Politics

  • Leventhal unveils superhero-themed county executive ad

    Democratic Montgomery County executive candidate George Leventhal is showing his lighter—and stronger—side in a new superhero-themed digital ad that has him flying like Superman, landing like Iron Man and standing up to the “Orange One”—President Donald Trump. The 90-second “Avenger: MoCo” ad—a play on the Marvel Comics movie franchise—has already generated significant publicity for Leventhal since he released it Wednesday. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

  • Valerie Ervin is running for governor — but it's not clear how Marylanders can actually vote for her

    Valerie Ervin is officially a Democratic candidate for governor — but how voters will actually cast a ballot for her remains unclear. Ervin’s name will not appear on ballot papers as a candidate for governor, the state elections administrator confirmed in a court filing Friday, and with only three and a half weeks left before early voting begins in the Democratic primary, officials say they’re still figuring out how people will vote for her. Linda Lamone, the state’s top elections official, filed an affidavit Friday in a case unrelated to Ervin’s candidacy, saying she had consulted with her staff and local elections directors in making her decision. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Census question about citizenship status angers Maryland Rep. Cummings, Democrats during congressional hearing

    Frustrated congressional Democrats accused the Trump administration Friday of politicizing the 2020 Census after a Justice Department official declined to answer questions on how the administration came to include a question asking people their citizenship status. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee, said he had wanted more information about the administration’s rationale for the question. At a hearing Friday, committee Democrats said the question would have a chilling effect on responses from immigrant communities and others suspicious of government. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Amid dispute over lawsuit, advocates urge Democrats to write-in "HBCU" rather than vote for Maryland Attorney General Frosh

    Advocates who want increased funding for Maryland’s historically black colleges and universities took the fight to Attorney General Brian Frosh's office Friday, urging Democratic primary voters to write in “HBCU” rather than vote for Frosh next month. The protesters contend the state owes Maryland’s four historically black colleges more than $1 billion for systematically discriminating against them over decades, and they accuse Frosh of delaying settlement of a decade-long lawsuit over the issue. Frosh’s office has appealed a federal judge’s ruling that would appoint a “special master” who would come up with a plan for increased funding. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • 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

  • ERIC DEAN: Promote Policies that Nurture Innovation and Jobs to Produce Cures

    The Pharmaceutical Industry Labor-Management Association (PILMA), a coalition of companies in the biopharmaceutical industry and building construction trades unions, is committed to dual goals of fostering innovation of life-saving cures and securing high-quality union construction jobs. Read Full Article

Business

  • Maryland unemployment stays at 4.3 percent in April

    Maryland’s unemployment rate held steady at 4.3 percent in April as the state lost 4,300 jobs, the U.S. Labor Department said Friday. The state’s jobless rate had ticked up to 4.3 percent in March, from 4.2 percent. Unemployment in the U.S. was 3.9 percent last month. Maryland’s unemployment rate may be higher than that of the U.S. because the state is seeing more people looking for work and they may not be finding jobs quickly, said Richard Kaglic, a senior regional economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Companies looking to hire are sometimes struggling to find qualified employees, he said. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland program to stabilize Obamacare hits snag over dispute about payments to insurers

    As a federal deadline looms, a state effort to stabilize Obamacare by creating a fund to help insurers cover the most expensive claims may have hit a snag. The two insurers who sell plans in the state under Obamacare, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States, disagree about whether the state plan favors CareFirst. The state is proposing to establish a $462 million reinsurance fund with money raised by a state levy on insurance companies plus some federal funds. The program would allow CareFirst and Kaiser to offer lower premiums and prevent Obamacare in Maryland from failing. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Kaiser Permanente pledges $200 million for U.S. affordable housing; Baltimore is eligible

    Calling it one of the biggest private investments ever in affordable housing, Kaiser Permanente pledged to spend as much as $200 million to try to end homelessness in America. Officials with the nonprofit health care provider announced the investment Friday in Washington, D.C., with Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh and mayors from Alexandria, Va., Oakland, Calif., and Portland, Ore. “Maryland is one of the richest states in the country,” Pugh told the crowd. “Yet homelessness permeates the streets of our city.” (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Solar company seeks to build facility in Union Bridge

    A solar company hopes to turn 50 acres of land in and around Union Bridge into a field of solar panels within two years if it can obtain approval. The public was invited to an informal meeting Thursday to discuss the proposed solar facility. Citizens UB Solar LLC, which owns the land formerly known as the “Buckey Property” as well as land stretching beyond the town limits into the county, sent representatives to present on the project, designed to span 49.76 acres and produce 9.9 megawatts of energy. Following the citizens meeting, the company introduced the project formally before the Union Bridge Planning and Zoning Commission. (Carr. Co. Times) Read Full Article

Education

  • First, she took a knee to call out injustice. Now, this 11-year-old is fighting for her own rights.

