Business news

Free Grunge Textures via Flickr

Maryland’s insurance commissioner has approved premium rates for individual health insurance plans to be sold through the state’s new health benefits exchange under the Affordable Care Act. 

Charlie Stinchcomb via flickr

While the plans for redevelopment in downtown Annapolis are new, the argument over how to proceed dredges up old conflicts. Ellen Moyer, who served as Mayor of Annapolis from 2001 to 2009 and who has lived in Annapolis since the 1950s, says the zoning ordinance and City Dock Master Plan that Mayor Josh Cohen is backing, is reminiscent of debates that go back 40 years.

Elkus Manfredi Architects / courtesy of Beatty Development

Harbor Point is another in a long series of projects in which a private developer seeks subsidies from the city while dangling the carrot of jobs brought to the city.

Joel McCord / WYPR

A year ago, a coalition of crabbers, environmentalists and regulators launched an experiment they hoped would get more accurate, timely and immediately useful harvest data. It’s called digital crab harvest reporting. Watermen use cell phones, iPads and such to file their reports daily, rather than paper, pencil and snail mail to file their reports monthly.

Elkus Manfredi Architects / courtesy of Beatty Development

The developers of the controversial Harbor Point project in southeast Baltimore stand to save a projected $88 million in property taxes over 10 years because they are building in an enterprise zone. City Councilman Carl Stokes wants part of that money to benefit the residents of Perkins Homes, a nearby public housing development.  Stokes is sponsoring a resolution calling for 30 percent—about $26 million--of that figure to go into a fund to pay for after school programs, job training and other programs at the project.

P. Kenneth Burns / WYPR

Time was you couldn’t do much with that old cell phone lying around the house, other than try to sell it online. Now a company called ecoATM offers you an opportunity to trade it in for cash.  The machines have been in the Baltimore market since last August and have caught the attention of Baltimore City Councilman Bill Henry, who introduced a bill to ban them from the city in June.

Hospital Prices, Revealed! (Sort Of)

May 8, 2013

Economists think prices are close to magic — constantly changing signals that help people figure out what to buy and who to buy it from (and what to sell and who to sell it to).

But in health care, it seems like nobody knows the price of anything. This recent study, for example, found most hospitals can't provide an up-front price estimate for a hip replacement.

Baltimore County Government

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz believes that Sparrows Point is a natural fit to attract 10,000 port-related jobs to the Dundalk Peninsula.  “If you think about it, it has deep water access near the Port of Baltimore; it has great access to two class one railroads as well as direct access to Interstate 695.”

Bret Jaspers / WYPR

Baltimore City officials will tell potential contractors Wednesday morning how they want to turn the historic Lexington Market into a “food destination” for the region.  And that’s causing a bit of concern to be mixed in with the usual buzz of activity at the market.

Ignarri Lummis Architects

 As residents in one neighborhood celebrate the coming of a supermarket, Baltimore city officials are continuing their efforts to increase access to healthier food options. Twenty percent of Baltimore City residents live in a food desert. That’s according to Holly Freishtat, the city’s Food Policy Director, who adds that there are two definitions of food deserts; the national definition and the Baltimore definition.