October 15 // Governor Hogan says we've tried everything to stem overdoses. Fortunately, that's not quite true.

When we asked Gov. Larry Hogan about opioids in a recent editorial board interview, he took less evident satisfaction in discussing his record than he did when we asked about education, the environment, health care or most anything else. It’s not that he’s ignored the issue — far from it. He has, in his words, “tried everything.” Maryland has devoted more resources to combating opioid abuse (if not nearly as much as advocates say is necessary). It has expanded the availability of the anti-overdose drug Narcan and persuaded the federal government to let Medicaid cover some residential drug treatment. It has taken steps to prevent the abuse of prescription painkillers, and it has established a system for coordinating the response to the epidemic across the state. (Balt. Sun)

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UMBC's president says his campus will become a leader on sexual assault. The rest of us must hold him to account.

It took a federal class action lawsuit and a high-profile protest on campus for University of Maryland Baltimore County leaders to hear what some students have been saying for years — that it doesn’t do nearly enough to prevent sexual violence or to support victims. The school’s president, Freeman A. Hrabowski III, says he and other UMBC officials have done a great deal of listening in the last few weeks, both to those who stormed his office and to other advocates, and they plan to accelerate their efforts around training for students, faculty and staff, reporting procedures and physical safety measures. (Balt. Sun)

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Jeremy Mohler: Maryland’s poor plan for public-prive partnership toll roads

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) $9 billion plan to add tolled express lanes to the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270 is flawed. Maryland transportation officials are proposing to borrow the project’s cost from private investors, but they are downplaying how much more expensive it is to borrow directly from a Wall Street bank or a global corporation rather than use municipal bonds, the traditional method of financing. And they are minimizing the potential risks for Maryland residents now and in the distant future, as so-called public-private partnership contracts include pages of complex agreements that extend for decades. (Wash. Post)

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George Arlotto: Anne Arundel Schools will make a colorful stand against bullying

A month ago in this space, I wrote about our school system’s efforts to devote time in the first few days of school to building relationships – between students and students, students and staff members, and staff members and staff members – in order that everyone in our collective Anne Arundel County Public Schools family might better know and, therefore, better understand each other. The goal of those efforts was to embark on the creation and enhancement of climates of familiarity, acceptance, and, ultimately inclusion that, throughout the year, will help all of us recognize our diversity as a strength. (Capital)

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Steve Schuh: I have signed the 'no new taxes' pledge, but my opponent has not

On any evening in Anne Arundel County, families come together around the kitchen table to pay their bills. For many residents here, it can be a struggle to make ends meet. They work hard and don’t want to live paycheck to paycheck or to be nickel and dimed by their government.  One of the main reasons I ran for county executive was my concern for these families. I wanted to make Anne Arundel County a more affordable place to live by providing real tax and fee relief to every citizen.  And I am pleased to report that, in every one of our four years in office, my team has delivered on that goal. (Capital)

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Dan Rodricks: Wanted on the streets of Baltimore: A squeegee guru

A few months ago, someone passed along an emailed letter from a retired police officer who described his encounter, at Conway and Charles streets in downtown Baltimore, with “10 to 12 young blacks” who had spray bottles and squeegees in their hands. The man had driven into the city with his wife for a Sunday dinner at a restaurant. He was not interested in having his windshield washed. But “one of the little darlings” sprayed “mud/dirty water” on his car anyway. The letter then described the squeegee kid’s profane response to the driver and the driver’s desire to personally discipline the youngster. (Balt. Sun)

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Break the cycle of domestic violence

Domestic abuse is an enormous social problem that is hiding in plain sight. The national statistics are as horrifying as they are hard for some people to believe. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men experience severe abuse by an intimate partner. It occurs in every state, every city and every neighborhood. More than 12 million people a year in the U.S. are affected. Based on reports from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and the Frederick Police Department, local law enforcement officers respond to two to three calls related to domestic disputes every day. Furthermore, because of fear or reluctance to call police, the number of domestic-violence incidents is likely higher. (News-Post)

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Jamie Stiehm: Baltimore's Sally Michel wanted to save the world; instead, she saved me

Twenty years ago, when I first met Sally James Michel, the Baltimore civic leader who died this summer at the age of 80, she told me she spent her days trying to “save the world.” She certainly saved me. In 1998, The Sun’s city editor, James Asher, gave me an assignment to interview Sally at her home. We spent hours in her kitchen that first day. At the time, she was 60 and recently widowed, with three married daughters, all of whom lived in Baltimore, she noted with pride. She had a bright, unconditional love for the city — the whole city, not just her specific community or social set. (Balt. Sun)

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