Politics

  • July 19 // Sen. Thomas "Mac" Middleton: Thank you, Charles County

    Now that all of Charles County’s primary election ballots have been counted, I would like to sincerely thank the voters for allowing me to serve as your state senator for the past 24 years. Charles County has been my lifelong home. My family has been here for hundreds of years, and I care deeply about this community. I am proud to have led efforts to move Charles County and the state of Maryland forward during my tenure. Whether it was ensuring full funding of our public schools, fighting for desperately needed transportation projects for Southern Maryland, securing economic development opportunities, preserving our environment or building a robust healthcare system, I have always worked hard to represent my constituents to the best of my ability. (So. Md. News)Read Full Article

  • Two gubernatorial candidates. One clambake. No interaction.

    Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and his Democratic challenger, Ben Jealous, stood inside the iron gates of the marina in Somerset County, barely 50 feet from each other at the 42nd annual J. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake, Maryland’s premier summer political event. The candidates have never met. And they didn’t speak on Wednesday, focusing instead on trying to secure votes in what is expected to be a heated gubernatorial race. “This is the best event that there is statewide, as far as politics and getting out and meeting people, not only people from the Lower Shore but thousands of people from around the state,” said Hogan, who has attended since he was a politician’s kid growing up in Prince George’s County. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Andy Harris becomes last Maryland congressman to support Wendi Winters' Medal of Freedom nomination

    After the Maryland congressional delegation urged President Donald J. Trump to award a Capital Gazette reporter and editor the Presidential Medal of Freedom, U.S. Rep. Andy Harris has pledged his support. Harris, a Republican representing District 1, has sent private communication to the White House in support of the effort, spokeswoman Jacque Clark said Wednesday. Maryland’s congressional delegation is urging the president to consider the nation’s highest civilian honor for a Capital Gazette shooting victim who spent her last moment rushing a rampaging gunman. (Capital) Read Full Article

  • Ben Jealous gets warm welcome from Rushern Baker, his vanquished party rival

    Former NAACP chief Ben Jealous and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III bickered throughout their battle in the Maryland Democratic gubernatorial primary. Jealous denounced Baker’s handpicked schools chief and questioned his top rival’s efforts to reform the state’s second-largest public school system. Baker shook his head in disbelief as Jealous outlined plans for expansive new government programs at debates, noting that he — not Jealous — had experience managing bureaucracies and government spending. On Wednesday, the two politicians traded compliments and said they had patched things up. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Aaron Tomarchio: How Kevin Kamenetz Steered Sparrows Point Toward The Future

    In 2010, during his first campaign for Baltimore County Executive, Kevin Kamenetz said something about Sparrows Point that seemed politically risky at the time: Maybe it’s time to think about a future beyond steel production. His words seemed prescient two years later when, after cycling through five owners in a decade, the steel mill closed, putting 2,200 men and women out of work.Read Full Article

  • Delegate Sandy Rosenberg: A Vision to Keep the Preakness in Baltimore

    Legendary horse trainer Bob Baffert wants the Preakness to stay in Baltimore. He told the Baltimore Sun, “To me, it’s magical in here. There’s something about it. I’ve been watching it since I was 10, 11 years old…There’s so much history here.”Read Full Article

  • Joseph (Jay) A. Schwartz, III: Senate Bill 30 ‒ The Pundits and Perhaps the Most Extraordinary Vote In General Assembly History

    The just concluded General Assembly Session was one that none of the pundits saw coming. So they said: It is an election year; there will be a lot of bills filed but nothing of substance will be enacted; partisan wrangling will be the order of the day; blah, blah, blah.Read Full Article

  • Tami Howie: Protecting Innovation Protects Patients and Our Economy

    Innovation is at the heart of Maryland’s economy and the wellbeing of patients in our state. New, groundbreaking cures and treatments save and extend the lives of patients, pushing the bounds of modern medicine, for the benefit of all. Innovative companies are able to leverage Maryland’s combination of technology know-how, business-friendly climate, and highly-educated, highly-skilled workforce to produce these cures and provide hundreds of thousands of Marylanders with well-paying jobs.Read Full Article

Business

  • July 19 // Proposed 'Airbnb bill' could generate up to $1 million in hotel tax revenues, analysis shows

