Politics

  • September 19 // Larry Hogan has commanding 22-point lead over Ben Jealous in new poll

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan holds a commanding 22-point lead over Democratic challenger Ben Jealous in a new poll that suggests the Republican is consolidating substantial support from groups that traditionally back Democrats in the deep-blue state. The Goucher Poll, released early Wednesday morning, found likely voters favor Hogan over Jealous by a margin of 54 percent to 32 percent. Undecided voters have dwindled to just 9 percent of the electorate, the poll found, meaning Jealous must win the lion’s share of persuadable voters and bank on dramatically heightened Democratic turnout to have a shot on Election Day. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Judge denies candidate's petition to challenge Cardin again after primary loss

    A federal judge has likely put an end to a Maryland man’s plan to run against U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin as a candidate with a new state socialist political party. Jerome Segal’s request for a preliminary injunction in his case against the State Board of Elections was denied Tuesday. Segal, who lost the Democratic primary in June, had asked the court to compel the board to reconsider his petition for candidacy representing the newly founded Bread and Roses Party. With less than two months until the general election, the decision probably marked the end of his bid to appear on the 2018 ballot, Segal said. (News-Post) Read Full Article

  • Jealous campaign rescinds veto of Herald-Mail Media reporter from debate

    The campaign of Maryland Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous on Tuesday night reversed course, rescinding a veto that prevented a Herald-Mail Media reporter from participating in Monday's debate between Jealous and Gov. Larry Hogan. The statement came a day after Jealous' campaign excluded State House reporter Tamela Baker from being part of a panel of news organizations that will ask questions in the debate. The campaign blamed "the entire debate panel selection process" for the temporary ban and said Baker was welcome to participate. The campaign of Hogan, a Republican, responded with a statement accusing the Jealous campaign of trying to "dodge accountability." (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

  • Montgomery resident alleges Floreen violated campaign finance law

    A Gaithersburg resident has filed a complaint with the state elections board, alleging a candidate for Montgomery County executive violated campaign finance laws when her campaign committee accepted multiple corporate donations from entities sharing the same addresses. In the complaint, Kenneth Myers alleged Nancy Floreen, who is making an independent bid for the county’s top office, “has accepted multiple contributions from entities that are likely affiliated as a matter of law, greatly exceeding the permissible contribution limits.” The complaint was filed with Jared DeMarinis, the state board’s director of candidacy and campaign finance. DeMarinis confirmed receiving the complaint and said his agency will review it. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Eric Gilbert: Redeveloping America’s Brownfields, A Modern Industrial Revival

    Everyone who has ever worked in, lived in, or even traveled to a major U.S. city has seen them – forlorn, abandoned plots of land sporting an unsightly mix of rotting industrial equipment and crumbling buildings – fenced off and clearly too contaminated for occupancy or use of any kind. Read Full Article

  • Chris West: Single-Payer Healthcare – Another View

    On August 6, my good friend, State Delegate Kirill Reznik, posted a blog on Center Maryland (“Single Payer Healthcare”) in which he took aim at a Baltimore Sun analysis of Ben Jealous’s proposed single-payer healthcare plan. Delegate Reznik criticized the Baltimore Sun and launched a pretty bitter partisan attack on Governor Hogan and all Maryland Republicans because they are not swooning at the prospect of socialized medicine in Maryland. Read Full Article

  • Kirill Reznik: Single Payer Healthcare

    There’s a lot of controversy over a Baltimore Sun article that says single-payer healthcare costs $24 billion, and Larry Hogan is having a field day with that misinformation.  This is what happens when you Govern by polls and slogans.  But the truth is not scary, and in fact, quite commonplace. Read Full Article

  • Aaron Tomarchio: How Kevin Kamenetz Steered Sparrows Point Toward The Future

    In 2010, during his first campaign for Baltimore County Executive, Kevin Kamenetz said something about Sparrows Point that seemed politically risky at the time: Maybe it’s time to think about a future beyond steel production. His words seemed prescient two years later when, after cycling through five owners in a decade, the steel mill closed, putting 2,200 men and women out of work.Read Full Article

Business

  • September 19 // Greater Baltimore GDP grows slower than U.S. average for metro areas in 2017

