Maryland should put power in the hands of communities

The lack of concrete federal action on climate change leaves the great responsibility to state and local governments to stave off climate chaos. The burning of fossil fuels to generate electricity remains a key driver of climate change. Burning coal and natural gas creates significant risks to the long-term health and safety of our communities. Rapidly reducing greenhouse gases and transitioning to 100 percent clean, renewable energy will not only reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, helping to stabilize the climate, but it also will improve public health through reductions in harmful pollutants and save ratepayers money. (Wash. Post)

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Critical school poverty rate miscalculated in Md; here's how to fix it

A school’s poverty rate determines everything from funding allocations and staffing to free buses for field trips and up to $14,000 in federal loan forgiveness for individual teachers. Poverty rates are used for accountability systems and to compare school and district performance. Poverty rates even determine which schools receive fresh fruits and vegetables from the federal government. With so much riding on the poverty rate, the data has to be trusted and sound. But poor children in Baltimore City are being undercounted. (Balt. Sun)

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It's about time Maryland banned teen tanning beds

There’s plenty of science that links tanning beds and the ultraviolet light they emit to an increased risk of skin cancer. But when you’re 16 and looking for a way to get that summer glow, you don’t want to hear the latest research on why that might not be such a good idea. Sometimes teenagers have to be saved from themselves, and after years of attempts, the Maryland General Assembly has come the closest ever to doing that when it comes to tanning beds. Both Maryland’s Senate and House of Representatives have passed bills that would prohibit those under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning devices in the state. (Balt. Sun)

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Study: Altruism warms the heart - and the body

January’s polar vortex phenomenon may seem like long ago now that we’ve sprung our clocks forward and begun in earnest to search for yellow buds on forsythia or green nobs dotting leafless trees. But the frigid temperatures earlier this month reminded me of that wintry arctic blast — in particular one news item that brought a touch of warmth to that bleak picture. Depleted gas resources in Michigan, caused by a fire in an energy plant, threatened a gas shortage amid frigid temperatures. (Balt Sun)

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Md. should reject federal Title X family planning funds

During the past two years, the Trump-Pence administration has launched a full-out assault on women's reproductive health care. The long anticipated "Gag Rule,” published in the Federal Register on March 4, 2019, effectively dismantles Title X — the only federal program dedicated to providing low-income patients, including adolescents, access to family planning and preventive health services and information. In order to protect and preserve the integrity of women’s health care, the Maryland General Assembly could make Maryland the first state in the country to reject millions in Title X federal family planning dollars and end Maryland’s participation in the Title X program. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore county school board should release audit

I find it interesting that there has been such sudden interest in the results of the Baltimore County Public Schools audit. First from the county executive (“Baltimore County Executive Olszewski wants school board audit released to the public ... and to him,” Mar. 11) and now from six of the seven members of the County Council, all except Wade Kach (“Baltimore County Council members urge school board to release audit,” Mar. 15). This audit was called for and should have begun long before, but the majority of the members of the previous board of education stalled and delayed (“Release the Baltimore County Public School audit,” Mar. 12). (Balt. Sun)

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Muslims embraced us Jews when we were slain at worship. Now we must support them.

When I saw the news from New Zealand Friday, the cracks in my heart widened. Another act of terrorism. Another act of hate. I know something of what the Christchurch community is going through because less than five months ago, my community went through something similar. On Oct. 27, a terrorist murdered 11 members of my synagogue in Pittsburgh. On Friday, within hours of waking up, the staff at Tree of Life in Pittsburgh convened. Congregants began calling and emailing each other. We needed to organize. (Wash. Post)

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Higher wage would help workers, businesses

In its March 12 editorial (“Settle for $12.10”) the Times-News presents a false argument. It portend that the $15 minimum wage, is the culprit for “possible consequences” in our rural area. The real culprit is the minimum wage not keeping up with inflation. If a reasonable national minimum wage had been kept in place all along, the inflationary aspects of wages and prices would have already been baked into the economy. The needless suffering of wage earners, as well as small businesses, would have been avoided and we would not be at this critical juncture. (Times-News)

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