Politics

  • Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott urges Mayor Young to share progress of crime plan

    Baltimore City Council President Brandon Scott is urging Mayor Jack Young and the Mayor's office of Criminal Justice to share their progress on the creation of a comprehensive crime plan with the City Council. Scott is asking for the progress to be shared one week from Tuesday during their Public Safety Committee. Scott issued a statement on the status of the plan. “As violence continues to ravage Baltimore's neighborhoods and families, I am renewed in my urgency to leverage all of our resources toward fighting the disease of gun violence. On July 18, I stood alongside Mayor Young and Commissioner Harrison for the release of BPD’s 5-year crime plan. During that press conference, Mayor Young said that the comprehensive portion of that crime plan, coordinated by the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, would be released in “a few weeks.” (WMAR)Read Full Article   

  • ‘Not acceptable’: Baltimore City Council pushes for action on sewage backups, lagging reimbursement program

    Craig Bettenhausen is terrified every time it rains. After a storm, the junior warden knows what might await him at North Baltimore’s Church of the Guardian Angel: a putrid stench and gray-brown bubbling waste coating the basement floors. The church had three sewage backups since August, wreaking damage across the lower levels of a historic building that congregants turn to for peace. The mess halted operations in the building’s thrift shop, the profits from which help fund the church’s food pantry. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Gov. Hogan Says Maya Rockeymoore Cummings ‘Dog Whistle White Nationalist’ Comment About Him ‘Not Worth Response’

    Maryland’s governor is asking Maryland’s newest Democratic congressional candidate for an apology. The controversy was born out of Gov. Hogan saying he came from the “Ronald Reagan School of Politics.” Democrats seized the moment, citing Reagan’s previous racist comments. When Maya Rockeymoore Cummings ran for governor last year, she called Gov. Larry Hogan a “dog whistle white nationalist,” after he praised Ronald Reagan’s politics. “What I said was he outed himself as a dog whistle white nationalist because what he said was Ronald Reagan was his–his–his mentor, somebody that he modeled himself after,” Rockeymoore Cummings said. (WJZ) Read Full Article

  • Congress can have access to eight years of Trump’s tax records, appeals court orders

    Congress can seek eight years of President Trump’s tax records, according to a federal appeals court order Wednesday that moves the separation-of-powers conflict one step closer to the Supreme Court. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit let stand an earlier ruling against the president that affirmed Congress’s investigative authority on a day when the House was holding its first public impeachment inquiry hearing. Trump’s lawyers have said they are prepared to ask the Supreme Court to intervene in this case and in several other legal battles between the president and Congress. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article

Center Maryland

  • Conference Reading: Where Civility Is a Motto, a School Integration Fight Turns Bitter

    The planned community of Columbia, southwest of Baltimore, has prided itself on its ethos of inclusion ever since it was founded more than half a century ago. Racially integrated. Affordable apartments near big homes. “The Next America” was its optimistic, harmonious motto. But a recent proposal to restore some of that idealism by balancing the number of low-income children enrolled in schools across Howard County, including those in Columbia, has led to bitter divisions. Protesters in matching T-shirts have thronged school board meetings. Thousands of letters and emails opposing the redistricting plan, some of them overtly racist, have poured in to policymakers. One high school student made a death threat against the superintendent of schools, Michael J. Martirano. (NYT)Read Full Article

  • Ransom: Now is the time to think about your Health Insurance

    This is the season for Health Insurance Open enrollment. Many employers are having employees make decisions and general open enrollment to buy, change, or renew a qualified health plan for 2020 began Friday, November 1 and runs to Sunday, December 15 for healthcare starting on January 1, 2020.  MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society, encourages all individuals to sign up for health insurance for themselves and their families.Read Full Article

  • Post-Conference Reading: Two families — one black, one white — shared a harrowing history. Then they met.

    The King family stepped carefully up the concrete steps, through the narrow doorway and into a two-story log cabin with a painful past. Inside, they examined every inch. The low ceiling. The peeling chestnut walls. Then, the second floor, a tiny space under a pitched cedar-shake roof, where sunlight slips through small windows onto uneven oak floorboards. John B. King Jr., education secretary for President Barack Obama, climbed up the wobbly ladder for a depressing glance at the sleeping quarters. But he quickly came down and crossed his arms, wondering about the people who lived in this cramped space more than 150 years earlier: His enslaved ancestors. Lydia King. Charles King. Anne King. So many Kings once lived here, on this Maryland farm, still owned by direct descendants of the slaveholder, Thomas Griffith. (Wash. Post)Read Full...

