Johnson and Beard: Md. General Hospital OB closing hurts community

After 100 years of providing high-quality care to Baltimore’s most vulnerable populations, childbearing women can no longer call Maryland General home. We believe low delivery rates during the past several years and the decision to merge, restructure, and eliminate the outpatient pediatric services that were once part of the hospital’s community model led to the closure of the department. Additionally, not enough Baltimore mothers were aware of what Maryland General had to offer — which we felt was due to a lack of marketing. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Accident should prompt study of Bay Bridge safety

Many of us who regularly use the Chesapeake Bay Bridge have had the nightmare: You’re stuck in traffic midway on one of the spans, there’s a huge oncoming tractor-trailer filling your rear-view mirror, it’s not slowing down — and there’s nowhere for you to go. For Morgan Lake, the nightmare abruptly became a reality Friday evening. She’s still around to talk about it. The next person in her situation — and there will be one, sooner or later — may not be so lucky. (Capital)

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In West Baltimore, a quantum of hope

When I walk through my neighborhood, I see 7- and 8-year-olds on the streets, and you can tell that they don't think much of themselves. You know that they may have a parent who is struggling and doesn't have too much time for them, and in school they are often told that they can't achieve, that they are "bad" and no one seems to care. We need to fund more programs like Quantum. (Balt. Sun)

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Do we deserve the politicians we have?

A visiting friend who had served a long-standing, big-city mayor, himself the son of a long-standing mayor of that same city, asked me about putative presidential candidate Gov. Martin O’Malley. As we happened to drive by a windmill in Maryland’s First Congressional District — where O’Malley is not popular — I told him about our governor’s recent victories in his liberal legislative agenda, including offshore windmills. (Capital)

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Monique L. Dixon: Race infects juvenile justice in Maryland

I urge all of those who despair about the loss of Trayvon Martin to support local justice reform efforts and make our community a safer and more just community for all of our young people. (Balt. Sun)

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July 24 // Risking the bridge

Let's keep the Chesapeake Bay Bridge as safe as possible, but let's also not get hysterical about it. Better to stay focused on the most serious safety threats — drunken driving, driver distraction and speeding, to name a few — than to fret about dangers that become inflated by our phobias. Getting forced off the side of the Bay Bridge may be a horror story, but it probably shouldn't be high on anyone's list of major threats facing Maryland's motoring public. (Balt. Sun)

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Stephanie Monroe: Lack of tutoring services contributed to MSA score declines

In response to your July 23rd article, "State test scores decline significantly," the writers lament the lower student test scores in comparison to last year, particularly in math. Much of the blame is attributed to a change in curriculum to conform to Common Core standards. While I support this transition and believe it is necessary to better educate our students, the article misses a very important point. To date, 8,200 students primarily in Baltimore City and Prince George's County have lost access to free tutoring services. (Balt. Sun)

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Public-private collaboration gets results

Lower Shore job-seekers have good news to celebrate: A locally based pharmaceutical company, Jubilant Cadista, is planning to expand and add about 200 jobs in the next five years. But the 200 jobs is not the whole story. The company is expanding its facility before hiring, so there will be construction jobs involved in the expansion project as well. But even that, significant as it is in a county with an unemployment figure that is stuck above 8 percent, is not the whole story. We hear a lot about outsourcing and getting government out of the way of private-sector businesses. But this is a case in which it took cooperation between state and local governments, as well as market pressures, to bring about this beneficial change. (Daily Times)

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