Politics

  • The senator who handed Hillary Clinton her sledgehammer

    The longest-serving woman in Congress in U.S. history placed Hillary Clinton’s name in nomination Tuesday night, standing at the microphone before thousands of cheering Democrats in a moment she would later describe as overwhelming. On Wednesday, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski shuttled between multiple luncheons and receptions at the Democratic National Convention, celebrating the first female major-party presidential nominee in history and her own legacy as the first Democratic woman to win a Senate seat without being appointed to the position or succeeding her husband. Mikulski — who is 80 and will retire in January after 30 years in the Senate — took the podium again Thursday night. “Though I was the first, I didn’t want to be the only,” she said, after quieting a thundering ovation from the packed hall. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • O'Malley: DNC 'clearly hurt my odds of succeeding'

    Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley admitted Thursday night that the Democratic National Committee and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz did not help his campaign in the way they boosted Hillary Clinton. The former Democratic candidate was up against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the nomination. But instead of giving the three main candidates a fair shake, O'Malley said the DNC acted in ways to help Clinton win the nomination. "As a challenger who is virtually unknown, we were really counting on having as many debates in prime time as the Republican candidates were having," O'Malley told Fox News host Greta Van Susteren. "And when the debate schedule was limited like that, that clearly hurt my odds of succeeding." (Examiner) Read Full Article

  • Mikulski asks women to 'suit up' for Clinton

    Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski told voters Thursday that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton had spent much of her career focused on women's issues and urged women voters to return the favor this fall and "suit up" on her behalf. The Maryland Democrat, the longest serving woman in the history of Congress, recalled a phone conversation she received from Clinton when the former first lady was considering a run for Senate in New York. "She said to me, 'Senator Barb, can a senator really get things done?'" said Mikulski, flanked by other Democratic female senators. "I told her, 'A lot,' and boy, did she prove me right." (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland’s youngest delegates say millennial voters matter to Democratic Party

    Despite their lack of years, millennial Maryland Democratic delegates said they brought a lot to the table at their party’s convention and will play an important role in the November election. With millennials making up approximately one-quarter of the American population, there has been a focus on the group during this year’s Democratic primary contest. And the youngest members of the Maryland delegation think the party is reaching out to them. “Elections run because young people make it happen,” said Amna Hashmi, a 22-year-old delegate from Baltimore. (Md. Reporter-CNS)Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Josh Kurtz: Meet the New Bossie

    Spend just a little time with Maryland’s delegates to the Republican National Convention this week and it’s plainly apparent that this is not your father’s state GOP. Gone are stalwarts like Ellen Sauerbrey and Joyce Terhes and Audrey Scott. Louis Pope, who has held a variety of leadership posts for the state GOP over two decades, is headed out the door. So is party Chairwoman Diana Waterman. Old-time Republican liberals like Howie Denis and Connie Morella? Nowhere to be found. Heck, it’s not really Gov. Larry Hogan’s party, either. He may have shaken up Maryland’s political equilibrium with his upset victory two years ago, but he has yet to seize control of the state GOP or attempt to build it. And, of course, he is nowhere in evidence here at the convention, a self-imposed exile of political self-preservation. Read Entire Article

  • Michael W. Davis: Setting the Record Straight on the Future of Downtown Columbia

    When I attended the Howard County Council public hearing on July 14 regarding the pending TIF legislation, I was struck by a few common misunderstandings that were being discussed by some of the people providing testimony. Having been active in the Howard County civic and legal communities for over 30 years, I would like to address a few points for clarification. Read Entire Article

  • Dr. Leana Wen: The Case for Investing in the Public’s Health

    Later this month, leaders from both major parties will convene for their national conventions to officially determine their respective candidates for President and Vice President. They will also formally adopt their party platforms that will guide their visions for our nation's future. A few weeks ago, I had the distinct opportunity to speak before the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Drafting Committee, chaired by our own Congressman Elijah Cummings, to make the case for why public health should not just have a seat at the table, but be leading the conversation on driving the future of our country. Click here to read my testimony

  • Josh Kurtz: Convention-al Wisdom, Part 2

    So here we are, with another Democratic National Convention almost upon us. Potential 2018 candidates for governor of Maryland and other high offices will be there to cheer the party’s presidential nominee. But they will also be in Philadelphia to bond with Maryland delegates and other political people who will travel up I-95 for the spectacle, and promote their potential statewide bids. Read Entire Article

