December 14 // John Fairhall: Choosing profits over patients in Baltimore

Uncontrolled asthma keeps many kids from low-income communities out of school and their parents out of work, and in the worst cases puts them in the hospital — or the morgue. But it is among the most manageable diseases if patients are diagnosed, given medication (and education on how to use it), and empowered to live in environmentally-friendly homes. Yet two academic medical pillars in Baltimore — Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland Medical Center — have chosen profit over public health in the city’s poorer neighborhoods. (Balt. Sun)

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Nick Berry: Here's my bold plan for overdevelopment

Overdevelopment is unquestionably a really big issue in the city and county alike. In Annapolis, the poster child for the issue is the proposed Crystal Spring development. The uproar has centered on traffic congestion, loss of trees and overcrowding of schools. But Anne Arundel County has the same issues in Edgewater, Arnold, Severna Park and elsewhere. There is concern about traffic peril from cars brought by the new housing developments, not to mention weekend tourists and new businesses. The major problem is that lots of people want to move here. (Capital)

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Theater plans add to a long-running drama

At the end of the year, Compass Rose Theater will transplant its current production of "Fiddler on the Roof" — appropriately, a show that ends with its characters uprooted and hitting the road — to a newly leased structure on Forest Drive. But founder and Producing Artistic Director Lucinda Merry-Browne is looking beyond that. She wants Compass Rose Theater to have its own permanent 6,800-square-foot building, for which she already has artists' renderings. Whether she gets it may depend on the outcome of another episode in one of Annapolis' longest-running dramas: residents vs. developers. (Capital)

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December 13 // Laslo Boyd: A Gift for my Grandchildren

When I was three years old, my mother gave me an extraordinary gift. Against incredible odds, she got the two of us to this country after the communist regime in Hungary executed my father. Fortunately, there was no ban at that time preventing refugees escaping dangerous places from entering the United States. I have always been grateful for the privilege of living in a nation that values individual freedom and liberty and strives to be a democracy. (fromacertainpointofview)

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BLocal scratches the surface

The leaders of Johns Hopkins University and Health System and BGE showed desperately needed leadership last year when they recruited two dozen other big Baltimore businesses for an effort to boost the city’s economy by setting goals for increased spending with local, small, minority-owned firms. As we noted at the time, an increase of $69 million in spending with local construction firms and suppliers wouldn’t solve all the city’s problems, but it was a start. With no cohesive response to the social ills exposed by the 2015 riots coming from City Hall, somebody had to step up, and it was a testament to the cohesiveness and resilience of the city that such a private effort emerged. (Balt. Sun)

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Numbers show opioid epidemic hasn't peaked

Imagine the fury and alarm if terrorists took as many lives as are claimed by the national opioid epidemic. The current estimate is that about 90 Americans a day die from overdoses, roughly the same number as are killed in car crashes. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. And if the latest bleak numbers for Anne Arundel County are any indication, the problem hasn’t peaked. (Capital)

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Carl Snowden: 2017 was the year local activism reignited

As we approach the end of the year, I am amazed at just how much has happened in 2017. Besides the obvious change — Annapolis’ election of Mayor Gavin Buckley, which means a new first lady, Julie Williams Buckley — something else is happening: Activism is more intense than ever before. After President Donald Trump was elected last year, activism reignited, and has become more focused than ever before. Locally, new groups that have emerged include Action Annapolis, WISE, Showing Up for Racial Justice, Connecting the Dots, Coming to the Table, March on Maryland, the African Diaspora Identity Group and Anne Arundel Indivisible.These organizations — joined by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Caucus of African-American Leaders and the venerable NAACP — are energizing voters and citizens alike. (Capital)

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Rodricks: Zeke Cohen gets the Willie Don Bull-by-the-Horns Award

Nobody asked me, but ... back in the day, when William Donald Schaefer was mayor of Baltimore, he would have called James DeWees, the sheriff of Carroll County, immediately upon hearing of the sheriff’s fear-induced recommendation that Carroll public schools suspend field trips to the city because of the crime problems here. Schaefer took every knock against Baltimore personally, and he confronted critics. When he was governor of Maryland, he showed up, unannounced, in The Baltimore Sun lobby, looking for me, furious about something I had written. I know this because the officer at the security desk left the following message on my answering machine: “Mr. Rodricks, there’s a — what is your name, sir? — Governor Schaefer here to see you.” (Balt. Sun)

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