Blair Lee: Save the Republicans

What’s the difference between the American bald eagle and the Maryland GOP? The bald eagle is making a comeback. Okay, it’s unfair to ridicule Maryland’s Republican Party; it’s too easy a target. But if the sole purpose of a political party is to win elections and run the government in accordance with its policies and beliefs, Maryland’s GOP is an endangered species. (Gazette)

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Joe Nathanson: Regional planning revisited 

Fifty years ago this summer, Maryland Gov. J. Millard Tawes signed the legislation creating the first regional planning agency for the Baltimore region. It’s too early to tell whether newly bolstered planning efforts will have meaningful outcomes for the region. However, if they leave any lasting imprint, it would seem to vindicate the broad vision for the regional planning entity unveiled a half-century ago. (Daily Record)

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School board shouldn't have closed selection process

This year, by a quirk of fate, replacements were needed for the county’s most important elected official — the county executive — and most important appointed official — the schools superintendent, who runs an organization that spends half the county’s operating budget. The County Council and the county Board of Education both turned to women with either present or former positions in Howard County. But the similarities in the selection process end there. And the differences between the ways the two jobs were filled don’t reflect well on the school board. (Capital)

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David Simon on why Koch Bros. shouldn't own Tribune papers

David Simon shares his feelings about the possibility of the Koch brothers owning Tribune papers like the Baltimore Sun in a video interview. The interview was done at the request of the Working Families Party, according to Simon, who was once a reporter at the Sun. (Balt. Sun)

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City should find new site for food distribution

The City of Hagerstown is admittedly in a tight place. On one hand, it is criticized for running an incubator for the downtrodden, with its mix of shelters, social services and threadbare apartments. On the other hand, it stands accused of being insensitive when it tries to do something about it. (Herald-Mail)

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Mental health status is not static 

Maryland’s highest court demonstrated a highly disconcerting lack of understanding of mental health issues this week when it barred the state from re-evaluating the psychiatric condition of a killer as part of the process that could lead to his conditional release. (Daily Record)

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Nick Loffer: Rep. Andy Harris' Farm Bill version is sheer folly

The House of Representatives passed a “farm-only” Farm Bill last week, one that fails to make any free-market reforms to farm programs. Rep. Andy Harris was the only member of the Maryland delegation to support this bloated legislation. Instead of standing up for free enterprise and limited government as he claims to do in his campaign speeches, Harris voted for five more years of government favoritism and corporate welfare. (Daily Times)

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Bruce Bouch: Increase in fire deaths must be reversed

So far this year in Maryland, 44 people have died in home fires; in 35 percent of those deadly fires, the structures either didn't have smoke alarms or the structures' smoke alarms were not operating. This is a significant increase in residential fire fatalities compared to the same time last year. The loss of life will certainly continue unless we spread the message of home fire safety. Developing and practicing an escape plan with your family in the case of fire is one thing we should all do. The other is to make sure you have working smoke alarms in your homes. (Balt. Sun)

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