Politics

  • Maryland legislature to start tracking harassment complaints

    Maryland’s legislature is set to start tracking sexual harassment complaints against lawmakers and their staff members, as statehouses across the country confront mounting allegations of sexual misconduct and examine their policies for dealing with them. The General Assembly plans to update its sexual harassment policy to require the legislature’s human resources director to keep track of the number and type of complaints, and how they were resolved. Lawmakers would be briefed on this information every year — but would not be given the identities of the alleged harassers. The changes are expected to win approval from a legislative policy committee that is meeting Tuesday, said Alexandra Hughes, chief of staff to Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel). The committee sets rules for the General Assembly. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Hogan discusses plans to help Baltimore fight violent crime

    Gov. Larry Hogan said his moves last week to direct more state and federal resources at fighting gangs and violent crime shouldn't be taken as a statement on how City Hall and the police department are doing their jobs. "This is a city responsibility and only the city police force and the mayor are going to be able to get this under control, but the state is trying to provide as much assistance as we possibly can," Hogan told C4 on Monday. Speaking from his office in Annapolis, Hogan said he knows Mayor Catherine Pugh's job isn't easy. "I support the mayor, I support the commissioner and we have a great working relationship with both of them and that will continue," Hogan said. (WBAL) Read Full Article

  • Kevin Kamenetz on business in Maryland, separating himself from the pack

    If elected governor, former NAACP president Ben Jealous said he would push to attract a company as large as Facebook to come to Maryland. James Shea, a lawyer and fellow democratic gubernatorial candidate, said he wants to bring a Fortune 500 company into the state. For Kevin Kamenetz, it's more about supporting the companies that are already here. Kamenetz, who will be competing against the likes of Shea, Jealous and many others in the democratic gubernatorial primary, said on this week's episode of the BaltBizCast that his approach to economic development is cultivating home-grown talent rather than reaching out-of-state. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Montgomery County Council to pass resolution to protect undocumented immigrants

    Though the legislation may be largely symbolic, members of the Montgomery County Council are expected to take a stand Tuesday in favor of county residents who under the Trump administration could lose the deportation protections they have enjoyed for years. The administration has indicated that it will end temporary protected status (TPS) for some immigrants who fled war or natural disaster to find a haven in the United States. The administration also plans to end the Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, that allows undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children to legally remain in the United States. The all-Democratic council is expected to unanimously pass a resolution to urge the federal government to allow the immigrants — thousands of whom live in Montgomery County — to remain in the country. (Wash. Post) 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

  • FAQ: What you need to know about medical marijuana in Maryland

    Medical marijuana is now available in Maryland, more than four years after the General Assembly passed a law legalizing it. Standing up the industry — with growers, processors, dispensaries and doctors — took longer than expected. The law needed to be tweaked, rules to needed to written and legal battles fought over who won licenses. Here’s what prospective users need to know about medical marijuana. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Under Armour names two new senior executives

    Under Armour on Monday named two new senior executives. Kelley McCormick will take a newly created position, senior vice president of corporate communications, and Massimo Baratto will serve as vice president and managing director of European business for the Baltimore-based athletic apparel company. Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank said McCormick and Baratto “bring unique combinations of strategic expertise and vision to their respective roles.” “We are excited to add two talented senior executives to our bench, further strengthening our ability to build the Under Armour brand globally,” Plank said in a statement. “I look forward to their leadership and contribution as we enter our next chapter of growth.” (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • In advance of council discussion, residents question $43M assistance to Towson Row developers

    Some Towson residents, alarmed by a Baltimore County proposal to give nearly $43 million to the developers of the Towson Row project, plan to press officials for answers at a Tuesday County Council meeting. Since learning about the incentive package last week, many residents have been connecting over Facebook, NextDoor and email, and coordinating plans to attend the meeting where council members will discuss the deal to jump start the York Road development. “People want to know: What is this?” said Brenda Bodian, a resident of Towson’s Stoneleigh neighborhood and a commercial real estate professional. “It comes as a great shock that there’s $43 million that can be given to a private developer.” (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • After 13 years, West Baltimore mega-development begins to take shape

    The horizon of West Baltimore's Poppleton community has sprouted two new additions: The first buildings of a sprawling, $800 million development that will welcome new tenants in August. The 32-acre development, called Center West, is located just west of Martin Luther King Boulevard at Fayette and Schroeder streets and is planned to ultimately hold 1,600 apartments and 3.2 million square feet of residential and commercial space in about a decade. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

Education

  • Hopkins taps Duke executive to head medical system

    Kevin W. Sowers, a career executive with the Duke University Health System, has been tapped as the new president of the Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine. Sowers replaces Ronald R. Peterson, who announced earlier this year that he was retiring. Sowers will take the position at the $8 billion academic medical center and health system after 32 years with the Duke University Health System. For the last eight years he served as president and CEO of Duke University Hospital. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Teach for America Baltimore gets $1 million donation

    Baltimore philanthropists Patricia and Mark Joseph donated $1 million to the city’s chapter of Teach for America, the organization announced Monday. The money — one of the largest gifts ever to the city’s Teach for America corps — will provide intensive support for first and second-year teachers and expand programming for the organization’s alumni network. “We’ll continue to be able to be a source of diverse, committed teachers and leaders for the students in Baltimore,” said Courtney Cass, executive director of Teach for America–Baltimore. “This gift will also enable us to expand the number of leaders committed to working in Baltimore for a lifetime on behalf of educational equity.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • University of Maryland draws investment, partnership with Fortune 500 company

