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Roughly Speaking

Roughly Speaking Dan Rodricks: Commentary and conversation on life in Baltimore, Maryland and the USA
Note to Andy Harris: There's no credible debate about climate change anymore

Nobody asked me, but somebody at Sunday afternoon’s debate in Easton between Rep. Andy Harris and his Democratic challenger, Jesse Colvin, should ask the incumbent Republican about the recent United Nations forecast on the effects of climate change.

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Podcast: Squeegees, panhandlers: Baltimore from both sides of the windshield

What to do, if anything, about the boys and young men who offer to wash windshields at busy intersections? On the show today: Wrapping up a week of squeegee news with Sun reporter Yvonne Wenger and reflections on the poor in our midst with American culture commentator Sheri Parks.

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On Squeegee Street, smiles both ways can break through barriers

People who refer to Baltimore as “a third-world city” — I have heard from a few of them in the past few days, with regard to squeegee kids — apparently did not get the memo about the elimination of “third-world” as a description of developing countries or cities. People who use the term also strike me as oblivious to its connotation.

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Podcast: The Maryland Lynching Memorial Project seeks remembrance and reconciliation

In this episode: Will Schwarz, founder of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project, talks about his ongoing project to collect soil from the grounds where Maryland lynchings took place and to get Maryland counties to memorialize the atrocities and the victims.

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Readers respond: Are Baltimore squeegee kids menace to the city or entrepreneurs to be encouraged?

Judging from reader reaction to my most recent column, few topics of local interest generate opinions at wild extremes like the “squeegee kids” of Baltimore. To some people, the squeegee kids are a menace to be feared, and their presence on the streets symbolic of a city in decline. To others, they are earnest entrepreneurs who should be rewarded, not scorned, for their efforts to earn a buck.

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Wanted on the streets of Baltimore: A squeegee guru

A few months ago, someone passed along an emailed letter from a retired police officer who described his encounter, at Conway and Charles streets in downtown Baltimore, with “10 to 12 young blacks” who had spray bottles and squeegees in their hands. The man had driven into the city with his wife for a Sunday dinner at a restaurant. He was not interested in having his windshield washed.

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