September 11 // Port Covington is the right fit for Amazon HQ2

Amazon laid out very specific criteria for the new, second headquarters campus it’s looking to build somewhere in North America, and dozens of cities are no doubt preparing pitches about why they present the ideal mix of talent, transportation access, quality of life amenities and so on to meet the company’s requirements. But there’s one big one that’s been overlooked in much of the coverage, and that’s speed. Amazon wants metro areas to submit proposals by Oct. 19 and expects to make a decision next year — an astonishingly fast timeline for a project of this size. It wants to know what a city and state can commit to now in terms of available sites, infrastructure, tax incentives and more. On that front, Baltimore has a huge advantage. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Fixing the unfair bail system is worth the costs

The bail system in place across most of America’s states and localities is patently unfair on its face, penalizing poor (and disproportionately minority) defendants who cannot afford to pay their way out of jail while rewarding others with the means to win their freedom as they await trial. Sustained by the financial and lobbying clout of the bail-bond industry, the system long seemed nearly impervious to reform. Now, with good reason, it is facing unprecedented scrutiny. New Jersey, Kentucky, Maryland, Chicago, the District of Columbia and a number of other places are showing that real reforms to the bail system are possible. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

Barry Rascovar: The truth about truth in sentencing

Gov. Larry Hogan can’t make up his mind. Last year he was a gung-ho advocate of “soft-on-criminals” reforms aimed at cutting Maryland’s prison population by 1,000 and putting more resources into helping low-level offenders avoid a life of crime. This time, though, Hogan is sporting his “tough on criminals” campaign button, calling for “truth-in-sentencing” as part of a crime-fighting package he’ll introduce in the next legislative session. So, is Hogan soft or tough on crime? As the 2018 election campaign draws closer, Mr. Tough Guy wins the day. (Md. Reporter)

Read Full Article

Jimmy DeButts: A plea for Market House leadership

Our Annapolis leaders have us at the Market House precipice yet again. Nine days before Annapolitans head to the polls to vote in the primary election, our leaders have bungled their way to a critical moment for Market House’s future. We use the term ‘leaders’ loosely. This is still Annapolis. The Market House still exists. We’re down to two options for Monday’s City Council meeting. The council could extend Market House leases for another year or pick one of three proposals for one vendor to operate the historic site with iconic City Dock views. The only responsible play is to delay action. (Capital)

Read Full Article

Nevin Young: A mayor committed to bipartisanship can help Annapolis achieve a lot

I am a GOP candidate for mayor. Many of you may already know me through my law practice here in town, or even from the days when I was a student at St. John’s College. When the incumbent mayor was elected in 2013, I was excited that there would be a chance for change. I thought that with someone younger, there was finally a chance to push out the entrenched bureaucracy that often ill serves the citizens and to bring about the technological updating that our city has long needed. My hopes turned to disappointment, as this administration seems to have struggled in its efforts to achieve anything through its own initiatives and its executive functions. (Capital)

Read Full Article

County seeks legal tool to fight opioid surge

Anne Arundel County's Republican County Executive Steve Schuh isn't usually grouped with Maryland's Democratic Attorney General Brian Frosh. But the two — along with many other officials nationwide — clearly share at least one conviction: When it comes to the opioid epidemic that has nearly tripled overdose deaths in this state in the last decade, government needs to use every legal weapon at its disposal. (Capital)

Read Full Article

Jacqueline Guild and Evan Isaacson: States must step up if Trump muzzles EPA

Why do we have laws? The simplest answer is to ensure order in society, where lines are drawn to govern things one cannot do, for the good of all. As Abraham Lincoln said, “laws without enforcement are just good advice.” Shoplifting would be rampant if there were no punishments for stealing. In the same way, we cannot expect to keep making progress in cutting pollution without implementing effective pollution control laws. Our environmental and public health safeguards are worth nothing if they are not enforced. Even as the states face their own enforcement challenges, the Trump administration is waging an assault on the main federal agency tasked with implementing and enforcing the laws designed to protect the environment and public health. (Daily Times)

 

Read Full Article

Tim Rowland: Loss of festival would leave many blue

Ideally, we should watch money the way we keep an eye on the weather. You’re aware of it, and you don’t take foolish chances, but you don’t let it drive your life. And most important, money should not be used as a measuring stick by which failures or successes are determined. But, in real life, we tend not to do that. We assume the happiest people are the ones with the biggest houses. We judge people in accordance to their salaries, not by the joy they spread among their fellow man. So it’s not surprising to see the conversation over the Western Maryland Blues Fest break down into a discussion over dollars and cents. (Herald-Mail)

Read Full Article