Barry Rascovar: Larry Hogan Sr. showed courage when it counted

It happened long ago. Congressman Larry Hogan, Sr. stood alone and defied his party, voting not once but three times to impeach Republican President Richard Nixon. It was the most principled stand taken by a Maryland politician in our lifetimes. He did what was right, not what was politically correct. Hogan died last week at 88, eclipsed in the public eye by his son and namesake, the current Maryland governor – an office the father was denied due to his impeachment stance. Yet it was the father, consigned to the pages of history, who offered a lesson in what it means to take the perilous moral and legal high road rather than the easy partisan and career-advancing low road. (Md. Reporter)

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Clearing cases isn't enough

The drop in the Baltimore Police Department's homicide clearance rate in recent years was a sign that the violence on the streets was overwhelming our ability to maintain order and safety. Each case police couldn't close was not only a wound to the victim's family, it was also an invitation to more violence, either because the perpetrator was free to kill again or because the lack of consequences emboldened others. But the recent rise in the clearance rate — it stands at about 50 percent so far this year, up from 30 percent in 2015 and 38.5 percent in 2016 — doesn't necessarily mean violent criminals are being sent to prison. (Balt. Sun)

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Eye on Ocean City's horizon

Imagine lying on the beach in Ocean City and feeling visually assaulted. Is it the looming stucco-plastered high-rises or the indiscriminant clutter of surf shops, arcades, bars and condos behind you? Let's say no. Or maybe the throngs of beach-goers in their colorful attire and various states of undress to your left and right. Again, we'll give that a pass. Then what about the wind turbines located 20 miles off-shore, a mere thumbnail on the horizon that requires a clear, sunny day to even be discernible in the distance? Aha, there's the culprit. (Balt. Sun)

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Preserving voting rights in Maryland

Sometimes the best defense is a good offense, and this is often lost on conservatives. That might be about to change. In battles over protecting voting rights, conservatives are usually put on the defensive by lawyers of the litigious left as they seek sympathetic liberal judges to strike down common-sense ballot-integrity measures enacted by the states. The conservative legal watchdog group Judicial Watch is trying to turn the tables. The other day Judicial Watch told the Maryland State Board of Elections that it would sue the board if officials in Montgomery County don’t act promptly to purge its voting rolls of ineligible voters — the departed, the dearly departed and illegal immigrants. (Wash. Times)

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Brandon M. Scott: Who killed police reform bills in Baltimore?

The 2017 Maryland General Session is over, and not one piece of legislation that would have significantly changed how the Baltimore Police Department operates will become a law. For a city clamoring concurrently for reform and better used police resources, this is extremely disappointing. Because there are untruths being spread about some of the bills, I want to clarify the facts around a few pieces of proposed legislation. (Balt. Sun)

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Let's hope courts don't stall cardiac surgery

Sometimes you can see something coming, but still have a sinking feeling when it arrives. That's the case with last week's news that two hospital systems, one of them Baltimore Washington Medical Center, have requested judicial review of a state commission's decision to let Anne Arundel Medical Center have a cardiac surgery program. Of course, the Glen Burnie hospital and Dimensions Healthcare Systems, the parent of Prince George's Hospital Center, are within their rights. All the rest of us can do is hope the matter is quickly disposed of by the judges and doesn't undercut AAMC's plans to get the new program up and running. (Capital)

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School board finally acts on redistricting

The Anne Arundel County Board of Education hasn't exactly raced to handle one of its knottiest and least popular responsibilities: periodically redrawing boundary lines so that students go to schools best able to accommodate them. Actually, it has repeatedly punted on such decisions. But give the board credit: Last week it voted to change school boundaries for nearly 400 students on the Annapolis Peninsula, a move that will relieve pressure at the critically overcrowded Tyler Heights Elementary School and elsewhere. (Capital)

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Jimmy DeButts: Anne Arundel residents deserve NextGen relief

Residents of Phoenix sued the federal government when low-flying planes began rattling windows and shaking walls in 2014. The action came nine months after the Federal Aviation Administration implemented a new "modernized" air traffic management system. The same program arrived at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport in spring 2015. NextGen had the same intrusive and disruptive impact on residents of Anne Arundel and Howard counties. The difference? Our state and county are still in the "talking" phase. (Capital)

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