Gregg Bernstein: How to stop Baltimore's violence: a coordinated approach

Baltimore is in a state of crisis with respect to public safety. And while some may call this inflammatory rhetoric, the fact of the matter is that our city’s officials, who are responsible for keeping all of us safe, have failed to display any sense of urgency during the first six months of 2017 as the murder rate has skyrocketed, most recently highlighted by the killing of five people in a single night. So, before everyone retreats (yet again) into the numbness, acceptance and inaction that has become all too typical, and Baltimore creeps inexorably toward the highest murder rate in its history, here are some short-term suggestions to stem the blood-letting. (Balt. Sun)

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Time to rethink city's July Fourth concert

Some of the most beloved sounds of summer in Annapolis have come from the Naval Academy Band concert at City Dock on the Fourth of July. You won't hear them this year. Band officials say the organization has had personnel cuts, is being restructured and is waiting for several future members to graduate from boot camp. The Superintendent's Combo will perform at Quiet Waters Park on Aug. 12 and the band will participate in the Fourth of July parade. But it will forgo the usual City Dock concerts, including the one before the Independence Day fireworks. This is lamentable but understandable. The band's main job is to support the Brigade of Midshipmen, not to give public concerts. (Capital)

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Deborah Simmons: Ben Jealous seeks to become Maryland governor

There’s a long line of Democratic politicians hoping to succeed Republican Larry Hogan as governor of Maryland. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III might join the race, and if he does, one thing is a given: He cannot run as the education candidate. Former NAACP president and CEO Ben Jealous stepped up in early June, hoping to gain traction for funding, name recognition and, of course, the Democratic Party’s mantle. Education is always an election issue for voters, and it doesn’t matter whether the race is national, statewide or local. What voters and school reformers want to know from candidates is how they plan to move forward. Well, Ben Jealous didn’t stutter. (Wash. Times)

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June 19 // Leana Wen: What bullets do to bodies

It was just after midnight when the call came in. “Fifteen-year old male, single G.S.W.” — gun shot wound — “to the abdomen,” I heard over the loudspeaker. “Stable vitals.” Earlier that night, we had treated another young man who had been shot in the abdomen. He’d been hit just outside the hospital and walked in, clutching his belly and yelling in pain. The bullet went straight through the left side of his abdomen, puncturing his spleen, before it exited through a small wound in his upper back. (New York Times)

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Krishanti Vignarajah: Larry Hogan’s silence on the Paris agreement is only his latest climate transgression

Not long ago, the United States led the world in confronting climate change. By the end of the Obama administration, thanks in part to the White House’s dogged persistence and nuanced diplomacy, 195 countries had signed the Paris climate accord. For the first time, in a truly global pact, every country that contributes more than 1 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases, except Russia and Iran, agreed to reduce emissions. But President Trump has recklessly signaled that the United States intends to withdraw from that agreement. A spokesman for Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) said, "This is not an action the governor would have taken." That tepid ambivalence is not leadership. (Wash. Post)

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Ocean City says no to beach nudity

All kinds of important issues like gun violence and the heroin epidemic result in hand-wringing and consternation as experts and officials debate what should and could be done and by whom. But in Maryland's only seaside resort town, all it took to get swift and decisive action was the thought of "topless" and "Ocean City" being uttered in the same sentence. Ocean City Maryland is not a topless beach. Never was and, if civic leaders have their way, never will be. And that's the way people want it. (Daily Times)

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Rick Blatchford: Maryland Democrats let AG Frosh flex his new muscle

It seems I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve been ashamed to be a Maryland (aka California east) resident. It’s extremely difficult to be a non-Democrat in this state — not impossible, but all too frequently frustrating. It’s absolutely inconvenient. Now we have to put up with the shenanigans of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh. Perhaps in collusion with the machine (aka the General Assembly), Frosh has decided to join the District of Columbia in suing President Donald Trump for an alleged violation of the U.S. Constitution — specifically Article I, Section 9 (clause #8 — the now infamous emolument clause). (News-Post)

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Barry Rascovar: Judge shouldn’t play Humpty-Dumpty with Md. universities

It could be a cringe-worry moment when U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake finally rules on the lawsuit by black state universities demanding sweeping changes in Maryland’s public higher education system that benefit only their own campuses. In no way is Judge Blake qualified to disassemble Maryland’s well-regarded higher education network and then re-assemble the pieces in an entirely new way that miraculously makes historically black schools integrated and thriving learning institutions. (Md. Reporter)

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