Andrew Sharp: How to not ruin the Shore with a new Chesapeake Bay Bridge

The pressure is building up on the other side of the Chesapeake Bay. More and more people are packed into a limited space, and they all want to get to Ocean City in the summer, or move to Queenstown but keep working in Annapolis. The trouble is, they all try to drive on the Bay Bridge at the same time. According to the Maryland Transportation Authority, in 1952, when the first span of the Bay Bridge was built, it had yearly traffic of 1.1 million vehicles. That’s a lot of cars. But in 2014, that number was up to 25.5 million. (Daily Times)

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A ray of hope at Flying Dog

To all of our readers who are beer drinkers — or to those who just care about a more business-friendly environment in Maryland — we propose a toast: Raise your glasses to Peter Franchot! Franchot, who as the state comptroller collects taxes and other revenue, announced recently that he will introduce a bill with a “12-pack” of craft brewery reforms in the 2018 General Assembly session. We hope this reform package will be able to pass the General Assembly, and we hope it is in time to help Frederick. (News-Post)

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Joshua Ober: Don't ban "Buck," Baltimore; book inspires students

Literature reflects reality, and reality isn’t always pretty. But that cannot and should not ever be a reason to shy away from raw, authentic literature. Children do not know everything about the world, but they are not stupid. They know a lot more than most people think. When we shy away from difficult language or conversations, we cripple young people for the future. Life is full of tough conversations, and what better way to approach them than through award-winning literature? (Balt. Sun)

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December 8 // Rachel Garbow Monroe: Here's how to end the culture of sexual harassment

Words have power. Too often today, they are being used to tear us down and apart, making us feel helpless and defenseless. Alternatively, words can build us up, strengthen us and give us the ability to move forward together, constructively. I choose to focus on the latter believing that none of us can afford the continued costs of remaining silent. As a female CEO, I have a responsibility to speak out, and I am compelled to do so now. The pervasive workplace culture of sexual harassment, intimidation and the undervaluing of women must be addressed both swiftly and firmly. (Balt. Sun)

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Matthew Rothstein: Baltimore's bigger and better downtown is a weapon against the city's negative reputation

Despite the wave of violent crime in Baltimore seeming never-ending and becoming more brazen, the city's downtown is growing in both size and quality to change its story. If downtown is one of the safest areas of the city, then it stands to reason that enlarging it with new developments in former fringe areas like Canton, Locust Point and Stadium Square can increase the halo of affluence. But when violent crime is at issue, the process's growing pains are tragic, like the shooting death of a Locust Point resident at a Royal Farms convenience store steps away from the just-opened Anthem House apartment building. (Bisnow)

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Brian Griffiths: Medicare-for-all scheme is unhealthy

This week, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous brought Bernie Sanders to Baltimore for the rollout of his Medicare-for-all plan. Sanders has been pushing his Medicare-for-all scheme in Congress and Jealous, who will tell you he agrees with Bernie Sanders a lot, will be proposing a state-based system funded by you, the Maryland taxpayer. Jealous has no idea how much it will cost to implement this Medicare-for-all scheme. He is already talking about an increase in the income tax or the sales tax to cover the enormous costs for the program. (Capital)

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Consider allowing counties to skip state education mandates if school funding dips

Color us intrigued by a proposal by Commissioner Doug Howard for county staff to draft legislation for the county’s delegation to submit that would exempt Carroll from certain state education mandates that aren’t graduation requirements or required by the federal government if state funding dips below a certain percentage. It’s such a radical change in thinking that we’re not sure it would get anywhere in Annapolis, but Howard’s reasoning is sound. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Tricia Bishop - Roland Park: Don't take down supportive signs, put more up

The Roland Park Civic League should be commended for its swift reversal of an ill-considered request to residents — many of whom found it offensive — that they remove a handful of yard signs proclaiming support for immigrants and the Black Lives Matter movement because “sign clutter can be a nuisance to your neighbors.” But the fact that members issued it in the first place — along with the league’s failure to, as its president said, “anticipate that doing so could be interpreted as opposition to the content of many of these signs” — is worth exploration. (Balt. Sun)

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