  • Post Conference Reading: Professor Rucker Johnson on why school integration works

    Brown v. Board of Education was hailed as a landmark decision for civil rights. But decades later, many consider school integration a failure. UC Berkeley professor Rucker C. Johnson’s new book Children of the Dream: Why School Integration Works shows the exact opposite is true. The book looks at decades of studies to show that students of all races who attended integrated schools fared better than those who did not. In this interview with Goldman School of Public Policy Dean Henry E. Brady, which took place on Jan. 9, 2019, Johnson explains how he and his team analyzed the impact of not just integration, but school funding policies and the Head Start program. (Berkeley News)Read Full Article

Business

  • Jury finds Kennedy Krieger liable for lead exposure for study participant’s sibling

    A Baltimore jury found Kennedy Krieger Institute liable for the lead exposure of a child whose sibling was part of its lead paint study in the 1900s, marking the first time there has been a verdict against the institute for the program. The Lead-Based Paint Abatement and Repair and Maintenance Study, or R&M study, exposed newborns and children to lead paint to determine the best abatement strategies. The Court of Appeals held in 2001 that plaintiffs could pursue negligence lawsuits. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • Esquire names Baltimore restaurant one of nation's best

    The chicken liver pate at a tiny French bistro in Baltimore is wowing food critics and winning acclaim on some of the hottest "best of" lists. Esquire this week named Le Comptoir du Vin in Station North one of its Best New Restaurants in America 2019, a list of 22 restaurants nationwide that the magazine says are worth a visit. The year-old restaurant shares the spotlight with up-and-comers in New York, Washington, D.C, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco. It comes less than two months after the increasingly popular French eatery made Bon Appetit's best new restaurants in America. Le Comptoir du Vin ranked 8 on the Bon Appetit Hot 10 list. (Balt. Bus. Journal)Read Full Article

  • College Park's Cybrary raises $15 million, sets sights on 100-employee goal

    Cybrary Inc., a College Park cybersecurity company, has raised $15 million in Series B funding that it plans to use to reach the 100-employee mark in 2020. The funding round was led by Texas-based BuildGroup, with participation from existing investors Arthur Ventures and Gula Tech Adventures. This brings the cybersecurity workforce development firm's total funding to $23 million. Gray Hall, managing director at BuildGroup, and Ron Gula, president of Gula Tech Adventures, will join Cybrary’s board of directors as part of the investment. Ryan Corey, co-founder of Cybrary, said the new funds will be used for continued product development of the company's free online training platform for cybersecurity professionals. It will also will support continued internal growth at Cybrary. (Balt. Bus. Journal)Read Full Article

  • Behind the Reinvestment Fund's $180 million in Baltimore projects

    Grocery stores, arts spaces and workforce training centers are just some of the Baltimore projects the Reinvestment Fund has invested in over the past few years. Despite the diversity of uses, those projects all fit with the fund's mission to create opportunity for underserved people and places, said Dana Johnson, the fund's managing director for Maryland and Washington, D.C. So far, the community development financial institution (CDIF) has invested in projects like the Senator and Parkway theaters, the ShopRite in Howard Park, the redevelopment of the Hoen Lithograph building, the CASA workforce and employment center in Southeast Baltimore and the Hebrew Orphans Asylum redevelopment in West Baltimore. In all, the Reinvestment Fund has invested $180 million in Baltimore, Johnson said. (Balt. Bus. Journal)Read Full Article

Education

  • HBCU supporters vow to continue fight for higher lawsuit settlement

    Supporters of Maryland’s historically black colleges and universities have been fighting for more than a decade and are not going away now, they told the governor and lawmakers at a rally outside the state government complex Wednesday. Black lawmakers, HBCU alumni, activists and other supporters rallied in favor of a proposed half-billion-dollar settlement in a 13-year-old federal lawsuit over disparities between Maryland’s historically black colleges and its traditionally white universities. The supporters favor a settlement of $577 million, while Gov. Larry Hogan has offered to settle the case for $200 million over 10 years. (Daily Record) Read Full Article

  • University of Maryland officials followed protocols during adenovirus outbreak but failed to coordinate response efforts

    An independent review of the University of Maryland’s handling of a fatal adenovirus outbreak in 2018 found that the health problems that cropped up that fall were never elevated to a campus-wide emergency because different departments weren’t coordinating with each other. The review released Wednesday said the university “handled both the adenovirus outbreak and mold issues as departmental emergencies instead of campus-wide emergencies.” Declaring a campus-wide emergency would have alerted all administrators about the issue, allowing for a more timely university response. (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Rep. Elijah Cummings’ papers, photos to be given to Howard University after ‘sensitive’ material is set aside

    The markers of his career remain in his Capitol Hill office four weeks after his death: dozens of framed photographs and awards on the wall, position papers and letters amassed during 24 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. Elijah Cummings’ widow told The Baltimore Sun that the artifacts are soon to be bestowed to Howard University, his alma mater. They include various documents he authored; photos of himself with anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, pathbreaking boxer Muhammad Ali and civil rights activist Coretta Scott King; office signs bearing his name; and a collection of U.S. postal stamps honoring African American leaders.  (Balt. Sun) Read Full Article

