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Deborah Simmons — Life As It Happens

Deborah Simmons

Deborah Simmons was a senior correspondent who reported on City Hall and wrote about education, culture, sports and family-related topics.

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Congressman Elijah Cummings walks to his car after speaking about Baltimore at the grand opening of the McCullough Street Nature Play Space in West Baltimore on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019. Cummings on Saturday invited President Donald Trump and other Americans to Baltimore, taking the high road after a barrage of presidential tweets disparaging the black-majority city and its long-serving Democratic congressman. (Kim Hairston /The Baltimore Sun via AP) **FILE**

Threading the Baltimore needle

- The Washington Times

Politicians and community members determined to "fix" Baltimore need to be mindful of that trick of the trade because Charm City could become a model example. In short, what happens next in Baltimore mustn't stay in Baltimore, which means it's time.

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser pauses during a news conference at One Judiciary Square in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017. (Associated Press) **FILE**

Muriel Bowser's anti-gun plan a complex gambit

- The Washington Times

Well, moms, dads and sweeties everywhere, there are signs that a new D.C. sheriff is in town, and her name is Muriel Bowser, but the name on her badge is "Sheriff Snitch." That's right, snitching of gun owners will become as vogue-ish as hashtags if Mayor Bowser turns her passion to rid the city of illegal guns into a reasonable policy.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., speaks at a news conference with Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to call for legislation to cancel all student debt, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, June 24, 2019. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

What to do when the D.C. swamp overflows

- The Washington Times

It's only early July, and there are no clear signs that a hurricane bearing down on the mid-Atlantic region is imminent. That's good news that brings a question about things that might come: What happens when the D.C. swamp overflows?

Democratic presidential candidate former vice president Joe Biden, left, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., all talk at the same time during the Democratic primary debate hosted by NBC News at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Thursday, June 27, 2019, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) **FILE**

Give America some R-E-S-P-E-C-T

- The Washington Times

These days, American voters are being goaded by the Democrats into believing there are but two political parties -- theirs on the left and Republicans on the right. The Democrats are anti-Trump, they're scared to tell wannabe Americans that we drive on the right.

In this March 21, 2019, file photo, gamblers line up to place bets on the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at the Borgata casino in Atlantic City N.J. This is the first March Madness tournament since legal gambling expanded last year in the U.S.  The spread of legalized sports betting is largely following regional boundaries. Lawmakers across the Northeast and upper Midwest have generally approved it or are still considering doing so this year. But in the Deep South and far West, fewer states are rushing in a year after the US Supreme Court cleared the way for legal sports betting nationally. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry, File) **FILE**

D.C. slow to move hand in sports betting

- The Washington Times

Like New Jersey, the D.C. government jumped in the legalized-gambling line early, promising to have the city's betting programs up and running this fall. Now, they seemingly are behind a deadline of their own making.

Deborah Simmons

Jack Evans, D.C. Council under fire over redistricting

- The Washington Times

The D.C. Council is under fire and has some heavy lifting to do over the next 18 months, and for the first time since 1991, the voice of Jack Evans on fiscal affairs, redistricting matters and run-of-the-mill national Democratic Party priorities won't be heard.

In this Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 photo, an undercover sheriff's deputy talks to a man who pulled over to talk with her in Compton, Calif., a city some 15 miles south of Los Angeles.  (AP Photo/Reed Saxon) **FILE**

D.C legislators' intent to decriminalize prostitution filled with sex, lies and idiocy

- The Washington Times

The D.C. Council is pondering legislation that would decriminalize prostitution. If passed, there might still be prostitutes walking K Street and other D.C. corridors popular to the sex trade. D.C. lawmakers say their legislative intent is take create a safe working environment for, well, sex workers by removing criminal penalties and reducing their vulnerability to exploitation and violence.

 In this April 2, 2019, file photo, House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite) ** FILE **

D.C. statehood vote that counts

- The Washington Times

Supporters for making the District of Columbia the 51st state are happy because the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has scheduled a hearing for July 24, when Americans everywhere and in the throes of planning for their summer fun and back-to-school routines -- not beating a drum for D.C. statehood, or Donald Trump, for that matter.

In addition to lowering costs, D.C. Council chairman Phil Mendelson said his revision would meet Mayor Muriel Bowser's schedule for closing the former D.C. General Hospital, which has been used as a temporary homeless shelter for more than a decade. (The Washington Times) **FILE**

D.C. hospital plan is wacky

- The Washington Times

Here's the dilemma: The government of the District of Columbia does not know how to own and efficiently and effectively manage a public hospital. It has tried at least five times, and failed in each attempt. Instead of conceding defeat, it's trying a fifth time.