 "reported incidents" of graffiti around town between last November and March, and police are looking into three potential suspects.

Graffiti tags have been seen on buildings along Baltimore Pike, the Bel Air Bakery and the StaleFish Board Co., both downtown.

Matrangola said letters are typically sent to property owners who have been tagged, urging them to remove the graffiti immediately.

He said the tag "causes the area to look run down," and the longer it stays up, "the more opportunity it's going to be for somebody else to tag it."

Matrangola showed pictures of graffiti seen around Bel Air, which appeared to police to be the work of people trying to rebel against authority or make an artistic statement, and pictures of gang graffiti in other communities.

"Our gang investigators can look at this and tell us if its a kid trying to copy [a gang]," he said.

The chief said gang-related tags are often clear statements by the gangs as claims to territory.

"They're going to tell you what gang they are," he explained.

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