Check before giving

The month of October has come to be a time filled with pink ribbons and special events designed to promote breast cancer awareness, but the onslaught of publicity also provides a good reminder for contributors to any cause to research charities prior to giving to ensure that their donations are going for the intended purpose. The holiday season is right around the corner, and Carroll County is filled with many different groups, organizations and charities that work hard to help families who may be going through difficult times. (Carroll Co. Times)

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Thomas Schaller: Why did Republicans draw a line in the sand on Obamacare?

The GOP controls neither the White House nor Senate, and Republicans enjoy their House majority despite collectively receiving more than 1 million fewer votes nationwide in 2012 than Democratic House candidates did. The House GOP is a minority masked as a majority, one that has used its control of one branch to hold the rest of the government hostage — even though 24 House Republicans have stated they would join with Democrats to pass a clean reconciliation bill to end the shutdown, if only Speaker John Boehner would allow a floor roll call vote. (Balt. Sun)

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J.B. Salganik: Lewis museum woes: Sad but not surprising

While it saddened me to read recently of the attendance troubles at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, I was not surprised. In a city where museums generally exceed expectations, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum has always left something to be desired. As a high school history teacher in Baltimore City public schools, I have never wanted to take my students there because I know intuitively they would hate it. While I understand the impulse to showcase African Americans' social and economic high achievers, this positivist approach obscures the scope of what black Americans have overcome in the past and the challenges they still face today. (Balt. Sun)

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Efforts to collaborate benefit students at both SU and UMES

There is no reason that the contributions of Maryland’s historically black colleges should be duplicated by the state university system’s predominantly white institutions. That’s what a recent federal court ruling indicates, and it’s clear that unnecessary redundancy is never beneficial. The bad news is that by allowing such duplication throughout the system, Maryland is undermining the value and viability of its historically black campuses. That damage comes by way of overshadowing the four schools’ efforts to attract more diverse students. (Daily Times)

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Todd Eberly: Maryland 2014 and the Nonsense of Geographic Balance

The latest bit of nonsense in the Maryland governors race is the suggestion that Doug Gansler, from Montgomery county, made a mistake by not balancing his ticket with someone from the Baltimore Region. Gansler picked Jolene Ivey from Prince George's. Don Norris of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County described the pick as proof Gansler is "knee-deep in quicksand."  I have great respect for Don Norris, but knee-deep in quicksand? Maybe he's up to his ankles in a mud puddle. No one has suggested that Lt. Gov. Brown, from Prince George's, failed the regional balance test when he picked Howard County Executive Ken Ulman. (FreeStater)

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Barbara Samuels: Poverty still hits the city hardest

Just before the government shut down, the Census Bureau released updated income and poverty data that highlight the impact of the Great Recession and nascent recovery. Not surprisingly, poverty has increased across the board, in both cities and suburbs, as a result of the recession. But one finding has been held out as a surprise: Brookings Institution researcher Elizabeth Kneebone's point that poverty is increasing faster in the nation's suburbs than in its cities. While true, her finding must be read in context, especially here in Baltimore, where our suburbs have fared much better than the national trend and our city has been hit harder than other cities. (Balt. Sun)

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Christopher Mahoney: Rawlings-Blake takes Santoni's words a bit too personally

It’s not nice to fool with SRB. A neighborhood supermarket is closing its doors after eight decades in business. The owner of the business places the blame squarely on a controversial bottled-beverage tax the city began levying in 2010, and which it increased earlier this year. Whether said tax really did tip the scales for Santoni’s Super Market is anyone’s guess. As the Baltimore Business Journal reported Monday, there’s every indication the family-owned market’s financial issues reach well beyond the bottle tax. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Oct. 16 // End of era for Highlandtown shoppers

Like many Baltimoreans, we were saddened by the recent announcement that Santoni's Supermarket in Highlandtown plans to close its doors at the end of the month and lay off more than 80 employees. Santoni's has been a venerable neighborhood institution since the 1930s, and over that time it has built a loyal following among customers. However, the store's chief financial officer, Rob Santoni Jr., is trying to make the story entirely about Baltimore's bottle tax, of which he was perhaps the most outspoken opponent. We're in no position to contradict his numbers, but it is important to consider the effect of the bottle tax, both on Santoni's and the city, in a broader context. (Balt. Sun)

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