Maryland monorail proposal leaves many observers skeptical, frustrated

Montgomery County developer Robert Eisinger says a $3.4 billion monorail running out to Frederick is the answer to easing horrific traffic on Interstate 270 — but close observers of Maryland transit say his proposal merely raises a series of thorny questions. Eisinger is shopping around a plan for a 27-mile monorail running up the median of the highway, linking the Shady Grove Metro station to downtown Frederick and perhaps pulling thousands of commuters out of their cars. The proposal is still in its most preliminary stages, but the longtime Maryland developer has already won audiences with a variety of state and local officials, some of whom have expressed interest in studying the option in more detail. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Aberdeen Proving Ground unveils monument in honor of Gold Star families, dedicates Legacy Forest

Amber Baum gasped when the cover was pulled back, revealing a sculpted “battlefield cross” on top of a three-tiered pedestal honoring local Gold Star families whose loved ones were killed in the line of duty while serving in the military. Baum, 33, of Abingdon, is one of those Gold Star survivors. Her late husband, Army Sgt. Ryan J. Baum, was killed in action May 18, 2007, while serving in Iraq. Baum, herself a former Army medic, attended the unveiling of the battlefield cross monument Sunday afternoon at the Gold Star Plaza and Living Legacy Forest in the Plum Point area of Aberdeen Proving Ground. She was with her 11-year-old daughter, Leia, with whom she was pregnant when her husband lost his life. (Balt. Sun)

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Annapolis public housing residents sue, claiming racial discrimination and deplorable conditions

Almost 30 public housing residents have sued the city and Housing Authority of Annapolis, claiming decades of racial discrimination against those communities have culminated in deplorable living conditions that are dangerous for occupants. Six properties owned and operated exclusively by the housing authority have fallen into disrepair. Mold, sewage leaks and water damage have proliferated because the city does not enforce its code on those properties, the lawsuit claims. The lawsuit targets Mayor Gavin Buckley, the housing authority’s executive director Beverly Wilbourn and the City Council, saying they conspired to “suspend city inspections of HACA properties” and allow Wilbourn to decrease the quality standard of the housing. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore’s out-of-date and underfunded IT system was ripe for ransomware attack

It may not have been someone in city government clicking on something “bad” in their email. Nor was it likely a “targeted” attack because most ransomware is automated and simply scans for vulnerabilities. But once the attackers were into Baltimore’s network, they knew what they were dealing with – a dangerously ill-prepared, kludged-together municipal IT system. “Fixing this is going to require a view across all the city’s agencies and a reckoning with 20 years of crud – information technology crud – that is now there,” says tech journalist and analyst Sean Gallagher. (Brew)

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Experts weigh in on development's impact on Ellicott City flooding

Len Berkowitz had been on Main Street in Ellicott City for nearly 40 years. He and his wife, Sherry, owned Great Panes, a glass staining shop. But the devastating flood a year ago convinced them it was time to move. They did not leave after a 2016 flood deemed a “1,000-year storm” by experts — meaning it had a 0.1% chance of occurring in a single year— hit the town. The event pushed them into debt, left two people dead and caused millions of dollars in damage. The couple poured money into the shop and soon reopened. (Balt. Sun)

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Judge dismisses lawsuit over Hopkins police ballot question

A judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit challenging a decision by the Maryland State Board of Elections that the law allowing Johns Hopkins University to establish a private police force could not be subject to referendum. Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge William C. Mulford II ruled that the issue was not yet ripe for review because the determination the petitioners challenged had been rescinded, though he noted that he was dismissing the case without prejudice and leaving open the possibility that it could come before the court again. (Daily Record)

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Viewpoint: A monorail is a nice idea. But Greater Washington needs to ride the bus.

Since the early 1970s, my in-laws have made their home in central Jersey. Exit 8 for those familiar with the New Jersey Turnpike, the mid-point between Philadelphia and their native New York City. And like so many New Jerseyans, my father-in-law made the daily commute into Manhattan for work. That’s 50 miles each way, five days a week, for 40-plus years. Think Fredericksburg to D.C., an exhausting Northern Virginia trek that too many tackle daily, alone, in a car. (Wash. Bus. Journal) 

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Baltimore Police hires two key deputies, including one who accused State's Attorney Mosby of lying under oath

Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison on Tuesday named two new deputy commissioners from outside the department who will oversee key areas— including day-to-day operations of thousands of officers and misconduct investigations. Michael Sullivan, a police officer who has served his career at Louisville (Ky.) Police Department, will oversee the operations bureau, which includes criminal investigations and patrol. Michelle Wilson, an assistant Maryland attorney general, will oversee the public integrity bureau, which includes internal affairs. (Balt. Sun)

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