Monday, December 5, 2022 |

Around Maryland

taking sinovac covid-19 vaccination injection
When can we get a universal flu vaccine? A flu-COVID-19 vaccine? A scientist weighs in.

For years, scientists have sought a universal flu vaccine — one that defends against all known types of the nasty virus — and recently there has been progress. University of Pennsylvania scientists reported they used the same mRNA platform from the COVID-19 vaccines to develop a shot that produced antibodies in animals against 20 subtypes of influenza — far more than the two or four in the seasonal vaccine. So what might people expect from such a vaccine in humans eventually, and in the meantime, as cases of the flu, plus RSV and COVID-19 swamp emergency departments and doctors’ offices? Here are some answers from Andrew Pekosz, a Johns Hopkins University flu researcher and professor in the department of molecular microbiology and immunology.

Hopkins and BPD sign operating agreement, paving the way for the hiring of private police force

The Johns Hopkins University on Friday evening released a memorandum of understanding between the university system and the Baltimore Police Department, a crucial step in the school’s years-long quest to field a private armed police department for its three city campuses. The final document, signed by Police Commissioner Michael Harrison and Hopkins Vice President for Public Safety Branville Bard Jr., spells out how the BPD will work with private police force officers to respond to crimes on campus. Its release comes after Hopkins presented an initial draft of the document for community feedback in September. Protesters opposing the private force disrupted two of Hopkins’ public meetings on the plan, citing concerns about accountability and over-policing of students of color and residents near campuses, as well as the boundaries of the force’s operations.

Patterson Bowling Center, a duckpin mainstay, closing after 95 years of operation in Baltimore, owner says

Patterson Bowling Center, a Baltimore institution and longtime home to duckpin bowling, has closed, owner Ken Staub confirmed Saturday. That afternoon, groups with bowling reservations at the 95-year-old lanes found the building shuttered and a closed sign on the door. I am heartbroken; this is the oldest duckpin house in existence, but there is nothing I can do about it,” said Staub, 70. He said the owner of the two-story building, at 2105 Eastern Ave., will finalize its sale this week and that the structure will be converted to 15 apartments.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Sheriff Sam Cogen ends practice of posting eviction notices in apartment common spaces

Baltimore’s new sheriff Sam Cogen has instructed deputies to end the department’s longtime policy of posting eviction notices in common spaces of apartment buildings when deputies are unable to access individual units. Cogen announced the new policy on Thursday, his first full day in office. It went into effect Friday. “This is not something that’s difficult for anyone to understand,” he said. “Why wouldn’t we want to give everyone as much notice as we possibly could?” His predecessor and former boss John Anderson, who held office for more than three decades, did not assist him in the transition, he said. So Cogen studied local laws, read old newspaper clippings and eventually learned he needed to obtain a “sheriff’s bond” and present it to the clerk of court in order to be sworn in.

John Waters releases a new record, unveils his Best Films of 2022 list in Artforum

As if he doesn’t have enough going on, writer and filmmaker John Waters and the Sub Pop record label on Friday released a new recording, entitled “It’s In The Book/”Proud New Father.” The release comes one day after Artforum magazine published Waters’ Best Films of 2022 list, which includes “Bones and All;” “EO,” a film about a donkey that wanders Europe; and “Detainee 001,” a documentary about John Walker Lindh, the “American Taliban.” Waters’ new audio-only release, available digitally and on a seven-inch single pressed on gold vinyl, features Waters covering a stand-up routine recorded in 1952 by Johnny Standley, a comedian, actor and musician who was born in Milwaukee in 1912.

This was captured well waiting for the doctor who was busy at the time
Hospitals prepare for winter as state sees earlier-than-normal surge in RSV infections

In late September, Maryland emergency rooms began seeing a surge in children — many of them very young — struggling to breathe because of Respiratory Syncytial Virus, known as RSV. According to a Maryland Department of Health dashboard that tracks the virus, the number of hospitalizations leapt from 33 in the last week of September to 257 in the final week of October. Because Maryland typically sees its RSV numbers spike in late November and December, this year’s surge sent emergency departments, urgent care centers and pediatricians scrambling. Thankfully, the state’s RSV case rate plateaued quickly. By the end of November, hospitalizations had been cut by two-thirds, to 88.

Maryland’s waterways contain high levels of ‘forever chemicals’ pollution

A recent report from the Waterkeeper Alliance revealed U.S. states’ pollution levels of certain chemicals in their waterways — and Maryland’s samples revealed high levels of contamination. The Waterkeeper Alliance, a nonprofit global network of waterkeeper groups aiming for access to clean water everywhere, released a report in October to showcase findings from the past several months about U.S. waterways. The group collected samples from different bodies of water across the country and tested them for specific chemicals called per- and polyflouroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

State knocks $600,000 off Orioles’ annual Camden Yards rent for team’s reconstruction of left field wall

It’s nearly impossible to quantify all the effects a deeper, taller left field wall at Camden Yards had on the Orioles’ 2022 season. The wall — which the team built this spring 30 feet farther back than its predecessor — cost the Orioles more home runs than it did their opponents. And without it, the Orioles might have won one more game, according to a Baltimore Sun analysis.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Amtrak touts ridership growth as sign of recovery from pandemic

Amtrak recorded significant passenger growth in its most recent fiscal year and grew operating revenue by 48 percent, officials with the railway system said, touting the company’s most promising signs of recovery from a pandemic that slashed ridership and earnings. Amtrak officials said strong ticket-revenue growth combined with infrastructure investments using federal money are setting the railroad on a path to expand beyond pre-pandemic service levels, even as challenges remain and ridership is below 2019 numbers — especially outside the Northeast.

Flood of controversy: Will proposed Ellicott City development mean more rising water?

The Taylor family has roots at least one century deep in Ellicott City — and its brand can be seen all over town. The family’s holdings include 1,000 residential units on 700 upland acres known as Taylor Villages. Nearby is Taylor Manor, an abandoned psychiatric hospital on 65 hilltop acres they hope to further redevelop. Ross Taylor, president of the family company, Taylor Place Development Corporation, and general manager of Taylor Property Group, wants to replace the hospital campus with Taylor Highlands, a residential development project with 252 luxury townhouses, apartments and condos.

The Morning Rundown

We’re staying up to the minute on the issues shaping the future. Join us on the newsletter of choice for Maryland politicos and business leaders. It’s always free to join and never a hassle to leave. See you on the inside.