James Campbell -- Replacing Alonso: How Baltimore can find the best

Andrés Alonso accomplished what few other urban school superintendents have been able to when leaving office. Considered one of the nation's most successful CEO's, and, after six years, one of the longest serving in Baltimore, he left while at the top of his game. In the 10 years prior to his 2007 appointment, there had been seven Baltimore City school leaders. The school board, which has said it will conduct a national search, will be hard pressed to find a replacement to match his success. (Balt. Sun)

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David Hanlin: Could privatization help visitors to MVA?

Like most, I periodically have to deal with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. The folks who work in the Hagerstown office off Sharpsburg Pike have a tough job. To help them, computer systems have been upgraded. Self-serve kiosks have been installed. Staff might even have attended customer services classes. (Herald-Mail)

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Dan Bongino: Why I am running for Congress

I am often asked: “Why are you running for Congress?” That question takes me back to the values instilled in me as a child who grew up above a bar in the inner city. Beyond the values of faith in God, personal responsibility and perseverance, I also learned the importance of principle and service. That is what led me to serve in the United States Secret Service, where I had the honor to travel the world as the lead security official for the United States government. That same passion for public service is the reason I am running to serve the people of Congressional District 6. (News-Post)

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Kate Livie: Eating our way to an invasive-free Bay

If you are what you eat, then the people in the Chesapeake were traditionally human-shaped collections of almost every moving thing that the Bay had to offer: muskrats, eels, sturgeon and its inky roe, raccoons, squirrels, woodpeckers, fishy mergansers. Anything was fair game if it kept the belly full and the body working. But in the last 100 years, as our land sense has faded and our supermarkets have multiplied, palates have grown quite picky. From the Bay's vast table, only crabs, oysters and a few fish species will do for our rarefied tastes. (Star-Democrat)

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Policy over politics

President George W. Bush has been maligned by Democrats and even many Republicans for some of the actions that he took while leading the country, but the words he spoke during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” are ones that all politicians — at every level — could learn from. Bush was talking about the need for immigration reform and said that reform is needed to fix the system. (Carroll Co. Times)

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What it will take to make Baltimore safe

The 300 Man March, Baltimore's latest effort to rally against the worsening toll of killings that has hit the city this summer, turns out to have been inaptly named. Significantly more people than that are reported to have shown up — twice that many, by some estimates. It is widely known here that no matter how high Baltimore may climb on the list of America's most dangerous cities, that danger is largely confined to a handful of neighborhoods. But it is also true that within those neighborhoods, the mayhem that grips the city is perpetrated by a relative few who thrive on the fear or indifference of a silent majority. (Balt. Sun)

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Mandate's delay: A rumble from an approaching storm

It’s more important that the federal Affordable Care Act — aka Obamacare — be implemented well than that it be implemented by a certain date. So last week’s decision by the Obama administration to delay a small facet of the law is less than earth-shaking — at least as a practical matter. But it was immediately seized on as one more piece of ammunition in an ongoing political war over the program. And what chance does a sweeping change in national health care policy have if it’s also a partisan battleground? (Capital)

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Fiddling around at the beach

Regular visitors to Ocean City in the summer months may be familiar with the music of William F. Hassay Jr. The 61-year-old substitute teacher has been supplementing his income since 1995 by playing his violin on the boardwalk from 3 p.m. until midnight for audience tips — until June of last year, that is. That's when Ocean City Police decided he was in violation of the town's noise ordinance, specifically a provision that applies only at music from radios, phonographs and musical instruments. (Balt. Sun)

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