Politics

  • Emerging budget deal likely to include few or no actual spending cuts, while lifting debt limit for two years

    White House and congressional negotiators rushing to hammer out the final details of a sweeping budget and debt deal are unlikely to include many — if any — actual spending cuts, even as the debt limit is lifted for two years, people familiar with the talks said. The agreement appeared likely to mark a retreat for White House officials who had demanded major spending cuts in exchange for a new budget deal. But the process remained in limbo while negotiators awaited final approval late Sunday from President Trump. The pending deal would seek to extend the debt ceiling and set new spending levels for two years, ratcheting back the budget brinkmanship that led to a record-long government shutdown earlier this year. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article  

  • Cummings: Trump is a racist, ‘no doubt about it’

    U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings continued his criticism of President Donald Trump on Sunday, calling the president racist during “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos. The host asked Cummings whether he thinks Trump is a racist, and Cummings responded: “Yes, no doubt about it.” Cummings’ appearance was the latest in a string of interviews this week in which the Democratic Congressman from West Baltimore said some of Trump’s recent remarks reminded him of the racism he experienced decades ago as he worked to integrate Baltimore’s public pools. The latest round of debates about the Republican president was spurred by Trump’s tweets last Sunday that called on four freshman Congresswomen to “go back” if they dislike America. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Hostile witness or Democrats’ hero? Mueller’s past turns before Congress offer important clues

    Behind the square jaw, deadeye stare and Marine Corps growl, former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III does have a soft spot when it comes to answering tough questions in congressional hearings. On Wednesday, when he delivers long-awaited testimony about his investigation into President Trump and Russian interference in the 2016 election, Democrats are hoping to coax from him the kind of dramatic moments that could galvanize public opinion against the president. Republicans, meanwhile, are eager to elicit testimony that shows the investigation was biased from its inception. Those who know him best are skeptical he will meet either side’s expectations. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article  

  • Its giant downtown headquarters is mostly out of view, but Kamala Harris campaign says it picked Baltimore for a reason

    Its playfully decorated, cavernous national headquarters in downtown Baltimore is mostly out of public view, but the Kamala Harris presidential campaign says it picked the city for a reason. In Baltimore, the Democratic U.S. senator and her campaign chairwoman and sister, Maya Harris, found a city that feels like the Oakland, California, area, where they are from. “It is like a sister city,” said Maya Harris, interviewed last week at the expansive headquarters encompassing a carpeted upper floor of an office tower with a sweeping view of downtown, the Inner Harbor and beyond. Still largely empty, the space is beginning to take on a whimsical character. “FEARLESS” is written on one wall in oversized purple lettering. (Balt. Sun) 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

  • Demonstrators protest Johns Hopkins Hospital suing poor patients

    Joined by members of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, national union leaders staged a noisy — and musical — rally Saturday calling on Johns Hopkins Hospital to stop suing low-income patients to collect debt. A crowd of a few hundred chanted “Shame!” and some people waved signs reading “Hey Hopkins. Stop Suing Patients & Families.” The rally — held on a sweltering afternoon outside the hospital — also promoted the efforts of a group of Hopkins nurses to unionize. “It may be 100 degrees out there, but we’re just getting started,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka shouted from an outdoor stage. “Nurses are the most trusted public servants in our nation, and they deserve a voice on the job.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • New micropigmentation studio opens in Frederick

    Tony Smith recently opened ScalpDMV to offer micropigmentation services. He recently spoke with the News-Post about why he opened the salon and how his services can help people. What made you want to open a micropigmentation salon? I am bald headed myself and I wear hats a lot of the time. Sometimes I get self- conscious about it and I thought about how other people feel, especially people with cancer, alopecia or have scars on their head. I thought it was a good way to give people their confidence back. What’s your background in the industry? I’ve been in the barber industry for 35 years. (News-Post) Read Full Article      

  • Local brewery hosts suicide prevention fundraiser

    Those sipping beers at Rockwell Brewery Sunday afternoon were also supporting a national foundation. The brewery partnered with the local chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) for an “Out of Darkness” fundraiser event. Ten percent of the profits of every beer sold were donated to the AFSP. Don and Donna Freitag walked into Rockwell not knowing about the fundraiser but were glad to lend their support. “We always like to support local causes,” Donna said. “[And] it seems like it’s [suicide] a sad thing that’s happening more often than not these days and no one is protected from it at any age group or demographic, especially law enforcement or military which breaks our heart.” (News-Post)Read Full Article    

  • Md. planning commission OKs logistics center, thought to be Amazon fulfillment center, in Prince George’s Co.

