Mandate's delay: A rumble from an approaching storm

It’s more important that the federal Affordable Care Act — aka Obamacare — be implemented well than that it be implemented by a certain date. So last week’s decision by the Obama administration to delay a small facet of the law is less than earth-shaking — at least as a practical matter. But it was immediately seized on as one more piece of ammunition in an ongoing political war over the program. And what chance does a sweeping change in national health care policy have if it’s also a partisan battleground? (Capital)

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Fiddling around at the beach

Regular visitors to Ocean City in the summer months may be familiar with the music of William F. Hassay Jr. The 61-year-old substitute teacher has been supplementing his income since 1995 by playing his violin on the boardwalk from 3 p.m. until midnight for audience tips — until June of last year, that is. That's when Ocean City Police decided he was in violation of the town's noise ordinance, specifically a provision that applies only at music from radios, phonographs and musical instruments. (Balt. Sun)

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The Contemporary returns

It's been more than a year since the Contemporary Museum closed its doors in order to rethink its mission and reorganize its operations and staff. The economic downturn that began in 2008 hit Baltimore's most insistent institutional advocate for what a Sun critic once called "the art of right now" particularly hard, and its lingering effects eventually forced the museum to suspend exhibitions entirely and lay off its five-person staff in May 2012. There's been nothing quite like it since. That's why a report last week that the Contemporary's board has found a way to resume operations later this year is exciting news. (Balt. Sun)

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Fed and dead

There is a good reason Maryland has a law against feeding bears. The reason, unfortunately, played out last week in Westernport when a bear had to be shot by Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service personnel. The bear, a 172-pound male, had been walking around town for more than a month because people were feeding it. (Cumberland Times-News)

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Police find help online

Police agencies in the county that aren’t utilizing social media are missing out on an opportunity to connect with residents, gain information about what is going on in neighborhoods and, perhaps, even get tips to help solve crimes. (Carroll Co. Times)

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Jonathan Hodgson: Defining victory in the Daryl Jones case

Years ago, there was a popular television show called ‘’MacGyver.’’ Every episode featured a unique problem that MacGyver would escape by constructing some sort of makeshift device from the scraps and tools at hand. In January 2012, the County Council faced a unique problem and couldn’t find a way out. One of its members was about to go to jail and had no intention of resigning his seat. It was a problem never before faced by the council. (Capital)

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Rodricks Who will claim $10,000 in savings bonds?

Part of Baltimore's Vacants to Value program, aimed at reducing vacant houses and blight across the city, calls for aggressive and streamlined enforcement of the housing code. That means heavy fines to owners who don't take care of their vacant houses. And if fines don't get action, the city will push a property to auction. (Balt. Sun)

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Mid-Atlantic casino war

When Maryland was first contemplating legalizing slot machines, supporters pointed to Delaware and the success of its "racinos" — racetracks with slot machine gambling — and how they drew in thousands of Maryland residents each year. Turns out there was something to that observation, because it appears those patrons are now sorely missed. The latest reports on 2012 gambling revenue from the First State show that the opening of Maryland Live Casino has had a staggering effect on Delaware's three racetrack casinos. (Balt. Sun)

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