Editorial: U.S. needed $2T infrastructure investment before COVID-19. Now, it really needs it.

Long before anyone gave much thought to a viral pandemic or contemplated 20% unemployment rates or seriously considered passing along a $600 boost to unemployment checks or bailing out the airline industry, experts were fretting about the state of U.S. public infrastructure — all those roads and bridges, pipes and wires, runways and transit systems that keep the economy moving. Americans expect clean water and waste treatment when they turn on the tap or flush. (Balt Sun)

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Barry: Coronavirus ‘essential workers’ have rights too

You used to be a disposable workforce. Now you’re essential. If you are an “essential worker” and can spare enough time to get on a laptop, you can read the panegyrics. You are the ones who keep the machine or the institution or the state going. Offices are empty, and restaurants, bars, stores are all closed in Maryland. Yet without essential workers like you on-site, doing your job, everything falls apart. You include maintenance workers, police, nurses, information technology staff, plumbers, garbage men, truck drivers, grocery clerks, construction workers. (Balt Sun)

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J. Pitts: ‘We can’t meet, but we will gather’: Faith leaders adapt to offer services for Passover, Easter

The Rev. Mark Bialek normally celebrates Easter Mass for thousands of people at St. John Roman Catholic Church in Westminster, and the 4,300-family parish marks the day with what Bialek calls “breathtakingly beautiful” flowers and music. This year, the 41-year-old priest will conduct the year’s most important service from a nearly empty sanctuary, streaming the proceedings online. The parish will skip the flowers to save money for ministering to the poor. (Balt Sun)

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EDITORIAL: In dire financial straits because of coronavirus? Talk to your lenders

Despite serving as the state’s chief tax collector, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot likes to advocate for individuals paying less in taxes to state government. Whether touting sales tax holidays or cautioning lawmakers to spend less, he generally brags more about the speed at which his staff processes income tax refunds than their skills at collecting record sums. (Balt Sun)

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EDITORIAL: Aerial surveillance persists in Baltimore, despite concerns, pandemic

The Baltimore Board of Estimates is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a contract between police and Ohio-based Persistent Surveillance Systems LLC to launch a second, larger aerial surveillance pilot program in the city in mid-April. We were against the pilot the first time around in 2016 for multiple reasons — including the secretive manner in which it was conducted, the complete loss of personal privacy and the potential to target certain citizens in violation of their civil rights. And our position hasn’t changed. (Balt Sun)

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Myles: Public Safety or Profits — It Shouldn’t Be a Hard Choice

Save lives, worry about funds later. In times of emergency, this statement has been a guiding principle for me throughout my career, whether as a Naval officer, City Council member or pediatrician who works in an emergency department. That is why it is beyond belief that some public servants/politicians are making decisions that prioritize profits over public safety. (Md Matters)

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EDITORIAL: COVID-19 has terrible connection to smoking rates

Public health officials and puritans of every stripe have long had to contend with one basic fact of human nature: We like drinking and smoking. Indeed, humans have been distilling alcohol since, quite literally, the beginning of recorded history. (Those slaves who built the pyramids of Egypt, while having a tough go of it, at least got to lubricate their labors with copious amounts of beer.) The same goes for smoking, as out of fashion as it has fallen here in the United States, at least among the upper middle classes and above. (Wash Times)

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Phatak: The Supreme Court can’t let the coronavirus get in the way of deciding major cases

The Supreme Court was scheduled to hear blockbuster arguments in three cases this week concerning efforts to obtain President Trump’s financial records, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, the court canceled these arguments for the time being. That was understandable. What would not be understandable is if the court delays resolution of these cases beyond the end of its term in June. (Wash Post)


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