Laslo Boyd: Death and taxes

As sure as we are that the sun will appear each morning, we are just as certain that the next mass shooting is coming soon. And in what may be the perfect symmetry of irresponsibility, many of the very same people who have prevented a rational response to our public health crisis of gun violence are also leading the charge to undermine the system of taxation that has provided the funds to make America great. Irony intended. (From a Certain Point of View)

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Democrats should choose Rushern Baker for Maryland governor

It can be easy to forget the spectacular mess that Rushern L. Baker III inherited when, in 2010, he became the top elected official in Prince George’s County, Maryland’s second-most-populous locality. Given his brand of steady, sane, no-drama leadership as county executive over the past eight years, it is equally easy to overlook the extent to which he has succeeded in radically rebranding a locality whose reputation had been so badly stained by public corruption, chaotic governance and crime. Mr. Baker’s admirable, ambitious record in Prince George’s is the basis on which we support him in Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial primary, on June 26. (Wash. Post)

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Student protest — peaceful dissent must be allowed

Here’s something most everyone can agree upon — the business of kneeling during a patriotic display has become a singularly polarizing event and unnecessarily so. What started with NFL player Colin Kaepernick taking a knee during the playing of the National Anthem two years ago to protest wrongdoings against African Americans and other minorities became an exercise in Red State-Blue State politics when President Donald Trump equated it to dissing war veterans. The ACLU of Maryland is asking the Baltimore County school system to clarify its policies on student dissent after it says an 11-year-old girl at Catonsville Middle School was reprimanded by her teacher for “taking a knee” during the Pledge of Allegiance. (Balt. Sun)

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We support 9.9 cent tax increase in Annapolis — with some caveats

The 9.9-cent property tax rate increase now up for debate by the Annapolis City Council is a bitter pill. We say bitter because no one likes to swallow hard and pay more taxes than they used to, no matter where they live. But Mayor Gavin Buckley and the members of the council Finance Committee have made a credible argument that Annapolis has to raise more funds to support the programs its residents want. So, we’ll go along with the premise — provisionally. (Capital)

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In Maryland, red and blue issues can live on the same desk

The distance between Washington, D.C., and Annapolis, Md., is 35 miles, but politically speaking the gulf seems as wide as all eternity. In Annapolis, Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, presides over one of the nation’s bluest states, one with a solidly Democratic legislature. Were this the situation in the nation’s capital we would expect hostility and gridlock. In Washington, working with members of another political party seems to be viewed as more damning than are actual scandals. Yet in Annapolis, Democrats and Republicans have found a way to work together. (Herald-Mail)

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Sports betting and Maryland

 

The Supreme Court has opened the door to legal sports gambling under state control, and Maryland officials would do well to move expeditiously to take advantage of the opportunity. The court this week struck down a 1992 federal law that effectively banned commercial sports betting in most states except Nevada. A few, such as Delaware, were permitted to continue sports-based lotteries. The lawsuit was initiated by the state of New Jersey, which wants to allow sports betting at the casinos in Atlantic City. That city’s economy has been hurt by the proliferation of casino operations in surrounding states and across the country, including in Maryland. (News-Post)

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Doug Boucher: Solar fields in place of cornfields a win-win

Bay Journal News senior writer Timothy B. Wheeler recently speculated that the growth of large-scale solar collection fields on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, at the expense of cornfields, might have “unforeseen consequences on land use, local economies, wildlife habitat and maybe even water quality.” In fact, we have enough scientific knowledge to foresee quite a few of those consequences — and they would be positive ones. For example: Cornfields are dominated by a single-crop species, while the vegetation under solar fields is much more varied (native grasses and goldenrod, for example) and thus more biodiverse. (Daily Times)

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Jimmy DeButts: Nobody's really fighting to host the National Sailing Hall of Fame

Would anyone genuinely care if the National Sailing Hall of Fame packs up a trailer and bolts for Rhode Island in the middle of the night? Would anyone in Newport even notice? It's been four months since it appeared Newport was going to steal the hall of fame from us. On April 11, the Newport City Council voted 4-3 to negotiate an agreement with the hall of fame. This process is dragging on, and it is clear hosting the sailing hall of fame isn't a matter of civic pride. (Capital)

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