Rodricks: Baltimore police commissioner De Sousa stumbles, but he's on right path

Can we just say this at the top and get it over with? The acting police commissioner of Baltimore is off to a rocky start. He might be eager to enact reforms and make big changes in a department rattled by scandal, but Darryl De Sousa has stumbled out of the gate. And too bad. It did not have to be this way. Consider events of Thursday and Friday. It appears De Sousa was set to take at least two questionable actions that he either reversed or put on hold once they were revealed by the news media. (Balt. Sun)

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Susan Gauvey: Baltimoreans loyal to their libraries

When I came to Baltimore 40 years ago, I encountered the icebreaker question: “Where did you go to school?” At first, I answered with my college, until I understood that in Baltimore, it meant: What was your high school? People felt a genuine warmth, loyalty and devotion to the schools they attended during their formative years. When I became a member of the Enoch Pratt Free Library board, I borrowed from this Baltimore convention and began asking: “What was your branch?” I was not prepared for the force of the answers: quick, enthusiastic and full of affection. “Pratt stories” tumbled out. (Balt. Sun)

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February 9 // It will take more than cash to make the problems at the heart of Md.'s HBCU lawsuit go away

The letter from Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration to the Legislative Black Caucus saying he wants to finally settle the long-running lawsuit by supporters of Maryland’s four historically black colleges and universities — and is willing to put $100 million into the effort over 10 years — is welcome news. But the plaintiffs’ lead attorney is right: This isn’t a write-a-check kind of problem. We are continually reminded of the profound and lasting effects of Maryland’s legacy of segregation, and even if the state is able to muster enough money to make this lawsuit go away, it will take much more to address the underlying problems. (Balt. Sun)

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School board's transitional two-step will be confusing

The process of filling an appointed school board could get maddeningly complicated, particularly in the last few years, when political tug-of-war ripped the system apart at the seams — prompting state legislators to finally switch Anne Arundel County to an elected board. But that transition will happen in two stages, in this year’s election and in 2020. And moves last week spotlighted the fact that the transition isn’t going to be simple — and that the School Board Appointment Commission may be playing a major role in filling seats for a while longer. (Capital)

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Becky Lundberg Witt: Mandatory liquor license mediation harmful to Baltimore and its residents

This legislative session, Senator Joan Carter Conway and the Baltimore City Delegation have reintroduced House Bill 747 and Senate Bill 398, which would give the Baltimore City Liquor Board the authority to require mediation between liquor licensees and community members before a public hearing can be scheduled for a license renewal protest. The liquor board itself requested that this bill be introduced. (Balt. Sun)

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Alternative Fact of the Week: Baltimore is hanging cops out to dry

We take a break from the usual weekly effort to straighten out Trump administration lies to highlight a particularly damaging alternative fact right here at home. On Tuesday, Baltimore’s police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, thought it a good time to raise alarm among the men and women in blue by sending out a memo claiming that the city had changed a policy and would no longer cover punitive damages against officers in civil suits if juries found they had acted with “actual malice.” (Balt. Sun)

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Tanya Katerí Hernández: Frederick Douglass: a multi-racial trailblazer

Last year President Trump made statements that left the impression he believed that abolitionist Frederick Douglass was still alive. In some respects, he still is. This month marks the 200th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’ birth, and his racial justice work continues to be relevant today. In fact, after President Trump was informed that Douglass died in 1895, the president signed into law the Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commission Act to organize events to honor the bicentennial anniversary of Douglass’s birth. (Balt. Sun)

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Affordable prescription drugs a human right

Mrs. M is a 65-year-old woman who couldn’t afford medications for her diabetes and heart problems. She began cutting her pills into half, then into thirds and quarters. One day, she suffered a massive heart attack. (Daily Record)

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