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Baltimore County Now

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
Date: Jan 2014

photo of young businesswoman on smartphoneCarla Tucker
Office of Budget & Finance, Purchasing Division
Minority & Small Business Marketing Manager

Do you or someone you know own a minority or women-owned company and seek to do business with the County? If so, let me clear up a common misconception about who can bid on potentially lucrative Baltimore County contracts.

When I talk with people about the County’s Minority/Women’s Business Enterprise certification requirements, people often believe that minority-owned and women-owned businesses must be certified in order to bid in County procurements.  Baltimore County's procurements are open to ALL businesses, including MBE/WBE firms.  Certification is NOT required to bid as prime contractor.   

The County advertises its procurement opportunities online at

·         Purchasing Division:  www.baltimorecountymd.gov/purchasing;

·         Department of Public Works Construction Contracts Administration:  www.baltimorecountymd.gov/go/constructioncontracts;

·         Department of Public Works Professional Services:  www.baltimorecountymd.gov/pssc; and

·         eMaryland Marketplace:  https://emaryland.buyspeed.com/bso/.    photo of hard hat and level

Certification is used in the MBE/WBE subcontracting goal process.  In these cases, only MBE/WBE firms certified by Maryland Department of Transportation Office of Minority Business Enterprise (MDOT) or the City of Baltimore’s Minority and Women’s Business Opportunity Office can be counted towards the participation goal. 

Certified and noncertified minority-owned and women-owned businesses bidding as the prime contractor with the County must also meet the subcontracting goal requirement set in the solicitation.  The MBE/WBE subcontracting participation goal is a contractual obligation of the prime contractor, regardless of the prime’s minority/women’s status.    


poison image icon for COFire Chief John Hohman

In 2005, a 48-year-old man and his two stepdaughters, aged 14 and 15, died in their Essex townhouse after inhaling carbon monoxide.

In 2009, a 44-year-old woman died of carbon monoxide poisoning in her Fullerton apartment. The CO also sickened three others in the home, though they survived.

In 2010, two men, construction workers who boarded with a family in Pikesville, died in a CO incident. The house was a rental property.  

Today, I am proud to say that we have come a long way toward preventing senseless deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning. Since the 2010 fatalities, Baltimore County has reported no carbon monoxide related deaths.

As a Fire Chief with more than 35 years in the fire service, I know this reduction in CO-related tragedies did not happen by accident. We can be grateful to the life-saving carbon monoxide detector – and a piece of County legislation enacted several years ago requiring CO detectors in all rental properties.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas created by the incomplete burning of fuels, such as oil, natural gas, kerosene, coal and wood. Many household appliances use these fuels. If you have a clothes dryer, water heater, an oven or fireplace that uses natural gas, CO buildup can happen. Wood burning fireplaces and stoves, as well as kerosene space heaters, also produce CO.  If not detected, CO buildup from these appliances can seriously injure or even kill you.

The dangers of carbon monoxide escalate during periods of extreme heat and extreme cold. On a freezing cold day – like the record-breaking cold we have felt this month – homes are tightly sealed to keep in the warmth. You may have the heat turned up, the fireplace burning or a space heater running. If CO leaks because one of these devices is malfunctioning, it has no choice but to build up.

Common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea, dizziness, irritability, shortness of breath, weakness and fatigue. One of the most dangerous things about CO poisoning is that none of the early symptoms indicate a life-threatening situation. If undetected, the deadly gas can kill without your even knowing it is there. High levels of CO can kill within hours. Low levels will build up over time and slowly make you sick.  

Since the 2009 legislation, the number of CO calls handled by the fire department has increased. There were 704 CO calls received in 2013 alone. And this is good.

People now call the fire department when their CO alarms sound. This means that they are aware of the leak and are getting assistance before it is too late. The detectors are programmed to go off when levels of CO are very low, before the average adult experiences any symptoms.

