EDITORIAL: Is BGE fixing its aging underground gas lines fast enough?

Investigators won’t know for certain the cause of Monday’s fatal explosion in Reisterstown Station for weeks, perhaps months, yet. As devastating as it proved to be — killing at least two people, injuring seven others and turning three row homes to rubble — such disasters are mercifully uncommon; federal authorities reported about a dozen deaths from “significant” gas distribution incidents in all of last year. But what is far more common are leaky natural gas pipes, particularly in older cities such as Baltimore, which still have some antique cast iron infrastructure underground. (Balt Sun)

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Wen: Stop justifying school reopening based on false statements

Can people please stop saying that children don’t get sick from the coronavirus and don’t spread it? These statements are being used to justify school reopening, and they’re just not true. We heard this again from the president on Monday, but he’s not the only guilty party. If the goal is to safely return our children to schools for all the reasons that are important, we’ll need to build on what we know — so let’s start with that: First, children do get infected. (Wash Post)

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Rodricks: In Baltimore and across America, bills coming due for long neglected problems

Some days — and certainly more days than we want to admit — life in the United States seems fraught with more risks and worries than the people of a wealthy, advanced country ought to endure, and I’m not talking about the pandemic. I’m talking about problems that have been looming and ticking for a long time. Who among some 680,000 Baltimore-area customers of BGE feels safer today after Monday morning’s deadly explosion on Labyrinth Road? Who doesn’t wonder, given the recent history of leaks, about the state of the pipes that bring gas into our homes and businesses? (Balt Sun)

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EDITORIAL: The Purple Line is hanging by a thread. It should be rescued.

It's hard to overstate the financial, logistical and street-level disasters that would follow the collapse of Maryland’s $5.8 billion Purple Line project, years in the making and midway through construction through close-in suburbs north of D.C. A state judge made that very point late Monday in forbidding contractors from walking off the job Aug. 22, as they had threatened while the state and its private-sector partners haggle over a reported $755 million in cost overruns. (Wash Post)

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Dionne Jr.: Kamala Harris was the safest, most experienced and most tested choice Biden could make

The process was long and winding, but in the end, former vice president Joe Biden landed exactly where he was expected to from the very beginning. Sen. Kamala D. Harris of California was always the safest, most experienced and most tested choice Biden could make. Harris will create excitement as the first Black woman on a major-party ticket, but no ideological anxiety among middle-of-the road voters. Like Biden, she occupies the Democratic Party’s center ground. And she will raise no questions as to whether she is qualified to take over as president. (Wash Post)

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EDITORIAL: Efforts to close the wage gap are working

There is a piece of the American dream for everyone willing to work for it. Sadly, Black Americans find their piece to be a little smaller than that of their White neighbors. As the nation weathers a summer of social turmoil, a tool for erasing the economic component of racial disparity is already making a difference. The growing practice of refraining from using salary history in hiring decisions is helping to close the wage gap. Call it systemic racial recompense. (Wash Times)


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Zurawik: In the land of Madison Avenue, you would think we’d have an effective media messaging campaign on COVID-19 by now

Like a lot of Americans, I am downhearted about the lack of progress on COVID-19 this summer. As one of the good little boys and girls who wore a mask, social distanced and only went out when it was necessary to buy groceries or medications, I am also angry at those who didn’t. Here we are five months in with more than 5 million infections and more than 162,000 dead, and communities that have flattened the curve are seeing it rise again. Why can’t we tame this killer? (Balt Sun)

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El-Koshairi & Tusi: Vote against police reform in Baltimore CVote against police reform in Baltimore County disappointing

In a disappointing turn of events last week, the Baltimore County Council failed to pass an expansive and important police reform bill. By doing so, they sent the message that police chokeholds do not need to be banned, that our tax dollars can be wasted on lawsuit settlements and that our elected representatives in local government are not paying attention to our voices. Earlier this year, George Floyd’s horrific murder at the hands of police in Minneapolis exemplified an example of abuse of power by law enforcement toward people of color that unfortunately is not rare. (Balt Sun)

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