    Greater Baltimore's gross domestic product rose slower than the average for U.S. metropolitan areas in 2017, hampered by a decline in the transportation and construction sectors. The area's GDP increased 1 percent last year, compared with a 2.1 percent average across the country's 383 metros, according to data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Tuesday. By comparison, the Baltimore-area GDP increased 2.6 percent in 2016. (Balt. Bus. Journal)Read Full Article

  • Locust Point neighbors try to draw line at next 'looming' building, but project moves forward

    There was Tide Point and Silo Point. Then McHenry Row and Anthem House. And Anthem House 2 and others. The neighbors who live in traditional rowhouses in Locust Point, a tight-knit neighborhood in South Baltimore, say they’ve seen a lot of development in the last 15 years or so and welcomed much of it despite more traffic and other inconveniences. But the proposed nine-story building with retail, offices and apartments on Key Highway between Woodall and Stevenson streets would be about four times the height of the homes surrounding it. It was just too much, prompting a not-in-my-backyard push by residents who said this is the first full-scale revolt against a developer that anyone could remember. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Md. firms struggle to find workers, but remain optimistic in Q2 business climate survey

    Baltimore-area firms are increasingly optimistic about Maryland's business climate, even as executives at those companies note a skilled worker shortage, a quarterly sales dip and negative impacts from state taxes. The results come from the recently-revived Maryland Business Climate Survey, which looked at responses from senior executives at 250 Maryland businesses during the second quarter of 2018. (Balt. Bus. Journal)Read Full Article

  • China tariffs could hurt Under Armour short term, analyst says

    Under Armour could be hurt short-term by the Trump administration’s latest round of tariffs on Chinese goods, one analyst said Tuesday. But the 10 percent duties on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports likely won’t have a long-term effect, said Camilla Yanushevsky, an equity analyst with CFRA Research in Rockville. About 20 percent of items singled out by the tariffs announced Monday fall in the textiles, apparel and luxury goods industry, according to a CFRA analysis. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Education

  • September 19 // Former Md. gubernatorial hopeful hired to school post after backing county leader

    Onetime Maryland gubernatorial candidate Valerie Ervin was hired into a six-figure job with the Prince George’s County school system less than three months after she dropped out of the governor’s race and threw her support behind the county’s top leader. In the final stretch of the campaign, Ervin regularly stumped for Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III, who was in a heated battle for the Democratic nomination. Baker hinted publicly that if he were elected, Ervin would join his administration. But Baker lost the June 26 primary. In August, Ervin was hired to a $133,200-a-year position as a special assistant in the school system’s Office of Employee and Labor Relations. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • U-Md. used a private company for a tornado warning. That can be problematic.

    The University of Maryland’s decision to issue a tornado warning based on a private weather company’s guidance is sparking questions and scrutiny about the accuracy of forecasts and the firm’s role in public institutions. The tornado warning was issued Monday evening, an alert that triggered howling storm sirens on campus. The tornado warning for U-Md.' s campus in College Park was generated by AccuWeather, a private company that sells weather services, including tornado warnings. The National Weather Service had issued no such warning for College Park. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Changes to bus routes, pick-up times become focus for Anne Arundel County school board candidates

    Anne Arundel County school board candidates are responding to parent complaints about late pick-ups, skipped stops and half-empty school buses since this school year started. Since the county public schools announced 20 bus stop changes, introduced new arrival and departure times and rolled out mapping software designed to streamline bus services, school transportation has become a hot-button election issue. The school district in fiscal year 2016 put aside $800,000 to purchase transportation routing software to identify inefficiencies and make the county's network of buses more reliable, economical and safe. The software was implemented this fall. (Capital) Read Full Article

  • How USM Chancellor Caret wants his leaders to handle campus crises

    With two investigations into the athletic department underway at the University of Maryland, College Park and a lawsuit alleging the University of Maryland, Baltimore County has mishandled sexual assault investigations, University System of Maryland Chancellor Robert Caret has an important request of his presidents. “I don’t ever want to read about anything in the paper I don’t know about,” he said in an interview with The Daily Record. “Anything you think comes to the level of a legal issue, a PR issue, an audit issue or a political issue, make sure I know about it. Because I can jump in and help or I can warn people so that the board is aware.” (Daily Record) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • September 19 // Officials break ground on $2.5 million stable for Baltimore Police mounted unit

