Richard A. Bendis: Innovation ecosystem vital to state

Robust private-sector investment and prudent regulation from policymakers have helped establish Maryland as a cradle of innovation and a leader in the U.S. innovation economy. Few states can match Maryland's highly skilled workforce, market access and technology-centered policy incentives, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranked Maryland No. 1 in the country for entrepreneurship and innovation. But continued leadership of the region — and the ability of the region to continue to reap the economic and jobs benefits of innovation — is not a given. It requires constant cultivation and smart action from our elected officials. (Capital)

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Steve Schuh: Inclusive process ended with budget that advances our major goals

If there is one word to describe this year's budget season, it would be inclusive. Our process commenced in February and March, when we began meeting with the public to better understand their priorities. At two town halls, our departments met face to face with constituents from across the county to discuss school funding, park improvements and other important community priorities. From there, our administration went to work to put forward a budget that would advance our goal of making Anne Arundel County the best place to live, work and start a business in Maryland. (Capital)

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Ruling should spur Annapolis toward arts policy

A Maryland District Court judge recently ruled on the case of the mural painted by artist Jeff Huntington on the building at 51–53 West St., ending only one chapter of an ongoing conflict about the role of public and publicly viewable art in our Historic District. In June 2015, after 51–53 West St. was cited by the city for peeling paint, its property owners decided to paint the building with a mural and secured the necessary permits for equipment and sidewalk access prior to having their building painted. (Capital)

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Take another look at relocation of agencies to North Carroll

The irony of Carroll County Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Guthrie and Board of Education members lamenting a potential move of the school system's central offices to North Carroll High School isn't lost on us, but for those still angry over the closing of three schools viewing this as some sort of karmic revenge by the universe, we wonder how they will feel when their tax dollars are being used to offset the costs associated with moving the operation out of the county seat of Westminster? (Carr. Co. Times)

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June 16 // All mostly quiet on county budget front

As it turned out, most of the drama about County Executive Steve Schuh's fiscal 2018 budget proposal was over by the time he presented it on May 1. Schuh had decided on $22.5 million in one-time spending to stabilize the school system's failing health insurance plan as well as $15.6 million for a teacher salary step increase in a budget that went $20 million over the state-required maintenance-of-effort level. This attempt to shore up the schools turned out to be the biggest surprise of the budget proceedings, and what followed in the next month-and-a-half was anticlimactic. (Capital)

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Dana Stein: Students should volunteer over summer break

Classes are over, finals are done and summer vacation is finally here. While it’s important for youth to take time to relax and enjoy the summer, they should also seek ways to remain productive — especially this year, when their summer break will be even longer than usual. How can young people keep busy over the long break? They can spend their time giving back to the city through community service. Not only does service build a more vibrant Baltimore, it offers a chance for personal and educational development as well. (Balt. Sun)

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Mark Edelson, Liz Cornish: Why we sued Baltimore City over bike lanes

Connected bike infrastructure is more than a form of urban recreation. For an increasing number of people in urban centers, it is their primary means of transportation. Bikes provide an affordable and healthy means of accessing work, school and everything else. In 2015, Baltimore City updated its bicycle master plan with the aim of increasing ridership to over 50,000 city residents. Bicycle commuter traffic has increased over 40 percent since quarterly counts began in 2009, and it continues to grow. (Balt. Sun)

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Deborah Simmons: Nudity at the beach. Quelle horreur!

The trusty Old Farmers Almanac says June 20 is the day those of us in the Northern Hemisphere can officially celebrate the arrival of summer. Ordinarily, when one season ends and another begins, journalists tend to write about the proverbial seasonal bucket lists. This go ‘round, I present the What Not To Do List for Summer 2017. First up, what not to do at a U.S. beach — especially if the beach is in Ocean City, Maryland. Although the name may imply that boundless opportunities are afforded, there are limits to this town that abuts the Atlantic Ocean, and one of those limits was drawn in the sand. In short, it bars women from going topless. (Wash. Times)

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