Wed July 30, 2014
MD Remains In The Running For FBI HQ, Taxi Rates Stay The Same, & Medical Marijuana Regulations
The list of possible new headquarters sites for the FBI is down to three, and two of them are in Maryland. The state’s Public Service Commission has decided that taxi rates should say the same, and that all taxis in Baltimore City and Baltimore County should be able to accept credit cards by the end of the year. Plus, a look at Maryland's medical marijuana commission and why one important lawmaker is criticizing a few of its proposed regulations. And more.
MD Remains In The Running For FBI HQ: The General Services Administration announced yesterday that it’s narrowed down its list of potential sites for the FBI’s headquarters to three. One is in Virginia, another is at the former Landover Mall, and a third is in Greenbelt. The FBI’s current HQ, the iconic J. Edgar Hoover Building in downtown DC, is being abandoned because of its small size, and its age. The FBI development will bring about 11-thousand jobs to its new location. If that location is in Maryland, the Baltimore Sun reports that the state would gain $180-million dollars in annual tax revenue. The Baltimore Business Journal.
Taxi Rates Remain Stable; Cabs Must Accept Credit Cards: Maryland’s Public Service Commission has decided not to raise rates on taxicabs, saying the data used to make that request was “spotty” and “unreliable.” Dwight Kines with Veolia Transportation said a lot has changed since the fare increase was requested five years ago. Kines tells WYPR’s Kenneth Burns that cab operators need to be competitive with ride sharing apps Lyft and Uber and says that a rate increase would have taken cab companies QUOTE “out of the ball game.” The PSC has not issued a final ruling on whether Uber and Lyft should fall under taxicab regulations. The PSC also ruled yesterday that all cabs in Baltimore City and Baltimore County should be able to take credit cards; it’s requiring that taxi companies install new meters in their cabs that will accept credit or debit cards and print receipts. The new meters must be installed by the end of the year. There’s more here from the Daily Record and here from the Baltimore Sun.
How Proposed Medical Marijuana Regulations Might Affect Doctors: WYPR's Fraser Smith and Michael Dresser of the Baltimore Sun talk about Maryland's medical marijuana commission and why one important lawmaker is criticizing a few of its proposed regulations. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics.
Baltimore’s Casino: A section of Bayard Street, the site of Baltimore's soon-to-open Horseshoe Casino, has a new name: “Casino Way.” The Horseshoe Casino is expected to bring some 17-hundred permanent jobs to the city. And officials say they hope the casino will provide a big boost to the local economy as well. The Horseshoe Casino Baltimore is set to open on August 26th.
Baltimore’s Curfew: Baltimore is a little more than a week away from imposing one of the nation's strictest youth curfews in an effort to cut down crime. The curfew forbids children younger than 14 years old from being outside their homes after 9pm year-round. Teens 14 to 16 years old will have to be home by 10 pm on school nights, and 11 pm on other nights. The curfew is facing opposition from civil liberties advocates… but Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and other supporters say the law won't make kids criminals, but will instead take them off the street and connect them and their families with social services agencies. The mayor met with community members last night to answer questions about the law, which takes effect August 8th.
Nuisance Flooding: Nuisance flooding in the Mid-Atlantic states is at its highest level since record keeping began about 60 years ago, according to data newly released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Annapolis has seen a larger increase in nuisance flooding than any other city in the US. The state’s capital averaged 4 flood days a year between 1957 and 1963 but about 39 per year between 2007 and 2013. That's an increase of 925-percent. WYPR’s Pamela D’Angelo has more.
Baltimore Tourism: Baltimore tourism officials are celebrating a banner year. New figures from the Visit Baltimore organization show Charm City welcomed 23-point-nine-million visitors in 2013, an increase of more than two-and-a-half percent. The more than five-billion dollars in spending generated by visitors represents a two-point-two-percent increase. According to the report, the Baltimore tourism workforce grew to 80-thousand-400 jobs last year. Visit Baltimore says it booked 370 events during the fiscal year that ended June 30th. The Baltimore Sun has more.
Coliform Contamination At Catoctin Creek Park: Frederick County officials are updating their processes to ensure they remember to test the well water in County Parks for E. coli and coliform bacteria. The Frederick News Post reports that five County parks went without the required tests for months. Testing has now been done at the five parks – and one showed coliform contamination. That is Catoctin Creek Park. County officials say that elderly people and people with weak immune systems should consult a physician before drinking the water from that park.
Cows On Westminster Area Roads: Several cows were on the loose in the Westminster area yesterday, after escaping from a farm on Sullivan Road. Police say the cows were seen in the area of Route 140 and Meadow Creek Drive and one of the animals was hit by a car. There is no word on the cow's condition. WJZ has more.
Baltimore Baseball: The Orioles won last night’s 12-inning game against the LA Angels; the final score was 7 to 6. The two teams play again tonight at Camden Yards; first pitch is set for 7:05pm.
Washington Baseball: The Washington Nationals lost their game against the Miami Marlins yesterday; the score there 3 to 0.