    Baltimore and B&O Railroad Museum officials held a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday for a $2.5 million stable for the country’s oldest continuously operating mounted police unit — and the museum’s board of directors announced plans to donate money to acquire two new horses. The Baltimore Police Department mounted unit, in its 130th year, is made up of six horses — Big D, Pax, Porter, Slurpee, Blair and Hercules — which were deployed for crowd control at 175 community events last year. Hercules is retiring, but a roughly $10,000-to-$13,000 donation from the museum will add two new horses. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Former Baltimore councilman honored

    Ken Harris grew up in Park Heights. He often credited a recreation center for helping him grow into the man who would go on to work for Baltimore as a city councilman, which he did. But his life was cut short when he was gunned down 10 years ago. Tuesday, his legacy was solidified in the community. The Kenneth  N. Harris Senior Community Center will be a place where young people can learn, play and achieve. Tuesday afternoon, everyone from Mayor Catherine Pugh and current city council members to his family took pride in dedicating the facility to him. (WMAR) Read Full Article

  • Residents back flood-control plan to tear down Ellicott City buildings

    Sixty-six people testified during a marathon Howard County Council legislative hearing Monday night on plans to mitigate flooding in historic Ellicott City. The council is considering three bills needed for a five-year flood control plan that would raze 19 buildings to expand a channel for the Tiber River and replace them with open space. The $50 million plan to demolish the structures requires approval from the county’s Historic Preservation Commission, a majority vote by the council and approval from the county executive. (Ho. Co. Times) Read Full Article

  • Orioles make history with Braille jerseys

    Although the Orioles are having a losing season, they are taking the lead as the first team in American professional sports history to incorporate Braille lettering into game day jerseys.  "For us to be the first is really cool to bring awareness to the cause," Orioles pitcher Mike Wright said. The jerseys celebrate the 40th anniversary of the National Federation of the Blind moving its headquarters to Baltimore.  The team, the federation and fans are excited about the statement. The first 15,000 people to the game got free Braille alphabet cards handed out by members from the federation. (WMAR) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • September 19 // Marylanders like Larry Hogan — and a $15 minimum wage

    Among the many fascinating contradictions about Maryland’s electorate revealed by the latest Goucher Poll is that the only thing voters like more than our pro-business Republican Gov. Larry Hogan (67 percent approval rating) is one of the core goals of the progressive left — a $15 an hour minimum wage (69 percent support). That’s perhaps not quite as weird as the greater opposition among Maryland Republicans to the Affordable Care Act (80 percent unfavorable impression, 14 percent favorable) than straight-up, single-payer health care (72 percent unfavorable, 20 percent favorable). But it’s close. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Lower speed limit not a panacea for traffic deaths

    The number of pedestrians killed in traffic has been on the rise in recent years even as traffic fatalities generally have not. There are any number of reasons for this trend, which only developed in the last decade. More people are driving (and walking) distracted. There’s more evidence of drugged driving. Bigger, heavier vehicles including SUVs — which have a corresponding larger impact in a crash — have become more commonplace. At least those are the leading theories. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Anne Arundel ethics reform a good start but needs a significant fix

    Proposed changes to the Anne Arundel County ethics law are a good start. Updating the current code of conduct for lobbyists, county officials, employees and appointees should be a regular task of every administration in pursuit of good government. One glaring omission from the proposal introduced this week, however, must be addressed before the legislation is passed. There simply has to be a ban preventing anyone accepting a county-funded paycheck from acting as a lobbyist before county or state government agencies or legislative bodies. The only exception should be when the employee is working on behalf of his or her agency. (Capital)Read Full Article

  • Nicholas Tampio: Curbing PARCC test won't improve Md. education

    People in Maryland should celebrate that the state is going to abandon the PARCC standardized test. The lengthy exam is aligned to the Common Core academic standards and administered to students in English language arts and mathematics at the end of grades 3-8 and twice in high school. According to Gov. Larry Hogan, “nearly everyone in Maryland — parents, teachers, students and the governor want these tests to end.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article