May 12 // Karl W. Bickel - Fiscal 2018 education budget: A pathway toward a community free of crime

After just reading “Hillbilly Elegy — A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis,” by J.D. Vance, and reflecting on Frederick County Public Schools’ budget, part of our county’s fiscal 2018 budget, I couldn’t help but think about the relationship between the budget, education, crime, public safety and substance abuse. This relationship makes passage of the county executive’s proposed budget, with the full funding of our public schools, critical to maintaining a future free from an unmanageable level of crime and public order problems. (News-Post)

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Tricia Bishop: Don't say we didn't warn you, Rod Rosenstein

Well, that didn't take long. Less than two weeks after being sworn in as the U.S. deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, who has long enjoyed bipartisan support as a federal prosecutor, got played by the Trump administration. The president used Mr. Rosenstein's reputation as a respected lawman to whitewash the vindictive firing of FBI Director James Comey on Tuesday — blaming it on Mr. Comey's bungled public statements about the investigation last year into Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server. (Balt. Sun)

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Jessica Shiller: Making “small schools” the budget villain is short-sighted and wrong

By now everyone knows that Baltimore’s schools are suffering another budget shortfall and that the extra funds scrounged up by state and city leaders barely takes the edge off the crisis. Amid this uncertainty comes a consultants’ study of the school budget, commissioned by the school system and funded by an unnamed foundation, that offers hard data and seems to suggest specific fixes. The report identifies one of the main culprits of the budget crisis as too many under-enrolled “small schools.” It’s an analysis that leaves out the history of how these small schools came to be and offers a fix that sacrifices children’s educational opportunities for short-term cost cutting. (Brew)

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Taneytown residents should take steps to oust Donald Frazier

For the second time since he was elected in spring of 2015, Taneytown City Councilman Donald Frazier has been unanimously censured by fellow members of the council for conduct deemed inappropriate of an elected official. The first time, it was to send a message, but since the passage of the city's Code of Conduct, Monday's censure could have serious consequences, should Taneytown's residents decide to take action. We believe they should by starting a recall petition for Councilman Frazier. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Michael Collins: Democrats give themselves edge on elected school board

Two cheers are in order for the Anne Arundel County General Assembly delegation for its legislation, House Bill 716, creating an elected school board. Three cheers might have been in order, but even when doing something right, county Democrats couldn't resist doing something wrong. In her recent column (The Capital, May 1), Del. Pam Beidle, D-Linthicum, took credit for the heavy lifting on the school board bill. But she failed to note a few of its features that serve to lock in Democratic control of the board. (Capital)

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Judge sends mural issue back to Annapolis officials

You could read Judge John P. McKenna Jr.'s decision this week as a vindication of art: Yes, there's more to a mural — or a painting, or a fresco — than a layer of paint. Perhaps somewhere out in the great beyond, there's cheering from Michelangelo, Diego Rivera, Thomas Hart Benton and all the other geniuses who glorified the walls and ceilings of churches, palaces and public buildings. Back in the here and now, we're still hoping the case — whatever the ultimate fate of the 20-by-50-foot mural on the facade of a West Street restaurant — prompts more discussion about the balance between preservation and innovation downtown, and whether Annapolis should revive last year's failed effort to redraw the Historic District code. (Capital)

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May 11 // Hogan swats down 'phony' redistricting reform

Gov. Larry Hogan is absolutely right: Democratic lawmakers' bill to reform Maryland's redistricting process only if five other states do the same was nothing more than an effort to make the issue go away without actually doing anything. Letting it become law would have muddied the issue and diminished any pressure Democrats might feel to take the drawing of legislative and congressional district lines out of self-interested, partisan hands. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore violence: Desperate times call for proven measures

Baltimore is in the midst of a long-running violence epidemic with no let-up in sight. We need a concerted focus from City Hall to the city's stoops on ending the daily killings, and we need to recognize that what we are doing now isn't working. Still, that doesn't mean we should blindly try any idea to stem violence, and the proposal being considered by city officials to test a guns-for-bail scheme is one we should greet with skepticism. (Balt. Sun)

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