8 Things Baltimoreans Like to Do on the 4th of July

by Stacy Tharp 30. June 2014

Independence Day is a national holiday, and one that celebrates our beautiful nation. But if you live in Baltimore, we celebrate the day a little differently. If you’re new to Baltimore or coming to visit for the holiday and want to fit right in, this list is for you. Here are the top 8 ways Baltimore does the 4th of July.

1) Have a Crab Feast

Have some friends and family over and pick up a bushel of steamed crabs – jumbo of course, after all, this is a celebration! Don’t forget to pick up some crab mallets. True crab-picking pros can crack open a claw with their teeth, but there’s no shame in using a mallet. Dental work is expensive. Rookies will fail to pick up some extra Old Bay®, thinking that since the crabs are already submerged with the stuff, there is plenty to go around. Don’t underestimate just how much Old Bay® us Baltimoreans require! Also, steamed crabs are not an appetizer nor are they a side dish. Get your steamed crabs, grill up some corn on the cob and you’ve got yourself a complete and satisfying Baltimore meal.

2) Drink Your Natty Bohs and Orange Crushes

If you don’t know what either of these refreshing adult beverages are, you’d better learn NOW if you have any chance of fitting in here in Baltimore. Although the beer is no longer brewed here in Baltimore, we still have Mr. Boh watching over our town. And Orange Crushes…just yum. ‘Nuff said.

3) Join in the Local Celebration at the Inner Harbor:

Baltimorean or not, everyone fits in and has a good time at Baltimore’s Ports America Chesapeake Fourth of July Celebration at the Inner Harbor. Bring the whole family and enjoy live music, good food and a fantastic fireworks show.

4) Enjoy the Fireworks from Your Rooftop Deck:

For those locals who want to see the Inner Harbor fireworks but don’t want to deal with the crowds, head over to that friend’s house. You know which friend I’m talking about, the one with the rooftop deck. Don’t know anyone with a rooftop deck? Looks like you only have a few days left to make a new friend!

5) Go Downee Ocean, Hon!

For those new to Baltimore, you might be confused about what I just said there. “Go downee ocean, hon” translates to “Go to Ocean City.” If you’re with a group of adults and don’t mind a crowd, spend the day at Seacrets. Stay the evening for a great view of the fireworks. Or bring the family and head to the boardwalk. Here’s a tip to make sure you fit in: you are at the ocean, not the shore. This isn’t New Jersey (no offense to New Jersey).

6) Go to an O's Game

Although the Orioles will be out of town beating the Red Sox on July 4th, you can start your Independence Day festivities a night early rooting for our O’s at the July 3rd game against the Rangers at Camden Yards. You have to stay ‘til the end to enjoy the fireworks show.

7) Don't Forget the Berger Cookies

What are Berger Cookies? Pure bliss. More specifically, they are shortbread cookies piled and piled and piled some more with chocolate fudge. Wondering how Maryland doesn’t rank higher on the state obesity scale? Me too. These Baltimore cookies may not be the healthiest, but man do they taste amazing. And do you see what I’ve just done for you? Take #1, #2 and #7, put them together and you’ve got yourself a nice well-rounded Baltimore meal.

8) Reveal Your Maryland Flag Pride

Maryland has the coolest state flag in the country (source: all the people that live in Maryland), which is why we aren’t shy about showing it off. While people around the nation generally don their red, white and blue on Independence Day, many Marylanders take this day as an opportunity to show off their state flag pride. You can find the Maryland state flag design on shirts, shorts, sunglasses, towels, belts…I could go on, but I won’t. Bottom line: find a piece of Maryland flag apparel and you’ll fit right in here.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out these related articles:

Top 10 Free Things to Do in Baltimore This Summer

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4th of July Fun Facts and More

Bank Jargon 102

by Spencer Tierney 26. June 2014

Banking Terms

Do financial statements baffle you? Do your eyes glaze over when your banker seems to be speaking another language? Chances are you aren’t up to speed on the latest bank jargon. Once you decode these common bank terms, you’ll be in a better position to manage and grow your assets.

Available Balance

You may have noticed that deposited funds aren’t reflected immediately on an online bank statement or paper receipt. That discrepancy occurs because your available balance refers to the total account balance minus any uncollected funds or restrictions. Checks that still have to be cleared won’t show up. Additionally, if your account has any debits pending or other restrictions, your available balance will be less than the full amount deposited to the account.

Understanding an available balance is vital because it reflects the accurate amount of your usable cash. Always refer to this figure when writing checks or paying bills online to avoid overdrafts or bounced checks.

Credit Card Balance Transfer

A balance transfer allows you to move your outstanding balance from one credit card to another, usually to reduce the interest rate or enjoy a period of no interest at all. The promotional rate only applies for a fixed period and you may have to pay a balance transfer fee.

