Conowingo tango

As a candidate for governor, Larry Hogan frequently attacked Maryland’s approach to fighting pollution entering the Chesapeake Bay, particularly the locally-assessed storm water cleanup fee — calling it a “rain tax” — while claiming the previous administrations had done nothing to prevent trapped sediment from cascading past the Conowingo Dam, which he viewed as the far bigger problem. His point was that Gov. Martin O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, Mr. Hogan’s Democratic opponent in the 2014 race, should not have been regulating “watermen, farmers and struggling families” and should have instead been protecting the bay from “federal and corporate neglect.” (Balt. Sun)

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Aliyah N. Horton: Importing drugs may endanger patients

In today's uncertain health care climate, efforts to ensure Marylanders' access to affordable health care must be of paramount importance to our state and federal legislators. Gov. Larry Hogan takes this responsibility seriously. Having battled cancer himself, he understands what's at stake for Marylanders needing access to care. To that end, the state government, the University of Maryland and more than 150 local companies recently announced the creation of the National Institute for Innovation of Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL) to focus on tackling today's most pressing medical challenges, including Alzheimer's, cancer and chronic diseases. (Balt. Sun)

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Westeros on the Potomac

In “Game of Thrones,” the popular HBO series that returned for a seventh season this week, the kings and queens of mythical Westeros have a brazen disregard for anything that doesn’t provide them with greater wealth or power. Indeed, the most prominent character of honor on the show, Ned Stark, was killed off in the first season. For the average viewer, watching the self-indulgent and duplicitous behavior of those seeking to sit on the Iron Throne is initially shocking but, after it happens over and over again, soon seems normal. The non-royals of the seven kingdoms — peasants, soldiers, tradesmen and the like — have little choice but to accept the machinations of those in power, some loyally, others ruefully. (Balt. Sun)

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Lee McC. Kennedy: Following Murray Kempton's example

This year is chock-a-block with centennial celebrations. It is the anniversary of the Russian Revolution and President John F. Kennedy’s birth. In researching some material for Boys’ Latin School, where I teach history, I came across another centennial for a lesser known individual, an alumnus of the school: the late journalist Murray Kempton, who won the Pulitzer Prize (which is also celebrating its centennial in 2017) for distinguished commentary in 1985. After graduating from Boys’ Latin, Kempton went to Johns Hopkins University and worked briefly in Baltimore as a social worker before leaving to take a job with the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. (Balt. Sun)

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July 19 // Michael Collins: Time for the state prosecutor to get involved?

Two intertwined issues exploded last week in what some consider a constitutional crisis, but this dispute is a bit overblown. The showdown was initially between Gov. Larry Hogan and the legislature over whether or not Dennis Schrader could be paid after being appointed acting secretary of health. The plot thickened, however, when it was revealed that Schrader’s nomination was pulled before a vote because Senate President Mike Miller allegedly attempted to secure an unethical—possibly illegal—quid pro quo as the cost of confirmation. (Md. Reporter)

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Tom McCord and Brian Simpson: Baltimore County's sewer plans are murky

You may not like reading about sewage infrastructure, but you probably like polluted waterways even less. Want to cool off in local waters? Don’t even think about it at Lake Roland. Blue Water Baltimore has given a grade of “F” for the water quality in Lake Roland and its tributaries — including Towson Run and Roland Run, which have sewer pipes beside or beneath them. And here’s why things are about to get worse: Baltimore County is adding two new sewer lines — one from downtown Towson and another from the west — that will join three existing lines that flow into one big pipe called an interceptor under Lake Roland. (Balt. Sun)

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Eliza Schultz: Education secretary may undermine Title IX protections for campus sexual assault survivors

In 2011, under the Obama administration, the Department of Education issued a “Dear Colleague” letter that stated, in plain language, that students had a right to an education free of sexual violence under Title IX — the law that protects students from discrimination based on gender in any federally funded education program. The guidance also outlined schools’ responsibilities to prevent and address gender-based violence on campus. Later that same year, I entered Johns Hopkins as a freshman. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the university did not seem to take seriously some of those obligations. (Balt. Sun)

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Carroll needs crisis intervention team

On Thursday, the Board of County Commissioners will be asked to sign off on the Carroll County Health Department's plan to use more than $138,000 in state grant funding to add a mobile crisis team to assist in the battle against the heroin and opioid epidemic that has already seen more than two dozen lives in Carroll lost to overdoses this year. The funding is part of $4 million distributed across the state's 23 counties and Baltimore City by the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention to local opioid intervention teams, which can decide how best to use the money. (Carr. Co. Times)

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