Politics

  • Free-speech challenge to abuse-reporting law reaches justices

    A 32-year-old Maryland law requiring state residents to report suspected child abuse to law enforcement violates the free-speech rights of Marylanders, a defense attorney has argued in appealing a first-degree murder conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court. In papers filed with the justices, attorney Erin Murphy said the government’s reporting requirement compels speech in violation of the Constitution’s First Amendment. “Freedom of speech, embodied by the First Amendment, includes the right not to speak,” Murphy wrote in her request for Supreme Court review. “Freedom of speech prohibits the government from telling people what they must say.” (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Carlmichael ‘Stokey’ Cannady announces run for Baltimore mayor

    Baltimore activist Carlmichael “Stokey” Cannady announced Tuesday his run for city mayor, pledging to represent those who feel “overlooked, ignored and unheard," according to a release. Cannady, 49, has built a reputation as an anti-violence advocate and mediator since his release from federal prison following a sentence for drug dealing. He does marketing work for Shoe City, a local shoe seller that hosts anti-violence events. He is entering the race as a Democrat. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Leana Wen, former Baltimore health commissioner, removed as Planned Parenthood CEO

    Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore’s former health commissioner, was removed Tuesday as the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood. She said she has “philosophical differences” with its board of directors and its decision to “double down on abortion rights advocacy.” Wen had left her Baltimore post in October to become Planned Parenthood’s sixth president. In a Twitter statement, she said the organization’s board of directors “ended my employment at a secret meeting.” (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article  

  • Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens dies at 99

    John Paul Stevens, the bow-tied, independent-thinking, Republican-nominated justice who unexpectedly emerged as the Supreme Court’s leading liberal, died Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, after suffering a stroke Monday. He was 99. During nearly 35 years on the court, Stevens stood for the freedom and dignity of individuals, be they students or immigrants or prisoners. He acted to limit the death penalty, squelch official prayer in schools, establish gay rights, promote racial equality and preserve legal abortion. He protected the rights of crime suspects and illegal immigrants facing deportation. (Star Dem.)Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Port Discovery Children’s Museum unveils cargo ship exhibit with support from Ports America Chesapeake

    This summer, Port Discovery Children’s Museum reopened its doors to its newest exhibit, The Port, which highlights the importance of the Port of Baltimore to the region. The exhibit was developed through the support of private and public financial commitments, including a $50,000 grant from Ports America Chesapeake and Steamship Trade Association Charitable Legacy. “People from around the world come together at the Port,” said Port Discovery Vice President of Development and Communications Jennifer Bedon. “The exhibit is like a metaphor—kids across the community are playing side by side and all working together to get something from here to there.”Read Full Article

  • Report: The Unintended Consequences of Impact Fees in Baltimore County

    Baltimore County has an opportunity to appeal to young professional families, including people who presently live in high-rent city apartments.  That would expand the county’s tax base, stimulate commercial activity, and help rebalance the county demographically. However, proposed tax and development fee increases could induce many young people to opt for residences in other counties.  That would serve to limit Baltimore County’s tax base growth, and hurt the local construction industry, local retailers and other commercial enterprises. Proposed impact fees would also potentially impact the pace of commercial development, resulting in even more burden placed on shrinking numbers of prime age workers/households.  Such outcomes would be inconsistent with long-term investment in infrastructure, including schools.Read Full Report Here...

  • Cailey Locklair - MDRA Op-Ed

    The Maryland Retailers Association supports the firm stance Governor Hogan and the Maryland legislature took against selling Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or “ENDS,” to minors. Maryland retailers provide adult smokers access to healthier and safer alternatives to cigarettes, and these products were never intended to encourage teen smoking. We believe ENDS products should not be marketed towards children, and will continue to fight for common sense measures against this practice.Read Full Article

  • Delegate Nick Mosby - No More Taxpayer Money Until Stronach Replaces Laurel Park Housing

    On Friday, March 29, I had the opportunity to tour the worker housing at the Laurel Park racetrack with Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, as the Maryland General Assembly considers taking the unusual action of mandating that MEDCO provide a $120 million loan to the Stronach Group.Read Full Article

