October 9, 2013

State Roundup, October 9, 2013

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APPEALING POLLUTION DIET: The American Farm Bureau will appeal the recent federal court decision upholding the Environmental Protection Agency’s “pollution diet” for the Chesapeake Bay, reports Pat Furgurson for the Capital-Gazette.

Lawyers for the American Farm Bureau Federation, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, and other groups representing fertilizer manufacturers, pork, poultry and corn growers and home builders filed a notice of appeal Monday in federal district court in Harrisburg, Pa., Tim Wheeler of the Sun is reporting.

HOPE FOR HBCUS: Presidents of the state’s historically black colleges and universities said Tuesday that a federal court ruling ordering remedies for persistent segregative policies in Maryland higher education could result in new opportunities and resources for their campuses, reports Tricia Bishop for the Sun.

AA COUNCIL DEBATES RAIN TAX: Cutting nonprofits’ stormwater fees to $1 a year would cost Anne Arundel County about $75,000 in annual revenue meant for water quality projects, writes Allison Bourg for the Capital-Gazette. But while that’s only a sliver of the millions the fee is expected to generate each year, it still chips away at the intent of the original bill, opponents said.

MANURE RULES DRAW CONCERN: Lower Shore farmers concerned about Maryland’s plan to change when and how they can apply poultry manure to their crops filled a room for a public hearing Tuesday night, write Jennifer Shutt for the Salisbury Daily Times. After explaining the phosphorus management tool will be phased in during the next year for farms with a fertility index value of 150 or higher, Maryland Department of Agriculture officials listened as farmers detailed concerns and frustration with the proposal.

COMMON CORE: In this video on Center Maryland, State Education Association Vice President Cheryl Bost discusses what parents, students, and the public need to know about all the changes taking place in Maryland’s classrooms, including Common Core, shifting student assessments, new teacher and principal evaluations, and the role of the arts and reading.

Sara Toth of the Howard County Times writes that the new Common Core State Standards Initiative brings with it more than a new curriculum in Howard County. It also brings a change in philosophy. “Teachers are no longer the sage on the stage, but rather the guide on the side,” said Fran Clay, coordinator of elementary language arts for the Howard County Public School System.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a uniform set of benchmarks children across the country must meet. Sara Toth presents a sampling of what students must master at a certain age.

MD REPS. & THE SHUTDOWN: WYPR’s Fraser Smith and John Fritze of the Baltimore Sun talk about what role Maryland’s representatives are playing in the partial government shutdown.

O’MALLEY V. RAWLINGS-BLAKE: Blair Lee’s Gazette column, which wasn’t posted Friday morning, seeks to explain the inexplicable conflict between Gov. Martin O’Malley and Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake over the arrest policies in the city. He calls it O’Malley’s “Sister Soulja moment.”

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FRASER-HIDALGO IN THE 15th: Maryland Juice reports that the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee will be recommending that the governor appoint David Fraser-Hidalgo to fill the District 15 House of Delegates vacancy caused by Brian Feldman’s elevation to the State Senate. – See more at:

DISTRICT 12: Last week, Adam Sachs became the eighth candidate to file for a shot at a House of Delegates seat in District 12. He said he hopes a platform focused on health care will help him stand out from the still-growing list of hopefuls, Amanda Yeager writes for the Howard County Times.

GANSLER’S SLO MO CO SUPPORT: The political arithmetic of 2014 dictates that, if he is to triumph in next June’s gubernatorial primary, Bethesda resident Doug Gansler must win an overwhelming majority in his home county, writes Louis Peck in Bethesda Magazine. However, two weeks after the two-term attorney general formally announced his candidacy, his campaign has yet to trot out a list of Montgomery County elected officials who have endorsed him – a move that could have added momentum to Gansler’s early efforts on his home turf.

BROWN TOUTS PRE-K CARE: Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown proposed making pre-kindergarten education available by 2018 to any Maryland family that wants to enroll their 4-year-old, John Wagner of the Post reports.

Brown’s proposal calls for “universal, high quality and voluntary” pre-kindergarten by the end of 2018, reports Michael Dresser in the Sun. He is proposing a gradual expansion from a half-day program to a full day of school by 2022.

BUSCH TO BACK BROWN: House Speaker Michael Busch plans to publicly endorse Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s 2014 gubernatorial bid on Thursday, writes Alex Jackson for the Capital-Gazette. Busch promoted Brown in 2004 during his second term as a delegate from Prince George’s County to the role of majority whip in the House of Delegates.

DONATIONS TO YOUNG QUESTIONED: Opponents of a proposed 1,510-home project in Monrovia are raising questions about campaign contributions that Frederick County Commissioners President Blaine Young has accepted from companies linked to the developers, reports Bethany Rodgers for the Frederick News-Post. Donations totaling $28,000 poured into Young’s campaign coffers Oct. 29, 2012, from seven companies whose resident agent is helping head up the Monrovia Town Center project.