Save during tax-free period

The designation “Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week” overshoots the reality by a mile, but shoppers looking for shoes or clothes can make their dollar go further if they make their back-to-school purchases next week. The second Sunday in August to the following Saturday is designated as “Shop Maryland Tax-Free Week” each year.  (Carr. Co. Times)

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Sparse field in city election not a good sign

You might call it political climate change: While most of us are enjoying the summer, local Republicans are wondering if their party’s prospects are going from cold to frigid. (Capital)

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Teamwork needed on runoff

Working with Carroll’s towns and cities to deal with state stormwater runoff regulations — and the huge cost associated with those regulations — should be a top priority for our board of county commissioners in the coming months. (Carr. Co. Times)

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FCC a fine beginning

In May 2010 I spent a couple of hours at school practicing for my high school graduation ceremony. While sitting quietly waiting for practice to start, two of my classmates nearby began talking about their plans for college. Both were attending public universities and talked about all the so-called failures who had to attend community college because they couldn’t get into a university. After I graduated from high school I began my college career at Frederick Community College, but not because I couldn’t get accepted into a university. (News-Post)

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Petitioning change

In her Aug. 3 story headlined “Signing up for change,” News-Post reporter Bethany Rodgers took a look at online petitions and if/how they affect local government. The answer seems to be little, if at all. But for average citizens, petitions can be a means to express their displeasure with local government and its decisions, and the simple act of doing so can be rewarding. While the effort may not succeed, there is value in it for those who participate. (News-Post)

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Compromise

Mayor Josh Cohen may be joshing us when he says there are three options for the council to consider regarding the old Acme (also called Fawcett) property. A fourth option is to tear down the building and install a park. Said park could accommodate autos as well as benches and trees. This is a sensible options since any large structure on the property would most likely undermine the fragile fill (garbage from the old fish house that worked there before there was a Compromise Street). (Capital)

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August 7 // Jump start for the Purple Line

For the time being, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) can bask in headlines about the light rail Purple Line, which he jump-started Monday by announcing Maryland would add $400 million in state funding and seek a private partner to build and run the project, which would connect Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. He can leave it to another day to worry about financing the rest of the $2.2 billion construction, which still looks iffy. (Wash. Post)

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City right on dependent audits

Auditing employee health insurance rolls to make sure everyone receiving benefits as a dependent is entitled to them is exactly the kind of thing Baltimore needs to do if it is to have any chance of controlling the cost of government, cutting taxes and making city living more attractive. The fact that the effort has caught some employees so completely off guard — some reportedly had no idea this was going on until they sought to fill prescriptions for children or spouses and found themselves without coverage — shows just how lax management has been up to this point and how far the city has to go before it is running a truly efficient operation. (Balt. Sun)

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