Zurawik: Inside the firestorm of reaction to WJZ firing Mary Bubala. Did punishment fit the crime?

In 29 years of covering media in Baltimore, I cannot recall a story I wrote that resulted in as immediate and intense a reaction as Tuesday’s report announcing WJZ’s firing of anchorwoman Mary Bubala. The closest was the coverage in 2014 and early 2015 of two staffers being fired and a news director suspended for a day by Sinclair’s WBFF after the station aired a misleadingly edited video of a protest march in Washington that made it seem as if protesters were chanting “kill a cop.” Then as now, a reaction of this magnitude means there is more going on with the story than just the bare-bones facts of the matter. (Balt. Sun)

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Erasing Baltimore's stop snitching culture

We reached another low in Baltimore when a one-year-old and two-year-old were hit by stray bullets in the Carrollton Ridge neighborhood last week. Criminals have become so callous and detached that they’ll risk the casualty of a small child to settle a beef. Not even babies are safe from harm in some of our crime-ridden neighborhoods. Yet despite the tragedy of the crime and the outrage expressed by residents, Baltimore officials were met with a steel wall of silence when seeking more information on the culprits. (Balt. Sun)

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Lawmakers to Governor: Sign Styrofoam Food Container Ban

Last month, the trash wheels in Baltimore’s harbor reached a dubious milestone: they had collected more than 1 million containers made from expanded polystyrene foam (“Styrofoam”) since they began operating. The only type of litter they have collected more of is cigarette butts. This milestone is but one quantitative example of the amount of Styrofoam that is finding its way to Maryland waterways. Single-use plastics have become ubiquitous in our society, but none is more harmful than Styrofoam. It does not biodegrade, cannot be recycled, and represents a large portion of our litter. (Md. Matters)

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To make a dent in commutes, Maryland officials need to focus on the roads

IT IS FOLLY to consider projected growth in the Washington region’s population — more than 1 million new jobs and people by 2045 — and conclude that the existing, badly congested road network will be adequate. Improving and expanding mass transit options will be essential. But so will improving and expanding major highways. Yet local elected officials and some activists are inviting Marylanders to descend into such folly as the state prepares to move ahead with Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposal for a public-private partnership to widen the region’s two most important commuter arteries: the Capital Beltway and Interstate 270. They imagine that transit alone can accommodate those million-plus new residents — never mind that transit ridership is declining or that vehicle miles traveled are soaring. (Wash. Post)

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Don Mohler: A Look in the Rear View Mirror

One year ago, we lost my friend Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz far too soon. As many of you know, just days before his untimely passing, Kevin spent 14 hours filming footage for the gubernatorial commercials that were going to air the following week.

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Alternative Fact of the Week: The Kennedys take their shot

In Maryland, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is remembered for several things: her two terms as lieutenant governor under Parris Glendening, her subsequent failed gubernatorial bid and, in more recent years, her advocacy for retirement savings plans. But this week, she graduated from Free State political footnote to courageous truth-teller on the national stage by challenging her own brother and his Alternative Fact of the Week-worthy approach to vaccines. (Balt. Sun)

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We all have a stake in ending the HIV epidemic, even President Trump

The Trump administration has rejected efforts to equalize health care access and embraced discriminatory policies toward those most impacted by America’s HIVepidemic. Yet it has also launched one of the most ambitious, historic and inspiring health initiatives of our time — assuming Congress funds it. President Donald Trump announced earlier this year a goal to reduce new HIV infections in America by 90 percent over the next decade. And it’s completely doable; we have the tools. The medicines that restore and protect the health of people living with HIV also suppress the virus, stopping its transmission. (Balt. Sun)

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Viewpoint: Former Md. Secretary of Commerce reflects on accomplishments

After four incredible years serving the Hogan administration, I made the difficult decision to return to the private sector. I left with my head held high for all that our great state was able to accomplish during my time as Maryland’s first Secretary of Commerce. The past four years were filled with plenty of challenges following Gov. Hogan’s spectacular rise to office. The political pundits didn’t think he could win, but the citizens of Maryland knew better — he was the best choice to lead. When he asked me to join his team, I knew that we had a long road ahead to carry out his “Change Maryland” campaign promise. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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