Significantly, deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning plummeted after enforcement of Baltimore County’s law requiring CO alarms in rental properties. In addition, a state law passed in 2007 required all new construction to have CO alarms. I have no doubt that these laws are responsible for reducing serious carbon monoxide incidents.

Even with these advances, we need to do more to educate about carbon monoxide. This month, the Baltimore County Fire Department responded to a call in Randallstown. A mother and two sons were transported to the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center, seriously ill from CO poisoning.

They were lucky. The family survived despite very high levels of CO in the house  -- 780 parts per million. This family’s house did not fall under any of the laws requiring CO alarms.

Let this near-tragedy be a reminder of the importance of having a CO alarm in every home.

Carbon monoxide related injuries and deaths are 100 percent preventable. Having a fully-functioning CO detector in your home can save your life.


Take a Leap logoJuliet Morris
Baltimore County Arts & Sciences Commission Intern

The New Year is upon us and with it are New Year’s resolutions. It’s no secret that these promises are not always easy. This year, I propose a resolution that everyone can keep: try something new! The Baltimore County Dance Celebration gives everyone lots of opportunities to take a leap.

The Baltimore County Commission on Arts & Sciences and the Gordon Center for Performing Arts present a month-long dance celebration that kicks off January 26 and runs through March 16. (OK, so it’s more than a month.  There’s just too much to fit into four weeks.)

The celebration is packed with world-class dance performances, film screenings, meet the artist receptions, and classes, with something for families, students, professional dancers, and dance lovers of all ages.  The calendar features ballet, African, contemporary, Irish, global, and swing dance.  

Here are just a few highlights.

Free or almost free

Dance month kicks off on January 26 with AKIMBO Uncoiled, a day of free ragtime workshops, live music and dance lessons at the Jewish Community Center in Owings Mills.  It’s time for the castle walk and the two step!

Enjoy free Dance in Film screenings of Billy Elliot and Mad Hot Ballroom at the Gordon Center.

Meet the Artists:  Niles Martin, former principle of the New York City Ballet, and contemporary dancers from Median Movement come to Goucher College.

Towson Arts Collective presents MOVE! An Art Exhibit Celebrating the Human Figure in Motion. The opening reception February 1 features tango dancing.

A free Family Dance Night Celebrating African American choreographersis fun for the whole family, February 25 at Campfield Early Learning Center.

Drop in on the Friday Night Swing Dance Club. Start the evening with a swing dance lesson that is perfect for beginners and stay for dancing to live music until midnight. An affordable $12 per person at the Towson American Legion Hall.

Visit the Baltimore County Dance Celebration calendar for details of all events.

World Class Performances

Get your tickets now for a special night out

The Baltimore Dance Project performs for an entire weekend at UMBC, bringing innovative contemporary dance to Catonsville February 6-8.

The Baltimore Ballet comes to the Gordon Center stage in Owings Mills on February 15 with “A Gershwin Rhapsody” and “Firebird.” 

Dance Company ECompany E a dynamic contemporary repertory dance company, adds Baltimore County to its roster of performance locales. Recent performances and collaborations have taken place in Kazakhstan, Algeria, Italy and New York. The company brings selections from its NEXT series to the Gordon Center stage. Catch the Saturday, February 22 evening performance of contemporary works and come back for a Sunday “Jungle Book” matinee with Towson University Community Dance that will get the whole family excited about dance.

Discover traditional dances from Africa, Mexico, the Middle East, and fiery flamenco.  Dance Baltimorebrings dancers from Sankofa Dance Theatre, Barakaat Middle Eastern Dance Company, Bailes De Mi Tierra, and Arte Flamenco March 2.

Check out the full calendar for even more events featuring dance improv, Angelina Ballerina, Irish dance, student choreographers, master classes for advanced dancers, and performances by additional Baltimore County dance companies.

With a diverse collection of performances and dance classes for both beginners and professionals, it won’t be hard to find something you have never experienced before.  Take a leap with the Baltimore County Dance Celebration. Visit www.gordoncenter.com/dance for the complete calendar and ticket information.


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