Governor livens room, seeks guesses on bonds rates

March 05, 2007|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

With bids about to come in on $325 million in state bonds, Gov. Martin O'Malley livened the room Wednesday by taking predictions.

Hearing that the recent range of interest rates has been 3 percent to 7 percent, O'Malley asked for a show of hands at a crowded Board of Public Works meeting.

Higher than 4 percent? None.

Lower than 4 percent? Many.

"This'll be like the Orioles game," he said.

He pointed to specific administration officials and asked for their guesses.

As the clock ticked down the waning seconds before the bidding deadline, O'Malley wondered if he was tainting the process. "Am I allowed to say this or are they listening in on this? Does this become insider trading?"

A moment later, he joked about about a crackdown: "Eliot Spitzer comes knocking."

Spitzer, the new governor of New York and a fellow Democrat, was tagged with the nickname "Sheriff of Wall Street" for cracking down on big businesses while he was attorney general for the state.


For those scoring at home, John Porcari, Maryland's acting transportation secretary, won the guessing game by predicting 3.8 percent.

The exact winning bid for the state's bonds was 3.862736 percent by Citigroup Global Markets Inc., edging six other bidders.

These teachers are certified

In Annapolis on Feb. 21, the Maryland State Teachers Association saluted those who completed a voluntary certification process.

To get national board certification, "teachers must show knowledge of subject matter, demonstrate the ability to effectively teach specific subjects to students and manage and measure student learning," according to the MSTA.

Maryland's newest class of certified teachers included, from Washington County Public Schools:

· Kris Pearl, a student achievement specialist at Emma K. Doub Elementary School

· Lori Ridgely, a sixth-grade English/language arts teacher at Western Heights Middle School

· Alicia Robertson, an earth and space science teacher at Smithsburg High School

· Jena Staley, an eighth-grade math teacher at Northern Middle School

· Mary Ward, an art teacher at Clear Spring Middle School

The list also includes Mary Rogers of Hagerstown, who works in Frederick County.

Not your average bill, part IV

You can't swing a lobbyist in Annapolis without hitting a bill to create a task force.

Here's one that lawmakers couldn't possibly squabble over without triggering a wave of irony:

Del. Doyle L. Niemann, D-Prince George's, has proposed a Task Force to Promote Nonviolent and Peaceful Ways to Resolve Conflict - with state lawmakers on it, no less.

Sen. Gwendolyn T. Britt, D-Prince George's, filed the same version in the Senate.

Knowing our style, Annapolis Notes fans probably are bracing for a quip here about Del. Mary Ann Love, D-Anne Arundel.


Instead, we suggest two particular legislators to serve on the task force: Del. Peter A. Hammen, D-Baltimore City, and Del. Peter F. Murphy, D-Charles.

Granted, some might be skeptical.

But all we are saying ... is give the Petes a chance.

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