August 21, 2014

State Roundup, August 21, 2014

Print More

IMMIGRATION CRISIS & CHILDREN: Baltimore Immigration Court, facing an increase in the number of cases involving immigrant children who crossed the border illegally, is expediting reviews to more quickly decide whether the children should be deported, reports John Fritze for the Sun.

UM CHANCELLOR SEARCH: In the search for the next leader of the University System of Maryland, stakeholders are looking at a range of candidates, possibly a household name, a well-known CEO, a top government official — someone with star power. Someone like Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of University of Maryland, Baltimore County, who has been profiled on “60 Minutes” and named among Time magazine’s “Most Influential People in the World.” University officials approached Hrabowski early in the search, according to sources familiar with the process, though Hrabowski insists he is not interested in the job, writes Carrie Wells and Alison Knezevich for the Sun.

80,000 ACRES FOR WIND: The U.S. Department of the Interior says it has auctioned some 80,000 acres off the coast of Maryland for wind energy development, according to the Daily Record. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management held an auction on Tuesday. US Wind Inc. submitted the winning bid of $8.7 million.

SAVING THE CRABS: Dan Rodricks, columnist for the Sun, writes that he was mistaken when he suggested that a hiatus on crab harvesting would help revive the crustacean: Brenda Davis, manager of the DNR’s Blue Crab Program, said a moratorium wouldn’t help; there was “no guarantee” of more crabs if we banned the harvest generally — or specifically prohibited the taking of females — for just one year.

HOGAN SAYS KEEP GOV’T OUT: Bryan Sears of the Daily Record blogs that Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan is saying that state government should stay out of private pension plans. Hogan, in an interview, was critical of a task force convened by Gov. Martin O’Malley to look at the issue of retirement security for private sector employees. That task force, led by former Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, is expected to consider recommendations that could include mandating private companies to offer retirement plans to employees or the creation of a state pension plan for private sector workers.

SUPER’S RAISE: The Baltimore County school board skirted the superintendent’s contract to give him a big raise and skirted its duty to explain the decision in public, says the Sun editorial board.

RURAL SHERIFFS ON GUN CONTROL: In the third part of a series on guns in America, News 21 reports in MarylandReporter.com that “with more states passing stronger gun control laws, rural sheriffs across the country are taking the meaning of their age-old role as defenders of the Constitution to a new level by protesting such restrictions. Some are refusing to enforce the laws altogether.”

ECKARDT BIKE TOUR: Del. Adelaide Eckardt, R-37B-Dorchester, invites the community to join her on her four-day Mid-Shore Cycle Tour. “Our small towns have to adhere to the same laws and regulations as our larger cities without comparable resources,” Eckardt said, according to the Easton Star Democrat..

THE REAL GOP PROBLEM: Tony Campbell, chair of the Black Republican Council of the MDGOP, responding to a recent column by Barry Rascovar for MarylandReporter.com, writes that Michael Peroutka isn’t the problem for the GOP. “For years, both parties in Maryland have seen their share of less than savory candidates and elected officials. … The problem is more nuanced than one candidate; with the Peroutka candidacy and the events in Missouri, the Republican Party should finally have the guts to have a real conversation on race and the difference between the two visions for American citizens of all races and ethnicities.”

WA CO DELEGATION TAKES CHALLENGE: The viral fundraising campaign called the “Ice Bucket Challenge” has spread to the Washington County legislative delegation in Annapolis, as well those aspiring to join the delegation after the Nov. 4 general election, reports Kaustuv Basu for the Hagerstown Herald Mail.

CITY CASINO FUNDS DIVERTED: Baltimore City’s spending panel on Wednesday voted without discussion to divert $3 million in anticipated casino revenue that had been earmarked for community improvements to instead replace a major artery in the city’s underground steam pipe system, writes Luke Broadwater for the Sun.

CARROLL SEEKS BUSINESS: Carroll County is poised to offer space and support for new businesses wanting to locate to the area, writes Christian Alexandersen for the Carroll County Times. Representatives from the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce met with the county commissioners Wednesday to hear what the governing body believes the current status of the county’s business environment is, and what the future prospects are.

DONATIONS & POWER: Opinionator Rick Hutzell of the Annapolis Capital writes about campaign  donations, power and how several candidates handle or parse the problem of influence and access.

A MOVEABLE OFFICE: Stripped of his City Hall office space, Seat Pleasant Mayor Eugene Grant is going mobile, Jamie Anfenson-Comeau reports in the Gazette.“This is an opportunity to take government to the people, to listen to their concerns and to deliver services as best as possible under the circumstances,” he said, adding that he will be holding a ribbon cutting ceremony to announce the launch of his #Mobile Mayor Initiative at 11 a.m. Friday in front of Seat Pleasant City Hall.