Politics

  • Olszewski says plans for sold out Independence Day concert are 'full steam ahead' despite BSO lockout

    Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. said Monday he was unconcerned about the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra lockout affecting the Independence Day concert at Oregon Ridge Park on July 3. The county announced Monday that the 5,000 tickets for the event have already sold out and Olszewski said plans for the free concert are moving “full steam ahead.” A deal was reached last week between the county and BSO musicians to hold the concert despite the BSO’s cancellation of the event. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore City Council Introduces Plastic Bag Ban Bill

    Discussions are officially underway for new legislation that would ban plastic bags in Baltimore. Councilman Bill Henry introduced the bill that would create a checkout bag surcharge for paper, compostable and other bags given out for delivery or carryout use. The exact amount hasn’t been announced. Last month, the City Council passed a ban on plastic foam containers for carryout food and drinks- making Maryland the first state to ban foam food containers. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore Congressional Delegation Wants Investigation Of SNAP Eligibility Withdrawal For Lexington Market Vendors

    Five federal lawmakers representing Baltimore sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture asking for an investigation into the withdrawal of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program eligibility for vendors at Lexington Market. The lawmakers, including Congressmen Elijah Cummings, Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes as well as Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, said a number of retailers in the public market have been denied eligibility for SNAP, commonly known as food stamps. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • Trump threatens to deport millions beginning next week

    President Donald Trump is threatening to remove millions of people living in the country illegally on the eve of formally announcing his re-election bid. In a pair of tweets Monday night, Trump said that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would next week "begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States." "They will be removed as fast as they come in," he wrote. (Chi. Tribune) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Report: The Unintended Consequences of Impact Fees in Baltimore County

    Baltimore County has an opportunity to appeal to young professional families, including people who presently live in high-rent city apartments.  That would expand the county’s tax base, stimulate commercial activity, and help rebalance the county demographically. However, proposed tax and development fee increases could induce many young people to opt for residences in other counties.  That would serve to limit Baltimore County’s tax base growth, and hurt the local construction industry, local retailers and other commercial enterprises. Proposed impact fees would also potentially impact the pace of commercial development, resulting in even more burden placed on shrinking numbers of prime age workers/households.  Such outcomes would be inconsistent with long-term investment in infrastructure, including schools.Read Full Report Here...

  • Cailey Locklair - MDRA Op-Ed

    The Maryland Retailers Association supports the firm stance Governor Hogan and the Maryland legislature took against selling Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, or “ENDS,” to minors. Maryland retailers provide adult smokers access to healthier and safer alternatives to cigarettes, and these products were never intended to encourage teen smoking. We believe ENDS products should not be marketed towards children, and will continue to fight for common sense measures against this practice.Read Full Article

  • Delegate Nick Mosby - No More Taxpayer Money Until Stronach Replaces Laurel Park Housing

    On Friday, March 29, I had the opportunity to tour the worker housing at the Laurel Park racetrack with Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, as the Maryland General Assembly considers taking the unusual action of mandating that MEDCO provide a $120 million loan to the Stronach Group.Read Full Article

  • Consumer Energy Alliance Supports the Independence Energy Connection Project

    Washington, D.C - As Maryland legislators consider the future of energy infrastructure and regulatory changes in the state’s electric market, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) Mid-Atlantic Executive Director Mike Butler reinforced the consumer group’s support for an energy policy that can bring affordable and reliable power to the region for consumers.Read Full Article

Business

  • Wells Fargo, Bank of America bringing down payment assistance programs to Baltimore

    Wells Fargo & Co. and Bank of America Corp. are bringing their national down payment assistance programs to Baltimore to help increase home ownership in low- and moderate-income communities. San Francisco-based Wells Fargo will make $5 million available for down payment assistance grants through its NeighborhoodLIFT program and provide another $1 million for philanthropic investments like homebuyer education and counseling. Charlotte-based Bank of America is also making grants available as part of a larger $5 billion nationwide homeownership commitment. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Johns Hopkins Children's Center among country's top-ranked pediatric hospitals

    Johns Hopkins Children's Center has been ranked as the best pediatric hospital in the state, and once again as one of the 10 best in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.The annual Best Children’s Hospitals rankings are intended to help families of children with complex and rare conditions find the best medical care. The rankings highlight the top 50 hospital centers in 10 pediatric specialties: cancer, cardiology and heart surgery, diabetes and endocrinology, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, neonatology, nephrology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, pulmonology and urology. More than 80 hospitals were evaluated nationwide for the 2019 rankings. (Balt. Bus. Journal) Read Full Article

  • Lockheed Martin to invest $142M, create 326 jobs

    Bethesda-based global security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin is investing $142 million in its Camden facility in Arkansas and adding 326 new jobs by 2024. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson joined Lockheed Martin executives during the Paris Air Show announcing this impactful investment and demonstrating on an international stage, Arkansas’ favorable conditions for the aerospace business. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Boeing says it hopes to get grounded 737 Max back in service this year

    Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg said he's confident the grounded 737 Max aircraft will reestablish its position as a single-aisle workhorse for decades to come, as the company works through an in-depth review of the airframe design and its internal processes in the wake of two deadly crashes. "The long-term, multidecade strategy hasn't changed," Muilenburg said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Paris on the first day of this year's air show. Any all-out new aircraft in that space remains "a much more distant decision for the next couple decades," the CEO said, adding that he's confident in the Max's product strategy. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Education

