Scott Shaffer: Md. -- a transportation innovator?

Maryland is not known as a mass transportation innovator. Despite having the longest average commute times in the nation, its transit projects have traditionally produced mediocre performance for their massive costs. The MARC, the Baltimore Metro subway, and the Light Rail have long under-performed the potential they once promised, and their aging infrastructure questions the wisdom of any continued development. (Balt. Sun)

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U.S. trends not the best way to view Annapolis politics

“All politics are local,” one-time speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill used to say. And we like to think that’s true of most of the politics we cover. Certainly Annapolis voters have their own set of issues — from parking to development to Market House — that don’t budge political seismographs in Washington, D.C. But O’Neill was the product of the era before 24-hour cable news outlets, not to mention social media. These days all politics are seen, or at least described, as national. So if Annapolis’ election is noticed at all by national-level talking heads, it will be folded together with gubernatorial contests in Virginia and New Jersey as part a grand narrative about Democratic victories generated by a backlash against President Donald Trump. (Capital)

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Bill Henry: Baltimore can't police itself out of its problems

In fiscal year 1990 — when I first came to work as staff to the City Council before being elected a member a decade ago — Baltimore spent $165 million on the police department and $37 million on the Recreation and Parks Department. This year, even though Recreation and Parks’ budget has been increased by our new mayor to $47 million, it is still dwarfed by the $494 million we will spend on the police department. That means that over the last generation or so, we have increased what we spend trying to deter and catch criminals by 200 percent, but we’ve only increased what we invest in the programs most likely to keep our children from becoming criminals in the first place by 27 percent. (Balt. Sun)

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November 8 // Josh Kurtz: Did the political terrain just shift in Maryland?

For Maryland Democrats, the 2018 elections can’t come fast enough. On the heels of Tuesday night’s blue wave – in Virginia, in Annapolis and in Frederick, among other places – Democrats are already sensing a shift in the state’s political dynamic, and peril for Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on his march toward re-election. (Md. Matters)

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Was Goodson acquitted because he's innocent or because BPD screwed up the case?

The acquittal of Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. on all counts related to his role as the driver of the police van in which Freddie Gray sustained his fatal injuries comes as an anti-climax — not necessarily because it was the wrong verdict but because it came with no explanation of how the three-member trial board came to its conclusions. Unlike the meticulous discussions Circuit Judge Barry Williams provided for his not-guilty judgments in the criminal cases against Mr. Goodson and the other officers charged in Gray’s death we did not get — and under Maryland’s rules protecting personnel records, will not get — any hint about what persuaded the trial board that he violated no departmental rules that day two and a half years ago. (Balt. Sun)

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Deborah Simmons: Rushern Baker, et al. vs. Gov. Larry Hogan

Democrats Ben Jealous and Maya Rockeymoore Cummings should be quite comfortable watching Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and their brother Dem Rushern Baker duke it out over the scandalous grade-fixing problem in Prince George's County. Upper Marlboro in Prince George's County is ground zero for the scandal, and Mr. Baker, the county executive, wants to replace Mr. Hogan as Maryland’s governor in 2018. If Mr. Hogan plays his popularity cards right (and he has so far), Mr. Baker will manage to add fist bumps to his campaign ads and donations to his war chest thanks to an endorsement from — ta da! — Sen. Chris Van Hollen. (Wash. Times)

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Annapolis voters go for Buckley and change

Tuesday night, after all the months of debates and forums and columns and mailers and dubious polls, we finally got the best hard evidence we'll have for the next four years about what Annapolis residents really want. Gavin Buckley was swept into the mayor's office, defeating Mike Pantelides, an earnest incumbent whose record lacked major blots. The win was a dramatic culmination for a campaign at first written off by some as Buckley seeking publicity for his restaurants or venting annoyance with the city over a legal dispute about a mural. (Capital)

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Lisa VanBuskirk: New petition on school start times

Two months into the school year, many families are settling into their students’ new schedules. Perhaps they still wonder how we got to this 13-to-15-minute change in start times and if it can be improved, now that winter darkness is approaching. Five years ago, in October 2012, Start School Later Anne Arundel County began a petition asking that all schools start no earlier than 8 a.m. That’s still a valid request, but the conversation has evolved as research piles up and health experts make additional recommendations regarding school start times for adolescents. (Capital)

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