Paid sick leave for food workers makes us all healthier

Baltimore's Restaurant Week, which recently ended, can be an occasion for reflection as well as celebration. Until recently, I was a Baltimore restaurant worker, with minor interruptions, for more than seven years. In my experience, no restaurant employee ever received a paid sick day. I know of instances in which employees worked while sick. (Balt. Sun)

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Stan Kollar: High-speed rail would be better than a new Bay Bridge

Might it not be time to establish a high speed transit link between the Western Shore and beach destinations that would eliminate excessive traffic, reduce gas consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, and save time, energy and frayed nerves? You could arrive at the shore refreshed, relaxed and ready to enjoy! Those who wish could still use the existing spans. It would be a win/win situation for both commuters and the businesses at the shore, increasing visits, both during the summer and through the rest of the year. The pressure would be off the road system, eliminating the need to pave more impervious surfaces and create more runoff. It is possible that in many places, existing rights-of-way could be used. (Balt. Sun)

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August 6 // Doing what's fair on the historic tax credit

As a general rule, Baltimore City can't afford to give people bigger tax breaks than they deserve. The city is perennially strapped for cash, and as an analysis commissioned by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake shows, it will have to make significant cuts in spending during the next decade if it is to remain solvent. But the case of the 315 homeowners who have been getting bigger historic property tax credits than they qualified for merits an exception. (Balt. Sun)

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Denver shows Purple Line funding plan can work

Maryland Governor O’Malley announced Monday that the federal government has approved the Purple Line’s planning, and that Maryland will seek a private company to help pay for construction. With limited federal funds available, this type of public-private partnership is becoming common nationwide. D.C. is considering it for streetcars, but Denver offers a more instructive example. (Wash. Post)

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Marc Kilmer: The Affordable Care Act will make insurance less affordable

With full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) less than two months away, Marylanders may expect their health insurance to become more affordable. It's right there in the title of the law, after all. However, if you plan on buying an individual insurance plan through Maryland's state exchange, you will probably be paying more for insurance, thanks to the ACA. (Balt. Sun)

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Patricia J. Mitchell: Women's colleges are still vital

With the recent announcements that Wilson College in Pennsylvania and Pine Manor College in Massachusetts will join the lengthening list of formerly women-only institutions that are now co-educational — including Hood College and Goucher College here in Maryland — what hope is there for the single-sex colleges that remain? In a word: plenty. (Balt. Sun)

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New schools superintendent faces a stubborn problem

In his years as Anne Arundel County’s schools superintendent, Kevin M. Maxwell — who left at the end of last month to become CEO of Prince George’s County schools — proved himself a deft educational administrator who knew how to keep standards high and test scores rising. But there was one thing he and the school system he led couldn’t do, something that will obviously be a top priority for his interim successor: close the achievement gap between white and African-American students. (Capital)

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What Aetna's move to pull insurance plans from Maryland exchange means

Aetna’s decision Friday to withdraw the health insurance plans it had intended to offer through the state insurance exchange will have ramifications for everyone involved — including consumers. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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