Of procurement and politics: Harris criticism of bio-defense firm could help donor

Rep. Andy Harris has become a vocal critic of a division of Pfizer pharmaceutical company at a time when one of his campaign contributors hopes to make inroads into the drug giant’s market. The 1st Congressional District Republican says the Pfizer subsidiary, Meridian Medical Technologies of Columbia, Md., has “put our national security preparedness in question” because of manufacturing issues with one of its nerve-agent antidotes. Harris has pledged to seek answers from Meridian and government agencies about those manufacturing issues. He made his comments following a June 25 fundraiser hosted by lobbyists for Emergent BioSolutions Inc., a Rockville-based pharmaceutical company looking to expand its presence in the biodefense field. (Daily Times)

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Ulman says contingent fire responders must follow same training as career

County Executive Ken Ulman this month announced changes to the Protective Service Contingent program that employs firefighter and EMS personnel on an hourly basis to help staff stations when additional personnel are needed. Under the changes, contingent personnel must now complete the same hiring steps that any entry-level Howard County career firefighter/EMS employee completes, including an entrance examination, an agility test, criminal background check and physical examination as recommended by National Fire Protection Association standards. (Patuxent)

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Mikulski says she’s ‘ready to get into it’ to help elect Anthony Brown as Maryland governor

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) announced Sunday that Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) is “my choice” to be Maryland’s next governor, saying she felt strongly enough about it to get involved in a Democratic primary, which is unusual for her. (Wash. Post)

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Fresh off primary win, Cohen forges ahead on Annapolis City Dock

After surviving a challenge in the Democratic primary this past week, Annapolis Mayor Josh Cohen quickly resumed his controversial efforts to adopt a new long-term plan for City Dock and rezone a key portion of the downtown waterfront. Cohen wasted no time in resuming his City Dock efforts, holding a City Council work session on the topic. (Balt. Sun)

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Clean Chesapeake Coalition faces challenges changing minds

The Clean Chesapeake Coalition, which Carroll County joined last year, includes six other rural counties in Maryland, and attempts to change conventional wisdom on the Chesapeake Bay cleanup and restoration efforts. The coalition advocates for cost-effective policies that will help the bay, pointing out the issues concerning the Conowingo Dam, which they say releases the largest amount of pollution into the bay. They argue the dam should be the priority, downplaying the effectiveness of environmental polices handed down by the state. (Carroll Co. Times)

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Carroll Co. position on Chesapeake Bay scrutinized by groups

Carroll County has an issue. The state mandated the county, and nine other jurisdictions, raise a fee to pay for stormwater management and wastewater treatment plant projects that would reduce the output of pollution runoff into the Chesapeake Bay. The county would have had to create a fee to pay the projected almost $20.2 million for the projects over a six-year span, according to a report by a county advisory group. (Carroll Co. Times)

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Anne Arundel stormwater fee could be subject of renewed debate

Critics of the Anne Arundel’s stormwater management fee may have a new ally, but will it be enough to overturn the controversial law? Daryl Jones, who returned to the County Council last week after a nearly two year legal battle, said repealing the fee is one of his top priorities. He said the annual fee — $85 for most property owners — is not being applied correctly. (Capital)

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Political picnic draws hundreds, dampened by rain

Hundreds of politicos gathered in Prince George's County Saturday afternoon to mix and mingle at an annual event hosted by some of the state's most powerful Democratic lawmakers. An afternoon downpour cut attendance at the annual barbecue, which for decades has been a must-do election season event on the calendars of candidates and hopefuls alike. (Balt. Sun)

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