Bay Grasses Expected to Decline Due to 2018 Rainfall

A Bay Journal article (2019-08-21) reported that sections of the Chesapeake Bay's aquatic grasses are expected to decrease this year in response to heavy rains that caused increased nutrient and sediment runoff in 2018. The article noted that initial reviews of the 2019 aerial Bay grass survey show "significant losses" of widgeon grasses in the Mid Bay region, which has the most underwater grass beds in the Bay. Eelgrass beds in the Lower Bay also appear to…

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Agreement Reached Between States & Major Telcomm Companies on Fighting Robocalls

A Daily Record article (2019-08-22) reported that a coalition of all 50 states and Washington D.C. have reach an agreement with 12 phone companies on fighting illegal robocalls. The article noted that robocalls are a frequent source of consumer complaints, both within Maryland and nationally. The agreement was the result of a bipartisan effort. Telecommunication companies that signed onto the agreement included AT&T, Comcast, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. A robocall is a call made with an autodialer and…

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Wealth Formula Changes Cast Aside as School Funding Workgroup Continues

The Kirwan Commission's Formula Funding Workgroup continued its work, seemingly deciding to leave the current "wealth formula" intact as they continue unraveling components of current and potential school funding. The workgroup formed by the Kirwan Commission to delve into the complex matters of interjurisdictional formulas and the eventual state/local split of cost responsibilities continued its work with a day=long meeting on August 22. While most of the meeting focused on more information, staff presentations, and…

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MACo Member Discount – Grant Management Training Offered in DC this October

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grant management workshop in Washington, DC, October 21-22, 2019, and they're offering an exclusive rate to MACo members and their staff.   From Grant Writing USA: Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grant management workshop in DC, October 21-22, 2019.  This training is for grant recipient organizations across all disciplines. Attend this class and you'll…

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Anne Arundel Executive Looks to Strengthen County Forest Conservation Protections

An Anne Arundel County press release (2019-08-21) announced that County Executive Steuart Pittman plans on introducing legislation to strengthen the County's forest conservation law. Pittman is taking this action in the light of recent forest losses within the County. From the press release: “Forests are tremendously important to our county,” said County Executive Pittman. “Trees reduce air pollution, soak up stormwater runoff, provide wildlife habitat and help fight climate change. For decades, we’ve made it…

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Learn About Ag Production Challenges at “What’s That Smell?” Workshops

A University of Maryland Extension news release (2019-08-19) announced that Chesapeake College and the Lower Shore American Job Center will host several one-day workshops for local officials about current challenges facing agriculture in Maryland. From the news release: The “What’s That Smell?” Understanding Modern Agriculture and What Officials Need to Know Workshops will be held September 17, 2019, at the Higher Education Center at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills and on October 10, 2019, at…

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Governor Hogan Creates Task Force on Renewable Energy Development & Siting

A press release (2019-08-14) from the Office of Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that Hogan had signed a new executive order creating a Governor's Task Force on Renewable Energy Development and Siting. The Task Force will study how renewable energy generation projects, such as solar and wind, should be sited in the state and ways to streamline the project approval process. From the press release: “In my most recent State of the State address, I…

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Proposed SNAP Changes Could Cut 50K Marylanders From Benefits

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program that would put over 50,000 Marylanders at risk for losing the benefit. The most vulnerable include seniors and children. WBAL reports on the proposed rule change: The Agriculture Department issued a proposed rule Tuesday that curtails so-called broad-based categorical eligibility, which makes it easier for Americans with somewhat higher incomes and more savings to participate in the Supplemental…

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DHS releases CISA memo on Ransomware Outbreaks

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently released a memo from the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warning of the dangers of ransomware outbreaks. Ransomware attacks are testing the resolve of cities across the nation, including the City of Baltimore. From the CISA Memo: The Threat and How to Think About It Ransomware has rapidly emerged as the most visible cybersecurity risk playing out across our nation’s networks, locking up private sector organizations…

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Howard County Council Names New Administrator

The Howard County Council this week named Diane Schwartz Jones as council administrator. Jones replaces Delegate Jessica Feldmark, who was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2018. Jones previously served as the director of the Department of Permitting Services for Montgomery County. Jones will direct the legislative activities and orchestrate daily operations of the County Council. According to a press release: “After conducting a thorough search for a new Administrator, we are pleased to…

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