Mental health status is not static 

Maryland’s highest court demonstrated a highly disconcerting lack of understanding of mental health issues this week when it barred the state from re-evaluating the psychiatric condition of a killer as part of the process that could lead to his conditional release. (Daily Record)

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Roger Berliner: The promise of Utility 2.0

For those of us in Maryland who have suffered from unacceptable electric utility service — and that is most of us — there is light at the end of the tunnel. Utility executives, think tanks and energy experts all agree: There is a utility revolution coming. (Balt. Sun)

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Nick Loffer: Rep. Andy Harris' Farm Bill version is sheer folly

The House of Representatives passed a “farm-only” Farm Bill last week, one that fails to make any free-market reforms to farm programs. Rep. Andy Harris was the only member of the Maryland delegation to support this bloated legislation. Instead of standing up for free enterprise and limited government as he claims to do in his campaign speeches, Harris voted for five more years of government favoritism and corporate welfare. (Daily Times)

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City Hall face-lift needed – but we'll miss the paintings

Some Annapolis residents may grouse about the city spending more than $500,000 on renovations of City Hall, including a complete overhaul of the Council Chambers. But let’s face it: Most would interpret a 30-foot chunk of molding falling off a wall as a sign that maintenance had been deferred a tad too long. (Capital)

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Bruce Bouch: Increase in fire deaths must be reversed

So far this year in Maryland, 44 people have died in home fires; in 35 percent of those deadly fires, the structures either didn't have smoke alarms or the structures' smoke alarms were not operating. This is a significant increase in residential fire fatalities compared to the same time last year. The loss of life will certainly continue unless we spread the message of home fire safety. Developing and practicing an escape plan with your family in the case of fire is one thing we should all do. The other is to make sure you have working smoke alarms in your homes. (Balt. Sun)

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Understand distasteful speech; don’t silence it

Another example of how free speech can get awfully messy is playing out in Montgomery County. County Executive Isiah Leggett has waded into a debate about whether Molotov, a Mexican rock band, should perform at the Fillmore concert hall in Silver Spring on Aug. 26. (Gazette)

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Cindy Parr: Successes mark tax assistance program

Human Services Programs of Carroll County offer more than 20 programs that serve the County’s low-income and at-risk population. About 9,500 individuals receive assistance through our agency to better their lives and make the necessary linkages that will move them out of poverty. One program in particular that directly affects this goal is the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA program. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Residents care about City Dock – but can they agree?

The old furniture in the City Council chambers, due to be replaced in the coming month, got a vintage Annapolis send-off last week: eight hours of testimony on what to do — or not to do — about City Dock. It’s not every community in which more than 100 people would jam into a room on a weeknight to listen to hour after hour of testimony about master plans, maritime zoning, building heights and other changes that may not materialize for years — if ever. Whatever problems all this passion may pose, it beats apathy. (Capital)

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