'Handle with Care' offers pathway to assist students

A new program connecting law enforcement and schools has promising potential for assisting students in the wake of a traumatic experience. The “Handle with Care” program has been unveiled in Anne Arundel, Charles and Washington counties. Its goal is opening lines of communication between law enforcement and school administrators when a student has been a victim or witness to a traumatic event. Through this partnership, police email the child’s principal upon their return to school with a message they’re a “Handle with Care” child. The specifics of each student’s experience is not relayed to schools. (Capital)

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Ryan Hooper: Baltimore gun violence: More than a statistic

Because I am new to Baltimore, I attend community events in hopes of learning about the city. That night, I attended a discussion featuring a panel of Baltimore leaders in sectors ranging from police to business to politics. Residents filled the auditorium, all in hopes of searching for a way to solve our city’s growing crisis. The discussion centered around the unresting violence in our city, the complexity of the problem and solutions our leaders were envisioning. It was inspiring to see members across our city joined together, fighting for a common cause. Stark reality set in the next day. (Wash. Post)

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Diane Butler: Buckley, Council deserve praise for advancing no discharge zone

I would like to thank Mayor Gavin Buckley for facilitating discussion of a No Discharge Zones (NDZ) around Annapolis and Anne Arundel County and City Council for passing the NDZ resolution. There is much work ahead before these zones become a reality, but the city’s political backing is critical. The idea for NDZ in Annapolis isn’t new. Other jurisdictions have had NDZs for years and it has been discussed locally from the time our current County Councilman, Chris Trumbauer, was chairman of the Annapolis Environmental Commission. The idea was carried forward by the Back Creek Conservancy, under David Barker’s leadership and the Annapolis Environmental Commission with the blessing of Mayor Buckley. (Capital)

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Noah Comet: Bleary eyed from banding owls

As classes began one morning last week, I hoped, for my students’ sake, that caffeine might accomplish what a mere four hours of sleep did not. Some of them noticed my bleary eyes and asked (in their diplomatic way) whether I was recovering from a mid-life-crisis bender. No, I assured them with sleepy pride, the night before I had experienced a new intoxication: I banded saw-whet owls. These fist-sized ferocities spend the summer breeding season up north, in dense evergreen forests where they’re more likely to encounter a lynx than an English professor. But during migration, they pass through Maryland on their way to more temperate winters. (Balt. Sun)

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A new map

Gov. Larry Hogan has ordered the formation of a nonpartisan commission to create a new congressional redistricting plan for Maryland. Even so, don’t be surprised if the state’s argument over gerrymandering is resolved the same way it was in Pennsylvania — by the courts, not by the governor and the legislature. Gerrymandering is the legislative configuring of election districts in a way that allows the majority political party to control as many districts as possible. State lawmakers acting to benefit their political parties are responsible for this and therefore cannot be counted upon to change it. Most gerrymandering is done in states dominated by Republican legislatures; Maryland is an exception. (Times-News)

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November 28 // Baltimore's would-be police chief says he wants to build trust with the community. Refusing to let us see his resume is not a good start.

If Joel Fitzgerald is confirmed as Baltimore’s next police commissioner, he will face a monumental task: rebuilding public trust in an agency reaping the effects of years of unconstitutional practices and reeling from a massive corruption scandal. He knows this. In his first news conference in Baltimore since his nomination by Mayor Catherine Pugh, he said he would “work with the community hand in hand to develop the kinds of rapport and relationships necessary to move the city forward.” (Balt. Sun)

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Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, Kathleen Matthews: Candidates for Democratic State Chair Make Their Case

The Maryland Democratic Party will choose its new leaders this Saturday. The fight for state chair is between the incumbent, Kathleen Matthews, and Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, a policy consultant. In back-to-back commentaries here, the candidates lay out their platforms. Matthews’ is co-written by Del. Cory V. McCray (D-Baltimore City), a senator-elect who is running for vice chair of the Maryland Democratic Party. (Md. Matters)

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Greg Mulligan, Brian Prechtl: BSO management undervalues musicians

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Board Chair Barbara Bozzuto asserts that the BSO management’s desire to “right-size” the orchestra is due to “expenses, which are spiraling and untenable.” However, a look at the pattern of spending, as evidenced in BSO financial statements, shows that the surgeon is removing the wrong organ. According to the BSO’s own financial documents, shared with us by management, total compensation for musicians, including salaries and benefits, increased by less than 7 percent between fiscal years 2010 and 2016. During the same period, total operating expenses for the BSO increased by a whopping 46 percent. (Balt. Sun)

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