O'Malley: Less enforcement means more homicides

By 1999, Baltimore had become the most violent and addicted big city in America. In 2000, we started to roll back the violence of the city's open air drug markets. Police and neighbors were asked to believe, and were asked to do more based on that belief. By 2009 — with steady progress — Baltimore had the largest reduction in total crime and property crime and the second largest reduction in violent crime from 2000-2009 of the 20 largest cities in the country. There was never a headline and barely a story about this in The Baltimore Sun, so it is understandable that the editorial board and current reporting staff missed it. Earlier and smarter interventions in the lives of vulnerable young people and increased access to drug treatment were big parts of the equation. But, so too, was a higher level of enforcement effort by the Baltimore Police Department. (Balt. Sun)

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Opportunity in change of leaders

The Carroll County commissioners, who have been vocal in their opposition of some state laws and regulations, may find an easier time being heard at the state level with the appointment of Frederick Sen. David Brinkley as Republican leader and Carroll Sen. Joseph Getty as minority whip. Brinkley took over for E.J. Pipkin, the outspoken Cecil County Republican who earlier this year announced that he was moving to Texas. (Carroll Co. Times)

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Keep your eye on Anne Arundel's casino money

It was all smiles when Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman handed out giant cardboard checks last week, representing $21.4 million in casino revenues being spent in the community around Maryland Live! There was reason to be happy. Before we twist an elbow patting ourselves on the back, however, we have to note that we’re a long way from feeling relaxed about the way this money is spent.  (Capital)

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Power to the people

Eastern Shore Republicans, unintentionally, have made Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley look magnanimous. Dragged into a noisy squabble over a state Senate vacancy, O’Malley handled the situation with aplomb. O’Malley had to mediate, as it were, because Republicans in District 36 fought and fought, and couldn’t decide how to fill E.J. Pipkin’s seat, which he vacated last month. (Gazette)

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UMES students wrongly left in dark for hours after shooting

All of us know that when the phone rings before dawn or a text message arrives before the sun rises, it probably isn’t good news. University of Maryland Eastern Shore students found that out early Sunday, when a campuswide text “Hawk Alert” told them a fellow student had been shot. “Suspects remain at large. Use caution & be vigilant,” the text added. What was going on? Many students wondered that when they awoke. And, as is so often the case, they tweeted about it. Sadly, that was a question that would not be answered with any degree of certainty the entire morning. (Daily Times)

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From bottle to tap for five Detrick-area homes

After years of providing five Fort Detrick-area households with bottled water, the Army has decided to make them an offer that they appear to be interested in — but not without some understandable dissatisfaction. These households all have wells, and samples of groundwater in and near Fort Detrick’s notorious Area B, as well as sites farther afield, have tested positive for the chemicals TCE and PCE in the past. This contamination is presumed to have been the result of leakage from Area B, a Detrick disposal site where many chemicals were dumped for years in the past. (News-Post)

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Joseph Ganem: What the impending helium shortage tells us about the cost of government gridlock in an interconnected world

This past Wednesday I received an email from my professional organization — the American Physical Society — with the subject line: "Urgent Helium Alert." The message called on me to contact Congress immediately to urge them to act on helium legislation so that the U. S. Bureau of Land Management can continue operations beyond September 30. According to the email: "Partisan gridlock threatens to diminish the US Helium supply by 50% on October 1st." (Balt. Sun)

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Sept. 24 // Lighting the way on climate change

The regulations released last week by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to limit carbon emissions from new power plants are so clearly necessary — and have been in the works for years — that it's difficult to even think of them as somehow controversial. That is, unless, one continues to deny the existence of man-made climate change. (Balt. Sun)

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