Compromise

Mayor Josh Cohen may be joshing us when he says there are three options for the council to consider regarding the old Acme (also called Fawcett) property. A fourth option is to tear down the building and install a park. Said park could accommodate autos as well as benches and trees. This is a sensible options since any large structure on the property would most likely undermine the fragile fill (garbage from the old fish house that worked there before there was a Compromise Street). (Capital)

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August 7 // Jump start for the Purple Line

For the time being, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) can bask in headlines about the light rail Purple Line, which he jump-started Monday by announcing Maryland would add $400 million in state funding and seek a private partner to build and run the project, which would connect Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. He can leave it to another day to worry about financing the rest of the $2.2 billion construction, which still looks iffy. (Wash. Post)

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City right on dependent audits

Auditing employee health insurance rolls to make sure everyone receiving benefits as a dependent is entitled to them is exactly the kind of thing Baltimore needs to do if it is to have any chance of controlling the cost of government, cutting taxes and making city living more attractive. The fact that the effort has caught some employees so completely off guard — some reportedly had no idea this was going on until they sought to fill prescriptions for children or spouses and found themselves without coverage — shows just how lax management has been up to this point and how far the city has to go before it is running a truly efficient operation. (Balt. Sun)

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Dr. Elizabeth J. Letourneau: A prevention-first approach to child sexual abuse

The recent FBI raid that arrested three men in Maryland as part of Operation Cross Country that netted 150 alleged pimps in 76 cities illustrates significant governmental efforts in detecting and arresting sex offenders, including pimps and buyers. But child sexual abuse (CSA), which includes the sexual exploitation of children and juvenile prostitution, is a complex problem that requires a much more comprehensive approach that moves beyond rescues and raids. (Balt. Sun)

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Schools need to change the way staff is paid to close achievement gap

Montgomery County Public Schools every year touts that they have efforts to close the gap between the well-performing schools, mostly wealthy, and the other areas of the county. Every year the gap persists and no matter how they talk, the gap will never be narrowed given the current ways staff are allocated and allowed to transfer. (Gazette)

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No room? Ditch the van

A July 22 tour by Montgomery County’s Planning Board of the Ten Mile Creek Watershed serves as a reminder about open government. The board, along with planning staff and the board’s attorney, rode together in a van for its tour. There was no room in the van for anyone else who wanted to hear the discussion, including a Gazette reporter, let alone an interested resident. (Gazette)

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Purple Line dreams

We’ve all heard the stories of how American communities had safe, cheap, reliable public transportation, often operated by private companies. As the suburbs grew — the story goes — gasoline and tire companies banded together to put the trolleys out of business in favor of the automobile, transforming the countryside into a car culture. Maybe when we’re stuck in a jammed East-West Highway or a clogged Wisconsin Avenue, we think wistfully to that time gone by. (Gazette)

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Paid sick leave for food workers makes us all healthier

Baltimore's Restaurant Week, which recently ended, can be an occasion for reflection as well as celebration. Until recently, I was a Baltimore restaurant worker, with minor interruptions, for more than seven years. In my experience, no restaurant employee ever received a paid sick day. I know of instances in which employees worked while sick. (Balt. Sun)

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