May 28, 2010

State Roundup May 28, 2010

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SLOTS TRIAL: Lawyers for Cordish Cos. began their closing arguments Thursday in an attempt to persuade an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge that the slots petition was wrongly approved by the county elections board, Liz Farmer writes in The Daily Record. Attorneys pointed to hard-to-read signatures, and entries containing incorrect or missing phone numbers, printed names and addresses as evidence of the petition’s lack of validity. John Rydell has a video report for Fox Baltimore, WBFF.

BALTIMORE SLOTS: The proposed slots parlor in South Baltimore hit another setback, as the Maryland Department of the Environment has informed the Baltimore Development Corp. that it must clean up ‘cancer-causing chemicals’ in the ground at the site before being able to build anything there, Daniel Sernovitz reports in the Baltimore Business Journal.

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: Gay activists want to build on recent victories by electing more supporters of same-sex marriage to the legislature this fall, Alan Brody writes in the Gazette.  Two delegates are considering filing lawsuits to block state benefits to same-sex couples married in other states, according to Sean Sedam in the Gazette.

MEMORIAL DAY: MarylandReporter.com’s Len Lazarick takes a look at Memorial Day, the memory (or lack thereof) of the battle fought on Okinawa in Japan, and his father who fought there.

VETERAN LEGISLATORS: Lawmakers who served in the military said it enhances their public service, Doug Tallman reports in the Gazette.

HOSPITAL INFECTIONS: A national health care study found that Maryland hospitals had the highest infection rate of the 17 participating states, Barry Simms reports for WBAL-TV.

HOSPITAL VISIT: Gov. Martin O’Malley’s 18-year-old daughter, Tara, was hospitalized briefly Thursday, before being sent home, Robert Lang reports for WBAL Radio. Officials would not say why, calling the visit to Harbor Hospital in Baltimore a “private, family matter.”

TRANSIT SPENDING: Maryland Politics Watch’s Adam Pagnucco delves into the comparisons between O’Malley and former Gov. Bob Ehrlich in terms of their transportation spending.

O’MALLEY: The governor is Corridor Inc.’s cover for June, and it has posted the second part of an interview with the chief executive.

GOVERNMENT CLOSED: Most state offices are closed today because of a scheduled furlough day, ordered last July to reduce costs, The Baltimore Sun reports.

BOOZE IN STATE FORESTS: The state Department of Natural Resources changed its alcohol policy to allow ‘limited exception’ for state forest campsites, the Cumberland Times-News reports. But alcohol will still be prohibited in all state parks and family campgrounds.

MATHIAS: As expected, Del. Jim Mathias has filed to run for state Senate from the Lower Eastern Shore, Julie Bykowicz reports in the Sun.

THOMPSON: Frederick County Commissioner John Thompson said he won’t seek a fourth term of office, Meg Tully writes in the Frederick News-Post. But he isn’t ruling out running for another public office, he says.

BIOTECH: The creation of a synthetic cell by a Rockville biotechnology research nonprofit shows Maryland’s efforts to invest in life sciences are paying off, state officials said this week. Sean Sedam has the story in the Gazette.

PG HOSPITALS: Plans by a state panel for the Prince George’s hospital system are getting mixed reviews, Daniel Valentine reports in the Gazette.

SOCIAL MEDIA: The Gazette’s Doug Tallman has an update on rules for social media being considered by the state Board of Elections. At least one delegate thinks they’re moving too fast.

MoCo BUDGET: As Montgomery County passed a $4 billion budget, some public safety workers objected to the lack of furloughs for teachers, Erin Cunningham reports in the Gazette. Gazette columnist Barry Rascovar favorably compares how Montgomery County handled its big budget deficit with how the state dealt with its problems.

GAZETTE NOTEBOOK: Speed dating comes to politics,Rep. Donna Edwards takes a fall, Republicans pull bilingual website,sign wars in Charles County, a bailout candidate, and Gansler on lacrosse tourney.

SIGNS: The Gazette’s take on the battle over big Ehrlich signs in Baltimore County.

EXECUTIVES: Corridor Inc. editor Ron Snyder compares the governing styles of the executives from Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties, along with Baltimore City. Also in Corridor, Andy Rosen of MarylandReporter.com writes about the similar economic strategies of the candidates for Prince George’s County executive.