Politics

  • 'A matter of life and death’: Maryland lawmakers tackle Kirwan education funding bill with marathon hearing

    Maryland lawmakers on Monday began their formal review of sweeping, expensive legislation that supporters say would raise the state’s public schools to the world-class levels of educational powerhouses such as Finland, Singapore and Ontario. The multibillion-dollar effort has been talked about for years, but now faces its most significant step: Winning veto-proof support in the General Assembly. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Task Force Presents A Dozen Recommendations Designed To Keep E-Cigarettes Away From Kids

    A state task force has come up with a dozen recommendations that would regulate the electronic cigarette industry in an effort to prevent e-cigarettes and other products from getting into the hands of those under 21. The state’s E-Facts Task Force met for the final time Monday afternoon to hear legislative recommendations on how to better regulate the industry. “Literally, in real-time, we are addicting an entire generation of young people,” state Comptroller Peter Franchot said. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • Hogan names 5 to PG County District Court bench

    Gov. Larry Hogan appointed five individuals to the Prince George’s County District Court bench Monday. Wennesa Bell Snoddy, John Anthony Bielec, Dolores Dorsainvil, LaKeecia Reneé Allen and Stacey Maria Cobb Smith were named to vacancies after being recommended by the county’s judicial nominating commission, according to a news release from the governor’s office. “The appointment of qualified individuals to serve across our state’s justice system is paramount to upholding our responsibilities to the people of Maryland and maintaining the highest standards of the rule of law,” Hogan said in a statement. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Judge preserves blind voters’ ADA suit, declines to issue injunction

    A federal judge last week denied a request by blind voters to mandate the use of accessible devices by all Maryland voters in 2020 elections, a change that could carry a $9.7 million price tag. However, the judge refused to dismiss the voters’ Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit. The state currently uses hand-marked paper ballots as the default voting option. Voters with disabilities are offered a machine that electronically marks and prints their ballots, which look different from the hand-marked paper ballots, according to court filings. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Venetoulis: Seven Days in February

    It was a Vote that Will Live in Infamy. A vote where only a single Republican Senator showed his colleagues that courage is not dead in the United States Senate. It was a State of the Union Speech.  A speech that was less to do with the future functioning of the state of our country, then with the current malfunctioning of the state of a presidential mind. A Speech that will not be remembered for what it was about but for how it ended.  Read Full Article

  • Archdiocese ‘for’ Baltimore highlighted at Center Stage event

    If Ray Kelly can turn things around, so can Baltimore City. That was among the takeaways Jan. 15 at Center Stage, when the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Catholic Charities of Baltimore were host to a “Faith in Baltimore” program that highlighted the impact of Catholic institutions in the city, with Archbishop William E. Lori noting, in a play on words, that “we are the Archdiocese for Baltimore.” Kelly, vice chair of the Executive Committee at St. Peter Claver in Sandtown and lead community liaison for the Consent Decree Monitoring Team, was the inaugural recipient of the Faith in Baltimore Award. (ArchBalt)Read Full Article

  • New tech tool to expose the influence of big business in politics

    Everyone talks about how big business has too much influence over our political process, and sadly, many of us have witnessed it firsthand. Through meeting after meeting, I’ve watched CEOs and their lobbyists make demands to elected officials that were not in the best interest of their customers. Something was misaligned. Shouldn’t corporations be pushing political agendas that benefit their customers, the people who buy their products and keep them in business?  The problem is that consumers haven’t had an easy way to access information about company policies and practices, so we keep supporting them, and corporations have no reason to change. What we’ve been waiting for is an easy, trackable way to vote with our dollars.  Enter Tribe.  Read Full Story

  • ‘It Makes Me Feel Great’ | Marylanders Work To Give Back During Giving Tuesday

    This time of year, there’s a lot to do at the Maryland Zoo. There are tons of leaves that need to be raked, and that takes a lot of people, but most of those do not work for the zoo. “We have a very small horticultural team, so they rely on volunteers to get a large amount of work done in a short amount of time,” Allison Schwartz, of the Maryland Zoo, said. Most days, Rob Starr drives a desk at Bank of America, but he said he makes a habit of giving back whenever he can. (WJZ-TV)Read Full Article

Business

  • Walmart employees say they’re preparing for job cuts as retailer rolls out its ‘Great Workplace’ program

    Walmart last spring said it was testing a sweeping overhaul that would make its stores better run and create more opportunities for employees to “do meaningful work.” The “Great Workplace” initiative, the retailer said, would be “the key to winning the future of retail.” But nearly a year in, workers say the effort, which will reach 1,100 of the company’s 5,300 U.S. stores by year end, has led to widespread confusion. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Mount Airy to hold quasi-judicial hearing on Vosloh property by Md. 27

    The Mount Airy Town Council will hold a slightly unusual hearing in order for council members to determine if a property near Md. 27 should be rezoned. DMS Development LLC requested that Mount Airy change the zoning of a parcel of the Vosloh property, the piece of land bordering South Main Street and Md. 27, from residential to community commercial with the goal of bringing a Wawa there. (News-Post) Read Full Article

  • Boy Scouts of America files for bankruptcy amid wave of potential lawsuits

    Facing a wave of lawsuits over allegations of sexual abuse, the Boy Scouts of America has filed for bankruptcy. The long-anticipated Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing will allow the Boy Scouts to keep operating as it reorganizes its finances and handles claims from hundreds of potential victims. It will also give victims a limited amount of time to come forward before being barred indefinitely from seeking compensation. (Wash. Post)  Read Full Article

