Dan Rodricks: Yes, we really do keep senior citizens behind bars

One of the ironic consequences of the Maryland Court of Appeals' ruling in the matter of criminals sentenced to life in prison is that it undermines, with fine judicial reasoning, what two Democratic governors tried to keep in place with crass political considerations — that is, the denial of parole to longtime convicts who had earned release from prison. Some of the inmates who are being released because of the court's ruling are in their 60s and 70s, and Marylanders might be surprised to learn that we really keep guys behind bars at those advanced ages. (Balt. Sun)

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Hot cars fatal to children

Two deaths in recent weeks due to children left in hot vehicles serve as grim reminders to parents everywhere of the extra care and attention that we need to exercise when transporting youngsters. (Carroll Co. Times)

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Diane Kuhn: A better MCAT may not produce better doctors

What does it take to become a good doctor? In the midst of a period of health care reform and primary care shortages, how we do to encourage talented students who want to give back to the community to go into medicine? Since the 1920s, the Medical College Admissions Test, or MCAT, has played a central role in the admissions process for prospective medical students, helping admissions officers make tough calls about which students are best qualified to train as physicians. Initially developed as a way to reduce drop out and flunk out rates, the test now helps differentiate between applicants with near-perfect grades, college leadership positions and shadowing experience. But the MCAT is due for a serious makeover. (Balt. Sun)

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Harbor Point and Perkins Homes

City Councilman Carl Stokes plans to hold a hearing on a resolution calling on the developers of the tony Harbor Point project on Baltimore's waterfront to invest at least $15.6 million into the nearby Perkins Homes public housing development. It gets at a vital issue — whether tax incentives for downtown development benefit the city's poor residents — but does so by means of a number of misconceptions. (Balt. Sun)

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Rising waters

Last December, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed an executive order aimed at focusing attention on rising sea levels and the damage they might do to Maryland roads and other transportation infrastructure in low-lying coastal areas. According to a Capital News Service analysis, however, O’Malley’s warning that 400 miles of state roads could be threatened understates the problem. Instead, CNS reports that “roughly 800 miles of roads would be affected if sea levels rise another 2 feet. At 5 feet, an estimated 3,700 miles would be underwater.” Those figures are dependent on some “ifs,” but the fact that Chesapeake Bay waters are rising — or the land sinking, or both — isn’t in dispute. (News-Post)

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James Campbell -- Replacing Alonso: How Baltimore can find the best

Andrés Alonso accomplished what few other urban school superintendents have been able to when leaving office. Considered one of the nation's most successful CEO's, and, after six years, one of the longest serving in Baltimore, he left while at the top of his game. In the 10 years prior to his 2007 appointment, there had been seven Baltimore City school leaders. The school board, which has said it will conduct a national search, will be hard pressed to find a replacement to match his success. (Balt. Sun)

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David Hanlin: Could privatization help visitors to MVA?

Like most, I periodically have to deal with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. The folks who work in the Hagerstown office off Sharpsburg Pike have a tough job. To help them, computer systems have been upgraded. Self-serve kiosks have been installed. Staff might even have attended customer services classes. (Herald-Mail)

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Dan Bongino: Why I am running for Congress

I am often asked: “Why are you running for Congress?” That question takes me back to the values instilled in me as a child who grew up above a bar in the inner city. Beyond the values of faith in God, personal responsibility and perseverance, I also learned the importance of principle and service. That is what led me to serve in the United States Secret Service, where I had the honor to travel the world as the lead security official for the United States government. That same passion for public service is the reason I am running to serve the people of Congressional District 6. (News-Post)

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