Business

  • Maryland medical marijuana decisions to be revealed Aug. 15

    The preliminary winners of lucrative licenses to grow and process medical marijuana in Maryland will be announced Aug. 15, more than a week after a state commission selects the highest-ranked applications. Maryland's medical cannabis commission is scheduled to publicly review and recommend the highest-ranked applications Aug.5. But since all identifying information about the applicants has been redacted, applicants and the public will not know the identity of the preliminary winners until 10 days later. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Baltimore City Council panel approves $15 minimum wage bill

    A divided City Council will decide next month whether to increase the minimum wage in Baltimore to $15 an hour, which would be the highest in the state. The council's labor committee voted 4-0 Thursday to send the bill to the 15-member council, where President Bernard C. "Jack" Young has pledged to scale back the proposed increase. Advocates say joining a national movement to raise the wage to $15 an hour would help to lift impoverished Baltimoreans. But Young and others say it would lead to higher unemployment and fiscal calamity. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • When the titan wants to build the town: Under Armour founder Kevin Plank's $5.5 billion plan for Baltimore

    In Baltimore, Under Armour’s logo — like those of Old Bay Seasoning and National Bohemian Beer — is everywhere, in what feels like a citywide campaign against Nike. Founder Kevin Plank built a $27 billion empire here of sweat-resistant T-shirts and super-light sneakers. And its success inspires triumph in a city where social and economic scars run deep. Yet as the titan of athletic apparel nurtures ever grander ambitions for Baltimore, some look on warily. In the spring, Plank announced that he had acquired more than 100 acres in the Port Covington industrial area, along the Patapsco River in south Baltimore. He has plotted a $5.5 billion development project, one of the largest in the country, comprising 45 city blocks and more than two miles of riverfront. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Maryland wants to know if problem gambling increased amid casino growth

    The state wants to know whether the rapid expansion of casinos in the past five years has led to an increase in problem gamblers. With five Maryland casinos and a sixth on the way, state-funded researchers said this week that they are preparing a survey to gauge how many people cannot control their gambling impulses in such a casino-rich region. The survey will take place next year, after the $1.3 billion MGM National Harbor — scheduled to open in December — has been operating for six months. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Education

  • Santos leaves as Edgewood High principal, Kilo Mack taking over

    Larissa Santos, who spent nine years as principal of Edgewood High School and was honored previously as Maryland's top secondary school principal, will not be leading EHS when students return in August for the 2016-17 school year. Santos resigned on July 15, a Harford County Public Schools spokesperson confirmed Thursday. She will be replaced by Kilo Mack, a veteran Harford educator who has been the principal of the HCPS alternative education program at the Center for Educational Opportunity in Aberdeen. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Plans for flexible model at Frederick High will continue, even without $10 million grant

    Despite missing out on a $10 million grant, Frederick County’s school district will continue with plans for a new, flexible educational school model planned at Frederick High School. School officials said Thursday that the Linking Youth to New Experiences (LYNX) school could be funded either through grants or by donations from Frederick County businesses. The school system doesn’t have specific business partners in mind yet, spokesman Michael Doerrer said. (News-Post) Read Full Article

  • Register children for school before rush begins

    Educators in Baltimore County are trying to get the word out now to register children for school in an effort to avoid what could turn out to be a very frustrating first day of class. Teachers at schools like Sandalwood Elementary School in Essex are trying to get a head start. Kindergarten teacher Brittany Driscoll said it would help if she only knew how many new students will show up on the first day, and that's why she's reaching out to parents. (WBAL-TV) Read Full Article

  • With final credits in hand, students graduate through summer program

    Students who walked the stage at Gov. Thomas Johnson Middle School on Thursday overcame their share of challenges on the way to graduation. The summer program — running through the county school system’s virtual school — was designed to help students who, for one reason or another, were left with an extra credit to complete to graduate, said Stacey Adamiak, Frederick County Virtual School principal. Often, the students were sidetracked from their studies due to work or other circumstances, or for other reasons, Adamiak said. (News-Post) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Signing of Purple Line’s federal funding agreement set for Aug. 8, officials say

