Politics

  • Nov. 26 // O’Malley says he is ready to allow ‘fracking’ in Western Maryland, with strict safeguards

    Outgoing Gov. Martin O’Malley says he is ready to allow drilling for natural gas in Western Maryland, but only if energy companies adhere to some of the most restrictive public health and environmental safeguards in the country. O’Malley (D) will propose regulations next month that start with the “best practices” of other states and nations where hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” is permitted, administration officials said. The regulations will include additional restrictions on drilling locations and efforts to limit the risks of drinking-water contamination and air pollution. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article

  • Latest adds to Hogan transition team include former Montgomery executive

    A Democrat who used to be Montgomery County executive and a former Republican primary rival were among 20 people named to Maryland Gov.-elect Larry Hogan’s growing transition team on Tuesday, as the Republican repeated his pledge to be a bipartisan leader. At an afternoon news conference in Annapolis, Hogan was flanked by the new team members, including Douglas M. Duncan, the former Montgomery County executive who unsuccessfully sought the 2006 Democratic nomination for governor. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Hogan criticizes O'Malley for 'last-minute' actions

    Republican Gov.-elect Larry Hogan criticized Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley on Tuesday for proposing new rules and regulations in the final weeks of his administration, and said he wouldreview and possibly try to reverse them. In a news conference called to announce new members of his transition team — including prominent Democrats — Hogan complained that O'Malley had proposed 32 new regulations since Election Day. He said he would look at every one of them after he takes office Jan. 21. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Gov.-elect Hogan: Grand jury decision in Ferguson ‘really doesn’t impact Maryland’

    Maryland Gov.-elect Larry Hogan (R) said Tuesday that he wouldn’t second-guess a grand jury’s decision in Ferguson, Mo., not to indict a police officer for the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager, adding that the decision “really doesn’t impact Maryland.” Hogan was asked about the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson during a news conference in Annapolis called to announce 20 new members of Hogan’s transition team. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Laslo Boyd: My Thanksgiving Wish List

    Thanksgiving for most people is about more than overeating and watching football games. It is a time to acknowledge the things for which we are grateful. Family and friends are usually at the top of the list in a holiday that emphasizes community and togetherness. For a day, or even a long weekend, we focus less on the things that divide us. It’s a distinctly American holiday without the fireworks and patriotic songs but with a deep recognition of the benefits that we enjoy as citizens of the United States. Increasingly, however, the spirit of community that characterizes Thanksgiving is missing from our politics and interactions the rest of the year. Read Full Article

  • Josh Kurtz: The Permanent Government

    Maybe it’s because Gov.-elect Larry Hogan (R) has so far done nothing to flesh out his priorities. Maybe it’s because he hasn’t made a single appointment for his incoming administration. But for now, the sense that a big change is coming to Annapolis, so palpable in the immediate aftermath of Hogan’s stunning victory, has faded considerably. Read Full Article

  • What College Means to Me: Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

    In support of Baltimore City Public Schools, the CollegeBound Foundation has launched a new series of online videos featuring prominent Baltimoreans talking about “what college means to me.” The series promotes November as College Awareness Month and runs through the end of the year, with new episodes released weekly. Guests include UMBC President Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, Enoch Pratt CEO Dr. Carla Hayden, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, City Schools CEO Dr. Gregory Thornton, and more. For additional episodes, or to learn more about college access, please visit collegeboundfoundation.org.Watch Full Video

  • Donald Fry: Cultivating higher expectations in Baltimore

    Baltimore is fighting “a culture of low expectations.” It’s critical to the region’s businesses development that successful businesses, particularly small companies, collaborate and aggressively promote Baltimore City and the region as an ideal location for growing a business, say three successful local entrepreneurs.Read Full Article

Business

  • Nov. 26 // Uber proposes settlement to stay in Maryland

    Uber proposed a settlement Tuesday with the Maryland Public Safety Commission that would allow it to continue operating in the state legally — a compromise enabling it to back down from earlier statements that it would leave if it were required to operate as a cab company. In the proposal, the rideshare company said it would drop its 60-page appeal of the commission's decision to require it to operate as a common carrier; instead it would have a subsidiary, Drinnen Inc., apply for a permit and provide a list of Uber drivers to the commission. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland health exchange tops 25,000 enrollments in first week

    More than 25,000 Maryland residents signed up for Medicare and private health plans through Maryland Health Connection during its first week of open enrollment. Roughly 14,750 Marylanders — including 3,537 Baltimore residents — bought private health insurance through the online insurance marketplace as of Nov. 25. Another 11,031 people signed up for Medicaid through the exchange. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • The Charm City Circulator is $11.6 million in the red

    Baltimore's free Charm City Circulator bus system has accumulated an $11.62 million deficit since it started running in January 2010, forcing the city to tap its general fund to keep money flowing to vendors. The system is projected to lose another $35.1 million over the next 10 years unless it takes steps such as shortening hours, using fewer buses or charging for service, according to a report released Tuesday from the city's Department of Finance. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Exelon commits to Pepco charities

    Local charities are looking forward to continued support from Pepco, the region’s oldest utility provider, even as state authorities review a proposed merger with Chicago-based utility Exelon. Philanthropies were initially concerned that management changes would affect Pepco’s commitment to nonprofits. But Exelon has issued assurances that the company will remain committed to Pepco’s 2013 level of philanthropic giving. That is good news for charities throughout the region. (CNS/Star-Dem)Read Full Article

