The Rev. William L. Hathaway: Let's put Douglass where Taney once sat

Symbols are important. Flags announce loyalty, monuments tell our story. It is for very good reason that public monuments elicit strong emotions. Think of the memorials for Abraham Lincoln, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Vietnam War in Washington, D.C. And then there is Roger B. Taney. Originally I wrote a piece calling for an alternative to the removal of the statue of Taney at the State House: leaving Taney up but shifting his location and adding a statue of Frederick Douglass "in conversation" with the one-time chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. (Capital)

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Monuments' fate should be decided locally, but leave historical sites be

If more modern Americans were learning from history, we might be a bit more sympathetic toward arguments that old Confederate statuary in a public square is a valuable study in heritage. Unfortunately, the same hatreds, spites and tunnel vision that split this nation apart so many years ago are today facilitated, not prevented, by these old relics. (Herald-Mail)

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Tiff over Columbia's TIF

Howard County’s decision to use so-called tax increment financing to spur redevelopment in downtown Columbia is drawing a fresh challenge. Two members of the County Council next week plan to introduce a bill to repeal the $90 million financial package that the council approved last fall. The TIF was designed to expedite necessary infrastructure work, including roads and a parking garage. (Ho. Co. Times)

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August 31 // Gerrit Knaap: Smart growth is not a rural or urban issue, it's a Maryland issue

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan used his annual address at the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) conference in Ocean City to bring planning and growth back into the news cycle. As the director of the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland, I welcome the discussion. At the MACo conference, the governor signed an executive order committing the Maryland Department of Planning, the Sustainable Growth Commission and the Smart Growth sub-cabinet to the reconstruction of the state development plan. (Balt. Sun)

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Mary Ellen Barbera: Judges are not the cause of Baltimore's violence

I write as the leader of Maryland’s Judiciary to provide the public with information that I hope builds a greater understanding of the role of the judiciary in the criminal justice system. Members of the judiciary take a solemn oath to uphold the Constitution and our laws by applying them to individual cases. In criminal cases, judges neither prosecute nor defend, nor do they investigate or enforce. To be fair and impartial in every case, judges are not to be predisposed to a particular outcome; they must be neutral and weigh the evidence introduced by both the prosecution and the defense. (Balt. Sun)

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Barbara Nicklas: The Mall in Columbia will continue to shape local, regional retail

As the senior general manager of The Mall in Columbia and having grown up very close to Columbia during the time it was being formed and initially developed, I have a unique view on this very special community that has just recently celebrated its 50th birthday. My parents, initially very skeptical about Columbia and all of its seemingly restrictive residential covenants, ended up moving to Columbia in the early 1980s to the Village of Phelps Luck. They loved the walking paths, the Interfaith Center, the convenience of the Village Center and the proximity of Columbia to both Baltimore and D.C. And they very quickly learned to appreciate and embrace those covenants that they had initially found to be so unacceptable. (Columbia Flier)

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Regina T. Boyce, Owen Silverman Andrews: Free community college in Baltimore: a good start, but not enough

Mayor Catherine Pugh’s recent proposal for a tuition-free Baltimore City Community College is an ambitious and promising conversation starter on the need for access to college programs in Baltimore. Removing the financial barrier for young adults to enter college is key to their success in continuing and completing college, and gaining academic and workforce skills that will lead to socio-economic stability for them and their families. For many people, meeting their goals may not be achievable without access to higher education. (Balt. Sun)

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Dennis P. Halpin: Now that Baltimore's Confederate statues are gone, the city should honor its real heroes

Now that Baltimore has removed its Confederate monuments, the city should honor its own under-appreciated heroes from the same period. I recommend Isaac Myers and Harvey Johnson, two men of the Civil War and Reconstruction eras whose contributions to the fight for racial equality deserve recognition and celebration. In 1865, Isaac Myers stood on the front lines of the fight for civil rights. After white waterfront workers shut down the docks and forced African Americans out of jobs that they had held since the 1830s, Myers decided to act. (Balt. Sun)

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