Move to monitor local air quality is welcome

Scientific models are a useful tool, and sometimes they are all you have to go on. But when it comes to the health of the many north county residents who live near the coal-burning Herbert A. Wagner Generating Station, the state can go further —by setting up monitoring equipment — and is obligated to do so. The state Department of the Environment is planning to fulfill that obligation by this fall, after a bit of prodding from legislators who got a nonbinding paragraph inserted into the state's operating budget, launched a petition drive and met with state officials. (Capital)

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Time to get serious about the Business and Technology Case Management Program

Sometimes we need to bang the drum to get attention, and once again we do so to direct attention to the Business and Technology Court track. If Maryland is to be “open for (and to) business”, as Gov. Larry Hogan desires, Maryland needs a better Business and Technology Court track. (Daily Record)

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A bumpy budget process

With the budget up for a final decision, everyone knew the Annapolis City Council's Monday meeting would be an extended affair. Maybe it wasn't extended enough. After 11 p.m., the council opted not to pass the motion to continue business required by the city code, so decisions on the $107 million operating budget and the city fines schedule were deferred to next week — not a big deal, perhaps, as the budget doesn't have to be finished until July 1. (Capital)

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June 13 // Laslo Boyd: Brian Frosh, Larry Hogan and Donald Trump

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh joined the Attorney General of Washington D.C. on Monday in a suit challenging whether Donald Trump is violating the “emoluments” clause of the U.S. Constitution. The central issue is whether Trump’s failure to divest from his many financial holdings, allowing him to profit from spending by foreign governments intended to influence his decisions, puts him at legal and constitutional jeopardy. (From a Certain Point of View)

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Tovah Kasdin and Guila Franklin Siegel: New law protects victims of violence at every age

An older woman who is suffering from dementia and severe mobility impairments is referred to a specialized safe shelter for older adults. She just has been discharged from a hospital, where she was treated for severe injuries inflicted by her adult son —who also acts as her caretaker. The shelter helps her obtain a protective order so that her abusive adult child can no longer harm her. Unbelievably, though, when this victim of abuse is admitted to the shelter, her son — the very person whose abuse led to her need for medical care and protection — is listed as having the power of attorney for her, allowing him to make medical and financial decisions on her behalf. (Md. Reporter)

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The FDA takes a stand against an opioid that fueled an epidemic

Opioids continue to ruin lives, and end them, in Maryland. New official figures show that 2,089 people died from drug and alcohol overdoses last year, a 66 percent increase over 2015. Therefore it was welcome news that the Food and Drug Administration has told Endo Pharmaceuticals to remove its opioid Opana ER from the market. (Wash. Post)

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Dan Rodricks: Baltimore had its own version of Ceasefire before, it could again

I offer a follow-up to my Sunday column to make a suggestion that might spare Baltimore the lousy, looming distinction of being one of the few cities – if not the only city – where Operation Ceasefire never got a chance to succeed. If it stands, the shuttering of Ceasefire would mark the second failure of the renown anti-violence program here, and that means there’s something wrong with the city, not the program, says City Councilman Brandon Scott. I agree. (Balt. Sun)

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A small measure of reassurance

In the current poisonous national political atmosphere, local officials should be encouraged to do anything — no matter how small — to reassure the public about the honesty and transparency of government institutions. Thus it is that we urge the Frederick County Council to enact the proposed bill limiting zoning approvals in election years. It is a small but useful measure, one that implicitly addresses constituents’ concerns that such changes might be rammed through by an outgoing majority on the council. (News-Post)

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