Edward J. Levin: Howard County reimburses taxpayers $587K in IDOT case 

On July 12, Howard County reimbursed five taxpayers for $587,151.56 in connection with recordation taxes that they had paid under protest. This amount includes $499,112.50 for the amount of the taxes that the County forced the taxpayers to pay plus $88,039.06 in interest as required by Maryland law. (Daily Record)

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Opening up the Chesapeake Bay

Letter: Three cheers for the advocates and governmental agencies that are working to open up the Chesapeake Bay for public use [“Challenge along the Chesapeake: Reaching the beach,” The Environment, July 29]. As an avid kayaker, I’m frustrated by the limited options for most of us to access the bay’s resources. (Wash. Post)

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July 31 // Don Murphy: Md. GOP's choice: Reform or lose

As the Maryland Republican Party considers reforming its nominating process to include unaffiliated voters, it seems there are as many opinions on the matter as there are Republicans. Opponents of change have the rhetoric, but advocates have the facts on their side. Republicans have not re-elected a governor in Maryland in over 50 years and have not controlled the legislature in anyone's lifetime. Maintaining the status quo and waiting for the Democrats to lose is not a winning strategy. (Balt. Sun)

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Roger Berliner: The promise of Utility 2.0

For those of us in Maryland who have suffered from unacceptable electric utility service — and that is most of us — there is light at the end of the tunnel. Utility executives, think tanks and energy experts all agree: There is a utility revolution coming. (Balt. Sun)

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City Hall face-lift needed – but we'll miss the paintings

Some Annapolis residents may grouse about the city spending more than $500,000 on renovations of City Hall, including a complete overhaul of the Council Chambers. But let’s face it: Most would interpret a 30-foot chunk of molding falling off a wall as a sign that maintenance had been deferred a tad too long. (Capital)

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Understand distasteful speech; don’t silence it

Another example of how free speech can get awfully messy is playing out in Montgomery County. County Executive Isiah Leggett has waded into a debate about whether Molotov, a Mexican rock band, should perform at the Fillmore concert hall in Silver Spring on Aug. 26. (Gazette)

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Residents care about City Dock – but can they agree?

The old furniture in the City Council chambers, due to be replaced in the coming month, got a vintage Annapolis send-off last week: eight hours of testimony on what to do — or not to do — about City Dock. It’s not every community in which more than 100 people would jam into a room on a weeknight to listen to hour after hour of testimony about master plans, maritime zoning, building heights and other changes that may not materialize for years — if ever. Whatever problems all this passion may pose, it beats apathy. (Capital)

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Carroll Creek butts

A man at Carroll Creek Linear Park was recently given a citation for tossing a cigarette butt on the ground. We’re not suggesting that he be given the maximum fine of $1,500 or 30 days in jail, but the officers from the Frederick Police Department who witnessed the misdemeanor and issued the citation were doing their sworn duty. Good for them. (News-Post)

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