Tag Archives: Baltimore
- The mega-$$$$ in new spending from the Kirwan Commission education recommendations will be solid, the promises of accountability less so [James V. Shuls, Maryland Public Policy Institute; Len Lazarick, Marc Tucker, Lazarick]
- Speaking of which, is the problem with Baltimore schools underfunding? [Jason Bedrick, Cato, 2015] “Baltimore schools spend 27% more than Fairfax County [Va.] schools per student and a majority of the money comes not from the city but from the state and federal government.” [Alex Tabarrok] “The city of Baltimore received over $1.8 billion from President Barack Obama’s stimulus law, including $467.1 million to invest in education and $26.5 million for crime prevention.” [Elizabeth Harrington, Free Beacon]
- Michael Busch as full-time Anne Arundel County recreation administrator, and more problems with letting state legislators work for local governments [David Plymyer, Maryland Matters]
- Tales of Baltimore’s gun buyback [Jazz Shaw, Zuri Davis]
- Maryland’s evolving approach to expert testimony [Derek Stikeleather, Maryland Appellate Blog]
- North Howard St., Baltimore’s old Antique Row, struggles amid zoning constraints and neglect from City Hall [Antonio Grana, Market Urbanism Report]
- MoCo vs. NoVa: “’Our corporate tax rate in Maryland is 8.25%. In Virginia, it’s 6%,’ said Basu. ‘That’s a major factor in these site-location decisions.'” [quoted in Bruce DePuyt, Maryland Matters] Maryland got off lucky in Amazon decision [Eric Stokan and Roy T. Meyers, Len Lazarick, Maryland Reporter, Michael Horney, Free State Foundation and related] “Attract Businesses like Amazon with Lean Government, Not Pork” [Vanessa Brown Calder and Chris Edwards, Crain’s New York/Cato and Chris Edwards on interstate tax migration]
- Poor Baltimore, over-policed and under-policed at once [Scott Beyer, Governing]
- Cash exactions levied on land development should meet constitutional standards whether grounded in official discretion or legislation [Ilya Shapiro and Reilly Stephens on Cato Institute brief in Dabbs v. Anne Arundel County]
- “Manufacturers denounce Baltimore climate lawsuit” [National Association of Manufacturers, background]
- Anne Arundel County man killed by cops showing up to confiscate his guns under Maryland “red flag” law [Baltimore Sun, WBFF]
- “Maryland’s New #MeToo Law May Do Little to Expose Workplace Harassment” [Christopher Humber, National Law Review]
Scott Beyer’s Market Urbanism Report has an active presence on Facebook and has just used it to devote a month’s worth of attention to the problems, challenges, and quirks of Baltimore, from policing good and bad to Formstone to the money-sink Hilton project to eminent domain to housing abandonment to the upkeep of public spaces. Check out the whole group as well as its associated website for a treasure trove of analysis and information about city and development issues, informed by market reasoning.
- So embarrassing for Maryland that Attorney General Brian Frosh signed onto this turkey of a lawsuit challenging Congress’s curtailment of the SALT deduction [Howard Gleckman]
- I was a guest of Jerry Rogers on WBAL to talk about the showdown between conservative religious adoption agencies and LGBT rights groups and you can listen here (background);
- Baltimore politicos move to save city from non-threat / non-horror of private water supply [Joe Setyon, Reason]
- Sen. Ben Cardin, sometimes painted as cautious or even moderate, throws red meat to Left on Brett Kavanaugh nomination [Bruce DePuyt, Maryland Matters]
- “Among the questions about Mr. Elrich is one he raised himself by pledging to invite the president of the largest county employees union into interview and hiring deliberations ‘for any and all department heads’ in the county. That is an extraordinary promise…also unwise.” [Washington Post editorial]
- How a machine based on the schools lobby ran politics for years in Montgomery County [Adam Pagnucco, The Seventh State]
- Baltimore city schools, which say they can’t afford to heat buildings adequately in winter, have 44 employees who earn more than Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan [Chris Papst, WBFF] “School bus driver in fatal 2016 crash was involved in at least a dozen collisions or medical emergencies in the five years prior.” [Scott Dance, Baltimore Sun]
- Good question: “Why did Republicans Oppose Free Market Alcohol Reforms?” [Brian Griffiths, Red Maryland]
- Metro’s misery: “ATU Local 689 has fought against firing track inspectors who falsified inspection reports and put public safety at risk.” [David Lublin]
- “Free Speech Index: Grading the 50 States on Political Giving Freedom” Alas, Maryland ranks 46th and gets an F. [Institute for Free Speech]
- College Park, Hyattsville prepare to let non-citizens vote. Illegals too? [Sapna Rampersaud, NRO]
- “Opinion: A tipped server from Seattle says Madaleno’s $15 minimum wage bill cuts incomes” [Simone Barron, Maryland Reporter] “The unintended victims of a $15 minimum wage are small businesses and their employees” [Mike O’Halloran, NFIB]
In the latest win for activists, Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh signed into law a new measure banning construction and expansion of crude oil terminals in the city. Previously Oakland, Calif. banned a terminal intended for coal exports, and Portland, Ore., and other West Coast cities have also moved to block fossil fuel infrastructure following environmentalist campaigns.
