Chesapeake Bay oysters: Time to talk moratorium

In 1985, Maryland did something that had previously been considered unthinkable. It closed state waters to the harvest of rockfish, more widely known as striped bass. Then-Gov. Harry Hughes was denounced for putting commercial fishermen and charter boat operators out of business. But he and his Department of Natural Resources held firm. Striped bass landings had fallen so far — from more than 5 million pounds a year to less than 400,000 pounds — that officials believed the species might not remain viable if such a drastic step was not taken. What happened next? Within three years, the moratorium was lifted. The population bounced back, and spawning success wasn’t cut short by hooks or gill nets. (Balt. Sun)

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Johnny Olszewski: Baltimore County executive: schools budget can be trimmed without affecting teacher pay

I am a teacher. I don’t work in a classroom anymore, but my days teaching at Patapsco High School have shaped me into the person I am today. They shape the kind of county executive I want to be. They are the reason I ran for this office in the first place. I will never turn my back on the teachers of Baltimore County. I want to give them everything they need and deserve to educate our students effectively. But I also have a responsibility to tell county residents the truth — even when that truth is uncomfortable. (Balt. Sun)

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Higher taxes and fees are coming. How high will they go?

County Executive Steuart Pittman has signaled clearly he believes Anne Arundel County’s needs outstrip its current resources. Through seven planned town hall-style meetings set to start next week, he will ask for the public’s help in deciding on the priorities, how much more revenue is needed to accomplish them and how fast the county should raise it. Several previous administrations have been fundamentally opposed to asking this question. The foundation of that belief has been the voter-imposed tax revenue cap. (Capital)

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Deborah Car, Mari Lee, Lauren Beacham, Tony Soltero: $15 hourly minimum wage benefits all

As members of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, the Frederick County Democratic Central Committee recently received an email from local Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Rick Weldon asking members to lobby against legislation currently being considered in the Maryland General Assembly raising the minimum wage. We are disappointed in the chamber leadership’s stand on this issue; we support the proposed minimum-wage increase to $15 an hour and urge the General Assembly to implement it. (News-Post)

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Charles Lane: The answer to D.C. congressional representation? It’s in Douglass County, Maryland.

Of all the perennial structural issues plaguing American democracy, providing full congressional representation for the District of Columbia’s 700,000 residents must be the most maddening. It is an anomaly both patent and easy, so easy, to solve. The answer is right there in Douglass County, Md. To save you some Googling time: Douglass County is not a real place — yet. Rather, it is the new jurisdiction that would be created by returning the residential portions of the District to Maryland, a process known as “retrocession,” conceived by third-generation Washingtonian and policy gadfly David Krucoff. (Wash. Post)

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High-speed rail: a smart move with or without the Green New Deal

For a non-binding resolution, the Green New Deal raised quite a bit of fuss when it was officially unveiled last week by Democrats Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey with support from 67 fellow members of Congress. At its core, it’s really just a series of policy goals to alleviate the worst effects of climate change. The plan involves everything from moving the nation toward renewable energy to preserving forests and other forms of undeveloped land that naturally absorb excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But one proposal has gotten disproportionate attention: Its call for lower-emissions from transportation. (Balt. Sun)

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Dr. Joseph Marine: Physician-assisted suicide is unethical and dangerous

For the past five years, advocates of physician-assisted suicide (PAS) have tried and failed to pass legislation that legalizes the practice in Maryland. Proponents of PAS are back again with the same dangerous, unethical, discriminatory, unnecessary and hopelessly flawed bill. As a physician who has been in practice for almost 20 years and has treated thousands of patients in all conditions of life, I urge the legislature and the citizens of Maryland to continue to reject it for many reasons. (Balt. Sun)

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Is community-driven policing the answer to Baltimore's problems?

Days after a community block party, members of the Ednor Gardens-Lakeside community were awakened by dozens of gun shots that ultimately took the life of yet another 20 year-old in Baltimore, his final moments spent on a city sidewalk. His murder left many in this tight-knit community wondering if there was anything we could have done to intervene and prevent this from happening. In its aftermath, the larger question remains: Apart from calling the police, what tools are there for communities to intervene in situations and safely resolve conflicts before they escalate? (Balt. Sun)

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