Low-income Marylanders benefit from energy efficiency

This past weekend we found out winter is here – and with it comes cold drafts of air in homes and apartments across Maryland. Leaky windows, aging HVAC systems, and poorly insulated buildings will mean too many low-income families can’t keep the warm air in and the cold air out. The good news is Maryland’s Department of Housing & Community Development has a new plan to add energy efficient upgrades in 14,000 homes and apartments for low-income families through 2020. The Public Service Commission can make the program even better.

Md. pays steep price for site with access to the Patuxent River

A one-time mobile home park in such poor condition that many of its dwellings violated livability codes is slated to be transformed into one of Maryland’s newest waterfront parks as well as offices for the Department of Natural Resources. But some are questioning whether the state paid too much for a tract with marginal ecological value that had little chance of ever being developed.

How a wrongly imprisoned Md. man got his life back

Wrongly incarcerated from ages 20 to 59 for a murder he did not commit,Walter Lomax taught himself to read and write, and eventually became editor of the prison’s monthly magazine — “The Conqueror.” “I wasn’t politically connected,” Lomax said. “My family didn’t have any funds, and so I realized the only way I was going to get out of prison was: I was going to get myself out of prison.”

Big pay hikes for teachers proposed, along with a career ladder

Big increases in teacher salaries along with the creation of statewide career ladder that would put teachers in line with other “high-status professions” are among the key recommendations a statewide commission on school funding will make to the legislature this year. The Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, charged with looking at a wide range of education issues, will also recommend teams of teachers be given greater autonomy and spend less time in the classroom and more time collaborating on teaching strategies.

Tangier Island needs help no matter how you define its woes

Most people don’t care too much about why the tides and the erosion are getting worse, or about the politics of climate change. “They want to know what is going to happen to them and what they can do about it,” says a Salisbury University geographer. For many, the real threat won’t come in their lifetimes, and they aren’t likely to pay tens of thousands of dollars to jack up their houses. The key is to honestly acknowledge the threat and install public policies that over time guide “the way that development takes place, rearrange the way people build their homes, the way roads are maintained.”