Education

  • Nov. 26 // Sojourner-Douglass College to lose accreditation in June

    Sojourner-Douglass College in Baltimore could close in June, when it is set to lose its accreditation in a rare move spurred by the private, nonprofit institution's persistent financial troubles. The East Baltimore college, which has an enrollment of about 1,100 students, would be ineligible to receive any federal financial aid if it loses its accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Most colleges and universities that lose their accreditation close, but sometimes they are absorbed by another institution. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Calvert Co. Superintendent looks to give raises in 2016

    Giving teachers salary raises is at the top of the Calvert County Public Schools finance department’s agenda, along with cutting more than $5 million to create a balanced budget, and the superintendent is making an effort to educate staff about how the budget is put together and what restrictions exist. (Recorder)Read Full Article

  • Officials break ground on new 'West City' elementary school

    Calling it a "great day for Washington County Public Schools," community leaders on Tuesday officially broke ground on the new "West City" elementary school in Hagerstown as construction continues.  Construction on the $20.3 million school, which will be located in the Hagers Crossing neighborhood, began in October. The school is slated to open in August 2016. The new 65,433 square-foot facility will be home to 471 pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade students. (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

  • Officials say parent-teacher conference changes here to stay

    A year after the county school system nixed high school parent-teacher conferences and moved other conferences later into the fall, officials say hearing minimal feedback on the changes means they are here to stay. The Frederick County Board of Education voted 5-2 to eliminate high school conferences starting in the 2013-2014 school year. Before that, parent-teacher meetings at all levels were held in September, October and March. (News-Post) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Nov. 26 // Health advocates ask mayor to veto council's vaping bill

    Public health advocates on Tuesday called on Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to veto the City Council's ban on the use of e-cigarettes inside most businesses, calling the legislation a "bad bill" that would weaken the state's indoor smoking ban by permitting vaping inside Baltimore's Horseshoe Casino and some bars or restaurants. At a news conference at the American Cancer Society's Baltimore Hope Lodge, Del. Barbara A. Frush, who represents Anne Arundel and Prince George's counties, said she planned to introduce a statewide ban of e-cigarette smoking inside businesses. Such a measure failed earlier this year. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • New satellite technology promises smoother, quieter descents into BWI airport

    Fliers arriving to the Baltimore region this holiday season may notice smoother descents into BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, while residents in Towson and other area suburbs might hear a bit less noise overhead. Thanks to new state-of-the-art satellite technology installed at the Anne Arundel County airport earlier this month, arriving planes from the northwest are now able to drop from cruising altitude to the runway in a "smooth, continuous arc," rather than the "traditional staircase descent" they've used in the past, the Federal Aviation Administration said this week. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Ferguson protesters take to Baltimore streets

    Feelings of frustration from Ferguson echoed across Baltimore on Tuesday as hundreds of people demonstrated in the city by lying on sidewalks, blocking streets and holding rallies between City Hall and the Inner Harbor. At Morgan State University, students blocked several intersections near campus, forming a giant square at Loch Raven Boulevard and Cold Spring Lane, shouting "no justice, no peace." (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Trademarking Clancy: ’S in a name?

    Tom Clancy figuratively trademarked the military novel, spawning hit movies and video games. Now, lawyers for his estate want literally to trademark his name. A trademark application for “Tom Clancy” was filed in June with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to be used for “printed matter, namely, works of fiction.” But the USPTO rejected the initial application in September, finding “a likelihood of confusion” with six trademarks already issued for “Tom Clancy’s” — that is, the author’s name with a possessive ’s. (Daily Record)Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Nov. 26 // Stephanie Rawlings-Blake: Immigrant executive actions will help city

    Last week, President Barack Obama outlined his plan to protect millions of immigrants from deportation — a monumental first step in addressing our nation's broken immigration system. His executive action will be felt most strongly in cities across America, cities like Baltimore. Throughout our rich history, Baltimore City has welcomed hard-working individuals from across the world whose unique talents, energy and perspectives have strengthened our growing economy and diversified the fabric of our neighborhoods. And we have witnessed exactly how fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment can help grow our city. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • The fix is in

    Forget the ghost of Blaine Young hanging around Winchester Hall. The man himself, very much in the flesh, has managed to leverage a semi-permanent post within the building and will remain a physical presence for the next five years. And here we were just thinking that we wouldn’t have Blaine Young to kick around any more. On Monday, in a maneuver that was so flagrant and clearly preconceived that it would leave Machiavelli blushing at its audacity, Young installed himself into an open post on the county’s seven-member planning commission. (News-Post)Read Full Article

  • Health commissioner: E-cigarette bill isn't perfect but is a step forward

    Recent legislation regulating the use of electronic smoking devices passed by the City Council and expected to soon be signed by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake is a step in the right direction to protect Baltimore's children and adults from the harmful effects of e-cigarettes.  I want to thank the partners and organizations that supported the bill and helped enact a positive change for Baltimore. This law establishes the general rule that e-cigarette use is prohibited wherever conventional cigarette use is prohibited in accordance with our Indoor Clean Air laws. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Railroad's mixed signals

    The National Association of Railroad Passengers, the country's largest train and transit advocacy group, issued a warning last month that deserves to be repeated here. The final numbers on Amtrak's ridership and revenue in fiscal 2014 are in, and the railroad did record-breaking business over the past year. But the failure to invest sufficiently in the nation's railroad system is threatening to grind Amtrak trains to a slow crawl. That may be a familiar circumstance with Amtrak, surely mile-for-mile the most neglected form of passenger transportation in the United States. But it's getting worse and worse. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article