Port Strike, Gansler Responds To Driving Accusations, Federal Shutdown Reverberations
Longshoreman at the Port of Baltimore are on strike. Attorney General Doug Gansler and the Maryland State Police continue their dispute over driving allegations. The federal government shutdown continues to affect Maryland residents. Plus: Baltimore's last video store prepares to close.
Baltimore Port Strike: The Baltimore Sun reports that the International Longshoreman’s Association Local No. 333 is on strike, which a Maryland Port Administration official says “is affecting all cargo at the port.” Talks broke down Tuesday night between the union and the Steamship Trade Association of Baltimore. Fox45 reports that all services, except for mail, have stopped.
Fallout From Gansler “Reckless Backseat Driving” Allegations: On Tuesday, Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Doug Gansler responded further to allegations published in The Washington Post last weekend. In an appearance on ABC7, Gansler called the story “100 percent, completely untrue” and blamed Governor O’Malley and Gansler’s rival for the Democratic nomination, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. State Police released this statement. WYPR’s Fraser Smith and Karen Hosler talk about the allegations in today’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics.
In other political news: Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger (D-MD) told the Washington Post that he will announce his decision whether to run for governor around Thanksgiving. The other Democrat in the race, Del. Heather Mizeur, received the endorsement of former GOP Congressman Wayne T. Gilchrest on Tuesday.
Federal Government Shutdown: Congressional negotiations over raising the debt ceiling and opening the federal government returned to the Senate after talks in the House of Representatives ended Tuesday night with no solution, according to the Washington Post. In Maryland, the effects of the shutdown continue: The Baltimore Sun reports that the Baltimore District of the Army Corps of Engineers stopped review of permit applications and furloughed 45 staffers. WYPR’s Joel McCord visits a homeless shelter in Baltimore where residents are at risk of losing benefits from the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. And a video of Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s (D-MD) battle with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) over a rule change went viral. The Sun posted the video here.
Mayor Stands Up to Bottle Tax Detractors: On Tuesday, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake announced that the city will have to temporarily suspend its Virtual Supermarket Program, designed to get fresh foods to people in designated “food deserts.” Santoni's Market in Highlandtown, the city’s only partner in the program, announced Sunday that it would close. As WYPR’s Kenneth Burns reported, the mayor also responded to the criticism of the city’s bottle tax. Rob Santoni cited the bottle tax as the “sole reason” for its closure. Rob Santoni’s, the store’ owner, will be a guest on Midday with Dan Rodricks Wednesday at 12pm.
Supreme Court will not hear challenge to handgun permit law: The nation’s highest court declined to hear an appeal to a decision that upheld a Maryland law that regulates carrying handguns in public. According to the Daily Record, law enforcement can deny handgun carrying permits for “good and substantial reason,” a phrase called overly broad by Hampstead resident Raymond Woollard, who challenged the law. The Baltimore Sun reports that the case is part of an ongoing debate over specific firearm restrictions such as Maryland’s recent ban on new sales of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, among other restrictions.
Vi Ripken confronted by carjacker: The mother of the former Orioles star Cal Ripken Jr. scared off a potential carjacker Tuesday. As the Baltimore Sun reports, the episode appears to be unrelated to her kidnapping last year.
Final Reel For City’s Last Video Store: WYPR’s John Lee visits Video Americain in Roland Park, where the owners are hoping to preserve their collection through a new video business model.