Hate Symbols have no place in our schools

By Vita Shats. It is 2021 and hate symbols are still not banned from schools. Something needs to be done about it. That something is the passage of HB 418. I tried to do something about it before. I met with my school’s principal a few years ago to talk about implementing a policy. He said it was above a school-level decision. I found it … Continue reading Hate Symbols have no place in our schools

Let Baltimore County voters decide on term limits for members of the County Council

By David Plymyer Baltimore County Councilman Tom Quirk wants to amend the Baltimore County Charter to impose a three-term limit for members of the County Council. The council should place the proposed amendment on the ballot for approval by the voters in 2022. Contrary to what his colleague Julian Jones may believe, the voters of the county are intelligent enough to decide for themselves whether or not … Continue reading Let Baltimore County voters decide on term limits for members of the County Council

The Time to Impeach is Now

By Jason Garber. At what point does the frog notice the boiling water? Over the past several days, reporting has established the terrorist attack of the Capitol was far worse than early reporting understood, and frankly, worse than most could comprehend that such an attack was occurring at THE Capitol, OUR Capitol. The magnitude of the situation is only now being meaningfully appreciated. The dizzying … Continue reading The Time to Impeach is Now

Why Not Vote What You Mean?

By Peta Richkus. (In response to the Nov 20, 2020 Baltimore Sun article “Baltimore County Council rejects bill that affordable housing developer said would kill Towson project.”) The continuation of the Red Maple Place Development Hearing is next Wednesday, 12/16/2020, before a Baltimore County Administrative Law Judge. The virtual meeting is open to the public: anyone interested in testifying or presenting evidence at the hearing … Continue reading Why Not Vote What You Mean?

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

Public Defender Urges Police Reform

By Peta Richkus. In June 2020, Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones, with Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, Luke Clippinger, convened the Work Group to Address Police Reform and Accountability in Maryland. “Policing in America is broken. While we have taken a number of positive steps in Maryland, we can’t be satisfied until every citizen has confidence in their police department…. We need structural reform … Continue reading Public Defender Urges Police Reform

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

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