Politics

  • Rollback of septic system requirements raises questions about bay impact

    Some environmental advocates worry that a state plan to roll back regulations for septic systems in parts of Maryland could stall efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. But proponents of Gov. Larry Hogan's proposal say the O'Malley-era rules, which require septics with advanced technology everywhere in Maryland, offer little or undetermined benefit to the environment, while burdening homeowners and making housing less affordable. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Montgomery term limits measure qualifies for ballot

    Republican activist Robin Ficker has collected enough signatures to place a proposal for term limits on the November ballot, the Montgomery County Board of Elections announced Tuesday. The ballot question will ask Montgomery voters whether the county executive and members of the County Council should be limited to three consecutive terms. In a letter to Ficker posted on the board’s website, election director Margaret Jurgensen said petitions he submitted earlier this month “contained more than the requisite ten thousand (10,000) signatures” of registered voters necessary for a place on the ballot. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Miller to Prince George’s officials: Band together to push for hospital

    Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) is calling on Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) and other elected officials to band together to thwart the efforts of those who “seek to destroy” a long-planned regional hospital center. Miller’s letter to county lawmakers came in response to a column in the Capital Gazette last week by Michael Collins, a Republican activist from Anne Arundel County. Collins wrote in support of a proposal to open a cardiac-surgery program at Anne Arundel County Medical Center, a project that could compete for patients with the Prince George’s Regional Medical Center that is planned for Largo. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Md. Senate Leader: Transportation Official Should Lose Position

    Maryland’s Senate president said Tuesday that he believes a senior state transportation official should be relieved of his leadership role because of an “appalling lack of professionalism and substantive understanding” about a law that creates a scoring system to rank transportation projects in the state’s funding process. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, in a letter obtained by The Associated Press, urged Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn to move Deputy Transportation Secretary James Ports out of his position. (CBS-AP) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Josh Kurtz: Postcards from MACo

    MACo is Maryland’s version of Fellini’s “Satyricon” – one surreal and disturbing scene after another. Officially, the Maryland Association of Counties annual summer convention is a professional gathering with a series of policy discussions. But outside the frigid expanse of this city’s convention center, it’s a sweatfest and a schmoozefest and a boozefest, a place where political theories and rumors are swapped like trading cards – some as nonsensical and flimsy as a summer romance, others more likely to last. This year’s MACo was especially significant because it was Republican Larry Hogan’s first as governor – last year at this time he was undergoing chemotherapy. Attendance swelled, and there was a dizzying, record-setting number of political fundraisers and lobbyist and special interest receptions, perhaps owing to the presence of Hogan and his entire cabinet – or the anxiousness of many political people to bring on the 2018 elections already. Read Entire Article

  • The Inaugural Baltimore Brain Tumor Walk: Honoring Loss. Inspiring Hope. Funding a Cure. | Holly Gainsboro

    Holly Gainsboro describes clinging to the "new normal" as her husband Steven was diagnosed, and she shares the trials and triumphs faced by her children as they helped their dad through his battle with a brain tumor. His fight was a family effort. Today Holly is Chair of the Inaugural Baltimore Brain Tumor Walk, urges Marylanders to get involved in the fight against brain tumors. Over 700,000 people are suffering from brain tumors, and they need your help to raise money for research and more treatment options. Learn More About Holly's Journey

  • Center Maryland Editorial: Baltimore County's Bravehearts

    Housing discrimination in Baltimore County has a long, sordid history, with only rare moments of leadership such as we saw with a recent attempt by County Councilman Julian Jones and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to modernize the county's revolting housing legacy. Over the past 50-plus years, open-housing initiatives in the county have been met with resistance, hostility, and outright racism. Read Entire Editorial

  • Damian O’Doherty: Cancer Confessional – Papa’s Home

    We awoke slower than the morning arrived. My wife and two year old daughter lay groggy and lethargic on the bed. Still clutching each other. Two days in a row for mom and her inseparable 2-year-old. The night before, as I crept into bed after a late night at work, Alycia had said something about waiting for a test for strep from Pavilion Pediatrics. Maybe the kid had strep throat. Why not, the hits keep coming, I thought. My wife had a miscarriage just three weeks before. I shook off the weary morning and the work travel that weighed on me, setting off on a short run through Towson. It felt good to escape the sick-yellowish hue of our bedroom to the orange morning glow outside. I was running. Creaking. Soon, I was soothed by the autumn sun peeking above the construction activity just beginning on Towson University’s growing West Campus. Then, I felt a peculiar insight come over me as Widespread Panic’s “Papa’s Home” was delivered on my iPod. Read Entire Article

