Sen. Tim Kaine: Military spouses deserve better employment opportunities

Military spouses are unemployed at a rate somewhere between three and five times the national average. As I travel around Virginia, military families, their advocates and the business community share with me some of the reasons for this jarring statistic. When service members are reassigned, on average every two years, their spouses often have to leave their jobs and move to new communities. Military spouse Erin Ward, for example, pursued 15 different careers over 19 moves. (Delmarva)

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Pompeo discovers melting icecaps, but misses their cause

On the same day that the United Nations reported that as many as 1 million plant and animal species are on the verge of extinction, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Rovaniemi, Finland, warning about the dangers of melting icecaps. Could it really be that the Trump administration was finally willing to acknowledge climate change?  (Balt. Sun)

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Morhaim: Pooling health insurance purchases could save Md. millions

It’s a perpetual challenge: Citizens want services of all types, but nobody wants to pay for them through increased taxes or see reductions to existing benefits through cuts. That’s why identifying and implementing efficiencies is so important. Government should get its own house in order before taking other actions that could be unpopular or detrimental. One big step in the right direction involves how state and local governments buy health insurance for their employees. Currently, the state of Maryland buys health insurance for about 75,000 people. (Balt. Sun)

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Williams: Art is an anti-violence program

Recently, I attended a documentary screening and panel discussion of “Raised in the System,” about the tragedies and triumphs of juveniles in the prison system. Actor Michael K. Williams — best known for his role as Omar Little in the Baltimore-based television series “The Wire” — produced and starred in the film and attended the showing. Though the event was lively and profound and focused on criminal justice reform, I could not help but feel disheartened as I reflected on the plethora of film and television industry stars such as Mr. Williams who arrive in Baltimore, shoot their productions and leave nothing for the locals. (Balt. Sun)

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Baicich: If you value educators, pay them fairly

Teachers have to compete a lot for our students’ attention. And it’s not only competing against my colleagues who teach history, chemistry, or English lit, but I’m competing against better-than-CGI video games, the hottest meme trending on Instagram, or something more serious that’s happening at home. That’s why my #1 job is, how do I inspire students every day? As teachers, we are hired, foremost, to teach—it’s in the job title. But our job starts well before we welcome students into the classroom, and ends long after the dismissal bell rings at the close of the school day. (Md. Reporter)

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Not much enlightenment in Middle Ages or at Charlottesville

Everything I know about the Middle Ages I learned from Monty Python, and can basically be summed up by the phrase “Bring out your dead.” Maybe I’m not the best person to comment on the latest flare-up in the cultural wars, this one being the — Lord, I hate this non-word — “weaponization” of Middle Ages history. Two caveats: One, my own middle age wasn’t as bad as people said, so maybe this whole thing is overblown.Two, anytime people take an interest in history, no matter what the reason, it can’t be an entire loss. (Herald-Mail)

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Immunization complacency threatens to undo progress

The year is 1952, and hysteria is sweeping across the United States. What is everyone afraid of? Polio. That year, the disease, which targets children, sickened nearly 58,000 Americans, killed more than 3,000 and left more than 20,000 with mild to disabling paralysis. That summer, at the height of the epidemic, public pools were closed, movie theaters were shuttered and infected children were placed under quarantine — involuntarily, if necessary. A decade later, the average number of polio cases in this country dropped to about 900 per year. In another decade, polio was eliminated from the United States. (Balt. Sun)

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Council President Scott: Can his ambition work in Baltimore's favor?

We offer our congratulations to Brandon Scott on his selection Monday by his Baltimore City Council colleagues as the next council president in the latest consequence of Catherine Pugh’s resignation as mayor. Mr. Scott’s qualifications for the job are undeniable. He has proved himself an able leader on the council and has driven much of the city’s conversation on what is perhaps the most important issue for residents: bringing crime under control. (Balt. Sun)

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