    Maryland transportation officials have scheduled a public event for Aug. 8 to sign an agreement in which the federal government will commit to help pay for construction of a Purple Line — a final hurdle that state officials have said will allow major work to begin on the 16.2-mile light-rail line, according to three people familiar with the arrangement. The signing of a Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) is considered the capstone of a years-long process in which state or local officials seeking highly competitive federal construction grants must meet requirements governing a transit project’s design and funding. It’s also the financial certainty that developers — and, more importantly, their banks — often wait to see before investing in new building around future light-rail stations. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Reef balls make maiden deployment for oyster habitat

    Teamwork from Maryland environmentalists — from elementary schoolers to nonprofit workers — could result in new oyster habitat, and consequently cleaner water, for the Chesapeake Bay. Maryland Coastal Conservation Association members and partners dumped 70 concrete reef balls into the bay on Thursday, the first deployment for the organization's Living Reef Action Campaign. Reef balls, gumdrop-shaped concrete structures with holes in their walls, are designed to be a foundation for oysters, which filter pollution from water. Each ball was covered with about 1,700 spat, or baby oysters. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Blue Water Baltimore seeking legal role in city's court-ordered $1.2B sewer system overhaul

    A local water-quality advocacy group wants legal status to help enforce a federal court order that requires Baltimore to make $1.2 billion in repairs to its sewer system over the next 15 years. Blue Water Baltimore filed a motion Wednesday in U.S. District Court that, if granted, would give the organization more power to hold city, state and federal officials accountable to an agreement reached last month to stop the chronic sewage leaks that foul the Patapsco River and other tributaries. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Aberdeen leaders hope to take over county community services building

    The city of Aberdeen wants to move forward with taking over the former Aberdeen High School building on Philadelphia Boulevard that had been used by Harford County and other community services since the 1970s. Phyllis Grover, the city's Planning and Community Development Director, asked the City Council to approve a resolution Monday to apply for a state community development grant of up to $785,000 toward the project, which is identified as a Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund project. The resolution passed unanimously. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Unions kill a smart arbitration proposal in Montgomery County

    Over the past six years, wages for Montgomery County’s about 9,000 public employees — police, firefighters, budget analysts, clerks, librarians, bus drivers, jail guards and others — have grown between 25 and 31 percent. That increase, nearly three times the inflation rate over the same period, is much greater than that enjoyed by most public- and private-sector workers, including federal workers. Montgomery taxpayers are on the hook for those raises, mainly through their property taxes, which will spike 9 percent this year. The county’s outlier status is the product of several factors, not least of which is an out-of-whack arbitration system for settling disputes arising from contract negotiations, one tilted heavily in favor of public-employee unions. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article...

  • Baltimore's gun violence paradox

    Baltimore City Police Commission Kevin Davis recently noted an unsettling fact. His department's arrests for gun crimes and officers' seizures of illegal weapons have increased significantly over this time a year ago, but the expected reduction in homicides and nonfatal shootings hasn't materialized. Gun crimes are at about the same levels they were in 2015, the deadliest year per capita in the city's history. For years police operated on the assumption that reducing gun violence meant getting the relatively small number of people who commit most of the serious crime off the streets and confiscating their illegal guns. But that model isn't working this year, and no one seems to quite know why. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • John E. Kyle, James Hamlin: State Center redevelopment is long overdue in Baltimore

    The state of Maryland and the State Center developers officially begin mediation this week aimed at resolving their long-held differences over proceeding with the redevelopment of the State Center complex in West Baltimore. Our State Center Neighborhood Alliance, Inc. (SCNA) — composed of nine diverse communities working together — has been engaged in every step of this project for over 10 years, through three different governors. We were on board before there was a development team and even participated in its selection. We believe that the time for redevelopment is overdue, and we look forward to a positive outcome — positive for the state, positive for the project and positive for our neighborhoods surrounding the site. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Sheriff acquitted, but concerns remain

    On Wednesday, a District Court judge acquitted county Sheriff Ron Bateman on a charge of second-degree assault filed against him after a domestic dispute with his wife at their Pasadena home. This was far from a surprise, given that his wife had earlier released a written statement through her attorney saying that, contrary to what she told county police on the night of April 10, "at no point did Ron punch or kick or hit me." On Wednesday she invoked her privilege to not testify against her spouse. Bateman himself maintained his innocence throughout. (Capital)Read Full Article