Stay on track with goals

As parents begin the new school year with ambitious plans for helping their young ones succeed, it’s good to remember the advice we most often hear around January each year when people are making resolutions to change something in their lives. Changing established habits takes time, as does getting into new habits. Along the way there are likely to be some slip-ups, but ultimately if we keep our eye on our final goal and keep working toward achieving it, we will be successful. (Carroll Co. Times)

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Billy Shreve: The job they were elected to do

Every four years, Frederick voters go to the polls to elect county commissioners who make decisions for Frederick County’s future — on both routine issues and challenging ones. If the voters decide they don’t like the decisions that we have made, they have the opportunity to replace us in the next election. That’s the way government works in Frederick County and America. We welcome and expect public input on each of our decisions, but just because a small but very vocal minority opposes one or two of them doesn’t mean we should delay them until the next election, as The Frederick News-Post editorial suggests. (News-Post)

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Virginia Knowlton Marcus: U.S. can lead on rights for those with disabilities 

The U.S. Senate hit a new low on Dec. 4, 2012, when 89-year-old Bob Dole, disabled war veteran and former Republican leader, was wheeled into the chamber to urge passage of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), only to have it fall five votes short of the requisite two-thirds majority. (Daily Record)

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August 23 // Too much infighting over city’s development projects 

All the recent sniping over whether to grant taxpayer-financed infrastructure subsidies to help lure Exelon to a proposed development at Harbor Point has obscured a critical point — that ultimately, any new development will help the city as a whole.  Baltimore is a city that desperately needs revitalization in many areas, and signature projects like Harbor Point can help build a critical mass to which other companies will be attracted. Feeding the perception that the city is schizophrenic in its vision by arguing over precisely where a grand project should go only makes economic development endeavors down the road more challenging. (Daily Record)

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Razing houses, raising hopes

Baltimore's leaders are to be commended for their efforts to steadily reduce crime, improve student test scores and graduation rates, and lower property taxes. Such steps are absolutely critical to meeting Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's goal of reversing Baltimore's decades-long decline and drawing 10,000 new families to the city over a 10-year period. Yet even if all those worthy goals are achieved, no outsider — or resident — will think of Baltimore as a truly great metropolis (let alone the "Greatest City on Earth," as those bus benches proclaim) so long as the city is home to thousands upon thousands of vacant houses. (Balt. Sun)

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A scramble for statehood

Maryland is a state so midnight blue that five counties in the westernmost part of the state want to peel away to become the 51st state. Well, why not? The five unhappy counties in Maryland cite irreconcilable political differences and want a divorce from Maryland and its reflexive liberalism. They would become a real Free State — free from the oppressive tax and regulatory regime in Annapolis and the Democrat-dominated General Assembly and Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat. (Wash. Times)

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Delaying school's start a backward-looking idea

Perhaps Gov. Martin O’Malley, so often at odds with state Comptroller Peter Franchot, was just trying ease things during a long Board of Public Works meeting on Wednesday by giving a boost to one of Franchot’s pet enthusiasms: Postponing the start of the public school year until after Labor Day. “I’m for that,” O’Malley remarked. “Hopefully the task force will come out our way.” The task force isn’t scheduled to report until next summer, after the legislative session — so most likely O’Malley will never have to act on this. (Capital)

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Dwyer must resign, seek help

Part of alcoholism is denying that you have a problem. And many people can't shake their alcohol dependency without help from others. These are not idle speculations but well-developed medical facts drawn from centuries of human experience. And both should be kept in mind when evaluating the sad case of Anne Arundel County Del. Donald H. Dwyer Jr. who was arrested early Tuesday morning in Pasadena after a county police officer observed him driving erratically, smelling strongly of alcohol, his eyes red and glossy, face flushed, speech slow and slurred. (Balt. Sun)

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