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Commentary

Opinion: Larry Hogan skirts disclosure requirements one self-destructing message at a time

Secretive politicians predate the smartphone age, heaven knows, as do many who employ baroque means to conceal their words and actions from the voters they serve. So the fact that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has sidestepped the state’s open-records laws by means of technology — a self-destructing message app — is not exactly unprecedented. That doesn’t make it less sneaky. It seems that Mr. Hogan, burned once, was intent on avoiding a repeat.

Franchot: A roadmap for Maryland’s historic and one-time $6 billion surplus

Maryland has an extra $6 billion in its bank and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest in meaningful, life-changing ways that deliver immediate results for our citizens. With rising COVID cases, we must use our historic surplus to help fellow Marylanders who continue to struggle, while also investing wisely for the future by bolstering our Rainy Day Fund and paying for critical infrastructure projects.

Read More: Star Democrat
Bowers: Maryland must do more to preserve housing around the Purple Line

Maryland’s leaders know the state does not have enough affordable housing to meet the need. According to the State Housing Needs Assessment, a framework created by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development with support from Enterprise Community Partners, the state lacks an estimated 85,000 affordable homes for its lowest-income families. As market forces push rents higher, the gap is growing.

Dowridge: Baltimore must get rental assistance directly to tenants in need

Baltimore City’s leadership, particularly as the Omicron infections rates surge, must focus on supporting the majority of residents in need of dire assistance: renters. As outlined by Baltimore Renters United during our news conference on Jan. 4, 2022, hundreds of evictions are currently scheduled, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, 23,228 Baltimore families — the vast majority of whom are Black — are behind on rent, thus facing possible eviction according to the latest census data.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
VanBuskirk: Permanent Daylight Saving Time Would Be Bad for School Children

On Tuesday, the Maryland House Health and Government Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on HB0126 sponsored by Del. Brian Crosby (D-St. Mary’s), which would seek to move Maryland to permanent daylight saving time (DST). The caveat to this legislation is that surrounding states must also pass similar legislation and the federal government must also change its laws to allow permanent DST. In Congress, Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin (D) is a co-sponsor of HR-69, the Sunshine Protection Act, which would move the nation to permanent daylight saving time.

leadership, qualities, martin luther king
MLK and the civil rights heroes among us

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was not a frequent visitor to Baltimore during his 39 years of life but his impact remains strongly felt in a city still struggling with racial inequality. When the famed civil rights leader was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee, this newspaper recalled at least three “official” visits by Dr. King to Maryland’s largest city, the last an appearance in 1966 on behalf of the Congress of Racial Equality or CORE, the nonviolent group famous for the Freedom Rides through the South.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Dan Rodricks: Steve Sachs had integrity in his bones

I don’t know where he got it — from his parents, his teachers, his rabbis, his wife — but Steve Sachs had that thing called integrity in his bones. He was once a tough federal prosecutor in Baltimore and later Maryland’s hard-driving attorney general. All through those years, the Sachs I knew — and the Sachs known to men and women who worked with him and against him — had that thing called integrity. That means — because these days integrity seems as rare as a Trump-defying Republican — that Sachs was honest and fair, that he cherished truth and justice, that he could be counted upon to do the right thing.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
What to Look for in Maryland’s Next Chief Public Defender

After 12 years as Maryland’s chief public defender, Paul DeWolfe is retiring in June. As president of AFSCME Local 423, the Maryland Defenders Union, I know just how important the selection of a new public defender is, not only to the nearly 700 workers at the Office of the Public Defender but also to the hundreds of thousands of indigent clients we serve each year. But in the past, OPD workers have not had a voice in the selection process or in almost any aspect of agency policy.

Maryland’s future is not as a retirement community no matter how generous the tax breaks

Surveys show that Maryland is not a state packed with senior citizens. Baltimore is no Daytona Beach, Florida, nor has it ever been. It’s not even Lancaster, retiree mecca of Central Pennsylvania. The most recent population estimates suggest Maryland ranks in the bottom 10 of states for its percentage of seniors with just 15.9% of its 6.177 million residents age 65 or older.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Steve Sachs should have been Maryland governor

Stephen H. “Steve” Sachs should have been the governor of Maryland. He radically changed and reformed the attorney general’s office during eight years on the job and believed he was ready for the next step in 1986. There was one problem: The men (and they were all men in those days) running the state’s Democratic Party thought Sachs was too liberal. So, they convinced wildly popular Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaefer to run against Sachs, and Schaefer beat him handily.

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