Jean Marbella: For City Councilman, crime is not a distant issue

Growing up in Park Heights during the crack-ridden 1990s, Brandon Scott used to wash cars at his uncle's shop, where some of the customers were drug dealers — and unlikely sources of advice for the high school track star who would grow up to become a city councilman. "I had one guy tell me as I was going off to St. Mary's [College], 'If I had a chance to do it again, I would have taken that football scholarship,'" he remembers. "'Forget about this money.'" The following year, the man was shot dead. (Balt. Sun)

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Dan Rodricks: More shootings, but hope in Johnston Square

So many of the old rowhouse neighborhoods of Baltimore have the following characteristics — one block good, next block bad; safe by day, violent by night; earnest homeowners here; apathetic renters there. Walk along enough of the side streets, especially on the east and west sides of town, and those contradictions are obvious. Just look at the two blocks of Preston Street east of Greenmount Avenue, in Johnston Square. (Balt. Sun)

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Rodricks: On tax breaks, you can't beat City Hall

Baltimoreans are having another argument. This one is over Harbor Point and whether City Hall should sell $107 million in bonds and use the money to aid the development of a billion-dollar project on what has been called the primo piece of commercial real estate on the East Coast. I've been involved in these arguments for years, friends, and here's what I've learned: Right or wrong, you can't beat City Hall. (Balt. Sun)

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Noel Levy: WBAL needs to tell the truth about climate change

I was disturbed to read in The Baltimore Sun that WBAL (Channel 11) meteorologist Tony Pann regularly denies human-induced climate change is even happening, let alone that it is impacting our weather. I'm joining other Baltimore-area residents to call on WBAL to publicly correct Mr. Pann's misinformation and ensure that their entire news team begins reporting the facts about climate change and its impact on our weather. (Balt. Sun)

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Jones' likely return dismaying, if not surprising

There’s a gap between what’s legal and what’s right, and Daryl Jones will most likely be able to slip through it and regain his District 1 County Council seat for the remainder of his second term. This may be a good thing for the legal process. It’s definitely too bad for Pete Smith, who has done a creditable job representing District 1 since the council appointed him last year. It’s too bad for county government — relations between Jones and the council majority that voted to remove him will be strained, to put it politely. (Capital)

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Delay is good for business

Delaying until 2015 the implementation of a requirement under the health-care law that employers provide coverage to workers or face fines is politically advantageous to Democrats going into the 2014 elections, but it is also good for companies that had expressed concerns about the provision in President Barack Obama’s sweeping health-care reform. (Carroll Co. Times)

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Uncertainty like that facing Wicomico County's regional airport control tower is not healthy for business

Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that air traffic towers (including the tower at Salisbury-Ocean City: Wicomico Regional Airport) that were threatened with closure as a result of sequestration will continue operating at least until September 2014. That is, in a sense, good news for area residents and businesses, as well as those whose livelihoods depend on the airport. But the fact that the airport tower’s continued funding is still an issue is disturbing. (Daily Times)

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Gary D. Maynard: Maryland's recidivism rate is improving substantially

In his impassioned plea for us to work together to close the revolving door of ex-inmates returning to prison, Ron Pagano mentions an overall recidivism rate for Maryland offenders that is incorrect. Nationally, recidivism is measured in three-year cohorts. Maryland’s recidivism rate for the most recent cohort for which we have numbers, ending in 2011, is 43.3 percent. That’s down almost eight points from 2007, when the recidivism rate was 51 percent. (Daily Times)

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