Peter Moskos: Baltimore’s police problems go beyond just a few criminals in uniform

It hurts to see Baltimore cops turn criminal, especially for me as a former resident and police officer. The conviction of two former members of the city’s Gun Trace Task Force on charges of robbery and racketeering does not end the problems in Baltimore or its police department. Six other members of the unit have already pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges, reflecting years of robberies, burglaries, intimidation and theft against drug dealers and honest working folk alike. During the trial, other officers were implicated in crimes. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

Michael Neibauer: With FBI decision, GSA is wasting an opportunity

What a waste. The joint decision of the General Services Administration and FBI to build a new FBI headquarters on the existing footprint of the J. Edgar Hoover Building amounts to wasted time, wasted tax dollars, wasted private investment and wasted opportunity. Five years of effort to relocate a new suburban FBI headquarters to the most qualified site — Greenbelt, Landover or Springfield — and the most qualified development team was trashed this week as the Trump administration opted to keep the nation’s chief law enforcement agency in D.C. proper. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

Read Full Article

Maurice Vann: Old, failed remedies won't reduce Baltimore crime

There is no denying that last year was a historically violent year in Baltimore. A shift in crime patterns meant that portions of the city not accustomed to high rates of crime saw increases in both crimes and arrests. The narrative around this increase in crime quickly focused on “out of control youth.” But the numbers tell a more complicated story. Over the past year, Baltimore experienced a slight rise in some but a decrease in other categories of youth arrests. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

A must-have

The questions sometimes are asked, “Why does Cumberland need a paid fire department? Why can’t the job be done with volunteers?” We found out “Why” in the early morning hours of Feb. 10 when two of the historic buildings behind the Allegany County Library building on Prospect Square were destroyed by fire. It took 125 firefighters, including Cumberland’s paid crews and volunteers from Allegany and Mineral counties, four hours to bring the fire under control. As closely packed as the buildings are in that area, the fact that only two buildings were lost is a tribute to their combined efforts. (Times-News)

Read Full Article

February 13 // Chaos overwhelms Pugh's 'narrative'

Mayor Catherine Pugh says the media — and in particular, this newspaper — is too negative, playing up any “I got you moment” it can find rather than describing the good things that are happening here. We suppose she means we should be covering things like the grassroots cabinet she has quietly assembled to connect people who work every day to build a stronger Baltimore with each other and city agencies, as we did on the front page of Monday’s paper. Or the recent improvements in violent crime rates, as in the story in the Sunday paper a couple of weeks ago that analyzed the statistics crime-by-crime to demonstrate that Mayor Pugh is right to say things have been trending in the right direction. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Cory McCray: Legislation aims to improve public safety in Baltimore

As I’ve knocked on thousands of doors and spoken with constituents over the past few months, one theme has consistently emerged: Baltimore residents do not feel safe in their city. This theme is one that crosses income, racial, gender and social lines. This fact, though disheartening, should not come as a surprise to our city and state political leaders. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Schuh touches off election-year debate over development

We’re not fans of government-by-moratorium, as it’s usually a tacit admission something has been allowed to get out of control and that public officials feel it is too risky to make the case-by-case decisions they were elected to make. Nonetheless, County Executive Steve Schuh’s proposal for a moratorium on up-zonings, presented to the County Council last week, is almost certain to pass. (Capital)

Read Full Article

Harry Covert: Boosting the city center

There are all kinds of pro and con opinions rampant in the Frederick community regarding the proposed downtown hotel and convention center. Many downtowns — usually the delightful centers for residents — provide the hearts and souls for vibrancy, pride and good shopping experiences. The same holds true for Frederick’s marvelous Market Street, burnished with nice stores and cuisines for all tastes. The long-discussed and planned complex is a welcomed addition to the already vibrant community. (News-Post)

Read Full Article