College textbook relief

The cost of textbooks is a significant expense for college and university students. It can run $5,000 or more during undergraduate years. That’s another $5,000 that college students, who are often struggling financially, must come up with. College textbooks have also been big business for publishers and even for the private companies that contract with many colleges to run their campus bookstores. In the past, students routinely got their textbooks from these on-campus bookstores — and paid the price. All this has been changing little by little. (News-Post)

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Arundel police on the rebound

These have been a tough few years for police officers in Anne Arundel County, from the scandalous to a revolving door of leadership. Under the circumstances, one wouldn't expect county police or sheriff's deputies to be on the cutting edge of most anything — just not having to tear down yard signs on behalf of the county executive would seem to be improvement enough. But lo and behold, Anne Arundel law enforcement have turned out to be innovators, and police in Baltimore and elsewhere ought to be paying attention. Turns out they have some good ideas about fighting crime in Annapolis. (Balt. Sun)

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Jonathan Lesser: Power plant subsidies were never needed

The Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) currently has an opportunity to ensure that Maryland consumers are not on the hook to pay for hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidized electricity that will be generated at Competitive Power Ventures' (CPV) St. Charles facility. The PSC should act in the best interest of Maryland consumers and repeal the subsidies. (Balt. Sun)

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Who will watch the watchers?

Having conducted a months-long review of the issue, President Obama reportedly will soon announce a proposal to end the National Security Agency's bulk collection of data about Americans' phone calls and require the agency to get a court order before seeking such information in the future. But putting limits on the agency's capacity to spy on Americans may not be as easy as it sounds, especially if the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court which is supposed to rule on the legality of NSA programs, continues to rubber-stamp its approval of every request the agency apparently makes. (Balt. Sun)

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Blocking the schoolhouse door

Gov. Martin O'Malley fancies himself the “education governor” of Maryland. This means, in blue states like Maryland, that he does the bidding of the teachers’ unions that have devastated public education. The National Education Association recognized his “contributions” four years ago as the “Education Governor of the Year.” The governor talks the talk but avoids the walk to genuine education reform. (Wash. Times)

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Shanie Shields: Finding and training future leaders a challenge, but very important

Identifying leaders nationally in the African-American community today is easy. The Rev. Al Sharpton, Tavis Smiley, Dr. Cornell West, Oprah Winfrey, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Magic Johnson, Eric Holder and of course President and Mrs. Barack Obama. These are just a few, but some of us may never meet them. What we should concentrate on is training our future leaders in our community.

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Rick Hutzell: The Greens are sitting out of Arundel politics in 2014

The tables are littered with the wreckage of a dinner in the back room of an Annapolis coffeehouse. Political fliers are spread among dirty plates, empty glasses and a few unfinished bites of chicken-and-black-bean burrito. Musicians from the Unified Jazz Ensemble quietly slip into the room, setting up gear for their Tuesday show. There’s a $6 cover starting at 8:30 p.m., so time is short. (Capital)

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George Michael: Pity the poor people who still believe in government

“If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.” This statement by James Madison, the father of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights in Federalist Paper No. 51 contains the essence of a well-grounded view about government. If only leaders like Madison were among us today. (Herald-Mail)

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