Baltimore police patrol schedule puts the public — and officers — at risk

The Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police’s argument in favor of keeping the disastrous four days on, three days off shift schedule, goes something like this: Officers need the four/three schedule so they can recuperate from all the mandatory overtime they’re working because of the four/three schedule. Absurd? Yes, but that’s the status after the union voted overwhelmingly last week to reject a contract with raises for the officers — and without the top Pugh administration priority of allowing civilians on police trial boards — largely because of a proposed change to that schedule. (Balt. Sun)

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Does Baltimore have the resolve to house the homeless?

During her campaign for mayor last year, candidate Catherine Pugh promised to develop solutions to the problem of homelessness that has bedeviled Baltimore City for decades. Advocates estimate that on any given night some 2,600 people are sleeping on the streets, where their visibility makes their plight all but impossible to ignore. Yet despite some laudable past efforts, the city has never managed to permanently shelter its poorest residents or to address the dire consequences to which they’re subject as a result of having no place to call home. (Balt. Sun)

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John W. Van de Kamp: Memorialize the Maryland 400 at State House

At 2 a.m. on Aug. 18, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney stepped down from his pedestal on the east side of our State House. He is a missing person few miss. The judge’s pedestal, covered by a green tarpaulin, needs to disappear immediately. We deserve to see the perfectly balanced facade of the oldest State House in the United States unencumbered by any obstacle. (Capital)

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October 16 // Laslo Boyd: Donald Trump’s Destructive Rampage

This President of the United States likes breaking things. He particularly likes breaking things that have former president Barack Obama’s name on them. Last week may have been the most destructive ever. Up to now. But, of course, you’ve heard that before. Ever since Donald Trump took office, we have struggled to understand what motivates him. Observers have offered a variety of psychological labels, a range of metaphors, a cacophony of adjectives. After his most recent burst of executive orders, tweets and public declarations, the image that seems most apt is of a bull in a china shop. (fromacertainpointofview)

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Parochialism continues to cripple Metro

Among the problems that beset Metro is the stark fact that top officials from its three regional partners, Maryland, Virginia and the District, are strangers to one another. In recent conversations about the transit system, a prominent Virginia elected official mangled the names of D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and D.C. Council member Jack Evans, who chairs the Metro board. A top aide to Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said he’d never heard of D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson. And a senior District official involved with Metro said he’d never met or spoken with Maryland’s transportation secretary. Add to those symptoms of Metro’s dysfunction the fact that any jurisdiction on the Metro board can veto decisions favored by the other two, and you have a recipe for gridlock. (Wash. Post)

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Wayne Rogers: Maglev is part of 21st-century infrastructure Maryland needs

The U.S. is facing an infrastructure crisis and nowhere is this more evident than here in Maryland, ranked first in the nation for longest commuting times. Segments of Interstate 95 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway rank within the top 10 bottleneck locations in Maryland. The Northeast Corridor is the country’s busiest rail network, and Amtrak, MARC and freight rail all compete for usage. Almost half of the Northeast Corridor’s passenger segments exceed 75 percent of capacity, and it is estimated that by 2030 passenger rail between Baltimore and Washington, D.C, will be over capacity. The Maryland Transit Administration estimates 70 percent of all MARC stations will be at capacity by 2025, and its ridership will increase 98 percent by 2030. (Capital)

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George Arlotto: Testing windows ease student stress, anxiety

As we have examined and refined our grading and assessment policies and protocols over the years, we have put in place a number of changes designed to better reflect student knowledge and to relieve some of the stress and anxiety that has accompanied testing. We have made significant changes to our assessment system. For example, at the elementary and middle school levels we have a maximum of one district assessment per marking period. In many cases, these assessments are performance-based and include projects and presentations. (Capital)

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Christopher B. Summers: How to make Baltimore Amazon’s best choice

In the amazing race for Amazon’s second headquarters, which promises 50,000 jobs to the winning city, handicappers consider Baltimore a longshot. But this dark horse not only satisfies most of Amazon’s explicit criteria for its “HQ2,” it also has advantages many favorites lack. (Amazon’s founder and chief executive, Jeffrey P. Bezos, owns The Washington Post.) Part of Charm City’s edge is geographic, part is economic, and the rest is opportune timing. Its Port Covington site, 260 waterfront acres situated a few furlongs from Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, checks off every box on Amazon’s “core preferences” list. (Wash. Post)

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