County Councilman Chris Trumbauer: Planning is ultimately about people — who must have a say in the process

Nobody wants to be stuck in constant traffic backups, or find out that an undesirable industrial complex is popping up next to their peaceful residential neighborhood. No parent wants their children attending class in overcrowded buildings with portable classrooms sprawling across school property. The way to avoid these situations is to plan ahead — 10 to 20 years ahead. Good planning prevents these situations; bad planning worsens them. (Capital)

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October 6 // Jay Steinmetz: Md. should look to Va. for business example

Describing his personal encounters with business leaders, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, has said that their first question is typically “‘What is your tax rate?’” That’s why he made recruiting new companies a priority and pushed for lowering Virginia’s corporate tax rate because of that consistent line of questioning. There was a sense of urgency at the time, prompted by North Carolina’s own move to lower its corporate tax rates. Here is where corporate tax rates stand now: Maryland 8.25 percent, Virginia 6.0 percent, and North Carolina 3.0 percent. (Balt. Sun)

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Whither DelFest?

It was bad enough that two leaders of Allegany County and the city of Cumberland have been at each other’s throats for reasons that probably could be ironed out if dealt with rationally. (See: “‘Mean Little Billy’ doesn’t dislike city” on today’s editorial page.) Now, we learn that the future of DelFest may be in doubt. What is DelFest? Rolling Stone magazine said this about it: “DelFest was founded by the patriarch of bluegrass, Del McCoury, to showcase the talents of his brood and to cultivate an all-ages atmosphere that revolves around a distinct, down-home vibe and unparallelled musicianship.” (Times-News)

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Dr. Dan K. Morhaim: New models of care for drug addiction treatment

The 50-year-old policy of the “war on drugs” must now be declared a failure. Every measurable outcome is worse, despite all the time, money and effort spent: more drug users, more trauma, more deaths, more imprisonment, increased health care costs, adverse impacts on neighborhoods and destruction of families. The murder rate in Baltimore City and the region continues at historic high levels. Changes to law enforcement are being considered, but the issue cannot be dealt with until the connection of violence and drugs is addressed head-on. (Balt. Sun)

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Enough already. Sue the FAA

Sustained indifference by the Federal Aviation Administration to months of complaints about noise from takeoffs and landings at Baltimore-Washington International Airport has pushed more elected leaders to call for a lawsuit to force changes to flight patterns. Howard’s county executive last month joined his counterpart in Anne Arundel County and the governor in asking Maryland’s attorney general to sue the FAA, noting that some airport neighbors are living with “an unprecedented level of noise that has been life-changing.” Lawsuits should be used sparingly, as a last resort. It’s apparent that the situation has reached that point. (Ho. Co. Times)

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We ask libraries to do much more than collect books; we should give them the resources to do it

Libraries have been central to civilized societies for thousands of years as repositories of knowledge, as forums for public discussion and debate, and as community gathering places. Today the library is adapting to unprecedented advances in information technology as computers and other digital devices rapidly replace shelves of bound books. Through it all, libraries have had to constantly reinvent themselves to keep up with the times and their role as vital conduits for the ties that bind us in community and common purpose. That’s why we were heartened by a report that the Pratt Library will make social workers available at four of its neighborhood branches. (Balt. Sun)

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James F. Hollan III: College Park -- The dumbest town in America?

On Sept. 12, the City Council and mayor of College Park voted to give noncitizens the right to cast a vote in all municipal elections. Some council members suggested that a decision of such import should involve residents, perhaps through a ballot referendum, but the mayor cast his tie-breaking vote against that suggestion. Some council members then suggested that immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally be excluded from the group of noncitizens, but the mayor again cast his tie-breaking vote in opposition to that suggestion. When the council finally voted on the amendment, four members were in favor of it, three were opposed, and one abstained. The measure passed much to the satisfaction of the mayor and victorious aldermen. (Balt. Sun)

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Brian Griffiths: Elected Anne Arundel County school board will end Democrats' backroom maneuvers

It took decades to achieve an elected school board in Anne Arundel County. Recent actions by one delegate show why an elected board is necessary. In 2016, Democratic members of the Anne Arundel County delegation to the House of Delegates worked to change the appointment process for Board of Education members. That year’s House Bill 172, which was passed over Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto, radically altered the makeup of the members of the nominating commission. The bill stripped nominating power from the governor, giving it to liberal political groups and to the county executive. The bill was designed to take power away from the governor and ensure liberal control of the Board of Education. (Capital)

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