Politics

  • In Maryland governor’s race, Brown highlights difference with Gansler over death penalty

    Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown on Thursday knocked Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, a Democratic rival for governor, for his past support of the death penalty during an appearance before a NAACP-sponsored candidates forum in Baltimore. Brown told the audience that he had “stood with” Benjamin T. Jealous, the then-president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, when he came to Maryland last year to testify in favor of legislation repealing capital punishment. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • New Annapolis mayor struggles in first months on job

    Annapolis Mayor Mike Pantelides thought winning election as a Republican in a Democrat-dominated city would be hard. "The entire state was against me," he said. Governing has been even tougher. In the five months since his 59-vote victory, Pantelides has dodged an effort to cut his powers, fired several staff members and accepted resignations from several more. He's faced complaints about a lack of diversity in City Hall and endured a public flap after he was caught passing a profane note to an alderman. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Gansler picks up backing of Asian Pacific American group in race for Maryland governor

    Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) picked up an endorsement of his gubernatorial bid Thursday from the Coalition of Asian Pacific American Democrats of Maryland. “We all recognize Attorney General Doug Gansler’s outstanding track record of promoting diversity and fighting for a clean environment, for consumers and for victims of crimes and injustice,” the group’s co-chairs, Stan Tsai and Martin Ma, said in a statement that also expressed confidence in Gansler’s ability to create jobs and improve the economy. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Largest Latino group in Maryland backs Brown for governor, Frosh for attorney general

    CASA in Action, the state’s largest Latino electoral organization operating in Maryland, on Thursday endorsed Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) for governor and Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Montgomery) for attorney general. A lengthy list of endorsements in other races around the state included Isiah Leggett for reelection as Montgomery County executive. In the governor’s race, CASA cited Brown’s work on raising the minimum wage and his support for the state version of the Dream Act, which extended in-state college tuition rates to undocumented immigrants in certain cases. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Laslo Boyd: A Time of Reflection and Recommitment

    This week marks the celebration of both Passover and Easter. These two religious observations are among the most important days of the year to Jews and Christians throughout the world. Last week saw the 50th anniversary of the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, legislation which brought fundamental changes in the legal protections provided to African Americans in the United States. Commemorations of the past are opportunities to reflect upon the significance of prior events for today’s world. Read Full Article

  • Building a mission-driven company in a profit-driven world

    The Howard Co. Economic Development Authority and the Maryland University of Integrative Health are hosting a lecture by Seth Goldman, co-founder of Honest Tea, on building a mission-driven company in a profit-driven world. Goldman is a leading local practitioner of conscious capitalism, which seeks to balance profit with social good and community and global responsibility. The Economic Development Authority has recently launched the The Conscious Venture Lab, in partnership with the David B. Wolfe Institute for Conscious Entrepreneurship, to foster companies and leaders who embrace the power of capitalism as a force for good in society. Goldman, who remains the TeaEO of Honest Tea, will deliver the free lecture from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, at the school's campus at 7750 Montpelier Road, Laurel. Howard County Executive Ken Ulman is scheduled to introduce Goldman.RSVP at www.muih.edu.

  • Donald Fry: Annapolis recognizing the need to strengthen business climate

    This year, lawmakers in the Maryland General Assembly signaled a growing awareness that, despite Maryland’s many strengths as a place to do business, there is work to do on the issue competitiveness. After the election, policy-makers need to address broader tax issues that detract from the state's business climate.Read Full Article

  • Laslo Boyd: A Candidate Focused on His Day Job

    The 2014 Maryland General Assembly session is now in the record books and the members of the legislature – as well other public officials – can turn either to campaigning for the June primary election or contemplating retirement. Candidates for statewide office can now focus all their attention on campaigning, including fundraising. Given that voters are not yet paying much attention to elections and the prospect that turnout in June may be stunningly low, it is interesting to ask whether any candidate actually helped him or herself during the legislative session.Read Full Article

Business

  • Venture capital is off to a slow start in 2014, report finds

    The amount of money invested in local companies during the first quarter looks meager, but if past years are any indication, a slow start to the year may not be cause for concern just yet. Forty-three Washington area firms attracted a combined $217.5 million during the first three months of the year. That’s fewer dollars than in any single quarter last year and marks an 18.4 percent decline when compared to the $266.5 million raised during the first quarter of 2013. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Four Seasons Baltimore developer brings back plan for condos

    The condominiums once proposed atop the Four Seasons Baltimore are back on the table after the full project was delayed in 2009. The city’s Urban Design and Architecture Review Panel will consider a revised final design of the Four Seasons Condos at its April 24 meeting. It’s unclear what that design includes, but the Four Seasons, which opened in 2011, was initially planned as a 44-story Four Seasons Hotel and Residences. A lack of financing for the $230 million project forced H&S Properties Development Corp. to  build a 21-floor hotel with hopes of resuming the project later. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Laurel nurses protest contract proposal

    Instead of working her four-hour shift at Laurel Regional Hospital on Wednesday, Andrea Magel of Bowie marched outside the building with about 30 other employees, chanting “Gotta feed my children, gotta pay my rent, ask Dimensions where the money went.” The Laurel sidewalk was one of three Prince George’s County locations where unionized nurses and caregivers employed by Dimensions Health Care System protested the company’s latest contract offer. (Gazette)  Read Full Article

  • Weinberg Foundation names first chief investment officer

    The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation has named a chief investment officer to manage its $2 billion investment portfolio. Jonathan D. Hook, who has 13 years experience managing university investments, was named by Weinberg’s board as the Owings Mills foundation’s first chief investment officer. Hook, 56, will play a leading role in refining the foundation’s investment strategy. He starts May 27. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

