Nov. 18 // Caution On State Debt

Local government officials aren't the only ones who have to worry about meeting the stormwater pollution reduction targets set by the Environmental Protection Agency as part of its Chespaeake Bay pollution diet. The State Highway Administration also has a massive infrastructure of outmoded stormwater management systems that need upgrading, not to mention thousands of lane-miles of impervious surfaces that contribute to the flow of polluted water into the bay. Acheiving that is going to cost hundreds of millions of dollars during the next five years. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Inner Harbor Reborn

Despite all the changes that have come to Baltimore since the Harborplace pavilions opened more than 30 years ago, the Inner Harbor remains the city's crown jewel. Nonetheless, there remains no doubt that it can be improved. Some parts, after these decades, have become careworn. Others have never lived up to their potential. The connection between the Inner Harbor and the city that surrounds it is in some respects fractured. It is less our civic gathering place than a playground for tourists. But the "Inner Harbor 2.0" plan the city unveiled last week goes a long way toward addressing those shortcomings and missed opportunities. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

A Worthy Campaign Pledge For Maryland

Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, who is running for the Democratic nomination for governor, has called on his primary opponents to join a pact to impede outside spending in the race. Mr. Gansler’s proposal may be self-interested, but it is also an excellent idea for Maryland. The other declared primary candidates, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and state Del. Heather R. Mizeur (Montgomery), should endorse it. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

Neil Ridgely: Conspiracy Coalition Costly To Carroll

Commissioner Richard Rothschild is perpetrating another of his wacky ideas on the citizens of Carroll County — again at the expense of county taxpayers. This one is called the Clean Chesapeake Coalition, to which he has already provided $25,000 in county funds and an undisclosed amount in additional dollars for lawyers from the legal slush fund he created when first elected. The dubious goal of this mal-named coalition is to fight the Chesapeake Bay regulations handed down by the state and federal Government. (Carr. Co. Times)

Read Full Article

Barry Rascovar: Democrats For Governor Pander, Stalk And Misstep

The bidding race is on. Democratic candidates for governor are seeking to one-up each other on new programs and tax cuts. All of them ignore the fact Maryland’s finances are unsteady and could continue that way. The next governor is likely to face a structural deficit exceeding a half-billion dollars. Yet none of the Democratic candidates wants to face that reality. Instead, they pander to voters. (Md. Reporter)

Read Full Article

Crime-Free Housing Plan Could Improve Health Of City

There are two elements to downtown revitalization: a quality commercial district and a population involved and affluent enough to patronize it. That part is obvious. Less obvious is which comes first. Without a paying clientele, it’s difficult to encourage businesses to move in. But without those commercial attractions in place, there is little to lure new tenants. (Herald-Mail)

Read Full Article

Neil Franklin: It’s Time To End Prohibition (Again)

The prohibition of narcotics — including marijuana, cocaine, heroin, LSD, and MDMA — has the same problems that alcohol prohibition did in its time, and then some. International drug traffickers reap huge profits and middle-and lower-class Americans pay the costly price of outdated drug policies. (Star-Democrat)

Read Full Article

Myers and Hoagland: Maryland Shouldn’t Backtrack On Manure Pollution

Maryland is making progress to reduce pollution to meet our obligations under the federal-state Chesapeake Bay Blueprint, a comprehensive cleanup plan for the bay. However, even as we've moved forward with these important steps, we could be on the verge of moving back on another. Agriculture is the single largest source of pollution to the Chesapeake Bay, and runoff from manure spread on farm fields is a major source of phosphorus pollution. Crops need phosphorus from fertilizers such as manure, but too much of a good thing leaves farm fields saturated, creating the risk of phosphorus runoff polluting nearby waterways and the bay. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article