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Top 5: ‘This is plan B and C’

Tough decisions are being made in Annapolis about the state budget, and the long-time director of the Walter’s Art Museum announced he would be stepping down. Those stories and more in this week’s business top 5.

1. Analyst: ‘Doomsday Budget’ would cost 500 state jobs – by Alexander Pyles

Hundreds of state jobs would be eliminated and agencies would face across-the-board budget cuts should the Maryland Senate choose to pass a so-called “Doomsday Budget,” according to the state’s director of the Office of Policy Analysis in the Department of Legislative Services.

“I am not going to say the world would come to an end if all of this were to come to pass,” Warren G. Deschenaux told the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee Tuesday. “But it would be a different world.”

2. Beatty sealing Harbor East’s deals – by Melody Simmons

Days before Exelon Corp.’s Feb. 1 announcement that it had chosen to build a $120 million tower at Harbor Point, a frantic, last-ditch effort was underway by some in the local development community to steer the company toward the city’s central business core.

The flurry included a failed attempt by Pikesville developer Stephen Gorn to gain a $41 million payment in lieu of taxes, or PILOT, tax break at the site of the former McCormick & Co. spice plant — a quest that raced through the board of the Baltimore Development Corp. and into the office of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake at lightning speed.

3. Walters’ Vikan to step down as director – by Maria Zilberman

The best thing about the Walters Art Museum, according to Gary Vikan, is a Saturday afternoon.

“You just stand in that lobby and watch parents and children and young couples, African Americans, Hispanics — this is what a museum should be,” said the Mount Vernon museum’s director.

Vikan, 65, has served in his position for 18 years and has been with the museum for 27. He will step down at the end of June 2013, or once a successor is found, the museum announced Wednesday.

4. Editorial: Progress at Harborplace – by Daily Record staff

There are encouraging signs of renewal amid the noise and sawdust at Harborplace, the Baltimore waterfront’s aging, iconic centerpiece that turns 32 years old this summer.

While the extreme makeover is still a work in progress and some current tenants have closed temporarily because of the renovations, Harborplace officials say they are on schedule to unveil a spiffed up and —most important — 95 percent-occupied Light Street Pavilion in time for Memorial Day weekend.

5. Bethesda-based HMSHost will keep its travel plaza protest alive – by Alexander Pyles

Lawyers for the losing bidder on a project to renovate two Interstate 95 travel plazas will try to convince the Board of Public Works on Wednesday that the Maryland Transportation Authority violated procurement law in the bid process.

The board could vote on the contract award during its regular meeting Wednesday morning in Annapolis.