Students should support Hopkins police force

The opposition from Johns Hopkins students to a university police force may be the most ironic aspect of this debate (“Key Baltimore senators endorse amendments aimed at approving Johns Hopkins police force,” Mar. 6). Most Johns Hopkins students have never attended a private school with its own police. I went to two private universities (one small and in a rural area; the other large and in a major city) that had their own police force. Their officers were better trained, more accountable and more professional in interacting with the public than the notorious, local police were. (Balt. Sun)

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Assisted suicide should be a choice even if it is not used

I hope the majority of state senators and delegates vote for the Maryland End of Life Option Act (“Maryland House of Delegates approves legalizing medically assisted suicide,” Mar. 7). When I talk to my friends at the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center, most seem to feel as I do. At age 77, I'm not pain free due to various conditions, but I still find life worthwhile even after the death of my dear husband. When I know I'm entering the late stage of a terminal disease, I could hold out longer knowing I had the option of getting medical aid in dying if I found the pain utterly unbearable and had no hope of improvement. (Balt. Sun)

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Let communities decide what kind of energy they use

As the Sun editorial board smartly translated it into sports terms: climate change is already late in the fourth quarter and the home team is behind (“The clock is ticking for Maryland to address climate change,” Mar. 5). Our communities are already facing the impacts of climate change, and it will only get worse. While the Clean Energy Jobs Act has received most of the attention for climate change legislation this year, it’s certainly not the only, or best, way forward. There is also legislation in Annapolis that would enable community choice aggregation (HB 730, SB 660), sponsored by Del. Lorig Charkoudian and Sen. Mary Washington. (Balt. Sun)

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On This International Women’s Day, Look at Your Local Government

March 8, 2019, marks International Women’s Day, a day when people around the world celebrate the accomplishments of women and raise awareness of the inequalities that still exist on the basis of gender. One area of public life where this inequality is still glaringly apparent is government. Simply put, we need more women serving in public office. The evidence shows that not only do women elected leaders introduce more legislation that benefits women and families than their male counterparts, but they actually introduce more legislation overall. The average congresswoman passes twice as many bills as the average congressman. (Md. Matters)

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New rules for substance abuse records

Early last year, a final rule went into effect that updates the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records regulations, adopted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). SAMHSA regulations protect the confidentiality of records that contain the identity, diagnosis, prognosis or treatment of patients when the records are maintained in connection with the performance of any program that receives federal assistance, including Medicare or Medicaid payments, for substance abuse education, prevention, training, treatment, rehabilitation or research. (Daily Record)

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Women Should Know Their Value in the Workplace

One of the challenges of the job application process is knowing what your “market value” is and being able to communicate that in a way that doesn’t turn off the person reviewing your application. Experts on the subject of self-promotion in men versus women say that we are still living in a society where women are more likely to praise the work of others before promoting their own work because doing so makes them uncomfortable. (Md. Matters)

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How Annapolis symphony addressed diversity

Reading Dean Fred Bronstein’s “Diversity critical to the survival of classical music field,” (March 1), we recognized the echoes of conversations at the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra three years ago. Our orchestra, like others nationwide, has struggled to attract more diverse audiences, especially when people of color were not seeing themselves reflected on stage. We also aspired to demonstrate that the symphony is not just entertainment and that we can deliver social value. And public school music teachers were telling us that gifted students struggled to find private lessons and those lessons were out of financial reach for many families. (Balt. Sun)

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Medically assisted suicide would allow people to die peacefully

Sen. Bob Cassily’s letter contains several egregiously false assumptions, inaccuracies and absurd hypothetical scenarios designed to instill fear and doubt because it lacks any facts (“Sen. Cassilly: Medically assisted suicide sends message to elderly that they are a burden,” Mar. 7). The Maryland End of Life Option Act would authorize the option of medical aid in dying for terminally ill adults to peacefully end unbearable suffering. Experience demonstrates that authorizing medical aid in dying actually prevents suicides among the terminally ill because when people are empowered at the end of life, and offered a gentle option to end their suffering, they aren’t forced to take their lives by violent means. (Balt. Sun) 

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