David Troy: Disbanding and restarting the BPD can be done. Here's how.

Eighteen months ago I suggested in these pages that the only way to fix the Baltimore Police Department might be to disband it and start over (“Disband the BPD and start over,” Aug. 31, 2016). At the time, it seemed like an outlandish idea. Now, after a series of revelations about corruption in the department, each seemingly worse than the last, many others have come to agree that disbanding the department could be a real possibility. (Balt. Sun)

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Annapolis finally gets across Market House finish line

The Annapolis City Council has approved a new lease for Market House. Do you mind if we pause for a moment to savor typing that sentence? For a while, we didn’t know if we’d live long enough to get the chance. No one thinks Monday night’s vote to award a lease to New Market LLC, which plans to open a hall-style eatery with a fresh foods grocery in 10 weeks or so, will permanently erase the historic building from the council’s agenda. In one way or another, Annapolis has been arguing over Market House for better than 100 years. And this is a city that respects its traditions. (Capital)

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Tim Rowland: Beware of legal advice from the ether

So who was that masked lawyer? In one of the more bizarre moments in a county full of bizarre moments, the Washington County Board of Commissioners has decided to take important action based upon the advice of an attorney whose name none of them can remember. The action — or in this case, inaction might be the more accurate word — focuses on two investigations into allegations that Commissioner LeRoy Myers was a Very Naughty Boy during a business trip to South Korea. (Herald-Mail)

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Kudos to Planning Department for involving public in zoning code updates

As we’ve seen mostly recently with the Freedom Area Comprehensive Plan and, a few years prior to that with the Carroll County Master Plan, land-use planning can be complicated and contentious, especially when the public doesn’t feel like they are involved in the process. That’s why we are thus far pleased with how the Carroll County Department of Planning is handling its latest task, an update to the county’s zoning code that determines how properties are classified. The department sent mailers ahead of public meetings, where officials are asking for residents to provide feedback and ask questions. (Carr. Co. Times)

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February 14 // Laslo Boyd: The Stakes in the 2018 Election Keep Getting Higher

The Little Shop of Horrors, sometimes referred to as Donald Trump’s White House, keeps assaulting basic American values. The President defends staff members who abuse women. His proposed budget is nothing less than a war on the poor. Members of the cabinet run up enormous expenses on the taxpayers’ dime while food stamps, public housing and Medicare are slashed.  The world’s largest defense budget, dwarfing that of most other countries put together, is scheduled to increase faster than can be reasonably absorbed while the State Department has almost vanished. (fromacertainpointofview)

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Del. Maggie McIntosh, Del. Shelly Hettleman: Is Md.'s governor undermining attempts to thwart Trump's overreach?

As we knock on doors in Baltimore City and County asking what issues are on the minds of voters, there is a common question: What are we doing to protect Maryland from the Trump administration? That’s why we were surprised by the recent Sun editorial, Hogan v. Frosh, that makes the budget struggle between Gov. Larry Hogan and Attorney General Brian Frosh seem like a playground spat without real consequences. Nothing could be further from the truth. Budgets reflect values. When a president proposes dramatic increases the Defense Department’s budget, congressional power can serve as a counterbalance, as Congress has the power of the purse. Not so, here in Maryland. (Balt. Sun)

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Honest cops are victims of the Gun Trace Task Force, too; here's what they can do

The Baltimore police corruption verdicts Monday and the other guilty pleas that proceeded them have prompted a long list of ideas from the city’s new police commissioner, the mayor, City Council members and legislators for ways to restore the public’s trust in the department and prevent something like this from happening again. But the people with the most at stake are Baltimore’s honest cops — the ones who came to the profession for the right reasons and who now find their jobs infinitely more difficult. They need to stand up and be part of the solution, too. (Balt. Sun)

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Cindy Thorne, Brittany Horne: Black lives matter everywhere, especially schools

The Black Lives Matter at Schools movement is a natural outgrowth of Black Lives Matter (BLM), which has provided critical action toward social justice in America. In the schools, its mission is three-fold: end zero tolerance discipline and implement restorative practices, hire more black teachers, and mandate black history/ethnic studies. Last week, the movement held a “week of action,” with schools and individual teachers throughout the country — including in Baltimore, where we work — choosing to participate in an effort to foster an environment for these goals to take root and address long-standing systemic inequities. (Balt. Sun)

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