Baltimore County Now
by Rick Cobert, Business Development Representative
Baltimore County Department of Economic Development
The Baltimore County Department of Economic Development launched the first in a series of investment summits with a lively exploration of new projects, upcoming developments, and opportunity sites in the Towson to I-83 business corridor. Partnering with Towson University and the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, about 100 invited investors, commercial real estate professionals, developers and business leaders attended the summit. Here’s some of what they heard:
David Hillman, President and CEO, Southern Management Corporation
“By far Baltimore County is the most business friendly place I’ve experienced. The County has more potential and transportation access than other competitive areas.”
Thomas Baum, President, Bozzuto Homes
“I was impressed with the business-friendly environment. Our urban townhomes at Towson Green are drawing families and empty-nesters from the City.”
Art Adler, Partner at Caves Valley Partners
“When you compare Towson to college towns such as Chapel Hill, North Carolina and Ann Arbor, Michigan, I believe Towson can capture the same vibrancy.”
Tom Murphy, Senior Fellow, Urban Land Institute and former Mayor of Pittsburgh
“In Pittsburgh, we took a vacant Nabisco building, transformed it into offices for Google. Our Principles of Success: Leadership, Strategy, and Design Excellence.”
Baltimore County Economic Development Executive Director Dan Gundersen
“We can move forward with a common vision to show ourselves and our community that there is no end to what we can accomplish together in Baltimore County.”
By Police Chief James Johnson
Ever since two widely publicized gun incidents in our schools – one on August 27 and another on September 11 – I have stressed how critically important it is for gun owners to lock up their weapons.
Both the Perry Hall High and Stemmers Middle incidents occurred because kids were able to obtain a gun. In the Stemmers Run case, the grandfather of the boy who brought the handgun to school was charged for violating Maryland law, which requires that gun owners secure loaded firearms from children 15 and younger. The law did not apply in the Perry Hall shooting, because the suspect’s father’s shotgun was kept unloaded.
Baltimore County Police will continue to hold violators of the “access to minors” law accountable, and we will continue to encourage gun owners to secure unloaded weapons, even though the law doesn’t require it.
In addition, County Executive Kamenetz and I today announced a new gun lock distribution program that, we believe, makes it as easy as possible for gun owners to secure their firearms.
The program is simple: We are making a basic but law enforcement-tested gun lock available – free of charge – at all 10 police precincts and the Public Safety Building in Towson. Gun owners who show proof that they are Baltimore County residents may receive up to three locks.
In a perfect world, all gun owners would store their weapons in a strong, heavy safe. In the real world, that option is neither practical nor affordable for many people.
The cable locks we are providing are both practical and affordable. The Baltimore County Police Foundation – a wonderful non-profit partner dedicated to supporting quality police service – donated $4,700 to help us purchase 2,000 locks.
The locks – available immediately -- are easy to use and compatible with most handguns and long guns. When you visit a precinct or the Public Safety Building to obtain a lock, our officers will demonstrate how to use it and will include instructions with the locking device.
With this new program, there simply is no excuse for leaving firearms unsecured.
Those of us who are legally qualified and choose to own guns have a right to do so. We also have a responsibility to keep these weapons from being misused by children, criminals and others with no business handling guns.
Contributed by Fronda Cohen
Director, Baltimore County Commission on Arts & Sciences
It was about 5:30 in the evening, near the entrance to Meadowood Regional Park at the gateway to Greenspring Valley. The park on Falls Road is especially beautiful this time of day, when the light is low over the trees and you hear the stream that runs into Jones Falls. Students and parents rounded the running track, headed to the parking lot after a game.
And there I was with my little camera. Taking a picture of a picture in a place that looks like the picture. One of the parents stopped and asked why there was a large painting in an ornate gold frame sitting in the middle of the field.
It’s off the wall, I said.
The man took a step or two away from me. OK, but what is it and why is it here?
It’s from the Walters Art Museum. They’ve taken paintings from their collection and made high quality reproductions on waterproof canvas, then placed them in unexpected places around the community. They call it “Off the Wall,” and it’s a way to bring art closer to people and people closer to art. Isn’t it amazing the way the painting looks so much like the park? It makes you stop for a minute and see the park and the art in a whole new way.
You know, you’re right. Pretty cool.
You can view The Catskills by 19th century artist Asher Brown Durand at Meadowood Regional Park. The Terrace at Saint-Germain, Spring by impressionist painter Alfred Sisley is at Robert E. Lee Park. Next spring, the Walters will be bringing more Off the Wall paintings to other Baltimore County locations.