Alderwoman Rhonda Pindell Charles: There are good arguments against dispensary

The marijuana debate is wide-ranging. Notwithstanding issues about quality of life, religious use, safety, location, etc., marijuana remains classified as an illegal substance on the federal level. On April 6, I testified before the county's administrative hearing officer and submitted letters from several Ward 3 pastors and from the Greater Parole Community Association's Executive Leadership Team, as well as a six-page legal memorandum opposing a dispensary at 2029 West St. (Capital)

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New faces, important move at housing agency

This has been a big week for the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis. Whether it's a decisive week remains to be seen. That depends on decisions yet to come, in Washington, D.C., as well as Annapolis. The authority's Board of Commissioners used its monthly meeting on Tuesday to introduce Beverly Wilbourn, the Edgewater resident who is going to become the agency's fourth executive director within a year-and-a-half. (Capital)

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April 19 // Laslo Boyd: Can a Democratic win the Maryland Race for Governor in 2018?

Sounds like a trick question, doesn’t it? In normal political times, the answer would be “Of course, why is there any doubt?” But, as we all know, these are not normal political times. In 2014, Larry Hogan shocked the Democratic Party establishment by upsetting its hand-picked candidate, Anthony Brown. Since then, the incumbent Governor has convinced some observers that he is invulnerable because of his very high approval ratings in public polls. His approval level of 65% in the most recent survey places Hogan as the most popular Republican governor in the country. (fromacertainpointofview)

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Filling Dance's shoes

If we were to pick one statistic that bolsters Dallas Dance's contention that he is leaving the Baltimore County school system in better shape than he found it, we would point to last year's high school graduation rates. For the first time, black students in Baltimore County graduated at a slightly higher rate than white students, and both groups graduated at rates above the state average. Baltimore County is the only big district in the state for which that's true. (Balt. Sun)

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Public recording as well as public records

While spectators at County Council meetings aren't allowed to talk on their cellphones, they can use those phones to videotape or live-stream the sessions. After all, as the council itself now makes its meetings available live online, it would make little sense for councilmen to balk at recording done by the audience. Nonetheless, a county police officer in the chamber to keep order during a sometimes heated meeting on April 3 told one county resident she wasn't allowed to use her phone to live-stream testimony by others. (Capital)

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Michael Lofton: Public access to the bay starts here

Excitement is in the air, rockfish are spawning, osprey are nest-building and the dawn of a new season to enjoy the Chesapeake is at hand. In many ways the Chesapeake Bay defines Maryland. It is the source of much of our history and culture; it is a pillar of our economy, and unquestionably the single most important element in our quality of life. For the majority of Anne Arundel County residents, access to these experiences is much too difficult. Until last year, ours was a county that offered not a single boat ramp or regularly open public swimming beach. (Capital)

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Dan Rodricks: Judge sees a boy, not a disorder

One man sees a child suffering from a psychological disorder. The other sees a young civil rights leader. The sharply contrasting opinions of two prominent men from Baltimore – one a former chief psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the other a senior judge of the federal appeals court in Richmond – appear in the case of Gavin Grimm, the Virginia teenager who fought his local school board for the right to use the bathroom of his gender identity. (Balt. Sun)

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April 18 // Craig Phillips: Reviving Druid Hill's 'Zen Garden'

I have a great passion for Druid Hill Park, and in recent years, I've been spending time meditating on a comfortable bench in a remote corner of it. It's a lovely, serene spot now, but a year ago a portion of it was a mess of brambles, poison ivy and piles of dumped stones. Few maps note it, but the area is officially called the "Zen Garden." It may have been so once, but when I found it, there was nothing "Zen" about it. It was overgrown and untended. (Balt. Sun)

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