The right reversal by the FOP

In March, the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office launched a new policy requiring city officers to answer a questionnaire regarding past misconduct. In turn, the Fraternal Order of Police's Baltimore lodge advised its officers not to answer these questions submitted by the state because defense counsel, in criminal cases, are provided with a disclosure from prosecutors that reads in part: ¨The State has sought information from (named officers), in an effort to determine if Giglio material exists that the State would be obligated to disclose. The above-mentioned Officers refused to provide the information.¨ (Daily Record)

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Dana Stein: As weather worsens, we must double down on Chesapeake Bay protection

There’s an old saying about the weather: What would we talk about without it? These days, there's no shortage of weather-related topics to discuss. Western states have grappled with fierce wildfires, including one that has killed eight people in California and another that closed Yosemite National Park. Several countries in Europe also have battled wildfires, from Greece to Sweden and Latvia. In the eastern U.S., we have faced threats from another element of nature — water. The month that just ended was the wettest July in Baltimore's history. As The Sun reports, several other rainfall records were also set. (Balt. Sun)

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Josh Mazer: Maryland should be upfront about HPV vaccinations for children

I sincerely appreciate the dedicated efforts by our state and county health officials to keep my family safe from controllable risks. A properly administered, robust vaccine policy is instrumental in promoting the public welfare. I am concerned, however, about the marketing strategies being used statewide to aggressively promote Merck’s HPV vaccine. (Capital)

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August 14 // Maryland's toxic cultures

Someday someone will surely invent an aghast-o-meter to measure the outrage felt as we watched a single officer appear to contradict everything the Baltimore Police Department, city leaders, federal authorities and just about anyone connected to police reform have been talking about since the death of Freddie Gray, more than three years ago. The bystander-recorded video clip of a newly minted Baltimore police officer pummeling a man Saturday — because he supposedly talked back and refused to hand over identification during a “crime suppression” detail — revealed to the nation in a matter of seconds that little has changed in the BPD. (Balt. Sun)

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Jimmy Mathis: Despite positive polls, Larry Hogan may not be a shoo-in for re-election

The general consensus for months has been that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican in a blue state, is a shoo-in to win a second term. Some polls rank him as the second most popular governor in the entire country. And, according to an April Goucher poll, Mr. Hogan is not only leading the Democrats in overall popularity, but he is also dominating them in almost every subcategory, with voters saying they have more confidence in him than other Democrats on key issues including the state budget, crime, taxes, economic development, and transportation and infrastructure. (Balt. Sun)

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Anne Arundel must work harder to gain trust in stormwater enforcement

When is rain newsworthy? When it sets records in July. When it washes sea nettles out of the Chesapeake Bay. When it comes rolling down bearing waves of debris through the Conowingo Dam and winds up on our shores. Certainly, the rain is newsworthy when environmentalists make a convincing case that it reveals a lack of oversight of stormwater control measures in Anne Arundel County and Annapolis. We’ve seen our share of brown water coming down around construction sites in this county for years. Now a group of two dozen community groups and environmentalists called on County Executive Steve Schuh to better regulate construction sites throughout Anne Arundel County. (Capital)

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Deborah Simmons: Who's minding NCAA student-athletes?

Joe Paterno. Lefty Driesell. Rick Pitino. Bobby Knight. DJ Durkin. It’s darn near impossible for a college or university head coach to know what his coaches and players are up to 24/7. That hardly offers a break, however, to University of Maryland football coach DJ Durkin. Jordan McNair, 19, fell ill on the field during practice and died nearly a month later. Over the weekend, we received word that his grieving family has hired an attorney, the notable Billy Murphy, for possible legal action. While the family ponders its actions, Maryland authorities must make the right move if Coach Durkin doesn’t do it himself. Coach Durkin must go. (Wash. Times)

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Alison Cullinane: Demand truthful discussion about taxes and the cost of living here

No one can fail to notice the red flags on taxes that have popped up lately in our city and county governments or the related debate about what constitutes proper priorities for spending that money. Even though the tax rates are now decided, this is an election year, and the debate should not stop. I am hopeful that we can get past the knee-jerk reactions in this discussion. Here's why we need to try. There are realities to our government finances that are not generally acknowledged but cannot be avoided. (Capital)

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