Business

  • Lockheed lands $492M Army contract for mobile rocket launching system

    Bethesda-based global security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin will produce High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers and associated hardware for the U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, Romania and Poland under a $492 million contract, marking Poland’s first acquisition of HIMARS launchers. The contract calls for the production and delivery of HIMARS launchers and associated equipment by 2022. The HIMARS vehicles will be produced from the ground up at Lockheed Martin’s award-winning Camden, Ark., Precision Fires Center of Excellence. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • How Europe’s ‘Digital Tax’ Plans Will Hit U.S. Tech Companies

    France and Britain are hatching plans to tax the revenue, rather than the profit, of companies such as Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google that make their sales primarily in cyberspace. They’re the first of potentially several countries in Europe implementing “digital taxes” meant to extract money from companies whose multinational earnings often escape the taxman’s grip thanks to legal loopholes and the virtual nature of their offerings. But the prospect of these laws has prompted a backlash from the U.S., which is threatening to use trade tools to retaliate. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • The Technology 202: Three Hill hearings kick off next phase of Washington vs. Silicon Valley

    Backlash against Silicon Valley has been building in Washington — and it’s coming to a head today as executives from major tech companies find themselves in the hot seat at three Capitol Hill hearings. Representatives from companies including Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple will be testifying for the first time in House lawmakers’ broad probe into whether the tech industry has grown too powerful. Meanwhile in the Senate, another Facebook executive will face a grilling about its widely criticized cryptocurrency plans, and Google’s lobbying chief will be rebuffing Republicans' allegations that its products are censoring conservatives. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Md. insurers say reinsurance program has stabilized market

    A reinsurance program introduced last year has stabilized Maryland’s individual health insurance market, leading to smaller rate changes than otherwise would have been expected, insurers said at a public hearing Tuesday. With the reinsurance program, insurance pools have become younger and healthier, allowing rates and plans to become stable, the insurers said. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

Education

  • Carroll County schools working on ‘comprehensive’ data governance program, asking for public feedback

    Carroll County Public Schools is seeking to revise its student data governance policy to be “comprehensive” and to serve as a framework that can be built on in the future. The proposed policy, presented to the Board of Education at its July 10 meeting, sets up the committees that will be in charge of creating a plan with specifics. The policy is out for public comment until August. (Carr. Co. Times)Read Full Article

  • School board to recommend Blank as interim superintendent

    After a contentious debate, the Allegany County Board of Education voted to recommend — to the Maryland State Board of Education — Jeff Blank, chief administrative officer, as interim superintendent of the school system. Through most of Tuesday's school board meeting, ACPS Chief Academic Officer Kim Kalbaugh filled the superintendent seat left vacant by David Cox, who accepted a job in Tennessee. (Times-News) Read Full Article

  • Maryland says confidential data must be encrypted. For 1.4 million students, it wasn’t.

    “Sensitive, personally identifiable information” of more than 1.4 million students and more than 200,000 teachers was improperly stored by the Maryland State Department of Education, leaving them at risk of identity theft, according to a recent audit. The review found that the department stored the names and Social Security numbers of students and teachers “in clear text,” even though Maryland’s information security policy calls for confidential data to be protected using encryption or other “substantial” mitigating controls. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • ‘Beyond The Scoreboard’ Summer Camp Blends Sports, Life Skills To Students In East Baltimore

    A new program in East Baltimore teaches sports and life skills to student-athletes this summer. Inside an East Baltimore school, middle school students will spend the next five weeks off the bleachers, bouncing between the basketball court and classrooms to learn life skills. “This is a community, and this is who we are,” said Flloyd Taliaferro with Beyond the Scoreboard. Non-profit All Walks of Life, Team Thrill and City Parks and Rec partnered to put on the five-week camp. (WJZ) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Soulful Symphony founder recovering from crash

