Wednesday, February 8, 2023 |
Baltimore
57°
Fair
FOLLOW US:

Commentary

two white mailing envelopes
DeFilippo: Longing for the Return of the Pony Express

The postman no longer rings twice. Often not even once. Back in the day, the Pony Express and its daredevil riders became early western cinematic celebrities for braving treacherous terrain, marauding bandits and worse weather than Texas and yet relaying saddlebags of mail coast-to-coast on horseback in 10 days. The Pony Express had a relay team of 80 riders that provided the nation’s first transcontinental mail service from 1860-61, linking the newly-formed state of California to the rest of the United States before the company was driven out of business by the new-fangled telegraph in 1861.

MDTA Chief: Bay Bridge Crossing Study Speaks Volumes About Congestion

I am pleased to announce the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Chesapeake Bay Crossing Study: Tier 1 National Environmental Policy Act is available for public review and comment at baycrossingstudy.com. We understand the significance of the Bay Bridge to the state and the broader mid-Atlantic region, and we recognize that once the bridges were constructed, Queen Anne’s County and most of the Eastern Shore, including Ocean City, went from difficult destinations to reach to thriving, growing communities.

Here’s how to make Maryland a center for ‘cleantech’ and ‘proptech’ innovation

The Biden administration is advancing an aggressive climate change agenda. Historically, national policymakers focused on emissions from energy and transportation. As President Biden signaled in his early executive orders, however, his administration will be prioritizing climate emissions from the building sector, which accounts for roughly 30% of U.S. emissions. As the U.S. Department of Energy has highlighted, new technologies will be required to achieve target emissions reductions from buildings. Maryland is already an emerging leader in the property technology (proptech) and cleantech space. Through public and private collaboration, the state can strengthen its leadership position, fostering an innovation economy and creating jobs.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Tom Coale: Historic housing crisis presents an opportunity for reform

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a historic housing crisis that has not yet been fully recognized. A study by the Aspen Institute reported last summer that an estimated 30 to 40 million people in America are at risk of eviction once federal, state and local eviction protections expire. Hundreds of thousands of Marylanders have either lost employment or have experienced substantially reduced wages that will result in lasting housing insecurity and, potentially, homelessness. Notably, this is only the exacerbation of an existing crisis; not just in Maryland’s cities, but also throughout its suburbs. Maryland needs a “housing agenda” that pairs with the other relief programs being pursued in Annapolis. This crisis presents an opportunity to take on the persistent obstacles to affordable housing throughout our state and create a more equitable suburb.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Olsen: The risk of inflation is real — and growing

President Biden hopes his $1.9 trillion stimulus act has Americans repeating a word they’ve longed to speak for more than a year: recovery. It could also have them saying one they haven’t said in a long time: inflation. Inflation is normally a result of too much money chasing too few goods. That’s not to say that price increases cannot result from other causes. Rising energy prices, for example, are often the result of sudden changes in supply, as happened when the Arab oil embargo began in 1973. That’s one reason central banks often look at what they call “core inflation,” which strips out price levels for volatile sectors such as food and energy to assess whether an economy is suffering from sustained inflation.

Pinksy: Big companies are gaming Maryland’s tax code. My bill can fix it — and help small businesses

Too many small businesses in Maryland are suffering from the pandemic’s economic fallout. The government has rightly stepped up to try to help these enterprises survive. In Annapolis, the General Assembly has approved new supports for small businesses, and Congress has authorized forgivable loans for businesses. I support these efforts, but I am also focused on a long-overdue policy change that would benefit small businesses — as they recover from the pandemic and for years to come.

Davis and Mooney: Let’s Give Police More Options to Help Md.’s Youth

Maryland’s Juvenile Justice Reform Council has wrapped up its final report and recommendations, and the associated legislative package is making its way through the General Assembly. Several of those recommendations focus on giving law enforcement agencies more diversion options for youth. Amid calls to “defund the police,” lawmakers would be well served to focus on alternatives to arrest in the coming months as constituents look to hold them accountable.

Editorial: If you want a normal summer, keep your mask on and guard up

Spring seems just around the corner, 121 million doses of vaccine have been administered, and Americans are eager to get back to normal after a year of fighting the coronavirus pandemic. President Biden recently raised the prospect of a festive Independence Day. What could go wrong? Hopefully, nothing will. But there are dark clouds amid the rosy scenarios. The big decline in viral spread evident in January and early February has stalled. The pandemic’s winter surge tapered off into a stubborn plateau in the national rate of new daily infections, which has been running at about 53,000 on a seven-day average.

King: The key question as the House considers D.C. statehood: Do we believe in the ‘consent of the governed’ or not?

The nation’s capital will shrink dramatically if H.R. 51 — otherwise known as the Washington D.C. Admission Act, and the subject of a congressional hearing Monday — is enacted and fully implemented. The nation’s capital will be reduced to a two-square-mile zone encompassing federal buildings, monuments and properties near the Mall and the Capitol, including the White House, Supreme Court and other executive and judicial office buildings. Pretty much all of the territory bordered by Maryland and Virginia will become a state with the name “Washington, Douglass Commonwealth.”

Editorial: Meet the members of The Baltimore Sun’s Business and Civic Hall of Fame 2021

The Baltimore Sun is pleased to announce the 2021 class of inductees into our Business and Civic Hall of Fame, chosen for their leadership and community focus. We will honor these 13 accomplished women and men and at an awards banquet to be held at The Center Club in Baltimore on Sept. 9 and in a special section to be published shortly thereafter.

Read More: Baltimore Sun

The Morning Rundown

We’re staying up to the minute on the issues shaping the future. Join us on the newsletter of choice for Maryland politicos and business leaders. It’s always free to join and never a hassle to leave. See you on the inside.