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The Chesapeake bay bridge.
America’s bridges need greater investment to survive

In the debate over President Joe Biden’s infrastructure and climate bill, it was perhaps inevitable that some policymakers would object to including anything other than traditional infrastructure such as roads and bridges. More surprising is what I’ll call the “new pundit view,” which casts doubt about spending in precisely that narrow category. This is a perspective based on very imperfect data. Especially given the severe weather that climate change is likely to bring, the White House infrastructure and climate plan is right to spend more to repair and improve roads and bridges.

Political pot shots won’t reduce Baltimore’s surging violence

Mayor Brandon Scott is on the clock to reduce gun violence in Baltimore, but shouldn’t Maryland’s governor (and many others) be held accountable, too?

To support Black children, school systems must engage their parents

COVID-19 has revealed the significant divide in educational opportunity in America. For decades, these disparities were widely known to researchers and educators, yet remained hidden from public view. They have now been brought out in the open. This pandemic set off a cacophony of angry cries from mostly middle-class, white parents outraged over school closures and the implementation of virtual instruction.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Our Say: The tragedy of a family mental health crisis is keeping it secret

After a judge sentenced Donald John Bucalo to eight years in prison for the murder of his daughter, Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess released a painful yet necessary statement. Michelle Bucalo’s mental illness should not have been a death sentence. Bucalo shot his daughter to death while she slept in their Severn home. His defense against murder charges was that his daughter’s bipolar disorder had become so uncontrollable that she presented a present danger to her family members, including children.

rowhouse, buildings, city
Baltimore County housing discrimination continues, despite mitigation efforts

A change in Baltimore County law nearly two years ago to settle a federal housing discrimination lawsuit was supposed to make it easier for people using federal vouchers to find a decent place to live. Many had been shut out for years because of landlord bias. Unfortunately, even federal scrutiny hasn’t changed old ways of thinking. Despite an agreement with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and a commitment by County Executive John “Johnny” Olszewski Jr. and the County Council to see it through, there has been widespread pushback.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
‘We’ve Punched Below Our Weight in Maryland,’ Perez Says

When Tom Perez and I met at a Takoma Park restaurant the other day, the former Democratic National Committee chair was just a few weeks removed from knee surgery. So when we were offered seats at a high-top table, he declined. Being up high would be too uncomfortable, he explained, and he needed a place to sit where he could stretch his legs and spread out a bit. To me, it felt a little like a metaphor.

Recognizing African Americans on public buildings

I never got to watch an actual game at Cole Field House, the iconic arena once home to University of Maryland basketball. Tickets were in high demand, and limited, and I could never secure one when I was a student there. But the building, on the main drag through campus, is still etched prominently in my college memories. That’s why I was excited when new University President Darryll Pines announced during his inauguration ceremony last month that the facility would be named after the first Black men to integrate basketball and football both at the university and in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Using data to put brakes on speeders

Speeding has gotten out of control in many Frederick neighborhoods, and the police and the government are taking an innovative approach to try to curb the wave of lawbreaking that endangers drivers and pedestrians alike. This week, the city unveiled Operation Safe Speed, a data-driven attempt to get ahead of this disturbing trend. Police officers will be working with the engineers from the Public Works department to analyze complaints of speeding around the city and carefully target their response.

assorted books on wooden table
Has higher education learned any lessons from the pandemic?

The pandemic has struck higher education in the gut. And now it stands shaken, confused and hoarding hand sanitizer. Forced by the COVID-19 pandemic, colleges and universities begrudgingly moved away from the sanctity of lecture halls and transitioned to operating behind webcams. Now, as our nation begins to build immunity and we slowly reopen our vibrant campuses and grandiose halls, higher education is scrambling to re-assemble itself to its former glory.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Employers have a role to play in combating the opioid crisis

At a New York hospital, a custodial worker passed out in a bathroom stall. In Ohio, police found a municipal employee slumped over his steering wheel in an IHOP parking lot. These individuals overdosed on the job — demonstrating how the opioid crisis has reared its head in America’s workplaces. According to federal government statistics, the opioid crisis costs the U.S. economy approximately $500 billion annually. And, contrary to public perceptions, most drug abusers are gainfully employed. Lifesaving interventions in the opioid crisis could happen, therefore, not in courts, hospitals or family living rooms, but instead in office cubicles.

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