Rodricks: Nancy Pelosi in a white dress, and an 'unnerving question' about her Baltimore family portrait

Nobody asked me, but somebody must know how a large oil painting of the famous D’Alesandro family — including a Baltimore mayor, a future Baltimore mayor and a future Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives — ended up in a Little Italy restaurant. “That’s a billion-dollar, unnerving question,” said Nick D’Alesandro, grandson of the late Mayor Thomas J. D’Alesandro Jr., son of former Mayor Thomas J. D’Alesandro III, and nephew of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

With Harrison in charge and a consent decree in place, has anything changed in Baltimore? Officer's arrest says maybe so

Baltimore’s new police commissioner, Michael Harrison, talks a good game about his successes in cleaning up the force in New Orleans and about his plans for instituting new accountability here. The consent decree Baltimore signed with the federal government after a post-Freddie Gray investigation found a pervasive pattern of unconstitutional policing makes a lot of promises too. This week, we got a good indication that it all might be for real. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Plymer: Public corruption in Maryland- It’s no accident

Catherine Pugh is the latest in a long line of state and local elected officials in Maryland to leave office in disgrace. And, undoubtedly, the former mayor of Baltimore will not be the last because we live in a state that seems perfectly content with a high rate of public corruption. Disabuse yourself of the notion that this embarrassing legacy is an accident of history. The recurring corruption is the direct consequence of a combination of weak laws and insufficient resources committed to detecting, punishing and, most importantly, deterring corruption. (Brew)

Read Full Article

Meadows: Abolish felony murder in Maryland

On Wednesday, Eugene Genius, Darrell Ward and Derrick Matthews each entered guilty pleas to felony murder in the death of Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio. The teens likely entered guilty pleas because the stakes at trial were so high. In Maryland, felony murder is treated identically to premeditated first degree murder for the purposes of sentencing and carries a mandatory life sentence. Because Maryland’s parole system is fundamentally broken with respect to those serving life, a life sentence would have carried a very high probability that each of the teens would have died in prison. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Phelps: Respect for reproductive choice — and my son's dignity

Recently, in Box v. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kansas, the U.S. Supreme Court avoided considering the constitutionality of an Indiana law banning abortions due to the race, gender or potential disabilities of the fetus. In a concurring opinion, Justice Clarence Thomas asserted that Indiana did have a “compelling interest in preventing abortion from becoming a tool of modern-day eugenics.” (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Bishop: Manson family member's parole denial stirs thoughts of Buddhist nun, John Waters

“Manson family member Leslie Van Houten denied parole.” The CNN headline caught my eye Monday because of Ms. Van Houten’s connection to Baltimore “filth” writer and director John Waters, but it also brought to mind one other person famous for a very different reason: Buddhist nun Pema Chodron. A friend of Mr. Waters’ had recently told me (during an interview for a profile to accompany his induction this week into The Sun’s Business and Civic Hall of Fame) that the filmmaker has long advocated for Ms. Van Houten’s release, arguing that if ever there were an example of rehabilitation, she’s it. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Alternative Fact of the Week: Climate change goes both ways — bad and worse

If you think your week was tough, consider the plight of poor Prince Charles who faced the challenge of trying to educate a visiting American president known for having the attention span of a hyperactive flea on the threat posed by climate change. What must have been going through his mind in advance of the meeting? Should I use flash cards? Cartoons? Props? A line of chorus girls? The prince knew this was his one chance to persuade Donald Trump that the most serious threat facing the planet is, well, the most serious threat facing the planet. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Roberts: Md.’s Clean Energy, Transportation Bills Set Stage for Thriving, Low-Carbon Economy

In May, Gov. Larry Hogan announced that he would allow two key clean energy and transportation bills to take effect. The bills will help Maryland unlock a clean energy future. Alarming new data and careful scientific studies reiterate that we must take bold and immediate action to tackle climate change. Businesses are already heeding this call by investing in clean energy and setting bold emissions reduction targets. However, business action alone is not enough. We need smart policy solutions from all levels of government. (Md. Matters)

Read Full Article