Tom Walters: As a delegate, I plan to vote my conscience

Why am I running for House of Delegates in District 30B? I have been asked that by several people who wonder why someone would go through potential character attacks and mudslinging for a part-time job. One person even said that I did not seem like an egomaniacal narcissist — traits that person considered ubiquitous in politics. Well, I agree, so if that’s what you are looking for, then I’m not your candidate. (Capital)

Read Full Article

May 18 // Warning signal on state economy

Another amber warning signal is blinking persistently for this region’s economy, and business and political leaders will ignore it at our peril. It is a little too easy to look at the overall headlines coming out of the April report from an economic institute in Northern Virginia and conclude we are gliding down the highway. The good news first: The Stephen S. Fuller Institute at George Mason University reported that the Washington region is doing well economically. It said indicators suggest that growth should continue through at least the third quarter of 2018. The bad news, at least for our community and Maryland as a whole? Most of that growth is occurring in Virginia. (News-Post)

Read Full Article

Mark O’Brien: A blueprint for stemming overdose deaths in Maryland

If a plane crashed every day in America, killing everyone on board, we would be talking of little else. Americans would react to the horror with a sincere desire to identify the causes of the problem and deliver solutions. It’s how we tend to respond to preventable tragedies. The equivalent of those plane crashes is happening today as overdoses have risen to become the leading cause of death for those under 50, killing 174 people every day in America — nearly 64,000 of them in 2016, enough to empty the entire population of Frederick, our state’s second largest city. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

How to keep Preakness at Pimlico

Saturday’s race won’t be the last time the Preakness Stakes is run at Pimlico, but it could be the second to last unless Maryland’s leaders get their acts together on a plan to preserve an irreplacable part of Baltimore’s history and culture, not to mention a major economic driver for a community that desperately needs it. The Stronach Group, which owns Pimlico, has committed to keep the race there at least through next year, but unless something happens, there’s every indication that they will try to move it to their other Maryland track, Laurel Race Course, in 2020. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Don't exempt Mayor Pugh from fundraising rules

Mayor Catherine Pugh’s willingness to beg, plead and cajole businesses and individuals to support key city priorities is one of our favorite things about her. She insists that everyone be a part of Baltimore’s revival, sometimes by asking them to contribute their effort and sometimes by asking them to contribute money. She doesn’t let the city’s limited funds limit her vision, and she doesn’t easily take no for an answer. Whether it’s the mobile job vans that she pitched during her campaign or buses to help city kids attend an anti-gun violence march in D.C., her advocacy has helped Baltimore do more than its tax base might otherwise allow. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Are gift cards for teacher purchases of school supplies the best we can do?

It’s an abiding mystery of our nation’s school systems — so abiding that not much has changed since we wrote this 16 years ago: “Imagine what would happen to recruitment and morale at a restaurant that had to consider asking all its employees to pitch in to buy food for the larder or silverware for the tables … Or at a newspaper that had to seriously consider passing the hat among its workers to buy newsprint and ink for the printing press. If such things actually happened, they would be taken as signs that the business or institution involved was on the edge of collapse.” (Capital)

Read Full Article

Brian Griffiths: Maryland needs a General Assembly special session to clear the way for sports betting

On Monday we learned of an important decision on gambling in our country. New Jersey had brought a case to the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a 1992 law barring states — except those with pre-existing gambling laws — from allowing gambling on sporting events. In essence, this meant that Nevada was the only state allowed to offer betting on single-game sporting events. The Supreme Court decision returns federalism to the sports gambling landscape, reserving to the states the power to determine how to regulate gambling within their boundaries. But if you think sports betting will be coming to Maryland anytime soon, think again. (Capital)

Read Full Article

Chrystal Okonta: Interns add value, companies should pay them

The world of internships is a harsh one. I am getting a specialized degree in public health, so positions in my field are limited, with many qualified applicants vying for relatively few spots. And the application process is grueling. It’s practically a full-time job in itself — on top of going to school full time and working part time. The biggest shock for me, though, was finding out that many internships are unpaid. I am investing a significant amount of time and money into my graduate degree. I have education bills — and I have to eat. How can I be expected to comfortably accept unpaid work for the summer and beyond? (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article