Business

  • New Enterprise Associates ups its investment in cyber-threat detection

    Chevy Chase venture fund New Enterprise Associates upped its bet on ThreatQuotient, a Reston-based cybersecurity analytics start-up, in a $12 million investment announced Tuesday. ThreatQuotient operates a set of data analytics tools for corporate cybersecurity analysts, meant to help sort through the millions of data points that might predict the next hack. The company was founded in 2013 by two technologists working out of AOL’s Fishbowl Labs incubator in Sterling, Va., and chief executive John Czupak joined in late 2015. Czupak padded the company’s ranks with connections from his previous 12-year career at SourceFire, a Maryland-based cybersecurity company that sold to software giant Cisco for $2.7 billion in one of the biggest local technology deals in recent memory. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article...

  • Costco withdraws appeal of parking plan for graduations at Maryland Live

    An appeal that could have stood in the way of progress on the planned Maryland Live hotel and conference center in Hanover has been withdrawn. An attorney for Costco told the Anne Arundel County Board of Appeals on Tuesday that the company has decided to remove its opposition to a parking plan for the 17-story development project, which is slated to bring more than 300 hotel rooms, a restaurant, a day spa, office and meeting space to a site next to the Maryland Live casino. Costco, which is located nearby, was concerned that increased traffic from graduations and other special events at the center would mire its own customers in traffic, said attorney Joe Devlin. (Capital)Read Full Article

  • Port of Baltimore renews relationship with paper company for 10 more years

    The Port of Baltimore will continue to receive shipments of UPM paper products after the Maryland Port Administration signed the company to a new 10-year contract extension. The extension, which took effect Aug. 1, replaces a previous 10-year contract that was due to expire in 2018. Finland-based UPM has partnered with the Port of Baltimore since 1997. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • All-Maryland beer and food festival to debut in Columbia this fall

    Columbia resident Chad D’Amore had been hearing from locals that they wished there was a fall event like spring's annual Wine in the Woods Festival. So D’Amore decided this was the year to make one. Hops & Harvest Festival, a new local beer and food event, will take place Oct. 8 at the Columbia Lakefront, D’Amore said Tuesday. CoFestCo, D’Amore’s new event production company, has partnered with the Downtown Columbia Partnership and the Brewers Association of Maryland to put on the festival. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Education

  • Maryland state school board expected to delay development of new middle school social studies test

    The Maryland State Board of Education is expected to delay the development of a new middle school social studies test for at least a year, a small victory for advocates hoping to reduce the amount of testing in schools. During a wide-ranging discussion of testing issues Monday, state school board members expressed concern that schools be required to ensure students learn government, economics, and history during the early years of their education. At the same time,  board members struggled with how to reduce the amount of testing that many parents and public officials believe is excessive. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland students score slightly better in PARCC math exams

    Maryland public school students improved their performance slightly in the second year of tough new state tests, but overall, in every grade and subject, fewer than half the students were able to pass. The state's new school superintendent, Karen Salmon, put a positive spin on the results, but one veteran school board member said they were cause for dismay. "I am deeply disappointed to see how little improvement there is," said Chester Finn, a school board member. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore County school board votes against closing for Muslim holidays

    A move to close schools in Baltimore County for Muslim holidays failed by one vote at the school board Tuesday night. The 6-5 vote came after an emotional discussion among school board members, while dozens of Muslims stood in the audience. Some school board members said they believed it was the right time to give equity to the Muslim community. "It is time to do the right thing. Set aside your ambivalence. … Recognize the realities of Baltimore County, the nation and the world," said school board member Michael Collins, in support of recognizing the holidays. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Md. county school board members call for leaders’ ouster after Head Start debacle

