Politics

  • Hogan's plan for new Redskins stadium on parkland in Maryland faces hurdles, opposition

    Opposition is mounting in the Democratic-controlled Maryland legislature to Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposal for a new Redskins stadium in a park overlooking the Potomac River in Prince George’s County. House of Delegates Speaker Michael Busch said Thursday he is opposed to spending taxpayer money on infrastructure for a new stadium when the state has more pressing needs, such as increasing school funding. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland fiscal board reports $1 billion in unspent revenue, but warns of possible recession

    Maryland’s government is entering a new year with more than $1 billion in unspent revenue, but should be bracing for a potential economic recession, members of a state fiscal panel said. The $1 billion in unspent revenue is due to a $500 million surplus from last fiscal year, plus more money coming into state government due to changes in federal tax law and sales tax on online purchases, according to the Board of Revenue Estimates. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Olszewski names Baltimore County transition team members on topics from education to public safety

    Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. on Thursday released the names of dozens of county residents, activists and business leaders who are members of his transition team. They’re divided among seven work groups that are examining various aspects of county government and life in the county. The work groups are expected to issue recommendations by the end of January. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Caporale sworn in as Allegany County commissioner

    Dave Caporale was officially sworn in Thursday as an Allegany County commissioner, joining Creade Brodie Jr. and Jake Shade on the board. Caporale had been serving on the Cumberland City Council when he announced last spring he would seek a seat on the three-member board of commissioners. He was successful in his effort, winning election to the board in the Nov. 6 general election. (Times-News) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Don Mohler reflects on Kevin Kamenetz, Gone Too Soon

    There were two months to go until the election. On May 8, 2018, Kevin Kamenetz had just finished filming 14 hours of television commercials that we were all sure would propel him to the Democratic gubernatorial nomination on June 26. And then two days later on May 10, the phone rang shortly after 2 a.m.  When the phone rings at that hour, it is never good news.Read Full Article

  • Eric Gilbert: Redeveloping America’s Brownfields, A Modern Industrial Revival

    Everyone who has ever worked in, lived in, or even traveled to a major U.S. city has seen them – forlorn, abandoned plots of land sporting an unsightly mix of rotting industrial equipment and crumbling buildings – fenced off and clearly too contaminated for occupancy or use of any kind. Read Full Article

  • Chris West: Single-Payer Healthcare – Another View

    On August 6, my good friend, State Delegate Kirill Reznik, posted a blog on Center Maryland (“Single Payer Healthcare”) in which he took aim at a Baltimore Sun analysis of Ben Jealous’s proposed single-payer healthcare plan. Delegate Reznik criticized the Baltimore Sun and launched a pretty bitter partisan attack on Governor Hogan and all Maryland Republicans because they are not swooning at the prospect of socialized medicine in Maryland. Read Full Article

  • Kirill Reznik: Single Payer Healthcare

    There’s a lot of controversy over a Baltimore Sun article that says single-payer healthcare costs $24 billion, and Larry Hogan is having a field day with that misinformation.  This is what happens when you Govern by polls and slogans.  But the truth is not scary, and in fact, quite commonplace. Read Full Article

Business

  • Maryland Stadium Authority proposal for new Pimlico leaves open question of how to pay for rebuild

    After dismissing two less ambitious options, the Maryland Stadium Authority on Thursday proposed replacing the faded Pimlico Race Course with a stylish — and costly — track designed to open its amenities to the surrounding community year-round and encourage development in a distressed area of Baltimore. The plan for the 148-year-old home of the Preakness Stakes, Maryland’s largest and splashiest sporting event, includes a four-level clubhouse and plaza area called the Palio — named after the Palio di Siena horse race in Italy — and a new track and infield positioned to open the site further to the public. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Land of opportunity (zones): Can a new federal program bring investment to neglected Baltimore neighborhoods?

    Pastor Donte L. Hickman Sr. says opportunity zones have the potential to transform Broadway East from blight to new heights. The leader of Southern Baptist Church at 1701 N. Chester St. said the federal program — ramping up in 2019 amid promises of federal tax breaks for private investors — could meld religion and politics for the better in his distressed community, kind of like divine intervention meets the perfect storm. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Greater Baltimore companies have nearly $6B in cash — and they're not spending it

    Greater Baltimore’s 15 largest public companies have nearly $6 billion in cash on hand, a figure that’s up only 8 percent from a year ago as businesses become more conservative with their spending amid the uncertain economic climate. Despite predictions that last year's tax-reform law would spur U.S. companies to reinvest cash from abroad in jobs and expansion at home, the cash stash by Greater Baltimore companies is in line with national trends. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Westfield Montgomery owners planning to invest ‘hundreds of millions’ in renovation

    To stay afloat in a changing market, mall owners must evolve, exactly what the owners of Westfield Montgomery mall intend to do with a redevelopment and expansion project that is expected to cost "hundreds of millions of dollars," its owners said Wednesday. Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, the shopping center's Paris-based owner, has filed preliminary plans with the county's Planning Board that show hundreds of apartments, high-end dining and shopping, a hotel and outdoor recreation areas. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

Education

  • Anne Arundel County moves closer to adopting policy to limit suspensions, expulsions

