Politics

  • The cost of Maryland’s ‘Kirwan’ education plan is worth it

    Throughout a three-year rigorous and transparent process, the expert and bipartisan members of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, or the Kirwan Commission as most people know it, laid bare how Maryland’s one-time competitive advantage in public education has been severely eroded. Declining results on national assessments are the most recent reminder of how far Maryland has fallen behind. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Baltimore County councilman wants to close loophole to address over-renting issues

    The Baltimore County Council is considering legislation aimed at closing a loophole through which some landlords may be renting properties to more people than the law is meant to allow. It’s currently illegal in the county for landlords to rent to three or more adults who are not related by blood, marriage, or adoption unless a permit is issued by the county’s Department of Permits, Approvals and Inspections. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Maryland transportation secretary Rahn to leave Hogan administration; state highway chief to take over

    Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn, who proposed a historic highway expansion effort in the Washington suburbs while drawing criticism for a lack of investment in Baltimore’s mass transit systems, said Monday he’s resigning. As Gov. Larry Hogan’s top transportation official since 2015, Rahn has overseen the state’s highways, mass transit systems, toll facilities, Motor Vehicle Administration, the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • 'Significant' management, oversight issues found in audit of Maryland 529

    An audit of Maryland 529, the state agency that oversees college savings plans, uncovered a series of problems including high management turnover, the discovery of an unknown bank account and unopened mail dating back a decade. The report, released Monday by the Office of Legislative Audits for the Maryland General Assembly, covers 2014 to 2018 and looked at fiscal practices in the agency. (Balt Bus Journal) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • New tech tool to expose the influence of big business in politics

    Everyone talks about how big business has too much influence over our political process, and sadly, many of us have witnessed it firsthand. Through meeting after meeting, I’ve watched CEOs and their lobbyists make demands to elected officials that were not in the best interest of their customers. Something was misaligned. Shouldn’t corporations be pushing political agendas that benefit their customers, the people who buy their products and keep them in business?  The problem is that consumers haven’t had an easy way to access information about company policies and practices, so we keep supporting them, and corporations have no reason to change. What we’ve been waiting for is an easy, trackable way to vote with our dollars.  Enter Tribe.  Read Full Story

  • ‘It Makes Me Feel Great’ | Marylanders Work To Give Back During Giving Tuesday

    This time of year, there’s a lot to do at the Maryland Zoo. There are tons of leaves that need to be raked, and that takes a lot of people, but most of those do not work for the zoo. “We have a very small horticultural team, so they rely on volunteers to get a large amount of work done in a short amount of time,” Allison Schwartz, of the Maryland Zoo, said. Most days, Rob Starr drives a desk at Bank of America, but he said he makes a habit of giving back whenever he can. (WJZ-TV)Read Full Article

  • Conference Reading: Poll: Affordable Housing Shortage Worries Montgomery Co. Voters

    How big a problem is the lack of affordable housing in Montgomery County? It’s so significant that a recently-completed poll of county residents listed affordable housing as the issue they’re most concerned about other than education. The poll of 425 county residents, taken Oct. 16-Nov. 2 for the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington, showed 16% of Montgomery County residents listed the scarcity of affordable housing as their No. 1 issue (29% listed education). (Md. Matters)Read Full Article

  • Ransom: LifeBridge Acquisition of Bon Secours is a Win for West Baltimore

    Too often, the news in west Baltimore isn’t very positive. For a part of the city that faces myriad challenges, this month marked a major win—a new partnership between Bon Secours and LifeBridge Health. Earlier this month, Bon Secours, Mercy Health, and LifeBridge Health completed LifeBridge Health’s acquisition of Bon Secours Hospital. This merger will result in improved health services and an important investment in an area of our city that is deeply in need. At the same time, Bon Secours will continue to its community works program to deliver critical services and housing in west Baltimore.Read Full Article

Business

  • Old steel mill sprouts new businesses, including a new kind of indoor farm

    The green shoots of a new business will sprout soon in a newly built steel-framed warehouse on the grounds of the shuttered steel mill in Sparrows Point. This isn’t a metaphor. New York-based Gotham Greens is about to plant the first seeds in a 100,000-square-foot indoor hydroponic farm that expects to produce 6 million heads of butter lettuce, romaine, basil and other leafy crops a year. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Lidl doubles down on regional expansion with acquisition of Shoppers stores

    Lidl is looking to fill the void being left by Shoppers. While Shoppers' parent company United Natural Foods Inc. (NYSE: UNFI) continues its effort to shed its retail portfolio, German discount grocer Lidl is expanding its presence in the region — and the United States more broadly — with plans to acquire six properties in Maryland and Virginia. (Wash Bus) Read Full Article

  • No more finger prick? Maryland biotech aims for bigger market for diabetes app.

    Senseonics Holdings Inc. has slapped a new label on its blood-sugar monitoring system, a move that boils down to one thing for diabetes patients: fewer finger sticks. The Germantown company — whose implantable continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system senses a person’s glucose levels to determine if he or she needs insulin, food or exercise — is starting to market the product as an alternative to the decades-old step of pricking a finger multiple times a day to elicit a drop of blood. (Balt Bus Journal) Read Full Article

  • Md. company’s employees split surprise $10M bonus

    Holiday bonuses are always appreciated but for employees at Baltimore-based commercial real estate developer St. John Properties, the bonuses were huge and unexpected. Edward St. John, the founder and chairman of St. John Properties, used the company’s holiday party to announce that all 198 employees would share a $10 million bonus. The amount each employee gets is based on tenure, but the average bonus was $50,000, with some employees receiving bonuses upward of $250,000. St. John Properties has employees throughout Maryland and Northern Virginia. (WTOP) Read Full Article

