Thu May 29, 2014
Water Line Insurance, Ruppersberger’s Brown Endorsement, & Baltimore County To Pay Police Retirees
Baltimoreans will soon be able to buy insurance for the water and sewer pipes that from the municipal main to their houses. What Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger’s endorsement of Anthony Brown could mean for the governor’s race. Baltimore County officials are expected to pay at least $1.6-million to end a dispute with the police union over health insurance overpayments. Plus: a report card on Harbor health, a sewage spill in Arnold, a Maryland man in space, and more.
Baltimore BOE Approves Water And Sewer Line Insurance: Baltimoreans will soon be able to buy insurance for their water and sewer lines. City homeowners are responsible for the water and sewer pipes that from the municipal main to their houses. When those lines break, repairs can run into the thousands of dollars. And with a massive overhaul of the city’s water meter system on the horizon, homeowners were facing the possibility of paying for damages if pipes break during a contractor’s work. Now, homeowners will be able to buy insurance, from a Connecticut-based company, under a deal approved yesterday by the city’s Board of Estimates – at a cost of around $8.50 a month. Baltimore County residents served by the city’s water system will not be able to get pipe insurance under this deal… but the Baltimore Sun notes that County officials could reach a similar deal that would allow that to happen. The Baltimore Brew has more here.
Baltimore County To Pay $1.6-Million To Retired Police Officers: Baltimore County officials are expected to pay at least $1.6-million to end a dispute with the police union over health insurance overpayments. The Baltimore County Fraternal Order of Police had claimed that the county violated their contract when it shifted more health care costs to officers who retired between 1992 and 2007. And the state’s highest court agreed. But that ruling came in 2012, and the county hadn’t made any payments. Recently, a Baltimore County judge had told county leaders they could face jail time for refusing to pay. The Baltimore Sun reports that the county plans to pay up within the next few days.
Without A Baltimore Candidate, Ruppersberger Endorsement Matters: As the political world turns, Baltimore’s clout in Annapolis continues to fall. So says WYPR Senior News Analyst Fraser Smith. And that’s why, Fraser says, Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger’s endorsement in the governor’s race may matter. Fraser comments in his weekly essay.
“F” Grade For Harbor Health: The organizers of the Healthy Harbor Campaign have issued their annual report card on the health of the harbor and the waterways that feed it. Last year, the harbor got a C minus. This year: an F. The Baltimore Sun notes that the harbor didn’t actually get more polluted this year – the change from a C grade to an F comes because the Healthy Harbor has decided to stop grading on a curve. An un-weighted report card would have given the harbor an F last year, as well. There’s more here from the Baltimore Business Journal.
Sewage Spill In Arnold: The Anne Arundel County Department of Health has ordered an emergency closing. And officials are warning against direct contact for Mill Creek and Dividing Creek in Arnold. All this due to a sewage spill; some 312-thousand gallons of sewage flowed into the creeks on Tuesday evening. Anyone who comes in contact with the water should immediately wash with soap and warm, clean water. The closures will remain in effect until further notice. The Baltimore Sun has more.
Rebuilding After April’s Street Collapse: Baltimore will be spending at least $18-and-a-half-million to repair the collapsed portion of East 26th Street in Charles Village. That’s only a preliminary price tag; the work may ultimately cost more. And exactly how much the city will eventually have to pay is unclear… Baltimore officials are in talks with CSX transportation to see if the price can be divided. The Baltimore Sun notes that, in the past, the City and CSX have split the costs of repairing retaining walls along railroad tracks. The retaining wall along part of East 26th street collapsed amid heavy rains on April 30th, carrying cars and trees onto the CSX train tracks below. Officials say the people displaced from their homes along the collapsed street will likely be able to return to their homes by June 15th.
Maryland Man In Space: Baltimore County native Reid Wiseman is spending his first full day aboard the International Space Station. The American astronaut who grew up in Cockeysville, where his parents still live, blasted off from Kazakhstan yesterday with two other crewmen from Russia and the European Space Agency. The 38-year-old Wiseman will spend the next six months on the ISS conducting experiments. The Baltimore Sun has more.
Cardin Honors Angelou: Maryland's junior US senator says the late Maya Angelou's words will live on. Although he says Angelou will be "profoundly missed," Senator Ben Cardin said the renowned author and poet will influence future generations with her words, hope and "love for all people of this world." Angelou passed away yesterday at her home in Winston-Salem, North Carolina at the age of 86.
Construction On I-95: A new construction project could cause major delays on southbound I-95, starting tomorrow morning. State transportation officials say that they’ll change the traffic pattern between Russell Street and I-395. One lane will get by to the left and two lanes to the right until June 15th, weather permitting. Drivers should allow for extra travel time until folks get used to the change. The Washington Post has more.
Summer Hours At Baltimore’s Citizens' Convenience Centers: Extended summer hours at all three of Baltimore’s Citizens' Convenience Centers are now in effect. Residential waste, bulk trash, recycling and e-cycling can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. every day except Sundays, when the sites are closed. Summer hours at the Western Center on Reedbird, the Eastern Center on Bowleys Lane and the Northwest Center on Sisson Street will be in effect through August 30th.
Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles fell to the Milwaukee Brewers last night; 8 to 3 was the score. The O’s will be in Texas tonight, for a game against the Houston Astros.
Washington Baseball: The Washington Nationals lost yesterday’s game against the Miami Marlins; after 10 innings, the final score was 8 to 5.