Rodricks: Experts worry about election fraud threat

By now, just about everyone connected to the Internet is familiar with this process: Required to fill out and sign a form of some kind, you ask for and receive a hyperlink via email. You open the link, find the form you need (perhaps a pdf), download it, print it, fill it out and mail it off. That's a common practice, though increasingly old-school by today's online standards. There doesn't seem to be anything particularly risky about the transaction; few would think twice about conducting business that way. But while integrity is important in all transactional realms, it rises to precious when we're talking about voting. (Balt. Sun)

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McCartney: Charles County farmers, developers try to get around Gov. O’Malley’s anti-sprawl efforts

It’s easy to see why farmers in the fast-growing outer suburbs of Charles County are furious over Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley’s battle against development sprawl. It’s all about the money. An acre of farmland typically fetches $4,500 to $5,000 if it’s going to grow corn, wheat or vegetables. But the county farm bureau says the same property, if sold to a developer to build homes or businesses, is valued at up to $200,000 an acre. (Wash. Post)

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Hugh Bethell: Patience is not always a virtue

The Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners is currently interviewing for a new CEO. On behalf of downtown parents with children in city schools, I'd like to suggest a few traits the new hire should not have: patience, listening skills, and new ideas. (Balt. Sun)

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Vincent O. Leggett: Progress at the Housing Authority

The Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis has had two executive directors in the past eight years. There was a period in the not-so-distant past when HACA had five directors in seven years. Typically, the average tenure for an executive director is just below three years. The Board of Commissioners, under the leadership of Carl O. Snowden, selected me as the executive director of HACA in December 2010. Since that time the agency has achieved a number of significant accomplishments. (Capital)

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Executive nomination race will be good for Democrats

When a vigorous race breaks out in a primary election, you sometimes hear moaning from activists and political operatives that the brawling will leave the party’s chosen candidate battered, bruised and enfeebled in the November general election. It rarely plays out that way. Politicians, like businesses, step up their game when they have credible competitors. Whether this year’s GOP primary for county executive is won by incumbent Laura Neuman or Del. Steve Schuh, the victorious candidate will be stronger for having had to win the party’s nod. (Capital)

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Todd Eberly: The Minimum Wage is a Poor Way to Support Working Families in Maryland

In a prior post, I argued against minimum and living wage schemes on the basis that they harm unskilled laborers and are far less effective than tax schemes like the Earned Income Tax Credit when it comes to targeting the working poor.  As Maryland lawmakers continue to consider a substantial hike in MD's minimum wage, I have been encouraged by the number of folks speaking against the perceived wisdom of such an increase. (Free Star Blog)

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Good move by CVS

CVS is getting some well-deserved praise after announcing that it will stop selling tobacco products by Oct. 1. With 7,600 stores nationwide, CVS is the nation’s second largest drugstore chain. Company officials said the move makes sense as it continues to grow its health-care business. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Guilty until proven innocent

A report released this week from the National Registry of Exonerations, a joint venture between two Midwestern law schools, hails 2013 as a "record-breaking" year for exonerations — though the term is used loosely. Overturned convictions may have little to do with the establishment of actual innocence and more to do with the discovery of mistakes or misdeeds in the legal proceedings. Around the country, at least 87 convictions were overturned last year, including two in Maryland — one because information about the unreliability of a key witness was withheld from the defense and the other because DNA analysis revealed another man committed the crime. (Balt. Sun)

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