The enormous debt owed to slain Baltimore Police Det. Sean Suiter

A veteran Baltimore police officer who suffered a gunshot wound to the head while on duty Wednesday in a notoriously dangerous neighborhood in West Baltimore just a block or so north of the U.S. 40 canyon on Bennett Place in Harlem Park died early Thursday afternoon. A violence-torn city’s collective hearts and prayers go out to his family, to his friends and colleagues. Baltimore owes Sean Suiter a debt that can’t be repaid. The married father of five gave his life to make this city a better place for the rest of us. (Balt. Sun)

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A checkup for school spending

The county school system plans to take a microscope to the way its money has been spent and allocated, going back to 2010. A so-called forensic budget audit is expected to zero in on why the system’s line item for employee health and dental coverage is now $23 million in the red and whether grant funds have been properly budgeted. The audit needs to be embraced and its findings, and recommended remedies, shared publicly. Having the school system bring in an outside, independent auditor makes the process cleaner. (Ho. Co. Times)

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Craig's successor needs to build on her work

A new mayor invariably brings changes in the cast of characters at the apex of city government. And the city’s historic preservation chief, Lisa Craig, was, in effect, one of the mayor-elect’s opponents in recent legal haggling over whether the historic preservation rules apply to a mural painted on a restaurant building. So it’s not surprising — although it is unfortunate — that Craig evidently decided she has no future in a Gavin Buckley administration and that it would be better to jump rather than wait to be pushed. Her resignation takes effect Nov. 28. (Capital)

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Greg Walker: Buckley should start planning for city's future

The bad news from the recent election is that roughly 65 percent of Annapolis’ residents didn’t bother to vote. That isn’t a sign that people don’t care about the future of their city. On days with major traffic jams, everyone cares! I am excited about Gavin Buckley being mayor-elect. I have never met him. I didn’t vote for him, since I live just outside the city limits. I have an office in Eastport and I follow traffic issues in our area and sometimes make presentations on the topic. Mr. Buckley made two points that intrigue me. (Capital)

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William C. Smith Jr.: Endowments: a path toward tuition-free college in Md.

Education, specifically higher education, is directly correlated to innumerable economic and social benefits: higher salaries, a more versatile and qualified workforce, healthier lifestyles and greater economic mobility to name a few. Access to higher education, however, has become more fleeting, especially for the poor. In 1971, the average cost of tuition for a public 4-year college was $428 ($2,499 adjusted for inflation) per year. By 2015 tuition had risen to $9,420 per year, an increase of 276 percent when adjusted for inflation. According to a 2016 report published by the Maryland Department of Legislative Services (DLS), “Maryland’s investment in need-based financial aid is below the national average.” (Balt. Sun)

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Giving an earful

Allegany County Superintendent of Schools David Cox had a rapt audience in Washington recently as he told members of Congress how addiction to opioids is affecting public education in Western Maryland. He was among four professionals from across the nation who testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce during a two-hour morning hearing. It’s no secret that Cumberland is in the midst of a heroin epidemic, a scourge that has spread coast to coast, from small towns to large cities. The problem is so extreme that all public schools in Garrett and Allegany counties now stock the life-saving medication naloxone, which can reverse the effects of opioids, and elementary, middle and high school students are learning about heroin addiction in accordance with the Start Talking Maryland Act. (Times-News)

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Laslo Boyd: Dealing with political overload

The political news these days comes barreling at you in relentless waves, and so much of it is depressing, discouraging and scary. And, of course, some of it is merely a distraction, bright shiny objectives that have little or no real importance. Worse yet, some of it is fake. If you are a person who feels a responsibility to keep up with current affairs, to be knowledgable about what our government and its leaders are doing, you can’t just shut yourself off or bury your head in the sand. (From a Certain Point of View)

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Don't sacrifice Rice and White to the mob

Time to feed the jackals? We’ll soon know. Four of the Freddie Gray six have passed through the legal and administrative gauntlets with their police careers intact. There have been three acquittals in court; charges dropped for the remaining three officers. Two officers accepted minor administrative discipline. Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. was cleared of all administrative charges by a three-member trail board of police officers. Thus, only two officers involved in the Freddie Gray case — Lt. Brian Rice and Sgt. Alicia White — remain subject to administrative charges, which could result in the termination of their careers if they are found guilty of any of those charges. (Balt. Sun)

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