Alleged Montgomery County sex abuse was preventable

Lawrence Joynes began teaching in Montgomery County Schools in 1985, spending most of the past decade teaching music at New Hampshire Estates, an elementary school in Silver Spring. By all accounts, Mr. Joynes was beloved. As The Post reported in April, many parents said their children considered him “funny and engaging, with a classroom of toys and instruments.” Little did these parents know that this same man, in this same classroom, was secretly — and, as it turns out, not-so-secretly — collecting pictures of their young daughters for use in child pornography videos. (Wash. Post)

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Enhance online connections

Government officials looking to inform residents and solicit feedback on important issues should consider enhancing their efforts on various social media platforms. A story on the marylandreporter.com website last week highlighted the results of a survey by the non-partisan OpenGov Foundation which found that 66 percent of those contacted said they were not satisfied with the information they receive about new state laws, regulations and taxes. (Carroll Co. Times)

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Robert Ehrlich: There is hope yet for American steel manufacturing

The huge, idle steelworks is impossible to miss as one travels across the Key Bridge. More than once, my boys have asked about the giant plant at Sparrows Point. "What was made there?" "How many people worked there?" "How come nobody works there anymore?"The answer is complex; the full explanation as to why hundreds of acres of prime industrial land are now shuttered goes far beyond one plant located in Sparrows Point, Maryland. (Balt. Sun)

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Dan Rodricks: Following the big money to Harbor Point

"You follow me, kid?" An old friend of mine, educated at Hochkiss and Harverford, used to ask that all the time, sometimes after every two sentences, like when he showed me how to make a martini or how to work a clutch in a '74 Fiat or when he tried to explain what arbitrage was. He had a head for cocktails, cars and finance, and he talked real fast, with a cigarette on his lip. He'd start explaining something complex, like bond trading, and stop and ask, "You follow me kid?" (Balt. Sun)

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Charles Jenkins: O'Malley's $9K tax increase

Pennies more on each gallon of gas, a couple of bucks more to cross some of our bridges — chump change! If you want to see a politician with real chutzpah, look no further than Annapolis. Martin O’Malley’s real accomplishment this year was bypassing the legislature and imposing new regulations related to septic tanks that increased their cost by approximately $9,000. Gov. Ehrlich’s $30 flush tax, doubled to $60 under O’Malley, now seems like an incredible bargain. (News-Post)

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Prison relief

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has announced an initiative to ease overcrowding, a root cause of much of what ails prisons. The Justice Department is ordering prosecutors to not list quantities of illegal substances in indictments in low-level cases; this would get around federal mandates on minimum sentences. Given the popularity of law-and-order themes in elections, it seems prudent not to wait for Congress to take such a step, or actually amend its laws. (News-Post)

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Signage worth a look

Frederick city officials are wrestling with the idea of selling advertising signage on and around Harry Grove Stadium to raise revenue. And the idea is sparking some debate from different sides. We think the idea has merit and it’s worth a hard look provided stringent guidelines are put in place that will protect the aesthetics of the ballpark as well as the South Market Street neighborhood that provides the gateway into historic downtown Frederick. (News-Post)

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Mamie Perkins: August brings the promise of opportunities for children

Early last week I had the opportunity to speak to more than 400 teachers as they embarked on careers with our school system, beginning what we all hope will be long-lasting successful journeys during which they positively impact the lives of countless children. Later in the week, I was honored to be on hand as students received high school diplomas after completing course work in our summer school program. (Capital)

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