May 8, 2014
A divided Supreme Court upheld the practice of public prayer before local government meetings ( "The local religion," May 6). The Carroll County Commissioners can resume their practice. This Orthodox Jewish former member of the House of Delegates is saddened. Justice Anthony Kennedy said the New York town of Greece's practice is compatible with the Constitution, not violating the First Amendment. He wrote: "...prayer that is solemn and respectful in tone, that invites lawmakers to reflect upon shared ideals before they embark on the fractious business of governing serves (a)
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | April 29, 2014
Vivian L. Crofoot, an Elkridge homemaker who never lost her affection for West Virginia, where she was raised, died Sunday of heart failure at Seasons Hospice at Northwest Hospital. She was 91. The daughter of Charles Brown, a coal miner, and Dora Brown, a homemaker, the former Vivian Lucille Brown was born one of 11 children in Beaver, Ohio. She later moved with her family to Northfolk, W.Va., when her father took a job there as a miner. She was a 1940 graduate of Northfolk High School.
By Garrett Berntsen | April 28, 2014
We are often left with nothing but unanswerable questions after we lose someone to suicide. "Why?" becomes "did we miss the signs?" and usually culminates with "what could we have done?" In March of 2011, I asked these questions after a soldier in my company, Specialist Brandon Smith, died by suicide in his home just outside of Fort Bragg, N.C. Brandon was 24, recently married, had just bought a home and had been back from a tour in Afghanistan for about six months. Brandon was much loved by the men and women who served alongside him. At his funeral, our commanding officer said, "it's soldiers like Brandon Smith that keep the Army moving every day. " When Brandon died, my piece of the Army stopped moving.
By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun | April 24, 2014
Dr. Torrey C. Brown, the former secretary of Maryland's Department of Natural Resources who banned fishing for rockfish for a time in the 1980s, died of heart disease Sunday at Anne Arundel Medical Center. The Severna Park resident was 77. Born in Chicago, he was a graduate of the University of Chicago High School. He earned a degree at Wheaton College and then came to Baltimore, where he earned a degree at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Brown remained at Hopkins for further medical training and joined the faculty as an associate professor of medicine in 1974.
By Julie Scharper, The Baltimore Sun | April 18, 2014
It all started in the kitchen. That's where Jamyla Bennu first mixed up batches of hair and skin products to give to friends and relatives more than 13 years ago. Since then, Bennu has refined her creations of organic shea butter and aloe vera juice, coconut oil and honey. She and her husband, writer and filmmaker Pierre Bennu, have slowly built their company, Oyin Handmade, from the ground up, building connections on social media and wooing a loyal customer base through online sales.
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | April 4, 2014
The robotic fish kept alone in a tank at the University of Maryland, College Park doesn't dazzle with its agility or speed, but it does promise bigger things to come. At the flick of a switch, water flows through the tank. The faceless gray plastic creature less than a foot long knows this, and you know that it knows this because it slides languidly from side to side to shelter behind a white plastic pipe, minimizing its energy use. The robot cannot see the pipe, but it can feel it. It may not look like much, but this is progress for associate professor Derek A. Paley, his College Park research team and partners at Bowling Green State and Michigan State universities, who have been working on the hardware, mathematical calculations and computer program for a couple of years.
By John K. Delaney | April 2, 2014
In the context of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and a still stagnant economy, President Barack Obama faces two important questions on energy transmission: a decision on the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and the question of increasing American natural gas exports. These are choices that will resonate from Crimea to Cove Point. In my judgment, the president should reject Keystone and step up natural gas exports. Here's why. The right analytical framework for these decisions has several component questions: what's consistent with our environmental and energy policy objectives, what's in our economic self-interest, and what serves our geopolitical goals.
By Mike King and The Baltimore Sun | March 30, 2014
Midway through winter, a chilly fog surrounded Theaux Le Gardeur's shop. Hardly anyone would be out on the Gunpowder River that day, he said. But he didn't need the river or sunlight. He stood behind his fly-fishing store clutching three rods: graphite, glass and bamboo. One by one, he tossed them back with his forearm and flicked them forward, eliciting the characteristic swish of fly line cutting through air. Each rod carried the line, bounced back quickly and delivered the fly far ahead of Le Gardeur, depositing the insect imitations onto the slick grass next to Backwater Angler.
By Kyle Scott | March 27, 2014
What makes the tea party movement so effective at mobilizing voters and winning elections is the same thing that may limit its effectiveness in the future: its decentralized nature. The tea party movement is politics guerrilla-style. The first thing a non-tea partier must know is that there is no single tea party; there are multiple tea parties that maintain a loose connection with one another through informal contacts or more formalized caucuses. Most tea party groups are hyper-local and get by with the efforts of volunteers and a small group of donors.
By Jules Witcover | March 24, 2014
Former Democratic National Chairman Robert S. Strauss, who passed away Wednesday at a robustly lived 95, was a happy political warrior whose talent and energies took him far afield from his chosen playground, even to Moscow where he served as the first American ambassador after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He was a rare combination of straight-talker and schmoozer who endeared himself to friend and foe alike, to the point that when he left Russia in 1993, he was given a huge vodka-flowing reception at the Russian Embassy in Washington.
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