Turn North Carroll High over to Town of Hampstead to decide its future

In a parting shot at his last Board of County Commissioners meeting, outgoing District 5 Republican Doug Howard suggested a proposal that might not sit well with members of the North Carroll community, but makes sense from a financial perspective. Howard suggested Thursday that the next board of commissioners turn over the North Carroll High School building to the Town of Hampstead, which has zoning rights for the land, along with the amount of money the county commissioners would have spent on demolishing the school, approximately $1.5 million. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Carroll should expand solar energy options to more residents

A few days before Thanksgiving, Carroll County cut the ribbon for its largest solar field on county government-owned property, an 18-acre array of solar panels at the Hoods Mill Landfill in Woodbine. Carroll now has a total of 27½ acres covered by 16,753 solar panels on county-owned properties; in addition to Hoods Mill, there are 3 acres at Carroll Community College and 6½ acres at the Hampstead Wastewater Treatment Plant. Over the next two decades, it is estimated that Carroll County government could ultimately save in the neighborhood of $7.7 million in energy costs because of these solar fields. That’s good news for taxpayers. (Carr. Co. Times)

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November 30 // Laslo Boyd: A portrait of Baltimore County Executive Don Mohler

As Don Mohler approaches the end of his seven months as Baltimore County executive, he has been widely praised for the outstanding job that he did under trying circumstances.  He was selected for the position by the County Council after the sudden and tragic death of his boss, Kevin Kamenetz, at age 60. Mohler must have seemed like a “safe” choice who would make sure county government functioned smoothly until a new executive was selected in the November election. In fact, however, the story of his tenure in office is very different than many expected. (Md. Matters)

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Don Mohler was more than a steady hand for Baltimore County

Don Mohler comes across as a Baltimore County good old boy, an aw-shucks Catonsvillian who wouldn’t have looked or sounded at all out of place in the halls of Towson’s old courthouse decades ago. But in his unexpected seven-month stint as Baltimore County executive, he has provided something more than a reassuring presence to residents reeling from the sudden death of his predecessor, boss and friend, Kevin Kamenetz. He was a steady hand, to be sure, but he also served as an example of how Baltimore County can emerge from a sleepy past to make the hard decisions that will lead toward a better, more inclusive future. (Balt. Sun)

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Leon F. Pinkett III: When will we value Baltimore's North Avenues like we do its Charles Streets?

North Avenue is not only one of the longest East-West corridors in the city, but it stands as one of Baltimore’s most historically significant boulevards. From Hilton to Milton, North Avenue connects key anchor institutions like Coppin State and MICA. Along North Avenue lives the story of Baltimore’s arts and culture through the ages. It anchors us to our past with architecturally significant buildings like the Arch Social Club and the North Avenue Market, while buildings like the redeveloped Parkway and Centre theaters provide glimpses into its potential for a brighter future. While there is great opportunity for a renaissance along North Avenue, it is also a corridor that faces significant challenges. (Balt. Sun)

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Ian G. Anson: Who are the Hogan Democrats? UMBC knows

In the weeks following Maryland’s 2018 gubernatorial election, many commentators have sought to explain voters’ support for Republican Governor Larry Hogan in a blue state. His convincing re-election win has been attributed to his lasting popularity, his expertly-run and well-funded campaign, and the political missteps of challenger Ben Jealous, among other factors. But in an electoral environment in which Republicans and Democrats hold each other in deep disregard, these election results deserve a closer look. How exactly did Larry Hogan win re-election in a state dominated by registered Democrats?

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Will child victims make the city work harder to stop the shootings?

In mere seconds the innocence and sense of security of a 3-year-old in East Baltimore was shattered by a bullet. The bullet that grazed the arm of Darrell Johns as he stood on his porch resulted in a relatively minor injury in a city where guns too frequently maim and kill. The physical wound should heal quickly; the experience will likely stay with the young boy for a lifetime. (Balt. Sun)

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Fitzgerald must share report

Say what you will about Baltimore, but don’t omit that it is a city in severe crisis. Crime, drug traffic and, in particular, shootings, violence and homicides are destroying this city. This is not to say that there are not systemic causes of these problems, but, short-term redemption, if it comes, will be delivered in large part by the police department. For this to happen, the department needs a capable leader who will garner support by building trust and will stay in the fight for the long term. The fact that both the commissioner candidate Joel Fitzgerald and the city refuse to release the results of his city-ordered background check is of massive concern. (Daily Record)

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