We've seen crisis teams up close, and they're worth every penny

County Executive Steve Schuh is to be applauded for his request to shift funding within the current county budget to pay for two new Mental Health Agency Mobile Crisis Response Teams. We’ve seen these teams up close, and we can attest wholeheartedly that expanding the teams is the right thing to do. County mobile crisis teams respond to police incidents where they connect victims and appropriate services after trauma or other issues. This could mean they help someone with an opioid addiction seek treatment or connect victims of violence to counselors. (Capital)

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September 17 // Barry Rascovar: Will Hogan Have Coattails?

Barring a “blue wave,” anti-Trump voter surge of historic proportions, Larry Hogan is primed to win a second four-year term as Maryland governor on Nov. 5. If that comes about, will Hogan have coattails? Four years ago, Hogan’s popularity — or perhaps the unpopularity of Democratic nominee Anthony Brown — helped carry a few fellow Republicans across the finish line in down-ballot races. This time, Hogan isn’t the brand-new outsider challenging the tired status quo. He’s on the inside now, but he’s fortunate that economic times have turned bright in Maryland: He gets to claim part-credit. (politicalmaryland)

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Steve Herling: PJM reaffirms Transource plan to supply low-cost, reliable electricity

Public interest has grown recently in the proposed Transource electric transmission project designed to improve the efficient flow of low-cost electricity across the border of Maryland and Pennsylvania. As deliberations occur at the state level, it is important for the public to understand the purpose of the project and the role of our company, PJM Interconnection, in its planning. (York Dispatch)

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Will Baltimore County pay for better schools?

Conventional wisdom in Baltimore County is that you don’t win public office by promising to raise taxes, so it’s not too surprising that the Democratic and Republican candidates running for county executive this year aren’t going there even as they pledge to make county schools better. In the case of Johnny Olszewski Jr., the Democrat and former two-term delegate, it’s an especially glaring contradiction given the amount of investment in public education he’s endorsed, from $2 billion in school construction to smaller class sizes and a 20 percent increase in teacher pay. (Balt. Sun)

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A Maryland man was prosecuted for praying. The case should be shelved for good.

Vijay Singh has lived for more than 20 years on Brooklawn Terrace in Chevy Chase. Born in Nepal, he is a practicing Hindu. Twice a day he prays on his backyard porch with incense. Actually, make that past tense. Mr. Singh says he and his family have been afraid to pray ever since he was cited by Montgomery County officials for — and this is no joke — polluting the atmosphere with incense. Acting on the complaint of a next-door neighbor who found the smell from the incense “sickeningly sweet and nauseating,” Montgomery County’s Department of Environmental Protection cited Mr. Singh in June for “allowing the emission into the atmosphere an odor . . . which is crossing property lines and creating air pollution for neighboring properties.” (Wash. Post)

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Bill Ferguson, Jess Gartner: Stop the blame game over the state of Baltimore schools

As a state senator and the CEO of an education finance company, respectively, we have independently expressed healthy doses of frustration and criticism over local school spending and state funding. But the problems we are witnessing in Baltimore this year with school building infrastructure are far bigger and older than the recent tenure of schools CEO Sonja Santelises or the first term of Gov. Larry Hogan. Continuing to volley the blame of decades of accumulated underinvestment serves no one — especially not city students. (Balt. Sun)

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Tracie Hovermale: If elected delegate, I will address complex issues surrounding gun violence

We can and we must find ways to curb gun violence. Stifling conversation and research by declaring a violation of Second Amendment rights will not take us forward and we cannot stand still. With the lack of action at the federal level, Maryland needs to work even harder and stay in the forefront on developing policies. I believe, as do most people, that universal background checks should be required for all sales regardless of the type of gun and place of purchase. Background checks won’t stop all gun violence but we must not fail to act in anticipation that the outcome of an action may not be fool-proof. (Capital)

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Charlie Smith: We must keep our juvenile facilities safe from violent offenders

The public defender seeks to have all juveniles, regardless of their history of violence, detained only in facilities run by the Department of Juvenile Services. The truth is that there are some defendants under the age of 18 that DJS facilities are just not capable of handling. The procedures and policies in place at DJS facilities contemplate rehabilitation of juveniles. However, there are many defendants under the age of 18 that simply cannot, and should not, be sent to a juvenile detention facility. Why? They have proved to be a dangerous, violent threat to the safety of others, and are unable to be controlled by the methods approved in juvenile facilities. (News-Post)

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