In the News
Realtors in Baltimore County Back Social Host Ordinance Expansion
On Tuesday, the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors (GBBR) endorsed Baltimore County Council bill number 2-17, which would expand the existing social host ordinance into several additional Towson neighborhoods following the initial success of the law that aimed to address loud and unruly parties.
The group submitted a letter of support for the bill encouraging its passage, stating “GBBR has always prided itself in advocating on behalf of property owners’ rights. We believe this bill will strengthen Baltimore County and what GBBR strives for. The Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors fully supports the passage of this bill.”
The existing ordinance authorized a pilot program in seven neighborhoods near Towson University and the University of Maryland Baltimore County in January 2016. Reports from the Baltimore County Police Department indicate there have been 19 citations issued since it was enacted.
Since the law took effect, complaints about Towson University student behavior off campus are down from 21 complaints received In August 2015 to three complaints received in August 2016.
As quoted in a recent Baltimore Sun article, Towson University officials are seeing progress with the social host ordinance.
“I do think the social host ordinance has made a difference,” said Jana Varwig, the university’s associate vice president for student development programs and services.
Community leaders also think the law has helped.
David Riley, president of the Knollwood Association in Towson, recalled instances of huge parties with profane language. Since the pilot program went into effect in his neighborhood, however, “nothing like that has ever happened.”
The proposed expansion is co-sponsored by Councilman David Marks, who sponsored the original legislation, along with his colleagues Councilwoman Cathy Bevins and Councilman Wade Kach. The Baltimore County Council will vote on the bill Tuesday.
Read the recent Baltimore Sun editorial regarding the proposed legislation.
Heavy Drinking Changes Adolescents’ Brains
For the first time, researchers have studied long-term heavy alcohol use in adolescence and found it altered certain brain functions.Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland followed 27 adolescents starting at age 13 to 18 years old who were heavy drinkers throughout their teen years and 25 controls who were of the same age, gender and education level who reported little to no alcohol use.They found heavy alcohol use can alter the cortical excitability and functional connectivity in the adolescent brain. The changes in the brain occurred in otherwise healthy adolescents who were heavy alcohol users but did not fit the criteria for a substance abuse disorder. The study was published in Addiction Biology.