David Hanlin: Could privatization help visitors to MVA?

Like most, I periodically have to deal with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. The folks who work in the Hagerstown office off Sharpsburg Pike have a tough job. To help them, computer systems have been upgraded. Self-serve kiosks have been installed. Staff might even have attended customer services classes. (Herald-Mail)

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Dan Bongino: Why I am running for Congress

I am often asked: “Why are you running for Congress?” That question takes me back to the values instilled in me as a child who grew up above a bar in the inner city. Beyond the values of faith in God, personal responsibility and perseverance, I also learned the importance of principle and service. That is what led me to serve in the United States Secret Service, where I had the honor to travel the world as the lead security official for the United States government. That same passion for public service is the reason I am running to serve the people of Congressional District 6. (News-Post)

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Kate Livie: Eating our way to an invasive-free Bay

If you are what you eat, then the people in the Chesapeake were traditionally human-shaped collections of almost every moving thing that the Bay had to offer: muskrats, eels, sturgeon and its inky roe, raccoons, squirrels, woodpeckers, fishy mergansers. Anything was fair game if it kept the belly full and the body working. But in the last 100 years, as our land sense has faded and our supermarkets have multiplied, palates have grown quite picky. From the Bay's vast table, only crabs, oysters and a few fish species will do for our rarefied tastes. (Star-Democrat)

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Policy over politics

President George W. Bush has been maligned by Democrats and even many Republicans for some of the actions that he took while leading the country, but the words he spoke during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” are ones that all politicians — at every level — could learn from. Bush was talking about the need for immigration reform and said that reform is needed to fix the system. (Carroll Co. Times)

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What it will take to make Baltimore safe

The 300 Man March, Baltimore's latest effort to rally against the worsening toll of killings that has hit the city this summer, turns out to have been inaptly named. Significantly more people than that are reported to have shown up — twice that many, by some estimates. It is widely known here that no matter how high Baltimore may climb on the list of America's most dangerous cities, that danger is largely confined to a handful of neighborhoods. But it is also true that within those neighborhoods, the mayhem that grips the city is perpetrated by a relative few who thrive on the fear or indifference of a silent majority. (Balt. Sun)

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Mandate's delay: A rumble from an approaching storm

It’s more important that the federal Affordable Care Act — aka Obamacare — be implemented well than that it be implemented by a certain date. So last week’s decision by the Obama administration to delay a small facet of the law is less than earth-shaking — at least as a practical matter. But it was immediately seized on as one more piece of ammunition in an ongoing political war over the program. And what chance does a sweeping change in national health care policy have if it’s also a partisan battleground? (Capital)

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Fiddling around at the beach

Regular visitors to Ocean City in the summer months may be familiar with the music of William F. Hassay Jr. The 61-year-old substitute teacher has been supplementing his income since 1995 by playing his violin on the boardwalk from 3 p.m. until midnight for audience tips — until June of last year, that is. That's when Ocean City Police decided he was in violation of the town's noise ordinance, specifically a provision that applies only at music from radios, phonographs and musical instruments. (Balt. Sun)

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The Contemporary returns

It's been more than a year since the Contemporary Museum closed its doors in order to rethink its mission and reorganize its operations and staff. The economic downturn that began in 2008 hit Baltimore's most insistent institutional advocate for what a Sun critic once called "the art of right now" particularly hard, and its lingering effects eventually forced the museum to suspend exhibitions entirely and lay off its five-person staff in May 2012. There's been nothing quite like it since. That's why a report last week that the Contemporary's board has found a way to resume operations later this year is exciting news. (Balt. Sun)

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