Education

  • Athletes Have Healthier Brains That Can Actually Hear Better, Study Says

    Listen closely: Can you hear that noisy static in your brain? Neurobiologist Nina Kraus can. At her lab at Northwestern University called “Brainvolts,” she and her colleagues can attach a series of electrodes to your scalp and record the electricity your brain produces in response to a sound. “I can then take that electricity and play it out through a speaker and we can listen to your brain to see how well it does that job,” Kraus said. “By doing that we can gain insight to the health of your brain and nervous system.” (CNN)Read Full Article

  • School Notes: FCPS receives grant to promote healthy living

    Frederick County Public Schools has received a $10,000 grant from the American Dairy Association to participate in the Fuel Up to Play 60 Seconds program, created in partnership with the National Football League. (News-Post)Read Full Article

  • Northrop Grumman donates jet to Anne Arundel for Maryland’s first high school aviation program

    For the first time in Maryland, high school students will get the chance to work on an airplane as part of a new aviation maintenance technician program in Anne Arundel County. Monday morning, Northrop Grumman donated the plane to Anne Arundel County Public Schools. School officials and representatives of aerospace and defense stood beside the Sabreliner N160W in Linthicum to discuss the new program at the Center of Applied Technology North in Severn. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Breast cancer stamp that raises research money in jeopardy

    The breast cancer stamp was the very first stamp in the U.S. to raise money for a cause. Now, the stamp and the research that it funds is in danger of going away. The stamp has raised close to $90 million for breast cancer research. The money has funded breakthrough research, including a test that helps some patients avoid unnecessary chemotherapy. (WBAL) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • 'He made the world a better place’: Jordan Taylor memorial fund receives over $10,000 in donations in 10 days

    During the decade he worked with children at The Y in Catonsville, Jordan Taylor was never fully aware of the impact he was creating every day, his mother said. The youth sports director made a point of engaging with more reserved children or those with special needs, Julie Taylor said about her son. “There was definitely something that Jordan brought to these kids that resonated with them, made the feel valued, made them feel special,” she said. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Potential Jurors Questioned About Race, Alcohol In Richard Collins III Murder Trial

    Around 100 potential jurors packed a second-floor courtroom in Upper Marlboro as jury selection began in the trial of Sean Urbanski, a white man accused of fatally stabbing Bowie State University student Richard Collins, III. Urbanski, from Anne Arundel County, is accused of stabbing Collins at the University of Maryland, College Park in May 2017. Collins was visiting friends at the time. According to prosecutors, surveillance video shows Urbanski using a folding knife to target Collins. The two had never met before. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

  • LAZ Parking Ordered To Pay $155K In Settlement After Firing 3 Baltimore Employees Based On National Origin

    The country’s second-largest parking company has been ordered to pay a $155,000 settlement as part of a consent decree after firing three Baltimore-based employees based on their national origin, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Monday. The EEOC said LAZ Parking laid off three employees, two of whom were of Moroccan descent and one of whom was of Ethiopian descent, when the company switched to an automated payment system. (WJZ-TV)Read Full Article

  • Mayor Young Calls On Baltimore To ‘Light The City Purple’ For Ravens

    Mayor Jack Young wants to turn the town purple! He’s asking all Baltimore residents and businesses to show their support for the Ravens in their primetime home game this week, by “bathing Baltimore City in purple light”. The Department of General Services began installing purple light fixtures on city buildings Monday, and on Monday night, the Bromo Seltzer Tower, the War Memorial and City Hall Dome will light up purple. (WJZ-TV) Read Full Article

Commentary

  • EDITORIAL: What will it take for Maryland to finally clean up its troubled prison system?

    In 2013, a federal probe exposed a sophisticated drug-smuggling and money-laundering scheme between correctional officers and gang members at the state-run Baltimore City Detention Center. In 2016, another federal investigation uncovered massive corruption at Maryland’s largest prison, in which guards smuggled in narcotics, cellphones, pornographic videos and tobacco in exchange for money and sex with inmates. Now, three years later, comes the indictment of more than two dozen state corrections officers on charges of excessive force, assault and conspiracy. (Wash Post) Read Full Article

  • DeFilippo: Return on Investment Projections for Kirwan Seem Unrealistic

    If there’s such a thing as reincarnation, every Maryland taxpayer should engage Strong Schools Maryland and the Sage Policy Group to plot the kind of investment return they claim the Kirwan education reform plan promises its debtors, we, the people. We should all be so lucky as the Kirwan jackpot. The outsider advocates propping up the financial benefits of the education package are, in the grammar of politics, relying on more predicates than appear in Merriam-Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary. (Md. Matters) Read Full Article

  • EDITORIAL: Criminal justice system less racially biased, but still bad, particularly for African Americans

    Racial biases in the criminal justice system have started to decline, according to new research by the bipartisan Council on Criminal Justice, but that is no reason to celebrate. Mostly black and brown faces still fill the country’s jails and prisons, and people of color make up most of the parole and probation rolls. The work is not done until the gap is eliminated and the unfair targeting of people of color has ended. (Balt Sun) Read Full Article

  • Petri: ‘Why isn’t this bipartisan?’ demands person who vowed to oppose it at every step

    You bet I would love to support impeachment! Nothing would delight me more — if it were just bipartisan, which unfortunately it’s not, because I have vowed to oppose it at all costs. This is sure an unfortunate coincidence. I keep asking: Why isn’t there bipartisan support for this? I could support it, if only I were not against it — which I am, vehemently, and will hear no reason to change my mind. A most ingenious paradox! (Wash Post) Read Full Article