Politics

  • GSA seeks developers for FBI headquarters

    The federal government is formally seeking developers to build a new headquarters for the FBI, opening the next phase in a competition between Maryland and Virginia to land the lucrative project. The General Services Administration said Friday evening that applicants will have until February 10 to submit plans for a building to accommodate some 11,000 workers. The Federal Bureau of Investigation wants out of its current headquarters, the 39-year-old J. Edgar Hoover Building in downtown Washington, and the effort is proceeding despite uncertainty about funding. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Hogan releases detailed inauguration plans

    Gov.-elect Larry Hogan plans to host a "people's celebration" next month along with more traditional formal inauguration parties. Hogan announced Sunday that he will hold an open house at the governor's mansion and public receiving line after he is inaugurated on Jan. 21. Donors and VIP's can attend a $100-a-head gala at the Baltimore Convention Center, but Hogan also has some low-budget plans for the following weekend. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland’s budget battle ahead

    In roughly 30 days, Larry Hogan will be sworn in to office after running a campaign focused on improving the state’s business climate, reducing taxes and mending the state’s budget process that routinely yields hundreds of millions of dollars in shortfalls annually over the last decade. Hogan, who will be sworn into public office for the first time in January, maintains that he was sent to Annapolis with a mandate to reduce spending and right the state’s economy and business climate. (Daily Record)Read Full Article

  • Delaney makes a statement with infrastructure bill

    U.S. Rep John Delaney, D-Md., is making a statement with a bill that he introduced in the waning days of the current Congress. The Infrastructure and Global Tax Competitiveness Act, according to Delaney’s office, would strengthen America’s economy “by rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure and reforming the broken corporate tax code.” (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Josh Kurtz – The Progressive Shift of the Legislature

    Center Maryland columnist Josh Kurtz talks about what the November election means for changes to the House of Delegates – significant turnover, but much of the top Democratic leadership remains the same.Watch Full Video

  • Kathleen Dumais: A Response to Kurtz’s Cold New Reality for Montgomery County

    I was incredibly disappointed with the inclusion of incorrect information in the opinion piece posted by Josh Kurtz on December 15, “Cold New Reality for Montgomery County,” as well as his blatant failure to check facts before continuing the tired criticism of the Montgomery County Delegation and other Montgomery County elected officials. Did he even attempt to ask how the schedule for the three-day bus tour for the incoming new members of the legislature was developed and whether or not anyone in Montgomery County had any control over the schedule or the selection of sites to visit? Read Full Article

  • Laslo Boyd: Goodbye Stephen

    This is a sad day for Stephen Colbert’s countless fans. Tonight’s edition of the Colbert Report will be the last one. Sometime next year, he will start his new gig on the Late Show, replacing David Letterman. While the new venue will undoubtedly provide Colbert with the opportunity to develop new comedic riffs, it just won’t be the same. Along with the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, Colbert has brought the venerable art form of political satire into the 21st century. It takes nothing away from Will Rogers, Thomas Nast or even Garry Trudeau to observe that Colbert and Stewart are today’s “Gold Standard” of how to skewer politicians and oversized-ego celebrities (Is that redundant?). Read Full Article

  • Sarah Hemminger and Rodney Foxworth – Thread (Part 2)

    Sarah Hemminger, founder of Thread, and Rodney Foxworth, a Thread board member, continue their conversation with Center Maryland about the Baltimore City nonprofit, which helps underperforming students achieve academic and personal growth through a close-knit family of volunteers. Sarah also discusses the convergence of events that inspired her to establish the nonprofit in 2004.Watch Full Video

Business

  • Proposal for Uber sedan, SUV services in Maryland raises questions

    State regulators, a state consumer advocate and a major competitor of the popular ride-sharing company Uber Technologies joined together Friday to question a proposed settlement that would allow Uber to legally operate sedan and SUV services in Maryland. During a three-hour Maryland Public Service Commission hearing, Commissioner Lawrence Brenner asked why the state should enter into an agreement with Uber to bring its UberBlack and UberSUV services into regulatory compliance when the company continues to defy regulations with other services, including UberX, the company's low-cost service. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Amtrak CEO says B&P tunnel replacement study may be 'waste of time' given lack of funding

