Politics

  • July 22 // O'Malley seeks to house immigrant children in foster homes, not large centers

    Gov. Martin O'Malley and a group of faith leaders agreed Monday that thousands of immigrant children who have poured into the United States should be housed in foster homes and other small settings, not large centers as the federal government has proposed. The governor invited about 50 religious leaders and others to meet at the State House in response to the crisis that has developed along the nation's southern border as tens of thousands of unaccompanied children — many fleeing violence in Central America — have entered the country seeking refuge. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • After Border Tour, Md. Sheriff Says Immigrant Children Should Be Sent Back

    After visiting the U.S-Mexico border to get a firsthand look at the influx of unaccompanied children entering the United States, a Maryland sheriff known for his tough stance on illegal immigration says the thousands of children who have made it into the country should be sent back. Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins also says the only way to control the problem is a full military deployment along the border. (WNEW)Read Full Article

  • Rep. Delaney goes his own way, focusing on ‘big ideas’

    His Republican opponent may call him a liberal Democrat, but Rep. John Delaney continues to go his own way in Maryland’s Democratic Party representing part of Montgomery County and most of western Maryland in the 6th Congressional District. Delaney, who made a personal fortune in running two financial services businesses, was nominated in 2012 over a candidate favored by the Democratic establishment. He won the hard-fought primary against state Senate Majority Leader Rob Garagiola with 54% of the vote, and then defeated 10-term Republican incumbent Roscoe Bartlett with 59% of the tally. This gained the seat for Democrats as intended in the partisan 2011 redistricting process. (Md. Reporter) Read Full Article

  • Salisbury moves toward five council districts

    Salisbury leaders are moving forward with a plan to redraw the City Council's district map two years after they last revised it. The changes would increase the number of districts from two to five, with one representative serving each district. Two of the districts would have a majority of minority residents. (Daily Times)Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Peter Franchot – Wind Energy & the Estate Tax

    Center Maryland continues its conversation with Comptroller Peter Franchot, who discusses the positive economic and environmental impact of the Governor’s decision to veto the bill that would have disrupted wind energy projects on the Eastern Shore. Franchot also discusses the importance of the General Assembly’s decision to re-couple Maryland’s estate tax with the federal exemption.Watch Full Video

  • Josh Kurtz: Montgomery County’s Shame

    Montgomery County residents pride themselves on their civic mindedness and fluency. Just ask any 3rd grader who the deputy U.S. secretary of Commerce is, and she’ll be able to tell you (Bruce Andrews, acting). If you live in Montgomery, chances are one of your neighbors is helping run the world: John Roberts, Denis McDonough, Bill Marriott, George Will, etc. etc. At presidential election time, voter turnout in Montgomery County is pretty decent. But when it comes to acting locally, when it comes to selecting their leaders at the state and county levels, Montgomery County residents fail miserably. Read Full Article

  • Universal Voting Technology with Kathy Rogers of ES&S

    Kathy Rogers, Senior Vice President of Government Relations at ES&S – the nation’s largest voting technology company – continues her conversation with Center Maryland. Kathy discusses the features of the company’s cutting-edge universal voting system and explains how these features make the technology both convenient and reliable for voters.Watch Full Video

  • Donald Fry: For transit funding, a tougher fiscal environment

    As Baltimore’s planned light rail Red Line nears final approval for approximately $1 billion in federal funding, it’s increasingly apparent to transportation advocates and elected leaders in the region that funding major transportation projects isn’t what it used to be.Read Full Article

Business

  • July 22 // MGM gets Prince George’s council backing for casino construction at National Harbor

    MGM Resorts International is ready to begin construction on its $925 million gambling complex at National Harbor after receiving Prince George’s County’s blessing Monday. “It is exciting” said Lorenzo Creighton, president and chief operating officer of MGM National Harbor. “You will see an impressive project . . . nothing like we have seen in this area before.” The Prince George’s County Council voted 8 to 1 in favor of MGM’s plans, authorizing the Nevada-based company to seek building permits and stay on track for a 2016 opening. MGM could have an official groundbreaking as soon as next month. (Wash. Post)Read Full Article

  • Hopkins agrees to pay $190 million to settle Levy claims

    Johns Hopkins Hospital has agreed to pay $190 million to settle claims from thousands of women who may have been surreptitiously recorded during pelvic exams by gynecologist Dr. Nikita A. Levy. The amount of the settlement is one of the largest on record involving sexual misconduct by a physician. Levy, a doctor in the Johns Hopkins Community Medicine system for 25 years, took his life in February 2013 during an investigation that revealed he was using tiny cameras concealed in pens and key fobs to record patients. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Cybersecurity firms among top recipients of venture funding in Maryland

    Maryland companies raised $64 million in venture capital funding this spring, with some of the biggest payouts flowing to Baltimore cybersecurity startups. That's according to the latest MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture Capital Association. The report, which uses Thomson Reuters data, tracks money flowing to startups and later-stage firms across the country. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Holcim breaks ground on $95 million project in Hagerstown

    With the loud rumble of a 500-foot-long cement kiln in the background, Holcim US Inc. celebrated a new milestone at its longtime Hagerstown plant Monday, one that ensures the local facility's vitality into the future. Holcim officials and employees were joined by numerous elected leaders for a ground-breaking ceremony, officially kicking off a two-year, $95 million modernization project that will cut down on the plant's environmental footprint and create hundreds of construction jobs in the process. (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

Education

  • July 22 // Maryland gets waiver extension for teacher evaluations

    Maryland can put off using test scores to evaluate teachers through the next school year under a waiver to federal law. The U.S. Department of Education granted Maryland a one-year extension that will allow it to put off using annual test scores, given in grades three through eight, as part of a teacher's evaluation. The extension was expected, and Maryland legislators had already passed a law prohibiting the use of test scores until the 2016-2017 school year. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Stevenson U. picks Melissaratos as interim business dean

