Changes coming for BCFD firefighters — the mayor’s budget calls for longer hours, and a loss of 100 to 300 positions due to attrition (depending on which media source you read, the number changes).  This equates to longer hours for what amounts to less pay.  Unfair and unwarranted, how about giving other city employees the same rotten deal, not just the ones who are charged with saving lives?

A sad commentary on public housing in Baltimore.

More suspected arson fires in Detroit, firefighters “pushed to the limits”.

The fight over the city’s new casino project continues.

The Atlantic Cities examines why skyrocketing rents are actually bad for the economy.

A Maryland attorney was indicted on nine counts of wire fraud, stemming from his real estate investment scheme, according to the FBI.

Speaking of fraud, Stewart Sachs, a slumlord we’ve written about several times, has now been charged with money laundering — specifically, a drug dealer’s loan payments.  And they say slumlords don’t commit other crimes…

A bit of drama over at the Annapolis Housing Authority — they’re not sure whether Carl Snowden, a former city alderman, will be allowed to remain chairman of the Housing Authority’s board after he’s released from jail.

The Baltimore Brew asks whether we should house the homeless in the city’s many vacants — what do you think?

While the comments flew after this story in the Brew about liquor stores, Pennsylvania was busy working to end its stranglehold on liquor sales, while in Baltimore…we want the government to have even more control.

Good news-bad news in Cleveland:  The number of vacant homes has increased, despite a decrease in foreclosures.

Milwaukee has decided to use a new strategy to beautify its vacant buildings:  artistic boardups.

Good news for Detroit, too:  Lead poisoning in children has dropped 70 percent, though you have to wonder — have property owners gotten better, or have more people simply left…so there are less children living in lead paint-filled homes?