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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Dwyer's resignation now long overdue

We called for Del. Don Dwyer’s resignation last year, after he admitted he was drunk while piloting a boat that got into an accident on the Magothy River, injuring several people, including children. The Pasadena Republican’s blood-alcohol content was three times the level that legally defines intoxication in this state. Obviously, our opinion is not going to change because of this week’s news that Dwyer was arrested and charged with drunken driving and other traffic violations, including driving a car with suspended and expired registration. (Capital)

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Buses returning to roads

Few people likely would say that they would place the safety of a child at risk for the opportunity to shave a minute or less from their commute, yet every school day drivers do just that when make the decision to pass school buses that are stopped with their lights flashing. (Carroll Co. Times)

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Blair Lee: Taxpayers exiting Maryland

The Tax Foundation is a well-respected research organization that has monitored federal and state tax levels since 1937. Its recent study of taxpayer migration between states is a fascinating look at which states are gaining or losing taxpayers and why. It also reports how much taxable income those taxpayers take with them. (Gazette)

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