Outside money funds a dishonest smear campaign in Prince George’s

The contrast could not be more stark between the campaigns of the two leading candidates for Prince George’s County executive on the June 26 Democratic primary ballot. One, Angela D. Alsobrooks, the county’s top prosecutor since 2008, has raised money from thousands of county residents and is running a no- ­nonsense, substantive, grass-roots effort. The other, Donna F. Edwards, a former member of Congress, has mainly outsourced her campaign to a coalition of special interests that has injected nearly $1 million since March into getting her elected. (Wash. Post)

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Deborah Simmons: Rushern Baker cheats on his education exam

Oh, the things that pour out of politicians’ mouths after they win key endorsements. Rushern Baker III, Democrat, is up. He’s up because he’s running for Maryland governor. He’s also up because, as a two-term Prince George’s County executive, much has gone awry with county schools, students and teaches since he took office. Also, Mr. Baker is up because on Thursday he released his “10-Point Education Proposal to Make Maryland Schools Number One in the Country Again.” (Wash. Times)

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Kim Burns: Anne Arundel County should follow county Schuh's vision for Council District 1

During my campaign for the County Council I have met and talked with many people all over the northern and western neighborhoods of Anne Arundel County on their porches, at their community meetings and during other events. Not infrequently, what I hear is some version of “no one cares about us.” Over and over again, I meet residents of County Council District 1 who feel neglected and forgotten by county government. And there are ample reasons to justify those feelings. (Capital)

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Rezoning North Carroll High is the best possible outcome

The Town of Hampstead seems to have softened its stance when it comes to a potential rezoning of the former North Carroll High School, and that’s a good thing in the long run. On Tuesday, the Board of County Commissioners voted 4-1 to authorize county planners to assist Hampstead to draft a rezoning plan for the former school building, leaving fields for recreational use. The commissioners suggested the parcel would be zoned for restricting industrial use. (Carr. Co. Times)

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June 7 // Dan K. Morhaim: Fight crime by treating substance abuse

On March 27, in a House Judiciary Committee hearing, I asked Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger what percentage of crime in Baltimore County was due to drugs. His answer: “Upwards of 85 percent.” I then asked Baltimore City Police Major Byron Conaway the same question, and his answer was “90 percent.” As an E.R. doctor, I ask my patients who are substance abusers where they get the $50 a day needed to sustain their habit. Many get others hooked because then those new users become paying customers. There’s also petty crime, prostitution and the major crimes that plague our streets and neighborhoods. If we are to be serious about reducing crime, then the focus must be on preventing and treating substance abuse. (Balt. Sun)

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Which Democratic gubernatorial candidate is best on the environment?

For a state with so much at stake environmentally — from the fragile Chesapeake Bay to communities that are vulnerable to extreme weather or sea level rise — there’s been relatively little discussion of the environment in the crowded Democratic primary to challenge Gov. Larry Hogan. Perhaps that’s because the Republican Mr. Hogan, while not perfect in the eyes of environmentalists, has been better on the issue than most expected, making it less fruitful as an avenue of attack. Perhaps it’s because the seven major Democratic candidates largely agree on major issues related to the bay and clean energy. (Balt. Sun)

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Tamara Toles O’Laughlin: Maryland's air quality is a growing crisis

At the Maryland Environmental Health Network, air quality is chief among the issues we tackle. Although it’s not well highlighted, Maryland’s air quality has problems. Both our citizens and the Chesapeake Bay are vulnerable. The causes of poor air quality are many, from industrial pollution and waste disposal to agriculture, car and truck traffic, emissions from an ever-growing network of pipelines stretching from Canada to Virginia, and bad breezes blowing in from the Ohio River Valley. (Daily Times)

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Auditor offers caution on capital spending, hope on hiring teachers

Every now and then — at least in some jobs, if you are living up to your responsibilities — you have to be the skunk at the garden party. JoDee Dickinson, the county auditor, was living up to her responsibilities on Tuesday when she warned about the size of the county’s bonded indebtedness for capital projects. Her recommendation the council remove $28 million in capital funding for “advanced land acquisition” can’t have been the nicest of tidings for County Executive Steve Schuh, who wants to use that money to buy land for parks or future school sites — and is considering using about $22.5 million of it to buy the Belle Grove Landfill in Brooklyn Park. (Capital)

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