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Commentary

In redistricting, Carroll school board leaves out the public; Sewell Farm annex process based on fear

It is very concerning the direction that the Carroll County Board of Education is taking. First, it decided to adjust the manner in which we the public is allowed to comment in meetings. The Board of Education believes it should be allowed to limit the number of people who may participate in public comment. The board also wants to limit public comments to only those that relate to agenda items for that meeting. Has our Board of Education forgotten it is the public that funds them with our tax dollars? This is censorship plain and simple. Then our Board of Education decided to look at redistricting, but only for the southern part of the county.

We’re Closed | Instagram: @timmossholder
Mayor Ryan Warner: Congress Can Deliver Small Businesses Much Needed Support By Passing The INFORM Consumers Act

Organized retail crime is taking an economic toll on Maryland that we simply cannot afford. It cost our state over $183 million in business and personal taxes in 2021 alone. Given our unique proximity to Delaware, Washington, D.C, Virginia, West Virginia, and southern Pennsylvania, crime in Maryland rarely operates in a bubble. Just look at the crime ring from Maryland recently charged with organized shoplifting in Rehoboth Beach.

Where is the concern for Maryland’s deficits?

The state of Maryland recently closed out the fiscal year with a $2 billion surplus. This produced all kinds of bipartisan self-congratulatory talk about fiscal discipline and good budgetary stewardship at the Sept. 14 Board of Public Works meeting with Republican Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford and Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democrat, taking bows. Much of that money is already slated to go to what is known as the “Rainy Day Fund,” which is essentially a savings account for when state government faces unexpected expenses such as a natural disaster, an abrupt economic downtown or a serious drop in tax revenue.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Dan Rodricks: Overwhelmed by cookbooks from my overwhelmingly thoughtful neighbor Bernie

My neighbor Bernie has been leaving books on my stoop for at least 20 years. To say he’s thoughtful is to say that Lamar Jackson is athletic. Bernie hears a rumor about neighbors — that their kids play ice hockey, for instance — and, forget about it: You can expect old National Hockey League yearbooks and biographies of NHL stars on the stoop every couple of months, usually with a sticky note attached and an amusing quip written with a felt-tip pen.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Are we back to the days of Jane Austen, when maternal death was a regular risk?

Recently my daughter, Lisa, called from Texas where she moved last year when she got married. She and her new husband are hoping to start a family when she finishes grad school. “Mom, I’m worried about what’s happening in Texas. What if something goes wrong when I’m pregnant?” Lisa said. “I won’t be able to get help.” “Just come back to Pennsylvania,” I said. When problems crop up, moms double down, right?

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Downtown Baltimore on the Harbor
Buddy, can you spare $16 million for a convention hotel?

The latest news regarding the city-owned Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor, the 757-room convention hotel on West Pratt Street, is the kind of thing that drives the average city taxpayer wild. The Hilton has been a money-loser for most of its history dating back to its opening 14 years ago, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made matters worse — as it has for the hospitality industry in general. The bottom line? At least $16 million has gone toward keeping it afloat for the last two years so as not to default on its bond payments.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Representation matters: LGBTQ+ kids need to see themselves in media, know they aren’t alone

I grew up with Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. I followed Ron and Hermione’s slow, but eventual, romantic relationship through the books. I pondered with Harry over which female classmate he would take to the dance, and I celebrated with him when he eventually found love with Ginny Weasley. Reading the Harry Potter novels and watching the movies, I shared in the characters’ experiences of growing up, yet I found my story diverging from theirs. I am gay, and they are not.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Charles M. Blow: Democrats’ Black male voter problem

Last month, in a videotaped appearance for a “Pod Save America” live show, Stacey Abrams, a celebrated Democratic activist and the Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia, said Black men have the power to determine the election in that state. After explaining that some Black men chose not to vote because “often the leadership that gets elected is not reflective of their needs,” she said: “I know that if we have the kind of turnout possible among Black men, and they vote for me, I will win this election. That is why my campaign has been so focused on making sure we’re addressing those challenges.”

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Curfews in D.C. and Prince George’s may help, but we need to do more

On the heels of last week’s column on the rise of youth carjackings in D.C. came a Labor Day news conference by Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D), who drew a sharp focus on growing youth-involved crimes in her jurisdiction just outside D.C. Statistics provided by Alsobrooks and county Police Chief Malik Aziz tell the story: 438 juveniles arrested so far this year in Prince George’s, a big jump from 207 juvenile arrests through the same time last year. In D.C., youth arrests are up about 12 percent, with two-thirds of this year’s 330 carjacking arrests involving juveniles.

Fifth graders in their classroom at school
Bloomberg: Pandemic Learning Loss Is a National Crisis

Just in time for the start of the new school year, America’s public-education system has received a damning report card. The latest results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress reveal historically large drops in math and reading scores for US public-school students. The findings are an indictment of school closures that went on for far too long, pushed by teachers unions and some of their political allies. They also show why recovering the ground students have lost is a national emergency. The NAEP compared the performance of 9-year-olds who took the assessment in 2022 with data from early 2020, before the start of pandemic school closures.

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