December 4 // Getting the whole story on Det. Sean Suiter's killing

Mayor Catherine Pugh says the editorial in the Sunday Sun about Police Commissioner Kevin Davis’ request that the FBI take the lead in the investigation of Det. Sean Suiter’s killing is inaccurate. In case you missed it, we said it is imperative for the FBI to become the public face of the investigation because the confounding nature of the case coupled with the revelation that Suiter was to be a witness in a trial related to a massive corruption scandal in the Baltimore Police was leading to public distrust of the police department’s objectivity. Mr. Davis’ assertion that FBI and Department of Justice were possibly keeping city police in the dark about aspects of the investigation only made that situation worse, we argued. (Balt. Sun)

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FBI needs to take the lead on Det. Sean Suiter investigation

It has been more than two weeks since Det. Sean Suiter was killed in a violence-ridden West Baltimore neighborhood, and police have not identified, much less apprehended, a suspect. A possibly unprecedented $215,000 reward has made no difference. Meanwhile, with every passing day, new and confounding details emerge about Suiter’s role as a witness to the federal corruption case that is roiling the Baltimore Police Department. Add in some unusual details about the circumstances of his death — the radio still clutched in his left hand despite what police say was a life-and-death struggle, the lack of any surveillance video showing a possible suspect fleeing the scene — and you’ve got a recipe for skepticism, at best, and the flowering of conspiracy theories at worst. (Balt. Sun)

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Tom Horton: Gov. Hogan is enabling costly urban sprawl in Maryland by upending 'Smart Growth'

If you’re not yet worried about Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s abandonment of Smart Growth, you might want to read a new study on how Dumb Growth could cost Frederick County taxpayers some half a billion bucks.   First, a brief Smart Growth primer (which was once available on the Maryland Department of Planning’s website — until the website and department became a joke under Hogan): Smart Growth is the antithesis of sprawl, which is development outside areas planned and built for growth. Sprawl gobbles open space, increases air and water pollution, and costs more in new services than it ever offsets with taxes from new residents. (Daily Times)

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Franklin Lance: Does anyone care about West Baltimore?

In April of 2015, Baltimore City's civil unrest made international news. Immediately following, a flurry of meetings was called by elected officials, philanthropic organizations and faith based groups to discuss change. There was a huge push to rebuild what was lost and make up for the decades of inequality that fueled the unrest. But two years later, nothing really has changed. The major difference now is that the national news cameras have left, and the groups who rushed to organize have again turned their backs on West Baltimore. Does anyone really give a damn about us? (Balt. Sun)

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Dan Rodricks: Are you an ex-offender looking for a fresh start? Call this number

And so we begin again. With Baltimore beleaguered by crime and violence, I return today to an informal public-service initiative that lived in this space between 10 and 12 years ago. It began in June 2005 with an open letter to the drug dealers of Baltimore, asking them to consider getting out of that life and offering them some help with the journey. I gathered information about training and employment programs, apprenticeships, and companies willing to hire ex-offenders. Maybe 20 businesses contacted me to whisper that they were willing to do so, so long as neither their employees nor their customers knew about it. (Balt. Sun)

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Patricia Schultheis: Teaching Carroll County students to fear

Anyone who went to Catholic schools as I did, knows that there are lessons and then there are life lessons. From the good nuns, I learned self-control, to do what was expected and to appreciate that, as a member of a student body, I belonged to something greater than myself. What the good nuns never taught me was fear. Rather, every day I observed them accepting new assignments, making tough decisions and embracing the admonition against fear that begins and ends the Christmas story. According to the Bible, when the angel Gabriel announced to the teen-aged Mary that she would give birth to a son, she became distraught. To comfort and reassure her, Gabriel told her to “Fear not.” “Fear not” — it’s a wonderful life lesson. (Balt. Sun)

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December 1 // Michael J. Martirano: Getting a jump-start on higher education

One of the goals we’ve set for ourselves as the Howard County Public School System is to provide all students with equitable opportunities to earn college credits or industry certification. We know that high school graduates with early college experience are significantly more likely to graduate from high school and enroll in college or begin successful careers. The Board of Education voted recently to move forward with the JumpStart initiative, a significant expansion of our partnership with Howard Community College that will more than double dual-enrollment opportunities for students to earn college credits —up to completing an associate degree —while still in high school. (Ho. Co. Times)

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Guns and Annapolis

If there is a piece of legislation that deserves unanimous consent in the upcoming Maryland General Assembly session, it must surely be the proposal to ban “bump stocks,” the device that allows a user to turn a semiautomatic rifle into the equivalent of an automatic weapon. Las Vegas gunman Stephen Paddock had a dozen of them that he used for his rapid-fire assault that killed 58 people and injured hundreds more in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Despite calls by Congressional Democrats and Republicans alike in the days after the Nevada massacre that bump stocks be banned nationally, no serious action has been taken to date either at the legislative or administrative levels. (Balt. Sun)

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