    The Anne Arundel County school board is reviewing the district’s suspension and expulsion policies to comply with new state regulations that prevent the youngest students in the system from facing such discipline. The Maryland State Department of Education passed legislation in 2017 to limit suspensions and expulsions for students in pre-kindergarten through second grade. The state agency finalized its regulations over the summer, and school board members first discussed changing the county’s discipline policy in November after MSDE issued its guidelines. (Capital) Read Full Article

  • In final school board meeting before new year, Carroll County teachers, union leaders call for educator raises

    In the last Board of Education meeting of the calendar year — a meeting that was a first for three new members — the Carroll County Public Schools board moved forward with the bid for the feasibility study for a possible East Middle School project. The total cost of the study comes in at $60,522, nearly $40,000 under the spending limit that was set by Superintendent Steve Lockard’s recommendation, and was given to the Baltimore architectural firm Hord Coplan Macht. (Carr. Co. Times) Read Full Article

  • Frederick County school board president apologizes at public meeting

    Brad Young, president of the Frederick County Board of Education, publicly apologized at Wednesday’s meeting for a post he made on social media during his campaign for re-election. “During the campaign there was a post on my social media, to which I responded,” Young said. “The responder whom I responded to was upset with the post. I’ll say it was not my intent to upset them by recognizing them and I extend my sincerest apologies. It’s my commitment to always be civil, positive and respectful in any and all venues including social media and I am intending to do that.” When reached for comment Thursday, Young said it is a closed matter and he has no further comment. (News-Post) Read Full Article

  • Harford school officials 'encouraged' by Hogan's plan to fund $3.5 billion in capital projects statewide

    What portion of the Harford public school system’s funding request for capital projects will be fulfilled by the state hasn’t been determined, but school officials are “encouraged.” Harford County Public Schools’ capital funding request for Fiscal Year 2020 is more than $74 million, most of which is sought from the county. About $12.1 million, however, is requested from the state for projects that include roof and HVAC replacements, according to school system budget documents. (Aegis) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Elrich suggests Hogan focus on improving American Legion Bridge instead of adding toll lanes to Beltway, I-270

    Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich thinks he has a better solution to relieving congestion on the the county’s busy Interstates 495 and 270 than adding toll lanes: widen the American Legion Bridge on the Beltway over the Potomac River at Cabin John. Elrich made the comment Thursday morning at the Committee for Montgomery’s annual legislative breakfast where the county’s elected leaders discussed priorities for the upcoming state legislative session. (Bethesda)Read Full Article

  • Baltimore County councilman wants hosts of unruly parties to serve required community service locally

    Baltimore County Councilman David Marks on Wednesday announced that he will introduce legislation requiring violators of the county's rule against unruly social gatherings to complete any required community service locally. Under current law, judges may order offenders to pay fines of $500 or $1,000, depending on whether it’s the first, second or third offense, and order up to 48 hours of community service. Currently, that community service can be completed anywhere in the county. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Preis, van Arsdale, two more top Baltimore County officials, to retire

    Two more top Baltimore County officials are leaving as County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. sets up his new administration. Fire Chief Kyrle Preis and planning director Andrea van Arsdale announced this week that they are retiring. They were two of the department heads who were not included in a list of appointments and reappointments that Olszewski sent to the Baltimore County Council last week. The council is required to confirm Olszewski’s department directors and public safety chiefs. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • City officials say repair of collapsed retaining wall along East 26th Street likely to last until summer

    Work to repair a retaining wall that collapsed along East 26th Street in Charles Village last month is likely to last until next summer, city officials told local residents at a community meeting Thursday. They promised to do a better job monitoring and maintaining such infrastructure moving forward — the same promise they made after a similar but more dramatic collapse of another retaining wall two blocks away in 2014. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Marylander of the Year finalists

    With the help of readers who submitted dozens of suggestions, we have narrowed the candidates for The Sun's 2018 Marylander of the Year award down to five. We offer the public one more chance to influence our final choice with an online vote before The Sun's publisher and editorial board announce the winner on Sunday, Dec. 30. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • The Pimlico plan can be done

    The Maryland Stadium Authority has the right idea for preserving the Preakness in Baltimore. It recognizes that the century of tradition associated with holding the second leg of the Triple Crown in northwest Baltimore cannot be abandoned but that year-round racing there cannot be revived. Instead, it envisions a viable plan for making Pimlico a year-round destination for everything from youth soccer and lacrosse games to drone races to high school proms while simultaneously integrating the site with the diverse neighborhoods and institutions to its north, south, east and west. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Investing in another NFL stadium is a bad deal for Maryland taxpayers

    There are lots of reasons Maryland should support businesses that pay dividends to the state’s economy. Football just isn’t one of them. We strongly urge Gov. Larry Hogan not to put taxpayer funds or state resources into any plan that would support a new Washington Redskins stadium in Maryland. This is not a fan thing. It’s about economics. It’s just a bad investment. (Capital)Read Full Article

  • Doug Colbert - Have a heart, Md. judges: Hold a pre-holiday hearing

    While considerable work remains to repair Maryland’s pretrial justice system, there’s one sensible thing that judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys can do right now to make a significant difference in dozens of lives: take a close look at the incarcerated population awaiting trial to see who should be released before any more winter holidays pass. Why hold an additional pre-holiday hearing for arrestees who have already appeared at bail hearings before a District Court commissioner and then a reviewing judge within days following arrest? Let us count the ways. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article