Tue April 22, 2014
The Governor’s Race, Jones-Rodwell Retires, Bay Grasses, & Solar Power For The Domino Sugars Sign
A veterans group calls on state Attorney General Doug Gansler to apologize for a comment he made about the military work of Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown (both Brown and Gansler are running for Governor). Plus: State Senator Verna Jones-Rodwell announces her retirement, underwater grasses in the Chesapeake Bay rebound, the Domino Sugars sign over the Inner Harbor goes solar, and more.
Veterans Group Calls For Gansler To Apologize: A veterans group is calling on state Attorney General Doug Gansler to apologize for a comment he made about Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown’s work as a military lawyer in Iraq, where Brown served in 2004. Brown and Gansler are vying for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Yesterday morning, Gansler appeared to suggest that he thought Brown’s work as a military lawyer was not “a real job.” The Washington Post reports that the political action group VoteVets.org called on Gansler to apologize; that organization which advocates for veterans who run for office, and has endorsed Brown. Gansler issued a response, saying that he has “the utmost respect for… military service” and that his comments were intended to call attention to the troubled rollout of Maryland’s online health insurance exchange. The Baltimore Sun notes that Brown had served as the “point person” for the state’s website, which is being replaced with a Connecticut system that worked far better. Also yesterday, Gansler also called attention to the resume that Brown posted on his website, for failing to note that the Lieutenant Governor had worked as a financial consultant for Merrill Lynch in 2000; Brown’s campaign has since corrected the website, and says the omission wasn’t made out of an attempt to conceal Brown’s employment history. Brown and Gansler are among six candidates running for the Democratic Party’s gubernatorial nomination; Montgomery County Delegate Heather Mizeur is among the contenders. Maryland’s primary election is 10 weeks from today, on June 24th… and we’ll have an update on the Governor’s race today at noon, on Midday with Dan Rodricks.
Brown Wins Labor Endorsement: Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown’s gubernatorial campaign has won the endorsement of a DC-area labor organization that represents building trades workers, such as roofers, plumbers, and bricklayers. The Washington Post notes that Brown’s campaign announced last week that it was getting the endorsement, but then had to retract that announcement, when the group said it hadn’t reached a decision. Yesterday, the group’s Executive Director said that Brown had “earned” the endorsement.
State Senator Verna Jones-Rodwell Announces Retirement: The chairwoman of Baltimore City’s delegation to the State Senate is retiring. Senator Verna Jones-Rodwell said yesterday that she is no longer interested in going back to the General Assembly. Jones-Rodwell has represented the 44th district since 2003; until the most recent round of redistricting, the 44th represented only Baltimore City; but the majority of the redrawn district’s residents live in Baltimore County. Jones-Rodwell had been facing a challenge in the Democratic primary from Baltimore County Delegate Shirley Nathan-Pulliam. Because of Maryland’s election calendar, Senator Jones-Rodwell's name will still appear on the ballot, but if she wins the primary election, she says she will decline the seat. The Baltimore Sun has more; there’s more here from WYPR’s Kenneth Burns.
Baltimore County Considers Background Checks For Rec Workers: the Baltimore County Council is considering a law that would require background checks for people who work with children in the County’s recreational programs. That would include coaches, and volunteers. The Baltimore Sun reports that Baltimore County is the only jurisdiction in the region that doesn’t require such background checks. The council is set to discuss the bill April 29th, with a vote in May. Opponents of the proposal say it might cost too much, and County Executive Kevin Kamenetz’s administration is looking to delay a vote on the plan until a study of its potential fiscal impact can be conducted.
Bay Grasses Rebound: Some good news for the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The Baltimore Sun reports that a new study shows that underwater grasses in the Bay and the rivers that feed it are on the rebound… increasing by 24 percent since 2012. Last year, there were just under 60-thousand acres of aquatic grasses in the estuary. But while scientists say the rebound is a good start, that 60-thousand acres represent only two-thirds of the 90-thousand acres that the Bay held in 2002… and only one-third of the goal that federal and state officials are hoping to achieve in coming years. The Bay’s grasses are important, because they provide habitat for crabs, fish, and birds.
Domino Sugars Sign Goes Solar: The light from the iconic Domino Sugars sign over Baltimore’s Inner Harbor will now be coming, indirectly, from the sun. Domino has had solar panels installed on the rooftop of its sugar refinery, which will use the sun’s rays to power the neon red sign from here on out. The Baltimore Sun reports that the solar installation cost Domino $125-thousand.
Marylander Wins Women’s Weelchair Boston Marathon: A Maryland woman is still celebrating her second straight victory in the Boston Marathon women's wheelchair division. Tatyana McFadden of Clarksville crossed the finish line yesterday in one hour, 35 minutes, six seconds. She was crowned with a gold-dipped olive wreath, which she gave to a spectator who aided a number of victims of last year's bombings. The Baltimore Sun has more.
Paying For Pothole Repairs In Frederick County: Frederick County’s Board of Commissioners is considering a proposal that would send state funding to the County’s municipalities in order to help them pay to fix potholes. Frederick County recently received a state grant of more than $550-thousand that’s set to fund pothole repair. Commissioners President Blaine Young tells the Frederick News Post that he hopes that the proposal will help Frederick County’s towns get their roads back in shape after an extraordinarily difficult and damaging winter.
Eastern Shore Death Follows Mixed Cleaners: Police on the Eastern Shore are issuing a warning after the death of a 75-year-old woman who apparently inhaled deadly vapors in her home. The Worcester County Sheriff's Office tells the Daily Times that the woman was cleaning her Berlin home when she mixed an ammonia-based cleaning product with bleach, creating a toxic gas. Police say people should read all instructions, never mix products and always work in well ventilated areas.
Rabies Vaccination Clinics In Harford County: The Harford County Health Department is planning to sponsor a series of rabies vaccination clinics, to protect pets against the rabies virus. At the clinics, rabies vaccines will be offered for dogs, cats, and ferrets three months old and older. Vaccinations will cost $5 per animal. There will be four clinics this Sunday, April 27th, and four more on Sunday, May 4th.Vaccination forms are available on the Harford County Health Department’s website. And there’s more here from the Baltimore Sun.
Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles beat the Boston Red Sox yesterday; the score was 7 to 6. The O’s head to Toronto tonight, to take on the Blue Jays.
Washington Baseball: The Washington Nationals lost last night’s game against the LA Angels; the score there: 4 to 2.