The NRA's challenger

This week, Michael R. Bloomberg announced he would be writing a check to support a grass-roots get-out-the-vote effort to counteract the National Rifle Association. This is hardly a shock as Mr. Bloomberg has supported the fight against gun violence before, but the amount involved was eye-opening — $50 million. (Balt. Sun) 

Read Full Article

Thomas Maronick Jr.: Will 'House of Cards' fold?

The debacle regarding film tax credits at the recent legislative session could potentially cause Maryland to lose one of the finest TV programs around today, and all because of misunderstanding of an industry and reliance on failed history. "House of Cards," the Netflix series starring Kevin Spacey, has been filmed in Maryland for each of its first two seasons, mostly in Baltimore City and Harford County. But a failed negotiation between the House and Senate this legislative session left the show in limbo when $3.5 million in tax incentives were left out of a final bill subsidizing the film industry. (Balt. Sun) 

Read Full Article

Petula Dvorak: Bethesda brother and sister sing their way to sibling harmony

My boys fight about toys. They fight about the dog, the cat, dinner, lunch, breakfast, the television, the car, the sun, the air. So lately, I’ve been asking people about their sibling relationships and how they avoid felony charges when it comes to them. Some don’t, as evidenced by the 14-year-old kid in Idaho who shot his father, then shot, knifed and hacked his younger brother with a machete. Scary. But some siblings are soul mates rather than rivals. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

Jay Brodie: Baltimore's tech scene needs a common vision

In the winter of 1996, as part of my new position as president of the Baltimore Development Corp., I searched for evidence of the city’s technology scene. There wasn’t much to see. I first visited the BDC’s “incubator,” housed in an old — but not historic — building at 1444 Key Highway in South Baltimore. I concluded that we had better relocate to a building that 1. Didn’t leak; and 2. Was spacious, expandable and in a location with amenities attractive to young entrepreneurs. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

Read Full Article

Bob McWilliams: Plain Speaking, more money isn't always the answer

When it comes to government, it seems that practically nothing can be accomplished, or even attempted, without spending massive amounts of money. Seldom is there any cost-benefit analysis, and the concern for what anything will cost is all but absent from the equation. Examples of the resulting waste in taxpayer dollars are everywhere. (Capital)

Read Full Article

Patching a broken immigration system

President Barack Obama has come under fire from Hispanic groups who say he hasn't done enough to enact comprehensive immigration reform and that his administration has deported record numbers of undocumented immigrants. Neither charge is wholly justified: Mr. Obama's pleas to House Republican leaders to take up an immigration bill passed by the Senate last year have been met with stony indifference, and though the total number of deportations on his watch has been higher than under previous presidents, they have been declining rapidly in recent years. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Costs surpass savings

School officials should reconsider a proposal to merge job duties of crisis counselors and dropout prevention staff and reduce the total number of those positions by seven. Devoting resources to help students overcome problems should be a priority for the school system. And while there may be a short-term financial savings of half a million dollars or so, the long-term impact on our community would be much more costly. (Carr. Co. Times)

Read Full Article

When a person is injured, is it better that they fly?

An ambulance would not have been enough for Hannah Dardzinski. The use of police helicopters to transport injured people is sometimes controversial, but Hannah and her mom, Sue, believe having a state police helicopter readily available saved her life. In May 2011, a driver sped down an Interstate 70 exit ramp at 61 mph and rear ended a Honda Civic. Hannah, now 17, was in the Honda's backseat. She was immediately knocked unconscious. Hannah was taken by ambulance to the Howard County Fairgrounds where she was met by Trooper 3, the Maryland State Police helicopter assigned to the Frederick barrack and housed at Frederick Municipal Airport. (News-Post)

Read Full Article