Rachel Micah-Jones: The other crisis in Maryland’s seafood industry

This week, The Sun reported on rumors that the Trump administration has plans to grant an additional 15,000 H-2B visas to workers abroad in order to address labor shortages, including those in Maryland’s seafood industry. Yet, our seafood industry has another long-standing and buried crisis to overcome: systemic labor abuses of H-2B workers. While guest-worker programs have played an important role in supporting communities on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border by providing job opportunities and sustaining businesses, they are also rife with abuses. Employers are begging for more migrant workers, and policymakers appear ready to comply. (Balt. Sun)

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Ray Leone: This election gives Anne Arundel County a vital chance to do better with its schools

Are you ready for an elected school board? With less than two months left before the primaries, I am finding that most folks do not know what that means or that the county Board of Education will now have electable seats. This year there are nonpartisan Board of Education races in four of the seven County Council districts; there will be elections in the other three in 2020. In each race, there will be a primary selecting two top candidates to move on to the general election. This is an essential change in the way we are represented on the Board of Education. (Capital)

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Tricia Bishop: Talking trash and trashing Baltimore

Pulling out of a parking spot at the Giant on 41st Street in Hampden this weekend with a car full of groceries, I was blocked by a sedan that had paused in the middle of the lane. Why? So the passenger could throw food wrappers out of her open window. It was all I could do to keep from getting out of my own car and tossing the trash back to her while screaming, “You dropped something!” (Balt. Sun)

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Mary Lou Murphy Quaid: My mother was the antagonist to the 'Catonsville Nine'

As I was driving around the Beltway coming home from my job as sixth-grade teacher at Pimlico Elementary School on May 17, 1968, news flashed from my car radio: “A group of protesters has stolen and burned draft files in the Selective Service office in Catonsville.” At that moment I realized life as I knew it would never be quite the same. My mother, Mary Murphy, was the chief clerk of the Catonsville Draft Board and the antagonist in the ongoing drama of what was later to be called the Catonsville Nine. (Balt. Sun)

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Pamela Wood: Reflections on Kevin Kamenetz from a reporter who covered him in Baltimore County

Kevin Kamenetz and I never saw eye-to-eye. That’s natural, of course, for an elected official and the beat reporter who covers him. If we became fast friends, could I have accurately and skeptically covered him? Still, I often can manage to strike a rapport with my sources and interview subjects. But with Kevin Kamenetz, I met my match. Kamenetz was smart, determined and always, always on message. His guard was always up, as if he didn’t want to get caught saying something off-message or off the cuff. (Balt. Sun)

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May 10 // Let White do her job

It is not often that we find ourselves agreeing with Baltimore County Board of Education member Kathleen Causey, but her observation Tuesday evening that the board was wasting its time by resubmitting Verletta White’s name to the state superintendent of schools in expectation that she will be approved as the county’s superintendent for the next four years — and not simply allowed to continue on an interim basis for another year — was spot on. The 8-4 decision by the Baltimore County school board feels just as symbolic and political as State Superintendent Karen Salmon’s rejection of Ms. White. Nothing has changed in the last week. Board members are simply digging in their heels; why shouldn’t they expect the state superintendent to do the same? (Balt. Sun)

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Free community college tuition law opens door for future success

Attending Carroll Community College — or any community college, for that matter — has always been a wise decision for high school graduates looking to continue their education without breaking the bank. In the years during and coming out of the recession, with many college graduates carrying loads of student debt, community colleges have offered a more economical experience. Now, thanks to Gov. Larry Hogan and the Maryland General Assembly, access to an affordable community college education will improve even more. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Christopher Muldor: Could a 'Red Line light' plan work in Baltimore?

Transportation is in a bad way in Baltimore. A few months ago, Maryland Sen. Bill Ferguson strongly criticized Baltimore City’s Department of Transportation for failing to submit a list of requests for transit projects to the state. Reconstruction and modernization of the Howard Street Tunnel has been put on hold by CSX. Traffic congestion is a persistent problem, and light rail ridership is among the weakest in the country. Many bus patrons have expressed displeasure with the bus system overhaul. The elephant in the room, however, continues to be the cancellation of the proposed Red Line and its aftermath. (Balt. Sun)

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