Baltimore's loss — and Amazon's

Baltimore’s pitch for Amazon’s second headquarters was much like the one social activists made after the 2015 riots — if you want to change the world, this is the best place to do it. Trouble is, Amazon appears not to have been particularly interested in the potential for its proposed $5 billion, 50,000-job development project to transform a beleaguered city. Of the 20 places that made its list of finalists, the only one that could qualify as distressed by any rational definition is Newark; mainly, it was a where’s-where list of boomtowns from Austin to Toronto and Raleigh to L.A. (Balt. Sun)

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Unreasonable raises for elected leaders

A commission that is recommending pay raises of nearly 25 percent for the five members of the County Council and the county executive calls the adjustment “an unusual and justified reset.” Unusual, yes. Justified? Debatable. The commission, appointed by the County Council to review pay every four years as allowed by the county’s charter, suggests council members who take office in December, after the November election, earn $80,000 (a $15,000 increase) and the county executive’s pay be set at $226,000 (up $42,000) annually. (Ho. Co. Times)

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Jay Steinmetz: Baltimore won't get HQ2, but neither will Montgomery County

Take a quick look at the finalists for Amazon’s second headquarters, and one factor stands out: the nation’s capital. Montgomery County, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., itself are among 20 jurisdictions the company is considering for its “HQ2,” which comes with $5 billion in direct investment and 50,000 jobs. No doubt this gives a boost to Montgomery County, especially after Discovery Communications recently announced it is trading its Silver Spring location for a home in New York City, leaving a gaping hole in efforts to revitalize the Washington suburb. (Balt. Sun)

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Brian Griffiths: Will Democrats repudiate Manning candidacy?

You don’t wake up in the morning expecting to break news that makes headlines around the world. But that’s exactly what we did at RedMaryland.com last Saturday. While looking through Federal Election Commission records, I discovered that Chelsea Manning had filed paperwork to run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland as a Democrat. Within the hour, the story was on local radio, and by lunch the story was on the front page of news sites around the world. The fact that Manning’s run for U.S. Senate became an international sensation has little do with her candidacy, and everything to do with her record as a traitor to this country. (Capital)

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Clearing out Baltimore's homeless — again

Baltimore has cleared homeless encampments from its streets and underpasses many times before. Sometimes it’s been done brutally and suddenly, with people’s few belongings trashed. Sometimes the city has tried to be more sensitive, preceding the action with ample warning and efforts to connect each person with services and a new place to live. But there’s one thing all previous efforts have in common: They didn’t work. For a time, perhaps, a tent city would disappear. But then it would move slightly and reconstitute itself, often bigger than before. (Balt. Sun)

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An act of cruelty at a Baltimore hospital, and an inhumane system everywhere

There is no excuse or explanation for a woman to be escorted from a hospital emergency room by security guards and left at a bus stop wearing nothing but a hospital gown and socks on a near-freezing January night. The attorney now representing the woman calls that “cruel and inhumane,” and he’s right. We don’t know what happened inside the University of Maryland Medical Center Midtown — hospital officials say the woman, Rebecca, was treated appropriately for a medical condition and was discharged, but because of federal privacy laws, they cannot say more, and we have no way to confirm that or her attorney’s account. (Balt. Sun)

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Pamela Trangenstein, Inez Robb: Could reducing alcohol access solve Baltimore's murder problem?

Baltimore City leaders and communities have many potential solutions to address surging homicides, Among them: reducing the number of alcohol outlets. Murder clusters around alcohol outlets. Each additional alcohol outlet in a census tract raises the homicide rate 1.6 percent. Nearly half of all homicides — 47 percent — are caused by excessive drinking, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This means that the murder wouldn’t have happened if the perpetrator hadn’t been drinking. Apply CDC’s calculations to Baltimore, and 161 of the 343 homicides in 2017 were caused by excessive drinking. (Balt. Sun)

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Donald C. Fry: How to gain a competitive edge

Gov. Larry Hogan provided some glad tidings to the business community just after the Christmas holiday by announcing that his administration had identified more than 650 state regulations that are outdated and would be repealed, streamlined or otherwise updated. (Daily Record)

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