Jay Steinmetz: Landing a Fortune 500 company in Baltimore

Pardon the sports analogies, but football season is upon us, and now is the time to orchestrate a game plan for a key Baltimore economic victory. Compiled by Fortune magazine, the “Fortune 500” is the definitive list of America’s top revenue generating companies. Baltimore is the nation’s largest city without one; a decisive win would be to land a Fortune 500 corporate headquarters the next time one moves. It won’t be easy. The challenges of Maryland’s largest city are widely known: violent protests surrounding the death of Freddie Gray in 2015, record-high murder rates in subsequent years, a shrinking tax base, urban blight and under-performing public schools, to name a few. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Mary Hui: What city bus systems can tell us about race, poverty and us

Standing on the sidewalk with her back to the traffic, Shan Wallace took a step backward, off the curb and onto the road, her black Sony A7 camera swinging from her shoulder. She leaned back and gazed down the broad avenue, into the distance. Where was the bus? When was it going to come? The traffic continued to roar by, but the bus was nowhere to be seen. At the bus stop with her were some 15 other people, and together they waited for the bus that would take them down North Avenue, toward the city’s west side. For many in Baltimore, buses are woven deep into daily life. And they also tell an important story about the city and its history, rooted in racial and economic divides that have shaped the course of its development over the decades. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

Len Lazarick: Howard County’s interim superintendent puts mark on school system

There’s a reason the local school superintendent is the highest paid local official in Maryland’s counties. It’s the toughest job in the county, heading the institutions where taxpayers spend the most money and that touch the most lives. The fierce competition for the top talent also drives up the salaries, and the average superintendent of large urban and suburban school system lasts only about four years in the job. Howard County’s Michael Martirano has only been hired as interim superintendent for this school year. He’s clearly acting like he plans to stay much longer, and he hopes as much. (Md. Reporter)

Read Full Article

Opportunities and challenges await as schools open

The dawn of a new school year always carries an air of excitement – and plenty of butterflies – before students, parents, teachers and staff settle in to a routine. This year also features a significant change in the top leadership of Howard’s system, one that for years has been able to boast of high-achieving students, engaged parents, talented instructors and a generous financial commitment from county and state taxpayers. The interim superintendent, Michael Martirano, has been overhauling the organizational structure following the abrupt departure of Renee Foose, whose polarizing leadership in her waning months as superintendent distracted attention from the strengths of the schools as well as the challenges it faces. (Ho. Co. Times)

Read Full Article

C. Fraser Smith: Learning from our history

Twenty three years ago, in a less incendiary time, clever leaders in Maryland found an elegant solution to the issue of racism-tinged statuary. Their success may have been more of a one-off than a model for dealing with this vexing issue. (Daily Record)

Read Full Article

September 7 // Larry Hogan to Metro: Drop dead

Whatever else Larry Hogan accomplishes as Maryland’s governor — and so far, despite deft political instincts, his substantive achievements are modest — his time in office will be a failure if he causes or allows Metro’s financial collapse. Yet this is the likely effect of the stance Mr. Hogan took in recent negotiations among the transit system’s three regional stakeholders on its financial future. Let’s hope it was merely an opening gambit. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

One less excuse for Md. Dems. to reject redistricting reform

Ask most Maryland Democratic leaders about partisan gerrymandering, and they’ll tell you it’s a horrible problem. They’ll say that is contrary to the principles of democracy, that it lets politicians choose their voters rather than the other way around and that it contributes to hyper-partisanship in Congress and state legislatures. Ask them to do something about it — as numerous good-government advocacy groups, editorial boards and Gov. Larry Hogan have done — and you’ll hear a different story. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Tom Wilcox: Here's how to mend Baltimore

We all agree: The status quo is unacceptable. Too many people are dying, too many people are leaving, too many people are languishing. Our hope for the city we love is at risk. We must act, together. While Baltimore foundations, nonprofits and other institutions have their individual areas of focus, civic leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors can commit to partnering broadly to pursue essential strategies in five areas critical to the city’s health. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article