Dan Rodricks: Reducing firepower, reducing risk in Baltimore

Pardon me while I shift focus for a moment from “bump stocks” on assault rifles, like the one reportedly used in Sunday’s mass killing in Las Vegas, to something just as likely to destroy the lives of multiple human beings at one time: the 50-round magazine Baltimore police say they confiscated from an alleged gangster’s car in August. The device is black, shaped like a drum, designed to fit a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun and allow the shooter to fire up to 50 bullets. (Balt. Sun)

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William C. Smith Jr.: Discriminatory housing practices are alive and well in Maryland

In Maryland, the majority of severely rent-burdened people are single mothers and overwhelmingly people of color. According to data from the American Community Survey analyzed by Enterprise Community Partners, almost 32 percent of the state’s renters are severely housing-cost-burdened, meaning they pay more than 50 percent of their income on rent. (Typically, families pay 30 percent or less on housing costs.) These families are teetering on the line of instability and are just one illness, one unexpected expense, one preschooler getting suspended from school, one missed day of work away from homelessness. (Wash. Post)

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Tim Walters: For this area, maglev is all risk, little reward

Once again Anne Arundel County is forced to look at the prospect of a magnetic levitation, or maglev, train going from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., with a BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport spur ripping apart Linthicum and other parts of the county. Supporters say this incredibly expensive train will do four things; increase mobility, foster economic development, spur job creation and enhance the environment. Allow me to address each one. (Capital)

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County Councilman Chris Trumbauer: Planning is ultimately about people — who must have a say in the process

Nobody wants to be stuck in constant traffic backups, or find out that an undesirable industrial complex is popping up next to their peaceful residential neighborhood. No parent wants their children attending class in overcrowded buildings with portable classrooms sprawling across school property. The way to avoid these situations is to plan ahead — 10 to 20 years ahead. Good planning prevents these situations; bad planning worsens them. (Capital)

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October 6 // Jay Steinmetz: Md. should look to Va. for business example

Describing his personal encounters with business leaders, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, has said that their first question is typically “‘What is your tax rate?’” That’s why he made recruiting new companies a priority and pushed for lowering Virginia’s corporate tax rate because of that consistent line of questioning. There was a sense of urgency at the time, prompted by North Carolina’s own move to lower its corporate tax rates. Here is where corporate tax rates stand now: Maryland 8.25 percent, Virginia 6.0 percent, and North Carolina 3.0 percent. (Balt. Sun)

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Whither DelFest?

It was bad enough that two leaders of Allegany County and the city of Cumberland have been at each other’s throats for reasons that probably could be ironed out if dealt with rationally. (See: “‘Mean Little Billy’ doesn’t dislike city” on today’s editorial page.) Now, we learn that the future of DelFest may be in doubt. What is DelFest? Rolling Stone magazine said this about it: “DelFest was founded by the patriarch of bluegrass, Del McCoury, to showcase the talents of his brood and to cultivate an all-ages atmosphere that revolves around a distinct, down-home vibe and unparallelled musicianship.” (Times-News)

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Dr. Dan K. Morhaim: New models of care for drug addiction treatment

The 50-year-old policy of the “war on drugs” must now be declared a failure. Every measurable outcome is worse, despite all the time, money and effort spent: more drug users, more trauma, more deaths, more imprisonment, increased health care costs, adverse impacts on neighborhoods and destruction of families. The murder rate in Baltimore City and the region continues at historic high levels. Changes to law enforcement are being considered, but the issue cannot be dealt with until the connection of violence and drugs is addressed head-on. (Balt. Sun)

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Enough already. Sue the FAA

Sustained indifference by the Federal Aviation Administration to months of complaints about noise from takeoffs and landings at Baltimore-Washington International Airport has pushed more elected leaders to call for a lawsuit to force changes to flight patterns. Howard’s county executive last month joined his counterpart in Anne Arundel County and the governor in asking Maryland’s attorney general to sue the FAA, noting that some airport neighbors are living with “an unprecedented level of noise that has been life-changing.” Lawsuits should be used sparingly, as a last resort. It’s apparent that the situation has reached that point. (Ho. Co. Times)

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