    A proposed bill that would impose Baltimore’s 9.5 percent hotel tax on short-term rentals could generate as much as $1 million annually for the city, according to a new fiscal analysis. The Baltimore City Council’s Taxation, Finance and Economic Development Committee will hold a hearing Thursday on the bill, which — in addition to applying the hotel tax to Airbnb-style sites — would limit people’s ability to rent out their properties. The city’s Bureau of the Budget and Management Research wrote in a Tuesday letter to the council that the bill would have a “direct, positive impact” on Baltimore’s finances. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • FCC orders hearing even as Sinclair changes plans to sell TV stations to address concerns about Tribune deal

    The Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to refer Sinclair Broadcast Group’s $3.9 billion takeover of Tribune Media to an administrative hearing despite the companies’ effort earlier Wednesday to address concerns by withdrawing proposals to sell some television stations to Baltimore-area business executives with ties to Sinclair. The FCC announced the vote late Wednesday and said it would release the order Thursday. Sinclair said Wednesday that it was amending its previous station divestiture plan designed to keep the merged company under federal TV ownership limits. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • BWI will receive $3.5 million FAA grant to expand midfield cargo apron

    The U.S. Department of Transportation secretary announced on Wednesday that Baltimore-Washington International Airport will receive a $3.5 million grant toward expanding a midfield cargo apron. The federal money will reimburse BWI for adding more deicing areas in the midfield section of the airport. With the additional positions, planes can now deice on the apron in the winter instead of crossing runways and taxiways, ideally making the process safer and faster. Expanding the apron — an area away from the runway where airplanes are parked — allows the airport to accommodate more aircraft activity, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a news release. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Some Maryland residents will pay more for water under new WSSC pricing system

    A new pricing system approved Wednesday by Maryland’s largest water utility will result in lower water and sewer bills for larger households in the Washington suburbs and higher bills for residents who live alone, the utility said. When the changes take effect in July 2019, a three-person home — the most common-sized household — using an average amount of water will see their quarterly bill drop by about $5, according to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission. A nine-person home will pay an average of about $80 less per quarter. People living alone will pay an average $8 more per quarter, WSSC officials said. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

Education

  • July 19 // Naval Academy athletics constructing $20 million Physical Mission Center

    Youngsters of all ages spend time on the campus of the Naval Academy each summer attending various camps organized by head coaches of the 33 varsity sports. Academy leaders are hoping those campers find their way into the Physical Mission Center currently being constructed as an addition to Ricketts Hall. This new facility will feature 25,000 square feet of interactive exhibit space and will celebrate the storied history of Navy athletics while simultaneously serving as a testament to the academy’s commitment to the physical development of the entire Brigade of Midshipmen. (Capital)Read Full Article

  • Second probe of graduation rates underway in Prince George’s schools

    Investigators have embarked on a second review of grading practices and graduation rates in a Maryland school system that spent the past year engulfed in a diploma controversy. The new review of the Prince George’s County school system will focus on the recently graduated Class of 2018, examining those students’ records while looking at the district’s efforts to tighten procedures and oversight. Interviews of central-office administrators in the state’s second-largest school system began this week and will be followed by visits to the system’s 22 high schools, officials said. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • In new course, Glen Burnie High School students will train to be 911 operators

    Angelina Reyes, 17, isn’t old enough to be a 911 operator at the Anne Arundel County Police Department, but she might get a head start on the training at school this year. More than a dozen seniors at Glen Burnie High School will spend the forthcoming school year learning police codes and dispatch center technology — and how to appropriately respond to someone calling 911 in distress. It’s the first of its kind in the country, as far as the Anne Arundel County school board is aware. (Capital)Read Full Article

  • Summer Camp In Baltimore For Aspiring Broadway Stars

    A special summer camp is teaching students how to prepare for a career in theatre. This is the first musical theatre camp at the Modell Lyric, and students came from all over the region and out of the state to audition. An intense five-week course is exposing young singers and dancers to all facets of the musical theatre industry. “Students have had master classes with Tony Award winners and Tony Nominees from Broadway. They dance every day,” said Denise Gantt, director of Education: Pre-Professional Training Program. (WJZ-CBS) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Ben Jealous says he'll try to revive the Baltimore Red Line, but that might be more than anyone can deliver

    Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ben Jealous says that if he is elected governor in November, he'll work to revive Baltimore's Red Line. That might be more than anyone can deliver. When Republican Gov. Larry Hogan withdrew the state’s support for the $3 billion east-west light rail line after entering office in 2015, he didn’t just kill the project. He drove a figurative spike through its heart — giving up federal funding, and spending the state’s portion on other transportation priorities — making it difficult for any future governor to resurrect it. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Tentative construction options unveiled for Maryland's ambitious plan to widen the Beltway and I-270

    An ambitious plan to widen lanes on the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 is entering a new phase with the release of a long list of possible construction alternatives this week. Maryland transportation officials Tuesday unveiled 15 preliminary options that include the addition of congestion-priced toll lanes as well as dedicated bus lanes that would address traffic congestion on the two major highways. The alternatives provide the most detail of what the project might look like on I-270 and the Beltway. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore seeks 'can-do, reform minded' police commissioner in job listing

    Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said Wednesday she’s been impressed by acting Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle — but is nevertheless collecting resumes from “across the country” from candidates to be the city’s top cop. Tuggle has been acting commissioner since May. He took over for Commissioner Darryl De Sousa, who stepped down after he was charged with failing to file federal tax documents. Tuggle has said he wants the job permanently. “I’m confident in what he’s doing at this point. Absolutely,” Pugh said. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Funds honoring slain Capital Gazette staffers have raised nearly $685,000

    Thousands of people have contributed nearly $685,000 to a pair of funds created after the June 28 mass shooting in the Capital Gazette newsroom, and donations small and large continue to come in. The outpouring by people with and without direct connections to the Annapolis newspapers has benefited a fund set up for families, victims and survivors of the attack and another for scholarships for aspiring journalists. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Sen. Bill Ferguson, Del. Luke Clippinger: Two teens caught up in the justice system have lessons for Md.

    This year, Dawnta Harris, 16, was charged with first-degree murder for allegedly running over Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio in a stolen Jeep while facilitating home burglaries. Two years ago, Lavar Douglas, 18, was shot by a Coppin State University police officer after allegedly opening fire on a moving car. Two Baltimore City teens: one charged with killing a police officer, the other killed by a police officer. Both had previous encounters with the juvenile justice system. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Our criticism of Rep. Andy Harris was wrong. It was not nearly harsh enough.

    On Wednesday, we published an editorial excoriating Rep. Andy Harris for turning a blind eye to President Donald Trump’s disastrous news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin and suggesting that the whole controversy about his flagrant denial of the truth related to Russian interference in the 2016 election was irrelevant because it had been reported in the mainstream media. We went on to question whether his contempt for the press explained in some way his hesitation to join the other nine members of Maryland’s congressional delegation in urging President Trump to award the late Capital reporter Wendi Winters with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her efforts to save her colleagues during last month’s attack on the paper’s newsroom even at the sacrifice of her own life. We apologize. We were wrong. We were not nearly harsh enough. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article...

  • Congress needs to put the FAA on notice over NextGen noise

    Anyone who has ever had anything to do with the Federal Aviation Administration knows that it thrives on government double talk. Meetings with a community group about flight noise at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport were so dense with technical language at some points, that even members of the BWI Community Roundtable admitted it sometimes sounded like intentional gobbledygook. So, now that the FAA has decided to stop talking about airport noise, a casual observer might wonder if this is a blessing in disguise. The talks were going nowhere, or at least nowhere in the sense of making progress in addressing the underlying problem. (Capital)Read Full Article

  • Nancy R. Smit: How Maryland is playing a leading role in the primary care revolution

    Maryland is in the process of transitioning to a Total Cost of Care All-Payer Model for Medicare beneficiaries. Transforming the role that primary care physicians play is a key component of this new model. To drive this transformation, the Maryland Department of Health is launching a new initiative — the Maryland Primary Care Program. Under this pilot program, based on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation's Comprehensive Primary Care Plus Model, Maryland Medicare beneficiaries will have their care proactively managed by an interdisciplinary care team led by a primary care physician. Currently, people seek out their primary care physician when they’re ill or it’s time for their annual exam. (Balt. Bus. Journal)Read Full Article