April 14 // Laslo Boyd: The consequences of Trump being Trump

Even for those not paying close attention during the Presidential election, Donald Trump’s fundamental characteristics have become vividly clear  in his first 100 days. Trump is certainly a narcissist. He lies constantly, often for no apparent reason. He has incredibly thin skin and lashes out at any comment he views as critical of him, even if the remark is clearly accurate. (From a Certain Point of View)

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Freddie Gray and Donald Trump

As we approach the two-year anniversary of Freddie Gray's death, many are frustrated with the pace of change in Baltimore. We are too. The riots that followed his funeral forced many to stop ignoring the reality that has long been around us, and Baltimore's leaders should have responded with a swift, cohesive and comprehensive plan to start addressing the widespread inequality and injustice in neighborhoods like Gray's Sandtown-Winchester. That didn't happen. (Balt. Sun)

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Toward a brewer-friendly Maryland

The fight this over Maryland's beer laws during the 2017 General Assembly session wasn't a new one. Craft brewers have been chafing for years against a post-Prohibition regulatory scheme that restricts their ability to set up and expand their businesses while putting them at the mercy of more established (and more politically connected) players in the wholesale and retail sectors. The only difference this year was the presence of alcohol industry giant Diageo, which found common cause with the little guys over its plans to create a Guinness-themed taproom at an old spirits plant in Relay. If not for that, the brewers' complaints would likely have fallen on deaf ears yet again. (Balt. Sun)

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Paul H. Belz: Preakness Stakes born in - and for - Baltimore

As the Triple Crown season approaches, Baltimoreans fret about the future of Pimlico Race Course. The track and the Preakness Stakes are the focus of an economic and political tug-of-war. Economics and the track owner's preference tug toward closing Pimlico and relocating the Preakness to Laurel Park. Politics, history and civil rights tug toward spending $300 million to rejuvenate Pimlico, which would also spur area job growth and the revitalization of surrounding neighborhoods. Procuring that sum will be problematic. (Balt. Sun)

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Helen Atkinson: Public schools anchor communities

It used to be that the reason for having charter schools was to bring innovation to school districts serving children whose communities are out of the mainstream. The first charters were devised by progressive educators in the spirit of allowing flexibility to address specific community level concerns and students' cultural interests. The rhetoric and argument has shifted completely. Gov. Larry Hogan, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, Maryland State School Board Member Chester Finn and President Donald Trump, to name a few of the players calling for the expansion of charter autonomy and funding, have a completely new set of arguments. (Balt. Sun)

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Respect for Route 1

Route 1 in Howard County would, without a doubt, provide an abundance of material for the comedian Rodney Dangerfield if he were alive today. Dangerfield, who died a dozen years ago, coined the phrase "I don't get no respect." Route 1 was once the main East Coast thoroughfare from Maine to Florida before the arrival of the interstate highway system. Today portions of the 11-mile stretch of highway in the county are throwbacks to simpler times, showing their age, with threadbare shopping centers, motels, salvage yards and industrial parks. A 2009 county report, simply titled the "Route 1 Manual," called parts of the corridor "visually chaotic, diverse and not very attractive." Sometimes truth hurts; there hasn't been much progress along the corridor. (Howard)

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Cost still a concern for North Carroll plan

When Commissioners Doug Howard and Richard Weaver presented a multiuse concept plan for the North Carroll High School building last month, we wrote that there was a lot we liked about the plan and that — on paper — it presented a solution to a number of the space problems the county was facing. The devil, however, was in the details. That included the costs associated with relocating the Carroll County Public Schools' Central Office, Department of Recreation and Parks and a portion of the sheriff's office into the former school building off Md. 482 in Hampstead. (Carr. Co. Times)

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April 13 // Michèle M. Schlehofer: Medicaid expansion program a lifesaver

The Medicaid Expansion Program is vital to public health. At his Mar. 31 town hall meeting in Wye Mills, Rep. Andy Harris misled constituents with his claim the Medicaid expansion offered through the Affordable Care Act is ineffective. The scientific evidence finds otherwise: The Medicaid expansion program significantly improves mental and physical health. (Daily Times)

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