J.H. Snider: Anne Arundel school board pick may have been invalid

The newly created Anne Arundel School Board Appointment Commission appoints school board members to fill vacant seats on the Anne Arundel County Board of Education. Its commissioners must be duly appointed; otherwise, their official acts are invalid. On Aug. 24, the SBAC appointed Colin Reinhard to the Board of Education. But some commissioners voting for him weren’t duly appointed. If their invalid votes weren’t counted, the outcome could have been different. I unexpectedly discovered the sloppy appointment process after making a Public Information Act request for the official email correspondence of two of the 13 commissioners. (Capital)

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Albert Tucker: Planning process gives us a chance to safeguard our real property rights

In a stunning assault on common sense and clear legal precedent, Anne Arundel County land-use policies are being perverted by either a misunderstanding or a deliberate misrepresentation of what property rights actually mean. Property ownership comes with many rights, and zoning laws protect these rights. These laws establish restrictions on how a particular property can be used. Some see these laws as a violation of their right to the use of the property. The General Development Plan represents consensus on what the property rights of the community at large should be. These common rights are only protected when the GDP guidance is enacted in zoning laws and regulations. (Capital)

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Dan Rodricks: Freddie Gray case closed, and what's the lesson?

Have we finally reached the last page of the Freddie Gray story in Baltimore? If so, the ending looks not at all like the opening chapter. In April 2015, when we first heard about Gray’s life-threatening injuries, when we saw the first cellphone video of his arrest, it appeared to many that Gray had been injured by officers even before being dragged to a police transport van for a “rough ride” to the Western District. But in the end — after the protests and riot, after the criminal trials of the arresting officers, after a change in leadership in the Police Department and the mayor’s office, after a scathing Justice Department report and a consent decree calling for reforms in Baltimore policing — Gray’s death appeared to be what the longtime forensic pathologist Vincent DiMaio called it: a spinal cord injury from an accident in the back of the van. (Balt. Sun)

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November 22 // Michael E. Busch: Md. will protect health care even if U.S. won't

As we watch President Donald Trump and his Republican Congress sabotage Obamacare, many Marylanders have asked “What does this mean for us?” The short answer: We aren’t sure. But while the proposals coming out of Washington seem to change every hour, the Maryland General Assembly is leading an effort to be prepared for any outcome. Last session, we passed legislation creating the Maryland Health Insurance Coverage Protection Commission. The commission brings together a bipartisan group of health care professionals, advocates and citizens to follow the debate in D.C. and create state policy options to address this crisis. (Balt. Sun)

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Republican Central Committee can't do its one job

Over the past three years, the Republican Central Committee of Carroll County has had the opportunity to fill four vacancies — two in the state legislature and two internally. While, ultimately, we think the people chosen to fill those seats are doing or will do a fine job in their roles, it could not be more clear that the central committee’s processes are completely broken. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Bridging the meal gap

In a year that has seen it share of disasters from hurricanes and floods, wildfires to mass shootings, Carmen Del Guercio frets that an outreach as basic as combating hunger may be shortchanged. For the president and CEO of the Maryland Food Bank, this is no idle thought. With Thanksgiving approaching, the non-profit has experienced a drop in financial contributions. Perhaps things will pick up in December, he offers encouragingly, but there is no guarantee. For most of Maryland, the holidays are a time of feasting, of turkey with all the trimmings, mashed potatoes, green beans, cornbread and, of course, in Baltimore, that inexplicable bowl of sauerkraut. But it is also a good time to remember those who go hungry. (Balt. Sun)

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Well done

We have at times had less-than-kind things to say about the Allegany County Board of Education, particularly in regard to its relationship with the taxpayers’ money — which at times has been cavalier at best. However, we also have said good things about the board. We’re going to do that again today. One of the more pleasant surprises we’ve had lately is the announcement that the school board will come in substantially under budget for the 2017 fiscal year. That deserves congratulations. (Times-News)

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Emily Keller: Our own worst enemies

An open letter to the citizens of Hagerstown: Almost a year ago, I was sworn in to serve my first term in public office. I had spent months talking with fellow residents of Hagerstown. I was not already a public official, so everyone was eager to speak with me and tell me their stories. I heard stories of success, fears about the future, frustrations with current environments, and everything in between. I handed out over 10,000 palm cards that advertised me as a “positive voice for Hagerstown.” I will never forget how I felt on election night. I believed in Hagerstown then, and I still do. (Herald-Mail)

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