July 19 // WSSC cries wolf in Prince George’s

Warnings by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) that water would be shut off in southern Prince George’s County caused enormous disruptions for residents and cost businesses money. Now, those disruptions likely pale in comparison to the catastrophe that would have ensued had the water indeed stopped and people not been properly warned. Nonetheless, the WSSC was not completely honest with the public, and that could well undermine its credibility when it next wants residents to take seriously its call to make emergency preparations. (Wash. Post)

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Donald C. Fry: Maryland’s election process could benefit from more competition 

Private-sector leaders agree that strong business climates thrive on competition — the key element that drives free enterprise. But several CEOs who participated in a June conference, hosted by the Greater Baltimore Committee to advance potential strategies to make Maryland more competitive for business growth, pointed out a significant impediment. There is a compelling lack of competition in the fundamental activity that decides who makes public policy in our state — the election process. (Daily Record)

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Josh Cohen: City Dock plans restores the luster of Annapolis' crown jewel

Many of Annapolis' established downtown interests seem to reflexively resist change. Annapolitans even have a name for it: the Downtown "No" Club. The latest version of this "No" Club is the self-described Coalition to Save Annapolis, an unusual alliance of United States Yacht Shows, the Ward One Residents Association, the Annapolis Business Association, Historic Annapolis Inc. and others. These groups are united by their opposition to a rezoning ordinance I introduced to implement Phase One of a City Dock Master Plan that has been more than two years in the making. (Capital)

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Christopher Summers: Are tax cuts in Maryland's future?

To paraphrase the British author Samuel Johnson, nothing focuses the mind like an imminent election. After raising billions in new taxes during Gov. Martin O'Malley's tenure, state legislators have begun focusing their minds on next year's election and how best to retain their jobs. Judging from recent public comments, top lawmakers have decided the best way is to cut taxes just before voters go to the polls. (Balt. Sun)

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Blair Lee: The Laura Neuman Story

Last week’s column pointed out that, despite its ultra-liberal impulses, Maryland has yet to elect a woman governor. Twenty-six other states, including unenlightened Alabama, Arizona, Utah, South Carolina and Louisiana, have done so, and the nation may elect a woman president long before Maryland elects a woman governor. Maryland Republicans should take note. In order to win a statewide race in Maryland the GOP needs a pair of lightning strikes. First, the Democrats need to screw up and, second, the Republicans need a legitimate “crossover” candidate who can attract dissident Democratic voters. (Gazette)

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City jail probe widens

Investigators looking into alleged corruption at the Baltimore City Detention Center appear to have made a major breakthrough this week when Black Guerrilla Family prison gang leader Tavon White, the inmate accused of masterminding a drug- and contraband-smuggling ring inside the jail, agreed to name additional staffers who participated in the scheme beyond the 13 female guards already charged. Now that Mr. White is talking to prosecutors, we can hope that more indictments will follow and give a much more complete picture of the wrongdoing at the facility. (Balt. Sun)

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A green light for Perez 

With members of the U.S. Senate reaching a compromise to allow confirmation votes for presidential appointees, thereby avoiding the much-discussed nuclear option of eliminating a 60-vote threshold for some decisions, Tom Perez will become the country’s next secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor. (Daily Record)

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Davin Hong: Building schools, building communities

The $1.2 billion approved by the Maryland General Assembly for city school construction is a historic opportunity for transformation in Baltimore. But if, after 10 years, the outcome is just new schools, we will have missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to affect not only schools but entire neighborhoods. (Balt. Sun)

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