August 9, 2010
Baltimore received a relatively gentle reminder last week of some unfinished business that it can ill afford to ignore. A CSX freight train derailed last Thursday in the Howard Street Tunnel, the scene of the nearly disastrous July 18, 2001, derailment and fire that paralyzed much of downtown for a week. Thirteen cars of a 79-car train left the tracks – 11 of them in the tunnel under Howard Street and two outside the portal at Mount Royal Avenue. Baltimore got lucky when none of the hazardous materials being hauled by the train escaped, but traffic on the line was not restored until late Friday.
April 22, 2010
Bob Ehrlich, running for governor for a third time, wants to repeal the 1-cent sales tax increase that Martin O'Malley wrought, and he wants to finish some "unfinished business." This is what he said on my radio program Wednesday. Wondering if he had something significant or inspiring to offer — a little more so than a penny tax reprieve (not that there's anything wrong with that!) — I pressed him on the "unfinished business" part. What exactly was he talking about? "Expanding charter schools," he said.
April 10, 2010
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Both the Maryland House of Delegates and the Senate are working this weekend to prepare for adjournment. Both chambers are gathering Saturday to catch up with unfinished business. The House will be debating a bill backed by Gov. Martin O'Malley to make utilities generate more of their power by solar energy. Supporters say it's important to grow the use of solar energy to help drive down energy prices. But opponents contend it will pass on costs to ratepayers and small businesses.
March 11, 2010
B altimore First Deputy Mayor Andrew B. Frank leaves City Hall this spring after three years of handling economic development, one of the most crucial issues in a city with chronic high unemployment, widespread poverty and sky-high property tax rates. He has served as a crucial bridge between the city's business community and its government and has made important contributions, such as his effort to help push through an affordable-housing law. But he almost certainly won't be around long enough to see through the most important item in his portfolio: slots.