Dan Rodricks: Reconsidering Baltimore's economic power

A Goucher Poll in February found that a significant majority of Marylanders disagreed with the oft-heard assertion that Baltimore is the economic engine of the state. That’s a reflection of a lot of things — three depressing years of insane violence; a general perception that opportunity, affluence and political power have shifted to other areas of the state; impatience with the city’s progress on several fronts, particularly public education. The result of the poll, with two-thirds of Marylanders rejecting the “economic engine” characterization, is as understandable as it is unfortunate. (Balt. Sun)

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Charles H. White Jr.: What Trump can learn from Baltimore's port

The Trump infrastrucuture plan largely shifts development and financial initiatives to states, municipalities and the private sector — public-private partnerships, or “P3s.” The experience of the Port of Baltimore over the last decade provides a look at the benefits and limitations of the P3 technique and, importantly, its long-term vulnerabilities. (Balt. Sun)

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Patrick D. Hahn: 'Dog lovers': a city menace?

The other day I was strolling down Roland Avenue and I struck up a conversation with an elderly gentleman who was the proud owner of a lovely herb garden growing in his front yard. He told me once a woman brought her dog on a leash to urinate in his garden and he objected (more politely than I would have), saying “Madam, I eat the things that come out of there.” Her reply: “Well, why would you plant a garden where my dog pees?” I never cease to be amazed at the spectacular, planet-sized arrogance of some of this city’s dog owners. (Balt. Sun)

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Brian Griffiths: Democrats like Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley can't help raising taxes

You probably know the fable of the scorpion and the frog. Here’s how it goes: A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion says, "Because if I do, I will die, too." The frog is satisfied and they set out, but in midstream the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing both will drown. He has just enough time to gasp, "Why?" Replies the scorpion: "It's my nature." Voters in Annapolis may feel like the frog right now. (Capital)

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April 19 // Laslo Boyd: No, It’s not the economy, stupid!

Those who oppose Donald Trump keep missing a major point. Whether during the Republican primaries, in the General Election against Hillary Clinton, or since he became president, critics have misunderstood the basis for Trump’s appeal to his supporters. Given that our current president is the most unconventional politician of modern times, getting a clear handle on him is not easy. (fromacertainpointofview)

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Verletta White: A bad process, but perhaps the right choice

 

Casual observers of Baltimore County Public Schools may have been surprised to learn that interim Superintendent Verletta White was offered the job permanently Tuesday evening by a school board that has made the selection process about as painful, awkward and disorganized as possible. (Balt. Sun)

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April 18 // Seven Democrats have theories for why they'll win the gubernatorial primary. Whose math adds up?

The Democratic gubernatorial primary is so competitive this year, The Sun’s Erin Cox reports, that campaigns and strategists think they may need the support of no more than a quarter of the electorate to win — maybe as few as 125,000 votes. To put that in context, two of the leading candidates, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, cleared more than that number in their 2014 re-election bids; it’s not remotely an insurmountable number state-wide. Consequently, the campaigns are focusing most of their efforts on appealing to certain segments of the electorate, and they all have theories for how they can win. Here’s a run-down of the best-case scenario for each of them — and how things could go wrong. (Balt. Sun)

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Darryl De Sousa: Predictive policing is useful - if handled judiciously

I am writing in response to Michael Pinard’s commentary, “Predicting more biased policing in Baltimore” (April 10), in which he raises concerns about predictive policing technology. As Mr. Pinard correctly notes, we are planning to adopt a predictive policing software platform in Baltimore. Predictive policing programs use various pieces of information including crime reports, calls for service, 311 calls and weather patterns to forecast crime probabilities and guide police deployment strategies. Observers such as Mr. Pinard warn of the potential for bias in predictive policing models if the underlying information in the system is in some way biased. I share those concerns and believe there are a number of ways to minimize that risk. (Balt. Sun)

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