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Commentary

East County Deserves a Seat on the Montgomery County Council

Voters’ decision last November to add two district seats on the Montgomery County Council will completely change how the county is governed and how services are delivered to key parts of the county. East County — which includes Burtonsville, Calverton, Colesville, Fairland, Hillandale, and White Oak — would benefit greatly from its own council district. With over 118,000 residents, East County accounts for 11% of the total county population. According to CountyStat, East County is one of the most diverse regions of the county: 20% Black, 20% Hispanic, and 16% Asian.

Save Frederick County’s Sugarloaf Mountain

Many in the Washington area who have long enjoyed Maryland’s Sugarloaf Mountain will be concerned about a Frederick County plan under consideration that falls short of adequate protection of this treasured region. Originally included in the draft preservation plan for the region but later removed from the protected area is a 350-acre property owned by a local developer. It is at Interstate 270 Exit 26 and is zoned “agricultural or conservation.” Its development, whether for residential, commercial or light industrial use, would negatively impact the immediate area, currently a gateway to the nearby Sugarloaf Mountain.

Hamlett: Can Past Be Prologue at Renewed Sparrows Point?

Maryland has embarked on a transformative course toward a world that runs on green energy. With the recent announcement that a prominent wind energy developer will expand its operations in southeastern Baltimore County, home of the iconic Bethlehem Steel Corp, the project has the potential to not only deliver on a clean energy economy, but also to correct a multitude of generational injustice. At this critical inflection point for America, in the post-George Floyd era, lies the opportunity to create equity in wind energy jobs and to achieve a rebirth of the steel industry in Sparrows Point.

Saving the horsehoe crabs from decline

The Aug. 3 Health & Science article “Is medicine a threat to horseshoe crabs?” focused on the threat to these ancient mariners from their capture, bleeding and release for use of their processed blood cells to assure the purity of injectable drugs and implants. A greater source of mortality affecting horseshoe crab populations are the 832,755 crabs landed and killed for bait coastwide in 2019 alone. The crabs are mostly cut up and used in conch pots and for catching catfish and eels. The mortality count was up 25 percent from 665,278 in 2018.

Harden: More results, less politics: blunting the opioid crisis in Maryland’s rural communities

Amid the aroma of deep fried Oreo cookies caked in powdered sugar and the shrieks of middle schoolers on carnival rides, there is no better place to learn about the opioid crisis than from the first responders working the county fairs this summer. Public health officials, law enforcement and addiction counselors all tell the same story: Opioids are killing rural communities in Maryland. The COVID-19 pandemic, social isolation, widespread job loss and increasing supplies of illicit drugs are fueling the already raging fires of opioid addiction and death.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Kurtz: Will Offshore Wind Industry’s Coming Out Party Include Franchot?

The offshore wind industry in Maryland is having a coming-out party — and not a moment too soon, with the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report from the U.N., released Monday, showing just how endangered every inch of the planet is by global warming. The party began last week at Tradepoint Atlantic, the massive industrial development in eastern Baltimore County, where hundreds of dignitaries, including Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R), came to hear the CEO of US Wind, one of two companies attempting to erect wind energy turbines in the waters off of Ocean City, announce major expansion plans.

ADU proposal adds to city’s ‘toolbox’

Frederick’s aldermen were discussing a proposal to let homeowners build smaller, secondary homes on their property. The question arose whether that would create more affordable housing. A planner summed the best argument in favor. “It’s a tool in that toolbox,” said Director of Current Planning Gabrielle Collard. She explained that accessory units generally are not significantly more affordable than apartments, but added that the more places where you can create lower-cost housing options, the better.

Does Hogan Care More About Wealthy Corporations Than the Bay?

During Larry Hogan’s campaign to become governor in 2014, he explicitly stated that Maryland must hold Exelon accountable for its pollution coming out of the Conowingo Dam. However, Gov. Hogan has not followed through on his word and has now fumbled on his duties to protect the citizens of Maryland. Instead, Hogan is protecting the most profitable utility in the nation. The Conowingo Dam has continued to impact Chesapeake Bay health since Hurricane Agnes swept through the region in 1972.

The best way to tax polluters, fight climate change and reduce the deficit: Raise the federal gas tax

Last week, Maryland’s Chris Van Hollen and a handful of fellow liberal Democrats in the U.S. Senate announced legislation to tax the oil industry on the basis of their greenhouse gas emissions. The Polluters Pay Climate Fund Act, whose sponsors include Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, would charge both U.S. and foreign-based oil extractors and refiners based on the harm their U.S. sales have already done to the planet, meaning Companies like ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron and others would be assessed for past, not current, production.

Read More: Baltimore Sun
Bistransin: Financial literacy courses should be required for graduation throughout Maryland

A former student in my financial literacy class approached me at the local public library. I remembered he had considered my class a “dumb” elective, something mindless to fill a gap in his class schedule. The young man had moved to Chicago after graduation, and he had made some mistakes there that forced him to move back home to Maryland.

Read More: Baltimore Sun

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