May 30, 2012
"Fifty Shades of Grey" is selling millions of copies around the world, but it's been banned from libraries of Harford County, Maryland. E.L. James' trilogy , which has been dubbed "mommy porn," for its S&M scenes, is too hot for the county, a typical exurban community along Interstate 95 about a half-hour northeast of Baltimore. In an email to The Aegis newspaper, materials management administrator Jennifer Ralston wrote: "In the case of '50 Shades of Grey,' we read mainstream reviews that characterized the content as pornography.
April 28, 2012
The frost advisory for several Maryland counties was canceled overnight by the National Weather Service. Clouds over the area prevented the frost from forming, the service reports. So far today, temperatures reached 50 degrees at the Inner Harbor with a forecasted high near 59. Rain is possible after 4 p.m. Saturday is expected to be mostly cloudy with a calm wind. The frost advisory had been in effect for norther Baltimore, Howard and Harford counties. A freeze was possible for Frederick and Carroll counties, forecaster had predicted.
April 12, 2012
Editor: The 2012 Session of the Maryland General Assembly came to a strange close Monday night. Ongoing disagreements and dysfunction among the House and Senate leadership produced a stalemate regarding three legislative bills. Although the House and Senate passed an Operating Budget, the accompanying revenue bills were not agreed to with a pending gaming bill in the mix. This dysfunction provided a short reprieve for Maryland taxpayers and Maryland counties. The tax revenue bill on the floor of both houses would have increased personal income taxes for families making over $100,000.
March 16, 2012
Maryland counties will face a loss of tax revenue if they fail to keep up their required levels of education spending under a deal agreed to by the Maryland House and Senate. The House Ways and Means Committee decided last night to accept the Senate version of a bill to enforce what is known as the state's "maintenance of effort" rule -- essentially a requirement that counties keep up their education spending to match increases in state aid. The vote in the panel was 12-5, along party lines, an indication the bill will have little difficulty passing in the full House.
March 11, 2012
Jose Soto doesn't pay attention to politics in Frederick County. He's new to town and spends much of his time working at an apple-processing plant in Pennsylvania. But he heard something a few weeks ago about the county making English its official language. "I think it's a little racist," Soto said as he stopped by a Latino grocery store in Frederick before heading to work one afternoon last week. The 32-year-old was born in Guatemala and emigrated to Los Angeles as a child. Last month, the county became the first in Maryland to declare English its official language, though supporters of the measure acknowledge the move was largely symbolic because county business is done in English now. Anne Arundel and Queen Anne's counties are considering similar laws as well — part of a nationwide movement that supporters tout as a way to help immigrants assimilate.
September 28, 2011
One of the great ironies of education reform in Maryland is that for all the standardization and testing directed at the classroom, the one place where there's no clear-cut formula for success is how school boards should be selected. Some boards are elected by voters (with candidates running at-large or by district), some are appointed (or appointed and then affirmed by vote) while others are hybrids of the two. There are arguments for and against various approaches, and the fact that so many of Maryland's public schools and school systems are well-regarded nationally (regardless of their governance structure)