Fri June 13, 2014
Early Voting, Head Start Funding, The Charles Village Street Collapse, and Mental Health Care
Early voting is underway for Maryland’s primary election. The Baltimore Sun endorses Larry Hogan’s bid for the GOP gubernatorial nomination. Tax cut proposals from Democratic gubernatorial candidates. Funding for an expansion of Baltimore head start programs. The price tag of the Charles Village street collapse. Mental health care in Howard County. And much more.
Early Voting: Maryland’s early voting period for the primary election began yesterday, and there are seven days left to cast an early ballot before it’s done. Early voting centers will be open from 10am to 8pm every day through Thursday of next week in Baltimore City and in every county in Maryland. Primary election day itself is Tuesday, June 24th. WYPR’s Christopher Connelly went to the polls yesterday, and filed this report.
Polls, Primaries, And Turnout: Will Brown Be Cantor-ed? WYPR's Fraser Smith and Steve Raabe of OpinionWorks talk about polls, Eric Cantor's surprising loss in his Congressional primary, and what that race has in common with Maryland's upcoming primaries. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics.
Hogan Wins Baltimore Sun Endorsement: The Baltimore Sun has endorsed Larry Hogan in the Republican gubernatorial race. The newspaper says the founder of “Change Maryland” stands out in a field of compelling GOP candidates. The Washington Post endorsed the businessman and former Ehrlich administration cabinet secretary last month. Hogan is facing Harford County Executive David Craig, Anne Arundel County Delegate Ron George, and Charles County businessman Charles Lollar in the GOP gubernatorial primary.
Gansler Issues Tax Cut Plan: Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Doug Gansler unveiled a plan to cut taxes for families earning under $100-thousand a year. Gansler’s proposed tax break would take effect in 2016, and last for three years, and save eligible families $12-hundred during that period. The outgoing state Attorney General faces Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown and Montgomery County Delegate Heather Mizeur in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Mizeur’s platform also includes a broad-based tax cut, while Brown has proposed a tax cut for veterans, and has said he doesn’t think taxes should go up during the next four years. The Baltimore Sun has more.
Mall Shooting Spurs Action on Mental Health Issues: Months after a gunman killed two people at The Mall in Columbia and took his own life, investigators learned that he had been seeking help for mental illness while planning the attack. Ever since then, Howard County officials have been looking for ways to provide residents with more access to mental health care. WYPR’s Kenneth Burns reports on those plans.
Baltimore Plans To Clear Homeless Camp Under JFX: Baltimore is preparing to clear out a homeless camp under the Jones Falls Expressway. City officials say the campsites along the Fallsway are being taken down because they are unsafe and unhealthy, with drugs and crime being factors in the decision. Advocates for the homeless say clearing the site can be counterproductive, leaving a vulnerable population with nowhere to go. A spokesman from the mayor's office tells the Baltimore Sun clearing the encampments is not the city's focus… and that the city is working to find long-term solutions to help the chronically homeless.
Charles Village Street Collapse: Baltimore officials are putting an expensive price tag on the cost of housing the residents of Charles Village who were displaced from their homes after part of East 26th Street collapsed back in April, sending cars and debris onto the CSX train tracks below. The city tells the Baltimore Sun that it’s spent just under $95-thousand dollars on hotel rooms and other needs for the displaced Charles Village residents; they’re are back home now but the final cost of their displacement will likely go higher. And those costs are just a tiny fraction of the estimated $18-and-a-half-million it’ll take to reconstruct the street. It’s unclear yet whether CSX will help pay for the work, but in the past the city and CSX have split the bills related to similar retaining walls.
Head Start Funding In Baltimore: Baltimore has received a $29 million, five-year grant from the federal government to expand local Head Start and Early Head Start programs. The money will be used to fund a pilot program that will serve children from birth until they enter pre-k or kindergarten. The comprehensive program will also provide services to expectant mothers. Baltimore is one of five cities nationwide to receive money to participate in the pilot program. According to the mayor’s office, the funds will allow Head Start programs to be expanded to six-hour days, with an additional 10 days added to programs’ school year. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said yesterday that the increased services for younger children will make them better prepared when they enter elementary school. City Head Start operators slated to receive funds from the grant include St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore, Catholic Charities, the Y of Central Maryland, Baltimore City Head Start and the Maryland Family Network. The Baltimore Sun has more.
Dance Found In Violation Of Baltimore County Schools’ Ethics Code: Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Dallas Dance has been found in violation of the school system's ethics code. The County school board’s ethics panel concluded that Dance violated the rules when he took a consulting job with a professional development company that does business with school systems. Dance has agreed not take any other consulting jobs as long as he works for the school system. The Baltimore Sun has more here.
Henson Calls For Sentence To Be Vacated: State Senate Candidate Julius Henson will appear in court this morning in an effort to vacate his sentence for a probation violation. The move comes after the State conceded that the four-month prison sentence handed down by a judge was unlawful. Henson's attorney filed a motion to "vacate or correct an illegal sentence" citing a Court of Special Appeals decision in the case against former Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold. Leopold was found guilty of misconduct while in office but the Court struck down a part of his sentence that prevents him from running for office.
Historic Hindu Prayer To Open Board Of Aldermen Meeting: Next week’s meeting of Frederick’s Board of Aldermen will be opened by the reading of a Hindu prayer. The Frederick News Post reports that it will be delivered by Rajan Zed, the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism. Seven years ago, Zed delivered the first Hindu opening prayer in the US Senate’s history. Next week will be the first time a Hindu prayer will be used to open a Frederick Board of Aldermen’s meeting.
Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4 to 2 in yesterday’s game. The two teams play again tonight at Camden Yards; first pitch is set for 7:05pm.
Washington Baseball: The Washington Nationals lost to the San Francisco Giants yesterday; the score there was 7 to 1.