Ned Holstein, M.D.: Shared parenting brightens the lives of children of divorce

The chance to brighten the lives of children through reform of custody laws has rightly become a major issue in Maryland. As a recent Washington Post editorial highlighted, Maryland lawmakers are considering recommendations from a special commission that studied child custody decisions. The news hits at a time when, according to a Post article, 25 states have considered laws supportive of shared parenting after divorce in the past year. Plus, a handful of states have passed such laws in the past, and several others have come very close to doing so. (Md. Reporter)

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Hogan's starting point

Gov. Larry Hogan says the budget proposal he released Wednesday is “simply the first step” in determining how the state will spend taxpayers’ money in the upcoming fiscal year. That’s always true, but circumstances make it much more so this year. Uncertainty about the federal commitment to top Maryland priorities — chiefly in health care but in other areas as well — plus the unpredictable effects of the Trump tax legislation on state revenues make for a lot of complications Mr. Hogan simply couldn’t prepare for by the constitutionally mandated deadline for him to provide the General Assembly with his spending plan. (Balt. Sun)

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Carroll County's civil action

Who knew that Carroll County, where two decades ago the county commissioners refused to join a regional conversation about race relations (that all eight of the county’s municipalities had agreed to participate in, by the way), could demonstrate enlightenment on the subject — and, in the process, put Baltimore a bit to shame. And while it may be premature to declare the region’s most politically conservative county woke on civil rights, it’s not too early to give a thumb’s up to Carroll County Public Schools Superintendent Stephen Guthrie and the Board of Education for engaging the community in a dialogue about whether the student dress code should ban images of the Confederate battle flag. (Balt. Sun)

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Jeff Dugan: When the Land of Opportunity moved to Silver Spring

Discovery Communications recently announced it will be closing the doors on its Maryland headquarters and leaving the state where it all began. The network launched in 1985. By the time I came on board 10 years later, it was still relatively small. In those days, most of the network revolved around the seventh floor of a nondescript office building in Bethesda. For me, working for the Discovery Channel in those early days was like riding a rocket ship that just kept climbing higher and higher. (Wash. Post)

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Katherine Rediger: Viral video of woman outside in hospital gown shows lack of humanity in health care

The emergency department (ED) is the main entry point into the health care system for much of our population. Nursing shortages and understaffing affect the ED in a profound way, as patient volumes can be difficult to predict. But all patients are accepted into care no matter the capacity of the department. I felt this burden over the years, working as an registered nurse in two different Baltimore city EDs. It was commonplace for my shift team to have more patients than we could handle while at the same time being exposed to some of the most traumatic situations possible. Most of our patients were experiencing physical distress compounded by social and psychological dysfunction — all of which added to the chaos. Constant triage left my colleagues and me burnt out and suffering from compassion fatigue. (Balt. Sun)

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Del. Christopher T. Adams: Protect Ocean City's scenic Atlantic view

Forces are quickly aligning in Maryland to build large industrial power generation projects within sight off the coast of Ocean City. Much of the conversation over the location and size of these projects has happened without Ocean City’s direct participation. However, this pending decision weighs heavily on me as a fifth generation Eastern Shore resident. It will permanently change what we see, and what we expect to see, when sitting on Maryland’s world-class beaches (“An Ocean City with wind farms? Count me in,” Aug. 2). (Balt. Sun)

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J.H. Snider: Clinton email practices the rule in Maryland

Remember the Hillary Clinton email scandal that many believe lost her the presidential election? One widely reported part of that scandal was that Clinton didn't make some of her official emails public when they were requested under government right-to-know laws. But were the politicians and pundits who claimed to be outraged by such behavior genuinely outraged or just looking for a plausible pretext to attack a political enemy and generate headlines? Three years later, the failure of governments at the state and local level to eliminate the type of loopholes that Clinton exposed demonstrates it was the latter. (Capital)

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On ethics, focus on getting into compliance with state law first

Regarding Carroll County government’s ethics ordinance, there appear to be two issues at play here, and the board shouldn’t conflate the two during upcoming discussions. First is that of getting into compliance with the state law, passed in 2010, which requires all local jurisdictions — county and municipal governments and boards of education — to pass ethics ordinances at least as strict as those required of state officials. (Carr. Co. Times)

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