Commissioners shouldn't stubbornly halt growth potential in Freedom plan

With the Board of County Commissioners now in control of the Freedom Community Comprehensive Plan after taking it back from the Planning and Zoning Commission, we hope that whatever changes they make carefully consider the future of growth in Carroll County and not just populist sentiment of the moment. Over the years, Carroll County government has invested in infrastructure in the Freedom area and designated it a growth area — in fact, it is the largest designated growth area in Carroll. (Carr. Co. Times)

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August 31 // The case against Kopp

Some Democrats in the General Assembly are bandying about the idea of dumping Nancy Kopp as state treasurer. The root of their disaffection stems from Kopp’s performance on the three-person Board of Public Works, on which she serves along with Gov. Larry Hogan and Comptroller Peter Franchot. It seems, according to a “report” on split votes by the board, that Kopp rarely disagrees with Hogan. We’ll pause to let that sink in and will return to it in a moment. (Daily Record)

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Sarah Elfreth: If elected to the state Senate, I'll take steps to study and reduce gun violence

The tragic shooting at The Capital did not happen in a vacuum. It occurred in a series of gun massacres: Emanuel AME Church in 2015, Pulse Nightclub in 2016, Sutherland Springs and Las Vegas in 2017, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas in 2018, among countless others. These shootings were preventable. We need leaders who will acknowledge that simple fact and actually do something to protect our communities. (Capital)

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The resilience of Baltimore City schoolchildren

Last year was a tough time to be a student in Baltimore City’s public schools. It wasn’t just the usual indignities like large class sizes and water fountains from which you can’t drink, or even another flare-up of the budget crises that have hit the system with alarming regularity. Last year, Baltimore schools made national news when, during a painfully cold winter, the boilers failed, pipes burst and the heat went out at scores of schools, forcing kids to huddle together in winter coats and hats and eventually to stay home altogether. The impact of that crisis threatened to go far beyond whatever instructional time was lost. It also sent a message to Baltimore’s children that they were at best overlooked and at worst a pawn in political games between adults. (Balt. Sun)

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The bikes are coming, the bikes are coming ... chill out

Annapolis is not a bike city, yet. Ride along Forest Drive or West Street and you’ll instantly agree with this assessment. There are plenty of cyclists out there, many of them wearing the somewhat obligatory, brightly colored lycra outfits. Most are recreational riders making a loop around some of the Annapolis Neck’s waterfront neighborhoods, or through the city during non-rush hour. A few are hardy commuters. Bikes are a good solution for inner-city transportation, particularly for a place such as Annapolis where were some streets are narrow and the surrounding water limits road building. (Capital)

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Encouraged by plan for improving Carroll roads for bicyclists, pedestrians

With much less fanfare than the Freedom Area Comprehensive Plan, members of the Carroll County Planning & Zoning Commission have been working on another plan that could help reshape the county for individuals looking for more opportunities to use their bikes and legs to get around. The Carroll County Bicycle-Pedestrian Master Plan is nearing completion, with the final draft expected to be approved sometime in September, when it would then go out for public comment. (Carr. Co. Times)

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August 30 // The trouble with calling Sean Suiter's death a suicide

The independent board investigating Det. Sean Suiter’s death lays out a circumstantial case that he committed suicide, largely because it is unable to concoct an alternative scenario that easily fits the known facts. Its report makes some assumptions about what his mental state might have been, but the closest it comes to any evidence that he might have been considering taking his own life was that he had, on one day two months before, googled the funeral home his family would eventually use — though also one that he, as a homicide detective, might well have had other reasons to be interested in. (Balt. Sun)

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Steuart Pittman: Taking on Steve Schuh's latest campaign pitch

People warned me. “Steve Schuh plays hardball,” they said. “Steve Schuh will intimidate your donors. Steve Schuh’s political operation is led by a guy who destroys other Republicans with glee, and he will eat you alive.” I listened, consulted, and concluded that Steve Schuh and the tactics of his friend Lawrence Scott are too divisive for Anne Arundel County voters. I wasn’t surprised in April when public polling showed Schuh with a 41 percent approval rating, 35 points down from Hogan’s. (Capital)

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