June 1 // Brian Griffiths: Voters should skip the John Leopold comeback tour

Like clockwork, the red signs started dotting front yards in Pasadena, simple and small, the red broken only by the name printed in white: Leopold. The John Leopold political comeback tour is underway. Pasadena voters have always had a strange affinity for Leopold. Since his move to Maryland in 1982, voters have elected him seven times. In the course of 36 years in Maryland, Leopold has lost only one election. Voters ultimately propelled him to the county executive’s office. The level of support and dedication voters have for Leopold will be tested in a new way this year. (Capital)

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C. Fraser Smither: Joe Tydings’ lessons from then and now

Ex-U.S. Sen. Joe Tydings was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth, but within a few years he was blessed with a table setting of good fortune, political as well as financial. His adoptive grandmother, Marjorie Merriweather Post, was founder and principal shareholder of the General Foods Corp. (Daily Record)

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It's not 'free'

Some people may want to assign the “Scrooge” label to the members of our local delegation to the Maryland General Assembly, but we don’t. They voted unanimously against the act that will provide “free” community college tuition to some of Maryland’s residents. (See “ ‘Free’ college tuition to begin in 2019,” May 30 Times-News, Page 1A.) We don’t like the plan either, for the same reasons they don’t, and we said so last October when it was first being discussed. Notice that we said “free” and not free. (Times-News)

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Gaurav Madan, Julia Jarvis: Standing with undocumented immigrants

Three weeks ago, 51-year old Marta Rodriguez arrived in front of the Federal Court Building in downtown Baltimore surrounded by over 100 family, friends and supporters. While her pastor and other clergy offered prayers, she stood solemnly — unsure of whether she would be deported and torn away from her children. Six weeks earlier, Marta checked in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), something she has done regularly for the past nine years. (Balt. Sun)

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Increased school bus safety is overdue

The time has come for Maryland and all other states to require that all new school buses be equipped with both lap and shoulder belts. Twenty-five million children board buses every morning and afternoon to ride from home to school and back, to field trips and to athletic events. When some of those buses are in crashes, thousands of children will be hurt and traumatized. A few will be killed. These are our children we are talking about: little bodies flying around inside a careening bus, slamming into windows, the roof, the floor, one another. (News-Post)

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David A. Plymyer: Recent decisions in Baltimore underscore need for judicial evaluation program

Recent judicial decisions in Baltimore underscore the need to remedy a troubling, long-standing deficiency: the absence of a formal program for evaluating the performances of judges in Maryland. Twenty years ago, a select committee of Maryland judges and lawyers recommended that the state adopt a mandatory evaluation program run by the Administrative Office of the Courts. The proposal went nowhere in 1998, and generally has been ignored ever since. (Balt. Sun)

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May 31 // Laslo Boyd: After two devastating floods, questions that need answers

Whatever else happens during his tenure as Howard County Executive, Allan Kittleman may be most remembered for holding office when large portions of Historic Ellicott City were twice destroyed by raging flood waters.  Although he was Chief Executive at the time of the two floods, the blame certainly does not fall on him alone. There are many factors that contributed to the horrific damage and lots of responsibility to share over many years. Kittleman does, however, face a particularly disturbing question that is his alone to answer: After the 2016 flood, did he do everything possible to prevent a repetition of the disaster? (fromacertainpointofview)

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Gregg Bernstein: Educate offenders to break cycle of arrest and incarceration

In the largest study of its kind to date, the Bureau of Justice Statistics within the U.S. Department of Justice tracked over a nine-year period the re-arrest rate of a representative sample of the approximately 400,000 state inmates nationwide who were released from incarceration in 2005. According to the report’s findings, which were published last week, most of those released — 83 percent, or roughly 333,000 people — were re-arrested an average of six times during the study period. Most of those arrests, 1.6 million out of nearly 2 million total, occurred within the first three years of a prisoner’s release, though a significant number (24 percent) of people were also arrested nine years out. (Balt. Sun)

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