August 14 // Thomas Wheatley: College Park should not let illegal immigrants vote

Officials in College Park are debating a measure that would grant illegal immigrants the right to vote in local elections. Justifying the measure, proponents say illegal immigrants should be able to voice their concerns on local issues such as trash collection, snow removal and other municipal services. Other supporters, including CASA de Maryland, an organization with a mission to "create a more just society by building power and improving the quality of life in low-income immigrant communities," say the measure sows the seeds for transgenerational "civic engagement" and will send a message that College Park values "diversity." (Wash. Post)

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Republicans should’ve demanded Frosh’s recusal earlier

More than 20 Republicans in the Maryland House of Delegates, led by Carroll County Del. Haven Shoemaker, have signed onto a letter asking Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat, to recuse himself from representing the state further in a case being heard by a federal court regarding partisan gerrymandering. We agree with the sentiment, although perhaps it is coming too late considering the likely road ahead for the case. Republicans should've demanded Frosh to recuse himself before the case ever went before the three-judge panel this summer. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Don’t ignore a major threat to the Chesapeake Bay

Just a few miles from the Maryland-Pennsylvania border lies the Conowingo Dam, an 88-year-old power station stopping the massive Susquehanna River, which is the source of much of the fresh water flowing into the Chesapeake Bay. Since bay cleanup began, states in the Chesapeake watershed have relied on the dam to limit the flow of sediment and phosphorous further downstream, and the plan was to continue doing so for decades to come. But the dam’s sediment pools are full, long before the cleanup plan projected them to be. Now Maryland, where the dam is located, and Pennsylvania, which is responsible for much of the pollution in the Susquehanna, have to decide what, if anything, to do about it. (Wash. Post)

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Barry Rascovar: Md. state pension investing: Goldilocks vs. Chicken Little?  

Separating fact from fiction, headline-screaming hype from on-the-ground reality isn’t easy in this 24/7/365 media-frenzied world, especially when it comes to reporting on government and politics. Take, for example, the world of state pension fund performance. Returns on these investments have been pretty meager in recent years and the nation’s governors and legislatures have resisted pumping hundreds of billions of dollars to achieve “full funding” for these pension accounts. In Maryland, it has become an annual rite of August for critics to lambast state pension trustees when they fall short on their investments. The biggest lament is the state’s huge “unfunded liability,” which stands a bit below $20 billion. (Md. Reporter)

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Dan Rodricks: For Baltimore, a long way out of this mess

During this long period of insane violence in Baltimore, which has begun to feel like an epoch, you can have your pick of stories wretched and stories depraved: Young men and old men, fathers and sons, murdered over debts and drugs, minor insults and stupid disputes. Shot during robberies. Shot during arguments. Shot for no reason at all. Hundreds of lives have been lost to the violence contagion since the surge started in late winter of 2015. And just when you think you have heard it all, and much of it the same — when you have heard numerous public information officers calmly relate dozens of these stories — something slips out. (Balt. Sun)

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David Schumacher: Don't privatize our skies

As Americans, we should be proud that the U.S. airspace is the largest, most complex and safest in the world. Over 2 million passengers travel on 42,500 commercial flights in this country every day. Here in Washington County, Hagerstown Regional Airport is an economic asset, supporting local jobs and services for the traveling public. Thanks to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), our airport is partially funded by a program known as Essential Air Service (EAS), designed to provide small communities with a connection to the National Airspace System. Unfortunately, this vital program is threatened by current legislation in Congress. (Herald-Mail)

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Who votes?

College Park, a city of 32,000 people that is home to the University of Maryland’s main campus, has proposed to allow noncitizens — including illegal immigrants — to vote in local elections. This would be perfectly legal. It happens in many places across the country, including Maryland. A city council vote on the proposal likely will be held next month, so the matter can be put to a referendum in November. (Times-News)

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Sara Via: Md. governor must match environmental claims with actions

In the 1950s, City Dock in Annapolis flooded about five times per year. Now it floods 50 times per year,and scientists estimate that by 2030, that number will increase to 150. Baltimore faces the same situation. This increase in flooding is driven by climate change, the result of too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels. We must reduce carbon pollution now, so City Dock and Inner Harbor are here for our grandkids. (Balt. Sun)

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