Elected officials should be accountable for missing meetings

Before delving into some proposed tweaks to the fiscal year 2018 budget on Tuesday, Commissioners Doug Howard and Steve Wantz took a few moments to address their absences from meetings in recent weeks, including Howard skipping the May 15 public hearing on the budget, as well as the Carroll County Times reporting those absences. In an emailed statement last week, Howard said he missed the hearing "due to an extremely heavy workload," and at Tuesday's meeting, said he was preparing for some extensive traveling as the reason he couldn't attend the public hearing, while noting he watched the video. (Carr. Co. Times)

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May 23 // Laslo Boyd: They’re Off and Running

Or are they? Although it seems likely there will be a crowded field in Maryland’s 2018 Democratic Primary for Governor, appearances might be deceiving. Currently, eight names have been mentioned frequently enough to become a list, but it’s far from certain that all of them will still be running a year from now. There are two reasons why the race has attracted as many prospects as it has. First, incumbent Larry Hogan looks like he could be vulnerable. (fromacertainpointofview)

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A stabbing in College Park

The University of Maryland is often referred to as the state's flagship, meaning its most prominent university, but it is really more than that. It is not just some high-profile taxpayer-subsidized enterprise but a repository of the state's culture, its aspirations and heritage, representing in brick, mortar, stone and manicured greenspace the value Marylanders place on truth, knowledge and the free exchange of ideas. It is nothing short of horrific that one of the most sacred times of the academic year, graduation weekend, would also be when a visiting student, Richard Collins III, 23, a Bowie State University senior in the ROTC program, was stabbed to death in the chest by a 22-year-old Maryland student from Severna Park under circumstances authorities are now investigating as a possible hate crime. (Balt. Sun)

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Mike O’Halloran: Small business implores Gov. Hogan to keep veto promise on sick leave

With each campaign season comes considerable promises to the small business community. Politicians show up at Mom and Pop stores for photo ops, take walks down Main Street and espouse dedication to empowering entrepreneurs by deregulating and creating pro-growth environments. When Larry Hogan was on the campaign trail, he often cited the fact that as a small business owner, he understood better than any other candidate how difficult it was to remain operational in a state that never seemed to fail in punishing employers with ill-advised policies. (Md. Reporter)

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Petula Dvorak: An accomplished young man is killed. Are we looking past the likely culprit?

Over the weekend, a dashing and successful 23-year-old was at a college campus, waiting for an Uber with a few friends. This guy had everything going for him. He was an Army ROTC student about to graduate this week. A true patriot who posted Facebook photos of himself in uniform, selfies of himself goofing around with his diverse group of friends, as well as props to President Trump for his handling of domestic policy. But his life ended Sunday morning after another student, one who publicly identified with a group that posts racist material, allegedly approached him and, unprovoked, stabbed him in the chest. Now imagine that the dead student is white and the guy behind bars is black. (Wash. Post)

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Carl Snowden: Anne Arundel County Circuit Court membership will change

The difference between a "movement" and a "moment" is commitment and sacrifice. A couple of weeks ago scores of protesters stood in front of the Annapolis courthouse on Church Circle in driving rain, protesting the lack of diversity on the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court. They pointed out that no African-American woman and no Latino or Asian has served on this court in its 366-year history. Whether the governor was a Democrat or a Republican, whether he was liberal or conservative, black women and other minorities have been excluded from the bench — period. (Capital)

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Walter Olson: Howard County's anti-sugar campaign is no example for the rest of the country

Many public health advocates feel you need to be nudged for your own good, by law if necessary, into making better choices about what to eat and drink. Have you heard about their latest triumph, the Howard County Miracle? NPR reported on it in March: "A three-year campaign in Howard County, Md., aimed at curbing the community's sweet tooth led to a significant decline in sales of sugary drinks." The public-private effort "led to a 20 percent decrease in sales of soda and a 15 percent decline in fruit drink sales between January 2013 and December 2015," as reported by local grocery stores. (Examiner)

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David Prater: Baltimore public housing plan needs scrutiny, oversight

The $27 million renovation and reopening of the city's Allendale public apartment complex was described as "hallelujah" moment by Carol Payne, the Director of the Baltimore Region for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. But a hallelujah moment for whom? Should public housing residents and applicants really be praising a program that turns publicly held assets over to private entities with practically no accountability to the low-income seniors and people with disabilities who will reside in these units? (Balt. Sun)

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