Rodricks: Ferries won't replace the Bay Bridge we have — but they could replace one we don't have yet

Today’s column follows up on four earlier columns, starting with one from last month about getting cars and trucks across the Chesapeake Bay: Mail and social media comments ran roughly 8-to-1 in favor of my suggestion that Maryland explore electric-powered ferries. Readers liked the idea of taking a ferry from the Baltimore or Baltimore County waterfront to, perhaps, Rock Hall, or from a point south of Annapolis to Claiborne or Cambridge. Many said a ferry crossing would be a pleasant way to get from here to there, and some saw added eco-value in putting travelers on the waters we need to protect. (Balt. Sun)

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Mike Busch showed us the best of politics

FLAGS AT the Maryland State House in Annapolis flew at half-staffMonday. The rostrum in the chamber of the House of Delegates was draped with black bunting, and on each desk was a bracelet imprinted with the words “Iron Mike.” But the most fitting tribute to the late House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D-Anne Arundel) on the last day of the General Assembly were the bills debated and the votes cast. “Mike Busch would have expected us to keep doing the work of the people,” said Del. Eric Luedtke (D-Montgomery), “and we’re going to keep doing the work of the people.” (Wash. Post) 

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Zurawik: A brutal month for Baltimore's image

It has been a brutal month for Baltimore’s image. The March 17 cover of the New York Times Sunday Magazine featured two row houses in shadows and darkness with the headline: “The Tragedy of Baltimore.” The subhead written as if it might be graph showing steady decline said: “How an American City Falls Apart.” The story of the surge in violent crime and the toll it has taken on Baltimore’s civic life was published online March 12. (Balt. Sun)

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Climate change is hurting our health

Thank you for the article (“Hotter, wetter, more bugs? Researcher finds Maryland's climate is becoming more like Mississippi's,” Apr. 2) focused on recent climate science and projected changes to our environment and daily lives. The researchers are using compelling social math to help people understand the very real impacts of climate change now and in the near future. But I can’t help notice one key element is missing: climate impacts to our health. With the projected increase in mosquitoes mentioned in the article, it is important to note the increased risk of diseases – like Zika and chikungunya – that mosquitoes carry. (Balt. Sun)

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Baltimore deserves more than the mayor's resignation

I’ve known Catherine Pugh for most of the 10 years I’ve been in Baltimore. I first met her when she was a state senator and I was working to bring marriage equality to Maryland. She is a delightful person, friendly to a fault, passionate and polite, and she certainly is bold in what she wants. As with most Baltimoreans, it’s been painful for me to watch news unfold over the last two weeks regarding her role in the UMMS scandal, in which some board members, including Mayor Pugh, had lucrative business deals with the medical system. It’s been more so because it’s happening to someone I know. (Balt. Sun)

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Gov. Hogan's chance to help save the oysters

Oysters aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. Whether served raw on the half-shell, stuffed in a Thanksgiving turkey, fried, frittered, baked in a pie or dropped in a stew, oysters can taste a bit like the ocean with a slight hint of iron combined with the texture of an egg white. But you don’t have to be Diamond Jim Brady, the Gilded Age financier who often ate a few dozen at a time, to appreciate their importance to the health of the Chesapeake Bay. (Balt. Sun) 

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Clock ticking on lower prescription drug prices

For the past few years, our organization has been hearing from average Marylanders who face a life-and-death dilemma: how to pay for the prescription drugs they need. Drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them. Their stories are heartbreaking and disturbing. Far too many people in our state struggle to pay for medications as prices continue to soar. Sometimes they are forced to ration their own medications, taking a half-dosage, for example. We have met Marylanders who must choose between paying for medications and paying for food. (Balt. Sun)

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Government price limits not the answer for costly medication

Before patients ever walk into pharmacies, they rely on a doctor to diagnose their ailments correctly. We take that for granted. But when it comes to curing what ails our health care system, including the cost of medicines, some in the Maryland legislature are misdiagnosing the problem and prescribing the wrong solution. There’s an effort to give a newly created board the broad power to decide whether the price of a medicine is justified and to arbitrarily set prices in the state of Maryland. We share the goal of making it easier for Marylanders to afford their medicines. (Balt. Sun)

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