ACLU QUESTIONS IMMIGRANT DETENTION: Ovetta Wiggins of the Post reports on a new report from the Maryland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union that says that a federal policy that requires immigrants with certain criminal convictions to be detained without bond while they wait for their cases to be heard is excessive, costly and has resulted in lengthy and unnecessary detentions of immigrants in Maryland.
- The report says that immigrants in Maryland convicted of crimes are being unfairly imprisoned during removal proceedings and that many of those detained have green cards, families and jobs in the United States, the report said, and were convicted of minor crimes, Jesse Coburn of the Sun reports.
PORTS ROLLS BACK ON TRANSIT LETTER: Local transportation priorities for Maryland’s 23 counties may not be in immediate jeopardy despite a letter sent in the last week from state officials suggesting some would not be considered for funding, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. In an interview Thursday, Transportation Department Deputy Secretary Jim Ports contradicted the letter sent to leaders of Maryland’s counties and said information sought as the result of a contentious bill passed this year would not be required and would not be used to penalize local governments.
POT PANEL PICKS: A Maryland panel is scheduled to make preliminary decisions about who will get licenses to grow and process medical marijuana in the state. The names of the companies that are selected today won’t be made public until Aug. 15. Medical marijuana isn’t expected to be available under the state’s regulations until sometime next year, WMAR-TV and the AP are reporting.
- Sheilah Kast of WYPR-FM interviews cannabis industry analyst John Kagia as two applicants, Gareth Murray and Leigh Maddox, who hope to grow, process, and sell medical marijuana in Maryland.
CITY PROTEST ON HOGAN DECISION: Around 50 community members, city officials and Safe Streets employees gathered in Sandtown-Winchester Thursday afternoon to voice concerns about a proposed budget cut to a city violence prevention program, reports Wyatt Massey and Michael Dresser in the Sun. The rally formed the day after Gov. Larry Hogan’s budget chief said the governor would not spend $80 million authorized by the General Assembly for violence prevention, school renovation and other programs. The $1 million lawmakers allocated to fund Safe Streets was included in the cut.
NEW PURPLE LINE STUDY ORDERED: Heather Cobun reports for the Daily Record that a federal judge has ruled that Maryland must conduct another study on anticipated Purple Line ridership in light of safety concerns about the Metrorail system.
***SEEKING ASSESSMENT ADMINISTRATORS: Seeking motivated individuals to proctor assessment sessions with 4th- and 8th-grade students in schools for the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Must be available to work January 30 –March 10, 2017. Paid training, paid time and mileage reimbursement for local driving, and weekly paychecks. This is a part-time, temporary position. To apply, visit our website at www.westat.com/CAREERS and select “Search Field Positions.” Search for your state, find the NAEP Assessment Administrator position, and select the “apply to job” button. For more information email NAEPrecruit@westat.com or call 1-888-237-8036.***
GOP BLOGGER GIVES UP GOP: Jeff Quinton, a well-known Republican blogger in Maryland, writes in the Daily Beast, that “on the night of March 1, 1996, I stood in the front row at a packed Pat Buchanan rally in Greenville, S.C. The state’s Republican primary was the next day, and I was at the rally with a friend as we yelled “Go Pat Go!” and held up signs for the news crew in front of us. Now I find myself without a party.”
KAINE AT URBAN LEAGUE: Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine told urban leaders meeting Thursday in Baltimore that a Hillary Clinton administration would focus on the deep social and economic challenges that confront cities, including a need to revamp the nation’s criminal justice system, John Fritze reports in the Sun.
- John Rydell of WBFF-TV reports about Kaine’s visit and his attack on Donald Trump in front of the Urban League convention.
KOCH SPONSORS SESSION: Koch Industries — owned by the billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch — is sponsoring a plenary session on criminal justice reform and mass incarceration today at the National Urban League’s Baltimore conference, Yvonne Wenger of the Sun reports. Mark Holden, the company’s general counsel and former county jail guard, said, “We’re trying to do everything we can do to help people improve their lives and try to make this a more free and open society.”
RAIN AND OUR AQUIFERS: In an op-ed for MarylandReporter.com, Liza Field of the Bay Journal writes about America’s love-hate relationship with rain and our waste of the water that it supplies. “Water-waste is addictive,” she writes. “It can spur quick temporary cash on the surface, thus luring entire regions to depend on the crazy habit. That’s why the western U.S. is running out of water. Ancient aquifers now irrigate (and evaporate through) thirsty crops on hot arid landscapes — desert, or prairies once covered by rain-conserving, deep-root grasses.”