Balance transfers can help you pay off debt faster and with less expense.

Certified Check

When you make a major purchase, you may be asked to pay by certified check. A certified check is a check drawn from your account that’s guaranteed. Your bank will certify a check on your request, with a bank official’s signature. This signature guarantees that your signature is genuine, that you have sufficient funds in your account and that these funds have been earmarked to pay this check. Most banks charge a fee for a certified check. See the 1st Mariner Bank Schedule of Charges for details.

Understanding certified checks ensures that you’ll be able to make purchases that require them without unnecessary delay or complication.

Co-Signer

When a borrower has insufficient credit, he or she may need a co-signer for credit approval. A co-signer promises to pay a loan or satisfy a financial obligation if the primary account holder defaults. A co-signer’s legal responsibilities may include the full amount of the debt as well as interest, late fees and collection costs.

If you don’t have good credit, finding a co-signer may help you borrow money and establish credit. If on the other hand, someone asks you to co-sign a loan or credit card, a clear understanding of what this obligation entails is essential.

Frozen Account

If your account is frozen, this means you won’t have access to that money until the bank unlocks it. Accounts may be frozen due to liens, court orders, legal processes or dispute over account ownership.

Knowing why accounts are frozen may help you avoid this experience. If your paychecks are directly deposited to an account that gets frozen, you’ll need to stop this direct deposit immediately for continued access to your pay.

Traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA)

Traditional IRAs are retirement savings accounts that are tax-deductible up to certain specified limits. You can’t withdraw these funds without penalty until you reach age 59½. Once you withdraw money from your IRA, it becomes taxable income.

Investing in an IRA may significantly reduce what you owe in income tax today, while helping you save for retirement.

Loan-to-Value Ratio (LTV)

LTV is the ratio of the amount you’re borrowing to the actual value of your purchase. For example, if you need to borrow $450,000 to purchase a $500,000 home, your LTV would be 90%.

The lower your LTV, the more likely you’ll be able to negotiate good interest rates and loan terms.

Payable-on-Death (POD) Account

A POD account allows you to designate a beneficiary who’ll inherit this account after your death. During your lifetime your beneficiary has no access to your account.

Converting your bank accounts to POD status assures that your assets will automatically belong to your loved ones when you pass, with no danger of a probate delay.

Power of Attorney (POA)

A POA is a legal document that authorizes one person to act for another. It may be a general authorization or a specific one defining a time period, act or event.

If a loved one becomes too ill to manage finances, he/she may grant you power of attorney to make important decisions for him/her or make payments from his/her bank accounts. Even a healthy person may use a POA, such as the case when you’d want to grant your accountant power of attorney to obtain certain financial documents on your behalf to resolve a tax dispute.

Spencer Tierney is a staff writer for NerdWallet, where he covers all aspects of personal finance.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

Bank Jargon 101

5 Ways to Reduce Your Credit Card Debt

Debt to Income Ratio: What It is and How It Helps (or Hurts) Your Chances of Getting a Loan

A Message from 1st Mariner Bank's New President & COO

by Robert Kunisch 23. June 2014

I'm happy to report that on Tuesday, June 17th we completed the final step in the recapitalization of 1st Mariner Bank.

It has been a long and arduous process, but Tuesday’s closing allows us to move forward with the revitalization of 1st Mariner Bank. Now, 1st Mariner has $100 million in fresh capital, 16 branches, roughly 430 employees and meets all regulatory tests. In short, we are poised for growth.

I’d like to use this post to introduce myself as the new president and COO of 1st Mariner Bank. I am a Baltimore native and I have almost 30 years of banking experience. Most recently, I was president of Wilmington Trust FSB, Maryland, and spent the majority of my career at Mercantile Bank in Baltimore.

Today, 1st Mariner is stronger than ever and is now positioned to deliver more products and services to meet your needs. We are devoted to investing in resources and technologies to better serve our retail and commercial customers.

Since the beginning, 1st Mariner Bank has been a unique asset to the Baltimore community and continues as the largest independently owned bank in the city.

Baltimore and the surrounding region offer many opportunities for growth and I look forward to building and maintaining a successful hometown bank.

The 1st Mariner team realizes the opportunity we have to help you meet your financial goals. What you should know is that your opinion matters, so if you have questions, concerns or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I also want you to know that I, along with our Chairman and CEO Jack Steil and our new board of directors are committed to 1st Mariner Bank. Without a doubt, we are energized and optimistic about the future of 1st Mariner Bank.

Sincerely,

Robert Kunisch, Jr.

Robert Kunisch, Jr.
President & COO
1st Mariner Bank 



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