Baltimore needs a Ceasefire, now more than ever

This weekend’s Baltimore Ceasefire isn’t coming a moment too soon. The fragile optimism that Baltimore felt as last year’s record violence ebbed during the first few months of 2018 cracked in April as an apparent string of retaliation killings brought us back to a murder a day, and it has threatened to break completely this month with the killings of 17-year-old City College standout Ray Antwone Glasgow III and another, still unidentified teen on the basketball court of a Southwest Baltimore recreation center. Baltimore’s violence has no greater allies than hopelessness, despair and cynicism. We need this Ceasefire Weekend to remind us that we can choose hope, strength and love instead, that we all can believe in the possibility of a better future, and we all must act on that belief. (Balt. Sun)

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Allison Pickard: I can help make Anne Arundel County Council District 2 better for all its residents

It has been my sincere privilege to raise my family in Anne Arundel County Council District 2, the communities of Glen Burnie, Millersville and Severn. Our community is vibrant, historic and strong. But it is also a place of unrealized potential. I am running to serve as your representative on the County Council in order to make District 2 a better place for everyone. (Capital)

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Peroutka allows Grasso's vendetta against liquor board to drag on

The barring of the county liquor board from the County Council chambers — merely because of one councilman’s vendetta against the panel — has now dragged on for almost a year. That’s at least 51 weeks too long. Last year, when John Grasso was chairman of the County Council, the Glen Burnie Republican was calling for a clean sweep of the membership of the Board of License Commissioners. Instead Gov. Larry Hogan listened to recommendations from senior Democrats in the county’s state Senate delegation and reappointed John G. Warner, a Republican who had been on the board since 2003. (Capital)

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Rory Kress: Md. puppy mill law won't stop internet sales

Last month, Maryland made history by becoming the second state to ban commercially-bred dogs from being sold at pet shops. By and large, these dogs come from USDA-licensed breeders, a fact that pet industry defenders cling to as they fight this new law. And while there are only about a half-dozen pet shops selling these dogs in Maryland, the issue remains significant. (Balt. Sun)

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May 9 // Who wants to run this ‘exceptionally messy’ school system?

“Who is going to want to step into this with all of the drama?” That’s what Lori Morrow, a mother of two students who attend Prince George’s County schools, asked in the wake of the decision by embattled schools chief Kevin M. Maxwell to leave office. It’s a good question given the educational challenges facing the system and how politics tend to chew up the county’s school leaders. (Wash. Post)

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What would happen if Maryland's ACA marketplace collapsed and what we can do about it

Maryland’s Affordable Care Act insurance exchange is, in the estimate of CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield CEO Chet Burrell, in the “advanced stages of a death spiral.” That may understate the case a bit. It’s not just the Obamacare exchange that could collapse if the Trump administration doesn’t promptly approve a bipartisan plan to stabilize premiums; Maryland’s entire health insurance system could be at risk. The proposed rate increases, ranging from 18.5 percent to 91.4 percent for various plans offered by CareFirst and Kaiser, Maryland’s only two insurers on the exchange, affect a relatively small number of people, just 154,000 out of the state’s 6 million total population. (Balt. Sun)

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Carl Snowden: Issues of racism in Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Maryland government must be dealt with

Tuesday’s meeting of the Caucus of African-American Leaders at the Wiley H. Bates Legacy Center dealt with two contentious issues that have received wide coverage in the media. On Feb. 13 The Capital reported that a formal complaint was filed with Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn alleging racism and bullying at the State Highway Administration. Responding to complaints he received from his constituents on this matter, House of Delegates Speaker Michael E. Busch wrote to Secretary Rahn, in a letter dated Feb. 15, that the allegations of bullying and disparate treatment were "extremely alarming and must be investigated immediately." That was almost 90 days ago. (Capital)

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Betsy Nicholas, Ted Evgeniadis: Conowingo Dam cleanup should require specific measures

When planning for an emergency, you generally plan for the worst-case scenario. Ships need to carry enough life boats for every passenger, not just a few. Fire regulations call for smoke detectors in every bedroom, not just one per floor. Vehicle safety ratings are tested for full-speed collisions, not just fender-benders. We should expect the same for environmental regulations. Unfortunately, a recent decision by the Maryland Department of the Environment concerning the Conowingo Dam does not follow the same rationale. (Balt. Sun)

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