Robert McCartney: Douglas Gansler’s ‘Beach Week’ Misstep Highlights Hypocrisy Over Legal Drinking Age

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler’s failure to report apparent underage drinking at a raucous “Beach Week” party that he visited reminds us of America’s gross hypocrisy in keeping laws on the books that large swaths of society have no intention of enforcing. Gansler, who’s running for governor, deserves all the criticism heaped on him for his double talk over the incident in Delaware. Clearly, a top law enforcement official shouldn’t be tolerating such wrongdoing. But let’s be honest: Thousands of local parents do the same every spring. (Wash. Post)

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Legislating Revenge Porn

Delegate Jon Cardin held a press conference Wednesday to announce that he will pursue legislation to outlaw the vengeful use of explicit photos and videos, making the practice a felony subject to up to five years in jail and up to $25,000 in fines. This is good. Legislatures should be ahead of this problem and acting to discourage it. However, this is an extremely complicated area, which is why we think this bill will need more than one session to make its way to the governor’s desk — if it makes it there at all. (News-Post)

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Give Phosphorus Regs Another Look

Protecting the Chesapeake Bay and keeping pollutants from reaching it via runoff is important, but there seem to be too many unknowns about the Phosphorus Management Tool, including additional costs to farms to transport or store the manure, to move swiftly and implement the regulation as some environmentalists and the Maryland Department of Agriculture would’ve preferred. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Right Direction

More Allegany County public school students are earning their high school diplomas, while at the same time fewer are dropping out of school. That was the good news in a report released last week by the Allegany County Board of Education. (Times-News)

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Tim Rowland: Health Care Ship Steering New Course

Imagine taking your car in for an oil change and a tune-up. But the dealership doesn’t charge you anything, it just gets your name, address and banking information. Six weeks later, you get a bill charging you $50 for five quarts of oil. A day later comes a bill for the oil filter. Other bills trickle in from companies that manufacture spark plug wires, wiper blades and antifreeze. Then you get a bill from the mechanic who did the work and one from the fellow who disposes of the used oil. (Herald-Mail)

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Dan Rodricks: Count Maryland Old-Growth Trees Among Sandy's Tragic Toll

Donnie Oates, manager of two great parks in Western Maryland, will never forget Hurricane Sandy's ferocious arrival there. On the last two days of October 2012, the storm brought two feet of heavy snow, high winds, thunder and lightning through Garrett County. Epic stuff. Oates had never seen anything like it. From his house on Maple Glade Road, which leads to Swallow Falls State Park, Oates heard a forest in collapse — trees cracking and popping, trees being uprooted under the weight of the snow, trees hitting the ground and shaking the earth. It went on all night, explosions and thuds and flashes of light. (Balt. Sun)

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Patricia Kelly: Voters' dilemma

City elections loom. Why vote? You might think it won’t make a difference. Getting voting right is a huge challenge. Information on what is really happening, even in local government, does not easily fall into the lap of the average person who is busy working to get the money that supports that government, not to mention meeting all the other demands riding on his back. It’s easy to imagine why he would give up on it. (News-Post)

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Friends Of Harford And Chesapeake Bay Oppose Repeal of Harford’s Watershed Protection Act

On November 5, the Harford County Council will hold a public hearing on Bill 13-38, which would repeal Harford’s Watershed Restoration and Protection Act and put Harford in violation of state law and in danger of losing state and federal funding for polluted runoff problems. Most importantly, Harford would have NO funding to do the planned projects that the County has identified as crucial to improve the County’s rivers, streams and infrastructure. We urge you to lend your voice and tell the Council to vote NO on Bill 13-38. (Dagger)

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