Wed August 28, 2013
The March On Washington, Grand Prix Closures, Dolphin Deaths, and Labor Day Travel
Governor Martin O'Malley will speak at today's commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. More on today's events, plus: Grand Prix-related road closures, dolphin deaths, Labor Day travel projections, a bid for the 2024 Olympics, and more.
Commemorating The March On Washington: Fifty years ago today, many Marylanders – some teenagers at the time – made their way to the National Mall in DC for The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. WYPR’s Mary Rose Madden has this collection of their stories. Special events are scheduled in Washington, DC today to mark 50 years since the original March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Governor Martin O’Malley will be among the people addressing the crowd; the Baltimore Sun reports that O’Malley will speak around noon. The Washington Post notes that O’Malley is expected to speak at a forum on job creation in Baltimore County earlier in the day. If you’re headed to DC for today’s ceremonies – or just commuting in the area – you should expect delays. Officials are advising everyone who can to use Metro, which will be running on a normal weekday schedule.
Grand Prix Of Baltimore: You can also expect delays in downtown Baltimore, where many roads are closed in advance of this weekend’s Grand Prix. Information about all the closures is available here. Officials say should prepare alternative routes; the Baltimore Sun notes that traffic patterns will return to normal on Tuesday of next week. The Grand Prix is going to be loud… and the Baltimore Health Department is urging folks who go to the race to wear earplugs or ear cups to protect their hearing.
Replacing Pipkin: It appears that Governor O’Malley may decide who fills the State Senate seat left vacant when E. J. Pipkin resigned. The Republican Central Committees of the four counties the district represents are divided as to who should get the job… with Caroline and Kent counties supporting Delegate Steve Hershey, and Cecil and Queen Anne’s counties backing Delegate Michael Smigiel. Queen Anne’s County’s committee held a revote yesterday that officially gave their nod to Smigiel, after the committee’s original pick dropped out of the race… and Caroline county Republicans are criticizing the move, noting that O’Malley gets to decide who gets the job if the current tie stands. Marylandreporter.com tells us that Delegate Smigiel is calling on all four central committees to jointly interview both himself and Delegate Hershey, and to come to a consensus before the September 10th deadline. The Baltimore Sun has more here.
Colburn Campaign Spending Questioned: WYPR's Fraser Smith and Jennifer Shutt of the Salisbury Daily Times talk about the large reimbursements State Senator Richard Colburn receives from his campaign and how the Board of Elections monitors campaign spending. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics.
Region Bids For 2024 Olympic Games: Maryland could be involved in the 2024 Summer Olympics. The non-profit group “DC 2024” is mounting a bid to host the games, with plans to hold staging events in Baltimore as well as northern Virginia and DC. Visit Baltimore CEO Tom Noonan tells the Baltimore Business Journal that our region is in a better position to win the Olympics than when it made a failed attempt to land the 2012 Games that went to London. The Baltimore Sun notes that the push to bring the Olympics to our region has the support of Governor Martin O’Malley, as well as Virginia’s governor and the Mayor of DC.
Virus Likely Behind Dolphin Deaths: It looks like a virus may be behind an unusually high number of dolphin deaths along the East Coast this summer. Since the beginning of July, more than 300 bottlenose dolphins have washed up on beaches from New York to North Carolina; the Daily Times notes that Maryland has seen 18 dolphin deaths over the past two months, and most of those have occurred in the past couple weeks. Scientists say that the dolphin deaths may be the result of the morbillivirus – a virus similar to measles in humans. The Baltimore Sun reports that the virus led to a similar loss in the dolphin population in the 1980s; officials say that if it IS the culprit, the dolphin deaths could continue through next spring. However, the virus has only been confirmed in a tenth of the dead dolphins… and it is possible that pollution or environmental factors could have more to do with the deaths. If the morbillivirus IS the culprit, people likely don’t have to worry – the disease can only be passed on among similar species.
Labor Day Travel: More Marylanders are planning to get out of town on this holiday weekend than any Labor Day since the recession ended in 2009. Triple-A Mid-Atlantic says more than 678-thousand Marylanders will be traveling more than 50 miles over the holiday; the Baltimore Sun reports that’s a nearly three-percent increase over last year. The Baltimore Business Journal reports that the vast majority, some 87 percent, are expected to go by car. And the Marylanders using the state’s roads will represent only a fraction of the traffic. The Maryland Transportation Authority is predicting that nearly 1.8 MILLION motorists will use the state’s toll facilities over the weekend.
Maryland Live! Poker Room Opens: The poker room is opening today at Maryland Live Casino in Hanover. It's more than just a room, as the casino has created a 14-thousand square foot, two story addition that will feature over 50 gaming tables and a new bar. The Capital Gazette reports that a ribbon cutting is scheduled to take place at eleven a.m., with the room expected to open to the public at noon.
“Scoop the Poop”: Baltimore dog owners who don't clean up after their pets are leaving more than just a mess. The Maryland Department of the Environment says they're creating pollution in waterways. Environment Secretary Bob Summers is calling on dog owners to pledge to "scoop the poop" and marylandreporter.com has more on that call here.
“Ms. Miller’s Classroom”: Monday was the first day of school for Baltimore County students… and for some teachers; the first day of their careers as educators. WYPR’s Gwendolyn Glenn shadows a straight-out-of-college teacher in the first installment of our new occasional series “Ms. Miller’s Classroom: Established 2013.”
Baltimore Baseball: the Orioles fell 13 to 2 to the Boston Red Sox last night. Baltimore is now three and a half games behind Oakland in the wild card race. The O’s and the Red Sox play again tonight.
Baltimore Football: the Ravens will be in St. Louis today, getting ready for their final game of the preseason… they’ll face off against the Rams tomorrow night.