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First Click -- Maryland

First Click

Your daily download of Maryland's top political news and analysis -- special post-snowstorm edition

Monday, December 21, 2009:

Anne Arundel Council tries to clean up slots mess
Thumbnail image for Anne Arundel slots.jpgBarring a snow-related delay (or a delay of some other kind, for that matter), the Anne Arundel County Council could finally vote tonight on zoning legislation that would allow a slots casino at Arundel Mills mall. It's worth noting that the council actually will have two zoning bills in front of them: one that would allow slots at the proposed 4,750-machine facility at the mall (depicted here in an artist's rendering), as well as several other locations; and another that would allow slots in several other locations besides the mall. The mall is the only site that has been awarded a slots license by the state (contingent on zoning), but it's possible the council could reject that biil and pass the other one -- which County Executive John R. Leopold (R) has hinted he might veto.
Confused? Erin Cox of the Capital sets the scene for tonight's meeting, writing: "With competing claims, conflicting predictions and large sums of money on the line, the only certainty in the slots debate is that the outcome is still uncertain." Cox also takes a look at the accuracy of some slots claims. And whether the council should change the way it replaces its members.
Meanwhile, the editorial page of The Baltimore Sun says a state commission made the right call last week by killing a bid for the Baltimore slots site -- and seeks closure tonight on Anne Arundel.

O'Malley gives Grasmick plan a frosty reception
Grasmick photo.jpg"Gov. Martin O'Malley criticized state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick's decision to delay a request for federal stimulus money for education, saying Friday that he wants Maryland to go after the $150 million next month," reports The Baltimore Sun's Julie Bykowicz. "'I find it very unusual that in the area where we're recognized as the best in the nation, that this is the one department that's not applying as aggressively as every other department has for these things,' O'Malley said" during a visit To The Sun.

OMalleysMarch.jpgO'Malley's March plows ahead
What Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) on Saturday described as "one of the largest snowfalls we've ever had" was not enough to keep his Celtic rock band from playing two shows Sunday to near-capacity crowds at the Rams Head Tavern in Annapolis, reports The Post's John Wagner.
Meanwhile, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Larry Hogan wrote on his Facebook page that he was "taking a short break from hours and hours of shoveling and sweating, now back is aching. Betcha Martin didn't do any digging out at the Governor's Mansion this morning. He's probably tired from staying out all night playing with his rock band. That's just one of our main differences, I'm a work horse and he's just a show pony."

In other snow-related news:

  • The federal government is closed Monday. Other closings can be found here.
  • Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Benjamin Cardin (D-Md.) had white-knuckle rides to work Saturday morning, reports our colleague Paul Kane.
  • Maryland's response to the snowstorm is not being hindered by state budget cuts, Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) said Saturday afternoon.
  • Briefly otherwise:

  • The police academy run by Prince George's Community College has been barred from conducting new police training classes until it can assure the state that it is providing proper instruction, reports The Post's Mary Pat Flaherty.
  • The legislature is bracing for a stark session, writes Liam Farrell in The Capital.
  • The year-end spending bill approved by Congress includes more than $113 million for earmarked projects by Maryland lawmakers, reports The Sun's Paul West.
  • Restrooms will be plentiful along the Metro's Silver line, writes The Post's Lisa Rein.
  • By John Wagner  |  December 21, 2009; 6:06 AM ET
    Categories:  First Click , John Wagner  
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Despite snow, O'Malley marches on
    Next: Best press release of the day: Dixon honors Zappa


    The Montgomery County, Calvert County and Prince Georges
    County district courts are all closed today. I had cases in all three.

    Posted by: robinficker | December 21, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

    who plays slots these days? vote on table games and texas hold'em if you want to make money......

    Posted by: CF11555 | December 21, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

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