Politics

  • Frosh, brushing off GOP critics, says anti-Trump suits protect Marylanders

    Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh on Wednesday defended as apolitical efforts to protect Marylanders his office’s legal challenges to President Trump’s restrictions on immigration from majority-Muslim countries, the marketing of the president’s Washington hotel and his administration’s rollback of regulations designed to protect the environment. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Maryland early voting eclipses 2014 turnout but many doubt it signals a 'blue wave'

    Marylanders have cast early primary votes at a record clip so far this year. Three times as many Democrats as Republicans have turned out. Democrats see the increase as a sign of blue wave of opposition to President Donald Trump that they hope will defeat Gov. Larry Hogan and sweep the country in November. “Democrats are energized and they’re ready to send a message,” said Fabion Seaton, a spokesman for the Maryland Democratic Party. But analysts warn that predictions based on early voting patterns are fraught with risk. After all, if early voting reliably predicted final results, Anthony G. Brown would be governor, and Hillary Clinton would be president. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Jealous-Baker fight in Maryland exposes divisions over how Democrats can win

    Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous has assembled a well-funded, left-wing coalition in hopes of becoming that rare Democratic insurgent who defeats an establishment-backed party rival, top state politicians and independent analysts say. The battle between Jealous, a first-time candidate, and Rushern L. Baker III, the two-term Prince George’s county executive, mirrors a national pattern: Activists inspired by the 2016 presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) — and frustrated by recent Republican victories — are confronting more traditional candidates closer to the mold of Hillary Clinton, the party’s 2016 presidential nominee. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Maryland Gov. Hogan, possible Democratic rivals expand voter outreach with technology

    To get out the vote, Gov. Larry Hogan is getting into voters’ devices. The Republican governor — who effectively used Facebook to help him win the 2014 election — is now gaining traction with digital-savvy supporters through a new venue: a mobile app that rewards them for their mobilizing efforts. And two Democratic gubernatorial candidates hoping to challenge Hogan in November have been using some of the latest technology to help them expand their reach beyond physical glad-handing, phone-banking and median-waving. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Aaron Tomarchio: How Kevin Kamenetz Steered Sparrows Point Toward The Future

    In 2010, during his first campaign for Baltimore County Executive, Kevin Kamenetz said something about Sparrows Point that seemed politically risky at the time: Maybe it’s time to think about a future beyond steel production. His words seemed prescient two years later when, after cycling through five owners in a decade, the steel mill closed, putting 2,200 men and women out of work.Read Full Article

  • Delegate Sandy Rosenberg: A Vision to Keep the Preakness in Baltimore

    Legendary horse trainer Bob Baffert wants the Preakness to stay in Baltimore. He told the Baltimore Sun, “To me, it’s magical in here. There’s something about it. I’ve been watching it since I was 10, 11 years old…There’s so much history here.”Read Full Article

  • Joseph (Jay) A. Schwartz, III: Senate Bill 30 ‒ The Pundits and Perhaps the Most Extraordinary Vote In General Assembly History

    The just concluded General Assembly Session was one that none of the pundits saw coming. So they said: It is an election year; there will be a lot of bills filed but nothing of substance will be enacted; partisan wrangling will be the order of the day; blah, blah, blah.Read Full Article

  • Tami Howie: Protecting Innovation Protects Patients and Our Economy

    Innovation is at the heart of Maryland’s economy and the wellbeing of patients in our state. New, groundbreaking cures and treatments save and extend the lives of patients, pushing the bounds of modern medicine, for the benefit of all. Innovative companies are able to leverage Maryland’s combination of technology know-how, business-friendly climate, and highly-educated, highly-skilled workforce to produce these cures and provide hundreds of thousands of Marylanders with well-paying jobs.Read Full Article

Business

  • Amid crab worker shortage, Maryland officials approve $375,000 to boost marketing of local seafood

