Editorial: Baltimore mayor’s outlandish statements overshadow achievements, issues

Ever since Bernard C. “Jack” Young invited reporters to “see [his] damn underwear” as City Council president in 2010, to prove he lived in a particular residence, we’ve understood him to be an off-the-cuff kind of speaker and largely forgiven minor gaffes. He’s shown dedication to Baltimore and a willingness to take on even the tiniest of problems, including broken streetlamps, in his 23 years in politics. But several comments he’s made recently as mayor are beginning to overshadow any achievements. (Balt. Sun)

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Thompson:When victims accuse the wrong people of crimes

We learned last week that three men, incarcerated for 36 years in Maryland, were exonerated of the murder of 14-year-old DeWitt Duckett. This tragic failure of our criminal justice system is a shameful stain on our nation, and the reverberations of this miscarriage of justice will be felt for generations. Though finally free, these men will experience numerous challenges as they reenter their communities, readjust to their daily lives and address the complex trauma they have experienced. (Balt. Sun)

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Editorial: Maryland school rankings remain an imperfect measure of an unequal system

The latest Maryland School Report Card is out and will no doubt leave parents and other stakeholders scurrying to check out the results. Did my child’s school earn one, two, three, four or five stars? Is it better or worse than last year’s inaugural rating? If the purpose of the report card was to give everyone a quick and easy way to judge school performance, it succeeds as intended. Five is an “A,” one is an “F,” or something proximate. (Balt. Sun)

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Bryant: Wait Until Donald Trump Hears About the Carbon Border Tax

Next week, the European Union’s leaders will commit to cutting net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. This historic pledge will require the continent to radically overhaul its entire economy, including a revolution in the production of steel, cement and chemicals — whose carbon emissions are particularly difficult to abate. None of this will happen, however, unless European companies feel able to invest in making themselves greener without suffering a loss of competitiveness. (Bloomberg/Wash. Post)

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Editorial: Putting school ratings in context

The Maryland State Department of Education’s “star ratings” were released Tuesday, and there were few surprises for Frederick County’s public schools. Local schools fared mostly well, with the preponderance of the county’s 61 schools receiving four stars on a scale of 1 to 5. Sixteen schools received five stars and eight schools were given three stars. Frederick County was one of 13 jurisdictions across the state that did not have a school ratings dip below three stars. (News-Post)

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EDITORIAL: Maryland must crack down on energy suppliers that entice people into bad, pricey contracts

The often aggressive pitches come in the mail or through sales people who canvas neighborhoods, knocking on doors looking for new customers. Sometimes they call on the phone with their sly spiel. Switch your utility company, they say, and see hefty savings on your gas and electric bill. Except Maryland’s top utility customer advocate says too often these promises are empty. Instead of savings, customers are getting enticed into contracts that end up costing them more. Hefty fees, sometimes as much as $150, await anyone who tries to get out of these so-called cost saving deals. (Balt Sun)

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Spector: Vignarajah offers new vision for fighting Baltimore crime

For nearly 40 years, I had the honor of serving on the Baltimore City Council. Like every other city in America, we’ve struggled with crime. Certain years were worse than others, but never have I seen crime as out of control as it is today. Never. I have also never seen our local city leadership so out of touch with reality, unable to act and unwilling to lead. Never. (Balt Sun)

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Sen. Pinsky: Gov. Hogan’s lip service on the environment

It’s true: Larry Hogan is no Donald Trump when it comes to the environment. Unfortunately, Gov. Hogan is paying lip service to our climate-change crisis and doing a disservice to environmental protection efforts that offer real hope for our earth’s future. I say this with sadness. As chair of the Maryland Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, I have attempted to work with the governor’s agency secretaries to protect our state’s environment. (Balt Sun)
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