Politics

  • Alsobrooks way ahead of the fundraising field in Prince George’s executive race

    Prince George’s State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks has a large fundraising lead among Democrats vying to become the next county executive, according to campaign finance reports filed this week. Alsobrooks netted more than $770,000 in donations in 2017, which coupled with her campaign accounts from previous years gives her nearly $1 million in the bank — nearly seven times as much as her nearest competitor. The first campaign finance filing of the 2018 election cycle gives an early, if incomplete, view of fundraising prowess and momentum heading into the June 26 primary. In Prince George’s County, where Democrats outnumber Republicans 10 to 1, winning the primary is tantamount to victory in the general election. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Berliner ahead in early fundraising for Montgomery executive, but public financing muddles the numbers

    Montgomery County Council member Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda) raised far more money last year than those he’s competing with to be the next county executive of Maryland’s most populous county, according to campaign reports filed this week. Sizing up who is viable and who isn’t is somewhat colored this year by the debut of the county’s public-financing system, which has different reporting requirements. Berliner, who is not seeking matching funds, raised more than $550,000 in 2017 and reported a cash balance of $483,000. Roughly a quarter of his 676 total donations were for $1,000 or more, with 28 donors maxing out at the $6,000 limit. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Thanks to personal loan, Vignarajah leads Mosby, Bates in money race for Baltimore state's attorney

    Thanks to a $250,000 personal loan, former Maryland Deputy Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah has the most cash on hand in the race for Baltimore state’s attorney. Vignarajah’s $412,000 on hand — which included $175,000 in contributions and the loan he gave his campaign — outpaces incumbent State’s Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby and fellow challenger Ivan Bates in the first campaign finance filing of 2018. With five months to go before the June primary election in Baltimore, Mosby reported about $285,000 on hand after raising about $330,000 over the past year. Bates has $184,000 to campaign on after raising $250,000. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Government shutdown looms as stopgap spending measure appears likely to stall in the Senate

    A government shutdown appeared likely after Congress deadlocked over a proposed four-week stopgap spending bill to keep federal offices open past Friday’s deadline. After the House late Thursday passed the measure 230-197 with strong Republican support, the bill was headed for probable defeat in the Senate amid strong opposition from most Democrats and a few Republicans. The Senate adjourned late Thursday without voting. The threat of a shutdown looms large in Maryland, where about 300,000 residents work for the federal government — at the massive Social Security Administration headquarters in Woodlawn, multiple Veterans Administration facilities and agencies ranging from the Department of Defense to the National Institutes of Health. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Patients overpaying for prescriptions: save money by asking this one question

    You could be overpaying for your prescriptions and have no idea. In some cases, pharmacists can't tell you you're paying too much. Even if they wanted to, confidentiality agreements restrict them from notifying consumers of a cheaper price. This practice is called a clawback and Baltimore County Delegate Eric Bromwell likens it to theft. (WMAR-TV)Read Full Article

  • Gene M. Ransom III: Marylanders of All Ages Should Talk to Their Doctors About Getting Vaccinated

    As we enter fall, parents around Maryland have sent their children into the school year with everything they need to succeed, including their required school vaccinations. But immunizations aren’t just for our children – they are a lifelong, year-round medical necessity, and a critical public health tool for protecting against a broad range of dangerous and potentially deadly illnesses.Read Full Article

  • Wendy Davis Interview Series: Episode 2

    In this second of a two-part interview, Wendy Davis shares with KOFA Managing Partner Jamie Fontaine her thoughts on Betsy DeVos’ proposed dismantling of Title IX. Watch Video

  • Dr. Leana S. Wen: Graham-Cassidy Health Care Proposal Is Detrimental to Nation’s Health

    The Graham-Cassidy bill scheduled to be voted by the Senate next week is even more detrimental than previous attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It will take away health insurance coverage from millions of people, devastate Medicaid, and eliminate protections for patients, including coverage for pre-existing conditions.Read Full Article

