VIDEO: Jobs for the Mid-Shore?

As the debate rages over whether to permit the State Department to build the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center on a 2,000-acre farm in Ruthsburg, here's a reminder of why Queen Anne's County and the surrounding Eastern Shore jurisdictions could benefit from the $100 million project and hundreds of jobs that would be generated. Previous Center Maryland coverage of the project: Poll: Queen Anne's County voters support new training center Clayton A. Mitchell’s thoughts on the proposed project: Queen Anne’s Co. should support training center... Continue reading
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An Op-Ed Response -- ABC: Media too supportive of labor unions

Editor’s Note: The Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. contacted Center Maryland and asked for an opportunity to respond to Josh Kurtz's recent column on the Washington Post's war against the Montgomery County's teachers union. By Mike Henderson I read with interest Josh Kurtz's piece on the clash between The Post and the Montgomery County Teachers Union until — as I ventured deeper into the story — I discovered Kurtz was actually taking the paper to task and accusing them of acting out of petty jealousy. I’ve been heartened recently by a handful of opinion pieces – not just in the Washington Post, but there was a very good piece by Joe Klein in Time taking on the New York Teachers Union – where the media criticized labor for overreaching and not acting in the community’s best interests. But those examples are the exception and not the rule. By and large, the... Continue reading
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Why isn’t the legislature’s Fiscal Leaders Committee meeting? Partisanship seems to be getting in the way

By Tom LoBianco The Fiscal Leaders Committee, a secretive grouping of the Maryland General Assembly’s most powerful members, has met routinely through good budget times and bad. But as the state struggles through its worst budget storm in generations, the group has met on only a handful of occasions. Partisan rancor and a decade’s worth of skirmishes have driven a wedge between the two men who jointly determine when the group will meet: House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. Miller, Busch, and other budget leaders in the General Assembly can’t remember the last time it met, although they know it was some time last year. “I'm not exactly sure why they haven't been meeting, I'd love to have a meeting, at least between the principals," Busch said. Miller previously sought to include Republicans in the meetings, but said the group may be unnecessary now.... Continue reading
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Howard Co. leads Baltimore area in "private public schools"

By Mike Bowler Howard County is poised to join Baltimore County as a “majority minority” public school district in which whites are in the minority, according to a report in the Baltimore Sun under the headline “Diversity Flourishing Across Region’s Schools.” But Howard has another distinction: It leads the Baltimore metropolitan area in the number of “private public” schools where students from low-income families make up less than 5 percent of the student body, according to a report this month titled "American's Private Public Schools" from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a Washington think tank. Twenty-four of Howard’s 72 schools fall in the private public category, according to the Fordham report. All are majority white, and most have a substantial Asian American enrollment. In the Baltimore area, there are 39 private public schools enrolling nearly 22,000 students, about 6 percent of all public students. The Fordham analysis, using federal free-lunch statistics,... Continue reading
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Farmers, environmentalists unite to try to protect family farms

By Tom LoBianco Farmers getting pinched by Maryland's estate tax could get some relief soon, but not likely this year. Lawmakers have been pushing for more than three years to give family farmers a waiver on the tax, citing the growing squeeze on family farmers facing increasing land values and major tax hits each time land is passed down a generation. The bill has failed in the last two sessions, but supporters are taking a new approach this year, looking to the environmental community for help. Farmers, particularly those with waterfront property, have land which acts as a natural environmental buffer, said Delegate Sue Kullen, Southern Maryland Democrat and lead sponsor in the House. "It's in the best interest of the state because they're trying to preserve land, but they can't preserve all the land they want to," she said. The bill would exempt families from having to pay the state's... Continue reading
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