Dan Rodricks: Wanted on the streets of Baltimore: A squeegee guru

A few months ago, someone passed along an emailed letter from a retired police officer who described his encounter, at Conway and Charles streets in downtown Baltimore, with “10 to 12 young blacks” who had spray bottles and squeegees in their hands. The man had driven into the city with his wife for a Sunday dinner at a restaurant. He was not interested in having his windshield washed. But “one of the little darlings” sprayed “mud/dirty water” on his car anyway. The letter then described the squeegee kid’s profane response to the driver and the driver’s desire to personally discipline the youngster. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Break the cycle of domestic violence

Domestic abuse is an enormous social problem that is hiding in plain sight. The national statistics are as horrifying as they are hard for some people to believe. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men experience severe abuse by an intimate partner. It occurs in every state, every city and every neighborhood. More than 12 million people a year in the U.S. are affected. Based on reports from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and the Frederick Police Department, local law enforcement officers respond to two to three calls related to domestic disputes every day. Furthermore, because of fear or reluctance to call police, the number of domestic-violence incidents is likely higher. (News-Post)

Read Full Article

Jamie Stiehm: Baltimore's Sally Michel wanted to save the world; instead, she saved me

Twenty years ago, when I first met Sally James Michel, the Baltimore civic leader who died this summer at the age of 80, she told me she spent her days trying to “save the world.” She certainly saved me. In 1998, The Sun’s city editor, James Asher, gave me an assignment to interview Sally at her home. We spent hours in her kitchen that first day. At the time, she was 60 and recently widowed, with three married daughters, all of whom lived in Baltimore, she noted with pride. She had a bright, unconditional love for the city — the whole city, not just her specific community or social set. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Ben Grumbles: Hogan has delivered leadership on environment

A recent News-Post article (“Green support turns blue amid Hogan’s record on the environment”) fell short in providing readers with a balanced look at Gov. Larry Hogan’s strong record of bipartisan leadership on important environmental issues. Under Gov. Hogan’s direction, Maryland is in the forefront among states in striving for cleaner air and water and responding to the climate change challenge. In the earliest days of his administration, Gov. Hogan moved to protect our waters by putting in place a bold and comprehensive plan to manage the serious problem of excess phosphorus on farmland. This was followed by a historic $4 billion investment in Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts. (News-Post) 

Read Full Article

Kathy Afzali: Choice is clear for county executive

 

I am writing in response to John Gardner’s letter to the editor dated Oct. 10. People have suggested that David Afzali write a response. While I love my husband, I do not need to hide behind a letter in the name of David Afzali and then claim to be a strong woman capable of leading a county. I do not require my husband to fight my political battles, and I will not use his name to attack my opponent. This backhanded tactic is indicative of the divisiveness that has plagued Winchester Hall for the past four years. (News-Post)

Read Full Article

October 12 // Baltimore Health Commissioner Dr. Leana S. Wen: This 'was my dream job'

I became a doctor because I wanted to provide care to those who are the most vulnerable. In the ER, I saw how much poverty, race, ZIP code and persisting disparities influence health — that it’s public health that can level the playing field of inequality. Four years ago, I was given the incredible opportunity to become the Baltimore City health commissioner. It was my dream job. Friday is my last day. Next month, I begin my new role as president of Planned Parenthood. Through the leadership of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Mayor Catherine Pugh, and with the partnership of community organizations, faith leaders, hospitals, businesses, universities and civic volunteers, we have made significant strides to improve health and combat disparities. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Todd Eberly: Maryland absentee ballot requests may not be good news for Jealous

Faced with daunting poll numbers that suggest Larry Hogan holds a steady double digit lead over Ben Jealous, Maryland Democrats have looked for silver linings wherever they can. In a press release Thursday, they touted an increase in Democratic absentee ballot requests relative to 2014. While it's true that Democratic absentee ballot requests are up significantly, ballot request are up among Republican and unaffiliated voters as well and in 2014, Republicans were more likely to return those ballots. (FreeStater)

Read Full Article

Finding a police commissioner

Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and Baltimore City Solicitor Andre M. Davis have both said a new police commissioner will be named by the end of the month. The process has largely been shrouded in secrecy, with Pugh announcing in June a seven-member panel to assist in the search and saying in August the city received more than 40 applications. Baltimore officials have cited confidentiality agreements in not even releasing the names of the applicants. We understand the need to be discreet in the search process, and ultimately the final decision is Pugh’s alone. But interest in the new commissioner is a good thing. (Daily Record)

Read Full Article