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Maryland

A New Head For MD’s IT Department, A Call For Baltimore To Boycott Florida, and Harbor Point

Maryland’s Department of Information Technology has a new leader; Isabel FitzGerald is taking the job over from Elliot Schlanger, who’s becoming the state’s Director of Cyber Security. Plus: the special legislative maneuvering necessary to get a Harbor Point financing bill to the Baltimore City Council, a call for Baltimore to boycott Florida in protest of the George Zimmerman verdict, and a look at what State Senator E. J. Pipkin’s resignation from the General Assembly will mean for the state legislature. Plus: the cost of having a baby in Baltimore, and the latest installment in our series “Rockets’ Red Glare” looks at how MD slaves seized the moment during the war of 1812. And more.

Mosby Calls For Florida Boycott: Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby is calling on Baltimore government to protest the George Zimmerman verdict in Florida. Mosby wants a boycott of Florida-based businesses by the City… and wants to stop city officials from traveling to Florida. The Councilman will offer a resolution to that effect on Monday of next week. Mosby tells the Baltimore Sun that he hopes the measure will encourage Florida lawmakers to reconsider the “stand your ground” law that allows people to use lethal force to defend themselves.

Harbor Point: Monday’s City Council meeting will also likely see a vote on some $107-million worth of tax increment financing for the Harbor Point development. But the Baltimore Sun reports that some special legislative maneuver will be needed for that to happen; that’s because Councilman Carl Stokes, who chairs the taxation committee, says he will not sign off on the legislation – which was approved by his committee earlier this week. Stokes had fought against the measures, and ultimately walked out as the vote was being held. Without his signature, special rules will need to be invoked to get the legislation to the full Council, but it appears that will happen. 

FitzGerald To Head State IT Department: Governor Martin O’Malley has appointed Isabel FitzGerald to be Maryland’s new Secretary of Information Technology. FitzGerald takes over from Elliot Schlanger, who’s becoming the state’s first ever director of cybersecurity. More online here.

Rockets’ Red Glare: In Maryland, the War of 1812’s dominant image is of Francis Scott Key writing down the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner as bombs burst over Baltimore Harbor. Less remembered is the image of slave families fleeing plantations for British ships in the middle of the night. As part of our series “Rockets’ Red Glare: The War, The Song, and Their Legacies,” WYPR’s Bret Jaspers reports on how Maryland slaves seized the moment during the war

What Pipkin Departure Means For Maryland General Assembly: WYPR's Fraser Smith and Joel McCord talk about State Senator E.J. Pipkin's decision to move to Texas and how this is a blow to both Maryland GOP and Democratic leaders. It’s this morning’s edition of Inside Maryland Politics

Gambling Revenue: The casino and lottery industries in Maryland generated nearly a billion dollars for the state's coffers during the fiscal year that ended June 30th. Traditional lottery sales actually went down a bit; the decrease was just over two-percent for the year. But casino revenue was way up, bringing the state’s total take from gambling up about 35 percent from fiscal 2012 to fiscal 2013. The Baltimore Sun has more here and the Capital Gazette has more here

The Cost Of A New Baby: Having a baby in Baltimore is likely to set you back nearly $26-thousand in the child's first year. That’s just under the average cost for the first year of life in the 40 cities profiled in a new ranking by real estate listings service Redfin. Factoring in things like housing, healthcare, and baby items, the survey found Baltimore’s estimated $25,600 price tag for baby’s first year to be $400 below the national average. The most expensive city for a new baby was San Jose, with an estimated cost of nearly 42-thousand dollars in the first year. 

The Lines Between Us: On today’s edition of “The Lines Between Us,” a panel of parents will tell us why they decided to send their children to city public schools. In this morning’s preview, we heard from Sheilah Ebelein of northeast Baltimore on the options she felt she had for her daughter.

Baltimore Football: the Ravens beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the first game of the pre-season; yesterday’s score was 44 to 16.

Baltimore Baseball: the Orioles continue their western tour; they’ll kick off a three-game series with the San Francisco Giants tonight.