Treatment here, not Timbuktu

Mayor Catherine Pugh’s recent musings that drug addicts should be put “on a plane to Timbuktu or somewhere” rather than receive treatment where they live misunderstands the nature of addiction and recovery, and, whether intentionally or not, it connotes an attitude that addicts should be put out of sight and out of mind rather than cared for as members of our community. We sincerely hope it does not become policy in a city where we need to be doing everything possible to make treatment more available and accessible, not less. (Balt. Sun)

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Michael Collins: Stirring up a long, hot summer on race

Racial tensions are simmering in Anne Arundel County.  Or at least, that’s what some political activists want you to believe. County Councilman Pete Smith, D-Severn, thinks Anne Arundel County needs to declare a “state of emergency” on race relations.  Activist Carl Snowden, and his new group, the Caucus of African American Leaders, have joined the fight. At a caucus meeting last month, Smith said he would push the County Council for the state of emergency, citing a discrimination complaint against the deputy fire chief at BWI airport, a few unsubstantiated complaints against Annapolis police, and the murder of Richard Collins at Bowie State by a white man from Severna Park. (Md. Reporter)

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E.R. Shipp: Are judges really to blame for Baltimore violence?

Does it really come down to the judges? Should blame for repeat felons with access to guns and the temperament to use them be laid at the feet of the men and women in robes? Gov. Larry Hogan thinks that is “a huge part of the problem.” He cites the same statistics the police commissioner does about Baltimore’s repeat shooters. “They don’t even fear a guilty verdict because guilty verdicts in this city are suspended all or most of the time. Sixty percent of the time,” Commissioner Kevin Davis has said. Show me the data that supports that conclusion. (Balt. Sun)

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A wise choice for Bar Counsel

As a board of Maryland lawyers, we are proud to congratulate Lydia E. Lawless upon her appointment as Bar Counsel for the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland. In our opinion, the Commission and the Court of Appeals made a wise choice. Lawless is the first woman and the youngest person to hold the position. (Daily Record)

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Here's how HUD cuts hurt people with special needs

In 2013, while I was completing a year of service with AmeriCorps, I met one of the most remarkable young people I’ve ever had the pleasure of getting to know. This young man — I’ll call him Jackson — was just 19 years of age. He had recently lost his housing, and he had autism. He had graduated high school the year before we met, and his family, like those of many kids with a cognitive disability, lacked the resources and know-how to support him. When we met, he was living in an emergency shelter that housed over 200 others (mostly adults) in a massive, warehouse-like space. It took months of constant support from an incredible staff of social workers and peer advocates to secure Jackson temporary housing through a nonprofit transitional housing program. It would be nearly two years before he finally received a low-income housing voucher — “Section 8” — that allowed him to move into a place of his own. (Balt. Sun)

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July 11 // Hogan's constitutional crisis

The situation regarding two members of Gov. Larry Hogan’s cabinet is murky, indeed, with members of the executive and legislative branches of government accusing each other of violating the Maryland Constitution and the theoretical possibility that some poor bureaucrat in the comptroller’s office could face legal consequences for processing a couple of paychecks. A question of whether the Senate held up confirmation of Mr. Hogan’s choices to lead the departments of Planning and Health and Mental Hygiene because of partisanship or legitimate concerns about their qualifications has now morphed into an ugly fight about the separation of powers, with the rest of Annapolis rapidly being sucked into the vortex. (Balt. Sun)

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A small price to pay

It's hard to complain about another "unfunded mandate" when that mandate is designed to save the lives of our young people. As reported by The Frederick News-Post's Kate Masters on July 4, a new state law requires all public schools and institutes of higher education to stock the drug overdose medication Narcan, and train staff in its use. (News-Post)

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Manasseh House can help bridge gap

Silver Oak Academy, a private residential school in northwest Carroll County for boys who have been in trouble with the law, has done an incredible job of helping young men get their lives turned around. Look no further than the recent graduating class, which will send 10 of its 15 graduates off to college this fall. But what happens to those students, or other youth in government programs such as foster care or juvenile justice facilities, when they turn 18 and age out of the programs and have no familial support system to help them adjust? (Carr. Co. Times)

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