Business

  • Baltimore not among Amazon HQ2 finalists; Montgomery County makes cut

    Amazon dashed the Baltimore region’s hopes of landing the plum prize of its second headquarters and tens of thousands of new jobs, as the online retail giant excluded the city from its list of finalists announced Thursday. But Maryland remained in with a chance as Montgomery County made the list of 20 finalists, and state officials quickly began assembling an incentive package to help the D.C. suburb land Amazon. Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said she was very disappointed that the city’s proposal to put Amazon in the Port Covington development in South Baltimore didn’t make the cut, but that won’t deter the city’s efforts to land other businesses, including Apple, which just Wednesday said it too plans another corporate campus employing thousands. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Maryland governor to pitch $5 billion incentive package to lure Amazon headquarters to Montgomery

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration will submit legislation in the next few weeks to build a $5 billion incentive package to lure Amazon HQ2 to Montgomery County. The proposal — a combination of state and local tax incentives and big infrastructure improvements — will require approval from state lawmakers and would be the biggest economic development deal in state history. Even before Amazon announced that Montgomery County was among the top 20 finalists to win the coveted campus and its 50,000 jobs, Hogan had already proposed setting aside $10 million in cash in his spending plan unveiled this week to lure Amazon to the state. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Amazon executive once led Montgomery County's economic development group

    The Amazon executive who announced the final 20 locations being considered for the company’s second headquarters once led the business booster group for Montgomery County, one of the contending communities. Holly Sullivan has been a public policy executive at Amazon since April 2016, but her previous job was president of the Montgomery Business Development Corporation, according to her LinkedIn profile. The business development group was replaced in 2016 with the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation, according to a county government report. The new corporation helped the county develop its proposal to Amazon. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Annapolis Market House shuts down as transition to new company begins

    The Market House in Annapolis is shutting down as the city prepares to turn over operation of the landmark building to a new company. Harvey Blonder, who operates most of the vendors in the city-owned market and who lost a bid to become the new landlord, texted out a terse statement Thursday morning saying he planned to cease operation. “Market House closes.” Blonder, whose companies operates several restaurants in downtown Annapolis and around the county, said he is following a notice sent to him by the city Wednesday to vacate the building within 30 days. (Capital)Read Full Article

Education

  • Hogan allocates $2 million in budget proposal to protect schools from hate crimes

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s fiscal 2019 budget proposal includes $2 million for security enhancements at schools and child-care centers, a response to an increase in hate crimes in recent years. If the funds are approved by the Maryland General Assembly, institutions perceived to be vulnerable to hate crimes or attacks would be able to apply for grants to upgrade facilities, hire security guards and teach safety training. Leaders from the region’s Jewish and Muslim communities championed the proposal in a release Thursday issued by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington. The money would fund a state grant program created by the legislature in April. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • McDaniel student gets life experience in Maryland Public Television internship

    For some at McDaniel College, Jan Term was a chance to take a new type of class, be it one that teaches how to cope with stress or one that thrusts students into the theater experience. But for others, like senior Khadijah Poston, Jan Term was a chance to dip her toe into the workforce. McDaniel’s winter term, known as Jan Term, is a three-week session in-between the fall and spring semesters. One semester of Jan Term is included in each student’s tuition. (Carr. Co. Times) Read Full Article

  • Harford Community College nurses, Bel Air officials laud recent Estonia journey

    The six women who were nursing students at Harford Community College last semester and went to Narva, Estonia, to teach HIV prevention, had an opportunity this week to share their experiences with Bel Air town officials. The group, joined by their advisers who traveled with them, gave a brief presentation about their trip to the board of town commissioners during Tuesday night’s town meeting. The students have since graduated and several are already in practice. “These six ladies were remarkable ambassadors for Harford Community College and the Town of Bel Air,” Tina Zimmerman, the group’s lead adviser said at the conclusion of the presentation. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • ‘Are you alive?’ Trial describes ambush of Maryland teens killed the night before graduation

    On one end of the social media exchanges: a Maryland teenager, looking to sell an extra ticket to his high school graduation ceremony the next day. On the other end: four conspirators, who prosecutors say were plotting his murder. The wait inside his Honda Civic on a suburban road 20 miles north of Washington involved more back-and-forth messages, according to the filings, and stretched longer than Shadi Najjar, 17, had expected. Beside him sat his friend, Artem Ziberov, 18, who was also set to graduate from Germantown’s Northwest High School. But the group on the way had only feigned interest in the ticket. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • City considering getting rid of homeless camp

