Opinion: Congress should back up the Bay Blueprint

With so much progress on the Chesapeake Bay, now is the time to build on our success with the three decades old federal Bay program –to increase our efforts, not relax them. That’s why it was so discouraging this summer to see the House of Representatives add to its Interior appropriations bill a provision to bar funding for EPA “backstops,” a unique element of the Blueprint that gives each state certainty that the others will fulfill their commitments to reduce pollution and improve water quality.

Bay Bridge

How about a third Bay bridge from Baltimore Co. into Kent Co.?

Gov. Larry Hogan last month announced yet another study of a third span across the Chesapeake Bay. The study is expected to cost $5 million and take up to four years. Its goal is to determine the appropriate site for a third span and how to pay for it.
Gov. Hogan’s announcement came with the current Bay Bridge in the background. The setting suggests that the third lane will be built at the current Sandy Point site. Maryland would be well served, however, by building the next bay crossing from Baltimore County to Kent County.

Gov. Larry Hogan signs executive order declaring schools will strart after Labor Day. He is joined by Comptroller Peter Franchot applauding on the left and Sen. Jim Mathias with arms raised on the right. Governor's Office Photo.

Rascovar: Let courts decide who sets Md. school calendar

Does Gov. Larry Hogan Jr. have the power to issue an executive order mandating when the school year begins and ends? It’s not the most pressing question facing Maryland – but the answer could have a dramatic impact on the state’s future governance. Indeed, there’s an urgent need for someone on either side of this issue to take the matter to court. A constitutional question of enormous consequence is at stake.

Downtown Columbia on the shores of Lake Kittamaqundi at 11 a.m. July 2, 2016. Photo by Len Lazarick

Part 3: Shopping and Retailing at the Heart of the Columbia Plan

This is the third part in a series of 12 monthly essays over the next year leading up to Columbia’s 50th birthday celebration next June. Part 3 examines the central role of shopping and retailing for the development of the Columbia plan. With changes in both lifestyles and retailing — and a couple of poor locations — the village centers did not always work out as planned.

Students wait to board school buses.

Opinion: Let’s try some year-round schools

With Comptroller Peter Franchot at his side, Gov. Larry Hogan signed an executive order to mandate that schools start after Labor Day starting in 2017. On cue, Democratic leaders and teachers unions assailed the idea. They prefer the status quo. Rather than tinker around the edges, both Gov. Hogan and Democratic leaders should follow Virginia’s lead and try year-round schools.