Maryland needs to go on a prison guard hiring spree

Maryland's state corrections system is looking for a few hundred good prison guards. The fact that it can’t find them is a problem that Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and lawmakers in Annapolis need to address sooner rather than later. In 2009, 752 guards were hired from an applicant pool of more than 7,700 candidates. Last year, only 63 applicants made the cut from a drastically diminished pool of just 2,400 applicants. In most of the about 30 corrections facilities around the state, scores of officers’ jobs are unfilled. (Wash. Post)

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Marietta English: Bringing back Baltimore one student at a time

In challenging times, we must always acknowledge the power of utilizing the voices around us. That’s when our Baltimore community came together — students, parents, educators, religious leaders, community groups and city leaders — to fight for our public schools. Faced with a $130 million budget deficit in January and projected layoffs of 1,000 teachers and other school-related personnel, we all knew the children of Baltimore were in imminent danger of losing the resources needed to learn and the teachers and support staff to teach them. Through rallies in Annapolis and individual meetings with legislators and the governor, we secured nearly $60 million in funds to bring our school management crisis under control. (Balt. Sun)

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Shop tax-free, support Maryland retailers

School does not start for another three weeks, but students and parents of school-aged kids in Maryland would be wise to get their back-to-school clothes shopping done this week. That's because it's the annual Shop Maryland Tax-Free week, which means shoppers won't be charged the state's 6 percent sales tax on purchases of any qualified apparel or footwear item $100 or less. The exemption is good regardless of how many items you buy. (Carr. Co. Times)

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August 15 // Baltimore's Confederate monuments must go

The case for removing Baltimore’s monuments to the Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson and to Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney — author of the infamous Dred Scott decision — has long been clear. Both were products of post-Civil War romanticization of the Confederacy and of the subjugation of African-Americans. They had no place here when they were erected (in 1948 and 1887, respectively), and they definitely have no place in 21st century Baltimore. But the violent clashes in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend, when neo-Nazis, white nationalists and other deplorables gathered to protest the removal of Confederate statutes there, makes the case irrefutable. (Balt. Sun)

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Leading on climate change

With President Donald Trump’s decision to backtrack on climate change — his announced U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord in June representing just the most high-profile element of what has been both a sweeping and ill-considered policy reversal — it’s now up to states and local governments, private industry and advocacy groups to pick up the slack. As it happens, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has a well-timed opportunity to do just that by joining other Northeast states in strengthening the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI, which regulates emissions from power plants. (Balt. Sun)

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Dan Rodricks: Confederate action plan: Melt Taney, move Jackson-Lee, honor Tubman or Douglass

With consensus building to remove or destroy all four of the Confederate monuments in Baltimore — and a call to do the same with the statue of Roger B. Taney in Annapolis — allow me to float, again, some ideas I first suggested in January 2016. If we’re going to dedicate public space for monuments, then the historical figures we celebrate should be deserving of our respect, and maybe have some local meaning. There is plenty of room in history books for those who fought for the South; they do not need to be memorialized in perpetuum in Baltimore. (Balt. Sun)

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John Van de Kamp: Remembering Annapolis' force for freedom, Charles Carroll

We greatly owe our freedom and the shape of our government to a man who could not hold public office, worship in public, or educate his children in the Catholic faith for 37 years of his life. This man is Charles Carroll of Carrollton, who lived at 190 Duke of Gloucester St. in Annapolis. Catholics were disparagingly called “papists” Although Maryland began as a colony with religious freedom under the Catholic Calverts, after the Glorious Revolution in England, and the Protestant Revolution in Maryland, Catholics became an endangered species. It was a treasonable offense to convert from Protestantism to Catholicism. This lasted for 85 years. (Capital)

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Fred L. Pincus: Whites less privileged today, still not victims

The recent revelation that the Trump administration plans to target discrimination against whites in higher education made me think of crowded parking lots and the 100-meter dash in the summer Olympics. Strange, perhaps, but let me explain. When I was researching my 2003 book, “Reverse Discrimination: Dismantling the Myth,” I came across several metaphors that help to put the controversy over affirmative action into a larger context. Conservative opponents of affirmative action in college admissions typically argue that the grades and test scores of non-Asian students of color are lower than those of whites and Asians. This, they continue, “proves” that less qualified blacks and Latinos took seats that should have gone to more qualified whites or Asians. (Balt. Sun)

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