Ocean drilling remains a bad bet for the bay

Late last year the Obama administration banned offshore oil and gas drilling on millions of acres in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, including areas near the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. In this space, we welcomed the decision but added that, in light of the recent presidential election, it might be "no more than a sand castle fated to be washed away by the incoming tide." Sometimes being prescient is no fun. (Capital)

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Davin Hong: Asphalt arteries cut off communities from Druid Hill Park

Baltimore's Druid Hill Park ranks with distinction among a very short list of large historic urban parks in America. With a pastoral landscape, picturesque reservoir and even the Maryland Zoo, it is a popular destination for not only Baltimore residents but also for visitors from the surrounding region. Yet somehow, its bordering neighborhoods have not benefited from being next to such a landmark amenity. They have not thrived as sought-after communities and are instead deserts to recreation, greenery and quality of life. (Balt. Sun)

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Has to be done

It seems inevitable that a 9.75 percent property tax increase will be imposed upon Cumberland’s residents on June 20.  Although we agree with Mayor Brian Grim and four of the five City Council members that it is necessary, we’re not cheering. The city has a major financial problem, and it has to be faced now. (Times-News)

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June 8 // Brown's right about the disease, not the cure

U.S. Rep. Anthony Brown has a morale-boosting suggestion for Republicans depressed about the way they are treated in Annapolis: They can go to Capitol Hill and talk to Democrats about their treatment in a GOP-dominated Congress. Brown, who stopped by the Capital Gazette offices earlier this week, has a better perspective on this than many freshmen Democrats. He knows what it's like to be in the government driver's seat. He was a delegate from Prince George's County for eight years, followed by eight years as Gov. Martin O'Malley's lieutenant governor. He now represents the 4th District, which is dominated by Prince George's voters but also includes a large swath of central and northern Anne Arundel. (Capital)

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Government by the people

In government, there is the will of the voters, such as when Howard County last fall approved Question A on the local ballot. It's a charter amendment authorizing public financing of the campaigns of candidates for county executive and county council. But then there is also the will of politically minded elected official, and that might be best represented by Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman's promise to veto legislation that puts that that charter amendment into action by the 2022 election. The county executive's reason for the veto? Because the legislation allows taxpayer dollars to be spent on political campaigns. (Balt. Sun)

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Grant Samms: We need NOAA, National Parks and HUD

With the Trump administration signaling its intent to hollow out many federal environmental efforts, it is imperative Maryland’s congressional delegation understand the importance of these programs. Our leaders will no doubt be asked, frequently and forcefully, to slash these programs under some ill-conceived logic. These programs provide our rural communities on the Eastern Shore with the ability to safeguard us from a changing climate and provide for the health of our citizens. Before Rep. Andy Harris, Sen. Ben Cardin and Sen. Chris Van Hollen cast a single vote, they must understand the importance of these programs to all of us in the state’s eastern reaches. (Daily Times)

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Gleave, Miller, Sellers, Powell, Rodriguez, Seif, Tassano: Transportation officials have a role in human trafficking battle

Human trafficking is a modern-day form of slavery that exists in every corner of the world — even along our own highways in Maryland. Every day, thousands of people are forced by fear, fraud or coercion to work in commercial sex and labor markets with little hope of escape. According to the Polaris Project, a non-profit that runs the National Human Trafficking Hotline, there were more than 7,500 human trafficking cases reported in the United States in 2016, including 602 in Maryland, making it the eighth highest state for trafficking in the nation. The majority of these were for sex trafficking. Countless more cases go unreported. (Balt. Sun)

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June 7 // U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer: Trump budget attacks federal employees

Our nation has many outstanding advantages, but one that is often overlooked is our exceptional civil service. The men and women who serve in our federal civilian workforce are among the most hardworking, dedicated and talented individuals in the world. They support our military, fight crime, keep our food supply safe, keep planes in the air, ensure our seniors receive their Social Security benefits, support American exporters and the jobs they create, and conduct diplomacy across the world to protect our nation and its interests. (Capital)

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