Brandon M. Scott: Who killed police reform bills in Baltimore?

The 2017 Maryland General Session is over, and not one piece of legislation that would have significantly changed how the Baltimore Police Department operates will become a law. For a city clamoring concurrently for reform and better used police resources, this is extremely disappointing. Because there are untruths being spread about some of the bills, I want to clarify the facts around a few pieces of proposed legislation. (Balt. Sun)

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Let's hope courts don't stall cardiac surgery

Sometimes you can see something coming, but still have a sinking feeling when it arrives. That's the case with last week's news that two hospital systems, one of them Baltimore Washington Medical Center, have requested judicial review of a state commission's decision to let Anne Arundel Medical Center have a cardiac surgery program. Of course, the Glen Burnie hospital and Dimensions Healthcare Systems, the parent of Prince George's Hospital Center, are within their rights. All the rest of us can do is hope the matter is quickly disposed of by the judges and doesn't undercut AAMC's plans to get the new program up and running. (Capital)

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School board finally acts on redistricting

The Anne Arundel County Board of Education hasn't exactly raced to handle one of its knottiest and least popular responsibilities: periodically redrawing boundary lines so that students go to schools best able to accommodate them. Actually, it has repeatedly punted on such decisions. But give the board credit: Last week it voted to change school boundaries for nearly 400 students on the Annapolis Peninsula, a move that will relieve pressure at the critically overcrowded Tyler Heights Elementary School and elsewhere. (Capital)

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Jimmy DeButts: Anne Arundel residents deserve NextGen relief

Residents of Phoenix sued the federal government when low-flying planes began rattling windows and shaking walls in 2014. The action came nine months after the Federal Aviation Administration implemented a new "modernized" air traffic management system. The same program arrived at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport in spring 2015. NextGen had the same intrusive and disruptive impact on residents of Anne Arundel and Howard counties. The difference? Our state and county are still in the "talking" phase. (Capital)

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April 21 // Children conceived without consent

Providing women the right to ask a court to terminate the parenting rights of someone who fathered a child through rape ought to be a pretty easy call for a General Assembly that claims to care about victims of crime. And, indeed, a majority of lawmakers this year supported such legislation, which had previously been introduced — and failed — eight years in a row. It died a ninth time earlier this month (on the last day of the session for the second year in a row) in what has quickly become one of the more embarrassing episodes of the term. (Balt. Sun)

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Confusion in the marketplace

The Maryland legislature has just sent a bill to Gov. Larry Hogan that will, if he signs it, sow confusion in the state’s generic drug marketplace and subject consumers to considerable harm. It’s bad economics laced with a large dose of politics that begs him to pull out his veto pen and limber up his writing hand. House Bill 631 is the brainchild of Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat who is thought to be considering a race against Gov. Hogan if the governor seeks re-election next year. If he does he will have a hard climb, and uphill. Mr. Hogan is a bright red governor in a heavily blue state, but according to the polls one of the country’s most popular governors, red or blue (or even purple). (Wash. Times) 

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Donald F. Boesch: We need more science, not less

It has been 50 years since I participated in a march in Washington. But on Saturday, I plan on joining tens of thousands of others in the March for Science. Even if you are not a scientist like me, you can still join us on the National Mall or, if that's not possible, participate in the satellite event at Lawyers Mall in Annapolis. The March for Science sprang up because of concerns that scientific evidence is under attack and critical advances in science might be defunded. In addition to the Washington march, there will be more than 425 satellite events around the world. In unprecedented solidarity, many large scientific societies, such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, are partners in the march. (Capital)

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Burning a Trump sign is not a hate crime

To be clear, we condemn vandalism, arson and destruction of property in general, and particularly when those acts are aimed at curtailing someone's right to free speech. The burning of a pro-Donald Trump sign in Princess Anne (along with the evident collateral damage to a Kathy Szeliga sign and a Glock advertisement), allegedly by two young women from the Baltimore area, was wrong by any measure, and police are right to pursue the case. But the idea that the two women, Joy M. Shuford, 19, of Owings Mills, and D'Asia R. Perry, 19, of Halethorpe, would be charged with a hate crime was ridiculous from the start. We're glad that cooler heads prevailed and local police and prosecutors dropped the idea. (Balt. Sun)

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