Politics

  • February 20 // Ex-Kensington Mayor Becomes First Candidate To Jump Into District 1 Council Race

    Former five-term Kensington Mayor Peter Fosselman has become the first candidate to jump into what could become a crowded 2018 Democratic primary field for the open District 1 County Council seat. The current District 1 incumbent, Roger Berliner, is barred by last year’s term-limit referendum from running for a fourth term next year, and among at least three current council members considered likely to run for county executive instead. (Bethesda) Read Full Article

  • Hogan blasts expansion of Maryland attorney general's powers

    Gov. Larry Hogan sharply criticized on Friday a resolution passed by the General Assembly this week to empower the attorney general to sue the federal government without his permission — a resolution swiftly approved by the Democratic-led legislature due to concerns that President Donald J. Trump's policies could hurt Maryland. Hogan, speaking on WBAL-AM's "The C4 Show," described the resolution as "horrible" and "crazy." He also took issue with the Maryland Democratic Party's announcement this week that they had hired someone to "manage the party's communications and messaging strategy focused on holding Governor Larry Hogan accountable." (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Bills altering rape laws advance in Maryland Senate

    The Maryland Senate will consider two bills next week aimed at improving the prosecution of rape cases. The Senate's Judicial Proceedings Committee gave approved a bill Thursday that would change the legal definition of rape so that proving the victim resisted would no longer be required. Prosecutors and advocates for sexual assault victims have argued that the wording of the law makes it difficult to convict rapists. The committee also approved a bill that sets standards for how long police departments must hold on to rape kits. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Cummings: Congressional Black Caucus to meet with Trump

    The Congressional Black Caucus says it will meet with President Donald Trump after all. Rep. Elijah Cummings is a senior member of the group. He told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that Trump answered the caucus’ Jan. 19 request for a meeting “a day or so ago.” The Maryland Democrat says he expects the two parties will meet when Congress returns from a weeklong break and discuss prescription drugs and urban issues. The possible meeting stirred controversy during Trump’s press conference last week. Responding to a reporter’s inquiry, Trump suggested that Cummings had declined a meeting and asked the reporter, who is black, to set up a meeting. (CBS-AP) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • BMC's COG Quarterly: Winter 2017 Issue

    Dear Friends, It’s hard to overstate the importance of cooperation to effective governance. At the Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC), we are proud to ring in 2017 in a renewed spirit of regionalism, which we're proud to highlight in the Winter 2017 issue of our digital magazine, COG Quarterly. In our cover story, local government leaders from around the region share with us what regionalism means to economic and workforce development, transportation planning, cooperative purchasing, housing, emergency management and public health.  Each offers a unique perspective on the benefits of working together toward our common goals.We invite you to read the magazine here. Thank you for reading this issue of COG Quarterly. As always, please email us at emailProtector.addCloakedMailto("ep_34f4ed31", 0); with your comments and story suggestions. We look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Michael B. Kelly Executive DirectorRead Entire Magazine

  • Riverside Health is now University of Maryland Health Partners (UMHP)

    Riverside Health is now a part of University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS), becoming University of Maryland Health Partners (UMHP). With a new name and the resources of a world-class university, its top priority continues to be high-quality care and support for low-income neighbors in our community. UMHP offers excellent customer service because our community is their community.  With more than 35,000 members and over 7,000 healthcare providers across Maryland, UMHP is the smart healthcare choice.  Learn more at umhealthpartners.com/Watch Entire Video

  • Patient Advocacy Group Reports Maryland Survey on Health Concerns

    For the many Americans who suffer from chronic disease, affordable and comprehensive health insurance coverage is critical. Yet a new study by the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) finds that more than half of Marylanders think that health insurance is on the wrong track. PFCD Chairman Dr. Kenneth Thorpe and Jessica Honke of the National Alliance on Mental Illness describe the biggest problems in insurance coverage and the importance of consistent access to medication for those who suffer from chronic disease.Watch Entire Video

  • UMBC at 50: Momentum and Impact

    Damian O'Doherty speaks to Freeman Hrabowski, President of University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and Tom Sadowski '89, Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, University System of Maryland (USM), about UMBC’s vitality and influence as a public research institution as it celebrates its 50th anniversary.  The university asked Sage Policy Group to assess UMBC’s impact as a university and as an engine of economic growth in Maryland.  The group’s report, UMBC at 50: Momentum and Impact, makes a clear and compelling case for the university’s dynamic intellectual, social, and economic influence in its first five decades.Watch Entire Video