    The head of Amtrak questioned whether a continuing study of replacement options for the troubled 140-year-old Baltimore & Potomac Tunnel under West Baltimore is a "waste of time," given what he sees as a national failure to commit adequate funding to major passenger rail projects. "There is no money. There is no leadership. There is no delivery of what we need for the future of this nation," Joseph Boardman, Amtrak's president and CEO, said in an interview. "The resources necessary to rebuild the infrastructure of this nation do not seem to be on the radar in a way that actually delivers an action plan." (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Schuh shaking up Maryland Live! casino fund committee

    County Executive Steve Schuh has changed the leadership of a panel that will advise him on how to spend millions of dollars in impact fees generated every year by the Maryland Live! casino in Hanover. Claire Louder, president of the West County Chamber of Commerce, has replaced Mike Caruthers of Somerset Construction as head of the 15-member Local Development Council. Schuh, a spokesman said, also may make changes based on transition committee recommendations — including the appointment process for the council. (Capital)Read Full Article

  • Maryland gains 3,800 jobs in November

    The state’s labor market brightened as the holidays began last month with the addition of 3,800 jobs, the strongest payroll growth in the state in months. The unemployment rate statewide fell to 5.6 percent in November, below the national average for the first time since July, according to the newest figures, released Friday by the Department of Labor. The national average was 5.8 percent last month. The agency also revised October’s hiring up to 2,800 jobs, double the initial estimate. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

Education

  • University of Maryland recruits Ulman to turn College Park into start-up hub

    The University of Maryland has recruited Ken Ulman, the former Howard county executive who ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor, to transform College Park into a Silicon Valley-like hub filled with incubators and start-up companies. Ulman said he will announce Monday that he has formed a consulting firm, Margrave Strategies. The firm’s first principal client will be the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, the university’s separate fundraising arm. Ulman’s role will be to find businesses and entrepreneurs who want to form partnerships with the university or bring new energy to College Park by locating their offices there. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article...

  • Plan for English language learner schools causes conflict in Pr. George’s County

    A plan to open two new high school programs for immigrants and English-language learners in Prince George’s County has created a rift between members of the African American and Hispanic communities, with opponents of the proposal questioning the school district’s decision to use its limited resources to benefit one group of students over the other. The county’s chapter of the NAACP has mounted strong opposition to schools chief Kevin M. Maxwell’s plan to open two schools next year for 800 English-language learners who are struggling academically. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Even with speed cameras off, no pedestrians injured in school zones

    City officials say Baltimore's speed camera system was designed to protect children walking in school zones. And indeed, no pedestrians were injured in school-zone crashes the last year the cameras operated. But there also were no pedestrian injuries in school zones the year the extensive camera system was shut down. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • The Children's Guild delays Glen Burnie charter school

    Plans for a new charter school have been delayed two years, while Anne Arundel County's school system and The Children's Guild look at potential new locations. The Children's Guild, a nonprofit organization, operates a Monarch Academy in Glen Burnie and a Monarch Global Academy in Laurel, and had plans to open a third charter school in Glen Burnie next fall. Plans for the Glen Burnie school have now been scrapped while the organization looks for a new location in the central or southern parts of the county. (Capital)Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Commission: General Assembly should abolish ‘inherently unfair’ bail system

    A Maryland commission on pretrial reform Friday called on the state to stop requiring people to post bond after arrest as a condition of being released from custody before trial. The Governor’s Commission to Reform Maryland’s Pretrial System called the state’s bail system inherently unfair. Low-income defendants are too often held in custody pending trial due to their inability to pay, while wealthier defendants are released because they can foot the bill, the commission stated. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Question B case still lingers in court

