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Posted at 8:30 AM ET, 10/12/2010

Lori's A.M. Buzz: 'Five-O' pays off at U-Md.

By Washington Post editors
Washington Post editors

Good morning. It's a busy week in the Maryland governor's race. One debate down and another slated for later this week. We've got the details below. In other headlines: It's been a dangerous week for pedestrians in the area. There have been at least six incidents in Montgomery County alone in the last week. Whether you're driving, walking or biking, be sure to be careful out there. Now for the headlines.

Coming up.

Flip flop weather. It's going to feel a bit like summer today -- but in a nice way. The Capital Weather Gang says temperatures will be in the high 70's or low 80's with about a 20 to 30 percent chance of showers in the afternoon. It is indeed unseasonably warm (Dulles International Airport had record-breaking temperatures on Monday), but it is expected to cool off as we move through the week.

Ehrlich, O'Malley debate at The Post. It's already a busy week for the Maryland gubernatorial candidates, Robert Ehrlich and Martin O'Malley. On Monday, the pair faced off in their first debate of the campaign season (see analysis below). This Thursday, you'll have a chance to see them live and in person when they meet for a second debate at The Washington Post's downtown offices at noon. Here are details on how to get free tickets or how to watch via live webcast. Also we'll be live tweeting the debate. Follow the action on Twitter @wpdebates

And speaking of elections: Today is the deadline to register to vote in November's general election in Maryland and Virginia. In Maryland, where Democrat Martin O'Malley and Republican Robert Ehrlich are in a race to be the state's next governor, you can contact your county registrar of voters for more information. Here's a link to some basic answers about voting in Maryland from the state board of elections. In Virginia, you can also register to vote at your county registrar's office or at DMV offices throughout the state. Here's a link to information on voting in Virginia.

Today's headlines.

Concerns about pedestrian safety. It has been a very dangerous few days for pedestrians in the area. In Montgomery County alone, at least a half dozen people, including two children in strollers, have been involved in pedestrian accidents. Late Monday night, a woman walking on I-270 near Gaithersburg was struck and killed by a car and then an out-of-service Metrobus RideOn bus. Earlier on Monday, a child in a stroller was struck by a car near Sligo Creek Parkway and University Blvd, West. It was the second time in three days a child in a stroller had been hit by a vehicle in Montgomery County. A 14-year-old boy was struck by a Gaithersburg police cruiser on Monday. Also, police are investigating an incident in which two men were struck and killed early Sunday morning while attempting to cross Rockville Pike near Old Georgetown Road.

Lots of talk, few specifics. There were testy exchanges and lots of talk. But in the end, Republican Robert Ehrlich and Democrat Martin O'Malley offered generalities (they each support education and working families) but very few specifics for how -- as governor -- each would steer Maryland through these tough economic times. Both men are hoping to win a second term and at times their exchanges reflected their past history. This race, after all, is a rematch from 2006.

Mistaken identity? A voter's guide put out by the Montgomery County League of Women Voters accidentally labeled Republican gubernatorial candidate Robert Ehrlich as a Democrat. The League's co-president, Diane Hibino, said the mistake was corrected in online versions of the guide, but adds that there are no plans to correct the paper version. (The Gazette)

Metro and SmarTrip. It appears Metro officials may be close to deciding that they will cut the price of getting a plastic SmarTrip card after all. The transit agency said this summer it would drop the price of the plastic card from $5 to $2.50 at the end of August, but found the process to be a bit more complicated than anticipated. There were worries that WMATA would actually lose money on the deal. Now it sounds like officials have come up with a solution that will work. Riders will still pay $5 for the card, but it would come pre-loaded with a $2.50 credit. (The Examiner)

Other items.

A goodbye. Here's more about Carla Cohen, the co-founder of Politics and Prose, who helped turn a tiny independent bookstore into a Washington, D.C., institution. The community hub attracted presidents, prime ministers and policy wonks with a love for reading and debate. She died Monday at the age of 74.

Book 'em Danno. The University of Maryland has won the Hawaii Five-0 Marching Band Madness nation competition. Before you scoff, you should know it comes with a $25,000 cash prize. The band, dubbed the Mighty Sound of Maryland, won with a performance in which it first spelled out Hawaii Five-0, and then ''Book 'em Danno.'' Trust me: it's a sight to see. (A hat tip to Valerie Strauss at the Answer Sheet for the tip.)

Aloha! That's it for now. Thanks for reading and be sure to check back for more news and headlines throughout the day.

By Washington Post editors  | October 12, 2010; 8:30 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Loris AM Buzz, Maryland, Traffic and Transportation, Virginia  
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