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Week in review: 7/29/11

Federal impasse stalls BWI work

A party-line stalemate in Congress over reauthorizing funding of the Federal Aviation Administration has halted $681 million worth of construction projects, including a new radar system for Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Currie awaits ruling

The federal law that bars legislators from exploiting their “official duties” for financial gain is unconstitutionally vague with regard to Maryland’s part-time lawmakers, a lawyer for state Sen. Ulysses S. Currie argued in court Monday in seeking dismissal of all charges against his client.

State audit faults UB

In a report released this week, state auditors criticized the University of Baltimore for lax financial controls and spotty recordkeeping regarding grade changes, unpaid student bills and the potential for mismanagement of large contracts.

Theater avoidance

Thomas Kiefaber, the former owner of the Senator Theatre in Baltimore, has agreed not to go near the historic movie house or the Charles Theater for six months in the wake of an outburst July 14 just before a midnight show at the Senator.

Legislators talk taxes

State senators on the Budget and Taxation Committee reviewed potential expansions of the sales tax Tuesday that could bring to Maryland nearly $1.2 billion more in annual revenue.

Speed camera lawsuit

A non-practicing Gaithersburg lawyer has drawn scorn — and potentially sanctions — from a federal judge who questioned the attorney’s competence in suing the Village of Chevy Chase for more than $1.3 million after being caught by a speed camera and, months later, by a police officer.

$3M rent break opposed

Protesters for workers’ rights advocacy group United Workers picketed outside the Baltimore Development Corp. office Wednesday to oppose a $3 million rent break that real estate developer The Cordish Cos. asked the BDC for in exchange for making improvements to the Power Plant building.

Mystery Raven tickets

Tickets mailed to Baltimore Ravens season ticketholders don’t have the date, time or opponent printed on them this season because of uncertainty created by the player lockout, so team officials say they hope to explain why to fans and suggest how to avoid coming to games with the wrong ones.