Jan. 14 // Panicking over Md.'s gun law

It's unfortunate that hundreds of guns purchased in the weeks before Maryland's stricter firearms regulations went into effect last year ended up in the hands of people who should never have been allowed to own them. Most of the weapons have since been recovered, but one was sold to a man later accused of using it in a carjacking in Prince George's County, and others were purchased by people with criminal records, a history of mental illness or other disqualifying factors. (Balt. Sun)

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The virtues of engagement

Universities are supposed to be places where the search for truth is carried out through a free-wheeling process of vigorous, open debate and the unfettered exchange of opposing views. But that's not what the American Studies Association apparently had in mind last month when its members voted to endorse a boycott of Israeli academic institutions to protest the Jewish state's treatment of Palestinians. It wants to cut off dialogue between Israeli and American scholars until the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved. (Balt. Sun)

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Jeff Singer: People over profit

In the face of the federal claim that homelessness has been receding since 2010, the U.S. Conference of Mayors reports that most cities are experiencing surges of homelessness. It's perhaps unsurprising, given a recent announcement by the chief federal housing official that our nation faces the most severe affordable rental housing crisis in our history. (Balt. Sun)

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Eileen Pollock: Baltimore is no New York

Eight months ago I exchanged my posh Lincoln Center zip code (10023) and 212 area code for Baltimore's 21209 and 410. This is my new/old city — I was raised here but spent my working life in New York. When I was laid off from a legal administrative assistant job in New York, it made sense to move back to the Baltimore area. Here, I am combining my continuing job search with giving of my time to worthwhile organizations. Meanwhile I cannot help but observe the differences between living in an exciting world capital with living in a — well, smaller city. (Balt. Sun)

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Politics trumped prudence in Md. Obamacare exchange

The train wreck of Maryland's Affordable Care Act insurance exchange should have been no surprise to Gov. Martin O'Malley, Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown or anyone else responsible for its creation. That's the unmistakable conclusion from a Washington Post article on Sunday based on not-previously disclosed documents and interviews with key participants. (Balt. Sun)

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Rough justice on tax credit errors

We applaud Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's decision to help homeowners whose property tax bills suddenly jumped after the city corrected errors in how their historic tax credits had been calculated. These people made decisions about whether to buy their homes based on assurances from the state about what their tax bills would be, and although the city was under no obligation to honor those mistaken promises, it was the right — and strategically wise — thing to do. (Balt. Sun)

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Donald Rowan: Why we need 'right to work' zones

Some regions of Maryland are doing well with increasing employment, but these areas are in Montgomery County and around Fort George G. Meade — and if some federal lawmaker decides to move NIH to Atlanta or NSA/U.S. Cyber Command to Utah, Maryland would be “hurting.” (Capital)

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Feedback on budget needed

Another budget battle is shaping up between the board of county commissioners and the board of education. Residents should provide their feedback to both elected boards, to help guide them in the decision-making process. Last year’s budget battle was fierce, as members of the board of commissioners split on wanting different levels of funding for the school system. (Carr. Co. Times)

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