State Roundup, September 12, 2011

9/11 COMMEMORATION WITH MUSLIMS: Lindsey McPherson of the Howard County Times writes that Gov. Martin O’Malley, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski and other elected officials commemorated the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks with the local Muslim community, which has borne the brunt of the backlash of the attack.

Dionne Walker of the Annapolis Capital writes about the fear that Muslims felt and how they raised their profile, such as upping voter registration and reaching out to lawmakers, to combat stereotypes.

STATE DEFENSE: In an op-ed piece for the Sun, Gov. O’Malley writes that the state has come a long way in defending against threats since 9/11.

John Wagner of the Post writes that Gov. O’Malley also cautioned against additional cuts to federal funds for homeland security as he recounted numerous steps Maryland has taken to make the state safer in the 10 years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

MEMORIAL TO MARYLANDERS: Jamie Smith Hopkins of the Sun writes that Maryland’s memorial to its victims of the Sept. 11 attacks was dedicated yesterday, first in sunshine, then in rain.

Carrie Ann Knauer of the Carroll County Times recounts the history of the construction of Maryland’s memorial to the 68 Maryland victims.

LOCAL ACTION/REACTION TO OBAMA: The Post’s Aaron Davis reports that Gov. O’Malley says he will work to marshal Democratic governors and mayors of both parties to cheerlead for President Obama’s near half-trillion-dollar jobs act, a reprise of the role he played in 2009 to build support for Obama’s stimulus plan.

President Obama’s plan to combat unemployment by pumping $447 billion into the nation’s economy won cautious praise from Maryland-based small-business owners and labor groups, but there was widespread skepticism about the proposal’s chances in Congress, reports John Fritze for the Sun.

Ed Waters and Ike Wilson of the Frederick News Post report that local builders, bankers, business owners and financial experts reacted negatively to Obama’s outlining his plan to boost jobs in America.

U.S. Rep. Andy Harris said much of the president’s proposed $447 billion “American Jobs Act” looks like another failed stimulus plan. He’s calling it “Stimulus II,” writes Chris Knauss of the Cecil Whig.

PSC HEARINGS ON BGE: WBAL-AM’s Robert Lang reports that the Public Service Commission has scheduled two public hearings in the Baltimore region as part of its investigation of complaints about BGE and the way the utility responded to the power outages after Hurricane Irene.

You can listen to state Sen. Jim Brochin, who called for the hearings, speak about the problems with the school outages on the C-4 Show.

Here, Brochin defends calling for the hearings.

And BGE spokesman Rob Gould also appears on the C-4 Show to respond to criticism of the utility by customers and lawmakers.

WASTE-TO-ENERGY PLANT: The Sun’s Jay Hancock writes that the “greenness” of a proposed waste-to energy plant may be debatable. But what’s not debatable is that Central Maryland needs new generation plants, to reduce the state’s reliance on imported electricity. To cut expensive charges for piping juice on a congested grid to BGE customers. And to break the hold of BGE parent Constellation Energy on the local-generation supply. A consortium of schools, county governments and nonprofits has already agreed to buy about a sixth of the plant’s electricity.

MARRIAGE EQUALITY: attended the Marriage Equality campaign kickoff last week and videotaped speeches by Attorney General Doug Gansler, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Gov. O’Malley and just about everyone else. View the speeches by scrolling down this link.

APPEALS COURT APPLICANTS: Eight people have applied for a seat on the Court of Appeals that will be left vacant when Judge Joseph Murphy retires later this year. The Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission will interview all of the candidates and meet Nov. 1 to decide which applicants will be forwarded to Gov. O’Malley, who will choose Murphy’s successor, Danny Jacobs reports for the Daily Record.

NEW EDC MEMBER: Ed Waters of the Frederick News Post profiles David Severn, a partner in the law firm of Severn, O’Connor & Kresslein, who Gov. O’Malley has named to the Maryland Economic Development Commission. Severn says that he doesn’t think the characterization of Maryland as a “business-unfriendly” state is entirely true.

KULLEN TO REP FOR CARDIN: A week after she unofficially began her new gig, former Calvert County Del. Sue Kullen was named the Southern Maryland representative for U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, a job she said is rooted in her favorite aspects of public service, Jeff Newman reports for

PERRY AHEAD IN STRAW POLL: A straw poll held at the State Fair puts Texas Gov. Rick Perry ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, blogs Matthew Hay Brown in the Sun.

NO FREE ADVICE IN MO CO: Rachel Baye of the Washington Examiner writes that citizen volunteers serving on 86 boards and commissions that advise Montgomery County officials on a variety of issues actually cost taxpayers $1.4 million a year, an investigating commission found. And a group formed to root out inefficiencies has recommended consolidating or eliminating some commissions, a proposal that a County Council committee will consider today.

ULMAN FUNDER IN CITY: With more than three years to go before the next statewide election, County Executive Ken Ulman is starting to look outside Howard for cash. Tomorrow, blogs Andy Rosen for the Sun, he will hold a $1,000-a-plate dinner at the Maryland Club in downtown Baltimore, a move that could suggest Ulman is broadening his political reach with an eye toward the governor’s mansion.

MAYORAL RACE: The Baltimore Sun presents a Voters Guide to the Democratic candidates in the mayor’s race on issues ranging from crime to job creation.

The Sun endorsed incumbent Stephanie Rawlings-Blake for Baltimore mayor, but many readers have different ideas. The editorial board runs a sampling of letters to the editor and online commentary from readers about whom they’re voting for (or against) in tomorrow’s city primary election.

The Sun’s Nicole Fuller, Julie Scharper and Annie Linskey write that voter turnout will be crucial for the challengers to incumbent Rawlings-Blake.

CITY COUNCIL RACES: Seventy candidates are vying for 14 Baltimore City Council seats. Julie Scharper of the Sun pushed through the crowd.

TEACHERS DECLARE IMPASSE: After a summer of little progress in fiscal 2012 contract negotiations, the Calvert Education Association teachers union has declared impasse with the Calvert County Board of Education’s negotiating team, reports Laura Buck for

HEALTH DEPT. BOLSTERED EFFORTS: The Frederick County Health Department bolstered its terrorism plans after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, writes Nicholas Stern for the Frederick News Post.

LAND ACTIVISTS CLAIM VIOLATION: Nicole Fuller of the Sun reports that Anne Arundel County residents, disgruntled by a series of zoning changes affirmed by the County Council, are weighing legal options to challenge what they claim is a violation of state law.

LEOPOLD PROBE WIDENS: Heather Rawlyk of the Annapolis Capital writes that a grand jury probe appears to be widening beyond County Executive John Leopold’s alleged misuse of county resources by collecting campaign checks after a woman Department of Parks and Recreation employee rumored to have had a relationship with Leopold walked into the State’s Attorney’s Office in Annapolis Thursday, where the grand jury was convening.

WASTE WATER CONTAINED: In an op-ed piece for the Annapolis Capital, County Exec Leopold writes that Hurricane Irene brought prolonged power outages and extensive damage, but Anne Arundel County may have very well written a new page in the history books by not losing even one gallon of wastewater.

MoCo CURFEW: The Montgomery County Council will take up legislation establishing a teen curfew in the county, a measure which has split the council members, Glynis Kazanjian reports in


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:

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