    More than two years after voters chose to eliminate a long-standing bargaining right of Montgomery County police, a legal challenge to the county’s handling of the campaign for that ballot question is still pending. Both Montgomery County and the county’s police union, Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35, appealed a March decision in the case by the Montgomery County Circuit Court. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on Jan. 6, 2015. (Gazette)Read Full Article

  • State court system backs judge who released alleged cop shooter

    The Maryland Judiciary has defended a District Court judge's decision in June to grant bail to a man who was accused of shooting a Baltimore police officer last weekend. Donte Jones, 19, who police say shot Officer Andrew Groman in the abdomen during a traffic stop Sunday, had been arrested two previous times on handgun charges, according to police and court records. He was placed on probation after pleading guilty to a January 2013 handgun charge, then was rearrested in June of this year and charged with illegal possession of a handgun. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • BCoPD warned NYPD about suspect

    Baltimore County police say they warned New York police about alleged shooter Ismaaiyl Abdula Brinsley, but the message came too late. Baltimore County police believed Brinsley was behind an early morning shooting Saturday in Owings Mills that left a woman in critical condition. Police responded to the 10000 block of Mill Run Circle at 5:48 to find a woman, later identified as  29-year-old Shaneka Thompson, shot in the abdomen. The suspect was gone when police arrived, but around 1:30 p.m. authorities became aware of posts on Thompson’s Instagram account threatening police. Police  said they tracked  Brinsley to Brooklyn, New York using pings from Thompson’s stolen cell phone. (WMAR-TV) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Maryland Gov.-elect Larry Hogan’s stark choice

    The final tally in Maryland’s gubernatorial contest last month looks deceptively close: 51 percent to 47 percent in favor of Republican Gov.-elect Larry Hogan. A closer look at the map suggests Mr. Hogan trounced his Democratic rival, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, in 20 of the state’s 23 counties. The exceptions were the big suburban jurisdictions of Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, plus Charles County — or, as Mr. Hogan described them during a recent rub-your-nose-in-it speech in Montgomery, “the three lonely counties that, unfortunately, voted the wrong way from the entire rest of the state.” No doubt, Mr. Hogan’s victory is a mandate to shift policy. Still, it would be self-defeating politics if Mr. Hogan were to take a hostile stance toward Montgomery and Prince George’s, which together account for a third of the state’s population and more than a third of its economy. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Back to the future on voting

    Fourteen years ago, when the nation was riveted by the spectacle of poll workers parsing the differences between dimpled and dangling chads after the presidential contest between Al Gore and George W. Bush, Marylanders could rest fairly easy. A few counties still used old-fashioned voting machines, though not quite like the ones that caused so much havoc in Florida, and the vast majority already had more modern systems. But thanks to the national voting reform movement after the Bush-Gore election, Maryland decided to adopt uniform voting technology state-wide. This week, just eight years after the machines became standard state-wide, Maryland's Board of Public Works voted to dump them and go back to what is essentially the same kind of technology most of the state had in the first place. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • More choices for parents and students

    We're heartened by Gov.-elect Larry Hogan's recent remarks suggesting he wants to make charter schools a priority of his administration. Maryland currently has one of the weakest charter school laws in the nation, which has left parents here with fewer choices for educating their children than in many other states. Mr. Hogan says he wants to tweak the law to make easier to open and operate such schools in Maryland, and that can only be good for the state's K-12 students and their families. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Deficit raises budget stakes for Hogan

    Someday, when he's not up to his eyebrows in unpleasant numbers, Larry Hogan may appreciate the irony a bit more. For years, through his Change Maryland organization, Hogan has made the case that Gov. Martin O'Malley was resorting to tax increases and gimmickry to keep the state on an unsustainable fiscal trajectory. Now Hogan has proof. Last week the state Board of Revenue Estimates, as expected, revised its projections downward, saying that in the next 18 months the state will fall almost $1.2 billion short of getting its budget in balance — unless it manages to cut more than $420 million before this fiscal year ends in June and nearly $750 million in the fiscal year that follows. Hogan can say "I told you so." He has been vindicated. There's just one little problem. Guess who'll be in charge in one month? (Capital)Read Full Article