Editorial: Harness power of cellphones, don't forbid them

Lois Jarman, a member of the Frederick County Board of Education, wants to schedule a discussion of the school system’s policy on students and cellphones, with an eye toward severely restricting their use. It is a legitimate issue for the board to consider, but it is going to be a difficult one to get widespread agreement on. Educators, parents and students all differ on the proper use of smartphones in school. When the board begins grappling with the issue this fall, its members are likely to find it a challenge. A brief online search shows that schools have been seeking the right solution for more than 15 years, when far fewer students had access to cellphones. (News-Post)

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Siggins: Community college: the answer to an affordable education and a rich future -- literally

If you are a middle-class or poor DMV parent, the college admissions scandal may seem like a steel door closing on your child’s future. The very rich bribed their kids’ way into elite schools, preventing average Americans from the financial, professional and other opportunities available at elite universities. While these people spent $400,000 to forge documents, you’re struggling to save $400 for your child’s education. While they want elite education for the family’s reputation, you want your children to have a better life than you do.  The great thing is that your children’s future is not closed off or limited by lacking access to elite schools. (Balt. Sun)

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Vignarajah: ‘Public charge’ policy breaks American promise

“Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” she wrote in 1883, words memorized by every school child, an iconic representation of the promise of America. In the poem, Lazarus referred to the Statue of Liberty as the “Mother of Exiles.” Last week, those words were unapologetically revised by Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of the Citizenship and Immigration Services: “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.” He was defending the latest attack in the war on immigrants: the new “Public Charge” rule. (Balt. Sun)

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Silcott: It takes a village to undermine a child

I’m a native son of Baltimore. My family has lived here for at least five generations, including a great-great-great grandfather who moved to W. Baltimore Street in the 1860s and ran a stockyard in Pigtown. I was born in the city and raised in the Midwest. Most of my extended family has always lived here, so as a child I visited Baltimore frequently. I moved back here after college and have now lived in Baltimore for over 30 years. That's my bias I’ll confess up front: my love and pride of my hometown. While I live now on St. Paul Street, just north of North Avenue, my best friend lives in West Baltimore, near W. Fayette and S. Monroe. (Balt. Sun)

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Elliott: Bring Back NBA Basketball to Baltimore, Ownerless

The traditional relationship between major sports franchises and city governments is deeply parasitic, with billionaire owners eating up taxpayer funds to build their stadiums and pay for costly upgrades and tailored infrastructure projects. Since 1997, NFL teams have constructed 20 new stadiums, receiving an average of $238 million per stadium in public funding and costing $4.76 billion in total. A survey conducted in 2017 found that “83% of economists polled believed that a stadium subsidy’s cost to the public outweighed the economic benefits” and in recent years, cities such as Oakland and Detroit have cut public services because of the massive costs of subsidizing sports teams. (Md. Matters)

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Taylor: Finding Collaborative Solutions to Local and Global Challenges

Protected land in Montgomery County's Agricultural Reserve (right) contrasts with the development in Loudoun County, Va., across the Potomac River. Photo by Andrew Kuzak We face tremendous challenges, locally and globally, with the climate crisis posing the existential threat of our time. This reality must be met collaboratively, creatively, and aggressively. There is not a minute to waste to get it together… to get all of us together. Voice was given to this imperative at recent launch of Montgomery County’s Climate Change Planning Initiative. County Executive Marc Elrich took heart that over 100 citizens with a wide range of professional and civic acumen had submitted applications to serve on the technical work groups. (Md. Matters)

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Shipp: It’s time for journalists to tell more complex truths

Journalism is not for the faint of heart, especially in an era where the most powerful politician in the land has labeled its practitioners “enemies of the people” who produce “fake news.” So while we rake muck and speak truth to power without fear or favor – or at least aspire to do so – it’s only natural to sometimes lose sight of why what we do matters. I’ve blessedly been reminded by, first, a gathering of several thousand journalists that I attended in Florida a few weeks ago and, currently, the start of a new academic year that brings a fresh bunch of young people still eager to seek truth and tell stories. (Balt. Sun)

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Rodricks: Here’s a big idea: Turn Baltimore’s Highway to Nowhere into a mile-long public park

Eight years ago, transportation officials closed the infamous “Highway To Nowhere” to accommodate construction of new parking lots for the MARC station on the western end of the West Baltimore highway. And you know what? No one screamed. People kept moving. Drivers found a way around the big concrete canyon in the Franklin-Mulberry corridor. Life went on. That winter, after a blizzard hit the city, the Highway To Nowhere remained closed, and Gerald Neily, a former city planner writing for Baltimore Brew, described the road as “a vast, barren expanse of virgin snow without even a single set of tire tracks to mark the territory.” (Balt. Sun)

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