February 9, 2010

State Roundup 2-9-2010

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SNOW BUSINESS: The State House is back in business after a break on Monday because of concern of bad roads, writes The Baltimore Sun’s Annie Linskey. Yesterday government offices varied their hours because of the heavy snowfall, but the Court of Appeals and Court of Special Appeals stuck to their regularly-scheduled dockets, reports Brendan Kearney with The Daily Record.

Baltimore Business Journal writes business owners are bracing for a week of slow sales. The Daily Record’s staff took a look at how the snow slowed the start of the work week and how it’s affecting retailers. Candice Evans with The (Salisbury) Daily Times looks at how snow has affected schedules.

Snow removal budgets in Allegany and Garrett counties are being called meaningless by roads supervisors, reports Megan Miller with Cumberland Times-News. Weekend work caused increased overtime hours. Karen Gardner with The Frederick News-Post writes about the clean-up in Frederick County.

WBALTV reports the state’s school systems are running out of snow days and may need to extend the school year. Crews were busy cleaning up at the State House on Monday after the weekend snow, writes The Washington Post’s John Wagner.

SNOW GRADES: The Post’s Christopher Dean Hopkins takes a look at what people are grading their local governments on snow removal. Hopkins writes most are generally pleased. But Bill Myers with The Examiner writes the storm response is graded poorly by locals.

MORE SNOW: More snow is expected today. Fox45 reports state transportation officials are shifting their focus to prepare for a second round of the white dusting. The mayor of Annapolis has granted free parking at city garages to city residents because of the weekend’s snowstorm.

IWIF: The agency that insures the Injured Workers Insurance Fund is questioning the governor’s proposed transfer of $20 million of its reserves into the state budget, Doug Tallman reports in The Gazette.

LEGISLATIVE SCHEDULE: The Daily Record’s Nicholas Sohr has a look at what the week at the legislature has in store, unless another blizzard changes the plans.

TATTOO BILL: Minors may need permission to get body piercings or tattoos under legislation in the General Assembly. The Associated Press reports people who tattoo or pierce a minor without parental consent would face a fine.

UNEMPLOYMENT: Job growth from stimulus spending in the state picked up last year but there are doubts whether the federal funds is helping reverse unemployment, writes Scott Dance with Baltimore Business Journal.

WIND ENERGY: A study from a Baltimore-based foundation finds offshore wind energy could supply the two-thirds of the state’s electricity needs, writes The Sun’s Timothy Wheeler.

OYSTER AQUACULTURE: The (Salisbury) Daily Times printed a letter from secretary of Maryland Department of the Environment, Shari Wilson. She writes the department has taken action to eliminate permitting fees for commercial oyster aquaculture.

YOUNG: Baltimore City Councilman Bernard “Jack” Young became the council president last night, replacing Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, reports WBAL-TV. Julie Scharper has The Sun’s story.

DUNCAN: John Wagner at The Post reports former Montgomery County Executive Douglas Duncan could be in the running for general manager of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. John Catoe Jr. intends to retire April 2.

EHRLICH: Josh Kurtz at Center Maryland advises Bob Ehrlich not to run this year, in another piece critical of an O’Malley challenger.