Allen: Yes, kids should be going back to school in the fall

I’ve spent more than 10 years as a forensic investigator of “sick buildings.” The stakes were often extraordinarily high: a hospital where four people had died and hundreds were at risk; a factory where workers were at risk of getting an irreversible respiratory disease called “Popcorn Lung”; a military base where housing was suspected in the deaths of 11 infants. In all of these investigations, I was asked, “Is it safe to go back in the building?” If, after the appropriate controls were in place, my answer was “yes,” I always paused for one final gut-check question: Would my answer be any different if my family was involved? (Wash Post)

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Gibson Jr.: Moving forward, prosecutors and police must pave the way to public trust

We watched in horror as George Floyd was brutally killed on the streets of Minneapolis. We join with many others demanding that the officers involved be held accountable. We understand the pain and fear of seeing yet another black man’s life cut short in a deadly interaction with law enforcement. As longtime prosecutors, we fully comprehend that there are, unfairly, separate and distinctly different rules of engagement for people of color in our society. (Wash Post)

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EDITORIAL: Maryland’s higher minimum wage - a boost that’s needed now more than ever

Last month, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf renewed his longtime push for raising his state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour on the grounds that it would help workers recover from the economic losses suffered during the coronavirus pandemic. He wants to raise it 50 cents annually until it reaches $15-an-hour. But even that won’t make Pennsylvania a top minimum wage jurisdiction. In nearby D.C., the minimum wage is $14 an hour. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. states impose a minimum wage above the federal requirement. (Balt Sun)

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Reich: Defunding the police means replacing social control with social investment

Some societies center on social control, others on social investment. Social-control societies put substantial resources into police, prisons, surveillance, immigration enforcement and the military. Their purpose is to utilize fear, punishment and violence to maintain what they consider order. Social-investment societies put more resources into health care, education, affordable housing, jobless benefits and children. Their purpose is to free people from the risks and anxieties of daily life and give everyone a fair shot at making it. (Balt Sun)

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EDITORIAL: Don’t listen to Trump. Mask-wearing is essential.

AMC Entertainment, the movie theater chain, flip-flopped on the pandemic last week, first saying its customers wouldn’t be required to wear masks, then saying they would. It’s hard to blame the company given the Trump administration’s, and the president’s own, scattered, inconsistent and flat-out wrong messaging. Still, if the United States is going to beat the coronavirus and revive its economy, the private sector — including airlines, restaurants, retail establishments and entertainment companies — needs to step up. (Wash Post)

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Heuvel: America’s digital divide is an emergency

The virus has made us go virtual. We bank online, shop for groceries online, spend time with loved ones online, attend schools online and even access a ballot online. Today, the Internet is an essential service, a public good. Like electricity or water, no one should be excluded from using it. But far too many Americans are cut off from access to affordable high-speed Internet even as more of our core systems go digital. (Wash Post)

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EDITORIAL: The red state president indifferent to red state problems

Anyone with the fortitude to endure President Donald Trump’s wearisome campaign rally Saturday in Tulsa might have caught a passing reference to Baltimore. Was it regarding the city’s improving coronavirus numbers? Its more peaceful approach to Black Lives Matter protests? Was it about the 64th anniversary of the integration of the city’s public pools on June 23? You know better than that. President Trump regards Baltimore “as flies to wanton boys,” as the Bard might observe, meaning with both disdain and callous indifference. (Balt Sun)

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Roberts: The darker side to TikTok’s Trump rally trolling

Did radical protesters derail President Trump’s reelection rally in Tulsa? Maybe, if the definition of “radical” is “devoted to the mellifluous crooning and mind-defying choreography of the world’s most successful Korean pop music outfits.” The TikTok teen corps claimed responsibility for last weekend’s dud of a comeback campaign event, declaring that they registered for potentially hundreds of thousands of tickets as a prank. (Wash Post)

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