From the 2015 annual report of the State Retirement Agency

Maryland pension fund misses investment target again, earning just over 1%

For the second year in a row, Maryland’s pension fund missed its target for return on its investment portfolio by a wide mark, earning just 1.16% for the fiscal year that ended June 30 compared to its annual goal of 7.55%. Last year, the fund made 2.68%.
Because of the lagging returns the $45.5 billion fund is apparently worth $300 million less than it was worth June 30 last year, and long-term liabilities are over $20 billion.

Kayakers paddle Barren Creek in Wicomico County, MD. The plan for the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail would emphasize protecting the viewshed so it would appear as close as possible to what Smith saw during his voyages. Bay Journal photo by Dave Harp

Happy 10th birthday to the Bay’s beautiful and historic national trail

As the National Park Service celebrates its centennial this year, we are also celebrating the 10th anniversary of a national park we have right here in our collective backyard: the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail. Winding through much of the Chesapeake region, the nation’s first all-water national historic trail is as beautiful, and as precious to our nation, as its more famous sisters around the nation

Gov. William Donald Schaefer and Congresswoman Helen Delich Bentley. Maryland State Archives.

An appreciation: “Tugboat” Helen Delich Bentley as I knew her

Author Blaine Taylor had a unique perspective on Helen Delich Bentley, who died Saturday. Taylor covered her as a reporter and feature writer, both ran with her in campaign and ran against her as a candidate before that, and lastly worked for her as a congressional press secretary on Capitol Hill during 1991-92. Over time, her received her anger and her praise, as well as her disappointment. Here, he recalls some key moments her experienced with her.

Brit Kirwan

Kirwan named to chair school funding commission

In an unusual joint announcement of a highly unusual joint appointment, Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and the Democratic leaders of the legislature Tuesday named former university system chancellor Brit Kirwan as chair of a commission to review all the hotly contested school funding issues in Maryland. Its recommendations are due in December 2017, potentially kicking off some of the most contentious debates of the election-year legislative session in 2018 as representatives fight for formulas that help their local schools.

I-95 is the road in the middle of this rendering, with the Port Covington plans shown across the bottom. Rendering from Sagamore Development.

Opinion: Port Covington developer asked to cut deals to gain city aid

At a public hearing last week, Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young told representatives of Sagamore Development to cut deals with local activists so they could move forward with their plans for Port Covington, a mixed use development for which the city is being asked to help fund the infrastructure.

In 2006, Gov. Bob Ehrlich named the Port of Baltimore for Helen Delich Bentley, whom he had succeeded in Congress in 1995 after she ran for Congress.

Rascovar remembers the one and only Helen Bentley

She was crusty to a fault. Outrageously opinionated. Cantankerous. Indefatigable. Unrelenting. Incredibly effective. Helen Delich Bentley was truly one of a kind.Where would the Port of Baltimore be without her? For a stunning 70 years she fought like a tiger in every way imaginable to promote Maryland’s biggest and most important economic engine.

Construction workers by RICarr on Flickr Creative Commons

Spending on infrastructure unites candidates

With big differences in economic policy separating the presidential candidates, one researcher said there’s common ground that could help boost wages, create jobs and close the socioeconomic status gap. Alice Rivlin, senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, said tackling the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure could be an economic unifier for the nation.

Philadelphia balloons Clinton

Maryland delegates feel unified after Clinton’s acceptance speech

PHILADELPHIA — Maryland delegates for both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton said they felt optimistic and united coming out of the Democratic National Convention that closed Thursday night. After a nomination acceptance speech from Clinton that made her the first woman to head a major political party’s ticket, many from the Maryland delegation emerged from the balloons and confetti saying they felt uplifted.

Hillary Clinton's acceptance speech.

Vatz analysis: Hillary hits a homer against a grooved fastball

What many sources have termed the most critical speech of Hillary’s life is here, but that implies more suspense than actually is the case. It is hard to abjectly fail in a speech wherein her opponent is not a sympathetic figure. On the other hand, she has to reconcile the image of someone who will be, as her husband implied, an agent of change while nurturing the support of a president whose legacy is not well served by Hillary’s advocating significant change.