Politics

  • Baltimore officials rebuffed offers of state help for a 'week' after crippling hack of city computers

    Baltimore officials did not welcome help from Maryland information technology experts for the first week after City Hall’s computer networks were locked up by hackers on May 7 — a delay that is adding to a chorus of complaints about the city’s response. At the Maryland Cybersecurity Council meeting last month, a senior official for Maryland’s Department of Information Technology briefed the group on Baltimore’s response to the ransomware attack that continues to cripple several city payment functions. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland Gov. Hogan, Baltimore Mayor Young mark progress in demolishing city's vacant homes

    With some expert advice from Pless Jones of P&J Contracting, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan manned a 21-ton hydraulic excavator Thursday and smashed a gaping hole in the side of a dilapidated, vacant rowhome in East Baltimore. “I was taking out some of my frustrations,” the Republican governor said later. “You know, it’s a lot more fun that what I normally do every day.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • In packed meeting, residents demand dignity, violence prevention from elected officials, Woodside Gardens

    When Dominique Scurry’s ceiling caved in, she had to move. The Woodside Gardens resident asked management what to do about her lease. The ceiling had fallen in on her old unit and she needed a temporary place to stay. Don’t worry about it, she said she was told. Until she got an eviction notice months later after moving back into her unit. Scurry went to court. She paid the judge-ordered rent. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Hogan, lawmakers outraged over UMMS 'self-dealing' report, praise cancellation of hospital rate hike

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and influential lawmakers reacted Thursday with outrage to the latest revelations of self-dealing at the University of Maryland Medical System, while praising the system for the resignation of several executives and canceling a proposed $75 million rate hike for patients in Baltimore. “This has been a shocking experience from the first time all of this was revealed,” Hogan, a Republican, said in an interview on “The C4 Show” on WBAL-AM. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Report: The Unintended Consequences of Impact Fees in Baltimore County

    Baltimore County has an opportunity to appeal to young professional families, including people who presently live in high-rent city apartments.  That would expand the county’s tax base, stimulate commercial activity, and help rebalance the county demographically. However, proposed tax and development fee increases could induce many young people to opt for residences in other counties.  That would serve to limit Baltimore County’s tax base growth, and hurt the local construction industry, local retailers and other commercial enterprises. Proposed impact fees would also potentially impact the pace of commercial development, resulting in even more burden placed on shrinking numbers of prime age workers/households.  Such outcomes would be inconsistent with long-term investment in infrastructure, including schools.Read Full Report Here...

  • Cailey Locklair - MDRA Op-Ed

    The Maryland Retailers Association supports the firm stance Governor Hogan and the Maryland legislature took against selling Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or “ENDS,” to minors. Maryland retailers provide adult smokers access to healthier and safer alternatives to cigarettes, and these products were never intended to encourage teen smoking. We believe ENDS products should not be marketed towards children, and will continue to fight for common sense measures against this practice.Read Full Article

  • Delegate Nick Mosby - No More Taxpayer Money Until Stronach Replaces Laurel Park Housing

    On Friday, March 29, I had the opportunity to tour the worker housing at the Laurel Park racetrack with Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, as the Maryland General Assembly considers taking the unusual action of mandating that MEDCO provide a $120 million loan to the Stronach Group.Read Full Article

  • Consumer Energy Alliance Supports the Independence Energy Connection Project

    Washington, D.C - As Maryland legislators consider the future of energy infrastructure and regulatory changes in the state’s electric market, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) Mid-Atlantic Executive Director Mike Butler reinforced the consumer group’s support for an energy policy that can bring affordable and reliable power to the region for consumers.Read Full Article

Business

  • Lifebridge CEO Neil Meltzer named industrialist of the year by Baltimore Museum of Inustry

    Neil Meltzer, the president and CEO of LifeBridge Health, was honored Wednesday as the 2019 William Donald Schaefer Industrialist of the Year by the Baltimore Museum of Industry. Meltzer has been the top executive at the Baltimore-based Lifebridge hospital network since 2013, leading its effort to become an integrated health system. Lifebridge includes Sinai Hospital, Northwest Hospital and Carroll Hospital in Westminster and it recently acquired Bon Secours Hospital in West Baltimore. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • A 'going concern'? BSO predicated financial fate on thinnest of margins, wishful thinking

    Had the symphony received the additional state funds, it would have ended the fiscal year with not quite $90,000 in the bank — assuming it could bring in a projected $3.8 million in contributions in the last five months of the fiscal year. For an organization with a $28 million budget, ending the year with so little money is scraping the bottom of the barrel. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Morgan Stanley building in Harbor Point to sell for $101M

    Thames Street Wharf in Harbor Point is under contract for $101 million, a deal that would set a price per square foot record for an entire Baltimore office building. Armada Hoffler Properties Inc., whose construction arm built the waterfront 263,426-square-foot property in 2010, is expected to close on the purchase by the end of June. The seller, KBS Realty Advisors, acquired the building at 1300 Thames St. for $89 million in 2014. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Harford zoning bill could support mixed-use, industrial projects, but community advocates urge caution

    A bill currently before the Harford County Council, which would affect a number of different zoning regulations, could support the development of mixed-use and industrial projects — according to the owners and managers of the affected properties — but advocates for local land use are urging caution. “These changes may seem minor,” Stephanie Flasch, president of the nonprofit Friends of Harford, said during a June 4 public hearing on Bill 19-016. “However, changes based on small requests for development that is not defined or understood clearly could have a dramatic negative effect on the Harford County landscape.” (Aegis) Read Full Article

