Headscarf bans at home and abroad only separate and penalize

Je’Nan Hayes played all season on her Montgomery County high school basketball team without incident. But when she showed up for a regional final game this month, she was benched when a referee invoked a seldom-enforced rule requiring her to have documentation for wearing a hijab, part of her Muslim faith. Understandably, she broke down in tears. (Wash. Post)

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Columbia’s golden years

Columbia's golden anniversary has arrived, with months of special events and celebrations planned to mark James W. Rouse's visionary approach to go beyond the cookie-cutter subdivisions of the last century and build a vibrant community around distinct neighborhood villages, job, shopping and recreation centers, with an exacting eye toward architectural detail. Has Rouse's dream been realized five decades later? Yes, in some areas more so than others. A few villages are in need of makeovers and others have kept pace with changing times — par for the course in many communities across the country. (Ho. Co. Times)

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C. Fraser Smith: Maryland vs. Trump

Maryland Democrats’ effort to derail President Donald Trump moves now into a higher gear. From concerns about his relationship with Russia to health care and the travel ban punching bag, Maryland Democrats have challenged Trump where he lives politically. His first-step priorities seem intent on keeping promises overnight. (Daily Record)

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Tricia Bishop: The Catch-22 in Baltimore schools

Of the 10 or so school-age children I know of on my street, not one of them goes to our zoned elementary/middle school. They all go to private schools or one particular charter. And this is not in a ritzy section of Baltimore; we're solidly middle class. Our row houses typically sell for what many consider starter-home prices. I know because I've spent a fair amount of time looking at the comparables lately. We plan to list our house in the spring and move north because of the school. We can't comfortably afford to go private, and we haven't found the right charter. So we won't stay. (Balt. Sun)

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John Jacobs: Put it on the ballot

How long is it going to take to get medical cannabis in the hands of the patients in Maryland? Where are all the jobs that a new market will provide? It seems slow to materialize. Putting recreational use on a future ballot initiative might get done what the State House seems unwilling to do. It will allow Marylanders to have a choice. While the opioid epidemic claims more lives every month, I now wonder how under-reported it is in the county. There is evidence that areas that regulate cannabis use see a decrease in the number of overdose deaths. (News-Post)

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Scott Macdonald: Baltimore about to commit business suicide with minimum wage bill

The very popular $15 minimum wage law will be voted on very soon. It appears to have the momentum in votes to pass. The question is really should it and will Baltimore be better for it? Everyone acknowledges the current minimum wage is not enough to live on let alone raise a family but minimum wage is not supposed to be a sustainable wage. Rather an interim step until the worker has obtained some measure of skill to increase their value to the business community. Minimum provides opportunity for employment in places where there was none. Companies can afford to invest in the training immediately while minimum wage employees learn how to work. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Andrew Buerger: Having a higher wage can actually help businesses grow

As our company name, B’More Organic, will tell you, we’re invested in Baltimore’s success. That’s why I recently took time to testify before the Baltimore City Council in favor of gradually raising our city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. Raising the minimum wage will help our company, our economy and our city thrive. From day one, we’ve known our people are our most precious resource. Taking good care of our employees is one of the best ways to profit and grow our business sustainably. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Dr. Ian A Myles: Don't discount the power of local legislators

My family and I attended a recent Maryland Democratic town hall in Silver Spring. We came excited to brave the cold and hear from Rep. Jamie Raskin and Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin. However, we left genuinely disappointed. I do fully appreciate the need for showing solidarity and lifting the collective spirits of those in the majority of voters who preferred someone other than President Donald Trump. However, campaign speeches in lieu of actionable recommendations may get cheers, but they won't get results. (Balt. Sun)

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