State Roundup, November 24, 2015

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NEW SCHOOL TO WORK TECH INITIATIVE: Maryland will launch a local version of a national program for students blending high school curriculum, college courses and work experience in four high schools in the state, including two in Baltimore, Liz Bowie reports in the Sun. Gov. Larry Hogan and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced the $10 million initiative Monday at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School — a likely candidate to be one of the city schools hosting the program. Pathways in Technology Early College High School, or P-TECH, was developed as a model by IBM as a way to ensure more students graduate equipped with skills that lead directly to jobs.

  • Ron Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University, said that part of the system’s interest is to help improve the community and provide meaningful jobs, Bryan Sears writes in the Daily Record. “Our interest in this program, in truth, is more than altruistic. It’s self-interested,” said Daniels, adding that the university and health system creates a large number of jobs each year that require a high level of technical skills and training. “When we can’t fill those jobs, when there is a mismatch between our opportunities and our workforce, work slows down, services are not provided, and wait times increase and we’re diminished as an institution.”
Gov. Larry Hogan announces new P-TECH program with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake who congratulated him on his successful cancer treatment.

Gov. Larry Hogan announces new P-TECH program with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake who congratulated him on his successful cancer treatment.

SYRIANS HOPE TO PERSUADE HOGAN: Advocates for Syrian refugees asked Gov. Larry Hogan to meet Monday with a pair of cousins recently arrived from the war-torn region, hoping to persuade him that Maryland should welcome people fleeing terrorism, Erin Cox reports in the Sun. About a dozen people, including Syrians, and refugees from Sudan and Liberia, came to Annapolis Monday to press Hogan to reverse his stance on settling Syrian refugees here.

SHABBY CAPITOL GROUNDS: Brian Witte of the AP, in an article that appears in the Daily Record, writes that the governor’s mansion in Annapolis appears pristine and well-kept, with new flowers and clean landscaping. Just across the street, a national historic landmark — the state Capitol — sits among piles of unraked leaves, weeds and untrimmed bushes. The grounds have become so shabby that state officials are exploring the possibility of forming a nonprofit foundation to raise money to better maintain them.

CRIME TRANSPARENCY: A new independent company that tracks and sends out alerts about crime in some communities highlights the amount of transparency in governments throughout Maryland. Anamika Roy writes about the Baltimore-based Internet company for the Daily Record.

LEGGETT’S HEALTH: Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett said Monday that he is in good health following back surgery earlier this month, writes Bill Turque in the Post. Leggett (D) was out of the office and home recuperating for 10 days following surgery to alleviate symptoms of spinal stenosis, a compression of nerves in the back that can cause leg pain.

SRB HEADS TO PARIS ON CLIMATE CHANGE: Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will be off to Paris late next week, leading a delegation of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, of which she is president, to participate in the United Nations convention on climate change, Mark Reutter of Baltimore Brew reports. According to information released this afternoon in the Board of Estimates agenda, the mayor will be in Paris from Dec. 4 to 6 to participate in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 21st Conference of Parties.

MO CO TO TACKLE BUS RAPID TRANSIT: Bill Turque of the Post reports that Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett said Monday that the county will build and operate the initial stages of a bus rapid transit system on its own, effectively scuttling the idea of creating an independent agency for that purpose.

DRIVING WHILE WHITE: Lauren Kirkwood of the Daily Record writes about a new twist to an old tale. An Annapolis man has filed a $150,000 federal lawsuit against the city, alleging city police officers unlawfully stopped and searched his vehicle several times after assuming he was involved in illegal activity due to his race. But “unlike plaintiffs in many other cases of racial profiling,” plaintiff Daniel Hodges is white and claims police thought he was buying or selling drugs because he was passing through a majority-minority neighborhood near his home.

RASKIN AHEAD OF MATTHEWS: A poll commissioned by the campaign of state Sen. Jamie Raskin gives the Takoma Park resident a 30% to 21% lead over former Marriott International executive Kathleen Matthews of Chevy Chase in the contest for the District 8 Democratic congressional nomination, for the seat currently held by Chris Van Hollen. Bethesda magazine reports.

JAWANDO’S TOUGH CLIMB: Even with a dozen beauty queens present, there may not have been a better-looking person marching in the Silver Spring Thanksgiving parade Saturday than Will Jawando, one of seven Democrats looking to succeed U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) next year. And even with an endless succession of officeholders and office seekers waving to the crowds, there may not have been a smoother pol on hand than Jawando, either, writes Josh Kurtz for Center Maryland.

SZELIGA’S EDGE: Kathy Szeliga holds a slight edge in the Republican primary race for Senate, as candidates hope to harness the momentum from the party’s gubernatorial win last year in replacing retiring Democratic Sen. Barbara Mikulski. John Fritze of the Sun writes that the Republicans running for the job have received less attention, largely because they face a steeper climb in the general election in deeply Democratic Maryland. Szeliga, a Baltimore County Republican and the House of Delegates Minority Whip, leads the field with 15% of likely GOP voters.

WARNOCK ANNOUNCES FOR MAYOR: Asking Baltimore to help him “write the greatest turnaround story in America,” venture capitalist and philanthropist David L. Warnock officially announced his campaign for mayor Monday night, writes Colin Campbell for the Sun. Warnock, 57, a wealthy partner in one of Baltimore’s largest private-equity firms, described himself as a political outsider with the business acumen and nonprofit experience the city needs in what he called “the most important election in a generation.”

PLAY ABOUT PLAYING FOOTBALL: X’s and O’s is a new play about playing football, and you don’t have to be a fan to like it, writes Len Lazarick in MarylandReporter.com. If you’re only a dabbler in the gridiron that friends and relatives are obsessed with, you’ll still find X’s and O’s stimulating and thought-provoking. It’s theme is concussions and injuries in pro football.

Andrea MansfieldMANSFIELD FROM MACo TO MANNIS: Andrea Mansfield, legislative director at the Maryland Association of Counties for the past six years, will join the lobbying firm of Manis Canning & Associates in mid-December as an associate, the firm announced.