Joey Vanoni: Free state residents deserve food freedom

News that Prince George's County approved a new food truck hub on the business campus of Greenbelt Capital Office Park may sound exciting. But for me, a food truck owner and operator serving up authentic New York-style, brick-oven pizza from Baltimore to Annapolis, it was a disappointing reminder of the convoluted processes and red tape strangling Maryland small business entrepreneurs. (Capital)

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Chigo Oguh: Md. Medicaid should cover trans-specific care

The 45th president’s recent tweets banning transgender people from serving in the military because of their potential medical costs underscores the difficulties the transgender community faces in accessing quality health care. They often face stigma and discrimination by health professionals, and even if they have insurance, they may not have coverage for gender affirming procedures like hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or sex affirming surgery (SAS). On some insurance plans, including Maryland Medicaid, prior authorization is required for someone who is transgender to receive HRT or SAS. (Balt. Sun)

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Jimmy DeButts: Parking charges can sour visitors on tourism-reliant Annapolis

Eight dollars. What's the big deal? It's not significant enough to make a serous investment of time, right? But for Tim Desmond, the principle — not the amount — was critical. The retired Davidsonville resident spent hours trying to recoup the $8 he said he was overcharged in March at the parking lot behind the Annapolis visitors center. (Capital)

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August 11 // Laslo Boyd: Writing about Donald Trump

The President is both the problem and the distraction. Thousands of words are written about him every day but it’s hard to determine what significance, if any, they have. We are caught between the Scylla of paying too much attention to every word he utters and the Charybdis of treating his unhinged behavior as normal. When future historians look back at the times we are currently living through, they will not need to say that there were no voices raised in protest.  Nor will they think that no one warned of the dangers Trump posed to the American constitutional system and to the norms keeping politics within fairly reasonable boundaries over the years up to 2016. (fromacertainpointofview)

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An 'update' on Baltimore violence prevention strategies: They're not working

On its glossy, full-color cover, Mayor Catherine Pugh’s long awaited crime plan announces that it is not, in fact, a plan. Rather, it is titled a “Violence Reduction Update” Ms. Pugh made clear in releasing it on Wednesday that she has had a plan all along. This document, she said, represents a compilation of ideas she brought with her to office nine months ago and which she developed during last year’s campaign, with some enhancements and refinements. Those include some new and interesting ideas — free community college for city public high school graduates, for example — and generally reflect Ms. Pugh’s view that violence needs to be addressed holistically and is not just a question for the police. (Balt. Sun)

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Tom Horton: The man who navigated Bay fisheries’ troubled waters   

Saving the Bay is obviously about improving water quality, but equally tricky is the business of managing how much seafood we extract from that water. From crabs and other shellfish to finfish, modern technologies enable harvest pressure that could overwhelm the healthiest estuary. So, we need rules — and moderation. Opposing that is the boom-and-bust nature of estuaries like the Chesapeake. Subject to the whims of ocean on one end and 40-odd rivers on the other, to environmental conditions driven by capricious winds as much as predictable tides; seafood abundance is always up and down, here and gone, not all at the same time or on knowable schedules. So, for watermen, “get it while you can” is reasonably ingrained as essential to their livelihood. (Md. Reporter) 

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Paying for police overtime services

An internal audit of the county's billing practices for certain police services provided to private entities, such as directing traffic outside major concerts, has found lapses in reimbursements. The bottom line: The county didn't collect nearly $4 million that it could have from fiscal 2013 to 2016 for police officers who worked overtime under the department's Uniform Police Services Detail, a program that assigns officers who volunteer for extra duty at large community events. The program offers a degree of flexibility to both the county and private institutions that have contracts with the county, dispatching additional uniformed officers whose services are paid by the sponsor. (Ho. Co. Times)

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Anne Arundel judicial contest in 2016 continues to reverberate

It has been 10 months since Anne Arundel County voted to keep four Circuit Court judges appointed by two different governors, yet the ramifications of that election continue to be felt. The outcome of the contest might have displeased supporters of Claudia Barber, but judges Donna Schaeffer, Stacy McCormack, Cathy Vitale and Glenn Klavans all appear to have settled deeply into their robes and are focused on dispensing justice. Reverberations from November center on an uncomfortable fact of political life: money. (Capital)

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