Unity needed in GOP

Republican attempts to grow representation in the state legislature in the 2014 elections has grown more difficult with recent departures, increasing the urgency for the party to come together in a unified vision and identify strong candidates capable of accomplishing the mission of giving the party a legitimate voice on state government. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Emily Scarr: Bottle bill would boost recycling in Maryland

This summer, as I enjoy Maryland's parks, outdoor dining, waterfront areas, bike trails and neighborhood walks, there's one thing that really bums me out: litter. You know what I'm talking about — the water, soda, beer and sports drink containers that litter our streets and waterways. This summer's bummer is a symptom of a much bigger problem. Nearly 1 billion recyclable beverage containers will get trashed instead of recycled in Maryland this summer alone. Our low container recycling rate has serious consequences for public health, climate pollution and our quality of life. (Balt. Sun)

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An immortal contribution

Henrietta Lacks was an African-American mother of five living in Baltimore County's Turner Station when she died, unheralded, of cervical cancer at the age of 31. Yet the malignant cells that killed her, which were taken from a cervical tissue sample without her consent, have lived on for decades after her death in laboratories around the world, where researchers are still using them to develop treatments and vaccines that have benefited millions of people. (Balt. Sun)

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Handle food carefully

The outbreak of a stomach bug that has sickened more than 350 people across 15 states provides a timely reminder about the need to wash off fruits and vegetables before eating them. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have not yet locked down the source of the outbreak. Cyclospora infections are caused by parasites spread through eating food contaminated with feces. (Carroll Co. Times)

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Ralph Jaffe: Md. has too many problems for O'Malley to be focused on the national stage

As a Democratic candidate for governor in 2014, I am appalled at the article, "O'Malley taking effort national" (July 31) which describes Gov. Martin O'Malley's raising $500,000 for his potential campaign for president. He clearly is shortchanging the citizens of Maryland with the time and effort he is investing in this presidential operation when he should be focusing 100 percent of his time and energy on all of the problems of Marylanders. (Balt. Sun)

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Prince George’s ill-conceived affordable housing plan

Letter: While I applaud any effort by the Prince George’s County Council to preserve affordable housing, I am deeply worried that the bill approved by the council would establish “zones” for affordable housing. That would not only lead to economic segregation but, because people of color in the county rely more heavily on affordable rental housing, also perpetuate and increase racial and ethnic segregation. More important, it would also violate the civil rights certifications the county makes to the federal government in order to get more than $6 million each year in housing block-grant funds. (Wash. Post)

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August 8 // Trouble at North Branch

The corruption scandal at the Baltimore City Detention Center, with its salacious details of guards impregnated by an inmate, has gotten national headlines, but the state corrections department risks facing a bigger problem at the North Branch Correctional Institution in Western Maryland. Union officials say 15 correctional officers have been assaulted by inmates there since the end of June — the state says nine — and three inmates have been killed by fellow inmates in the last year. (Balt. Sun)

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School board shouldn't have closed selection process

This year, by a quirk of fate, replacements were needed for the county’s most important elected official — the county executive — and most important appointed official — the schools superintendent, who runs an organization that spends half the county’s operating budget. The County Council and the county Board of Education both turned to women with either present or former positions in Howard County. But the similarities in the selection process end there. And the differences between the ways the two jobs were filled don’t reflect well on the school board. (Capital)

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