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Commentary

Letter: Substance abuse disorder still a major problem, even as health focus has shifted to COVID-19

Thank you for publishing the commentary “Deaths from diseases rising, that’s unacceptable,” in the July 14 edition of The Aegis. The editorial responsibly and straightforwardly addressed the necessity for people to get the COVID-19 vaccine and to trust the expertise of doctors and scientists, not that of quacks. Missing from the commentary, however, was any mention of substance use disorder, often referred to as “drug addiction.” The National Institute of Health defines drug addiction as “a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.”

Read More: The Aegis
Rodricks: Speed cameras on Baltimore’s JFX should be the start of many more on U.S. highways

By the first day of 2022, two speed cameras are scheduled to be installed along the Jones Falls Expressway in Baltimore to capture images of the many ridiculous motorists who regularly drive 20 to 30 miles an hour over the posted speed limit on one of the worst interstate highways ever built. Good thing, too, but it raises the question: Why has this taken so long? Besides the fact that we drivers despise them — not much of an excuse, if you ask me — is there any reason for not having speed cameras all over highways?

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Minnich: When it comes to dumping, the good old days are gone

To continue a dialog about landfill solutions, it would be helpful to delve a little deeper into the pile of debris left in the wake of efforts to truly explore a number of alternatives to operating a landfill in Carroll County. The long and short of the problem is, the county has left itself at the mercy of federal and state mandates about what we do with the tons of trash generated every day. We have taken the short view, and it will cost us in the long run.

Stover: Fort Meade: Cyberspace developer’s course critical to retention and national security

Cyber soldiers and a Marine graduated from the 11-month Tool Developer Qualification Course in a ceremony July 13 hosted by the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade (Cyber) at Fort Meade’s Post Theater. The United States Army has partnered with the University of Maryland Baltimore County to train soldiers and Marines to become cyberspace capability developers. The nation’s demand makes the retention of cyberspace soldiers more challenging; in addition to a unique mission set, however, programs like 170D, cyber capabilities developer technician warrant officer recruitment.

Math exam
When kids fall behind in school, learning acceleration may work better than remediation

With the COVID-19 pandemic waning, school systems across Maryland are shifting their focus from surviving the crisis to helping students recover from the social, emotional and academic toll of the most significant disruption to K-12 education in history. That process will take years — but the choices educators make as they plan for the upcoming school year will be crucial. One choice that looms especially large is how to help students who’ve fallen behind academically get back on track. New research from our organizations points to a promising approach: learning acceleration.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
States use tax incentives to lure companies. Bipartisan support is growing to stop it.

President Biden and Democrats in Congress have kicked off a national debate about raising corporate taxes. Yet an arguably more important conversation is happening outside Washington, D.C.: how to slash the nearly $95 billion in tax incentives that states and cities give to businesses every year. And unlike the discussion about the corporate tax rate, the movement to cut corporate welfare has attracted notable support on both sides of the political aisle.

Baltimore needs all the ‘dreamers’ it can get (and so does the U.S.)

Last year, the Supreme Court upheld the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program despite several years of efforts by the Trump administration to end the policy. It was hailed as a great victory not only for those who came to this country as children of undocumented immigrants, but for communities like Baltimore that have been enriched by their presence. Last Friday, a federal judge in Texas sadly took a different route. U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen concluded the DACA program is illegal and immediately put a stop to new applications. It does not mean that the more than 600,000 people currently in the program face deportation anytime soon, but it does leave about 80,000 applicants in limbo.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Opinion: Inclusion, Not Just Tax Credits, Is Key to Breaking Down Barriers to Success 

As the fight to end the spread of COVID-19 continues, there is reason for many communities throughout Maryland to finally feel optimistic. The disease’s predominantly negative impact on poor communities, however, will likely endure well beyond when much of the U.S. returns to normal. A recent study found striking disparities for people with household incomes of $70,000 or less, among other socioeconomic markers. What this means for their long-term health and economic impact is alarmingly uncertain.

Time lapse photography of road
Maryland’s Beltway toll lanes would expand access to jobs in the region

Maryland’s multimodal high-occupancy toll lanes plan for Interstate 270 and the American Legion Bridge is essential to the D.C. area’s economic future. This critical infrastructure will dramatically reduce travel times, create jobs and expand access for everyone in our region. We call on regional leaders to join with us and the more than 60 business, labor and community organizations from across the region in supporting this important investment. Specifically, this investment will relieve congestion and improve travel times for both free and toll lane users, allow carpoolers free use, provide $300 million for transit and facilitate express bus service between key regional job and activity centers such as Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Silver Spring, Tysons and Reston.

Sunset along the Chesapeake Bay. | Chincoteague, VA | By Sara Cottle
We’re failing in the mission to restore the Bay

New preliminary data documents that Chesapeake Bay grasses declined again in 2020 to the lowest level since 2013. Submerged aquatic vegetation coverage dropped to 62,169 acres, a loss from 66,387 acres in 2019 which represented a 33% decline from 2018. The 2020 acreage is just below the level of 30 years ago. This loss of underwater grasses is another indication of how badly the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay is going. The surveys mapping submerged aquatic vegetation have been conducted by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science since 1978.

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