Public recording as well as public records

While spectators at County Council meetings aren't allowed to talk on their cellphones, they can use those phones to videotape or live-stream the sessions. After all, as the council itself now makes its meetings available live online, it would make little sense for councilmen to balk at recording done by the audience. Nonetheless, a county police officer in the chamber to keep order during a sometimes heated meeting on April 3 told one county resident she wasn't allowed to use her phone to live-stream testimony by others. (Capital)

Read Full Article

Michael Lofton: Public access to the bay starts here

Excitement is in the air, rockfish are spawning, osprey are nest-building and the dawn of a new season to enjoy the Chesapeake is at hand. In many ways the Chesapeake Bay defines Maryland. It is the source of much of our history and culture; it is a pillar of our economy, and unquestionably the single most important element in our quality of life. For the majority of Anne Arundel County residents, access to these experiences is much too difficult. Until last year, ours was a county that offered not a single boat ramp or regularly open public swimming beach. (Capital)

Read Full Article

Dan Rodricks: Judge sees a boy, not a disorder

One man sees a child suffering from a psychological disorder. The other sees a young civil rights leader. The sharply contrasting opinions of two prominent men from Baltimore – one a former chief psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the other a senior judge of the federal appeals court in Richmond – appear in the case of Gavin Grimm, the Virginia teenager who fought his local school board for the right to use the bathroom of his gender identity. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

April 18 // Craig Phillips: Reviving Druid Hill's 'Zen Garden'

I have a great passion for Druid Hill Park, and in recent years, I've been spending time meditating on a comfortable bench in a remote corner of it. It's a lovely, serene spot now, but a year ago a portion of it was a mess of brambles, poison ivy and piles of dumped stones. Few maps note it, but the area is officially called the "Zen Garden." It may have been so once, but when I found it, there was nothing "Zen" about it. It was overgrown and untended. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Legislation to end rapists’ parental rights dies in Maryland — for the ninth time

Maryland's law granting parental rights to rapists has long been a source of embarrassment. Samantha Bee publicly ridiculed the state on "The Daily Show" in 2015, and groups as disparate as Planned Parenthood and Maryland Right to Life have supported reform. Some legislators have been trying for a decade to bring Maryland into line with other states, with bipartisan support. But the General Assembly again this year adjourned without taking action. That means that a woman who becomes pregnant as the result of rape will still be faced with having to negotiate with her assailant over custody or put the child up for adoption. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

Mary Jo Cannon: How to stop abuse of prescription opioids

As a physician on the front lines of the battle against heroin and prescription opioid abuse, I have seen the triumphs and the tragedies that epitomize Maryland’s fight against addiction. That experience has taught me that the best way Maryland policymakers can combat addiction is to treat it as a disease of the brain. As Gov. Larry Hogan has said, “this is a disease, and we will not be able to just arrest our way out of that crisis.”  The governor is right, and there are key steps state government can take to bolster its fight against addiction even after the 2017 legislative session has concluded. (Md. Reporter)

Read Full Article

New tools to battle heroin epidemic on horizon

The number of deaths related to opioid, heroin and other drug abuse continued its deadly trend in Carroll County last month. With four fatal overdoses in March, the number of lives lost to overdoses in 2017 stands at 16. And the number of total overdoses continues to climb as well, with a reported 159 through the first quarter of the year, according to data from the Sheriff's Office, about half of those tied to heroin. With those stark numbers in our minds, legislation related to curbing the heroin and opioid epidemic recently approved in the Maryland General Assembly and potential additional county funding for a second treatment liaison come at the right time. (Carr. Co. Times)

Read Full Article

Sedrick Smith: Baltimore City College students 'crushed it'

Maybe Donald Trump is right. Maybe it is all fake news. The running narrative these days seems to be that public schools can't get their collective acts together. Dilapidated buildings, mishandled budgets, violent students and teachers who babysit all day is becoming the perception of public schools across the country. Ask any teacher from across this city and they would talk your ear off about why everything you've heard thus far is wrong. I know it is because I see it every day at Baltimore City College. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article