Baltimore at night taken from the international space station

What to do about Baltimore’s high taxes

What to do about Baltimore's high taxes? It is an old question perplexing Maryland political leaders, but with new urgency. And there have been precious few new answers. Some ideas were floated at a recent policy debate.

Photo by with Flickr Creative Commons License.

Marylanders give Obama, Clinton thumbs up, Congress thumbs down; mixed views on immigration

President Obama’s job approval ratings among Marylanders have remained consistent during his last two years in office, a new Goucher Poll finds. Fifty-three percent (53%) of Maryland residents approve of the job he is doing, while 38% disapprove. Marylanders continue to express their disapproval with Congress; 83 percent disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job.

Art Baselice on the sidewalk in front of the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia. Photo by Len Lazarick,

First Friday devotion: Child abusers, their victims and Pope Francis

In an old Catholic observance, First Fridays of the month were set aside for special devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. For the last 10 years, Art Baselice, an ex-cop, First Fridays of the month have been set aside for another devotion.

From noon to 1 p.m., as he plans to do this Friday, he stands outside the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia with a poster that says "Victim of Catholic Clergy Sex Abuse." The poster has a picture of his late son Arthur and the Franciscan priest and brother that abused him.

Gov. Larry Hogan, left, and Comptroller Peter Franchot announce tax refund. Photo by Governor's Office.

Hogan, Franchot tout $200M tax refund, but judges and Howard County couple deserve credit

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic Comptroller Peter Franchot were at the podium in the State House Monday taking credit for a $200 million income tax refund that 55,000 Marylanders could apply for.

But it was actually judges on the U.S. Supreme Court and Maryland's Court of Appeals that should have been standing there, or even better Brian and Karen Wynne of Howard County who deserved the credit.

Gov. Larry Hogan with daughter Jaymie and cancer patients greet crowd at Ravens game Sunday. Photo from his Facebook page

Rascovar: Hogan raises cancer awareness

We’re coming to the end of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan Jr. has played a big role in these campaigns. Throughout this ordeal Hogan has been an exemplary advocate for bringing awareness about cancer to the public and keeping spirits high among adults and children with cancer.

Warren Deschenaux, second from left, referees this year's budget conference committee, with senators on the right, delegates and staff on the other side, and Hogan administration officials at the far end of the table.

Deschenaux to replace Aro as head of legislature’s nonpartisan staff

The Department of Legislative Services, the legislature's nonpartisan staff, will get new leadership and a reorganization next year as Executive Director Karl Aro retires, and Warren Deschenaux, director of policy analysis, takes his place. The move was announced late Monday afternoon by Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch. With a staff of 384 and a budget of almost $48 million, Legislative Services performs most of the functions for the Maryland General Assembly

Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford at a recent cabinet meeting.

Hogan heads back to hospital, but no rest for staff

Gov. Larry Hogan heads back to the hospital Friday for his fifth round of chemotherapy to treat stage 3 lymphatic cancer, but there's no respite for his staff during his five-day stays. Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford said the steroids Hogan takes as part of his treatment keep him "up all night so he's focused and concentrating," shooting off emails and text messages to his staff throughout the night. "We have this long list of things to do" come the morning, and then "the last one he's firing off is asking why we haven't responded to the previous messages."