    Stevenson University, the small but rapidly growing Baltimore County school, has just added a big name to its ranks: Aris Melissaratos. Melissaratos, a longtime, prominent player in Maryland government and business, has been named interim dean of the Brown School of Business and Leadership, a position he said he would like to fill permanently. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Hundreds of 2nd-graders in Prince George’s County attend new summer school program

    Traniessa Wright slowly pronounces the word “road” and anxiously waits for a student in Room 2 of Pointer Ridge Elementary School to say whether the vowel sound is long or short. With only one eager student raising his hand, Wright figures that the others might be a little sleepy. After all, it is the middle of summer break. She instructs them all to stand up and, on the spot, creates a game to keep them engaged. She writes “Yes” and “No” on the classroom’s interactive whiteboard. If the word makes a long vowel sound, the students should stand in front of the “Yes.” A short vowel sound should prompt students to gather in front of the “No.” The exercise, designed to teach the fundamentals of reading and math, is part of a new, free, countywide summer school program for incoming second-graders who are reading below grade level in Prince George’s County. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Rodgers Forge residents turn out for feedback meeting on Towson U. stadium

    A heated discussion about an electrical conduit turned into a conduit of its own for Rodgers Forge residents whose frustrations with Towson University officials over improvements to a softball field adjacent to the Towson neighborhood has grown into what many called issues of trust. The occasion was a Monday evening feedback meeting at SECU Arena at Towson University on $2 million in planned improvements to the university's softball field, which university officials hope will be in place for the opening of the 2015 softball season. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • July 22 // Ulman loosens healthy food and drink standards for events not on county property

    Howard County Executive Ken Ulman on Monday announced that he plans to loosen some of the restrictions in an executive order that banned sugary sodas and other high-calorie drinks at county-sponsored events. The rule generated a passionate community debate earlier this month after some vendors complained about the standards, which were implemented for the first time at a Fourth of July event at downtown Columbia's Lake Kittamaqundi. (Patuxent) Read Full Article

  • Health exchange struggles with Public Information Act

    Officials with the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange are vowing to do a better job of responding to requests for documents after a review of a log tracking the requests revealed the agency has violated the law in more than three out of every 10 requests. The agency, which has spent more than $100 million on a state health care exchange that faltered in its first year, is struggling to meet requirements for addressing requests under the Maryland Public Information Act. A review of records posted online found that more than 30 percent of outstanding requests for documents, excluding those requiring responses from the individual making the request, are beyond the 30-day deadline mandated by state law. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Residents see some gray areas in city's new curfew

    Percy Smith is against Baltimore's new curfew. Like many of its critics, he's fine with keeping kids off the street late at night; he's just concerned about how it will be implemented. "I'm asking from an economic perspective," he said, "will this be Fells Point or East Baltimore?" He added later that he doesn't want a curfew "just protecting the Inner Harbor." The Govans man and more than 100 other city residents came to Morgan State University on Monday night to learn about and voice their support of or opposition to the policy, which goes into effect Aug. 8. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Comptroller visits Woodsboro

    Woodsboro hosted a state official as it makes its case to secure grant funding for a new playground. Comptroller Peter Franchot visited Woodsboro Regional Park on Monday to see how the town has used grant funding from the Department of Natural Resources’ Community Parks and Playground Program. (News-Post) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • July 22 // Make sure MGM casino makes good on its IOU for Prince George’s County

    One of the biggest recent development projects proposed for the Washington suburbs — MGM Resorts International’s $925 million casino complex at National Harbor — received final approval for construction Monday from the Prince George’s County Council. A jackpot of promises made by the company — to generate revenue, jobs, contracts and charity — had the desired effect. Even on the querulous council, opposition to this behemoth near the banks of the Potomac ranged from muted to inaudible. Here’s hoping that MGM makes good on its promises because they would, in fact, provide an economic shot in the arm to the county. Even those who opposed planting a casino with 3,600 slot machines and 140 gaming tables scarcely 10 miles south of the Capitol, as we did, would be gratified if the payoff provides the promised material benefits for the state and county. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Martin O'Malley: Forging a smart growth economy

    The best state in the nation for innovation and entrepreneurship three years in a row is Maryland. This is according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (hardly a mouthpiece for the Maryland Democratic Party), which also ranks Maryland No. 1 for STEM employment and No. 3 for our "Talent Pipeline." These rankings show that we're doing the things that work. If we stay on track, our long-term economic prospects are excellent. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Benjamin Rosenberg: The Red Line numbers don’t add up

    In a recent letter to Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Jim Smith, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz correctly stated that "… there was always a clear understanding that [the Red Line] would be a state and federally funded transportation project with no expectation of a local contribution." That was not only true, but it was one of the big selling points the MTA used to convince local public officials and others to support the Red Line plan. But as the projected cost of the Red Line has ballooned from the Maryland Transit Administration's 2008 estimate of $1.63 billion to the current estimate of more than $2.67 billion, the project no longer appears to be affordable without hundreds of millions of dollars from Baltimore City. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Standing up for children

    Another proposal to house undocumented children in Maryland and another shameful response. This time it wasn't rural Carroll County blasting the prospect of "illeagles" living outside Westminster, but a Baltimore County councilman decrying the potential presence of a mere 50 youngsters at St. Vincent's Villa in Timonium. Fifty children. Not enough to fill up one grade level at a typical elementary school. Yet that's apparently too much for Councilman Todd Huff who, while acknowledging that Catholic Charities does "phenomenal" work, believes the organization should "stick with the work here of our own." (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

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