What the next governor can do to help fight Baltimore crime

Maryland’s governor can’t fix the dysfunction that has gripped Baltimore’s police department. He can’t lead it through federally mandated reforms or set a strategic direction in the fight against crime. But a governor who makes public safety in Baltimore a top priority can be of enormous help in reducing the violence that plagues the city. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Adam Pagnucco: How Nancy Floreen and Marc Elrich are different

In a prior column, I listed several things Montgomery County executive candidates Nancy Floreen and Marc Elrich have in common. Now let's look at a few differences between them. Floreen, who is running as an independent, is one of the most prominent members of the County Council. She has been elected president twice and has been chair of its Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee for eight years. In both of her years as council president (2010 and 2016), the council made major budgetary and tax decisions that Floreen worked hard to pass. Elrich, the Democratic nominee, has never been elected as council president. (Bethesda)

Read Full Article

Janet Holbrook: Schuh and friends are hijacking Crownsville long-term planning

Zoning is of critical importance to pretty much everyone. Where you live, the roads you drive on, where you go to the store — it defines our neighborhoods and communities. You might not realize it, but we are in a whirlwind of zoning decisions right now. At a meeting at Baldwin Hall on Sept. 20, Phil Hager, county planning and zoning officer, described some of the whirlwind to about 100 Crownsville residents. The most important is the General Development Plan 2040, which will be completed in 2019 and is intended to be the plan for comprehensive re-zoning of the entire county. It will guide development and preservation efforts for the next decade, at least. (Capital)

Read Full Article

October 11 // Larry Hogan for Maryland governor

Having campaigned in 2014 on a platform by turns vague, glib and pie-in-sky, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan shifted gears and struck a clear and bracing note on the day he took office, promising in his inaugural address to surmount partisanship and wedge politics in favor of what he called a bipartisan politics of “middle temperament.” That was January 2015, before anyone foresaw the rise of Donald Trump. To his immense credit, Mr. Hogan, a Republican in a state where Democrats enjoy a 2-to-1 advantage, has largely fulfilled that pledge, rejecting what he called “the extremes of either political party” and taking a pragmatic, centrist approach to leadership that has been a tonic in a venomous era. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

What an outsider can bring to the Baltimore Police Department

Baltimore is no stranger to short-term police commissioners, but in a history that dates back a century and a half, we have never before had four of them in a single calendar year. But that’s where we’ll be once the latest commissioner is named likely later this month, now that we know Interim Commissioner Gary Tuggle isn’t getting the job: He has withdrawn his name from consideration to hold the post permanently. And it’s not just the turnover at the top — Kevin Davis, fired amid a crime surge; Darryl De Sousa, forced out after a federal indictment on tax charges; Mr. Tuggle, apparently unwanted by city leaders — that’s a sign of concern. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Balance must be a goal as new environmental order takes shape in Annapolis

The passage of two measures Monday night by the Annapolis City Council was aimed at protecting the environment. But they also served to signal a new ethos in effect at City Hall. One new law will ban restaurants from using polystyrene containers, known to most by the trademarked name Styrofoam in the shape of take-out boxes, plates and cups. This stuff is pernicious and, along with other forms of plastic, is a significant source of pollution found in city waterways and the wider world. The second vote was more symbolic. The council approved a resolution supporting an application to make all Anne Arundel County waterways a no-discharge zone. (Capital)

Read Full Article

Debbie Ritchie: Why I'm running for Anne Arundel County Council in District 3

I am concerned with many of the same issues as my neighbors: increased development, a stressed infrastructure in disrepair, maintaining a quality school system, public safety, water quality, maintaining shorelines and the increase in addiction and need for more recovery options. Missing in District 3 is the opportunity for citizens to have an active voice in the decisions that impact us. This is what I want to bring back to our community. Providing community forums to raise awareness of issues as well as to increase the ability of citizens to share their thoughts. (Capital)

Read Full Article

Delegate Karen Lewis Young: Make America healthy again

The Washington Post recently published an article citing the fact that “Americans spend approximately 90 percent more for the medicines they use, as a percentage of income, than do citizens of the five largest European markets,” Moreover, for every dollar that we spend on health care, the largest percentage goes to prescription drugs. As health care costs continue to spiral, we must examine and correct the systemic causes. Last year the Maryland General Assembly brought forward and passed two measures that have helped to stabilize the Affordable Care Act. We have already witnessed a slowdown, and some examples of decreases, in new health insurance premium rates in our state. But one of the biggest drivers of health care costs still needs to be addressed. (News-Post)

Read Full Article