Editorial: The pesticide the EPA knows harms children but approved anyway

Chlorpyrifos isn’t a word that trips naturally off the tongue. Only slightly more intelligible is Lorsban, the name under which chlorpyrifos is commercially marketed. What consumers need to know most about the widely-used pesticide is that its been linked to childhood brain damage. Concerns about its harmfulness to kids have been around for nearly two decades when its household use was discontinued. Four years ago, the Obama administration moved to ban it entirely. But then came Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt and, most recently, Andrew Wheeler, who announced last Thursday the Environmental Protection Agency won’t be prohibiting its use despite a request from environmental and public health advocates to do so. (Balt. Sun)


Editorial: Baltimore should move swiftly to stop police misconduct gag orders

The Baltimore City Council should expeditiously work to pass legislation that would prevent the city from silencing people who settle police misconduct and brutality cases. The longtime practice of forcing people to sign gag orders that prevent them from discussing their cases not only stomps on their free speech rights but allows police to hide from their bad behavior. (We should also point out the city is still allowed to talk freely about cases, and does insofar as it suits its interests.) The cops in essence are not held fully accountable, leaving the possibility that they will continue to brutalize other people. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article


Cohen: The time is now for Baltimore to become a ‘trauma-responsive city’

A few months ago, a group of men pulled up to the parking lot of the O’Donnell Heights playground in a black car and fired 37 rounds, injuring four people. The shooting occurred shortly after two elementary schools let out for dismissal. When the gunfire erupted, chaos ensued. According to one witness, “It was like watching a hurricane of bullets.” The next day, I spoke with students at Holabird Academy. An eighth grader described the terror she felt hearing the “pops,” knowing that her family was walking home. “My little brother is 3. He heard everything. He saw the man bleeding out on the pavement.” As she spoke her hand trembled. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article


DeFilippo: Amid Trump’s Latest Rant, Md. Dems Appear to Be Sitting This One Out

The thumb sucking you hear in the background is the sound of Maryland’s Democratic Party trying to decide whether to join the uproar of disgust over President Trump’s racist rants about four congresswomen of color or to sit on the sidelines and avoid the explosive fight. The deathly silence is all the more puzzling as the new head of the state party is a woman of color, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who is married to one of Congress’ foremost men of color, Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings. And the new speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates is a woman of color, Del. Adrienne A. Jones. That trio in itself is enough to merit at least severe spanking of Trump. (Md. Matters)

Read Full Article

Snider: The growing and hidden pay gap between junior and senior teachers is a disgrace

At an untelevised meeting on June 14, Anne Arundel’s County Council voted to raise taxes to pay for more public school spending — a thank you to the teachers union that was instrumental in getting the winning council members elected. County funding for the schools was increased by $46.2 million, enabling $48.1 million in pay increases. The union’s president had been arguing that you “get what you pay for,” so if you want good schools, you have to pay for them, which sounded reasonable enough. But what wasn’t reasonable was politicians systematically hiding from the public what teachers are paid, especially senior teachers. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Post


Rodricks: Calvin Ash comes home from prison, 15 years overdue

Calvin Ash must have stood in line for food thousands of times over the last 47 years, but never at Panera, and he probably never had much choice about what to eat. So, on Thursday, he approached his first transaction at the chain bakery-cafe in north Baltimore with a combination of delight and confusion. A little direction from his brother, Julian, helped Calvin figure things out. He managed to order what he wanted — a toasted breakfast bagel, a pastry and orange juice. Until he returned to his hometown 10 days ago, 68-year-old Calvin Ash had been one of the oldest inmates in Maryland’s prison system. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article


Editorial: Groups that take care of the less fortunate

It may be fairly said that an important measure of the quality of a community is the way in which it joins together to take care of children, the elderly and those who are less fortunate. By that yardstick, Frederick County has come off pretty well in recent years. The annual Unity campaign last year raised more than half a million dollars to support a variety of nonprofit groups who take care of others. The United Way of Frederick County, which runs the campaign and selects the nonprofits that will benefit, last week announced the 32 partner organizations for this year. (News-Post)

Read Full Article


Lead poisoning: rejecting the stigma

I was at the Green & Healthy Homes office in Baltimore when I saw a sheet of paper with LEAD POISONING FACT SHEET printed at the top in tall block letters. On the paper it said that if an adult has lead poisoning then their chances of dying are increased by 46 percent. “What does this mean for me?” I looked at my friend David, but I was asking myself. “Where do they get these numbers?” David stared at the sheet. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article