Mark Procopio: Still work to be done on LGBTQ issues in Md.

President Donald Trump’s recent tweets targeting transgender service members and veterans made headlines. What received less coverage, however, was the more insidious move taken by the administration against gay and lesbian Americans: The Department of Justice took it upon itself to argue in court filings that federal employment discrimination protections do not cover discrimination based on sexual orientation. Unfortunately, these actions were not taken in isolation. (Balt. Sun) 

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Karsonya Wise Whitehead: Baltimore violence won't stop unless we stop it

Raising black children in Baltimore City is a courageous act. It is challenging and difficult and has caused me more than once to rethink my decision to live here. But every time I think about moving, I drive through the city and I am charmed all over again as places like Red Emma’s, R House, the Red Canoe, The Ivy Bookstore and Lexington market remind me of what I love most about Smalltimore. It is diverse and unpretentious, it is open and honest. It is a city with a thousand stories and a million different perspectives. This is why I chose it, and this is why I want my boys to grow up here. At the same time, we are a city that is under siege, as are so many areas of our country. (Balt. Sun)

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Grasso's campaign make sense, for Grasso

You can say this for John Grasso, the Anne Arundel County Council chairman from Glen Burnie: He is never boring. A year ago, anyone who follows local politics would have bet the two-term Republican would do what he said and mount a credible challenge to state Sen. Ed Degrange. DeGrange remains popular and probably would have been favored to win, but Grasso can be enough of a wild card that there would be no sure thing. Turns out that wild card is an understatement. (Capital)

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Carroll libraries on frontlines of opioid epidemic

Undoubtedly, libraries’ roles in their communities have changed significantly over the years. Long gone are the days of the Dewey Decimal system and while you can still find endless rows of books and periodicals, people now visit libraries to browse the internet, use 3-D printers and to take their to children magic shows, craft sessions and other offerings. “Shared resources,” said Lynn Wheeler, executive director of the Carroll County Public Library, has always been libraries’ essential mission, but one mission we suspect library employees in Carroll did not realize they may have to fill this day and age is being on the front line of the opioid epidemic. And yet, they find themselves doing exactly that. (Carr. Co. Times)

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August 7 // Justice Dept. to Baltimore: Do the impossible illegally

Baltimore is in the midst of a murderous year, perhaps its worst ever, so you will pardon us if we find little amusing about the recent letter from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions warning Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis that the city will be ineligible for federal aid under the National Public Safety Partnership program (which is aimed at just the kind of violence that plagues Baltimore) unless he does the impossible — require a jail controlled by the state, not the city, to cooperate with federal immigration enforcement to a level Maryland’s attorney general has already warned is unconstitutional. The absurdity of the letter is only outdone by its moral bankruptcy. (Balt. Sun)

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Jim Mathias: Bipartisan teamwork made Wor-Wic more accessible

It’s always good to see how quickly government can work for our people. One of my initiatives for the 2017 Maryland General Assembly session was to procure monies to begin the Somerset Economic Impact Scholarship program, the goal of which is to make a Wor-Wic Community College education more affordable for Somerset County students. On the day of the bill hearing, I was joined by several local officials — Somerset County Commissioners Randy Laird and Charles Fisher, superintendent of Somerset County Public Schools John Gaddis and Wor-Wic Community College President Ray Hoy — all of whom came to Annapolis to testify in support of this most important measure that would create education and vocational opportunities for our Somerset County citizens. (Daily Times) 

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Jimmy DeButts: Maryland dawdling with Crownsville plan

The clock is ticking, and the state is inexplicably dragging its bureaucratic feet. Chesapeake Bayhawks owner Brendan Kelly announced in March a $100 million plan to develop 544 acres at the former Crownsville Hospital Center into a lacrosse-centered facility. Nearly five months later, the Maryland Stadium Authority and Maryland Department of Health say they are still working to "determine the necessary scope and funding for such a study." In case that isn't clear, the state is still trying to figure out what they're going to study. It's just another fine example of government "efficiency." (Capital)

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Prosecutor was right to bring robocall case

Prosecutors have latitude about which charges are brought and how they attempt to prove them in court. But they can't control how any given jury will decide on any given day. That point was hammered home again last week in county Circuit Court, as a jury overturned the convictions for violating state election laws of two operatives involved with the 2014 campaign of County Councilman Michael Peroutka. The result was a disappointment for State Prosecutor Emmet Davitt, but he was right to bring the case. State law requires campaign material to have an authority line telling readers, viewers or listeners who's responsible for the ad. That wasn't done in the robocall that was the focus of this case. (Capital)

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