Education

  • Carroll County Public Schools teachers to get 5% raise after bargaining agreements, state funding

    Carroll County Public Schools ratified agreements with four of five employee bargaining units Wednesday ensuring a 3.5% raise. For teachers, that unlocks an additional 1.5% raise thanks to state funding. The ratified agreements will be effective July 1. “This year’s tentative agreement was a hard fought compromise that we felt confident to present to membership. We believe our members deserve more compensation and we will work towards that next fall,” said Carroll County Education Association (CCEA) President Teresa McCulloh in an email Wednesday. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Hogan: ‘No Question’ More Accountability Needed In Baltimore Schools Amid Reports Of Grade Fixing

    Gov. Larry Hogan Thursday said there’s “no question” more accountability is needed within the Baltimore City Public School system after reports surfaced of grades being improperly inflated within the district. The governor made the comments at an event in Baltimore highlighting efforts to eliminate housing blight in the city. When asked for comment, Hogan said while he doesn’t know all the facts about the situation, “I do know that we’re going to get to the bottom and demand that the details of the study that the city supposedly did are released to the public.” (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • First sentence in college admission scandal seen as a setback for prosecutors

    For weeks, prosecutors were on a roll. Guilty pleas accumulated in the college admissions bribery scandal: the mastermind, former athletic coaches, a test-taking expert and more than a dozen wealthy parents, including a Hollywood actress. In all, 19 defendants admitted to conspiring to subvert the admissions process and more were preparing to do so. But the first sentence blunted the prosecution’s momentum. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Goucher College selects New Hampshire Institute of Art president as its next leader

    Goucher College has selected the president of the New Hampshire Institute of Art as its next leader. Kent Devereaux will become the college's 12th president on July 1. He takes over for José Antonio Bowen, who announced last fall that he would step down at the end of the academic year after leading the 2,700-student Towson liberal arts college for the past five years. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Former Baltimore County executive Don Mohler isn't going anywhere

    Don Mohler retired six months ago, but not really. Mohler, 69, did some traveling after leaving office as Baltimore County’s 13th executive, and spent time with his wife, Linda, and family. And then came his communication strategies firm. And a blog. Oh, and then a podcast. “In some respects, the joke is, I thought he retired, but he didn’t,” said Jennifer Lynch, principal at Hillcrest Elementary School and Mohler’s daughter. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Baltimore among U.S. metros with lowest percentage of black homeowners, study finds

    The homeownership rate among black Americans both locally and across the U.S. is disproportionately lower than that of other racial groups, according to a new study from online marketplace LendingTree. In Greater Baltimore, 28.7 percent of the population identifies as black, but just 19.6 percent of owner-occupied homes in the area are black owned. The difference of 9.1 percent makes Baltimore and its surrounding counties No. 4 on a list of metro areas with the lowest percentages of black homeowners compared to population. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • With 'many' Baltimore police exceeding overtime limits, commissioner pledges crackdown

    Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison has pledged to crack down on officers who continue to exceed the department’s limit of 32 overtime hours a week. Since becoming the city’s top cop in February, Harrison has reviewed police overtime and said the department struggles to enforce its own limit. “We found many officers working beyond 32 hours a week,” Harrison said. “It’s not just the answer to a financial question, but a health-and-wellness question. Are they really performing well?” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Jury awards $2.7M to man beaten by Maryland prison guards

    A Maryland jury has awarded nearly $3 million to man who was beaten by prison guards almost six years ago in what his attorney called a “systemwide failure.” The Daily Record of Baltimore reports jurors in Baltimore awarded $2.7 million to Kevin Younger, who was assaulted by officers at the Maryland Reception, Diagnostics & Classification Center in Baltimore in 2013. (WTOP) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Snider: Should Anne Arundel raise local taxes to fund increased senior teacher pay?

    Anne Arundel County’s leading politicians want to raise taxes to pay for more K12 public school spending — a thank you to the teachers’ union that was instrumental in getting them elected. The vote is expected Friday. The union’s president has been arguing that you “get what you pay for,” so if you want good schools, you’ve got to pay for them, which sounds reasonable enough. But what isn’t reasonable is these politicians systematically hiding from the public what teachers are paid, especially senior teachers. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article

  • UMMS wants us to believe it has changed its ways. Can we?

    The message the University of Maryland Medical System has been trying to send in recent days is summed up in big type at the start of a news release Wednesday announcing the completion of a consultant’s report on the self-dealing scandal that has rocked the institution this year: “System embraces opportunities for both process and culture change outlined in third-party report.” Translation: “We screwed up. We get it. We’ve changed.” Have they? (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Parrish: Harford County misunderstands drag shows

    As the owner of Maryland’s largest LGBT-friendly tavern and entertainment venue, The Baltimore Eagle, I can understand why gay-friendly business owners felt threatened by the warning they received from Harford County’s Liquor Board regarding the revocation of their liquor licenses should their scheduled drag performances cross certain lines. Once upon a time, Harford County government was known in the business community as a “good-ol’-boy network,” a place where your rights were decided by whether or not you played for the same team — and in this case, that team probably wasn’t gay. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article 

  • Penniman: Honest Ads Act aims to minimize foreign election interference

    Our country is facing a national emergency. Not a single credible person in the federal government disputes the fact that foreign actors will continue to attack the infrastructure of our elections and interfere with how we choose our leaders. The president even told ABC News this week that he would consider listening to foreign governments with opposition research on his opponents in 2020. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article