August 17 // Drunk driving vigilance

Maryland residents might be forgiven for feeling momentarily cheered by a brief news item that appeared in The Baltimore Sun this week heralding the state’s positive ranking in alcohol-impaired driving deaths. The study by SafeWise, an organization best known for its online reviews of safety and home security systems, reported that Maryland ranked 43rd in the nation when analyzing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics from 2016 for drunk driving deaths per 100,000 people. In other words, the state has far fewer deaths relative to its population then the vast majority of states. (Balt. Sun)

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Off-track betting coming back to Frederick

The Maryland Jockey Club has announced plans to put a new off-track betting parlor in the restaurant at the Clarion Inn and Conference Center near Francis Scott Key Mall. It seems like a good location for a gambling business, away from residential neighborhoods, churches and schools, adjacent to Interstates 270 and 70, and with plenty of parking. If approved by the Maryland Racing Commission, the hotel’s existing restaurant would be converted into a sports bar, and that will be the home of the gambling center. (News-Post)

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Jimmy DeButts: Bumper sticker rhetoric no way to solve Linthicum light rail quandary

Shutter Royal Farms on Camp Meade Road. No more panhandlers. Problem solved. You are welcome, Linthicum. Wouldn’t it be great if all issues were so easy to fix?  But wait, won’t panhandlers just move down the light rail line to the next convenience store or shopping center? Right. Better close those businesses, too. Pause. Breathe. We understand many in the Linthicum community blame the light rail for frequent episodes of public urination, prostitution and persistent panhandling. They want it shut down. The best answer isn’t the always simplest. Often, long-term fixes to complex problems require a multi-pronged approach. (Capital)

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Vandana Sinha: University of Maryland football scandal should spark a new movement

It’s hard not to be sickened by the descriptions of student abuse being reported about University of Maryland’s football program. It’s equally hard not to wonder if such behavior is more universal than we think. If behind the closed locker doors of other testosterone-bathed college football programs, players are routinely compared to ineffectual felines for failing to run as fast, throw as hard or lift as much as the trainers think they should. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Brian Griffiths: Busch's abortion amendment shows Democratic weakness

House Speaker Mike Busch made news recently that shows just how weak Maryland’s Democrats have become. The Annapolis Democrat announced that he will make it one of his legislative priorities to introduce an amendment to Maryland’s constitution that would guarantee a right to an abortion. Abortion is, sadly, protected in Maryland in part because of legislation passed by the Democratic supermajority in the General Assembly, legislation that was passed over the objection of pro-life Democrats. (Capital)

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July 16 // David A. Plymyer: The blue code of silence is what’s crippling the BPD

Getting rid of Officer Arthur Williams was the easy part for the Baltimore Police Department. The video of his vicious beating of Dashawn McGrier was the single most convincing evidence of police brutality that I have ever seen. Williams resigned because his termination was a foregone conclusion. It is what the department does with the unnamed officer seen in the video who was with Williams that will tell us much more about the BPD and where it is headed. And the remarks on Monday about the unnamed officer by Interim Police Commissioner Gary Tuggle got that process off to a bad start. (Brew)

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A football player died on Maryland’s watch. Something needs to change.

By all accounts, Jordan McNair had a bright future ahead of him. A redshirt freshman who was a kinesiology major at the University of Maryland and an offensive linesman for the football team, he was described as a “humble and genuine human being” who “always had a smile on his face.” But his life was tragically cut short after he collapsed of heatstroke during a team workout on May 29 and died in a hospital 15 days later. According to medical records reviewed by The Post, Mr. McNair began suffering a seizure approximately 45 minutes into a team workout. Though he exhibited the symptoms of heatstroke, training staff did not take his temperature or immerse him in cold water as they should have done immediately. (Wash. Post)

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News media won't back down under pressure from president

Last week, The Baltimore Sun’s editorial board, like many editorial boards across the country, received a message from The Boston Globe asking us to join with them and “publish an editorial on August 16 on the dangers of the [Trump] administration's assault on the press.” “This dirty war on the free press must end,” the message read, calling “for urgent action by those committed to free speech and the free press to stand against a White House and its allies who are bent on eroding a pillar of an informed democracy.” Our emotions, to say the least, were mixed. (Balt. Sun)

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