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In the Media: Port Covington Plan Clears First Hurdle; Baltimore City Schools Cuts Staff

Port Covington
Under Armour

A digest of Baltimore news from local sources.

From the Baltimore Sun: Port Covington master plan clears first hurdle

"Sagamore Development Co., the real estate firm privately owned by Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank, on Thursday cleared a first hurdle in its plan to redevelop Port Covington, winning backing from a city design panel for an ambitious master plan that would create a dense mixed-use district on industrial South Baltimore waterfront.

"The Urban Design & Architecture Review Panel approval caps months of public discussions, in which Sagamore has outlined its plans to add a new street grid, about 42 acres of parks, and some 15 million square feet in new construction including a new Under Armour campus to the area, located south of Federal Hill and divided from the rest of the city by Interstate 95.

"The plan now goes to the Planning Commission next month for formal approval.

"Sagamore also is working to secure $1.1 billion in public funding for infrastructure in the area, including approval for $535 million in tax increment financing from the city. That request is pending before the City Council.

"The master plan gives Sagamore flexibility as it begins the project, which it expects to work with Under Armour and others over 25 years to complete. Discussions so far show heights ranging from 40 to more than 300 feet, and building masses that would allow for far greater construction than the firm's financial projections anticipate.

"All told, the firm's master plan as outlined on Thursday would allow for about 13,500 residences; 300 hotel rooms; 17,250 parking spaces and 4.1 million square feet of space for office, retail, manufacturing and and civic uses outside of the Under Armour campus."

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From the Baltimore Sun: Baltimore city schools to cut staff

"The acting CEO of Baltimore city school system alerted employees in a letter Tuesday that layoffs would be coming on May 31.

"Tammy Turner, the acting schools chief, did not say how many employees would be laid off, but she did say in an email sent at 5 p.m. that the reductions would include employees in both the central office and the schools.

"Previously, city school officials had said they expected to cut 54 positions from the central office only.

"The next fiscal year for the school system begins on July 1, and the school board said earlier this month that it had to reduce costs because of an anticipated rise in expenses."

Full Article

From City Paper: Young people traveling across the border alone are making it to Maryland — and fighting to stay

"You couldn't tell just from meeting Ana Herrera—upbeat and nonchalant—that she's experienced more trauma in her 20 years than most Americans experience in a lifetime. Speaking at her aunt's home in Frederick, she moves swiftly into a narrative that she has developed over her year-and-a-half in the U.S.

"'I suffered much before I came to the United States [from El Salvador],' she reads from a speech she wrote that someone helped her translate into English. 'Both of my parents abandoned me when I was four months old. My grandmother took me in, but she didn't have a job and she was not able to give me enough food or other things. We lived in a small house with a lot of other people. I was always hungry because we could only afford one or two meals each day. The neighborhood was very dangerous. One day, I saw my cousin get murdered, and the people who did it knew that I saw it. My life was in danger, so I fled the country a few days later.'

"Her cousin's murder was the catalyst for a treacherous journey. Over the next four weeks, Ana would travel over 2,000 miles by bus and on foot to cross the border in Texas. She was captured by the border patrol shortly after crossing into the country and swept up by the Immigration Service, which sent her to the Coastal Bend Detention Center in Robstown, Texas.

"Ana is hesitant to share details of her trip to the United States. She traveled alone and by bus. She speaks abstractly about feeling cold and hungry and tired and alone. She also thinks about the thousands of other young kids who also made the trip alone.

"Like so many others before her, Ana was detained at the U.S. border near Hidalgo, Texas. She was held there for three weeks—it's meant only as a temporary holding center for immigrants—before she was transferred to another holding center for which she doesn't know the name. She spent another month there where she remembers the constant wails of children echoing off the walls. Exhausted, hungry, and alone, she was terrified. 'I had no one to care for me,' she says, 'no one came to visit me in this prison.' She didn't speak the language or understand the culture; her only family in the U.S. was an aunt 1,700 miles away in Frederick, Maryland."

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