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Editorial

The ABCs of 2022 in Maryland and beyond: The news year remembered | COMMENTARY

Governor Elect Wes Moore and his son, James, followed by his wife Dawn and daughter Mia, make their way up the walk. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan and First Lady Yumi Hogan gave Governor Elect Wes Moore, and his family, a tour of Government House, the governors mansion the Moore’s will move into next month.

A is for Adnan Syed, who served more than 20 years in prison for the killing of Hae Min Lee in 1999, the focus of the groundbreaking podcast “Serial.” He was released in September, his conviction vacated and Baltimore’s top prosecutor ultimately deciding not to pursue further charges. Yet questions still linger, including over the treatment of the victim’s family, who would like a redo of the hearing that led to Syed’s release.

B is for Baltimore City Fire Department and the loss of three firefighters in a Jan. 24 blaze in a vacant house on South Stricker Street. The community mourned the loss of Paul Butrim, Kelsey Sadler and Kenny Lacayo, and the tragedy already has spurred reforms in how empty dwellings — potential tinderboxes — are tracked, as well as raised questions about whether stations are adequately equipped. Fire Chief Niles R. Ford resigned from office with the release of a 182-page report critical of the city’s performance.

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C is for COVID. Sorry, but it’s still out there, as shown by a recent rise in hospitalizations in Maryland and elsewhere from the coronavirus, as well as the “tripledemic” contributors of flu and RSV. But there’s good news, too: A recent Yale School of Public Health study argues that more than 3.2 million American lives have been saved by COVID vaccines since the pandemic began.

D is for Baltimore’s Department of Public Works or possibly the Disgraced Performances to Watch. You name the job, and DPW likely failed at it in 2022 from pollution at the Back River Wastewater Treatment Plant to scandals like the department employee who used a city truck to attempt to steal an automated teller machine in Owings Mills. Let’s hope for a better 2023 (as we hoped for a better 2022, 2021, 2020 and so on).

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E is for error. On Feb. 18, The Baltimore Sun Editorial Board apologized for this newspaper’s historic support for policies that disadvantaged African Americans. As we noted, this newspaper “sharpened, preserved and furthered the structural racism that still subjugates Black Marylanders.” We remain committed to atoning for this mistake and working toward building a more diverse, more equitable, more culturally competent newspaper and community.

A woman holds a sign to protest the Supreme Court's decision in the Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health case on June 24, 2022, in Atlanta, Georgia.

F is for freedom, the reproductive kind. The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to overturn reproductive health protections provided by Roe v. Wade left a handful of states, including Maryland, as shelters for women as they have abortion rights explicitly provided by law.

G is for gun violence. It was another bad year for Baltimore with more than 300 fatal shootings for the eighth year in a row.

H is for Hogan, Larry. The outgoing Maryland governor, the first two-term Republican since former Baltimore Mayor Theodore McKeldin held the post between 1951 and 1959, leaves a mixed legacy. Among his major failures: an inability to help any fellow GOP candidate successfully capture any statewide office.

I is for Ivan Bates, Baltimore’s incoming state’s attorney who unseated Marilyn Mosby after two terms in office. Bates has pledged to prosecute gun cases more aggressively than his predecessor.

J is for the James Webb Space Telescope which continues to send breathtaking images of outer space to its handlers at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. Maryland may not be the center of the universe, but we can see it from here.

<p><strong>> Estimated units sold:</strong> 150,000,000<br/>
<strong>> Firearm class:</strong> Assault rifle<br/>
<strong>> Country of origin:</strong> Soviet Union</p><p><strong><a style="color: #008000" href="https://247wallst.com/special-report/2022/07/02/this-is-the-state-sellings-the-fewest-guns/?utm_source=tribune&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=tribune&utm_content=this-is-the-state-sellings-the-fewest-guns&wsrlui=811493243">ALSO READ: This Is the State Selling the Fewest Guns</a></strong></p><p> </p>

> Estimated units sold: 150,000,000
> Firearm class: Assault rifle
> Country of origin: Soviet Union

ALSO READ: This Is the State Selling the Fewest Guns

 

(serikbaib / iStock via Getty Images&nbsp)

K is for the Kalashnikov semi-automatic rifle and efforts by morally challenged gun advocates to repeal Maryland’s ban on such weapons with military features (aka “assault weapons”) in light of recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings. That the effort coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Newtown massacre, during which 20 children and six adults were killed, makes it all the more shameful.