    Five members of the Prince George’s County school board called for the resignation of the board’s top leaders this week after the county lost $6.4 million in federal funding for early childhood education because of allegations of child abuse in the local Head Start program. The board members asked County Executive Rushern L. Baker III to seek the removal of board chair Segun C. Eubanks and vice chair Carolyn A. Boston, citing a lack of confidence in their leadership and failures in accountability, transparency and collaboration. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Raw sewage has been leaking into Baltimore's harbor for five days, city says

    Untreated wastewater has been flowing from a hole in an East Baltimore sewer for at least five days, leaking more than 10,000 gallons of raw sewage into the harbor, while the city Department of Public Works continues to search for the cause, officials said Tuesday. The overflow, discovered Thursday in the 21-inch sewer in the 1500 block of N. Chapel St., has been spilling untreated wastewater at an intermittent clip of 10 gallons per minute, public works spokesman Jeffrey Raymond said. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Kittleman provides timeline on Ellicott City recovery projects

    Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman provided a timeline for several projects in the Ellicott City recovery plan, but said no date has been set for the complete reopening of Main Street. Kittleman described several projects in the upcoming weeks that will shrink the perimeter around Main Street's "no-access" area. On Wednesday, the western portion of Main Street that sustained the least amount of damage will be reopened. This includes pedestrian and vehicle access from Ellicott Mills Drive to Court Avenue, and on Old Columbia Pike to Main Street. Businesses in this area and along Tonge Row will be reopened. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Two-story house symbolizing freedom for former slaves to be displayed in new museum

    The vacant house outside ­Poolesville was slated for demolition. The windows were boarded up. The exterior was covered in tattered siding. And inside, the place was so crammed with junk it was hard to walk around. But underneath the bedraggled carpet were handmade wooden steps worn smooth by generations of African Americans climbing the stairs to the novelty of a second floor. And behind the walls were the pine, poplar and oak timbers that had been cut and notched in the Maryland woods and stacked two stories high in the days after slavery 130 years before. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Maryland boy who got double hand transplant can throw a football, write with pencil, do other routine tasks

    Zion Harvey once dreamed of throwing a football like Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. But it was just a dream for the Owings Mills boy whose hands and feet were amputated at age 2 after a sepsis infection caused him to develop gangrene. Today, not only can Zion hurl a football, but he recently pitched a baseball over home plate at an Orioles game. He proudly points out that's farther than rapper 50 Cent's ball went when he threw a first pitch at Camden Yards. Zion can also write with a pencil, hold a fork, climb on the monkey bars, zip up his pants, and make a sandwich by himself. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

Commentary

  • The septic backslide

    Gov. Larry Hogan's recent announcement that he intends to loosen Maryland's requirements for newly installed septic systems is a worrisome development. While septic tanks and drainage fields are hardly the primary source of pollution in Maryland waterways, such regulatory backtracking raises an uncomfortable question: If rural homeowners and developers are get a free pass, who will pay in the end? The answer isn't so clear. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Head Start troubles in Prince George’s County

    In the wake of news that federal officials will cut off funding for Prince George’s County’s Head Start program, schools chief Kevin Maxwell blamed “poor judgment” from “a handful of people.” But the money is not being terminated because a few teachers acted atrociously (which they surely did), but rather because school officials failed to properly address the problems. The events — coming against the backdrop of a still-lingering sexual abuse scandal — call into question the leaders charged with turning around the long-troubled school system. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article

  • Schuh continues to open development spigot

    There is no small irony in the timing of County Executive Steve Schuh finally getting his building permit reforms in place just as county schools reopen for classes. Schuh's "expedited review" is intended to "reduce permitting wait times" starting this week by allowing developers to hire their own certified engineers to review land use construction plans for compliance with the County Code. We're all for reform, but we continue to have concerns that the executive's efforts may both sacrifice transparency on the altar of efficiency, as some critics have warned, and solve a problem that doesn't exist. (Capital)Read Full Article

  • Four years later, poultry has its place

    It was far from the biggest city debate of recent years — just one of the oddest. There was — pardon us — a surprising amount of fuss and feathers. One resident who went to a meeting on the subject in Eastport back then remembered that he initially thought it was a joke: "I walked into a meeting and everyone was fighting over chickens." So we're pleased to note that, as we reported on Monday, things seem to have turned out reasonably well. (Capital) Read Full Article