Editorial: Baltimore can’t afford to leave any more money on the table

In 2017, Baltimore City failed to collect a quarter million dollars in parking fines because it didn’t update its citations to reflect a higher fee. In 2018, a state audit revealed that Baltimore City Circuit Court (for the fourth time in 10 years) didn’t collect overdue fines and fees that by then totaled $11 million. In 2019, we learned that Baltimore City neglected to enforce $2.3 million in water bills from the owner of the Ritz Carlton Residences condominiums. (Balt, Sun)

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Schwartz: Baltimore crime and how the media contributes to negative perceptions

I was at a suburban holiday party before Christmas and began telling several people about my work as a high school teacher in Baltimore. As I sipped my beer, the conversation quickly turned to the topic of crime in the city. Murders, robberies, car jackings, squeegee boys. Two people said they refuse to go into the city. I remarked that out of the dozens of teenagers I see at school each day, none are violent criminals, nor are any of them on the way to becoming ones as far as I can tell. In fact, most are great kids: thoughtful, kind, ready to learn. (Balt. Sun)

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Our Say: Anne Arundel school system needs leadership on later start times

We remain skeptical that pushing back start times for Anne Arundel County Public Schools will be the panacea its advocates claim. But we could not agree more with Melissa Ellis. It is time to settle this debate. The Board of Education member successfully advocated this week for finally deciding better sleep for high school students is worth the expense and disruption involved in further shifting start times back. (Cap. Gazette)

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Editorial: Maryland’s quest for crab pickers underscores how immigrants boost U.S. economy

Recently, Gov. Larry Hogan fired off a letter to the federal labor secretary and acting homeland security secretary requesting that they take “immediate action” to increase the number of visas the U.S. provides to temporary foreign workers. The 33-year-old program, formally titled the H-2B Nonimmigrant Temporary Worker Program, has been vital to the Eastern Shore’s seafood processing houses for a generation. Immigrants, usually women and usually from Latin America, arrive each spring to turn steamed crabs into hand-packed tubs of crab meat. (Bakt, Sun)

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Salwan: Let’s make sure police don’t use drug safe consumption sites to target black people for arrest.

It has been several years since a bill to create safe consumption sites for people who use drugs to do so under medical supervision was first introduced into the Maryland General Assembly. These facilities are expected to open soon in Philadelphia after a recent court victory, and it won’t be long before they come to Maryland too. It is no longer a question if safe consumption sites will come to the state and Baltimore, but when. And when they do, policymakers ought to ensure that all who use them enjoy equal access as well as protection from criminal charges for minor drug possession — especially black and brown people affected by mass incarceration. (Balt. Sun)

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The world is better prepared for the coronavirus threat. But we remain tragically vulnerable.

Health authorities’ concern about the new coronavirus in China, with cases spreading in Asia and as far as the United States, deepened Wednesday with news that the Chinese government plans to shut down transportation from Wuhan, a city of 11 million people that is considered ground zero of the pneumonia-like virus. After the outbreak began in December, the Chinese government for weeks portrayed it as a problem largely restricted to Wuhan, in the Hubei province. Infections have since been found in the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macao, and in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan — as well as in this country in Washington state. (Wash. Post)

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Waldman: Why every vulnerable GOP senator will stick by Trump

While there are no Democrats who seriously believe the necessary 20 Republican senators will vote to remove President Trump from office, there’s hope that a smaller number — four, or five, or six — might join with Democrats to make Trump’s impeachment trial more comprehensive. Perhaps some of those vulnerable Republicans up for reelection would vote to subpoena witness testimony and documents, if they’re worried enough about November’s election to locate their consciences. On the surface, it seems like a plausible idea. Unfortunately, political reality makes it all but impossible, in a way that reveals a great deal about what the upcoming election will be like. (Wash. Post)

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Stevenson: Ignorance on purpose

One of the objectives in teaching philosophy is to assist the student in increasing their thinking skills, so that they may better access truth through reason and avoid oft-skewed thinking that is primarily fueled by emotion. This does not mean that reasoning indoctrinates one toward a certain view or thought about something, necessarily. Rather, it helps one not be irrational in whatever view is embraced. An idea or an opinion that is void of reason and ignores what is factual is not necessarily right or wrong, but moronic. Sure, emotions are real, but wisdom requires that fervors of personal interest be under the guidance of that which is thoughtful and reasonable. (Herald-Mail)

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