Kislaya Prasad: Taxing grad students means fewer of them

With so many radical changes in the proposed tax reform plans, it is easy to overlook the proposal to tax tuition waivers. Indeed, I had done the same until I heard the murmurs in my doctoral seminar at the University of Maryland. In a year when events have lost their ability to surprise, I had to shake my head in amazement. This does so much damage for so little revenue that I am unable to make sense of it. And our students are understandably anxious about the prospect of paying more taxes. (Balt. Sun)

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A noble bird, a regrettable choice

The whooping crane is not only the tallest and grandest bird of North America but one of the continent’s most critically endangered species. For more than a half-century, a federally-funded research center in Maryland has been at the heart of efforts to better understand, breed and repopulate the birds in the wild. It has been a small but extraordinary effort involving generations of researchers nurturing and studying captive birds — and it can claim a measure of success given that the species thought to once number fewer than two dozen in the 1940s can be counted in the hundreds today. (Balt. Sun)

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Maggie Master: The tale of two Targets, a Baltimore segregation story

Like many patrons, I felt devastated and blindsided by Target’s recent announcement that it would shutter its Mondawmin Mall location in February, apparently with little conversation or negotiation with their development partners or the city. While a closure anywhere would likely have a negative impact on a given community, removing access to goods and jobs in an economically depressed neighborhood feels even more egregious. (Balt. Sun)

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November 20 // U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin: Let's rethink president's ability to use nuclear weapons

At my town halls and meetings across Maryland, people are increasingly asking me, "Is President Trump really going to start a nuclear war with North Korea? Can he do that? Are there any checks upon the president to prevent him from starting a nuclear war?" The American people's fears on this issue are understandably fueled by the dangerous way President Donald Trump has spoken about nuclear weapons and the ongoing crisis with North Korea. (Capital)

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Which way forward for Md.'s HBCUs?

In a ruling that could help reshape the mission of Maryland’s historically black colleges and universities for years to come, a federal judge recently delivered some good news and bad news for both sides in the long-running controversy over how to end the vestiges of de jure segregation in the state’s public institutions of higher learning. It’s finally possible to envision a resolution to the decade-old lawsuit brought by HBCU alumni and supporters that remedies the legacy of more than a century of state-sanctioned discrimination against African-American college students and the schools they historically have attended without causing even greater damage to a university system that remains the key opportunity for advancement for Maryland’s students, black and white alike. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore Civilian Review Board Chairman Bridal Pearson: We need more authority to oversee police

The Civilian Review Board (CRB) of Baltimore City is the only entity authorized to conduct independent investigations of alleged police misconduct filed by members of the public, yet we appear to have a public relations problem. I am the presiding chair of the CRB; I find it imperative to make known a few of my observations about the board as they relate to the public and the Baltimore Police Department (BPD). (Balt. Sun)

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Bob Culver: Give Wicomico's tuition scholarship time to work before changing it

I’m always amazed when people call for change, yet keep doing the same thing while expecting different results. When I ran for county executive, one of my major topics was jobs. While it is true we lost many jobs during the recession, we also lost the companies that offered those jobs. When I would go out to talk to companies about locating to Wicomico County, the single most important theme their chief executive officers spoke of was an increased need for workforce training in college-level courses, especially in technical fields. With that, I worked with Ray Hoy of Wor-Wic Community College to help find a solution. (Daily Times)

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A school volunteer abused at least 23 children. Officials ignored it.

Ever since a Prince George's County school volunteer was arrested in February and charged with the serial sexual abuse of at least 23 elementary-age children, parents have wanted to know what went wrong. How could such horrific crimes occur, during school hours and on school property? Why did no one notice? Or do something? School officials have not been forthcoming, but information revealed in a lawsuit against the system provides troubling answers. Not only were there warning signs — lots of them — but they were ignored. (Wash. Post)

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