Politics

  • Maryland Gov. Hogan is set to be sworn in today at noon

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will be sworn in for a second term Wednesday, having easily survived a down-ballot Democratic wave to become the first Republican governor reelected in the state since 1958. Hogan, his family and invited guests will start the day with prayers at St. Mary’s, a small Catholic church just blocks from the Maryland State House where the governor regularly attends Mass and where he eulogized his father, Lawrence Hogan Sr., in 2017. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Maryland Gov. Hogan to propose $5M for security grants for houses of worship and schools

    Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday that he plans to propose $5 million in spending in his next budget for security grants for houses of worship, schools and day care centers. The governor’s budget is due Friday to the General Assembly. Hogan’s office said the budget will include a $3 million grant program for churches, synagogues, temples and other houses of worship that are at risk for hate crimes. The competitive grants will be overseen by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore Mayor Pugh names new Department of Planning director

    Chris Ryer will become the next director of the Baltimore Department of Planning, Mayor Catherine Pugh’s office announced Tuesday. Ryer has become well known in planning circles in the last three decades, having served several stints in government. That includes 10 years in the city planning department as a community planner and four years as deputy director from 2002 to 2006. He also served in the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development's neighborhood revitalization division. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland’s Economy: Very Good (For Now), But Extended Shutdown Could Be Devastating

    Maryland lawmakers will craft a budget this legislative session in about as favorable an environment as they could hope for, an economist said Tuesday. Well, federal government shutdown aside, of course. Dan White, director of government consulting and public finance research at Moody’s Analytics, said unemployment is very low, wages are increasing, and the country is at the top of an extended economic expansion. But celebration should be short-lived as lawmakers look ahead to the next possible economic downturn, he said. (Md. Matters) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Dave Anderson: How to break the government shutdown impasse

    The impasse in the dispute over the government shutdown and the border wall is an immensely complicated policy and political problem that pits two sides against each other who have diametrically opposed perspectives about the best path forward for the country.Read Full Article

  • Peter Auchincloss: The Wizard and The Werewolf - A Reminiscence From Damian O’Doherty

    Peter Auchincloss rolled into my office 20 minutes early for a meeting, carrying several giant, black 3-ring binders. “Peter, the infrastructure team can’t handle another set of binders,” I said sardonically. “You are the only guy that reads, ranks, and prioritizes anymore. The rest of us just Facebook.”Read Full Article

  • Don Mohler reflects on Kevin Kamenetz, Gone Too Soon

    There were two months to go until the election. On May 8, 2018, Kevin Kamenetz had just finished filming 14 hours of television commercials that we were all sure would propel him to the Democratic gubernatorial nomination on June 26. And then two days later on May 10, the phone rang shortly after 2 a.m.  When the phone rings at that hour, it is never good news.Read Full Article

  • 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

Business

  • Protenus to expand, move HQ to Brown's Wharf in Fells Point

    Tech data startup Protenus is expanding and moving its headquarters to the Fells Point waterfront. The health data security company just signed a deal to move into 12,000 square feet of office space at Brown's Wharf at 1615 Thames St. and will occupy an entire floor in the former industrial building. It will move in early March. The company has 65 employees and is expecting to hire 25 more workers this year, said Kira Caban, a spokeswoman on Tuesday. (Balt. Bus. Journal)  Read Full Article

  • Maryland firms topped $1B raised last year for first time since 2001

    Venture-backed firms in Maryland raised more than $1.12 billion last year, the state’s best year since 2001, when venture-backed firms raised $1.27 billion, according the quarterly PwC/CB Insights MoneyTree report. The fourth quarter was the year’s weakest for Maryland firms, with just 11 deals raising nearly $219 million, but it was enough to push Maryland over the billion-dollar mark and cap a strong year for the state’s startup economy. “It was strong for Maryland,” said Brad Phillips, director of emerging company services at PwC. “We could actually say that Maryland had an exceptional year.” (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Developers break ground on warehouse in Hanover to meet e-commerce needs

    Ridgeline Property Group has broken ground on a 101,000-square-foot warehouse in the Baltimore-Washington corridor, an in-demand location for businesses looking to meet e-commerce demands. The building is far smaller than the largest industrial buildings going up in the region, but the infill property is near the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and has modern features that will appeal to users, according to Ridgeline, an Atlanta-based commercial real estate development and investment company. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore metro industrial leasing tops 5M SF in 2018

    More than 5 million square feet of industrial property was leased in the Baltimore metro last year, according to Lee & Associates | Maryland. Baltimore County led all jurisdictions with 60 percent of the region’s industrial leasing activity, the commercial real estate service firm’s research found. The end-of-year market report, released Tuesday, included data from Baltimore and Baltimore, Carroll, Cecil, Harford and Howard counties. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

Education

  • UMBC, other defendants seek dismissal of lawsuit over sexual assault investigations

    The University of Maryland, Baltimore County called a lawsuit alleging the school, police and prosecutors improperly handle sexual assault investigations “long on outrage and short on concrete facts” in a motion to dismiss filed Monday. The lawsuit, filed in September, contends that UMBC and law enforcement have a pattern of failing to properly investigate and prosecute sexual assault allegations. After it was initially filed, three more women joined the potential class-action suit. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Anne Arundel schools to host community conversation in Pasadena about racist incidents

    Anne Arundel County school officials seek the community’s help get to the bottom of a string of racist and anti-Semitic incidents in the Chesapeake High School cluster. The school district on Thursday will host a community meeting designed to “work toward creating climates free of hate and bigotry,” according to a statement. The meeting will be held at Jacobsville Elementary School in Pasadena. “All Means All: Communities Cultivating Acceptance and Inclusion” will invite students, parents and school staff to talk about hate in the Pasadena community, including incidents at Chesapeake Bay Middle and Chesapeake High schools. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Furloughed feds flock to job fair at Montgomery Co. schools

