The Pimlico plan can be done

The Maryland Stadium Authority has the right idea for preserving the Preakness in Baltimore. It recognizes that the century of tradition associated with holding the second leg of the Triple Crown in northwest Baltimore cannot be abandoned but that year-round racing there cannot be revived. Instead, it envisions a viable plan for making Pimlico a year-round destination for everything from youth soccer and lacrosse games to drone races to high school proms while simultaneously integrating the site with the diverse neighborhoods and institutions to its north, south, east and west. (Balt. Sun)

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Investing in another NFL stadium is a bad deal for Maryland taxpayers

There are lots of reasons Maryland should support businesses that pay dividends to the state’s economy. Football just isn’t one of them. We strongly urge Gov. Larry Hogan not to put taxpayer funds or state resources into any plan that would support a new Washington Redskins stadium in Maryland. This is not a fan thing. It’s about economics. It’s just a bad investment. (Capital)

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Doug Colbert - Have a heart, Md. judges: Hold a pre-holiday hearing

While considerable work remains to repair Maryland’s pretrial justice system, there’s one sensible thing that judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys can do right now to make a significant difference in dozens of lives: take a close look at the incarcerated population awaiting trial to see who should be released before any more winter holidays pass. Why hold an additional pre-holiday hearing for arrestees who have already appeared at bail hearings before a District Court commissioner and then a reviewing judge within days following arrest? Let us count the ways. (Balt. Sun)

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December 13 // Hogan sets up a schools showdown

In campaigning for re-election, Gov. Larry Hogan often said he believed that all children deserved access to an excellent education regardless of where they live, and on Tuesday, he proposed doing something serious about it: a five-year, $1.9 billion commitment to funding a massive school construction program. There’s no question that far too many children in this state attend schools that are outdated, dilapidated or overcrowded (or all three), and as Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks noted during the governor’s announcement, the quality of school buildings sends a message to children about how much or little we value them. (Balt. Sun)

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Josh Kurtz: Is Hogan the Antidote to Trumpism?

A leading conservative thinker on Tuesday compared President Trump to a virus – but expressed cautious optimism that “the anti-bodies will emerge.” Could Maryland Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. be the cure? That’s certainly the hope of some center-right opinion leaders and policy experts who are disenchanted with Trump. They put Hogan’s particular brand of Republicanism on prominent display Tuesday at a daylong conference in Washington, D.C., titled “Starting Over: The Center-Right After Trump.” The event was sponsored by the Niskanen Center, a national think tank dedicated to “defending the open society.” (Md. Matters)

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History of sloppy management continues to drip out of City Hall

Drip, drip, drip. Revelations about questionable financing decisions continue to seep out of City Hall. The public has known for some time that Mayor Gavin Buckley paused construction of a new Public Works building on Spa Road in hopes of leveraging private investment to get something more than just a warehouse and workshop. So that explains why a portion of the $5.8 million in funds from city bonds issued for the project has gone unspent. If the mayor can pull off the deal with Bozutto, a homebuilder that owns property nearby, the city may get a bike network connecting the Forest Drive corridor with downtown and a public works building for the same price. (Capital)

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Chanté Coleman: Restoring the Chesapeake Bay: a decades-old bipartisan effort

Over the past two years, I have been asked the same question over and over again: “How are we able to continue to fund the Chesapeake Bay restoration effort in the current political climate?” This question has merit, since President Donald Trump’s first proposed budget completely eliminated the $73 million in funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Chesapeake Bay Program and other critical federal agency support. However, for the past two years, much to the surprise of many, we have been able to maintain the effort because the health of the Chesapeake Bay and its rivers and streams has always crossed political boundaries. (Balt. Sun)

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Jimmy DeButts: Anne Arundel school board is no place for childish antics

In a grown-up world, Eric Grannon would open Dec. 19’s Anne Arundel Board of Education meeting with an apology. Grannon’s actions during the Dec. 5 meeting were embarrassingly naive at best and politically motivated at worst. The Washington, D.C., attorney introduced — and received two more votes — to remove board President Julie Hummer from her leadership post. The idea was to promote Vice President Terry Gilleland to the top spot to give the board an experienced leader. A newly elected board member would then fill the vice president position in this scenario. The vote failed 4-3. Grannon’s follow-up suggestion — for Gilleland and Hummer to resign their leadership positions – was a better option. (Capital)

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