Thanks for a great start

Thanks to everyone for a great start of Center Maryland. We are overwhelmed by the amazing show of support for what we are doing. For the 5,000 of you who are receiving our email news update, we appreciate your willingness to let us into your inbox each morning. Each day, dozens of people have signed up to join. (Click here to subscribe to the Center Maryland email list.) And in just two weeks, Center Maryland has earned almost 1,500 Facebook fans (click here to become a fan). We are grateful for the financial contributions that have already started coming in from across the state, some as modest as $25. Every dollar helps as we move ahead with our Straight-Down-The-Middle news coverage, pro-business centrist opinions, and comprehensive aggregation of Maryland government, political and business news that you need to know. (Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to Center Maryland.) We encourage... Continue reading
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OFF CENTER: Tea Partiers & Tax Hikers

We're one day into the 2010 session of the Maryland General Assembly, and the political extremes already are heading to the respective corners. In the right corner, we have a protest organized and promoted by local Republican political operatives (who are funded by and operate under the umbrella of Washington GOP political operatives), kicking off their next campaign. The first organizational meeting probably went something like this: People are angry and worried - how can we exploit this? Discuss. (And watch the video here.) And in the left corner, we have legislators who think that the obvious solution to the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression is to raise taxes on businesses and families, so government won't have to cut spending. The opening volleys are: Raising business taxes through combined reporting and making permanent the high income tax surcharge to pay for teacher pensions (Del. Roger Manno, H.B. 10). Continue reading
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Can a national journalism experiment succeed in Maryland?

Non-profit journalism: A solution to the no-profit economic model that’s killing Maryland’s media By Howard Libit For much of the past decade, Marylanders have watched their local media shrink. The Baltimore Sun, which once boasted a newsroom of more than 400 journalists, is now below 150, and its print edition no longer has separate sections for metro or business. The Washington Post, which once had local news bureaus in virtually every D.C. suburb from Frederick County to St. Mary’s County, has steadily retreated toward Washington; its Southern Maryland Extra was just eliminated, and much of its news from Howard and Anne Arundel counties comes from a “content-sharing” partnership with The Sun. The Baltimore Examiner came – and went. The Washington Times just eliminated its entire metro operation. And the cuts to the electronic media are just as severe, from WBAL Radio curtailing its weekend local news broadcasts to the gutting of... Continue reading
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BREAKING NEWS: Is O'Donnell being recruited to challenge Hoyer?

House of Representatives Minority Whip Eric Cantor was spotted hanging out at Harry Browne's in Annapolis on Monday. Sources tell Center Maryland that he was meeting with Maryland Delegate Anthony O'Donnell, the House Minority leader. Politico reports that Cantor is in the midst of lining up 100 GOP recruits across the country to take on Democrats, as part of the Republican effort to take back the House of Representatives. (Click here to read the Politico article.) Cantor is also developing a Contract with America II, according to Politico. Center Maryland's sources report that Cantor and O'Donnell discussed a potential challenge to House Majority Steny Hoyer. O'Donnell represents a portion of Hoyer's Southern Maryland district.... Continue reading
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Developers fear new stormwater regulations will undermine Smart Growth

By Julie Turkewitz New stormwater regulations have widened a rift between Maryland’s environmental and development communities, raising questions about whether the new provisions will harm the very Smart Growth they aim to encourage. Starting this May, developers building on new land or refitting already developed properties must adhere to a new set of stormwater management regulations. The provisions represent “sweeping” changes in Maryland’s regulation system, according to Stewart Comstock, a regulatory and compliance engineer for the Maryland Department of the Environment. But developers – particularly those who concentrate on projects in already developed areas -- predict hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. They argue that the new regulations will raise barriers to redevelopment in urban areas, unintentionally encouraging building in new areas and more of the suburban sprawl that environmentalist charge harms the Chesapeake Bay. The new provisions illustrate a larger state trend, according to Leslie Knapp, associate director of... Continue reading
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