    A plan to build a 4-million-square-foot warehouse — believed by neighbors to be an Amazon fulfillment center — in Westphalia, a young community in Prince George’s County, Maryland, just took a step forward. The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission Thursday night approved an addition to Westphalia Town Center in Upper Marlboro with conditions relating to architecture, sound walls and landscaping. All indications show that the planned center along Maryland Route 4 at Melwood Road near the Capital Beltway will be an Amazon fulfillment center, but because of a nondisclosure agreement, that has not been confirmed. (WTOP) Read Full Article

Education

  • Baltimore County Schools, Libraries Team Up With No Kid Goes Hungry To Provide Free Meals For Kids

    A collaboration between Baltimore County Public Schools, the library system and No Kid Goes Hungry is making sure every kid has something to eat this summer. The organizations are teaming up to give kids across the county free, nutritious food every day. “We’re really excited to fill this gap that kids may have — getting a healthy meal during the summertime,” said Erica Palmasisano with the Baltimore County Public Library system. Lunch is provided on weekdays at nine county libraries for children under 18. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • Thousands of Baltimore students have lacked access to Advanced Placement. That’s about to change

    Students at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, the top-rated public high school in the city, can enroll in more than two dozen Advanced Placement courses. They’re able to do accelerated work in history and physics and chemistry and English, with the potential to earn college credit in those subjects should they pass a final exam. But access to AP classes is wildly uneven across the city. Nine traditional high schools didn’t offer any of these courses last year, district documents show, and five schools had just one. That’s changing. The district is embarking on a three-year plan with the goal of having six AP classes, including a research capstone, offered at every high school in the city. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • 'We are a village’: A new youth center represents hope for the future in West Baltimore

    In the Rosemont neighborhood of Baltimore, a video plays on a flat-screen television on the second floor of a church, at first displaying images of children and young adults in distress over ominous music. It’s the ribbon cutting for the Agape Youth Center at the John Wesley United Methodist Church, a yearlong project to renovate the second floor of the church into a viable youth center with spaces for a library, games and movies. But for all the playful imagery the scene evokes — orange and blue walls line the center while kids jockey for position on the couches in front of the television — those who have spent the past year getting it open say it’s about a serious battle in Baltimore. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article   

  • Summer school is hot at community colleges

    Towson University student Christelle Etienne isn’t whiling away these long, lazy days of summer lounging by the pool or hanging out with friends from high school. Instead, she’s sitting in a classroom at Montgomery College in suburban Maryland taking classes in anatomy and physiology. A pre-nursing and foreign language major with a double minor, Etienne is hoping the extra work will keep her on schedule to earn her bachelor’s degree. That’s something only 42 percent of first-time, full-time college students manage to do, according to the U.S. Education Department. And the longer students take to finish, the more they wind up paying. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Harrison Talks About Crime Strategy, Data That Informed It

    Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison isn't expecting violent crime to vanish "overnight" as a result of the five-year crime strategy announced Thursday, but he said parts of that plan are already being implemented. Police are already patrolling a number of micro zones where a significant portion of the city's violent crimes are taking place. The pattern emerged as Harrison, who was installed earlier this year, reviewed historical crime data. "We've known for five years now that -- and it has not changed; it's remained constant -- that... of the shootings and armed robberies, a third of them are occurring in these areas, and it hasn't changed," Harrison told C4 on Friday. (WBAL-Radio) Read Full Article

