We round up some of the schedule changes in effect on this Good Friday. Plus: gubernatorial hopefuls Anthony Brown, Doug Gansler, and Heather Mizeur spoke last night at a candidates forum in Baltimore. Ocean City’s Mayor takes issue with an analysis that claims the resort town is the most dangerous jurisdiction in Maryland. And much more.
Good Friday Schedule Changes: Today is Good Friday, but while many schedule changes are in effect, it’s not a federal holiday, so federal government offices are open. State government offices are open too, as are government offices in Baltimore County and in Frederick, Harford, and Howard counties. But Baltimore City’s government offices are closed, as are those in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, and Carroll County. Trash and recycling pickup here in Baltimore is on hold – the makeup pickup day is tomorrow. But trash pickup will go on as usual in most other jurisdictions. Most public transit services are operating as usual… but the MARC trains in the Camden Line are operating on an “S” schedule. Penn and Brunswick line MARC trains are running as usual. Public schools are closed today. And remember to bring your change when you head out today, as it is not a parking meter holiday pretty much anywhere you go in Maryland. The Baltimore Sun has a more comprehensive list here; information about MTA schedule changes is here.
Brown, Gansler, and Mizeur Meet At Gubernatorial Candidates Forum: The three leading Democratic candidates for Governor spoke last night at a forum hosted by the Baltimore City Branch of the NAACP. One of the issues discussed was the death penalty – which the General Assembly repealed in Maryland last year, in part, under pressure from the NAACP. The Baltimore Sun reports that Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown used the issue to draw a contrast with state Attorney General Doug Gansler; Brown noted that while he backed the repeal last year, Gansler had said that capital punishment was a good tool to have to negotiate plea deals. Gansler says his position is now, “we used to have it. The General Assembly overturned it, and the people of Maryland have said they don’t want it.” Montgomery County Delegate Heather Mizeur did not address the death penalty at last night’s forum, but she did vote to repeal it during last year’s legislative session. Maryland’s primary election takes place on June 24th.
Debate Set For AA County Executive Candidates: Gubernatorial nominations won’t be the only ones decided in the June primary. In Anne Arundel County, Republican voters will decide their candidate for Anne Arundel County Executive. The two Republicans running for the nomination have agreed to a debate. Incumbent Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman will face off against Delegate Steve Schuh on May 12th, at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. The event’s being sponsored by the Capital Gazette. The race for the GOP nomination for Anne Arundel County Executive has been a hotly contested one – with both candidates increasingly critical of each other’s records. The Democratic primary is uncontested, with George Johnson set to take his party’s nomination.
Ocean City Mayor Says His Town Is NOT The Most Dangerous In MD: Ocean City officials are speaking out against a recent analysis that said the resort town is the most dangerous place in Maryland. The list – published by real estate brokerage firm Movoto – says that people in Ocean City have a one-in-five chance of being victimized. The Daily Record reports that Mayor Rick Meehan has released a statement saying the list is highly misleading and inaccurate. He says instead of factoring in the town's nearly eight-million summer visitors, Movoto based the crime ratio on a year-round population of seven-thousand. Mayor Meehan notes that the town's average population rises to about 300-thousand from May to September and says that if those numbers had been considered, the results would show that Ocean City has a low crime rate. The Baltimore Sun has more here. The Movoto ranking says that the second most dangerous city in Maryland is Elkton, with Baltimore City coming in as third most dangerous. The ranking says the safest place in Maryland is the Carroll County town of Hampstead, followed by Ocean Pines – near Ocean City – and the Frederick County town of Thurmont.
O'Malley Faces Tough Choice On Wind Turbines: WYPR's Fraser Smith and Erin Cox of the Baltimore Sun talk about how the controversy over a proposed wind farm in Somerset County is giving Governor O'Malley a difficult decision to make. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics.
Harford County Man Charged After Three Alarm Fire: A Harford county resident is facing charges in relation to a major fire that burned more than four acres of land near the town of Street earlier this month. The blaze lasted for about four hours, and went to three alarms, eventually taking fire companies from Harford County, Cecil County, and York County Pennsylvania to get under control. The Maryland Natural Resources Police tell the Baltimore Sun that the man who started the fire had been trying to burn a pile of brush, and left it unattended while going off to do some errands. The man will appear in Harford County District Court in relation to the charges in June.
Parking Fees To Stay Flat In Frederick: Parking fees in the city of Frederick will not be going up this year. The Fredrick News Post reports that the city’s parking fund is on track to have a nearly $2.9-million surplus in the coming fiscal year, which will allow fees to stay flat. The superintendent of public parking in the city is calling on Frederick Mayor Randy McClement to use some of that surplus to restore funding to the Downtown Frederick Partnership that had been cut in the mayor’s budget proposal.
Harford County Gets Aviation Unit: The Harford County Sherriff’s Office now has an aviation unit. The department unveiled a new helicopter yesterday, which will be flown by two pilots who’ve been training with the aviation unit of the Baltimore County Police. They’ll fly daytime missions until they get certified to fly at night. The sheriff’s office says the aviation unit will be used for surveillance, drug enforcement, and traffic monitoring… and searching for fugitives and missing persons, if necessary. WBAL has more.
Howard County Police Chief Announces Retirement: Howard County’s police chief is stepping down, after 30 years in law enforcement. William McMahon announced yesterday that he will be retiring at the end of June. The 51-year-old McMahon spent the past eight years as chief. The Columbia Patch reports that Howard County Executive Ken Ulman is naming Major Gary Gardner as McMahon's successor.
Towson University Saves Energy: Towson University is celebrating its successful energy-saving efforts. Yesterday, BGE presented the school with a check for incentives earned under the Smart Energy Savers Program. Towson has saved $1.7-million through the program's basic efficiency improvements. The Baltimore Sun reports that the energy the school saved is equivalent to removing more than ten-thousand cars from the road.
Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles start a four-game series with the Red Sox tonight, in Boston.
Washington Baseball: The Washington Nationals lost their Thursday night game with the St. Louis Cardinals; the score was 8 to zero.