    University of Maryland's efforts to build up a "Discovery District" in College Park just earned a major vote of confidence from a new Fortune 500 partner. McLean-based Capital One Financial Corp. will make a $3 million investment in UMd.'s machine learning program and will open a new 7,500-square-foot innovation lab right off campus. The funding from Capital One will be used to endow a faculty chair in the Department of Computer Science focused on machine learning. (Wash. Bus. Journal)Read Full Article

  • Tiny Smith Island elementary school sends Christmas ornaments to Washington

    When Maryland artist Katherine Dilworth was asked by the Maryland State Arts Council to design a concept for the ornament that would represent Maryland in 2017 in Washington, D.C., it didn't take her long to come up with a group of students to create the ornaments she envisioned.  She recalled a visit to Smith Island a few years ago. There, Ewell Elementary is one of the smallest schools in Maryland, with just 11 students enrolled in pre-K through seventh grade. It employs one certified teacher who also serves as principal, one instructional assistant, someone who prepares meals and a custodian. (Daily Times) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Harford property tax credit bill benefiting retired vets, seniors is signed by county executive

    Harford County Bill 17-021, which gives property tax credits to retired military veterans 65 and older and senior citizens who have lived in the same house for at least 40 years, was signed into law by County Executive Barry Glassman Friday. Glassman sponsored the legislation. County Councilman James McMahan signed on as a co-sponsor after the legislation was introduced on Oct. 17. The County Council passed the legislation on a 5-1 vote Dec. 5. (Aegis) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore-area home sales, prices climb in November

    Baltimore-area home sales and prices continued to climb in November as the inventory of available homes sunk to a 10-year low. A total of 3,003 homes sold for a median prices of $254,000, up 5.8 percent from the same time last year and the highest November sales volume and median price in a decade, according to a ShowingTime report released Monday. Active listings declined by 11 percent, to 9,712, marking the 27th consecutive month of declining year-over-year inventory levels and the lowest November level in a decade, according to the monthly report, based on listing activity from MRIS, a division of the multiple-listing service Bright MLS. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Dr. Moy named head of Harford Health Department

    Dr. Russell W. Moy has been appointed as the Harford County Health Officer by the Maryland Department of Health and the Harford County Council. Moy, 64, who had been acting head of the Harford County department since the July retirement of former health officer Susan Kelly, will have countywide responsibility for health improvement, health policy, care coordination and clinical health services for vulnerable and underserved populations of the county, according to a department news release. (Aegis) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore power plant, incinerator linked to health problems for nearby residents

    The RESCO plant sits at the end of Russell Street, near Baltimore’s two sports stadiums. Basically it’s a combination of an incinerator and a power plant, it burns Baltimore’s trash to make steam and generate electricity, but that isn’t all it makes. “The plant emits nitrous oxide, ozone and fine particulate matter,” said Alison Prost of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Prost says for people with asthma, COPD and heart disease, it makes it harder for them to breath. (WJZ-CBS) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • State Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr.: Md. governor should study chicken farm emissions

    The campaign to get people to “Eat More Chicken” seems to be working: A according to the Delmarva Poultry Institute, from 2005-2015, the amount of chickens produced on the Eastern Shore increased by more than half a billion pounds (from 3.3 to 3.9 billion pounds). But as the poultry industry continues to build hundreds of new houses containing bigger birds — and more manure — each year, Eastern Shore communities are bearing the burden. Chicken houses don’t have smokestacks, but they do generate air emissions that can threaten public health and clean water. But because no one monitors these emissions, we don’t know how much this pollution is affecting the health of neighboring communities and their residents or nearby waters, including the Chesapeake Bay. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • All voters, not just angry Democrats, will decide about Peroutka

    Whatever it says about his judgment, new County Council Chairman Michael Peroutka has every right to back Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama — to contribute $2,500, to stand with him on the night of Moore's primary victory, to put his name on a letter of support circulated by Moore’s campaign. And whatever the political calculation involved, Anne Arundel’s Democratic Central Committee, like others in the county, has every right to label that support as noxious and an assault on common decency. There are multiple and credible allegations that Moore has engaged in sexual misconduct targeting girls as young as 14. In a guest column on this page Saturday, Democratic Central Committee Chairwoman Christine Davenport called on Peroutka to not only resign from his chairmanship but step down from the council. (Capital)Read Full Article

  • Terence Smith: Decision that may shake Annapolis' image as 'sailing capital' coming soon

    Annapolis and Newport, Rhode Island, have a lot in common: Both are historic, beautiful waterfront cities — and, for years, both have claimed to be the sailing capital of America. In the first column I wrote in this space three years ago, I questioned whether Annapolis deserved its self-anointed “sailing capital” title, given the cramped, crowded harbor and relative lack of amenities for the visiting yachtsman. Lots of readers agreed with me, but a vocal minority cried foul. Hell hath no fury, I discovered, like an Annapolitan challenged on the sailing pre-eminence of his or her city. (Capital)Read Full Article

  • Thomas Wheatley: Appeasement is a bad reason to support the Maryland Trust Act

    In the words of James Bond villain Alec Trevelyan, why can’t the Maryland Law Enforcement and Governmental Trust Act just be a good boy and die? Last spring, legislation by the same name died in the Senate, much to the frustration of advocates of undocumented immigrants. Yet sure enough, some Maryland progressives and their allies, including the Maryland ACLU and CASA de Maryland, plan to resurrect the bill as soon as possible and have already held public forums to discuss just that. For those new to the Trust Act (or at least its most recent version), the bill effectively makes Maryland a sanctuary state by limiting law enforcement’s cooperation with federal immigration efforts and banning state officers from investigating citizens’ immigration status. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article