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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Cindy Parr: Successes mark tax assistance program

Human Services Programs of Carroll County offer more than 20 programs that serve the County’s low-income and at-risk population. About 9,500 individuals receive assistance through our agency to better their lives and make the necessary linkages that will move them out of poverty. One program in particular that directly affects this goal is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA program. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Farmland forever

The Frederick County Commissioners recently voted to preserve for agricultural use a 105-acre farm near Thurmont owned by Michael, Richard and Debra Stambaugh. Good for the Stambaughs and good for Frederick County. (News-Post)

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New era begins for public radio on Delmarva

Dana E. Whitehair took the helm as general manager of Delmarva Public Radio Wednesday. We are optimistic that his arrival signals a new period of stability and growth for our public radio stations, WSCL and WSDL. (Daily Times)

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Ralph Jaffe: I'm running for governor, too

In your editorial "Time to take notice" (July 18), I took notice of a blatant omission. For reasons which I really do not understand, while you mentioned the names of several potential candidates for governor in the 2014 elections, you left out my name. (Balt. Sun)

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July 25 // Stephen Z. Meehan: Dean’s departure is opportunity for reform at UM law clinic 

The people of the Eastern Shore sounded a collective sigh of relief on news that Phoebe A. Haddon is stepping down as dean of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Dean Haddon was the enabler-in-chief of the effort by Maryland Law’s Environmental Clinic and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s Waterkeeper Alliance to litigate poultry production off the Delmarva Peninsula, starting with Worcester County family farmers Alan and Kristin Hudson — a case that led a federal judge to admonish the clinic for providing “less than compelling advocacy.” Dean Haddon’s departure creates a window for reform to promote sounder, more competent legal training. (Daily Record)

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GOP open primary?

Maryland’s Republican Party is grappling with ideas to turn around its losing ways. The party should give an open primary a try for one simple reason: They’ve got practically nothing to lose. (News-Post) 

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