Great comments yesterday. Thanks, and keep it up! It looks like I broke my first news story yesterday, thanks to John Bailey. I made the HoCoMoJo twitter feed and everything. Keep the news releases coming. Add that to a 12 out of 16 bracket performance and a darn good crabcake at the Hopkins club, and I a had a pretty decent Thursday.
I will be out of town this weekend, so you will be without my "reporting" on the Sun's "reporting" in the non-web edition of the Howard section. I may try to post from afar, but I am meeting up with college friends, with all that entails. Before I sully my reputation any further (could this be my catch-phrase?), let's get down to some links:
This is already beginning to look like a nasty gubernatorial election, isn't it? The Dems are up in arms (again) over perceived minor misdeeds of the Ehrlich Footsie Team (can't call them a campaign team just yet). On top of that, the Dems have put together a parody Bob Ehrlich website, which displays just the top of professionalism in politics. Good thing Maryland Dems don't have anything better to worry about. Their Baltimore County councilmen are getting slapped with DUIs, their Mayor was forced to resign, their legislative members are renting police boats to propose marriage, and there's a gaping hole in the budget that their Governor and majority has provided. BUT, hey, Ehrlich is making phone calls from his office. That should definitely be looked into.
I didn't post about this before, mostly because I don't much care for the "filler" stories that legal reporting tends to be, but after attending an event filled with attorneys, it may merit discussion. Basically what happened was a Defendant was before a judge on domestic violence charges (serious charges) for which his girlfriend was the State's primary witness. At the pretrial hearing, defense counsel says he wants a continuance so his client can get married to, you guessed it, the girlfriend. Maryland has the spousal privilege, which (in brief) states that one spouse can not be compelled to testify against the other in a criminal context, which can be invoked by either party and imposed on the other (i.e, husband can say he doesn't want wife to testify against him even if wife is rearing to go). The judge said "don't worry about a continuance, I'll marry you right here." Terrified girlfriend stood there and was married to terrifying boyfriend, state lost its witness, case dismissed. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you, the Baltimore County judicial system.
Mayor SRB (yeah you know me) keeps it up in her budget cuts, and makes some smart moves. Anyone who has had to deal with the administrative agencies of the Baltimore City government knows what a mess it is. I am sure there are hard working people in those agencies, but I am also sure they are very far away from the phones and any other access point I've ever used. Mergers often make for more efficient goverment, as long as the best, and not the "favorites," are kept.
Wait, so, we're going to "shame" the biggest tax scofflaws into paying? So the tax law appears to be the only law that I may scoff, which will allow me to live freely, sans the occassional shaming.
Would you like to see our "suburban malaise" from 7,000 feet up on the back of a skydiver?
County Exec Ulman is going to have to be creative in finding different ways to say "no." If you read the entire article, you'll see that Superintendent Cousins notes the $10 million in stimulus funding the school has received this year that will not be there next year. The buoying effect of the stimulus has been center stage in the state budget crisis, but has been minimized locally. If I figure out a way to look into this further, I will. In the meantime, be afraid, be very afraid.
Here's a run-down of the acts performing at the Columbia Festival of the Arts.
Wordbones covers a live encounter between Russ Swatek and a wary petition dodger. I have tried to find out how many signatures TAG has been able to collect, but have been repeatedly rebuffed in my attempts. I stand by my original position that the referendum drive is a good thing, and could, if nothing else, serve as a symbolic county-wide stamp of approval (please don't post that the Council vote was a county-wide stamp of approval) for the most impactful legislation this county has seen in 40+ years. That is, if the measures are approved...
Talk about bipartisanship! One of the Howard County GOP Central Committee members has a Democrat's bumper sticker on his car!
HowChow posts about Tutti Frutti, which gets me excited because it is right by my house (with a Rita's in between).
Have a great Friday, and spend some time outside to remind yourself that this place is actually pretty nice just the way it is. (Disclaimer: That wasn't a political plug, just a whimsical identification with one's hometown. The End.)