Monday, May 25, 2015
Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting Minutes

April 21 15.pdf (186 KB)

April 28 15.pdf (148 KB)

Sammy 07:28 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
MAY 24-30 is Maryland Hurricane Preparedness Week
Southern Maryland News Net

Maryland Hurricane Preparedness Week begins on Sunday, May 24, and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) is teaming up with the National Weather Service (NWS) and local emergency managers to promote citizen awareness and preparedness. The Atlantic Hurricane season lasts from June to November. Most hurricane-like weather is seen mid-August and late October.  These storms can cause strong winds, heavy rain, inland flooding, and other severe weather. Residents in Maryland can “be weather ready” by ensuring that they know how to get a warning, have a plan, and practice safety tips.

“Maryland Hurricane Preparedness Week is an important reminder that dangerous weather does occur in Maryland and when it affects our residents it affects all of us,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Oftentimes, the safest action during a hurricane is the simplest action – common sense.”

Sammy 07:26 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Avian Influenza: What you need to know, not fear
University of Maryland ― TheBayNet.com

More than 33 million birds have been affected by the current outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) sweeping across 20 states from the Pacific Northwest to the Midwest regions of the country. While cases have not been reported on the East Coast, poultry growers and workers on the Delmarva Peninsula should be aware of how HPAI is transmitted and the necessary measures to prevent it.

Although these types of outbreaks do not pose any risk to human health or food safety, the effects are economically devastating to the U.S. poultry industry. A 1983 outbreak of avian influenza in the Mid-Atlantic region cost the federal government more than $62 million to eradicate. Egg, broiler and turkey producers lost nearly $200 million. The current outbreak of HPAI was first detected in a captive gyrfalcon in Washington State and in a backyard poultry flock in Oregon in December 2014. As of mid-May, more than 163 cases have been reported and continue to add up daily with most recent outbreaks affecting commercial egg layer flocks in Iowa and commercial turkey flocks in Minnesota.

Sammy 07:25 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Summer season: peak time for grilling fires
NFPA ― TheBayNet.com

As summer approaches, backyard chefs everywhere are dusting off their grills, eager to spring into the long-awaited barbeque season. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that grillers pay particular attention to safety in the spring and summer months when home fires involving grilling incidents occur most often.

Three out of five households own a gas grill, according to NFPA’s “Home Fires Involving Cooking Equipment” report, which translates to a lot of tasty meals. But it also means there’s an increased risk of home fires. Each year an average of 8,800 home fires are caused by grilling, and close to half of all injuries involving grills are due to thermal burns. While nearly half of the people who grill do so year-round, July is the peak month for grilling fires followed by May, June and August.

Sammy 07:22 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Larry Hogan’s trade trip to Asia will include a pitch for Korean Air to BWI
Rick Seltzer ― Baltimore Business Journal

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan will start a 12-day swing through Asia the day after Memorial Day, traveling to South Korea, China and Japan in the first trade mission of his young administration.

Hogan will try to attract foreign investment and find places for Maryland companies to send exports, according to state economic development officials. Industries under focus will include life sciences, pharmaceuticals, cyber security, information technology and transportation. The governor also plans to make the case that Korean Air should add service to Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

Sammy 07:18 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Hogan, Busch work to put feud behind them
Chase Cook ― CapitalGazette.com

When Gov. Larry Hogan and House Speaker Michael E. Busch finished the 2015 General Assembly session at odds, it came as no surprise to many expecting a clash between the state’s new Republican governor and one of its most powerful Democrats.

Now both men are downplaying recent conflicts and indicating they want to move on and work together.

Political observers aren’t so sure.

Sammy 07:16 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Atmospheric Release of BPA May Reach Nearby Waterways
U.S. Geological Survey

Water contamination by hormone-disrupting pollutants is a concern for water quality around the world. Existing research has determined that elevated concentrations of Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical used in consumer products such as plastic food storage and beverage containers, have been deposited directly into rivers and streams by municipal or industrial wastewater. Now, researchers from the University of Missouri and the U.S. Geological Survey have assessed Missouri water quality near industrial sites permitted to release BPA into the air. As a result, scientists now believe that atmospheric releases may create a concern for contamination of local surface water leading to human and wildlife exposure.

