The ‘Rain Tax’ Debate

With the 2014 general election almost exactly one year away, at least five of Maryland's gubernatorial candidates are scheduled to debate environmental issues for the first time tomorrow in Annapolis. No doubt questions will range from smart growth to climate change to the future of the Chesapeake Bay, but surely no topic is likely to prove more contentious than what Maryland should do about polluted run-off from city and suburban streets. (Balt. Sun)

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Mickey Matthews: Baltimore's Global Position

As reports of an improving economy continue to trickle in, many businesses in the Baltimore area are realizing that global forces could very well positively impact our area and that now is the time to respond to these emerging trends. This area is in a unique position, with a relatively strong economy, a port with growing capacity, a base of businesses for the 21st century, and access to top talent. This infrastructure bodes well for the Baltimore/Washington area, but only if businesses recognize that we are part of a global economy. (Balt. Sun)

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Hilton’s Brighter Future

Last week, the investment advisory firm Davenport & Co. issued its findings on what to do about the 757-room Hilton — whether to sell it or refinance it and to generally evaluate its prospects. Their conclusion should be regarded as encouraging for city taxpayers. (Balt. Sun)

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Annapolis Voters: It’s Up To You Now

We still don’t get it. Even after doing a story on why — if past elections are a guide — well over half of Annapolis voters won’t show up at the polls on Tuesday, we can’t construct a sensible argument for apathy by local voters. (Capital)

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Michelle Fescues: Studies Surrounding Obesity Overstated

The information you receive about nutrition and obesity may be a bit overstated, sending you the wrong message about dietary advice. Researchers from the University of Alabama looked at papers and studies published on nutrition and obesity. They tracked how often the authors “overreached” in the summary of their findings. (News-Post)

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Tom Harbold: Bay Needs Healthy Oyster Population

If Marylanders are passionate about their crabs, we are nearly as passionate about oysters. Whether on the half-shell, breaded and fried, or floating in savory stew, these luscious bivalves are rightly esteemed by Chesapeake epicureans. But, as most Marylanders also know, oysters are in trouble, especially in one of their prime historic habitats: our own Chesapeake Bay. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Nov. 4 // Maryland Should Hike Tobacco Taxes Again

Boosting taxes on cigarettes is an effective way to cut smoking rates among adults and, even more, among those college-age and younger, along with tobacco-related disease and death. A case in point is Maryland, where the incidence of smoking fell by a third from 1998 to 2010, a period during which the state more than quintupled its cigarette tax. (Wash. Post)

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State's Perverse Incentives For Tax Flight Are Shortsighted

Marylanders straining to make ends meet have more pressing worries than the way some of their comparatively affluent neighbors have recently become ex-neighbors. But it might have struck them as curious that in spite of a wearisome succession of tax and fee increases, not to mention bonus revenue from gambling, the Department of Legislative Services now says the state’s structural deficit — the long-term mismatch between its revenue and its spending — is opening up yet again. (Capital)

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