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Commentary

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball: Focusing on education now is an investment in future generations

Last month, students returned to Howard County school buildings to greet friends and teachers for the first time in nearly 18 months. Throughout this past year, we’ve worked with our school system to prepare school buildings for the return of in-person learning, building infrastructure that would make all our students and educators safe. A $6 million contribution of CARES Act funding supported the installation of MERV13 HVAC air filters in every school building that didn’t have one previously.

GBC’s Don Fry on money Baltimore received with the American Rescue Plan Act

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott is the fortunate recipient of a unique opportunity that few elected officials ever see — an unexpected infusion of money with wide discretion as to how it is to be spent. Baltimore City is slated to receive $641 million under the American Rescue Plan Act. This unprecedented funding provides the Mayor the opportunity to make up for city revenues lost due to the pandemic, while establishing strategic investments that previously could not be made due to constraints on the city’s budget.

Read More: WBAL NewsRadio
Tenants facing eviction in Maryland should have legal counsel; federal relief funds could pay for it

In a recent forum on Maryland’s housing policies, the half-dozen Democratic candidates for governor in attendance were asked what they would do to address housing insecurity, particularly given diminished protections against evictions. There was at least one notable area of agreement: Every tenant facing possible eviction should have the opportunity to consult with an attorney. That doesn’t mean every tenant is in the right in housing disputes. nor every landlord in the wrong.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
A different business world

We are living through a time of economic contradictions, with the world of business and the lives of workers disrupted by the aftershocks of the pandemic in ways that we are struggling to understand. Recent headlines in the News-Post reflect this topsy-turvy situation: “Help Wanted,” “COVID safety net ending” and “… poverty rates could rise.” According to the federal government, 8.4 million potential workers are unemployed, while businesses say they have 10.9 million job openings.

Kurtz: Numbers That Tell Political Stories

Now that the General Assembly’s redistricting commission has begun meeting, even as Republican Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s redistricting commission continues to hold sessions, it feels a little like the varsity team has finally taken the field. With all due respect to the other redistricting commissioners. Hogan will attempt to get as much political mileage as he can from the Maryland Citizens Redistricting Commission he assembled earlier this year, and whatever maps the commission proposes for Congress and the state legislature will undergird Hogan’s bully pulpit when he argues, yet again, that partisanship needs to be taken out of the redistricting process.

Temporary visas are subject to abuse: Let’s find a better way to treat guest workers in the seafood industry

For decades now, Maryland’s seafood processors have relied on temporary seasonal workers to help them with one of the more demanding tasks at hand — picking crab meat for eventual sale to retailers and restaurants. The workers, most often women from Mexico, stay only for the season under visas from the H-2B Nonimmigrant Temporary Worker Program, fulfilling a vital role for the seafood industry and preserving jobs for people further down the supply chain.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Opinion: Pandemic a Boon for Debt Collection Attorneys

Although the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us, debt forgiveness is ending. Not only renters and landlords, but many homeowners are fearful about what comes next. Starting in October, the state of Maryland will post applications where homeowners (who have fallen behind on their mortgage and/or HOA assessments during the pandemic) can apply to receive federal funds. Maryland received nearly $250 million for this purpose under the federal American Rescue Plan.

Richkus: Parks Commission a Good Step, But Baltimore County Should Have More Representation

The good news: Marylanders have embraced getting outdoors. About 3 million more people visited our state parks in 2020 than in 2019. The bad news: park capacity limits resulted in almost three times the number of capacity closures in 2020 than in 2019. So kudos to Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) and House Speaker Adrienne Jones (D-Baltimore County) for establishing a legislative commission, the Maryland State Park Investment Commission, to “investigate and make recommendations regarding overcrowding in Maryland State parks.”

Rodricks: The ongoing pandemic breaks the promise of eternal American progress

One of the grand promises of America is what I’ve always understood to be a national commitment to progress. Inertia is unacceptable. Failure is not an option. The country will always learn from its mistakes, grow wiser and become exceptional in all things, from mail service to cancer treatment. We shall run miles ahead of other countries.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
brown Wilson American football on grass
Baltimore deserving of a Ravens-like comeback

We won’t bother with a blow-by-blow account of the Baltimore Ravens’ unlikely victory against the favored Kansas City Chiefs in the home opener at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday night — we’ll leave that to the sports writers. But let’s just say it required extraordinary effort in the face of long odds, along with a bit of carefully considered daring. The choice not to punt on the fourth down in the waning minutes of play might have been supported by statistical analysis, but it certainly wasn’t in the better-safe-than-sorry tradition of National Football League coaching. In short: It took guts.

Read More: Baltimore Sun

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