Wicomico River tributary

Horton: It’s hard to see the forest when counting trees for harvest

If you walked alone and untutored through the tall pines, century-old oaks, big beeches and sweet gums of the forest, near where the Eastern Shore’s Wicomico River carves a bend known as Pirates Wharf, I’m pretty sure the need to begin cutting it down as the best way to protect its health wouldn’t leap to mind, writes Tom Horton.

Getty robing

Getty in red earns bipartisan praise

Gov. Larry Hogan swore in his chief legislative officer, Joe Getty, to the Court of Appeals at the State House Monday, with a big heaping of bipartisan praise. Getty brings an unusual range of experience to Maryland's highest court, having served as a Republican delegate and senator from Carroll County and chief legislative officer to both Hogan and Gov. Bob Ehrlich, in addition to his private law practice. He offers "an invaluable and unique perspective," said Hogan.

Judge Barry Williams Horizontal

Rascovar: Judge Williams applied the law, not emotion

If there is a bright spot in the widespread damage done to Baltimore and Maryland by the Freddie Gray conflagration and its aftermath, it is the sterling performance of Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Barry G. Williams. While Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby placed politics and placating the city’s riotous crowd above her duties to pursue prosecutions based on rigorously impartial and complete investigations, Williams did the opposite.

Prince George's County fire seal

Opinion: County contracts with union paid leave cost taxpayers

Prince George’s County Council is considering approval of a union contract covering firefighters and paramedics. But legal developments around the country should give council members pause about rubber=stamping the contract as is. In Arizona, Pennsylvania and Idaho, lawsuits against a government union contract provision—that appears in numerous Maryland public-sector union contracts including nearly all of Prince George’s County’s—are underway. Under legal scrutiny is a provision that permits public employees to perform union business that does not serve a public purpose on the taxpayer dime. (Photo by Lee Cannon, Flickr Creative Commons License.)

Hayley Evans, Gov. Larry Hogan and Gerry Evans. From Evans Facebook page

$19M spent to lobby legislature; Evans stays on top for session; Perry and firm led 12-month figure

Gerry Evans was again the top grossing lobbyist during this year's General Assembly session, billing close to $2 million. He got a significant boost from his top client, the second highest spending lobbyist employer, the Law Offices of Peter Angelos, which spent $380,000 to lobby the legislature. "It was a great year," Evans said, but "I question the importance of the figure .... It's still better than being last."

Insert your ballot

Montgomery County had primary elections problems, too

A decision by Montgomery County to re-scan misplaced absentee ballots and recertify the April 26 primary election results without any public oversight, following advice from state election officials, is now raising concerns about how the process was handled. Voting advocates are concerned that Montgomery changed and then officially recertified election results for the April 26 primary election -- without notifying all members of the local board responsible for certifying elections, or going through a public process.

Orlando

Opinion: Giving up our civil liberties and having a civil discourse

When we saw what happened in Orlando, some wept, some were outraged, some offered leadership. I expected to see our president pull this nation together against a common enemy, but he chose a different path. Let’s try to agree on some things before we throw away our civil liberties in the absence of leadership.

Donald D=Trump by Gage Skidmore with Flickr Creative Commons License

Rascovar: Hogan burdened with Trump baggage

Poor Gov. Larry Hogan, Jr. He’s tried like the dickens to separate himself from controversial Republican presidential contender Donald Trump. None of these quasi-, semi- or circuitous denials seemed to work. Hogan’s Trump baggage keeps weighing him down.