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The Talk: More concern over hydraulic fracturing

The Oscar-nominated documentary "Gasland" painted a disturbing portrait of the practice of natural gas extraction from shale deposits through the process of hydraulic fracturing, Tom Schaller writes. The flammable tap water is only the beginning. He says the state's congressional representatives are duly concerned about the process of fracking in Western Maryland.

On the editorial page, we say City Councilman Carl Stokes' plan to slash Baltimore's property taxes leaves a lot of unanswered questions, but the idea is too important to summarily dismiss. If his critics think he's wrong, they should prove it and come up with a better way to achieve the same goal.

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We also express concern about State's Attorney Gregg Bernstein's decision to abolish his office's "do not call" list of police officers whose credibility is questionable and the idea he is considering to eliminate the unit of prosecutors designated to look into alleged police misconduct. Forging a more productive relationship with the police department is well and good -- and necessary -- but he needs to more clearly explain how these moves will lead to a proper balance between his roles as a partner and a watchdog.

You can vote on the issue in our poll of the day.

The grandparents of Matthew Snyder, the Marine lance corporal whose funeral was picketed by Westboro Baptist Church, write to remind the public that the focus should be on Mr. Snyder, not the offensive conduct of a group of religious zealots.

Andrew Farkas, the director of the National Transportation Center at Morgan State University, says the dire state of funding for roads and other transportation projects is due to the failure of lawmakers to lead and make hard decisions.

Sen. Jim Brochin takes issue with our editorial on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants.

And Los Angeles Times columnist Gregory Rodriguez argues that Rep. Peter King's hearings into the radicalization of Muslims amounts to nothing more than demanding a loyalty oath from a new minority group.

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