Politics

  • Expanding state sales tax to pay for school improvements would ‘destroy our economy,’ Maryland Gov. Hogan says

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan vowed Thursday to oppose a proposed change in the sales tax that would drop the rate but charge it on an array of services from landscaping to lawyers. “It’s not ever going happen while I’m governor, I can promise you,” the Republican governor said during a State House news conference. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore City Council presses for answers on Youth Fund money

    When Baltimore decided to earmark millions of dollars for local youth organizations, the city celebrated. The Children and Youth Fund was designed to funnel taxpayer dollars toward grassroots organizations that work with young people — the kinds of small groups often overlooked by traditional grant programs. But in the more than two years since the first grants were distributed, frustrations have mounted over how the money is doled out. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake named national political co-chair for Bloomberg campaign

    Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg on Thursday named former Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake as one of his national political co-chairs. In the role, Rawlings-Blake joins several other former mayors: Philadelphia’s Michael Nutter, Miami’s Manny Diaz and Los Angeles’ Antonio Villaraigosa. Rawlings-Blake will advise the campaign on policy development and strategy and serve as a national surrogate for Bloomberg. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland Democrats say they’re unlikely to pass Larry Hogan’s signature crime bill, angering the governor

    Citing their opposition to mandatory minimum sentences, Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly say they are unlikely to pass Gov. Larry Hogan’s top priority this session ― the Violent Firearms Offender Act ― infuriating the governor who alleges lawmakers aren’t taking shootings in Baltimore seriously. In an interview with The Baltimore Sun on Wednesday, Hogan argued that lawmakers who don’t support his legislation are out of touch with the views of most Marylanders and should step down from their leadership posts. (Balt. Sun) 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

  • Made in Baltimore: Young designers fuel fledgling revival of city’s garment industry

    A floral silk shirt with gold leaf buttons hangs on a rack at the DifferentRegard boutique, along with a “Trilogy” dress that can be worn three ways. Two Baltimore natives designed all the unique fashions sold in the salon-like showroom in the city’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. But something else distinguishes the upscale line from most clothes U.S. consumers buy. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Perdue Farms, Md. Food Bank unveil Mobile Market

    Perdue Farms and the Maryland Food Bank unveiled a new state-of-the-art Mobile Market Thursday to support the food bank’s efforts to distribute fresh food on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where roughly 42,000 individuals are food insecure. The Mobile Market was funded through a $250,000 gift from the Perdue family and a $100,000 grant from the Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation in celebration of the company’s 100th anniversary. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Citing coronavirus, Marriott extends cancellation fee amnesty

    Marriott International Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) will extend its cancellation fee waiver for travelers going to mainland China and other parts of the region, citing the continuing coronavirus scourge. The hotel company, which operates more than 400 hotels in China, will waive cancellation fees until at least March 15, it said in a statement issued Wednesday. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Political ads are flooding Hulu, Roku and other streaming services, revealing loopholes in federal election laws

    The ad that interrupted some Hulu subscribers as they watched the NBC comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” this month opened with a clip of President Trump speaking. “The ‘deep state’ is trying to inject our health system with socialist price controls,” a narrator then interjected, before a banner flashed at the bottom of the screen: “TEXT ‘SOCIALISM SUCKS’ TO 41490.” But neither FreedomWorks, the conservative group behind the ad, nor Hulu, a television-and-movie streaming giant, is required to reveal much more to the public about the 30-second spot or whom it targeted, leaving watchdogs and regulators fearful that federal election laws aren’t fit for the digital age — and that voters remain vulnerable to manipulation. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

Education

  • In West Baltimore, Nevermind leap days. Johns Hopkins professors propose a new calendar with the occasional leap week.

