Employed and struggling in Md.

By traditional measures, Maryland looks like a prosperous place. Not only is the typical household income here among the highest in the nation, but the poverty rate, at about 10 percent, is among the lowest. But hidden in plain sight are another quarter of the state's households for whom meeting the basic necessities of life is a daily struggle. These are the ALICE families. A concept developed by researchers at the United Way in New Jersey and now documented in an increasing number of states, including Maryland, the acronym stands for Assets Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. (Balt. Sun)

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Carl Snowden: Mitchell and Holt should be honored

Former Anne Arundel County Councilman Daryl Jones recently wrote to Gov. Larry Hogan asking if there are any plans to name a state park, highway or building after the late U.S. Rep. Parren J. Mitchell, Maryland's first African-American congressman. Mr. Mitchell was elected in 1971 and served for 16 years. He was the chairman and one of the founders of the Congressional Black Caucus. His oratorical skills won him national acclaim. Mr. Jones' inquiry triggered a thought. Why isn't there more effort to preserve our history? As an eyewitness to that history, I am amazed by how few people understand the importance of preserving it. (Capital)

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Annapolis candidates need vision for parks and recreation

We have called on this year's candidates for office in Annapolis to spell out their vision for the city, most recently touching on proposals to improve the business climate. But they also need to talk about recreation and parks programs. A few things have made us wonder if there are better ways to provide these services: This winter, Annapolis and Anne Arundel County wrestled over the sale of the Eisenhower Golf Course in Crownsville, owned by the city but leased by the county for 50 years. Mayor Mike Pantelides and the City Council sold the course, despite some irritation over the county first skimping on maintenance, then offering a price tied to the run-down state of the facility. (Capital)

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City manager idea deserves a full airing — after the next election

Kudos to Alderman Josh Bokee for proposing that Frederick switch from the mayor-council form of government to one where the city’s day-to-day operations are run by a city manager. It’s an idea worth considering. But let’s wait until after the election, at least. In cities over a few thousand people, the council-manager form of government is the most common, according to the National League of Cities. Under that structure, an elected council sets policy and establishes a budget, but the city is run by a professionally trained manager who is hired by the council. The mayor is part of the council and has less authority than Frederick’s mayor today. (News-Post)

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Fred Hiatt: Can politicians still muster the will to solve problems? A test case looms.

Can U.S. politics still deliver in the public interest? A test case is taking shape in the Washington area. The test is this: Can the transit system of the nation’s capital be saved? On one level, a rescue should be easy. Pretty much everyone, even people who don’t use Metro, agrees that its demise would be a disaster. Pretty much everyone agrees that Metro desperately needs help. And while there isn’t quite the same consensus on a solution, what needs to be done also is pretty well understood. (Wash. Post)

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April 24 // Barry Rascovar: Larry Hogan Sr. showed courage when it counted

It happened long ago. Congressman Larry Hogan, Sr. stood alone and defied his party, voting not once but three times to impeach Republican President Richard Nixon. It was the most principled stand taken by a Maryland politician in our lifetimes. He did what was right, not what was politically correct. Hogan died last week at 88, eclipsed in the public eye by his son and namesake, the current Maryland governor – an office the father was denied due to his impeachment stance. Yet it was the father, consigned to the pages of history, who offered a lesson in what it means to take the perilous moral and legal high road rather than the easy partisan and career-advancing low road. (Md. Reporter)

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Clearing cases isn't enough

The drop in the Baltimore Police Department's homicide clearance rate in recent years was a sign that the violence on the streets was overwhelming our ability to maintain order and safety. Each case police couldn't close was not only a wound to the victim's family, it was also an invitation to more violence, either because the perpetrator was free to kill again or because the lack of consequences emboldened others. But the recent rise in the clearance rate — it stands at about 50 percent so far this year, up from 30 percent in 2015 and 38.5 percent in 2016 — doesn't necessarily mean violent criminals are being sent to prison. (Balt. Sun)

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Eye on Ocean City's horizon

Imagine lying on the beach in Ocean City and feeling visually assaulted. Is it the looming stucco-plastered high-rises or the indiscriminant clutter of surf shops, arcades, bars and condos behind you? Let's say no. Or maybe the throngs of beach-goers in their colorful attire and various states of undress to your left and right. Again, we'll give that a pass. Then what about the wind turbines located 20 miles off-shore, a mere thumbnail on the horizon that requires a clear, sunny day to even be discernible in the distance? Aha, there's the culprit. (Balt. Sun)

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