As individual controversies crop up in Maryland and elsewhere over particular natural gas terminals and pipelines, it’s worth remembering that for a well-organized body of activists, the goal is to block oil and gas infrastructure, period, and the individual complaints about one or another project (Baltimore activists claimed concern about safety) are makeweights to be invoked as needed.
Taxpayers will shell out $100,000 so the city of Baltimore can bus public school students to an anti-gun rally. And that’s only the start of what’s wrong here, I write in a new Cato post. “A protest outing that is ardently enabled or even meticulously organized by the authority figures in your life can be like the ninth-grade English course that ruins Macbeth or Moby Dick for you.” I quote Lynda C. Lambert in the Baltimore Sun: “Part of protesting is finding your own way, for your own reasons….. Government sponsorship is destructive to these ends.”
My parting shot: “As for the separate question of whether compulsory attendance and truancy laws should be enforced against students for skipping school in a favored cause, I’ll see and raise: don’t enforce those laws against anyone period.” [cross-posted from Overlawyered]
Act I: In a widely read Nov. 15 piece in Atlas Obscura, Priya Krishna reports on “the quest to save Baltimore’s Berger Cookie,” a beloved local food institution. “One of the most essential ingredients in the Berger Cookie is trans fats. Trans fats are what make the chocolate super creamy, prevent the fat and the water in the dough from separating (which would yield an overly crumbly cookie), and keep the cookie stable in both very warm and very cold settings.” However, the Obama administration enacted a federal ban on trans fats — for your own good, you know — which goes into effect next year.
Cookie producer Charlie DeBaufre, interviewed by Krishna, “refers to the past year as ‘frustrating and scary,’ as so many of his trans fat-free experiments have been failures. ‘I have spent $10,000 trying to get this worked out. I am not a big business. I don’t have an R&D Department. I have to shut down production for a few hours, still pay people for labor, and then most of the product gets trashed. It’s tough.’” More background in a piece I wrote for Cato last week.
Act II: Then a twist, reported by Sarah Meehan in the Baltimore Sun Nov. 21: the fudge supplier had managed to replace trans fats months ago and didn’t tell Berger’s. While early attempts to reformulate fudge frosting without trans fats had suffered from various quality defects, the new recipe was much improved to the point where neither consumers nor Berger’s had noticed.
So a happy if unexpected ending, at least for this one company, right? But the regulatory downside — you just knew there had to be one — was that in changing its recipe the fudge supplier had added more sugar, which appears to have boosted the calorie count and might have changed other things reported in the Nutrition Facts box as well. Since Berger’s says it didn’t know about the new formula, one inference might be that for a while it has been shipping cookies with a faulty calorie/nutrition count on the package. Hello to class action woes and, if the FDA is in a bad mood, regulatory liability? [cross-posted from Overlawyered]
- Last session, entrenched interests shut out craft brewers in Annapolis. Comptroller Peter Franchot vows to do something about that next session and good for him [Danielle Gaines, Frederick News-Post; FNP editorial on Flying Dog] Counterpoint from head of public health group: Maryland should be persecuting the alcohol business, making life easier for beer producers and consumers would do the opposite [Raimee Eck, Baltimore Sun]
- Yikes: “in half the high schools in Baltimore City, 3804 students took the state test, 14 were proficient in math.” [Fox Baltimore]
- Will Annapolis do his bidding again? Peter Angelos wants another special law for his asbestos lawsuits [Daniel Fisher, Legal NewsLine/Forbes]
- Videos of Oct. 10 Maryland Redistricting Reform Commission hearing in Rockville with Steve Spaulding of Common Cause and others [Jason Boisvert on YouTube]
- U.S. Supreme Court won’t review challenge to Maryland gun law, but I’m glad my own Cato Institute tried to get the case heard [blog, brief and description]
- Prince George’s County is considering a return to the practice of letting county council second-guess development approvals. Bad policy and corruption risk alike [David Whitehead and Bradley Heard, Greater Greater Washington]