Audrey Scanlan-Teller: Proposed Redskins stadium project a threat to battlefield site

The Central Maryland Heritage League is a non-profit organization that advocates for the conservation and stewardship of South Mountain battlefield. We are concerned by Governor Larry Hogan’s non-binding agreement with the Department of the Interior to exchange 2,481 acres in South Mountain State Battlefield for 512 acres at Oxon Cove Park in Prince George’s County, where a stadium for the Washington Redskins is proposed to be built (“Proposed Redskins site does not go unused, despite what Hogan says,” Dec. 12). (Balt. Sun)

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HBCUs and eSports: a match made in STEM heaven?

Jonathan Yates: Maryland is blessed to have four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Bowie State University, Coppin State University, Morgan State University and the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore (UMES). HBCUs can lead the way in making Maryland the capital of eSports. This necessitates a joint effort between the HBCUs, businesses, schools and the state government at all levels. What it will not require, if done right, is much in the way of new funding. (Balt. Sun)

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Look for challengers to Pugh if violence continues into new year

Dan Rodricks: And so 2018 ended with a 17-year-old boy shot to death in an area of northeast Baltimore that, over the last decade, had been transformed into a beautiful cluster of affordable, brightly-colored townhomes. The houses were built where there used to be blighted public housing, and some of the new residents are first-time homeowners who moved there from elsewhere in the city, thinking it would be safer. (Balt. Sun)

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Closing Monarch Academy Baltimore will traumatize students

Frank Kros: The Board of School Commissioners of Baltimore City Public Schools votes on Jan. 8 on whether to close Monarch Academy Baltimore, a 1,000-student public charter school in the Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello neighborhood, or allow this school to continue to operate. Sonja Santelises, Baltimore City Public Schools CEO, asserts that Monarch Academy Baltimore’s PARCC scores are one of the main reasons for her recommendation for closure. (Balt. Sun)

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Gun buybacks don't work, Baltimore

Meizlish: When the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) announced its December gun buyback program, some Baltimore residents surely cheered with great enthusiasm at the opportunity to exchange their firearms and high-capacity magazines for cash. Others, however, likely saw an opportunity to lawfully game the system at the taxpayer’s expense. According to the BPD, any Baltimore City resident in possession of a firearm or high-capacity magazine was eligible to participate in December’s buyback program. (Balt. Sun)

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Maryland cigarette and alcohol taxes were the right move for public health

Six decades ago, about 40 percent of American adults, and roughly half of men, smoked cigarettes. Fewer than 1 in 5 do today. The decline in tobacco use, which causes a third of heart-disease-related deaths, has had enormous health benefits. Higher cigarette taxes deserve much of the credit; similarly, increasing duties on alcohol can reduce binge drinking. A study this year examined a pair of tax hikes in Maryland — an increase of 50 percent in the sales tax on alcohol, to 9 percent, in 2011; and doubling the excise tax on a pack of cigarettes, to $2, in 2008. (Wash. Post)

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George Arlotto: New school budget reinforces that all means all

When I delivered my first budget address as Superintendent four years ago, I spoke of our need to forge new pathways of access, equity, and excellence for all of our students. I spoke about the ways in which our students were engaged and challenged, and the inquisitiveness we seek to instill in them every single day. I also spoke about the backbone of that work: the incredible people I am privileged to work alongside in our school system. They are truly the heroes of our singular mission to Elevate All Students and Eliminate All Gaps. They are the heart and soul behind the three simple words that guide our efforts — All Means All — and I continue to be inspired by them every day. (Capital)

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As a law enforcement program, 287(g) is a failure in Anne Arundel. Steuart Pittman should end it.

When we reported the first year’s results under the 287(g) program run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, in which corrections officers in the county’s two jails check inmates for immigration violations, no one was more surprised by the results than we were. That’s because, after all the arguments over whether this is a law enforcement program or an immigration program, whether it keeps our communities safe or convinces some of the most vulnerable among us that police are the enemy — one thing was clear. In this community, 287(g) is a failure. (Capital)

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