  • Therapy dogs bring smiles to somber courthouse proceedings

    All kinds walk through the security checkpoints at the Frederick County Courthouse on any given day, but few manage to turn heads like Giuseppe, Welton, Zeke and Zoey. “We’re just the handlers. They call us ‘the dopes on the ends of the ropes,’” said Francina Baldi with a smile as she led Giuseppe, a 3-year-old mini goldendoodle, toward the stairwell through a cluster of onlookers July 10. “It’s the dogs who are the stars.” Stopping patiently to give everyone the chance to kneel down to pet the adorable entourage, the dogs’ handlers gradually made their way up to Magistrate Hearing Room 1 on the second floor where, every Wednesday, the court’s Children in Need of Assistance cases are heard. (News-Post)Read Full Article      

  • Comic Con takes Frederick

    The Francis Scott Key event center at the Clarion Inn in Frederick, Maryland was turned into a crowded space filled with comic books, collectibles, toys and other fun items on Sunday. Frederick Comic Con was in full swing by 11 a.m. and would continue for another four hours. Nick Shoff, owner of Shoff Promotions, has held the Comic Con event three times a year in Frederick since 2014. “If you’re interested in comics or collectibles or games, you can usually find it,” Shoff said. Shoff began hosting shows 40 years ago, and back then it was just baseball cards. Now his shows tend to be a little more colorful and cartoonish. (News-Post)Read Full Article    

  • New Baltimore deputy police commissioner robbed at gunpoint near Patterson Park

    One of Baltimore’s newest deputy police commissioners and his wife were robbed at gunpoint Friday night near Patterson Park, police said. Deputy Commissioner Daniel Murphy and his wife were approached around 9 p.m. by four men in a large white SUV at the 2200 block of East Pratt Street, police said in a statement. Two approximately 18-year-old men got out of the SUV and approached the couple. The men announced it was a robbery, showed a gun and fled with a wallet, a purse, some cash and multiple cell phones, the press release said. No one was injured. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Cohen: The time is now for Baltimore to become a ‘trauma-responsive city’

    A few months ago, a group of men pulled up to the parking lot of the O’Donnell Heights playground in a black car and fired 37 rounds, injuring four people. The shooting occurred shortly after two elementary schools let out for dismissal. When the gunfire erupted, chaos ensued. According to one witness, “It was like watching a hurricane of bullets.” The next day, I spoke with students at Holabird Academy. An eighth grader described the terror she felt hearing the “pops,” knowing that her family was walking home. “My little brother is 3. He heard everything. He saw the man bleeding out on the pavement.” As she spoke her hand trembled. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article  

  • Editorial: Baltimore should move swiftly to stop police misconduct gag orders

    The Baltimore City Council should expeditiously work to pass legislation that would prevent the city from silencing people who settle police misconduct and brutality cases. The longtime practice of forcing people to sign gag orders that prevent them from discussing their cases not only stomps on their free speech rights but allows police to hide from their bad behavior. (We should also point out the city is still allowed to talk freely about cases, and does insofar as it suits its interests.) The cops in essence are not held fully accountable, leaving the possibility that they will continue to brutalize other people. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article  

  • Rodricks: Calvin Ash comes home from prison, 15 years overdue

    Calvin Ash must have stood in line for food thousands of times over the last 47 years, but never at Panera, and he probably never had much choice about what to eat. So, on Thursday, he approached his first transaction at the chain bakery-cafe in north Baltimore with a combination of delight and confusion. A little direction from his brother, Julian, helped Calvin figure things out. He managed to order what he wanted — a toasted breakfast bagel, a pastry and orange juice. Until he returned to his hometown 10 days ago, 68-year-old Calvin Ash had been one of the oldest inmates in Maryland’s prison system. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article    

  • Editorial: The pesticide the EPA knows harms children but approved anyway

    Chlorpyrifos isn’t a word that trips naturally off the tongue. Only slightly more intelligible is Lorsban, the name under which chlorpyrifos is commercially marketed. What consumers need to know most about the widely-used pesticide is that its been linked to childhood brain damage. Concerns about its harmfulness to kids have been around for nearly two decades when its household use was discontinued. Four years ago, the Obama administration moved to ban it entirely. But then came Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt and, most recently, Andrew Wheeler, who announced last Thursday the Environmental Protection Agency won’t be prohibiting its use despite a request from environmental and public health advocates to do so. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article