  • Civil rights group says CSDHS shrugged off assault against Muslim student

    A Muslim civil rights and advocacy group is claiming Dorchester school officials failed to protect a Muslim student from “Islamophobic” attacks, but the county’s school superintendent says the teen’s mother has refused to talk with the school system and is working through an attorney. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), in a June 11 press release, said Cambridge-South Dorchester High School staffers failed to protect the 15-year-old student of Moroccan descent. The mother reported a pattern of physical and verbal assaults against her child to school officials, and they “downplayed the gravity of the incidents,” according to CAIR. (Star Dem.)Read Full Article

  • Police: Substitute teacher arrested, charged after sexual activity with North County High School student

    Anne Arundel County police said they arrested a public schools substitute teacher Monday after she engaged in sexual activity with a North County High School student. Police said they responded June 4 to North County High after a student, who also attends the Center of Applied Technologies North, reported a substitute teacher engaged in sexual activities with him and provided him alcohol. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Boundary study ordered for overcrowded Pleasant Plains Elementary in Towson

    A boundary study to relieve overcrowding at Pleasant Plains Elementary School is under way after the Baltimore County School Board rejected a study for Perry Hall Middle School last week, school system officials said. The study will look at moving students from Pleasant Plains, which is at 131% capacity, to Halstead Academy and Hampton Elementary School, according to the school system website. Changes are set to take effect July 2020. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Student Success Act to move forward, despite two attempts to reject it

    As the West Virginia House of Delegates resumed the special session on education Monday, the Senate's omnibus education bill advanced, despite two attempts by Democrats to reject it. The Student Success Act was assigned to one of four select committees on education, Committee C — however, the committee set that bill aside and instead advanced its own omnibus bill, House Bill 206. (Times-News) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Maryland should overhaul child support system and how payments are set, Abell Foundation report says

    Decades of policy designed around setting high child support orders — and using tough enforcement tools to collect payments — has done more harm than good for low-income Maryland families, destabilized communities and trapped many men in a cycle of debt they cannot escape, a report by the Abell Foundation released Tuesday shows. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore judge dismisses 12 misconduct cases against officers after police department misses key deadlines

    A dozen internal affairs charges against Baltimore Police officers were dismissed by a circuit court judge last week, including one case where an officer was criminally charged, because the department filed them too late. The failure to pursue the cases has drawn criticism from a broad cross-section of the community, including a state senator and the leaders of the police union and the Civilian Review Board — a group of volunteers who investigate police misconduct allegations. The dismissals underscore the need for reforms, they say. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians protest Meyerhoff Symphony Hall lockout

    The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians protested outside the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on Monday morning, carrying signs and chanting “Save the BSO!” after being locked out of the performing center as management continues to negotiate salaries. Management abruptly canceled the orchestra’s summer concerts on May 30, citing a $16 million loss in revenue, despite increased donations, over the past decade. Facing a projected $1.5 million deficit by the end of the fiscal year, the organization has proposed cutting musicians’ pay, health care and vacation time as well as reducing its season from 52 weeks to 40 weeks. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Maryland to screen newborns for more rare, inherited disorders

    Newborns in Maryland will now be screened for four more conditions, bringing the total to 61, in an effort to begin treatment earlier for the rare, inherited disorders. The state is now among the top five nationally for the size of its testing panel, according to the state Department of Health. A few drops are taken from a baby’s heel and sent to a state laboratory and screened for anything out of the normal range. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Guckert: Hogan's proposed toll roads will reduce traffic

    On June 5, the Maryland Board of Public Works voted on Gov. Larry Hogan’s plan for a $9 billion highway expansion project that includes construction of toll roads in Maryland along I-270, the Capital Beltway, and the Baltimore/Washington Parkway (“Don't rubber stamp Hogan's toll plan, Mr. Comptroller,” June 5). While the approved Washington D.C. highway projects, it opted to delay work on the Capital Beltway (“Maryland Gov. Hogan wins key approval for toll lanes project in D.C. suburbs,” June 5). As a traffic and transportation planner, I thought it was helpful to provide some background details on the issue. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Rascovar: Does Hogan Hate Baltimore?

    Having already killed Baltimore City’s long-anticipated and badly needed $4 billion east-west subway line — thus forfeiting $1 billion of appropriated federal funds — is Gov. Larry Hogan now helping kill Baltimore’s world-class symphony orchestra? What does this governor have against Charm City?  There’s a long list of Hogan efforts that appear aimed at hurting Baltimore. The latest is his denial of funds that sent the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra into virtual bankruptcy by denying the non-profit $1.6 million earmarked by the General Assembly. (Political Maryland)Read Full Article

  • Zurawik: More criticism for Sinclair over 'code red' weather warnings

    The Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcast Group has been in the news the last two weeks for the controversial firing of a meteorologist at one of its stations who called out the company on-air over what he characterized as the hyped use of “code red” weather warnings. Sunday, Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” and I discussed the firing and the larger issue of sensationalizing local news. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Witcover: The two-track 2020 presidential campaign

    By virtue of the separate decisions of Donald Trump and Joe Biden to cast the approaching 2020 campaign as a bitter showdown between them, it already is reducing the large field of Democratic candidates to a premature sideshow. When Messrs. Trump and Biden went to Iowa last Tuesday and exchanged barbs from separate locations, the other 22 Democratic hopefuls in the race could only shrug and continue to plod on in their lonely efforts to horn in on what so far has been the Trump vs. Biden main event. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article