Free Money: The extension of Key Highway from its endpoint at the Domino Sugar plant to Nicholson Street and Tide Point is much needed. And kudos to the Board of Estimates for coming up with a deal to finance it. But I don't see anything in there about Struever Bros. Eccles and Rouse, surely the biggest winners here, helping to pay for it. Well, a little bit, to help Tidewater Yacht Service move to Port Covington. Just saying.

Mr. Mayor, Tear Down This Elevated Highway: I like it when Dan Rodricks agrees with me: "The Jones Falls Expressway is an icon of that era, an elevated expressway that delivered commuters to and from the city with as little contact as possible with the city. The visionaries think a boulevard could both move traffic and inspire a whole new stretch of residential and retail development." Yes, gentrification, yes, expensive, yes, bourgeois, etc., but it'd be so right, so smart, so, well, pretty even. Also, AP story.

Missed It: The Associated Press reported yesterday that up to 11 percent of Montgomery County voting machines had some problems in November's elections.

Downward Christian Soldiers: Feeling their oats from GWB's victory, out-of-step Md. conservatives just aren't giving up this year. And giving them all this attention makes me feel a little queasy, but it is kinda entertaining watching them get knocked down one by one. Now, if I was in Oklahoma or Montana or something, this'd be less fun, admittedly, because they'd be winning. But anyway, AA Co. boy and his father whine about foreign-language Pledges during National Foreign Language Week, completely missing the point of NFLW (Latin is one of the lingos they do the Pledge in, for crying out loud!), county tells them to fuck off. Well, nicer than that, but just the same. Also, just about every non-Neanderthal in Maryland dismantles bill that would make English official state language. (Speaking of Neanderthals, The Washington Times played this legislative hearing a bit differently.) And all this after the anti-gay-marriage amendment went nowhere … I'm so proud, sniff.

Confusing Storty About Gay Marriage Lawsuit: Several state lawmakers and the AA Co. court clerk, Republicans I'm assuming, want to join a lawsuit, in which same-sex couples are suing the state to get married, in order to protest it; the couples, of course, and the state attorney general's office don't want them to; Court of Appeals to hear arguments on all that today. I think.

Piece of the Pie: From last Friday's Afro-American, a bunch of folks tell H. Allen Hurst they're not happy that the House slots bill didn't include language benefiting the state's Minority Business Enterprise Program.

Crime and Punishment: The Dundalk Eagle's Michelle Ruddle and Joseph M. Giordano go in-depth on 3-year-old Roy Lechner Jr.'s death-by-neglect. Sun story on Roy's funeral.

Community College Follies: More, from Patuxent's Northeast Reporter, on the fallout from Irving McPhail's resignation as chancellor of the Community College of Baltimore County.

History for Sale: From Glen Burnie's Maryland Gazette, circa-1925 Linthicum Apartments on the block. Price tag: about $1 million.

O-bo! From the Diamondback, thieves steal oboes from Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.

Free the Bridge! From the Easton Star-Democrat, speaking of DOT departments seeking independence, some folks--this time also Republicans, including Sen. E.J. Pipkin of the Upper Shore--also want the Bay Bridge out from under Bob Flanagan's fiefdom.

Young Guns: Couple of good stories from the Capital News Service: A good follow-up on the Navy's plan to resume bombing and strafing runs on Bloodsworth Island; and American Society of Civil Engineers study finds that more than half of state's major urban roads "poor" or "mediocre". Well, you probably already knew that.