Lierman & Washington: Switching utility companies means many low-income Marylanders paying more

If you have received a knock on the door or a call on your phone from an energy company other than a main regulated supplier such as BGE or Pepco, then you know that Maryland has a busy third-party retail utility market. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, regulators have prohibited utility shut-offs for families unable to pay their bills. However, just as the weather is beginning to turn and as students are staying at home to participate in school, the utility termination moratorium is scheduled to end — on Oct. 1. (Balt Sun)

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EDITORIAL: Baltimore’s trash dilemma not so clear-cut

Baltimore’s BRESCO incinerator can’t continue to operate as it’s done in the past accepting refuse from the city and surrounding counties and pumping out noxious smoke laden with toxic chemicals that impact nearby low-income, largely Black neighborhoods — often leaving children with high rates of asthma and struggling to breathe. The Baltimore City Council last year wisely passed legislation severely restricting the amount of pollution the Southwest Baltimore plant could spew into the air. (Balt Sun)

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EDITORIAL: Trump’s contempt for truth leaves a toxic legacy around the world

If President Trump is defeated in November, much of the damage he has inflicted on the political system and on U.S. international alliances can be reversed. Joe Biden could restore past norms of presidential behavior and revive ties with traditional U.S. friends. But one part of Mr. Trump’s toxic legacy will likely persist: his degradation of truth as a common currency in public life. (Wash Post)

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Allen: The justices themselves can turn down the heat — by creating their own term limits

The Supreme Court has in its own hands the power to turn the heat down on this election. This the justices can do by establishing, voluntarily among themselves, a rule for their court that each justice will limit service to 18 years, thereafter rotating off the Supreme Court to another bench in the federal judiciary or into senior status. One new justice would be appointed every two years, going forward. (Wash Post)

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Unheeded history: Why Indigenous Peoples’ Day is overdue

Spanish-born American author and philosopher George Santayana is generally credited with the oft-quoted line about how those who don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it. He died in 1952. Sixty-eight years later, a corollary is overdue: Those who have never known an honest accounting of the past are doomed to repeat it, as are their descendants. What some see as the destruction of U.S. history — where Confederate generals are no longer hailed as heroes with statues in public squares or their names plastered on military bases, for example — is often something closer to a reasonable reaction to a more honest accounting of it. And so it is with the upcoming Columbus Day holiday. (Balt Sun)

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Media fight over Supreme Court seat will be nasty, and right-wing forces have advantage

It would be nice to live in a country in which we could just spend a few days focused on remembering and honoring the exemplary life of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. But we don’t live in that kind of country any more. Less than 24 hours after her death was announced Friday night, the media war was on to try and influence the political and public opinion battles that were already raging over whether or not her seat on the court would be filled before the Nov. 3 election. President Donald Trump promised a nominee this week. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there will be a vote on that nominee. (Balt Sun)

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Police killings and ‘Black on Black’ crime

This is for the people who keep asking me about Chicago. Other cities too, sometimes, but it is mostly the City of the Big Shoulders, with its spiraling murder rate, that sends many of you rushing to your keyboards. Why are Black people so exercised about police killings of unarmed African Americans, you demand, but not about so-called “Black on Black crime” in the core of our cities? In response, let me just say this for the record: We are exercised about it all. (Balt Sun)

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Sen. Cheryl Kagan & Del. Brooke Lierman: Farewell to Foam in Maryland

Beginning Oct. 1, Maryland will become the first state to ban expanded polystyrene foam, or Styrofoam, food and beverage packaging. There is a growing awareness that Styrofoam is harmful to both our environment and public health. To pass the law, a broad coalition of environmental advocates, students and small business owners — including Trash-Free Maryland, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters and the Maryland Sierra Club — helped communicate the need for a uniform state law to address the significant negative impact of Styrofoam. (Md Matters)

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