Oct. 10 // Waging war on minimum wages in Prince George’s

Let’s face it: The state’s minimum wage of $7.25 per hour — about $15,000 per year (before taxes) for a full-time employee — simply is not enough to live off in Prince George’s County. But the County Council’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $11.50 per hour, even in a phased-in manner, isn’t realistic either. (Gazette)

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State must deliver details to local farmers

Make no mistake: Poultry farming is central to the economy of Maryland’s Lower Shore. Its practitioners and the companies that process and sell the chicken are our lifeblood. This sector of our industry should be subject to reasonable and effective regulations preserving the quality of our waterways, including the Chesapeake Bay. But it should not be disrespected, as was the case Tuesday night at a public meeting in Salisbury about Maryland’s new phosphorous management plan. (Daily Times)

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Dan Rodricks: Andy Harris could always refuse subsidized insurance

For the sake of ideological balance — and for entertainment purposes — you have to hand it to Andy Harris. He's the lone Maryland Republican in Congress, an extreme conservative counterweight to the moderate-to-liberal Democrats who hold the rest of the state's seats in the House and Senate. And he's a Hopkins-educated doctor who, with no trace of apology or irony, opposes the expansion of medical care to millions of uninsured Americans — up to 70,000 of them in his own district. (Balt. Sun)

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Death text

Despite a very clear state law, public service announcements, and horror stories such as the one above, some people continue to text while driving. You know this is the case because you’ve seen it while driving or, perhaps, you have engaged in this crazy behavior yourself. (News-Post)

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State obligated to be serious about underage gambling

This state is betting much of its future on the revenue-raising potential of gambling — first the Maryland Lottery, then slot machines, then table games. So a cynic might see it as inconsistent for government officials to try to ward off problem gambling among teens and young adults. Why thin the next generation of compulsive gamblers before they can start tossing wads of their money into the coffers of the state and the casino operators? But, having done so much to flood Maryland with opportunities to gamble, state officials have a moral obligation to spend a few pennies from the dollars of new revenue on helping those for whom gambling can rapidly escalate from an amusement into an addiction. (Capital)

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McCartney: Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda to devote class hours to teach ‘mindfulness’

Overstressed, overworked, college-obsessed students at Bethesda’s prestigious Walt Whitman High School will receive “mindfulness” training during class hours to help them relax and focus.  For 30 minutes once a week, instructors from a local nonprofit organization will guide students in about a dozen classes to take a few minutes to sit quietly, close their eyes, pay attention to their breathing and grow more aware of both physical sensations and emotions. The eight-week pilot project represents pretty much the opposite of everything Whitman is known for. (Wash. Post)

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Path to a better community

 

Walking or riding a bike to school can promote healthy habits and even lower traffic congestion, so it is disappointing that no Carroll municipalities signed up on the walkbiketoschool.org website to participate in Wednesday’s annual Walk/Bike to School Day. In some areas, the fault rests with local governments that have not had the foresight to include sidewalks in their long-range development plans. This is the case in some areas of Carroll, where even if students wanted to walk or ride a bike to school, they could not do so because there is no safe route. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Tim Rowland: New park’s proposed plaza won’t be walk to remember

Cities can have too many buildings, but they can never have too many parks. That’s why I’m excited about the development of a new park in Hagerstown at the corner of Memorial Boulevard and South Potomac Street. The park will have statuary (good, good), a walking trail (excellent) and a fountain at the center (no good park should be without one). But then it starts to get a little weird. The park, according to city plans, will also have a “Remembrance Plaza” that celebrates our great accomplishments, and bronze plaques that honor “the best of the best” in Hagerstown, defined as the city’s “most famous, successful, important and influential” residents. (Herald-Mail)

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