State Roundup, April 21, 2011

FUNERAL PLANS: Political bigwigs and close personal friends plan to eulogize William Donald Schaefer at his funeral next week. U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski, former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and longtime aide Lainy Lebow-Sachs — who held Schaefer’s hand as he died — are scheduled to speak at his April 27 funeral, according to an AP story in the Carroll County Times.

DELAY BILL SIGNING: Plans for former Baltimore mayor and Maryland Gov. Schaefer to lie in state Monday at the State House in Annapolis have prompted the cancellation of a bill signing ceremony that morning, blogs the Post’s John Wagner.

MORE SCHAEFER REMEMBRANCES: The three members of the state Board of Public Works, a state panel on which Schaefer as governor and comptroller served for 16 years, took time yesterday to reminisce. During his eight years as comptroller, Schaefer used his opening comments to opine on whatever was on his mind, creating some of the best theater in Annapolis, John Wagner writes for the Post.

Megan Poinski of also writes about the Board’s reminiscing.

Employees at the state Comptroller’s office are taking time this week to tell stories, shed tears and share laughs as they remember their old boss, writes Pamela Wood for the Annapolis Capital.

Activists, former aides and politicians recalled then Gov. Schaefer’s awakening to environmental concerns and his relatively unheralded legacy in working to clean up the bay, writes the Sun’s Timothy Wheeler.

The measure of a great man, writes Republican Richard Cross in his Cross Purposes blog, is the quality of the people with whom he surrounded himself. Schaefer was no exception. Cross details some of those within Schaefer’s circle with whom he had the pleasure of meeting.

On the Sun editorial page, Marilyn Dahl recalls how then Council President Schaefer would take the time to listen.

Memories of Schaefer continue to pour in from Maryland’s congressional delegation, blogs John Fritze of the Sun.

When he thinks of his childhood, blogs David Marks of Inside Charm City, he remembers Captain Chesapeake, the Baltimore Orioles winning the World Series, TV anchor Jerry Turner – and William Donald Schaefer.

The Salisbury Times offers a photo gallery of Schaefer and the times he spent on the Eastern Shore.

Alan Forman of Investigative Voice speaks with Baltimore politicians and reporters about the late mayor.

JOURNALISTS REMEMBER: In the Jewish Times, former Sun columnist Michael Olesker recalls visiting Schaefer just three weeks ago. “There were three of us who’d come to visit him—the TV guys, Richard Sher and Ron Matz, and me — and Sher looked down and said, “You recognize us, don’t you?” “Three old Jews,” I said, trying to lighten the moment. Schaefer looked up, his eyes twinkling for a moment. “I like the Jews,” he exclaimed.

Olesker also writes a moving piece about Schaefer in

Former Evening Sun reporter Doug Birch recalls what it was like to cover Mayor Schaefer in the early ’80s in this piece in the Baltimore Brew.

The editorial board for the Annapolis Capital recalls Schaefer as cantankerous and irascible … a demanding boss and sometimes a near-impossible colleague … who also loved Baltimore and Maryland as few people have … and accomplished more for them than any other politician in the last 50 years.

DON DONALDO RING CYCLE: Starting in the summer of 1986, public events moved columnist Dan Rodricks to the operatic form. His Don Donaldo Ring Cycle, based loosely on the life and times of the Lord High Governor of Maryland, consisted of six operas that appeared over the years in The Sun and The Evening Sun. The original “Don Donaldo” documented the mayor of Baltimore’s ascent to the high throne of Maryland and his taking of the enchanted gubernatorial ring. This was followed by “The Merchant of Menace” and “Il Padrone Irato (The irritated boss).”

SCHAEFER DOCUMENTARY: Viewers can watch the one-hour documentary Citizen Schaefer, produced by Maryland Public Television. It will also be rebroadcast at 8 p.m. next Wednesday, April 27, followed by a live panel discussion with some of his key aides and reporters who covered him.

SCHAEFER AIDE GOES BEFORE: Jean Marbella writes about Pam Kelly, a longtime aide to Mayor and Gov. Schaefer who died only four hours before him. “She probably was up there getting things ready for him,” said her husband, Charlie.

TUITION PROTEST: Frederick County Tea Partiers are incensed over a recently passed state bill giving children of illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates at Maryland state colleges, writes Katherine Heerbrandt for the Gazette. More than 100 signed a petition for a referendum on the bill circulating at the third annual Tax Day Tea Party gathering earlier this week.

The petition effort is being led by freshman Del. Neil Parrott of Hagerstown, the Gazette’s Alan Brody reports.

Andrew Schotz of the Hagerstown Herald Mail writes further about Parrott’s involvement.

BUMPY FISCAL RIDE: Del. Herb McMillan, an Annapolis Republican who is also an airline captain, writes an amusing op-ed in the Sun on the sad fiscal health of the state. “From my cockpit,” he writes, “our route of flight doesn’t look good. We have a lot of storms to pick our way around.”

TRADE MISSION: Andrea Walker of the Sun writes that Gov. Martin O’Malley is planning to lead business leaders, educators and state officials on a 10-day mission to Asia aimed at bolstering trade between the state and the world’s fastest-growing region.

The Baltimore Business Journal also writes that O’Malley is also meeting with Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon tomorrow to sign a memorandum of understanding “intended to strengthen relations in science and technology development that are of mutual benefit to the State of Maryland and the City of Seoul.”

HQ NOW SURPLUS: The Crownsville headquarters of the Department of Housing and Community Development was formally declared surplus yesterday, meaning the state is free to sell it and move forward with plans to relocate the agency to Prince George’s County, reports Megan Poinski for

BARTLETT ON ANIMALS: A review of legislation that U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett has sponsored or supported over his two decades in Congress reveals much about the man. One of those revelations is that he is an unabashed animal lover, opines the editorial board for the Frederick News Post.

FREDERICK LAYOFFS: Meg Tully of the Frederick News Post reports that a majority of the Frederick County Commissioners are willing to consider layoffs of 10% or more of county staff in the first year of a privatization effort.

BAKER WANTS PACT SCRAPPED: Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker has asked the County Council to scrap a group of labor contracts left over from his predecessor, Jack Johnson, saying the former leader promised pay raises to the unions without the money to back it up, Daniel Valentine reports for the Gazette.

HO CO UPBEAT BUDGET: Howard County government employees will not be furloughed for the first time in three years, and at least four departments or agencies are slated to receive funding boosts in fiscal year 2012, according to Lindsey McPherson for the Columbia Flyer.

WHISTLE BLOWER LAW: A new whistle-blower bill passed by the Anne Arundel County Council gives job protection to county employees who report fraud or other wrongdoing by government officials, Erin Cox reports for the Annapolis Capital.

MAYOR MFUME? Less than five months before the primary election for Baltimore’s mayoral race, the rumors are flying that former congressman Kweisi Mfume is planning to run for the city’s highest office, Julie Scharper blogs for the Sun.

RUSSIAN PROBLEM: A 25-year-old Russian woman who says she is studying English as a second language is unaware of the mini-controversy swirling for the past three months around her $7,000 in campaign contributions to Gov. Martin O’Malley and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, blogs Justin Fenton for the Sun.

Here’s an early April article in, plus one looking into whether the donations violate federal law.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

Support Our Work!

We depend on your support. A generous gift in any amount helps us continue to bring you this service.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!