Editorial: Rent controls during a health catastrophe are a reasonable protection

During the economic slump that has accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic, each day seems to herald more bad financial news. Lord & Taylor files for bankruptcy. Beloved Baltimore restaurants — including Alexander Brown, Milton Inn, City Cafe and Chez Hugo — shutter for good. And Congress and the White House can’t get their act together to approve an extension of vital economic stimulus efforts, including the now-expired $600 federal unemployment supplemental benefit. (Balt Sun)

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Baltimore media need to question claims made by police commissioner

It hasn’t taken Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison long to start sounding like former Mayor Catherine Pugh in challenging the “narrative” of an unsafe city, touting success in crime-fighting programs without providing facts to back the claims and trying to use the media to push a positive narrative about the progress he says his administration is making. As a media critic, the most disappointing thing to me about this same-old, same-old from a Baltimore official is that Mr. Harrison is finding media outlets in Baltimore willing to take his words essentially at face value and put them out over the airwaves. (Balt Sun)
 
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Pitts Jr.: Trump’s lies are hurting the country. Just look at the coronavirus numbers and the economy

“Nobody likes me.” — Donald Trump. “Truth or Consequences” is the name of a town in New Mexico, and of a game show from the 1940s. But it’s also one of the primal laws of existence. Where an important truth is denied, consequences follow. So none of us can be surprised at the state of the union after seven months of President Donald Trump’s lies, alibis and magical thinking in the face of one of the worst public health crises in history. (Balt Sun)

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Singhal:Universities should teach mostly online classes this fall semester

When President Donald Trump ordered the ejection of all foreign students whose studies were completely online, several universities moved to thwart the order by scheduling hybrid (combined online and classroom) classes for the fall. Since President Donald Trump has withdrawn his order, some schools have moved almost fully online while many others have regrettably retained that hybrid schedule. For instance, colleges in the Baltimore-Washington area are offering a hybrid of in-person and remote classes and will allow only a limited number of students in dorms, libraries and dining facilities. (Balt Sun)

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Rodricks: Note to Republicans in Congress - ‘It’s an awesome blessing to provide for people in need’

If you’re out of work and struggling, fearful that Congress won’t come up with more help for you and millions of other Americans during the pandemic, then you’re probably worried about where your next few meals will come from — not whether you can deduct the full cost of them from your income taxes. And yet, there it is: In the Republican version of the next big relief package, a proposal to raise from 50% to 100% the deduction for business meals at restaurants.(Balt Sun)

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EDITORIAL: Amid pandemic, with sites consolidated, mail-in vote is Carroll countians’ best option on Election Day

Regardless of how bad the coronavirus pandemic is at the time, regardless of how many election judges opt out, regardless of how long the lines are likely to be at consolidated polling places, the 2020 general election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 3. This is not Hong Kong. We do not simply decide that, well, there’s a lot going on, let’s just push the election back a year, President Trump’s tweet from last week notwithstanding. And the mandate for Maryland, coming from Gov. Larry Hogan, is that registered voters will be able to vote in person if they so choose, both during early voting and on Election Day. (Carr Co Times)

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Childs: Maryland Needs to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Eleven states plus Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana. Three of those 11 states are in the Northeast — Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine. The political makeup of these three states is very similar to Maryland, but for some reason we are not able to pass this crucial and progressive legislation. Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-to-1 in the state, and for years Marylanders have screamed at lawmakers to not only legalize marijuana but create racial equity programs to even the playing field when it comes to the distribution of licenses and acquiring loans and grants to open marijuana-related businesses. (Md Matters)

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Webar & Steinberg: Telehealth Flexibility Needed Amidst Converging Mental Health, Addiction Crises

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to ravage the country, deaths of despair are rising. In Maryland, we have already seen a surge in drug overdose fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic. The number of people needing substance use disorder and mental health services is only expected to increase. Maryland’s leaders must act now to prevent a tsunami of mental health and addiction crises in the wake of the pandemic and to ensure that treatment programs are able to stay open now and into the future. (Md Matters)

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