  • Worcester Enrollment Projections Raise School Crowding Concerns

    When Berlin officials approved plans for the addition of apartments to the Purnell Crossing development, residents were quick to question the impact they would have on local schools. They worried enrollment, which seems to always be on the rise, would increase dramatically between the apartments under construction on Seahawk Road and those planned for Old Ocean City Boulevard. “The world is about to bear down on this part of the Eastern Shore and we’re just not prepared,” Berlin resident Jeff Smith said. (Dispatch) Read Full Article

Around Maryland

  • Re-elected Aberdeen Mayor McGrady ready to ‘rock and roll into the future’ with new, returning City Council members

    Aberdeen Mayor Patrick McGrady, who returns to his seat after being re-elected last week, expects to build on the successes that have happened in the city over the past four years, working with a City Council that has two new and two returning members. “This council has had a lot of successes in the last four years to hang its hat on, and there are more that are yet to be realized,” McGrady said Monday night shortly before he and the council members were sworn in for their four-year terms. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article  

  • As reported hate crimes rise throughout nation and parts of Maryland, Carroll County stays near zero

    Across the country and in parts of Maryland, hate crimes have been on the rise for the past several years, but police statistics show that Carroll County has been near zero. Earlier this year, Stoney Ridge Missionary Baptist Church in Marriottsville was vandalized with graffiti of swastikas and offensive language. Thus far, this is the only crime to be classified as a hate crime in Carroll County in 2019, according to Maryland State Police statistics. And Carroll County had only one hate crime in 2018 — an incident in Taneytown during which a racial slur was written on a Chinese restaurant. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • BSO music director Marin Alsop criticizes how symphony is run, hints she is “nearing the end” of her tenure

    In a rare public expression of frustration, music director Marin Alsop criticized aspects of the way the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is being run and hinted that her stint as the organization’s music director might end in two years when her contract expires. “I’m nearing the end of my tenure here,” Alsop told a group of about 60 people gathered for a meeting Tuesday at Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. “I find this is a difficult institution to get air time in because we don’t talk about the art first. Nobody ever talks to me. Barely," she said. "There’s no place to actually say these things safely, so I’m going to say them here.” (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Maryland mails 22,000 speed warnings to Hatem Bridge drivers in error, a $20,000 mistake.

    Cashless tolling at the Francis Scott Key and Thomas J. Hatem Memorial bridges was touted by Maryland transportation officials in April as an innovation that would reduce traffic backups by removing the need to stop at toll plazas, instead allowing electronic payment “at highway speeds." But when the Maryland Transportation Authority debuted the technology last month at the Hatem Bridge, which carries U.S. 40 over the Susquehanna River between Havre de Grace and Perryville, the agency neglected to shut off an automated system that sent warnings to drivers, who would have been considered speeding at the old tolls. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

Commentary

  • Editorial: State universities out of reach to low-income-families

    Education is no longer the ultimate equalizer in this country it was a generation ago thanks to the exorbitant cost to attend college. Everyone suffocating under the load of student debt can testify to that. Not even public universities are affordable for many families, particularly those with meager means. A recent report by the Institute for Higher Education Policy found that low-income families can’t afford most of the country’s flagship state universities, including the University of Maryland College Park. Not only is tuition too expensive, states aren’t investing as much in aid, and students whose families can afford to pay are getting a larger piece of the financial aid pie. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Plymer: Maryland public records board needs teeth

    Many reports done by agencies in the executive branch of state government at the request of the Maryland General Assembly are perfunctory and of limited value. That is not the case with the preliminary report on the Maryland Public Information Act (PIA) by the Public Access Ombudsman and Public Information Act Compliance Board. Their report, issued Nov. 6th, is thorough and thoughtful, detailing shortcomings by state and local government agencies in complying with the PIA. (Balt. Sun)Read Full Article

  • Del. Julie Palakovich Carr: Lessons From Rockville’s Vote-by-Mail Election

    Nov. 5 was Election Day in nine Maryland cities. In most of these places, the vast majority of voters did not participate in their local election. Voter turnout was as low as 7 percent in one Maryland city and only broke 20 percent in two municipalities: Bowie and Rockville. Anemic turnout in local elections is unfortunately not an anomaly in this election cycle or a problem unique to Maryland. Yet low voter turnout threatens the basis of our democracy; how can a local government be representative when it is chosen by only a small percentage of its population? (Md. Matters)Read Full Article

  • Rogin: Michael Bloomberg’s China record shows why he can’t be president

    China is quickly becoming the most important U.S. foreign policy issue. As the Chinese government grows more repressive internally and more aggressive outwardly, the American people are waking up to the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to undermine U.S. security, prosperity and freedom. New presidential aspirant Mike Bloomberg’s record on China shows he is the wrong person to guide our country in confronting this historic challenge. The former New York mayor and his company Bloomberg LP are heavily invested in China and in the idea of accommodating the Chinese government – even if that means turning a blind eye to its realities. Bloomberg’s closeness to the Chinese leadership is surely an asset for his business, but it reveals a huge weakness in his bid to be president of the United States. (Wash. Post) Read Full Article