Hard look needed at election problems in Maryland

Maryland’s primary election process is so flawed that it nearly turns the political views of its electorate, even the pitiful few who do bother to turn out, into worthless votes. There’s a myriad of flaws in the process. Those flaws may exacerbate the decades-long concern of less than acceptable voter participation. In too many recent elections, particularly primaries, that less than acceptable characterization is more accurately labeled pathetic. Maryland’s Primary Election 2018 was no better. (Aegis)

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Naval Academy athletics shortfall requires more transparency

We have every confidence that the Naval Academy Athletic Association will work its way through its current financial shortcomings. We just wish they would be a bit more transparent about it. The association was set up to run the sports programs for the Naval Academy, a clever arrangement that allows it to benefit from both federal funding and private donations. It also creates a curtain behind which all sorts of things, salaries and incentives and other things, are hidden from public view. The depth of the difficulties the NAAA is experiencing has been variously described as a $5 million deficit or a “course correction.” (Capital)

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Elly Tierney: Annapolis must be creative with limits at City Dock

Never did I think, as a supporter of Mayor Gavin Buckley, that I would be remembering my Shakespeare and reciting Hamlet to my coffee cup: “O cursed spite … we have forgotten history for one reason and, if we are not careful, we will neglect it for another.“ Of course, this was in response to an evil ruler, said by a virtuous man. I don’t claim either is applicable. But the respect for history is. But, alas, here we are again at the denouement of another ‘fight’ at City Dock. I was vocal in my opposition to a substantial zoning change that was not sensitive to our natural amenities, our urban scale, and historic design parameters. (Capital)

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K.C. Kelleher: Did the Md. legislature allow a predator to be re-elected?

On June 15th, The Baltimore Sun reported that five women have accused Del. Curt Anderson of varying sexual misconduct, including assault, going back to at least 2004. This was hardly a surprise to me, however. One of the first things I was taught as a woman organizing and working in the political and community scene of the 43rd District is to avoid Delegate Anderson at all costs. Don’t sit next to him at the table, don’t take individual meetings with him, and don’t take your constituent issues to him. But now, voters have essentially chosen to give him another four years. He was among the top three Democratic Primary vote getters, according to final election results. This is unacceptable, particularly in a district that also features strong female leaders as part of the delegation team. (Balt. Sun)

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George W. Owings III: Gov. Hogan consistently committed to Maryland's veterans

On the heels of Memorial Day, and as we find ourselves in the heart of the veteran service organization convention season, I’d like to share some information about Gov. Larry Hogan’s efforts to make Maryland a more veteran-friendly place to live, work and retire.  Upon taking office, Hogan immediately demonstrated his commitment to our veteran community when he signed his very first piece of legislation designating March 30 as “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.” Also in 2015, the governor introduced legislation to eliminate income tax on all military retirement income. While the General Assembly did not pass that full measure, Gov. Hogan was able to sign legislation that increased the tax exemption on military retiree pensions to $10,000 for veterans at least 65 years old. (Daily Times)

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Matt Hamblen: Grace and comfort following pain of Capital Gazette shooting

Gerald Fischman’s funeral was, unexpectedly, a love song. By that, I mean that I drove three hours from Harrisonburg, Va., to attend my former colleague’s funeral on Sunday in Olney, Md., expecting to hear more regrets about gun violence and worries over attacks on the press. Instead, Gerald’s wife, Erica Fischman, and his stepdaughter read five love poems he had written for them through the years during the service. One marked the 11th anniversary of his marriage before he was shot and killed along with four other staffers in the offices of the Capital Gazette in Annapolis. The number 11 was an ideal symbol for husband and wife, 1+1, the poet explained. (Balt. Sun)

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Liz Chudoba: For a healthy bay, take a healthy interest in your local stream

Most of us think of spring and summer as the time the birds start singing, the flowers start blooming and the weather warms up. In the world of water quality monitoring, it means we are dusting off our Secchi disks and getting our sampling equipment ready — because water quality monitoring is essential to understanding the health of our waterways, land and people. Here are the best reasons for, and advantages of, getting to know the health of your local stream this summer. (Daily Times-Bay Journal)

 

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July 12 // Will the outcome of the Baltimore County executive race reflect the true will of the voters?

There are a couple of oddities about the 2000 election in Florida that come to mind now that Baltimore County elections officials are preparing to recount by hand the nearly 85,000 ballots cast in the Democratic primary for county executive, which at the moment has Del. Johnny Olszewski leading state Sen. Jim Brochin by a mere nine votes. It’s not just the closeness of the race — Mr. Olszewski is up by .01 percent, almost the exact same margin that made George W. Bush the victor in Florida and the nation’s 43rd president. It’s that the same kinds of irregularities that may have made the final outcome in Florida not match the true will of the voters on that election day may have still, if to a lesser extent, played a role in Baltimore County. (Balt. Sun)

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