    In 1582, Pope Gregory began a campaign to replace Julius Caesar’s widely used calendar with a slightly more accurate one that was named for him. Most of the modern world eventually agreed, and the rest is history. Now a pair of Johns Hopkins professors believe it’s time to turn the page on the Gregorian calendar in favor of one to really last the ages. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Towson University working with outside consultant for campus parking solutions

    Towson University has hired a consulting firm to develop plans for better on-campus transportation and parking, a long-standing concern of both students and area residents. David Marks, the Baltimore County Councilman who represents Towson, said students parking in nearby communities, like Aigburth Manor, Burkleigh Square and Towson Manor Village, are “a steady source of complaints.” (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • After racist graffiti incidents, Salisbury University hosts events for students to heal

    After racist graffiti was discovered in Salisbury University's Henson Hall and then in Fulton Hall on Wednesday, the university will host multiple gatherings Thursday to provide what it says will be "an opportunity for us  to come together as a campus." Classes were canceled Thursday to allow the campus community time to heal. SU spokesman Jason Rhodes said these activities were aimed at the campus community only. (Delmarva) Read Full Article

  • In West Baltimore, a $6 million proposal aims to turn Thurgood Marshall’s school into community resource center

    A once segregated West Baltimore school where future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall received his early education is set to receive a $6 million makeover, turning it into a legal resource center and museum space for the surrounding community. Historic Public School 103 in Upton, also known as Henry Highland Garnet School, is a nearly 150-year-old civil rights landmark that lost its luster years ago amid encroaching blight. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Baltimore’s Ceasefire Weekends Dramatically Reduce Gun Violence, Study Finds

    While Baltimore continues to grapple with its high homicide rate, a new study looking at a community group’s efforts to stop the bloodshed shows those “ceasefire weekends” are making an impact. The study, published Thursday in the American Journal of Public Health, found the ceasefire weekend initiative reduced gun violence by more than 50 percent during the weekends in which they were held. (WJZ)Read Full Article

  • Lawyers for man wrongly imprisoned paint ‘compelling picture’ of a pattern of misconduct by Baltimore detectives, judge finds

    Attorneys for the family of a deceased Baltimore man who spent 17 years in prison before being exonerated of murder charges in 2016 will soon begin collecting evidence in a civil lawsuit alleging a prolonged and widespread “pattern” of misconduct by Baltimore Police homicide detectives. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • E-ZPass Outreach Events Scheduled Ahead Of Cashless Tolling At Bay Bridge This Summer

    With cashless tolling coming to the Bay Bridge this summer, the MDTA wants to make it easier for drivers to get E-ZPass. They’re hosting nine outreach programs in Anne Arundel and Queen Anne’s Counties, giving out free transponders to new customers. (WJZ) Read Full Article

  • County To Spend $57K On Broadband Service Evaluation

    County officials agreed this week to spend close to $60,000 to test the broadband service currently available in Worcester County. The Worcester County Commissioners voted unanimously to have CTC Technology & Energy test broadband service in the county at a cost of $57,500. The testing is meant to determine whether Bloosurf, the company that has received federal grants to bring high speed internet to Worcester County, has actually delivered the service. (Dispatch) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Ransom: Lawyers like the lucrative medical malpractice status quo? Shocking.

    In a recent misguided op-ed, attorney Ellen Flynn attacks the Infant Lifetime Care Trust by asserting that it would increase rates for “everyone who pays health insurance premiums and by taxpayers who pay for Medicaid and Medicare.” What she conveniently ignores is that under Maryland’s medical rate-setting system the cost of malpractice judgments is already borne by Maryland’s taxpayers. With every new judgment, hospital insurance costs go up. When that happens, medical care becomes more expensive and rates are adjusted to partially offset the higher cost of care. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Editorial: Maryland legislative round-up - Education funding edition

    Democratic lawmakers raised the education funding stakes Thursday, when they lobbed a $2.6 billion sales tax hike smack into the middle of the discussion on how to pay for reforms recommended from the state’s Kirwan Commission. And it was about time. There is simply no way the other revenue-raising efforts being considered in Annapolis were going to cover the $4 billion annual bill Kirwan will require after full implementation in a decade. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Brodie: Learning from the past to forge a future for Harborplace

    There are days when the summer sunlight seems to dance on the water of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. July 2, 1980, was definitely one of those days. That was the day that Harborplace opened. Of the multitude gathered there, some came walking from neighborhoods like Federal Hill and Sharp-Leadenhall, others by auto and still others arriving on a wooden replica of a 19th-century ship. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Queresh & McClellan: State continues to ignore court order to properly fund Baltimore schools

    As the Maryland legislature begins its official review of the Kirwan Commission recommendations for legislation that would provide additional support for Maryland’s public schools, it’s important to remember how we got here. More than 20 years ago, the Circuit Court for Baltimore City held in Bradford v. Maryland State Board of Education that Maryland’s constitution requires the state to ensure that all children receive an adequate education. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article