Business

  • February 20 // Guinness enters Maryland lawmakers' beer debate

    A battle over beer is brewing in Annapolis. State lawmakers are faced with competing proposals to change the rules for breweries, which have exploded in popularity in recent years as drinkers turn away from mass-produced corporate beers in favor of craft brews. And there's a big new player in the debate this year: Diageo, the international liquor giant that owns the Guinness beer brand and plans to open a brewery and taproom in an old rum bottling plant in Relay. "We want to create a world-class beer tourism destination," said Dwayne Kratt, Diageo's senior director of state government affairs. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • OSHA finds BWI chief retaliated against whistle-blower in old job

    A federal agency has made a preliminary ruling that the chief executive at BWI Marshall Airport, while in his previous job, retaliated against a whistle-blower who reported runway safety concerns to the Federal Aviation Administration. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration made a preliminary finding that Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, while it was led by current BWI Executive Director Ricky D. Smith Sr., demoted field maintenance manager Adul-Malik Ali after he complained to an FAA inspector about a lack of de-icing chemicals and insufficient staffing to keep runways clear during snowy weather. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Even if Maryland fracking ban fails, Garrett County doesn't foresee a drilling boom

    A decade ago, Bill Janoske's father and uncle signed a deal. The energy company Chesapeake Appalachia LLC would pay them $5 a year for each of the 660 acres on the family's former dairy farm, a stone's throw from West Virginia in three directions. In exchange, the company had the right to drill a natural gas well on their property using the booming extraction technique known as fracking. The 10-year deal would pay the Janoskes at least $33,000, and potentially more in royalties on any gas it produced. No wells were ever drilled. Janoske's father and uncle died. In the meantime, Janoske took advantage of another energy boom to hit the region: He allowed a wind farm to build four turbines on the property. But he's still waiting for a gas rush to help pay the bills. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Under Armour in negotiations with Real Madrid, Spanish newspaper says

    Under Armour is in negotiations with soccer powerhouse Real Madrid on a possible sponsorship deal, a Spanish sports newspaper says. A deal to replace Adidas at the Spanish megaclub would significantly boost Under Armour's presence in the coveted European market and could be one of the richest deals of its kind. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Education

  • February 20 // Schools could hold class on Presidents’ Day, Easter Monday under Maryland bill

    Closing schools for Presidents’ Day could become optional for Maryland school districts under a bill being considered in the General Assembly. The same could happen to Easter Monday. Concerned about Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2016 executive order requiring the state’s 24 school districts to start classes after Labor Day and end by June 15, several state lawmakers want to give local jurisdictions flexibility by removing Presidents’ Day and Easter Monday from the state’s list of mandatory public school holidays. “These couple of days would be important to the school schedule,” said Del. Pamela G. Beidle (D-Anne Arundel), the chief sponsor of the bill. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Kevin Maxwell, Prince George’s schools chief executive officer, gets four more years

    Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) announced Friday he was extending the contract for Kevin Maxwell, the schools chief executive officer, giving the educator another four years to continue reform efforts despite recent abuse scandals that led to calls for Maxwell’s resignation. It is the first time in nearly 25 years that a superintendent in Prince George’s County will get a second term. Before Maxwell, the state’s second-largest school system had seven superintendents in less than two decades. Maxwell is paid just under $300,000 a year. He was appointed by Baker in 2013, shortly after the state legislature awarded the county executive broad new power over school-system governance. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore author Wes Moore nominated to University System of Maryland board

    Republican Gov. Larry Hogan nominated prominent Baltimore author Wes Moore on Friday to the board that oversees the sprawling University System of Maryland. Moore, 38, is a well-respected African-American writer, Army veteran and Rhodes Scholar who runs a company called BridgeEdU that helps universities improve graduation rates by mentoring freshman students. He rose to fame with his 2010 book, "The Other Wes Moore," which chronicled his life and that of another boy by the same name who was born a block away in Baltimore but traveled a much different path. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore education advocates pressure city to pitch in to avoid widespread layoffs in schools

    For weeks, education advocates have pushed state officials to increase funding for Baltimore's schools to help prevent widespread layoffs and close a $130 million budget shortfall. Now, they are stepping up pressure on Baltimore's government as well — launching a telephone campaign to persuade Mayor Catherine Pugh to spend more money on education. Activists called Pugh's office on what they dubbed "Fix it Friday," repeating a scripted message: "I am calling on the mayor to keep her campaign promise to substantially increase the city's funding for Baltimore's schools." (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • February 20 // State Highway Administration Paints Over Beltway Graffiti

