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Top 5: ‘There is a lack of trust in this room’

The biggest news on The Daily Record website this week was actually about its competitor, The Baltimore Sun, and the announcement of possible buyouts at the newspaper. That story and more in this week’s business top 5.

1. Baltimore Sun looking to buy out up to 25 employees – by Rachel Bernstein

Management at The Baltimore Sun gave a buyout proposal to the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild Wednesday, looking to cut from 20 to 25 positions.

“The company has initiated bargaining today with the guild over the terms of a voluntary buyout offer,” Renee Mutchnik, director of marketing for The Baltimore Sun, said in a statement.

Mutchnik wrote in an emailed response to questions that this is the first voluntary buyout offer since 2008.

2. Carnival signs 5-year extension with Port of Baltimore – by Rachel Bernstein

Carnival Cruise Lines has agreed to a five-year extension with the Port of Baltimore to run cruises from the port year round. The agreement announced Monday is effective Aug. 31, after the present two-year contract expires.

The first two years of the agreement are guaranteed, and there are three one-year options. Carnival’s weekly cruise lasts for seven days, sailing to the Bahamas and Caribbean.

3. Port moves up to 11th in U.S. in value of goods shipped – by Nicholas Sohr

The Port of Baltimore ranked 11th nationally in terms of the value of cargo shipped through its public and private terminals in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The $41.5 billion in cargo last year was a 39 percent jump over the year before and enough to nudge Maryland’s port up from the 12th spot among the 360 nationwide.

4. Community challenges new EBDI plan – by Melody Simmons

During a second contentious meeting in two weeks, a group of Middle East residents Thursday night challenged a new plan for the massive redevelopment of their community by East Baltimore Development Inc.

For more than an hour, about 50 angry residents of the area questioned the motives and intent of EBDI and Forest City-New East Baltimore Partnership in redesigning their community, part of which has been razed to make room for the redevelopment.

5. City approves $700K loan for Senator Theatre – by Rachel Bernstein

A $700,000 loan to restore and add to the historic Senator Theatre was approved Wednesday by Baltimore’s Board of Estimates.

The new operators of the theater, Kathleen Cusack and James “Buzz” Cusack, have been going through the process of being approved to renovate the historic property. They have also been looking to gain finances through state and city loans and federal and state historic tax credits.