In Maryland, red and blue issues can live on the same desk

The distance between Washington, D.C., and Annapolis, Md., is 35 miles, but politically speaking the gulf seems as wide as all eternity. In Annapolis, Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, presides over one of the nation’s bluest states, one with a solidly Democratic legislature. Were this the situation in the nation’s capital we would expect hostility and gridlock. In Washington, working with members of another political party seems to be viewed as more damning than are actual scandals. Yet in Annapolis, Democrats and Republicans have found a way to work together. (Herald-Mail)

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Sports betting and Maryland

 

The Supreme Court has opened the door to legal sports gambling under state control, and Maryland officials would do well to move expeditiously to take advantage of the opportunity. The court this week struck down a 1992 federal law that effectively banned commercial sports betting in most states except Nevada. A few, such as Delaware, were permitted to continue sports-based lotteries. The lawsuit was initiated by the state of New Jersey, which wants to allow sports betting at the casinos in Atlantic City. That city’s economy has been hurt by the proliferation of casino operations in surrounding states and across the country, including in Maryland. (News-Post)

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Doug Boucher: Solar fields in place of cornfields a win-win

Bay Journal News senior writer Timothy B. Wheeler recently speculated that the growth of large-scale solar collection fields on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, at the expense of cornfields, might have “unforeseen consequences on land use, local economies, wildlife habitat and maybe even water quality.” In fact, we have enough scientific knowledge to foresee quite a few of those consequences — and they would be positive ones. For example: Cornfields are dominated by a single-crop species, while the vegetation under solar fields is much more varied (native grasses and goldenrod, for example) and thus more biodiverse. (Daily Times)

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Jimmy DeButts: Nobody's really fighting to host the National Sailing Hall of Fame

Would anyone genuinely care if the National Sailing Hall of Fame packs up a trailer and bolts for Rhode Island in the middle of the night? Would anyone in Newport even notice? It's been four months since it appeared Newport was going to steal the hall of fame from us. On April 11, the Newport City Council voted 4-3 to negotiate an agreement with the hall of fame. This process is dragging on, and it is clear hosting the sailing hall of fame isn't a matter of civic pride. (Capital)

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Christine Ross: Maryland Chamber of Commerce backs plan to expand electric vehicle infrastructure

Maryland’s collective chambers of commerce applaud the Public Service Commission’s decision to move forward with hearings this month on the Public Conference 44, or PC44, electric vehicle charging proposal. These legislative-style hearings will allow the public to participate in this important information-gathering process. The hearings will also give the commission the necessary consumer input to further understand and refine this proposal. (Capital)

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Tom Walters: As a delegate, I plan to vote my conscience

Why am I running for House of Delegates in District 30B? I have been asked that by several people who wonder why someone would go through potential character attacks and mudslinging for a part-time job. One person even said that I did not seem like an egomaniacal narcissist — traits that person considered ubiquitous in politics. Well, I agree, so if that’s what you are looking for, then I’m not your candidate. (Capital)

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May 18 // Warning signal on state economy

Another amber warning signal is blinking persistently for this region’s economy, and business and political leaders will ignore it at our peril. It is a little too easy to look at the overall headlines coming out of the April report from an economic institute in Northern Virginia and conclude we are gliding down the highway. The good news first: The Stephen S. Fuller Institute at George Mason University reported that the Washington region is doing well economically. It said indicators suggest that growth should continue through at least the third quarter of 2018. The bad news, at least for our community and Maryland as a whole? Most of that growth is occurring in Virginia. (News-Post)

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Mark O’Brien: A blueprint for stemming overdose deaths in Maryland

If a plane crashed every day in America, killing everyone on board, we would be talking of little else. Americans would react to the horror with a sincere desire to identify the causes of the problem and deliver solutions. It’s how we tend to respond to preventable tragedies. The equivalent of those plane crashes is happening today as overdoses have risen to become the leading cause of death for those under 50, killing 174 people every day in America — nearly 64,000 of them in 2016, enough to empty the entire population of Frederick, our state’s second largest city. (Balt. Sun)

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