Collins: Double or nothing, Pimlico is a bad bet

Folks may be nostalgic for the tradition of horseracing at Pimlico, but the facility is past its service life and is no longer economically viable. Nostalgia is not enough to justify putting taxpayer money into the old nag. Saying so long to Pimlico may seem like bidding farewell to Memorial Stadium. But even critics of Memorial Stadium’s demise will admit that Orioles Park at Camden Yards is a gem, and the Ravens’ roost at M&T Bank Stadium is first class.

Opinion: Small business implores Gov. Hogan to keep veto promise on sick leave

While the administration continues to focus on pro-business policies, the legislature proved this year with the passage of House Bill 1 that they are determined to run interference, writes Mike O’Halloran of the National Federation of Independent Business. While the governor and his team focus on deregulation, legislators are attempting to mandate the amount of time off an employee can take from their job.

Bay underwater grasses up 8%; highest acreage in decades is sign of health

Underwater grasses, one of the most closely watched indicators of Chesapeake Bay health, surged to the highest levels seen in decades, according to survey results for 2016. This is the second straight year that grasses have set a record. Nearly 100,000 acres of the Bay’s and its tidal tributaries were covered by the underwater meadows, which provide habitat for juvenile fish and blue crabs, as well as food for waterfowl.

Collins: Medical marijuana goes up in smoke

Just when you thought the cloud surrounding Maryland’s “medical” marijuana scheme couldn’t get any worse … it did. State auditors recently found that the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission may have violated state procurement law and is overpaying for consulting services … and has not paid its bills. This type of bungling really should not shock anybody. Maryland’s “medical” marijuana program has been rife with conflicts since its inception.

Sea Grant sustains many marine jobs, but faces uncertain future

Once a month, Matt Parker and Suzanne Bricker drive along Penny Lane through a Southern Maryland forest until it dead-ends at the Chesapeake Bay. Then, they pull on their waders and hop into a skiff to maneuver out to aquaculture cages, where they grab samples of water and the oysters taking it in. Their results may eventually let oyster growers earn money not only for the bivalves they grow, but also for the water the shellfish clean under the state’s nascent nutrient trading program. But partnerships like Parker’s and Bricker’s won’t be happening in the Chesapeake, or anywhere else, if the Trump administration’s proposed budget is approved later this year. The work is funded by Maryland Sea Grant — one of 33 Sea Grant programs around the nation that help translate science into sustainable coastal economies.

Ellicott City stairway catches the eye and stormwater

An earthquake, and then a flood, forced officials to repair a parking lot retaining wall in hilly Ellicott City. Howard County’s innovative repair job did more than restore the wall — it netted the community an architecturally designed staircase, showy native gardens, a waterfall, less stormwater pollution of the Patapsco River and a BUBBA.

Collins: Legislators failed rape victims

It probably will shock many that uber-progressive Maryland is one of a handful of states in which rapists have parental rights over children born as a result of their crime. It probably will shock them even more to know that, for the ninth time, a bill to deny parental rights to rapists died in the legislature on its final day.

Opinion: How to stop abuse of prescription opioids

As a physician on the front lines of the battle against heroin and prescription opioid abuse, I have seen the triumphs and the tragedies that epitomize Maryland’s fight against addiction, writes Dr. Mary Jo Cannon. That experience has taught me that the best way Maryland policymakers can combat addiction is to treat it as a disease of the brain.