Brian Griffiths: Why we moved to protect state flag

We at RedMaryland.com have received a lot of attention recently for an online petition we created urging our elected officials to protect our Maryland state flag. Gov. Larry Hogan expressed his support for the petition on Facebook. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael E. Busch clarified that they, too, opposed efforts to change the flag. The petition was also covered by news outlets: printed, online, television and radio. Why start a petition? (Capital)

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Bruce Fleming: Take down the statues but don't condemn our ancestors

Statues of people whose actions are not in sync with contemporary mores are going down all over, including the statue of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, which had stood in front of the Maryland State House for almost 150 years. Taney was the author of the famous Dred Scot decision holding that someone who was a slave according to the laws of his or her home state did not cease to be a slave if he got to a state that outlawed slavery. Statues are lumps of bronze and you can be proud of your heritage without them. They are not a big deal, I’d say, in the larger scheme of things. A bigger deal is that what they stood for is deeply woven into the fabric of who we are, and this cannot be torn out. (Capital)

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Dan Rodricks: Nobody asked me about Mosby, Kaepernick or the state song, but ...

Nobody asked me, but, while Marilyn Mosby, the Baltimore state’s attorney, wants everyone to understand that there’s no “overnight solution” to the city’s violence, she offered no such understanding for her predecessor. Starting with her campaign announcement in June 2013, Mosby blamed Greg Bernstein for rising violence. During Bernstein’s tenure, annual homicides went from 197 (in 2011) to 235 (in 2013). The number actually dropped to 211 in 2014, the year Mosby upset Bernstein in the Democratic primary. What’s happened since? In Mosby’s first two years in office, homicides soared past 300 annually, and at the current rate we could be headed there again. (Balt. Sun)

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Wendy Hartman Samet and Larry Walker: Private/public school partnership expands Baltimore students' horizons

There are few neighborhoods in Baltimore that aren’t delineated by race. If you are black or white in Baltimore City, odds are the racial makeup of your neighborhood reflects the color of your skin. Historically, minority neighborhoods have lower rates of home ownership, increased levels of poverty and less access to basic civic services. These economic inequities, this concentration of race, socially isolates Baltimoreans based on the color of their skin and defines the demographic makeup of our schools. (Balt. Sun)

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New school year brings challenges, opportunities

In a few days, we'll officially bury 2017's summer season and get back to the races. Class will start in the county's public schools for a record 82,000 students or, if you like, more than 15 percent of Anne Arundel's population. No wonder the schools take up half the county budget and employ about 14,000, more than twice as many as the rest of county government and the city of Annapolis combined. No wonder trying to catch up with the construction and renovation backlog in the sprawling network of school buildings is one of the county's biggest infrastructure challenges. (Capital)

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An alternative

Word has reached this outpost in the western end of the state that the University of Maryland marching band has suspended performance of the official state song, “Maryland, My Maryland.” A university spokeswoman has said the song will be evaluated to see “if it is consistent with the values” of the school. We have an idea how that’s going to turn out. (Times-News)

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James Braswell: There are bigger problems than statues

Amid the political unrest following the events at Charlottesville, Virginia, Gov. Larry Hogan decided to remove Chief Justice Roger B. Taney's statue from the State House grounds. Hogan's justification centered on Taney's misguided opinion in the Dred Scott case. While some may applaud Hogan's decision, I can only shake my head at the obvious political gamesmanship. But more importantly, what about us? Have we become the mob again? Have we reached the point where the standard for honoring someone is whether or not they made a terrible mistake in the past? (Capital)

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September 1 // What Maryland can do about Obamacare rates

Consumer advocates say Maryland’s increasing rates for health insurance on the Affordable Care Act’s individual market are unsustainable. Health insurance regulators say they’re unsustainable. Heck, even the insurance companies — which got approval for average increases ranging from 23 percent to 50 percent, depending on the plan and carrier — say so. But with a Trump administration dedicated to proving that the law is a failure and taking whatever steps it can to make it so, is there much Maryland can do about it? In short, yes. (Balt. Sun)

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