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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Dee Hodges: Focusing on the wrong threat to the bay

Dozens of Maryland taxes have been increased during the six years that Martin O'Malley has been governor, but perhaps none better epitomizes the state's propensity to raise taxes for the sake of it than the stormwater management fees — better known as the "rain tax" — that went into effect for residents of the state's 10 largest counties and Baltimore City on Monday. The idea is to lower Maryland's stormwater runoff into the Chesapeake Bay as required by the Environmental Protection Agency as part of its bay cleanup plan. The problem is it is projected to cost a lot of money, $14.8 billion by 2025. (Balt. Sun)

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Peter Morici: Let's declare our independence from the IRS

Congressional frustration with efforts to get to the bottom of the IRS' targeting of conservative groups plainly shows the tax agency is dangerous to civil liberties, irrevocably broken and corrupting of national politicians. Investigators on Capitol Hill and in the Justice Department may be able to finger a few malefactors, but that won't fix the IRS. The union representing IRS employees is deeply involved in the management of the agency. Its leaders have the self-pronounced goal of doing whatever it takes to defeat conservative politicians, it consults regularly with leading Democratic politicians — including President Barack Obama — on electoral strategy, and it has cultivated a culture that encourages employees to exercise discretion in ways harmful to free speech and association. (Balt. Sun)

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Scott Eldridge: Obama policies could stifle Md.'s biotech industry

The Food and Drug Administration's plans to streamline the approval process for "breakthrough" drugs that treat life-threatening diseases is great news for patients and has enormous potential for our pharmaceutical industry, already in the midst of an innovation explosion.Unfortunately, in the middle of all this progress, political leaders in Washington are pushing proposals that would severely undermine innovation and deliver a crippling blow to Maryland's biotech industry. (Balt. Sun)

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A new era for Maryland’s Judiciary 

The governor’s decision to put Judge Mary Ellen Barbera in charge of the Court of Appeals is one for the history books, as she will be the first woman to head the state’s Judiciary since its establishment in Colonial times. (Daily Record)

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C. Fraser Smith: Could Paterakis reroute Red Line? 

Baltimore’s hope for the $2.6 billion Red Line light rail project may be on the verge of approval, but it faces a welter of potential problems — any one of which might create a derailment. (Daily Record)

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Clark Kendall: In Montgomery, aim for better ‘net’ economic results 

As an investment professional and financial planner, one of my goals is to empower each of my clients to take responsibility for his or her financial future and make the often tough choices needed to ensure the brightest possible outcome. (Daily Record)

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