Education

  • BGE rewards Towson University for energy efficiencies

    Baltimore Gas & Electric CEO Calvin Butler Jr. and U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency Kathleen Hogan joined Towson University officials Thursday afternoon to mark the school's participation in the Department of Energy's Better Building Challenge and present the school a $1.7 million rebate check from BGE for past efficiencies. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Council concerned over BCPS scheduling changes

    The Baltimore County Council is the latest group to get involved with the county school system’s plan to standardize class scheduling across the jurisdiction. In a letter signed by all seven council members, they are asking Superintendent S. Dallas Dance to clarify his decision to eliminate the block schedule option for next school year. (WMAR-TV) Read Full Article

  • Worcester school system plans additional safety improvements

    A second phase of safety improvements, including additional cameras in schools and on buses, is planned for Worcester County public schools this summer. The school board has approved $266,332 in security improvements and will now seek funding for them from the county and state. An initial phase of improvements took place last year following the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., which resulted in the deaths of more than 20 people. (Daily Times)Read Full Article 

  • State construction money available for private schools

    The state government again next year will offer $3.5 million to private schools to make repairs to facilities. This year, seven private schools in St. Mary’s County received a total of about $63,000 in public funding during the renovation program’s first year. The state also provides money each year — including $6 million this year — for nonpublic schools to use for textbooks and computer hardware and software. Any school eligible for the textbook money can apply for the construction grant money. The textbook money for nonpublic schools was first put in the state budget as a one-time expenditure, but became an annual expense to the state. The construction money could be headed the same direction. (Enterprise/Gazette)  Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Obama's Favorite County — At Least When It Comes To Giving Speeches

    Residents of Prince George's County, Md., might just get sick of hearing "Hail to the Chief." President Obama has visited this county to deliver policy addresses more than any other in his second term. Since taking office, Obama has spoken at 17 public events in Prince George's County, bringing new notice to a place that has struggled with public corruption, home foreclosures and crime. To County Executive Rushern Baker, these visits are a sign things have begun to turn around. (NPR)Read Full Article

  • Obamacare reaches 8 million enrollees with a big assist from Maryland

    Sign-ups under the Affordable Care Act have surpassed 8 million — or 1 million more than original projections, President Barack Obama announced Thursday during a briefing at the White House. Crediting a surge of sign-ups that came during the two weeks after the open enrollment period was set to end on March 31, Obama said: “This thing is working.” He can, in part, thank folks from Maryland. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Howard Co. police chief retiring

    Months after being thrust into a national spotlight as the face of Howard County's response to a murder-suicide at The Mall in Columbia, Police Chief William J. McMahon said Thursday that he is retiring in June after 28 years with the department. McMahon, 51, who has served nearly eight years as chief, said he had picked the date of June 30 four years ago when he signed up for a deferred retirement payment program. "The timing is just right," McMahon said in a telephone interview. "I had some long-range plans that this would be the date. … I'm blessed. I still love what I'm doing day after day." (Balt. Sun)  Read Full Article

  • New MVA license renewal rule frustrates 21-year-olds, Harford liquor inspector says

    A new MVA rule forbidding younger people from renewing their driver's license in person is getting complaints from those just turning 21 who want to have their first drink, Harford County's liquor inspector said. As of April 1, the MVA requires anyone under 40 who is eligible to renew their license by web, mail or kiosk to do so, inspector Charles Robbins explained at the county's liquor control board meeting Wednesday. The change is meant "to increase customer service and decrease in-person wait times," according to MVA's website. (Aegis) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • C. Fraser Smith: Who new? In Arundel, GOP has choice

    It used to be said that Republicans ate their young. I took this to mean party elders were hanging on by disposing of challengers. Now it looks as if some in the GOP are allergic to new blood. Disquieting imagery all around. But you get the idea. Take the current race for county executive in Anne Arundel County. Here’s an opportunity for the party in Annapolis to promote a candidate with statewide potential. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Phil Andrews: Public financing leads to public accountability

    For many years, special interests — particularly the development industry — have played an inordinate role in financing the campaigns of county executive and county council candidates throughout Maryland. Once elected, these officials often negotiate or vote on matters of concern to those who financially supported them, such as land use and zoning issues. Political Action Committees representing unions that negotiate contracts with county executives (that require approval by county councils) have often written $6,000 checks to candidates. Enough already! (Balt. Sun)  Read Full Article

  • How 1st Mariner can have bright future

    The auction sale of 1st Mariner Bank was a bit of a roller-coaster ride — at least for the local investment group that landed the bank after some white-knuckle moments. In the space of a few hours, RKJS Bank went from also-ran to successful bidder. Now that a bankruptcy judge has made his decision, the acquisition moves on for federal and state regulatory approval, which all parties believe is forthcoming in fairly short order. The big question now, as it always has been, is how can 1st Mariner ensure itself of not just viability but of a thriving, prosperous future? (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • The Affordable Care Act comes in with better-than-expected numbers

    Obamacare's critics have had a bad week. On Thursday, President Obama announced that 8 million people have enrolled in new health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces, and a significant portion of them are young Americans. Yes, we need to learn more about the numbers. And yes, a lot needs to happen to complete the ACA’s phase-in. The debate about how well the law is working is not over. But the initial figures are encouraging, and Mr. Obama is right to insist that continued Republican demands for repeal are unproductive and unwise. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

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