State Roundup, August 1, 2018

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BAY RECOVERY: Karl Blankenship of the Bay Journal writes in MarylandReporter that after mining through decades of data, scientists have uncovered an encouraging new sign that parts of the deepest, most degraded areas of the Chesapeake Bay are not only beginning to respond to cleanup efforts, but starting to cleanse themselves. The big discovery: Concentrations of ammonium are decreasing in the deepest parts of the Bay.

OFFSHORE WIND: Deepwater Wind, which operates a wind farm in waters off Rhode Island, wants to build another one off the Maryland coast. But before its proposal can go forward, the company needs to know what lies on the sea floor here — and within the ancient layers of sediment beneath it, reports Scott Dance of the Sun. So geologists, marine biologists and archaeologists will spend the next couple of months seeking answers, scouting the potential footprint of a wind-energy project planned near the mouth of the Delaware Bay.

3D GUN RESTRAINING ORDER: A federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday to stop the release of blueprints to make untraceable and undetectable 3D-printed plastic guns, saying they could end up in the wrong hands. Eight Democratic attorneys general, including Maryland’s Brian Frosh, had filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the federal government‘s settlement with Defense Distributed, the company behind the plans. They also sought the restraining order, arguing the 3D guns would be a safety risk, the AP’s Matthew Bellisle and Matthew Daly report.

PHYSICIANS PAY DISPARITY: There is a wide pay gap between male and female physicians in Maryland – and Maryland physicians earn less on average than physicians do nationally, according to a poll commissioned by MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society, reports Josh Kurtz for Maryland Matters.

HOGAN QUESTIONS TRUMP ON TRADE: Maryland’s Republican governor used a visit to Montgomery County on Tuesday as an opportunity to question President Trump’s trade policy — and to predict that he will win the deeply blue county in November’s gubernatorial election, Jennifer Barrios of the Post is reporting. Hogan, who is being challenged by former NAACP president Ben Jealous (D), called Montgomery “really important” to victory. “Some of the policy isn’t very well thought-out,” he said.

HARASSMENT CLAIMS PROMPT DEM ACTION: A legislative review of sexual harassment allegations against Del. Curt Anderson is prompting the creation of a working group inside the Maryland Democratic Party, reports Bryan Sears for the Daily Record. At the Aug. 4 state party central committee meeting, officials will announce the creation of a panel to study how the party should deal with members — elected officials and candidates — accused of  sexual harassment or other ethics issues, said sources close to the party, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

HOGAN TALKS ELRICH & AMAZON HQ2: Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday said he’s been hearing from local leaders concerned that Montgomery County Council member Marc Elrich’s election as county executive would discourage Amazon from picking Montgomery County as the site of its second headquarters, Bethany Rodgers reports in Bethesda Beat. Elrich has said he welcomes Amazon. Montgomery County is one of 20 jurisdictions—and the only Maryland location—on the short list of contenders for the corporate base.

ELECTIONS BOARD ON OAKS’ BALLOT DECISION: The State Board of Elections remains bound by the requirements of Maryland’s election law even when the statutory demands prevent the removal of a candidate’s name at his or her request, the state’s top court said Tuesday in explaining why it ordered disgraced former state Sen. Nathaniel T. Oaks to remain on June’s Democratic primary ballot, Steve Lash of the Daily Record reports.

A PLEA FOR STATE AID FOR CITY COPS: In an op-ed for the Sun, former assistant state’s attorney for Anne Arundel County David Plymyr opines writes that this is a plea to the governor and leaders of the Maryland General Assembly: Please take charge of fixing the broken disciplinary system of the Baltimore Police Department. This is a problem that only you can solve. The fix requires changes to state law, and the longer a fix is delayed, the worse the problems within the BPD become.

HOGAN STUMPS FOR HOEBER: Gov. Larry Hogan (R) lent some star power to a Potomac fundraiser for congressional hopeful Amie Hoeber on Tuesday. His presence as featured speaker at the event, at the estate of supporters Michael and Diane Epstein, swelled the guest list from the original 35 to 100, sources said. Hoeber won the four-person GOP primary in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District last month by a wide margin. She now faces off against  businessman David Trone, winner of the Democratic primary, and four others in the general election, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters writes.

MYERS REPORTS STILL NOT RELEASED: Two weeks after a majority of Washington County commissioners voted to release two controversial reports stemming from allegations of sexual harassment against Commissioner LeRoy Myers, the reports haven’t been made public, reports Julie Greene for the Hagerstown Herald Mail. The county paid outside attorneys $89,359.85 to investigate allegations that Myers sexually harassed then-Assistant County Administrator Sarah Lankford Sprecher during an October 2016 business trip to South Korea and a related leaks investigation.

MAYOR KEEPS CONTROVERSY ALIVE: CJ Lovelace of the Hagerstown Herald Mail reports that Hagerstown Mayor Bob Bruchey on Tuesday again addressed controversial comments he made on social media several weeks ago, saying he deeply regrets casting a “terrible light” on the city. The mayor went on to further address more recent comments, specifically, an interaction that took place Tuesday in which Bruchey called another Facebook user “an idiot” under a Facebook post of a news story about the poor treatment of some cyclists at this past weekend’s USA Cycling event and racist literature found in the Clear Spring area.

SCARAMUCCI DEFENDS PRESS: Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci has donated to a fundraiser to support the victims of the Capital Gazette shooting, he said in an interview with an Annapolis radio station. Sarah Meehan of the Sun reports that his comments stand in contrast with the frequent anti-press rhetoric of President Trump, who has often referred to journalists as “enemies of the people.”