Making the roads bike safe

In recent weeks, there has been an uproar in Baltimore over the presence of protected bicycle lanes in Canton and elsewhere. Local residents resented the loss of parking spaces, and some feared that narrowed streets might interfere with fire trucks or other emergency vehicles. The Potomac Street bike lane was subsequently ordered removed (though a judge has halted that action with a temporary restraining order), and last week, Mayor Catherine Pugh announced a citywide review of bike lanes and parking, a move some see as the beginning of the end of bike-friendly policies in the city. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore needs a sustainable plan for stopping violence

We don’t know whether Police Commissioner Kevin Davis is right that flooding the streets with officers for the last week — instituting mandatory 12-hour shifts, canceling leave and emptying out non-patrol posts to put more cops on the beat — was responsible for a relatively quiet stretch in Baltimore’s deadliest year. But for residents terrorized, wearied or just numb from the violence, it was something. It was a sign that we have not simply shrugged our shoulders and given up on the fight. But it was also unsustainable. (Balt. Sun)

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Gregg Bernstein: How to stop Baltimore's violence: a coordinated approach

Baltimore is in a state of crisis with respect to public safety. And while some may call this inflammatory rhetoric, the fact of the matter is that our city's officials, who are responsible for keeping all of us safe, have failed to display any sense of urgency during the first six months of 2017 as the murder rate has skyrocketed, most recently highlighted by the killing of five people in a single night. So, before everyone retreats (yet again) into the numbness, acceptance and inaction that has become all too typical, and Baltimore creeps inexorably toward the highest murder rate in its history, here are some short-term suggestions to stem the blood-letting. (Balt. Sun)

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Student report looks into a touchy issue

Politicians sometimes shrug off reports they don't like as "an academic exercise." But the 75 pages of "Consolidating Public Services in Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis: Impacts and Expenses" are literally an academic exercise, a collection of reports done by University of Maryland students, and just one of an extensive series of studies done as part of the Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability. Still, that doesn't mean the report lacks interest — and we seriously doubt county officials would have funded the effort if they weren't interested. (Capital)

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June 20 // Laslo Boyd: Beyond “Hillbilly Elegy”

“Hillbilly Elegy”, JD Vance’s memoir of a dysfunctional Appalachian family, on the New York Times Best Seller list for 44 weeks and counting, offered a trendy explanation for Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 Presidential election. If only Democrats had paid more attention to white working class voters devastated by economic change, the outcome might have been different. Vance is a gifted writer with a great personal story who introduces us to some fascinating characters in his book.  He is certainly correct that Hillary Clinton’s campaign largely ignored the voters who Vance described, but he fails to offer a thoughtful discussion of what it would have taken to persuade his hillbillies to resist the siren song of Trump. (fromacertainpointofview)

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Gregg Bernstein: How to stop Baltimore's violence: a coordinated approach

Baltimore is in a state of crisis with respect to public safety. And while some may call this inflammatory rhetoric, the fact of the matter is that our city’s officials, who are responsible for keeping all of us safe, have failed to display any sense of urgency during the first six months of 2017 as the murder rate has skyrocketed, most recently highlighted by the killing of five people in a single night. So, before everyone retreats (yet again) into the numbness, acceptance and inaction that has become all too typical, and Baltimore creeps inexorably toward the highest murder rate in its history, here are some short-term suggestions to stem the blood-letting. (Balt. Sun)

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Time to rethink city's July Fourth concert

Some of the most beloved sounds of summer in Annapolis have come from the Naval Academy Band concert at City Dock on the Fourth of July. You won't hear them this year. Band officials say the organization has had personnel cuts, is being restructured and is waiting for several future members to graduate from boot camp. The Superintendent's Combo will perform at Quiet Waters Park on Aug. 12 and the band will participate in the Fourth of July parade. But it will forgo the usual City Dock concerts, including the one before the Independence Day fireworks. This is lamentable but understandable. The band's main job is to support the Brigade of Midshipmen, not to give public concerts. (Capital)

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Deborah Simmons: Ben Jealous seeks to become Maryland governor

There’s a long line of Democratic politicians hoping to succeed Republican Larry Hogan as governor of Maryland. Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III might join the race, and if he does, one thing is a given: He cannot run as the education candidate. Former NAACP president and CEO Ben Jealous stepped up in early June, hoping to gain traction for funding, name recognition and, of course, the Democratic Party’s mantle. Education is always an election issue for voters, and it doesn’t matter whether the race is national, statewide or local. What voters and school reformers want to know from candidates is how they plan to move forward. Well, Ben Jealous didn’t stutter. (Wash. Times)

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