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NEWS
By Jules Witcover | December 2, 2013
One of the best features of our quadrennial presidential campaigns is the series of debates between the major party nominees, plus another between their running mates. Voters tune in by the millions and get a better look at them than they might at any number of staged political events, whether run by the parties or by news-media sponsors. On the theory that if it's not broken, don't fix it, for the last six cycles the debates have been organized and conducted by a bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates.
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NEWS
November 24, 2013
Bill Marker's letter to the editor concerning a recent commentary by former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is right on ("Vouchers: an escape for few - at the expense of many," Nov. 21). When I read Mr. Ehrlich's column ("An open letter to the NAACP," Nov. 17), I, too, was struck by his use of the word "prowess" early on in his column. But I was not surprised. I have considered Mr. Ehrlich an arrogant "jock" ever since his debate with Kathleen Kennedy Townsend in their Maryland gubernatorial race.
NEWS
By Erica L. Green | November 21, 2013
The first public hearing before the Baltimore City school board about the recommendations to close schools run by external operators spurred heated exchanges between operators and school officials, and left board members questioning the consistency of the district's decisions about which schools should be given second chances. Earlier this month, Interim CEO Tisha Edwards introduced a sweeping plan that called for seven traditional and externally operated schools to close. The contracted schools recommended for closure are: Baltimore Talent Development High School, Baltimore Community High School, Bluford Drew Jemison East and Bluford Drew Jemison West STEM academies, Baltimore Civitas Middle/High School, Baltimore Antioch Diploma Plus High School, and Baltimore Liberation Diploma Plus High School.
FEATURES
By Michael Gold, The Baltimore Sun | November 4, 2013
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would ban hiring and employment discrimination against LGBT individuals, will proceed in the Senate after 61 senators voted for a cloture motion that will lead to a final vote on the bill. Maryland Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin were among the legislators to vote "yes" on cloture, which limits the amount of time ENDA can be debated before a final vote on the measure is eventually held.  Seven Republicans voted in support of the bill: ENDA co-sponsors Sens.
NEWS
November 4, 2013
With the 2014 general election almost exactly one year away, at least five of Maryland's gubernatorial candidates are scheduled to debate environmental issues for the first time tomorrow in Annapolis. No doubt questions will range from smart growth to climate change to the future of the Chesapeake Bay, but surely no topic is likely to prove more contentious than what Maryland should do about polluted run-off from city and suburban streets. Voters would be wise to pay attention to what the candidates have to say on the subject as it may prove the best way to sort those who claim to care about clean water from those who are willing to do something about it. The political grandstanding over the state's "rain tax" has been one of the more disheartening developments to hit the local environmental movement in recent years.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich and Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | November 2, 2013
The transformation of a vacant, 12-story eyesore into a gleaming office building has brought workers, shoppers and diners to the northern edge of downtown Towson - thanks in part to a public financing package that waived repayment of millions of dollars in loans to a developer. The county makes so-called conditional loans that do not require repayment if certain conditions, such as job creation, are met. The $3.5 million in conditional loans to Caves Valley Partners for the Towson project would rank as the largest ever forgiven; others have provided $300,000 to demolish vacant Pikesville buildings and $40,000 to renovate a bank branch in Randallstown.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | October 31, 2013
One of the ways you can judge a talk show's energy and momentum -- or lack of such -- is by the guests. When a show has strong producers and is going well, they have guests who bring energy, edge and insights to the production. The guests help make the production pop. One of the signs of a show going bad is low-rent guests -- folks not much in demand who are easy to book and bring nothing with them to the show. "Crossfire" had two of the latter Thursday with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich.
NEWS
By Joe Burris and Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun | October 28, 2013
For a school system in an era of bare-bones budgets, building cellphone towers on school properties can mean easy money. But for some parents, the towers pose health and safety risks for their children. Anne Arundel County is the latest to become locked in this debate. The county's school system hopes to erect at least 40 towers, which can hold antennas from up to five cellphone carriers, for payments totaling $5 million through 2021. The first tower is already under construction at Broadneck High School on the Broadneck Peninsula.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | October 25, 2013
Towson University's debate team won its argument with school officials and will be going to a Harvard University competition this weekend. The nationally ranked four-member team and its coach had prepared their speeches and packed their bags so that if a call came from a university official giving them permission to compete, they would be ready to go. Just 10 minutes after the call did come Friday afternoon, they said, they were driving north on...
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | October 24, 2013
There is a debate raging on the campus of Towson University over a nationally ranked team. Members of the debate team say they have been blocked from participating in an important Harvard University tournament this weekend because of conflicts with their former coach . Ameena Ruffin, 21, a City College graduate and debate team member, said she does not understand the university's decision. Teams that do well at the Harvard competition, she said, have a better chance of garnering an invitation to the national championships.
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