Witcover on Germond: He was committed to the end to what always was a labor of love

American journalism has lost a giant in the passing at 85 of Jack Germond, my longtime pal and partner in the joyful chronicling of the antics and outrages of political reformers and rogues alike over the last half-century. Long before we teamed up to write a newspaper column at the old Washington Star and then at The Baltimore Sun, and eventually to write four books on presidential campaigns, Jack was in the vanguard of holding politicians' feet to the fire. (Balt. Sun)

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August 14 // Gansler's gaffe

We have the first gaffe of the 2014 governor's race, and it's a doozy. The Washington Post reported Tuesday on a speech Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler gave to a roomful of volunteers for his nascent gubernatorial campaign in which he suggested that his chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, was counting on his race, not his accomplishments, to win. Mr. Gansler goes on, according to an audio recording obtained by The Post, to make a number of blunt assessments about the role of race in the contest, which have generated swift condemnation from the Brown camp. (Balt. Sun)

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Bernard C. "Jack" Young: Harbor Point means jobs, affordable housing and inclusion

The debate surrounding the proposed Harbor Point project has generated some of the most spirited discussions that the Baltimore City Council has engaged in recently. I am very proud that scores of citizens were given the opportunity to participate in three public hearings held by the City Council's Taxation Finance and Economic Development Committee since early June. I am, however, disappointed that inaccurate information continues to cloud a project that could provide an enormous boost to Baltimore's economy during a time of high unemployment. (Balt. Sun)

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Local voters have no good reasons to be apathetic

Local elections, like the one Annapolis is about to hold for mayor and City Council, have the most immediate impact on our neighborhoods and the quality of our lives. And since the number of voters is relatively small, they are the ones in which each individual voter has the loudest voice. Yet these are usually the elections with the worst turnouts. Go figure. (Capital)

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Six cents for Pepco

What amounts to only 6 cents on a monthly Pepco bill is anything but a penny ante change in Maryland policy. The addition will pay for “grid resiliency” projects — projects meant to strengthen the utility’s electrical grid to withstand unusual weather events. It should be a policy change also reviewed by voters. Utility regulation arcana is rarely grist for the campaign trail, but the surcharge looks and smells like a tax and voters should think of it like one. (Gazette)

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Michael Tanner: In Maryland, it pays not to work

Contrary to stereotypes, there is no evidence that people on welfare are lazy. Indeed, surveys of welfare recipients consistently show their desire for a job. However, there is also evidence that many are reluctant to accept available employment opportunities.  (Balt. Sun)

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Rob Etgen: Third Bay Bridge span

As William Preston Lane Jr. Memorial (Bay) Bridge summer backups occur, some conclude now is the time to build a third bridge span for cars. However, there are other options that should be on the table — options that are better for the long-term good of Maryland communities and economy. (Capital)

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An incomplete holiday

OK, it’s August. Time to slip in a summer vacation in these dog days. Time to catch a ballgame. But it’s also time to get serious about going back to school, by purchasing clothes and school supplies for your kids. Maryland is offering you a break on clothes but not on school supplies. (News-Post)

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