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Annapolis notes

March 12, 2007|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Higher Ed commissioner persistent with HBC

As the Maryland Higher Education Commission debated Hagerstown Business College's request to offer four-year degrees, Commissioner James G. Morgan Jr. was particularly persistent.

At Thursday's meeting in Annapolis, Morgan pressed HBC President W. Christopher Motz about regional accreditation, making it more likely that HBC credits will be accepted at other schools.

"It's an issue to me," he said. "So, I want to know what you're going to do .... I don't want you to tell me something and not be prepared for me to show up at your home. Because I'm planning to be there. I go by it. I have a place in Deep Creek. I'll stop in and see ya."

Motz responded with an open-ended "welcome" to anyone on the commission who wants to visit Hagerstown.

Later, before the commission approved HBC's request, Morgan went on.

"You've got to talk to these corporate guys," he said, referring to HBC's parent company, "(and say) you got somebody that's really on their butt that's gonna hold you accountable."


As Motz spoke, Morgan cut in and asked, "Who's the president of your corporation?"

"Jeff Conlon," Motz said.

"I want his phone number sent to me," Morgan said.

These folks are on board

A handful of Washington Countians were added to boards and commissions last week.

First, the Maryland Senate Executive Nominations Committee recommended a lengthy list of appointments made by Gov. Martin O'Malley, including:

· Brien J. Poffenberger, of Sharpsburg, to a four-year term on the Maryland Historical Board of Trustees, which helps protect significant buildings, districts and artifacts.

· John R. Benchoff, Carroll H. Earp, Clyde J. Tate, Sharon L. Washington and Eileen W. Wiggins, all of Hagerstown, to four-year terms on the Washington County Board of Election Supervisors.

· Charles F. Mades, of Hagerstown, to a six-year term on the Washington County Board of License Commissioners, commonly known as the liquor board.

The state Senate formally approved the appointments Friday.

Not your average bill, part V

So, this bear walks along Baltimore's Inner Harbor ...

This, folks, isn't the lead-in to a joke. It's HB 1377, formally titled "Natural Resources - Black Bears - Establishment of Population in Each County."

True to its name, this Ursa Major piece of legislation would order that, by Oct. 1, 2014, "a black bear population is introduced into each county in the state."

"Honey, have you seen the new neighbors?!" urban wife says.

"Shhh! Don't say 'honey' so loud!" urban husband replies.

We can see it now: Smokey Bear leaving his Federal Hill row house, checking a paws-free BlackBeary wireless device on his hip as he pads over to a trendy bar - only to be shut out because there's an Indoor Smokey Ban, or something like that.

As long as metropolitan politicians have tried to end Western Maryland bear hunts, as has been proposed again this year, Western Maryland politicians have gotten ursine.

In past years, George C. Edwards, R-Garrett/Allegany/Washington, sponsored a similar bear-spreading bill in the House. Edwards is now in the Senate, so Del. Wendell R. Beitzel, R-Garrett/Allegany, took over stewardship.

With support from Washington County's Republican delegates - Robert A. McKee, LeRoy E. Myers Jr., Christopher B. Shank and Richard B. Weldon Jr. - as well as Democrat John P. Donoghue, the legislation is truly bear-partisan, er, bipartisan.

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