  • 3 suburban Maryland federal leasing trends to watch

    While Northern Virginia solidified its foothold with the technology sector, suburban Maryland has been quietly hoisting itself up in a similar fashion with another industry: life sciences. Between the I-270 biotech corridor, home to more than 500 life science companies such as Thermo Fisher and Westat as well as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Federal Drug Administration (FDA) within the market, Montgomery County in particular has emerged as a prominent life sciences cluster within the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. (Wash. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

Education

  • Witnesses pack Maryland hearing on $4 billion education spending plan

    Crowds chanting “Our kids can’t wait!” jammed into a designated area for rallies not far from the Maryland State House in Annapolis. It was part of a “pep rally” on Monday for the $4 billion plan designed to reform education in the state. Hundreds of teachers, students and education advocates attended the events on Presidents Day. The “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future” — the focus of the joint committee hearing — would add teachers, boost their pay with a proposed $60,000 starting salary, and expand pre-K programming. (WTOP) Read Full Article

  • Key questions about the Kirwan Commission and the debate over funding Maryland’s public schools

    Politicians and educational advocates are debating the merits — and costs — of recommendations for Maryland’s public schools made by the Kirwan Commission. Here are answers to some key questions about one of Maryland’s most significant public policy issues. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Harford Executive Glassman Proposes Phase-in of Kirwan Recommendations in Baltimore City, Raising Teacher Salaries Statewide

    In testimony today before Maryland legislators, Harford County Executive Barry Glassman supported the Kirwan Commission’s goals for education and proposed piloting its entire plan in Baltimore City while continuing its ramp up of teacher salaries statewide. (Dagger) Read Full Article

  • Bowie State University Opens Food Pantry Lounge That Feeds Students For Free

    Bowie State University, working with Food Lion, announced Monday it is opening a new on-campus nutrition lounge supplying free and healthy foods. Through Food Lion Feeds, the retailer donated $10,000 to get the space up and running. (WJZ) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Critically Ill Children Go On Scavenger Hunt At Ripley’s Believe It or Not! In Baltimore

    The Presidents’ Day holiday presented a unique opportunity for critically ill children in Baltimore. “Casey Cares” and Blue Ocean Real Estate teamed up with Ripley’s Believe It or Not! to give the kids a much-needed distraction from their daily routine. Around 150 kids took part in a scavenger hunt at Ripley’s, taking in the exhibits and spending time doing something fun to help them take their minds off their illnesses. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • State faces crisis in getting direct service workers for health care

    PHI (formerly the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute) estimates that direct care workers deliver 70-80% of all long-term care and professional assistance in the United States. Personal care aides, home health aides and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) constitute one third of the total health care workforce and currently provide assistance to 15% of Maryland adults aged 65 or older. (Md. Reporter) Read Full Article

  • 'We’ve all got to work together’: At gun violence community meeting, Annapolis mayor and police chief listen to feedback

    After back-to-back days of shooting incidents in early February, Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley held a community meeting Monday to hear feedback and assure residents that police were responding to the issue. Buckley spoke briefly to an audience of more than 50 in the Eastport fire station meeting room. He talked about wanting to get guns off the streets, but mainly he said he wanted to listen to the community. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore Police searched Harlem Park home illegally after death of Det. Suiter, attorneys argue

    Nearly 24 hours after the November 2017 shooting of Baltimore Police Detective Sean Suiter in a vacant Harlem Park lot, a police SWAT team forced its way into a home next door. It didn’t have a warrant. Inside, officers saw signs of a home under renovation — concrete mix, tiles and rolls of insulation. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Pitts: Will African American forgive Bloomberg for stop and frisk?

    Vote blue, no matter who. That’s the fall election mantra of Democrats desperate to cleanse the White House of its current occupant. But here’s the question some African Americans are now asking: What if the “who” is Michael Bloomberg? What if the former New York City mayor is the man chosen to contend against President Donald Trump? Shall we vote blue if all it offers is the chance to replace a stupid racist with a smarter one? (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Wykoff: Pimlico Deal A Win For City, Track Operator

    In a commentary, Don Fry, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, talks about the latest plan to keep the Preakness Stakes in Baltimore. Fry hails it as a fruitful compromise for Baltimore and the operator of Pimlico Race Course. The proposal requires the approval of the Maryland General Assembly. Fry said lawmakers shouldn't hesitate. (WBAL) Read Full Article

  • Rubin: The descent of the GOP into authoritarian know-nothingism

    When Ivy League-educated, formerly sane politicians spew conspiracy theories, debunked talking points and contempt for science, the question often arises: Do they believe this nonsense (i.e. have they become thickheaded by listening to Rush Limbaugh and watching all that Fox News?), or are they cynical purveyors of claptrap designed to woo unsophisticated voters? (Disclosure: I am an MSNBC contributor.)  (Wash Post) Read Full Article

  • Opinion: Business Leaders Want Kirwan Plan Fully Funded

    As business leaders, we strongly support the Kirwan Commission legislation that would dramatically improve education practice, funding and accountability in Maryland. As business people, we are often measured by our bottom-line-results. (Md. Matters) Read Full Article