    Soulful Symphony's "Slang!" concert is being postponed after the orchestra's founder and artistic director, Darin Atwater, was injured in a car accident. Atwater is expected to make a full recovery after suffering a broken rib, a pinched nerve and other injuries, the orchestra announced Tuesday in a statement. "Slang!," originally set for July 28, will be moved to a date in October that will be announced later this month, according to the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission and Soulful Symphony. (WBAL)Read Full Article

  • Summer food programs fulfill a serious need

    Summer food programs exist across the country because children in poverty often go hungry during school breaks (weekends, holidays and summer vacation). The programs are federally funded and administered by the states. According to the USDA, “The summer food program provides an opportunity to continue a child’s physical and social development while providing nutritious meals. It helps children return to school ready to learn.” When children are fed properly, they are healthier and happier. (News-Post)Read Full Article  

  • ‘What we have today ... is the entire weight of the federal government': Baltimore police begin partnership to fight crime

    Baltimore police are teaming up with state and federal agencies on a three-year initiative to fight violent crime, gangs and the drug trade. Tuesday marked the kickoff of the city’s participation in the National Public Safety Partnership, a federal crime-fighting program with the U.S. Justice Department. “We all understand what has to be done now," said U.S Attorney Robert K. Hur at a press conference that same day. “We understand that cooperation is critical within the police department, federal prosecutors, federal agents and the State Attorney’s office." (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Dirt Bikes Could Help Crime Rate Drop And End Street ‘Beefs,’ Baltimore Rider Says

    Dirt bikers have raced through Baltimore for more than 50 years drawing spectators and terrifying others. They’re illegal, but they can be seen dodging in and out of traffic, popping wheelies, sometimes causing accidents and even deaths — fueling controversy and outrage. WJZ’s Rick Ritter got a rare point of view, speaking with a dirtbiker himself, who says you’d be surprised at who’s behind the wheel, saying there are lawyers and even police officers who ride as well. (WJZ) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Horton: Medicare Part D rebate reform should benefit patients

    On a daily basis, we see how modern prescription medicines, developed by U.S. companies and researchers, improve the quality of our patients’ lives. In some cases, they literally save their lives. But the best medications in the world are useless if patients can’t afford them. To help control patients’ out-of-pocket costs and improve prescription drug affordability, Congress and the administration are considering a variety of significant changes to Medicare programs. (Delmarva)Read Full Article

  • Zirpoli: The state of our children: Report shows they are growing more diverse, healthier, struggling in reading and math

    The Annie E. Casey Foundation, based in Baltimore, publishes an annual report on the state of our nation’s children each summer covering national and state-by-state data looking at economic well-being, education, and health. The 30th edition of the “Data Book” was recently released. The first edition of this report was published in 1990 and the recent report covers 2017 data. It is interesting to compare how things have changed for the nation’s children over the last 27 years. (Carr. Co. Times)Read Full Article

  • Editorial: There’s a big difference between the Colo. gay wedding cake case and Maryland denying an anti-gay Christian school state funds

    When an attorney for Bethel Christian Academy uses the phrase “religious hostility” to describe the state of Maryland’s decision to deny its participation in a private school voucher program, she is echoing the language of the Supreme Court’s last major case pitting gay rights against religious liberty: the Masterpiece Cakeshop case from Colorado. That’s no surprise, given that the school is being represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, which also represented the baker in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case. But it’s a false comparison. Maryland’s actions in this case, and the issues involved, are wholly different from what happened in Colorado, and the Masterpiece Cakeshop decision gives every reason to believe that the state will prevail in this case. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Editorial: Release the audit, BSO

    We have no reason to disbelieve a news release from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra disclosing the conclusion of an audit last year that “there is substantial uncertainty about the BSO’s ability to continue as a going concern.” But without the full details, we have no way of putting that finding into context either. If the BSO wants to resist calls to immediately release the full results of the audit, it can. But the public is also not obligated to support its position in negotiations with the players over a contract proposal that would cut musicians’ salaries by 20 percent. Donors are not obligated to trust it with their funds, and political leaders on the state and local level are not obligated to provide it with millions of taxpayer dollars every year. The BSO could choose to be much more forthcoming about the details of its finances; its peer organizations are. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article