Grasso confuses chairmanship and censorship

The County Council is obligated to listen to public comment on the measures it considers. But no one expects its meetings to be unlimited free-speech zones. There are rules. Signs and banners aren't allowed in the council chambers, public statements are generally limited to two minutes each, and personal, defamatory and profane remarks are barred. The chairman — currently Councilman John Grasso — is charged with keeping the meetings decorous and orderly. Even so, last week, when the council's agenda included a resolution condemning racism, Grasso went over the line, twisting the rules to bar remarks that might embarrass Councilman Michael Peroutka. The decision prompted shouting matches at the meeting and complaints by audience members who said, with some merit, that they were being censored. (Capital)

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A new superintendent for BCPS

If the Baltimore County school board was looking for a change of pace after Superintendent Dallas Dance's surprise announcement this spring that he would leave the system, they got it in Verletta White — at least superficially. He came to the superintendent position as a 30-year-old geyser of ideas, short on classroom experience and new to Maryland, much less Baltimore County. She became interim superintendent after spending virtually her entire life in the system, starting when she was a student at Woodmoor Elementary School and carrying through every level as a student, teacher and administrator. She is calm, poised and extremely diplomatic. (Balt. Sun)

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Rascovar: Non-political redistricting is Mission Impossible

Holy mackerel! Can you believe this? Former Gov. Martin O’Malley has admitted politics played a big role in re-drawing Maryland’s congressional districts after the 2010 Census. The state’s major newspapers and good-government groups went bananas. Editorial writers had a field day denouncing O’Malley and other Democratic leaders for this dastardly admission. Politics determining the shape of new congressional districts? What is this state coming to? Why it’s almost un-American! Exactly which alternative universe are these people living in? Politics and re-districting have been wrapped tightly together since the nation’s formative years. (Md. Reporter)

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Dan Rodricks: Anti-violence program Operation Ceasefire another city fail

In the annals of Baltimore's long, frustrating battle against violent crime, Operation Ceasefire was introduced with much fanfare — and a startup cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars — in 2014. But the operation appears to have been a failure. The once-promising Ceasefire is apparently kaput. I say "apparently," because getting information from city officials about this successful-almost-everywhere-but-Baltimore program has been a weirdly difficult challenge. (Balt. Sun)

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Why Hogan should join the climate alliance

In general, we’ve had our fill of the press releases from Democratic gubernatorial candidates demanding that Gov. Larry Hogan denounce whatever it is that President Donald Trump just did. We get it; they’re trying to tie our very popular Republican governor to our profoundly unpopular Republican president. But what do they want, a weekly press conference so Mr. Hogan can list all the things the president has done that caused him horror/embarrassment/disgust in the previous seven days? We certainly hope the Democrats have more to say to voters than that. (Balt. Sun)

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Let’s get this road on the road

As author Erica Jong once wrote: “Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.” The same might be said for traffic studies, especially traffic studies of U.S. 15 through the city of Frederick. The State Highway Administration recently briefed local officials on the latest preliminary study of this dangerous, traffic-clogged road, from Interstate 70 to Md. 26. The news was not encouraging. The preliminary study concluded the road is badly congested, especially at rush hours in the morning and evening. Well, that’s a shocker! Now, SHA is pondering what can be done, and more importantly, when. (News-Post)

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May 9 // Hogan, Maryland should join U.S. Climate Alliance

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan needs to make a decision: Join other states in the newly formed U.S. Climate Alliance opposing the decision to exit the Paris Agreement or continue to remain silent on President Donald Trump's actions. Hogan, a Republican, was critical of Trump during the campaign and didn't vote for the president, but since Trump won the White House, he has avoiding taking a stance on nearly every controversial decision the president has made. For the most part, we've appreciated Hogan's insistence on focusing on Maryland while avoiding becoming embroiled in the partisan warfare in Washington, D.C. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Michael Collins: McMillan's the joker in District 30 deck

Election Day 2018 is about 18 months away, but the race for the District 30 state Senate seat is already getting interesting. On its face, it's a pretty straightforward affair. Democrat John Astle has held the seat since 1995 — and probably would have been re-elected. But he now is running for mayor of Annapolis, and if he wins he'll be required to vacate the seat. But there's a joker in this particular deck who could change this race's status from interesting to downright entertaining: Del. Herb McMillan. (Capital)

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