Daily "Recent Prince George's County News" updates were suspended in early March 2016. They were compiled primarily from retweets of news headlines. Those retweets continue, but in unformatted and unarchived form at PG-Politics-Briefs. To follow such headlines on a current basis, follow @pgpolitics on Twitter.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

News Briefs (Wednesday)

(Posted 1 Feb 2006)
Gory Prince George's
  • Suitland Manor National Urban Design Competition.
  • The Prince George's County Redevelopment Authority (RA) is conducting a national urban design competition focusing on Suitland Manor: the largest community rebuilding effort in Prince George's County to date. Suitland is located in Maryland, approximately three miles from Washington, DC. RA is seeking a creative design proposal that could be used as a blueprint for future redevelopment at the Suitland Manor site. Open to all design and development professionals, as well as college students, the goal is to create a design that incorporates a vision for the future of Suitland Manor.

    The 33-acre project area consists of marginal commercial businesses and deteriorating multi-family structures. Existing conditions include 167 four-unit buildings, 19 townhouses, and 12 commercial buildings. New housing and an elementary school have been built adjacent to the site. Located inside the Beltway, the site is in walking distance from a Metro station and several government and cultural institutions. . . .
    • Note: Just across the street from the Suitland Federal Center (Census, etc.), the redevelopment area [map] appears to be the center of the densest concentration of homicides in the county. There were seven murders in the redevopment area in 2005, and about twelve more in 2005 and three in January 2006 in the surrounding mile and a half radius.
  • For Third Time, Johnson Offers A Pick for Planning Board Chief.
    • Post, 1 Feb 2006 (by Ovetta Wiggins, Washington Post Staff Writer).
    Prince George's County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) nominated veteran planner Sam Parker yesterday to lead the powerful board that controls development.

    Johnson had previously offered the Planning Board chairmanship to County Council member David Harrington (D-Cheverly), a political rival, leading to speculation among political observers that Johnson might be trying to dilute the power of a voting bloc that often opposed him. At yesterday's council meeting, Harrington said he informed Johnson on Monday that he would not accept the nomination.
    [More] .
  • Pr. George's planning board nominee named.
  • Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson nominated a county planning employee for chairman of the board that approves county development, bucking current speculation he would nominate County Council Member David Harrington.

    Johnson named Sam Parker, 58, to the powerful board seat. Parker, of Riverdale, has held various planning positions in the county, most recently at the Redevelopment Authority, where he serves as associate director.
  • Council Member David C. Harrington Declines Maryland M-NCCPC Chairmanship Offer
  • House begins debate on marriage amendment.
  • . . . Judiciary Chairman Joseph Vallario, D-Prince George's, last year did not bring similar legislation up for a committee vote that would have allowed the entire House of Delegates to consider it. Vallario said his committee would "probably" vote this year, but warned that a vote would not equal approval. . . .
  • Repeal is sought on gas-cost control.
  • Hoping to reduce prices at the pump, a group of Republican delegates is trying to repeal a state law prohibiting below-cost gasoline sales.

    Proponents of the repeal said in a hearing yesterday that the government shouldn't regulate prices, and that free-market competition will benefit consumers.

    During the spike in gas prices after Hurricane Katrina last fall, Maryland gas prices were among the highest in the nation, according to AAA surveys.
    [. . .]
    "This industry is very convoluted," said Del. Brian R. Moe, an Anne Arundel County Democrat who sits on the committee.

    "To sit and say we should let the market decide, that's nice, but it doesn't reflect the reality of how this works," said Moe, who also represents parts of Prince George's County.
  • PG legislators sponsor bills to close or reduce access to public records; could adversely affect historical research, including Black history.
  • HB 323 - 25 Jan 2006
  • SB 232 - 25 Jan 2006
    • Court Electronic Records - Personal Information - Victims and Witnesses.
    • Delegates Benson, Conroy, Moe, and others.
    • Senator Giannetti and others.
    • Synopsis: Prohibiting a custodian of information from a specified court or unit of government from disclosing through electronic access that part of specified public records containing a victim's or witness's personal information, e-mail address, or place of employment; authorizing the disclosure by court order after a specified hearing; establishing that the Act may not be construed to prohibit the dissemination or aggregation of specified information; etc.
    • [Comment: As drafted, these bills would appear to apply to all court records, not just contemporary ones. One apparent result would be to suppress historical research by prohibiting Internet access to colonial and Civil War records. They could also be construed to prohibit Internet access to court records relating to slaves].
  • SB 162 - 20 Jan 2006
    • Public Records - Victim and Witness Information - Remote Access and Electronic Copying
    • Senators Giannetti, Green, and others
    • Synopsis: Requiring a custodian to prevent, with specified exceptions, remote access to identifying information of a victim or witness in a criminal case; and requiring a custodian to prevent electronic copying of identifying information of a victim or witness in a criminal case that is not available by remote access at public computer terminals.
    • [Comment: Similar in content and intent to HB 323 and SB , this bill has the same defects].

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