L is for the legal bills facing Marilyn Mosby, Baltimore’s outgoing state’s attorney who faces a federal perjury and mortgage fraud trial for allegedly misrepresenting her financial circumstances when she withdrew money from her retirement account and filled out loan applications to invest in two Florida properties.

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M is for Moore, as in Wes Moore, the 44-year-old Democrat who cruised to victory in the Nov. 8 election to become Maryland’s governor-elect. Running on a pledge to “leave no one behind,” Moore and his running mate, former Del. Aruna Miller, 58, made U.S. history becoming the first third Black man and first South Asian American to be elected Maryland governor and lieutenant governor, respectively.

N is for new investments. Baltimore saw no shortage of new development (and redevelopment) projects lift off including the renovation of the city-owned Baltimore Arena, the new T. Rowe Price headquarters at Harbor Point, the redevelopment of Penn Station, and a host of projects aimed at boosting economically challenged neighborhoods from Mondawmin to Perkins Homes.

O is for the Orioles, as in: How did a team go from a 52-110 record in 2021 to finish with 83 wins against 79 losses in 2022? It helped to have Brandon Hyde, who finished second place in the voting for American League Manager of the Year, and Adley Rutschman, the rookie catcher voted Most Valuable Oriole by the Baltimore media.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stands as the flag passes during her portrait unveiling ceremony in Statuary Hall at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

P is for Pelosi. Baltimore does not forget that Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi, the first woman to hold the office of speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and arguably the most powerful female politician in U.S. history, is a favorite daughter. She will step down from her post, along with another Maryland, U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, her second-in-command, when new members are sworn in on Jan. 3.

Q is for queer. Say it proudly despite continuing efforts to discriminate against the LGBTQIA+ community, including the banning of the gay pride flag from Carroll County schools.

R is for recession. Maryland’s economy faced much uncertainty this year but, while inflation was high, unemployment remained relatively low. Rising interest rates suggest next year will prove much, much more challenging with a genuine recession likely to finally arrive.

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S is for sexual abuse and the bombshell 456-page report by Maryland’s attorney general that identified 158 priests in the Baltimore Archdiocese accused of sexually and physically abusing more than 600 victims over 80 years across Maryland. Whether to publicly release the report has turned into a legal tussle that remains ongoing.

T is for taxes, specifically efforts to amend Baltimore’s charter to force a reduction in property taxes. The petition to referendum failed to collect enough votes — the proposed 6-year, 40%-plus reduction went too far — but the underlying problem of too-high property taxes in the city deserves further attention.

Pages of the executive summary from the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, are photographed Monday, Dec. 19, 2022, in Washington. The committee is urging the Justice Department to bring criminal charges against former President Donald Trump, delivering what it calls a "roadmap to justice" in response to the violent 2021 Capitol insurrection.(AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

U is for United States v. Donald Trump. With the House select committee investigating the events of Jan. 6, 2021, voting on Monday to refer Trump for criminal charges, the likelihood that the 45th President of the United States will finally face justice for inciting the attack on the U.S. Capitol for the purposes of overturning the 2020 election results reached a new and historic, if profoundly sad, height.

V is for vice as in online sports wagering. Approved by voters two years ago, it was finally launched while Marylanders also gave the nod to adult recreational use of marijuana in 2023.

W is for “We Own This City,” the crime drama based on the book regarding Baltimore’s disgraced Gun Trace Task Force written by former Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton premiered on April 25 on HBO.

X is for X-factor. Who knew that the guards at the Baltimore Museum of Art had such a wonderful appreciation of their surroundings? That much was made obvious by the exhibit, “Guarding the Art,” curated by 17 of the BMA’s 45-person security detail, featuring everything from pre-Columbian sculpture to a 2021 protest painting.

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Y is for young people cleaning windshields for tips at traffic intersections in Baltimore. City officials are attempting to limit squeegee work, provide alternative employment and make corners safer in light of the July 7 fatal shooting of Timothy Reynolds, for which a 15-year-old is now charged with first-degree murder.

Z is for Gen Z who defied the pundits and turned out in droves this election cycle to cast votes and make their voices heard, giving the country the second highest showing for a midterm from this demographic in three decades.

Baltimore Sun editorial writers offer opinions and analysis on news and issues relevant to readers. They operate separately from the newsroom.


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