    Here in Maryland, we're dealing with frigid temperatures, but some in Baltimore don't have the luxury of staying warm. Now, city officials are trying to get the dozens of homeless under the JFX bridge indoors, and the deadline to move is approaching. Many are staying under the bridge in a two-block row of tents, and they have been told they have until January 26 to move. The city cites health and safety concerns with the growing encampment,  sending workers to survey the people living there to see what they need and offering services. More than a million dollars will go into moving these people inside, breaking down barriers that would otherwise keep them out of shelters. (WMAR) Read Full Article

  • Ocean City Eyes ‘Bike Friendly Community’ Designation

    A Bicycle Friendly Community program could help to make Ocean City’s streets safer and more accessible for bicyclists. In a Coastal Resources Legislative Committee, or Green Team, meeting on Jan. 10, Paul Mauser, engineering manager for the town of Ocean City, presented committee members with a national designation program that provides guidance for cities and towns wishing to develop a bikeable community. In recent years, the resort has utilized grant funding from the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Bikeways Program to establish a continual bike path system along the resort’s side streets. (O.C. Md. News)Read Full Article

  • Bel Air officials approve contracts for Rockfield Park pavilion construction

    The Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners has approved contracts for the construction of a pavilion at Rockfield Park on the town’s east side. During Tuesday night’s town meting, the commissioners approved a $74,550 contract with Cunningham Recreation to erect the pavilion and a $32,000 contract with Ivy Hill Landscaping of Joppa to provide access improvements and landscaping for the site. The pavilion, which will be built on a rise to the west of the park’s playground and recreation fields and parking lot, is part of the park’s overall master plan, according to town Planning Director Kevin Small, who has been working on implementing the plan. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Some Baltimore-area water customers approach two weeks with no water

    As crews continue to plow through a backlog of water outages caused by the deep freeze that began the year, some Baltimore-area residents are well into their second week without water. The city’s Department of Public Works reported Wednesday that there were 69 cases of customers whose water had been out for more than 10 days on Wednesday. Those were the most recent figures available. “We’re at a point where the easy ones have been resolved, and we're just dealing with some of the more difficult cases,” said Jeffrey Raymond, a spokesman for the department. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Baltimore's loss — and Amazon's

    Baltimore’s pitch for Amazon’s second headquarters was much like the one social activists made after the 2015 riots — if you want to change the world, this is the best place to do it. Trouble is, Amazon appears not to have been particularly interested in the potential for its proposed $5 billion, 50,000-job development project to transform a beleaguered city. Of the 20 places that made its list of finalists, the only one that could qualify as distressed by any rational definition is Newark; mainly, it was a where’s-where list of boomtowns from Austin to Toronto and Raleigh to L.A. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Unreasonable raises for elected leaders

    A commission that is recommending pay raises of nearly 25 percent for the five members of the County Council and the county executive calls the adjustment “an unusual and justified reset.” Unusual, yes. Justified? Debatable. The commission, appointed by the County Council to review pay every four years as allowed by the county’s charter, suggests council members who take office in December, after the November election, earn $80,000 (a $15,000 increase) and the county executive’s pay be set at $226,000 (up $42,000) annually. (Ho. Co. Times)Read Full Article

  • Jay Steinmetz: Baltimore won't get HQ2, but neither will Montgomery County

    Take a quick look at the finalists for Amazon’s second headquarters, and one factor stands out: the nation’s capital. Montgomery County, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., itself are among 20 jurisdictions the company is considering for its “HQ2,” which comes with $5 billion in direct investment and 50,000 jobs. No doubt this gives a boost to Montgomery County, especially after Discovery Communications recently announced it is trading its Silver Spring location for a home in New York City, leaving a gaping hole in efforts to revitalize the Washington suburb. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Brian Griffiths: Will Democrats repudiate Manning candidacy?

    You don’t wake up in the morning expecting to break news that makes headlines around the world. But that’s exactly what we did at RedMaryland.com last Saturday. While looking through Federal Election Commission records, I discovered that Chelsea Manning had filed paperwork to run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland as a Democrat. Within the hour, the story was on local radio, and by lunch the story was on the front page of news sites around the world. The fact that Manning’s run for U.S. Senate became an international sensation has little do with her candidacy, and everything to do with her record as a traitor to this country. (Capital)Read Full Article