“There is growing concern that hormone disruptors such as BPA not only threaten wildlife, but also humans,” said Chris Kassotis, a doctoral candidate in the Division of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Science at MU. “Recent studies have documented widespread atmospheric releases of BPA from industrial sources across the United States. The results from our study provide evidence that these atmospheric discharges can dramatically elevate BPA in nearby environments.”

Sammy 07:14 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
RIP: Over 100 newspapers dumped in year, ads down 50%, circulation hits bottom
Paul Bedard ― Washington Examiner

The demise of big city print media, displayed in full by the painfully slow sale of the mammoth New York Daily News, is going nationwide as ad sales decline 50 percent and circulation plummets, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis

According to their report, “The Declining Value Of U.S. Newspapers,” just three different media companies in 2014 alone decided to dump more than 100 newspaper properties. Pew said the companies spun off the money-losing properties “in large part to protect their still-robust broadcast or digital divisions.”

Sammy 07:08 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Teamsters pension fund uses new law to cut benefits
Sean Higgins ― Washington Examiner

The pension fund for the Teamsters, one of the nation’s largest labor unions, is telling its participants that their benefits soon will be cut because of the fund’s dire financial condition.

Thomas Nyhan, executive director and general counsel for the Central States Pension Fund, sent out a “dear participant” letter last month explaining that the multi-employer pension fund is “in critical and declining status.”

Sammy 07:06 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Justice Department issues policy on domestic drone use
Yahoo News

The Justice Department is acknowledging that the FBI, DEA and other federal law enforcement agencies are likely to make increasing use of unmanned aerial drones in the United States.

The department on Friday issued its first written guidelines for domestic drone use and emphasized the need to respect civil and constitutional rights.

Sammy 07:03 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
China readies national carbon market to fight climate change
JACK CHANG ― Yahoo News

t first, the numbers and company names flashing on a big board in Beijing’s financial district suggest a booming market.

A closer look indicates otherwise: The scrolling list rotates the same dozen or so trades, all from last year.

The lights from the Beijing Environment Exchange — one of seven pilot markets in China for trading carbon — raises questions for the country as it prepares for next year’s roll-out of a nationwide system that could help the world’s biggest emitter of heat-trapping carbon dioxide rein in its emissions.

Sammy 07:00 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
After bruising safety crisis, U.S. car watchdog shows its bite
David Morgan ― REUTERS

The U.S. auto safety watchdog, long criticized as toothless and slow, is showing both bark and bite under its new boss - a testimony to his credentials as a safety expert and a hardening of the administration’s policy after a wave of deadly defects.

Having taken the helm of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in January, Mark Rosekind has wasted no time in forcing reluctant companies into recalling millions of defective vehicles. In doing so, he has shown greater willingness than some of his predecessors to use the government’s full legal powers over the industry, some for the first time.

Sammy 06:57 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
U.S. Republicans navigate the new politics of energy abundance
James Oliphant ― REUTERS

U.S. Republicans have had to watch from the sidelines as the Obama White House has taken political credit for America’s unexpected energy boom and tumbling gas prices. Now it has left their presidential candidates scrambling for a way to reclaim leadership on an issue the party once seemed to own.

Their apparent answer: calling time on a 40-year-old federal ban on crude oil exports and using the newfound energy bounty to strategic advantage.

Sammy 06:53 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Defense Secretary: Iraqi forces showed no will to fight in Ramadi
Fredreka Schouten ― USA TODAY

The Islamic State was able to seize Ramadi because the Iraqi military “showed no will to fight,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in an interview that aired Sunday.

He offered sharp criticism of the Iraqi security forces and defended the Obama administration’s use of air strikes against the Islamic State during the interview on CNN’s State of the Union.

Carter said Iraqi forces outnumbered ISIS fighters in the provincial capital but retreated.

Sammy 06:50 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thread - May 25, 2015

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Pauleen Brewer 04:00 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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