    They came professionally dressed, some with bulging portfolios, others with the simple color-coded folders provided by Montgomery County schools. And they were all looking for one thing: a job to fill as they wait for the partial government shutdown to end. Furloughed workers from the National Archives, the Justice Department and other federal employers sat Tuesday in a packed Montgomery County Public Schools office in Rockville, waiting for their names to be called for such opportunities as substitute classroom teacher, paraeducator and building maintenance staffer. (WTOP)Read Full Article

  • New Program Links Love Of Orioles Baseball With STEM Education

    The Baltimore Orioles are focusing on STEM education in Baltimore County. They launched a nationwide partnership to give students from K to 12 access to hands-on science lessons. The goal of this program is to use baseball-themed content to engage students in STEM education. Students at Deer Creek Middle School are getting a hands-on science lesson using Camden Yards soil and turf. “My job is to make sure this sand has all the nutrients it needs to survive,” said Nicole Sherry, Baltimore Orioles’ heads groundskeeper. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Freedom Readiness Center project underway; next step water mains

    The Maryland Department of General Services, Department of Maryland Military and National Guard broke ground on the Freedom Readiness Center last fall and are about to move into the next steps of the project. “The clearing of the site is mostly compete at this point, and they are working on water main connections soon,” said DGS Assistant Secretary Lauren Buckler Tuesday. “That's the next big project activity.” (Carroll County Times) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore church leaders handing over files amid abuse probe

    The Catholic archdiocese in Baltimore has delivered over 50,000 internal files to Maryland’s top law enforcement official amid an investigation into child sex abuse and are in the process of handing over more, church leaders announced Tuesday. Archbishop William Lori described the clergy sex abuse scourge that’s been rocking the church as a “genuine crisis” and said Baltimore’s archdiocese is “working very hard to cooperate” with Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh’s investigation. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Washington County Economic Development Coalition still working on transition

    Washington County Economic Development Coalition Chairman Michael Reyka said Tuesday that volunteers are still working on the transition from the former economic development commission to the coalition. The group hopes to formalize the structure, elect officers and identify funding streams by March, Reyka said. Reyka said in an interview that the group is looking into grants, state funding opportunities and other options. The Hagerstown-Washington County Industrial Foundation, known as CHIEF, would help apply for grants. (Herald Mail) Read Full Article

  • Harford County Retains Triple-A Bond Ratings; Highest Possible Ratings Reduce County Borrowing Costs

    Harford County has retained its Triple-A bond rating from all three of the nation’s major independent bond-rating agencies. Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, and Fitch have each reaffirmed their highest possible rating for Harford County, citing the county administration’s “very strong” management and healthy local economy. Triple-A bond ratings reduce the cost of borrowing to fund capital projects such as school buildings, road improvements and stormwater management projects. Harford County is among an estimated 2% of counties nationwide to earn the top rating from all three major rating agencies. (Dagger Press) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Can Hogan lead the GOP sanity caucus in his second term?

    Gov. Larry Hogan spent much of his re-election bid fending off complaints from Democrats that he wasn’t opposing President Donald Trump forcefully enough. Hardly a day went by when one candidate or another wasn’t after him to denounce his fellow Republican about something — his treatment of immigrants, climate change, health care, tax policy, race relations, you name it. Mr. Hogan sometimes did rebuke the president — usually calmly — but just as often, he would shrug off the complaints and say he was focused on Maryland, not what’s going on in Washington. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Jeb Bush inauguration invitation a 'blunder' by Larry Hogan

    Gov. Larry Hogan made an inauguration blunder by inviting the divisive former Florida governor Jeb Bush to deliver a speech in front of many Marylanders who will likely detest Mr. Bush’s politics. While Mr. Bush was governor — from Jan. 5, 1999 to Jan. 2007 — he pushed priorities that aligned with the more conservative wing of the Catholic Church and used scorched-earth tactics to achieve them. He was able to escape political punishment for his controversial decisions because Republicans controlled the Florida legislature and many of its members shared Mr. Bush’s views. Luckily, Maryland’s politics prevent Mr. Hogan from being Mr. Bush. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Transit-oriented development coming to Baltimore too

    Sun reporter Meredith Cohn presents a well-written review of transit oriented development in Owings Mills, but what about Baltimore City, where the planning department has carefully researched and the City Council has enacted extensive zoning legislation for such development (“Transit-oriented developments could reshape Baltimore's commuting landscape, but hurdles remain,” Jan. 14)? The most logical and exciting locale — Station North Arts District — has been designated with the city’s most intensive zoning. It’s an area where Amtrak meets bike lanes, where buses to New York converge with municipal transit and light rail. It’s a place where artists, students, business folks, residents and the vast traveling public cross paths every day. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Gregory Tucker: How to ensure the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra stays a ‘major-league team’

    A generation or two still cringe at the memory of the famed Baltimore Colts sneaking-off in the dark of night more than 30 years ago, like a suddenly disinterested lover -- leaving behind feelings of rejection, resentment and regret -- and all for a new suitor in Indianapolis, of all places. Well, it’s about to happen again, but this time in the bright light of day. What has long been hailed as Baltimore’s “other major league team” is about to risk losing its major-league status. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Board of Directors, of which I was a member until this past June, has decided that Baltimore and Maryland can no longer afford a major league symphony orchestra, given what are real and persistent financial challenges. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article