    The Maryland Board of Public Works on Wednesday granted a state seafood marketing campaign an extra $375,000 to help promote the crab industry as it grapples with a shortage of immigrant workers. Eastern Shore crab houses, where crustaceans are picked for the meat sold in grocery stores and restaurants, are without about 35 percent of their usual work force after many failed to get necessary guest worker visas. The visas were awarded by a lottery for the first time this year, amid high demand for foreign labor from a variety of seasonal industries. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Johns Hopkins among institutions embracing 'rapid autopsies'

    Hopkins is at the forefront of a burgeoning movement of medical institutions embracing “rapid autopsies” — a procedure ideally conducted within six hours of a person’s death, before tissue start to significantly degrade. Dr. Jody Hooper, director of the Legacy Gift Rapid Autopsy program at Johns Hopkins, said such autopsies are performed most often on cancer patients. The procedure allows doctors to collect wide-ranging tissue samples from throughout the body and learn as much as possible about the disease that killed their patient. Researchers set out to gather still-living cancer cells and use them to analyze the ways the tumor was responding to treatment. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Ground broken for next apartment building in the transit-oriented Owings Mills project

    Construction has started on a new seven-story apartment building in the Metro Centre in Owings Mills, bringing the total number of apartments clustered there at 350. The 114-unit building, called The Met at Metro Centre, is part of a massive transit-oriented development there offering residents access to the Baltimore Metro on site and a walkable neighborhood around the transportation hub. It’s also near Interstate 795. Developed by David S. Brown Enterprises, the overall project — with housing, retail and office space — has been in the works for years and has overcome snags and county council infighting. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Medical marijuana dispensary opens in Mount Vernon, co-owned by Hopkins medical professor

    A medical marijuana dispensary co-owned by an adjunct professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has opened in Mount Vernon. The ReLeaf Medical Cannabis Dispensary, in the 1100 block of Cathedral St., is among 50 dispensaries licensed in the state, close to half of the 102 allowed by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. Most of the licensees have opened in recent months after long delays with getting the industry off the ground in Maryland. The General Assembly created the program in 2012. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

Education

  • Baltimore City Community College names interim president

    The Baltimore City Community College board of trustees has named James H. Johnson, a former civil engineering professor and dean at Howard University, as its interim president for the next several months while a search is conducted for a permanent replacement. “Dr. Johnson is a nationally-recognized leader with an exceptional career in higher education,” Kurt L. Schmoke, chair of the board of trustees, said in a statement. “His experience as a proven leader, impeccable track record and commitment to students will be a great service.” (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Anne Arundel Board of Education approves fiscal 2019 operating, capital budgets

    The Board of Education gave final approval to its fiscal 2019 operating and capital budgets Wednesday morning — the votes were unanimous, with two members absent. During the meeting, President Julie Hummer said she appreciated the work all parties did to collaborate on the budget, as well as the public which communicated their priorities. But it still doesn’t fill every need and class sizes will likely go up, Hummer said. (Capital) Read Full Article

  • Attendance plummets in Howard schools on last days

    Nearly 40 percent of Howard County School students weren’t in class on the final two days of school this week, according to data from the school system. In April, the school board voted to extend the school system’s calendar by two days — June 18 and 19 — after the the county exhausted its inclement-weather “snow days.” On Monday and Tuesday, about 63 percent of the district’s 57,000 students attended school. In the two previous years, more than 90 percent showed up for the final two days. (Ho. Co. Times) Read Full Article

  • North Hagerstown High students to get new Chromebook laptops in fall, replacing iPads

    The school year just ended, but the Washington County Board of Eduction already is making plans for when students return, and what will be different come September. On Tuesday, BOE members voted to approve $545,600 for Chromebook laptops and accessories for every North Hagerstown High School student and staff member. The money will come from the general fund. At the meeting, board member Pieter Bickford asked whether the purchase marks the beginning of a transition from iPads to laptops for all high schools, as had been previously discussed. The district rolled out the major part of its iPad distribution for students two years ago. (Herald-Mail) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Gov. Larry Hogan names longtime federal civil servant to lead Public Service Commission

    Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has picked Jason Stanek, a longtime federal civil servant and current Capitol Hill adviser, to serve as the next chairman of the state Public Service Commission, the body that sets utility rates across the state. Stanek is senior counsel to a House of Representatives energy subcommittee. Before that, he worked 16 years for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He replaces Kevin Hughes, who had served as a policy adviser to three Democratic governors before former Gov. Martin O’Malley selected him for a five-year term as commission chairman in 2013. That term ends this month. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Baltimore's Enoch Pratt library named one of 10 'Nicest Places in America' by Reader's Digest

    The Enoch Pratt Free Library has been named one of the 10 “Nicest Places in America” by Reader's Digest, a year after two Maryland destinations earned similar honors from the magazine. Nominations for places where “people are kind and treat each other with respect” were crowd-sourced. The winning place will be featured on the cover of Reader’s Digest. "We are so proud of the life-changing, innovative programs at the Pratt Library, like Social Worker in the Library, Lawyer in the Library and the Mobile Job Center,” library President Heidi Daniel said in a statement. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Baltimore City Council rejects Mayor Pugh's proposed rewrite of city charter

    The Baltimore City Council has killed almost all of Mayor Catherine E. Pugh’s plan to rewrite major sections of the city’s charter after several members said they were not given enough time to consider the proposed changes, including one to expand the mayor’s control over contracts. The council’s action ended a lengthy process that Pugh began in January to form a commission to conduct the first examination of the charter in a quarter of a century. The document functions as the city’s constitution, establishing the powers of the mayor and the council and outlining agency responsibilities. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • City Council to pass fire code change unless agencies move on stalled developments, bike lanes

    The Baltimore City Council on Wednesday issued city agencies an ultimatum: make “demonstrable progress” on roughly 20 to 25 stalled developments and a handful of bike lanes by Monday, or the council will strip a section from the fire code that the Fire Department has been citing to hold them up. Following a one-day recess, the council’s judiciary and legislative committee unanimously voted to bring the bill — which would remove certain road width and building access requirements — in front of the full City Council on Monday. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

Commentary

  • The Supreme Court can’t dodge responsibility on gerrymandering forever

    The Supreme Court has ducked responsibility for finally clarifying when gerrymandered electoral maps are so skewed they are unconstitutional. Instead of ruling on the merits of challenges to highly partisan Wisconsin and Maryland legislative maps, the justices on Monday tossed the cases back to lower courts on technical grounds. But the justices cannot dodge responsibility forever. At some point, they will need to confront the damaging effects of gerrymandering and admit the practice has become so unjust that it violates constitutional principles such as equal protection and free association. In the meantime, voters should not wait for a dawdling judiciary; they should push for nonpartisan redistricting within their states. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

  • Maryland School for the Deaf enriches the lives of our whole community

    The Maryland School for the Deaf has been a lifeline and refuge for deaf children for 150 years. It is obvious to all what a difference it makes in the lives of these children. It may be less obvious but just as true that MSD has made a huge difference in the life of the Frederick community. As the school celebrates its sesquicentennial, it is a good time to reflect on the great benefits that Frederick has accrued as the host city for this national educational institution. (News-Post)Read Full Article

  • Matt Sharkey, Ph.D.: Recent Fort Detrick incidents highlight need for transparency

    We applaud the vigilance of Fort Detrick in the timely discovery and public notification of two recent events at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) and the Fort Detrick Steam Sterilization Plant. In April, USAMRIID discovered that a laboratory animal and a laboratory worker were infected with tuberculosis (Frederick News-Post, April 12). In May, the steam sterilization plant at Fort Detrick was flooded by rain (News-Post, May 7), which could have released contaminated wastewater into the community. In each case, Fort Detrick coordinated its response with the county health department and informed the community of measures underway to assess risks and prevent future incidents. (News-Post) Read Full Article

  • County Council primaries bring new faces to the fore

    With four of the seven current members of the Anne Arundel County Council being forced out by term limits, and the remaining three incumbents all facing challengers, the Nov. 6 election will give us a largely new County Council — and one we hope is not an all-male affair. We will be giving our endorsement in the District 1 race on Friday and there is no primary race in District 4. Here are our other endorsements. (Capital)Read Full Article