Make Police Accountable: Repeal LEOBR

By Peta Richkus. In early August, attorney Deborah Katz Levi, Director of Special Litigation, Baltimore City Felony Trial Division, Maryland Office of the Public Defender (OPD), joined approximately 100 Marylanders who spoke before the Police Reform and Accountability in Maryland Workgroup chaired by Delegate Vanessa E. Atterbeary, House Judiciary Committee Vice Chair. In 2016, the (old Baltimore) City Paper gave its “best lawyer” award to … Continue reading Make Police Accountable: Repeal LEOBR

Baltimore County Can’t Wait for State on Police Reform

By Elizabeth Brown. This morning, August 28, 2020, Councilman Julian E. Jones, Jr. held a press conference to announce the introduction of seven distinct bills covering important aspects of police reform. After the Baltimore County Council unceremoniously tabled Jones’s earlier police reform bill, Bill 73-20, at the August 3, 2020 session, I was glad to hear that Councilman Julian E. Jones, Jr. would try again … Continue reading Baltimore County Can’t Wait for State on Police Reform

Replace Red Maple Place: Better Solutions Exist to Meet Mandates AND Preserve East Towson

Forward Baltimore is grateful to Nancy R. Goldring for allowing us to publish her letter to County Executive John Olszewski. The letter deserves to be read by everyone in Baltimore County, especially those in the Towson area. I am Nancy R. Goldring, newly elected President of the Northeast Towson Improvement Association, Inc. (N.E.T.I.A., Inc.) raised in Historic East Towson and most notably Adelaide C. V. … Continue reading Replace Red Maple Place: Better Solutions Exist to Meet Mandates AND Preserve East Towson

Real Police Reform Needed Now

By Peta Richkus. You might think, with a single law that applies to all 142 law enforcement agencies in Maryland (LEOBR: the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights), there would be uniformity in policing. You would be wrong. The only thing that is uniform is the lack of oversight and accountability. Because of LEOBR, those police officers who do violate their oath to “protect and … Continue reading Real Police Reform Needed Now

Hogan Wrong About Conducting November Election

By Peta Richkus. After the recommendation of the bi-partisan Board of Elections, as well as that of the Maryland Association of Election Officials, I really expected Gov. Hogan to go with the suggested hybrid election, which seemed to address all concerns: public health, capacity, security, efficiency. But no. Hogan is choosing instead to increase the dollar cost and the confusion, and to encourage more people … Continue reading Hogan Wrong About Conducting November Election

Local Newspapers Struggle for Survival

By David Plymyer. The award of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize to the staff of the Baltimore Sun for local reporting on the “Healthy Holly” book scandal was cause for celebration in the Sun newsroom. For the rest of us it has been an occasion to reflect upon the irreplaceable role of local newspapers, and how close we may be to a time when newspapers like … Continue reading Local Newspapers Struggle for Survival

Hogan’s Good Grades Don’t Include Education

By Peta Richkus. Governor Hogan has provided some notable leadership during this coronavirus crisis. But the failures of his agencies, including the MD State Department of Education (MSDE), are also Larry Hogan’s responsibility. State Superintendent of Schools Karen B. Salmon, who had announced in December 2019 her plans to step down in June, seems to be in over her head. Never mind that tens of thousands … Continue reading Hogan’s Good Grades Don’t Include Education

A Test of Our Character

By David Plymyer. Nothing will reveal the character of Marylanders more than the COVID-19 pandemic now facing us. It is like using a bathroom mirror in the brightest and harshest of lights, reflecting every little flaw and imperfection in the social fabric that binds us together. The pandemic also places strain on that social fabric, threatening to tear it apart as selfishness and indifference compete … Continue reading A Test of Our Character

State Retirees’ Rx Drug Benefit Redux

By Peta Richkus. Older retirees from State service remain in a hellacious limbo about their futures. Thanks only to a federal court injunction, and the handful of employees and their attorney who filed for it (Thank you, Ken Fitch, Deborah Heim, Mary Frye, and Deborah Holloway Hill, Esq.), Medicare-eligible State retirees continue to receive their prescription drug benefit. But for how long? Unfortunately, many legislators, … Continue reading State Retirees’ Rx Drug Benefit Redux