Putting down panhandlers

We will try not to judge too harshly those on the Baltimore City Council who are supporting a crackdown on panhandling — just as they should not judge too harshly those who are doing the panhandling. A poverty of ideas is just another form of poverty. Not to put too fine a point on it, but Baltimore already has a decade-old law on the books that prohibits aggressive panhandling. (Balt. Sun)

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Slow down and move over

It shouldn’t take a special law enforcement effort to get people to exercise a little common sense on the roadway. State police this week began a targeted enforcement aimed at heightening awareness of the state’s move over law. That’s the law that requires motorists to move to another lane, if they can do so safely, when they come upon a stopped emergency vehicle with its lights on. If drivers don’t have the option of moving to another lane, they are required to slow down. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Rodricks: Baltimore has another fit of panhandler anxiety

Here we go again, with another call for a crackdown on panhandlers in Baltimore. The City Council, which recently provided millions of dollars in public financing for the big private development at Harbor Point — offices, hotels, residences — is considering legislation to make it tougher for the penniless to beg on our sidewalks. (Balt. Sun)

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Mental illness and guns

If you believe that early intervention by mental health professionals in the lives of people with serious psychiatric disorders will prevent future mass shootings like the ones in Newtown, Conn., or Tucson, Ariz., you probably are in for a disappointment: The truth is that no public health effort can prevent such tragedies entirely. That's because only a tiny fraction of the millions of Americans who suffer from serious mental illnesses will ever become violent, and there is no way of predicting who will be. Inevitably, some people fall through the cracks of even the best designed public mental health programs. (Balt. Sun)

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Ibrahim: White roofs aren't so cool

One of the latest trends in home energy efficiency is the white roof, as described in a recent Sun article ("Push urged for more cool roofs in Baltimore," Oct. 15). Indeed, they can be useful in certain climates, but I would urge careful consideration before jumping on the cool roof bandwagon in a northern city like Baltimore. (Balt. Sun)

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Oct. 23 // Susan Yum: Drunk Driving 2.0

We need a new law that treats serious crashes caused by distracted cell phone driving in a similar category as drunk driving. In addition to legislation, we as a society have to realize and accept that using your cell phone while driving is not a right (just as drunk driving is not a right), and that if you choose to do so, you are willfully committing an act that makes it dangerous for you and other people on the road. (Balt. Sun)

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A New Kind Of Cola War

Happiness doesn't come in a red can. Obesity does. That's the tag line from a commercial that will begin airing soon in the Baltimore area, and it's a not-so-subtle attack on Coca-Cola mounted by a group of local health advocates including Howard County's Horizon Foundation, the Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi), the American Heart Association and People Acting Together in Howard (PATH). (Balt. Sun)

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What's going on at Salisbury City Hall?

From the outside looking in, recent events at Salisbury City Hall have taken on an erratic nature. Citizens want their mayor to take the action needed to run the city effectively, but they also want those decisions to be sound, grounded in logic and explained clearly. It’s not evident that this is the case. (Daily Times)

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