Livable wage is essential

It should not be too much to ask businesses to provide their employees with a livable wage or, failing that, we should take steps to raise the minimum wage allowed by law. Higher earnings for employees puts more money in their pocket, which they in turn will use to buy goods or services, spurring the economy. It lifts more people out of poverty and allows them to get off government assistance programs, something which ultimately would reduce overall government spending. (Carroll Co. Times)

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Dan Rodricks: 'We want your guns, not your drugs'

Two weeks after a federal judge declared New York City's stop-and-frisk policing unconstitutional is an odd time to ask the question, but here goes: Would New York-style stop-and-frisk policing reduce Baltimore homicides to such a low level that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's goal of growing the city by 10,000 families would start to look plausible, even overly modest? (Balt. Sun)

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Richard Cross: GOP in 2014?

Simply put, the GOP's eventual gubernatorial nominee could conceivably run a perfect campaign yet lose anyway simply because the resources and the numbers simply aren't there. Given these realities, I find it difficult to see any credible path for a GOP gubernatorial win in 2014. That said, here's hoping someone proves this jaded observer wrong. (Balt. Sun)

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Christopher Massi: The primary color is purple

Now that we know the blindingly obvious — Blaine Young is not going to run for governor — maybe we can ask the next logical question about his political career: Will he run for Frederick County executive? The temptation is surely there. Assuming for the moment that Jan Gardner, former aide to U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski and former president of the Frederick County Commissioners, runs on the Democratic ticket, Blaine will be frothing at the microphone on his radio show. (News-Post)

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Rick Blatchford: Leaving Maryland

A group in Maryland is contemplating the subject of secession. These people wish to have the western counties of Maryland (from Carroll to Garrett) secede from the rest of the state. Few can disagree that these counties have little in common with the counties which control the state’s political machine. The reasons for this movement are fairly sound. The state for years has been controlled by the Democrat’s machine. The machine is formed primarily by people from three counties -- Montgomery, Prince George's and Baltimore. In essence, three counties control the entire state. Worse yet, the predominantly Republican counties get short shrift. Honest Democrats acknowledge this. (News-Post)

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Starting school after Labor Day

The debate over moving the date to send students back to school after their summer vacation was reignited again, recently. But rather than being a local discussion, as is generally the case, the issue is being pushed by one of the state's top elected officials, Comptroller Peter Franchot. You may ask yourself why Maryland's tax collector is weighing in on the 180-day school year, the traditional turf of education. The answer is, Franchot says, financial. (News-Post)

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Martha Holleman: Put Baltimore back to work

From growing our tax base and economy to improving school performance and reducing crime, Baltimore will work better when more of Baltimore is working. The only way to get more of Baltimore working is to increase employment opportunities and build skills. Summer vacation is over. It's time to get to work. (Balt. Sun)

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Unsolved hit-and-runs frustrating, heartbreaking

Investigations into fatal hit-and-runs are among the hardest jobs the police undertake. And they can be among the most frustrating. There may be no witnesses, or witnesses who didn’t see much. Investigators comb the road and roadside for auto parts, follow up tip after tip, canvass neighborhoods and contact insurance companies, auto body shops and salvage yards. (Capital)

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