Brandon Scott: Handle minor Baltimore crimes online or over the phone

Homicides in Baltimore are at an all-time high, and across the city citizens are begging for police resources that they are being told just aren’t available. By now everyone has heard that the department is short officers and down significantly from its heyday of 3,000-plus officers. A few years ago there were over a thousand officers assigned to district patrol. At a recent hearing, police representatives informed the City Council Public Safety Committee that there were around 750 officers assigned to district patrol. Couple these factors with district commanders struggling daily with their shift strength (thanks to a collectively bargained schedule courtesy of the former police commissioner), and you have two concurrent crises. (Balt. Sun)

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Eric Stephenson: Worse than Target leaving Mondawmin – the city letting it happen

News that Target will shut down its store at the Mondawmin Mall after the Christmas season surprised and angered many across Baltimore. More than a store, the hip-yet-affordable retailer was a symbol of something positive for our part of the city. Here was a quality operation located in a primarily African-American, transit-friendly neighborhood that served locals eager for quality products and attracted shoppers who might not ordinarily patronize Mondawmin Mall. (Brew)

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Carl Snowden: Annapolis makes progress toward diversity, inclusiveness

Every campaign has winners and losers, and last week's mayoral election was no exception. The winners included the Latino community, which saw Democratic Ward 5 candidate Marc Rodriguez become the first Latino elected to the Annapolis City Council. He will not be the last. As the city's demographics change, so will the political complexion of the City Council. The next City Council will have three African-American women and a Latino. (Capital)

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November 13 // Brian E. Frosh, Mark R. Herring, Karl A. Racine: A poison pill for the Chesapeake Bay

For all who cherish the Chesapeake Bay and champion efforts to save this national treasure, reports of improved oxygen levels and rebounding crab and oyster populations should be reason to take heart. Collective efforts of Chesapeake watershed states are bearing fruit, with water quality improving — but more progress is needed before the United States’ largest estuary is truly out of the woods. Now, these hard-earned gains are threatened. In September, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) introduced an amendment to the 2018 House appropriations bill that would prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from spending funds to enforce the restoration plan known as the Chesapeake Total Maximum Daily Load. This deliberate sabotage was not Goodlatte’s first attempt to thwart the collaborative federal-state efforts in the Chesapeake Bay. (Wash. Post)

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Jordan Cooper, Ellen Silbergeld: Antibiotic legislation falls short in Maryland

Maryland’s Keep Antibiotics Effective Act of 2017 is one step in the right direction — but only one step, thanks to a loophole in the legislation large enough for a battleship to pass through. The bill, which went into effect last month, attempts to limit the prophylactic use of antibiotics in livestock and poultry to arrest the spread of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria so as to prolong the efficacy of our antibiotic drugs. The legislation is to be commended for prohibiting the use of antibiotics in livestock and poultry to promote weight gain or to improve feed efficiency. Unfortunately, the bill does not require confirmation of disease in a herd or flock before animals can be treated with antibiotics. (Wash. Post)

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Jimmy DeButts: Maryland can't support maglev on its current path

Forgive Deborah Thomas if she isn’t convinced. Standing on the porch of her Linthicum home, she nods east. That's where a light rail station is located. It's one, she says, that was built despite residents' opposition. Thomas fears a proposed multibillion-dollar, high-speed train will cut through or under her neighborhood. The light rail experience has made her wary. The maglev is a Japanese train that can travel more than 300 mph. A magnetic levitation train that would run between Washington, D.C., and New York has been proposed. The line would stop in Baltimore and at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. Thomas’ neighborhood lies in the path of one of the final three proposed routes. (Capital)

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Gerrymandering vs. voting fairness

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh recently asked the Supreme Court to affirm a lower court decision not to require a new statewide congressional map before the 2018 election. Republicans were seeking a new map for next year as part of their long challenge to the Democratic congressional redistricting after the 2010 census. Republicans had held the 6th District seat for 20 years, but promptly lost it in 2012, after Democrats added a big chunk of Montgomery County voters. (News-Post)

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Rodricks: Helping the children of the opioid epidemic

The little boy had run out of food, and he was hungry, so he started knocking on doors. That’s when the neighbors realized something was terribly wrong. The boy was 5 years old, a kindergartner and the son of a man who now lay dead from an overdose of fentanyl in his girlfriend’s house in Allegany County. The girlfriend was dead, too, also from an overdose. It is believed the couple had died some 48 hours before their bodies were discovered on that Monday last year, when the boy went looking for food. David Cox, superintendent of schools in Allegany County, told Congress this story on Wednesday in Washington. (Balt. Sun)

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