Charles Jenkins: O'Malley's $9K tax increase

Pennies more on each gallon of gas, a couple of bucks more to cross some of our bridges — chump change! If you want to see a politician with real chutzpah, look no further than Annapolis. Martin O’Malley’s real accomplishment this year was bypassing the legislature and imposing new regulations related to septic tanks that increased their cost by approximately $9,000. Gov. Ehrlich’s $30 flush tax, doubled to $60 under O’Malley, now seems like an incredible bargain. (News-Post)

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Prison relief

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has announced an initiative to ease overcrowding, a root cause of much of what ails prisons. The Justice Department is ordering prosecutors to not list quantities of illegal substances in indictments in low-level cases; this would get around federal mandates on minimum sentences. Given the popularity of law-and-order themes in elections, it seems prudent not to wait for Congress to take such a step, or actually amend its laws. (News-Post)

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Signage worth a look

Frederick city officials are wrestling with the idea of selling advertising signage on and around Harry Grove Stadium to raise revenue. And the idea is sparking some debate from different sides. We think the idea has merit and it’s worth a hard look provided stringent guidelines are put in place that will protect the aesthetics of the ballpark as well as the South Market Street neighborhood that provides the gateway into historic downtown Frederick. (News-Post)

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Mamie Perkins: August brings the promise of opportunities for children

Early last week I had the opportunity to speak to more than 400 teachers as they embarked on careers with our school system, beginning what we all hope will be long-lasting successful journeys during which they positively impact the lives of countless children. Later in the week, I was honored to be on hand as students received high school diplomas after completing course work in our summer school program. (Capital)

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Rick Hutzell: Let's rename the Stoney Creek Bridge

For such a short stretch of concrete and steel, the Stoney Creek Bridge sure got a lot of ink this summer in the Maryland Gazette. (Capital)

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Harbor Point merits city's support

Letter: "Council members Carl Stokes, Sharon Green Middleton and Bill Henry voted against the deal," writes The Sun in its article reporting the City Council's decision to help finance the upscale Harbor Point development ("Harbor Point bonds gets OK," Aug. 13). "This is probably the worst piece of legislation I've ever seen," Councilman Stokes is quoted as saying. Wow! What a profound and futuristic comment from one of our Baltimore leaders. Better to let this land remain vacant and fallow then to use taxpayers' money to improve it. This sounds like a campaigner and not as a forward-thinking member of the city council. (Balt. Sun)

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August 16 // Tax-free week is a gimmick – and a weak one

The only things certain, Ben Franklin said, are death and taxes. Death never takes holidays (outside of the movies, where he has also been known to show an interest in chess). But taxes do, at least when state politicians who aren’t willing to cut them, or restructure them to genuinely benefit retailers, settle for a gimmick. Take, for instance, Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week, which runs through Saturday. (Capital)

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Gansler's remarks reach unintended audience

After the infamous May 2012 “47 percent” speech that helped cripple Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, you’d think that candidates would be more careful about what they say — even when they’re preaching to the choir behind closed doors, as Romney was. Fast forward to July 15 of this year, when Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler Jr., an unofficial candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, was speaking to a group of campaign workers. (News-Post)

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