Jeff Fraley: Baltimore's stormwater fees are hard on businesses; and could have been worse

Baltimore businesses, homeowners and nonprofits took on new financial responsibility July 1 with enactment of the city's Stormwater Remediation Fee ordinance. Much media has been generated around the unfunded mandate handed down from Annapolis to the 10 largest counties around the Chesapeake Bay. Yet, based on fiscal reality, including the cash to be collected and spent, little has been written about the disproportionate impact on Baltimore City businesses and the latest layering of fees atop already hefty property taxes. (Balt. Sun)

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Breakdown at Prince George’s jail

The appalling security lapses at the Prince George’s County jail, as illustrated last week by the eye-opening reporting of The Post’s Aaron C. Davis, constitute a blatant management failure and a risk to public safety. A key witness to a double killing was executed last December shortly after visiting his brother at the jail, where he was unexpectedly confronted by the very defendant against whom he was planning to testify. (Wash. Post)

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Maryland's climate opportunity

The dog days of summer are upon us, and most Marylanders are more inclined to reach for beach-friendly paperbacks than a 265-page treatise on climate change. That's a shame, because the latest effort to address greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland — an ambitious plan released last week by Gov. Martin O'Malley — ought to be required reading, particularly by those who dismiss such efforts as too costly or unnecessary. (Balt. Sun)

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Johnson and Beard: Md. General Hospital OB closing hurts community

After 100 years of providing high-quality care to Baltimore’s most vulnerable populations, childbearing women can no longer call Maryland General home. We believe low delivery rates during the past several years and the decision to merge, restructure, and eliminate the outpatient pediatric services that were once part of the hospital’s community model led to the closure of the department. Additionally, not enough Baltimore mothers were aware of what Maryland General had to offer — which we felt was due to a lack of marketing. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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In West Baltimore, a quantum of hope

When I walk through my neighborhood, I see 7- and 8-year-olds on the streets, and you can tell that they don't think much of themselves. You know that they may have a parent who is struggling and doesn't have too much time for them, and in school they are often told that they can't achieve, that they are "bad" and no one seems to care. We need to fund more programs like Quantum. (Balt. Sun)

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Monique L. Dixon: Race infects juvenile justice in Maryland

I urge all of those who despair about the loss of Trayvon Martin to support local justice reform efforts and make our community a safer and more just community for all of our young people. (Balt. Sun)

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Stephanie Monroe: Lack of tutoring services contributed to MSA score declines

In response to your July 23rd article, "State test scores decline significantly," the writers lament the lower student test scores in comparison to last year, particularly in math. Much of the blame is attributed to a change in curriculum to conform to Common Core standards. While I support this transition and believe it is necessary to better educate our students, the article misses a very important point. To date, 8,200 students primarily in Baltimore City and Prince George's County have lost access to free tutoring services. (Balt. Sun)

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Something vs. nothing

“It would be tough. But something ... something is better than nothing.” Without any context to help sort this quote out, some readers would assume it came from the recent debate about whether to permit Wal-Mart to occupy the deserted Frederick Towne Mall space. In this case, however, the comment came from downtown Frederick resident Truby LaGarde, and the “something” she was referring is a chain establishment. (News-Post)

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