    Mariana Taylor is a sixth-grader with strong beliefs about racial injustice, sexism, gay rights and President Trump’s proposed wall at the Mexico border. Earlier this year, as her middle school class stood for the Pledge of Allegiance, she stayed seated. A couple of weeks later, she silently took a knee rather than sit — inspired by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who ignited a national debate on patriotism and protest as he knelt during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality. “I kind of wanted to show people that what’s going on is not okay,” said Mariana, an 11-year old from Baltimore County, recalling that Kaepernick began kneeling rather than sitting after a military veteran told him it was more respectful. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • 'Agents of change:' A year with the UMBC program shaping some of the nation's best and most diverse scientists

    Adrian Davey hunched over a small plastic air quality sensor and threaded a red wire through one end. Freshmen Nick Balasus and Katherine Ball looked on. Davey has been stuyding the low-cost sensors since the end of his freshman year. They measure particulate air pollution from sources such as car exhaust or coal plants. Exposure to particulate matter has been linked to premature deaths. The sensors are widely available to the public. But the accuracy has not kept up with availability, according to Christopher J. Hennigan, the professor and lab director who oversees Davey’s work. Hennigan believes Davey would have been successful anywhere. The Meyerhoff program, he says, “lets their natural talents flourish.” (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Denver Nuggets Star Donates Game Room To Baltimore School

    Friday wasn’t a regular day for students at Johnston Square Elementary School. “I was out of my mind when I saw this game room,” student Tamil Daniels summed it up. A spare room was converted into a game room, thanks to a donation from NBA Denver Nuggets player Will Barton, who grew up in Baltimore and was looking for a way to give back. “How can I help this school and help kids stay in school with good attendance and keep striving to get good grades,” Barton said. (WJZ-CBS) Read Full Article

  • Under Armour workers spend "Armour Day" fixing up three city schools

    Hundreds of Under Armour employees fanned out to three Baltimore elementary/middle schools on Friday to help renovate aging buildings for “Armour Day.” Two thousand of the athletic apparel brand’s Baltimore-based workers took part in the company’s annual day of community service, typically held each May. The service day this year coincided with the start of Preakness weekend, when for the first time in years, the company chose not to host a race-day hospitality tent for top athletes and other celebrities. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Maryland tops states in decline of prison population, report shows

    Maryland has surged to the front of a national trend of states reducing their prison populations, according to a new report by a nonprofit group that tracks criminal justice issues. The Vera Institute of Justice said Friday that Maryland led the nation with a 9.6 percent drop in prison inmates in 2017. That is more than 2 percentage points greater than the decline registered in the second-ranking states, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The decline means 1,916 fewer people are serving sentences in state-run correctional facilities — leaving a prison population of 18,078 at the end of last year. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • St. Mary’s Co. community rallying behind plans for oyster restoration

    Nearly 60 years ago, the oysters in Maryland’s Breton Bay were so plentiful that you had to be careful where you set foot on the bottom. Chuck Bright, who spent his summers there in those days, learned that the hard way. “I jumped off the pier and sliced my foot on an oyster shell,” said Bright, 68, a dentist who now lives year-round in the waterfront home his father built there in the 1950s. As in so many other places around the Chesapeake Bay, oysters are now scarce in Breton Bay, a short, relatively wide tributary of the Potomac River that zigzags south like a question mark from Leonardtown, MD. (Md. Reporter-Bay Journal)Read Full Article

  • Silver Spring residents take to the streets to demand safer roads

    It’s a universal complaint in residential areas — people hate how fast and how frequently cars speed by their homes. But one neighborhood in Montgomery County has found what even their local county councilman calls an “unusually effective” way to bring about change. On an average day, about 4,000 cars use a one-mile stretch of Dale Drive between Route 29 and Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland. But if there’s anything tying up traffic even more so than usual on either one of those roads, that number goes way up. (WTOP) Read Full Article

  • Annapolis, Anne Arundel County legislators propose plastic foam ban

    Annapolis and Anne Arundel County could become a no-foam zone. Annapolis Alderman Rob Savidge and county Councilman Chris Trumbauer, both Democrats, took aim at plastic foam food service items this month in legislation seeking to ban their use in local restaurants and businesses. Their efforts come after Maryland legislators failed to pass a similar ban statewide, but the idea has seen far more success in Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. The councilmen are hoping to see fewer littered foam cups and containers in the waterways, where they can breakdown and harm aquatic life. (Capital)Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Laslo Boyd: Death and taxes

    As sure as we are that the sun will appear each morning, we are just as certain that the next mass shooting is coming soon. And in what may be the perfect symmetry of irresponsibility, many of the very same people who have prevented a rational response to our public health crisis of gun violence are also leading the charge to undermine the system of taxation that has provided the funds to make America great. Irony intended. (From a Certain Point of View)Read Full Article

  • Democrats should choose Rushern Baker for Maryland governor

    It can be easy to forget the spectacular mess that Rushern L. Baker III inherited when, in 2010, he became the top elected official in Prince George’s County, Maryland’s second-most-populous locality. Given his brand of steady, sane, no-drama leadership as county executive over the past eight years, it is equally easy to overlook the extent to which he has succeeded in radically rebranding a locality whose reputation had been so badly stained by public corruption, chaotic governance and crime. Mr. Baker’s admirable, ambitious record in Prince George’s is the basis on which we support him in Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, on June 26. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Student protest — peaceful dissent must be allowed

    Here’s something most everyone can agree upon — the business of kneeling during a patriotic display has become a singularly polarizing event and unnecessarily so. What started with NFL player Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem two years ago to protest wrongdoings against African Americans and other minorities became an exercise in Red State-Blue State politics when President Donald Trump equated it to dissing war veterans. The ACLU of Maryland is asking the Baltimore County school system to clarify its policies on student dissent after it says an 11-year-old girl at Catonsville Middle School was reprimanded by her teacher for “taking a knee” during the Pledge of Allegiance. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • We support 9.9 cent tax increase in Annapolis — with some caveats

    The 9.9-cent property tax rate increase now up for debate by the Annapolis City Council is a bitter pill. We say bitter because no one likes to swallow hard and pay more taxes than they used to, no matter where they live. But Mayor Gavin Buckley and the members of the council Finance Committee have made a credible argument that Annapolis has to raise more funds to support the programs its residents want. So, we’ll go along with the premise — provisionally. (Capital)Read Full Article