    The latest graffiti message to appear on a CSX train bridge over the Beltway in Silver Spring is no more. After only a few days on display to passing commuters, the message of “bridges not walls” has been painted over by State Highway Administration contractors. Workers covered up the graffiti Saturday morning, SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar said Tuesday. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

  • ICE raids under Trump spark fear in Maryland, Virginia

    Immigrant communities around the nation’s capital and across the country are reeling in the wake of what appears to be the first wave of detentions by Immigration and Customs Enforcement since the inauguration of President Trump. The federal government said the series of raids last week that led to the arrests of at least 683 “criminal aliens” targeted undocumented immigrants who face criminal charges and did not represent a major change from Obama administration policies. But immigrants, their advocates and lawyers say that many people without criminal records also were taken, spreading fear in cities and counties that are home to many foreign-born people. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Chesapeake Bay advocates alarmed by plan that could open oyster sanctuaries to watermen

    Some of the Chesapeake Bay's most densely populated oyster sanctuaries could be opened to periodic harvesting under a plan being floated by state officials, setting up more conflict between alarmed environmentalists and watermen seeking to make a living. Neither side is pleased with the first draft of a new map of sanctuary boundaries in Maryland's share of the bay. While watermen would gain some territory they ceded when a state oyster restoration strategy launched in 2010, dredging would be banned in other areas that are now open to harvesting. The net effect would be a loss of 11 percent of oyster sanctuary, instead opening up that acreage to watermen for undetermined stretches of time once every few years. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Number of Maryland babies born with drugs in their system growing

    Amanda Ashley's baby daughter trembled uncontrollably. Her scream rang through the intensive care unit — high-pitched and shrill. She was so agitated no amount of rocking or cuddling could soothe her. Her baby was suffering from symptoms of buprenorphine withdrawal, and Ashley — who had used heroin and other drugs for nearly a decade, including during the pregnancy — was consumed with guilt watching her daughter's tiny body detox. Hospitals throughout the state are dealing with a sharp increase in the number of babies born exposed to drugs as the opioid epidemic grows and ensnares the youngest victims while they're still in the womb. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

Commentary

  • February 20 // Laslo Boyd: At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

    Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about this question that Joseph Welsh directed at the mid-20th century demagogue, Senator Joe McCarthy.  Seen by historians as the turning point that finally derailed McCarthy’s communist witch hunts and abuse of power, it reminds us that it takes people of courage and integrity to combat evil. Before Welsh called out McCarthy and demonstrated for all that beneath the exterior of a bully lurked a coward, the Wisconsin Senator had ruined many careers and lives. His time in office set a corrosive tone for politics from which it took the country years to recover. He was able to get away with his destructive behavior for so long because almost no public official was willing to stand up to him. (fromacertainpointofview.org)Read Full Article

  • David W. Hornbeck: Md. must stop the education funding crisis cycle

    When they needed citizen support, advocates of casino gambling promised more money— "hundreds of millions" — to improve education for Maryland's children. That promise has not been kept. While $1.7 billion of casino earnings have gone into the Education Trust Fund, much of that has gone out the back door to cover other state expenditures having nothing to do with education. With this "sleight of hand," our children's education is once again shortchanged. State officials argue that without the casino money, funds for education would have gone down. But this "alternative fact" is not reality. The current state education funding formula would have prevented such a decrease unless state decision-makers reneged on that promise too. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • It’s up to Maryland leaders to bring real fairness to the state’s bail system

    Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) got the ball rolling for bail reform with a legal opinion that challenged the constitutionality of a system in which a defendant’s bank account determines whether they are jailed before trial. The state’s highest court took the next step with a landmark change in rules that requires judges to first look at other ways to ensure a defendant appears for trial. It is now up to Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and the General Assembly to do their part by putting in place the resources needed to strengthen pretrial services throughout the state. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Practicality — not politics — is what’s important in choosing the new FBI headquarters

    It would be naive to imagine that politics would play no part in the selection of the FBI’s new headquarters location, a decision which is now imminent in a three-way competition involving two sites in suburban Maryland and one in Northern Virginia. Still, the process, terms and criteria by which the new campus is chosen matter, and there are right and wrong ways of going about it. A sagging shelf’s-worth of studies has been devoted to the selection of a new, more than $2 billion headquarters, which has major implications not only for the bureau, but also for the region. The “winning” locality may expect a windfall in economic development and tax revenues; it may also grapple with a traffic headache whose mitigation will require major state and local spending. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article