The Cybersecurity 202: Baltimore's slow recovery shows far-reaching consequences of ransomware

Baltimore still isn’t able to provide basic city services two weeks after a powerful ransomware attack. And a full recovery may take months, Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young says. The damage includes police surveillance cameras that are shut down and utilities payment systems that were forced offline. Broad phone and email outages are also forcing city workers to do what work they can with personal laptops and email accounts, Ars Technica’s Sean Gallagher reports. Baltimore’s real estate market was effectively shut down for two weeks, leaving people unable to buy or sell homes before the city developed a paper-based workaround Tuesday, the Baltimore Sun’s Ian Duncan reports. (Wash. Post)

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Balt. Co. superintendent: Promising choice, horrible process

Darryl L. Williams gets high marks from his co-workers in Montgomery County Public Schools, Maryland’s largest school system and one of its best. He is a career Maryland educator with experience as an assistant principal, principal and, most recently, an area associate superintendent supervising 67 schools. But perhaps most important, he is widely seen as someone of integrity, a quality that should serve him well in his new job as superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools. (Balt. Sun)

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Thanks to Maryland, the entire DMV region is a giant nanny state

On May 13, Gov. Larry Hogan, R-Md., signed legislation raising the legal age for buying tobacco products to 21. Maryland now stands among neighbors, such as the District of Columbia and Virginia, as well as states such as New York and California in its embrace of the nanny state. The new policy is a mistake. Raising the smoking age fails to improve public health, sends a harrowing message about maturity and adulthood to those under 21, and gives the tobacco industry an opportunity to protect themselves from meaningful reforms. (Examiner)

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Instead of Banning Polystyrene Foam, Enhance State’s Ability to Recycle It

Our company has provided jobs and opportunities in Maryland for more than 44 years. Today, we operate a manufacturing facility in Federalsburg and distribution centers in Hampstead and Havre de Grace employing more than 700 hard-working Marylanders. Aside from providing good manufacturing jobs for our employees, here in the USA, and contributing to the state and local tax base, we proudly help to keep the community clean by volunteering for roadside cleanups around our facilities. We are Dart Container Corp., a family-owned manufacturer of a broad range of plastic, paper and compostable to-go containers. (Md. Matters)

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Johns Hopkins should stop suing poor people

Johns Hopkins Hospital is under a harsh spotlight again for taking some of its poorest and most vulnerable patients to court over $4.8 million in unpaid medical bills since 2009. The medical institution was first criticized for this practice in 2008 after a Baltimore Sun investigation unveiled the practice, leading to reforms in state regulations. Now a new analysis by the AFL-CIO, National Nurses United and the Coalition for a Humane Hopkins has found the medical system is back to its old ways, targeting people with limited means even more aggressively than in the past. (Balt. Sun)

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Of stadiums and slumlords

Earlier this month, Hagerstown made some big back-to-back headlines. First came the release of a consultant report that — surprise! — supported a long-favored downtown location for a publicly financed baseball stadium. The next day, a city council member equated Jonathan Street “slumlords” to rapists, drawing rebukes from other council members, but only for using language that went too far. I write this not to chastise Councilman Austin Heffernan, who made the comparison, nor his colleagues who, despite criticizing his specific words, shared his frustration over, to quote Councilwoman Emily Keller, “the destruction that some people have done to our community by trying to make money.” (Herald-Mail)

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We need action on infrastructure, not more talk

More than half a century ago, Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower and a Democratic-majority Congress empowered millions of Americans to build an interstate highway system that became the envy of the world. Back then, our nation understood that investment in infrastructure was crucial to creating a better future. The interstate highway system was such a success that, 60 years later, both parties still fight over who gets credit for it. Today, our leaders often talk about big ideas but rarely summon the political courage to accomplish them. (Wash. Post) 

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Farms are suffering from climate change and Trump’s trade war. Here’s how to help.

President Trump’s trade war with China is doing plenty of damage to farmers in this region, but it is also shining a harsh light on an agriculture industry that has been heading for a reckoning since the early 1970s. President Richard M. Nixon’s detente with China started U.S. farmers on the path to becoming Beijing’s agribusiness partners, ripping up the countryside and radically expanding pork operations to feed millions on the other side of the world. Nearly half a century later, the results are plain to see. Iowa has about half the farmers it once did, with smaller producers squeezed out by the behemoths. (Wash. Post)

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