Monday, November 09, 2009
Statement from Governor Martin O’Malley on National Unemployment Surpassing Ten Percent

ANNAPOLIS, MD (November 6, 2009) –Governor Martin O’Malley issued this statement today following the announcement that national unemployment has surpassed ten percent:
[...]
Last night, Governor O’Malley outlined a ten point strategy before the Maryland Chamber of Commerce to strengthen small business in Maryland.  The Governor’s full remarks can be found here.

Sammy 11:36 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Laid-off homeowners mean drop in burglaries
DON BABWIN ― Chicago Tribune

[...]
“With a lot more unemployed people, a lot more people are staying home, and they see more in their neighborhood,” said Sgt. Thomas Lasater, who supervises the burglary unit of the police department in St. Louis County, Mo., where authorities recorded a whopping 35 percent drop in burglaries during the first six months of 2009.

The trend is showing up in communities big and small.

Sammy 11:21 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Runaway Toyota cases ignored
Ralph Vartabedian and Ken Bensinger ― Los Angeles Times

Safety investigators dismissed numerous reports of sudden acceleration, then said data were lacking.

More than 1,000 Toyota and Lexus owners have reported since 2001 that their vehicles suddenly accelerated on their own, in many cases slamming into trees, parked cars and brick walls, among other obstacles, a Times review of federal records has found.

The crashes resulted in at least 19 deaths and scores of injuries over the last decade, records show. Federal regulators say that is far more than any other automaker has experienced.

Owner complaints helped trigger at least eight investigations into sudden acceleration in Toyota and Lexus vehicles by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the last seven years. Toyota Motor Corp. recalled fewer than 85,000 vehicles in response to two of those probes, and the federal agency closed six other cases without finding a defect.

But those investigations systematically excluded or dismissed the majority of complaints by owners that their Toyota and Lexus vehicles had suddenly accelerated, which sharply narrowed the scope of the probes, the Times investigation revealed.

Sammy 11:17 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Sotterley’s Family Plantation Christmas
Southern Maryland Online

Family Plantation Christmas will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sotterley Plantation, offering a full day of wonderment and Christmas spirit!

Sammy 11:10 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Sheriff, Sergeant Brave Cold Waters for Special Cause
Southern Maryland Online

Faced with an autumn swim in the chilly waters of the Potomac River, it would have been easy for anyone to get cold feet — but Charles County Sheriff Rex Coffey and Sgt Proctor didn’t take the easy way out. Instead, they braved the cold water on Oct. 22, and for a good purpose: to help promote the upcoming Polar Bear Plunge, an annual fundraiser for Special Olympics Maryland.

Sammy 11:02 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Study: Maryland ranks 49th in spending to keep walkers, bicyclists safe
Michael Dresser ― Baltimore Sun

Maryland, with a pedestrian death rate that is significantly higher than the national average, ranks second from the bottom nationally in its spending of federal transportation funds on resources for walkers and bicyclists, according to a study released Monday.

The national study, entitled “Dangerous by Design,” concludes that a disregard for the safety of people on foot in highway engineering is an important contributing factor in the thousands of pedestrian deaths on U.S. roads.

Sammy 04:17 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Allegany County wants to join Garrett in natural gas revenue
Cumberland Times-News

Road to production tax begins in Annapolis

What’s good for Garrett County is good for Allegany. At least, it could be.

So said the Allegany County commissioners, who requested Friday that the county’s delegation to Annapolis introduce legislation that would force producers of natural gas to pay a 5.5 percent tax at the point of production. The commissioners made their request during an annual presession meeting with Sen. George Edwards and Delegates Kevin Kelly, LeRoy Myers and Wendell Beitzel.

Sammy 04:12 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Frederick News-Post Editorial: Assume nothing

There’s a regular oops and a cyber-oops. The recent “accidental disclosure” of a confidential House Ethics Committee report prepared in July was a cyber-oops. It occurred when the report was discovered in an alarming state of public accessibility on a file-sharing network.

So much for secrecy and the cloak it rides around in, particularly as it has historically adorned the House watchdog body charged with investigating possible ethics and congressional rules violations by lawmakers.

The 10-member group (five Democrats, five Republicans) formally known as the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct is one of the stealthiest congressional committees. Its members and staff take vows of secrecy. Seldom does it make public statements.
[...]
Now we have an a example of a cyber-oops creating a Catch-22: A committee previously thought to be semi-vigilant and to have its eye on a few congressional bad apples turns out to take its job very seriously and is investigating an entire bushel of potentially tainted fruit.

Sammy 04:03 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
US Supreme Court refuses to stop sniper execution
DENA POTTER ― WTOP

The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to block Tuesday’s scheduled execution of sniper mastermind John Allen Muhammad.

The Court did not comment Monday on why it refused to consider his appeal.
[...]
Muhammad still has a clemency petition before Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine.

Sammy 01:20 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Bay cleanup plan calls for expanded federal regulation
Timothy B. Wheeler ― Baltimore Sun

Obama administration stops short of complete federal takeover

The Obama administration unveiled today a new strategy for restoring the Chesapeake Bay, calling for expanded regulation and enforcement to curb polluted runoff from farms and developed lands, but backing away from a complete federal takeover of the cleanup effort.

Under the plan, the Environmental Protection Agency would begin writing new federal rules governing large-scale animal farms and municipal storm water, but would shelve bay-specific regulations if the states strengthen their own pollution controls enough to restore water quality in the nation’s largest estuary.

The plan also calls for getting more farmers and private woodland owners to adopt conservation measures through an “aggressive, voluntary partnership effort.” It would target government incentive payments to landowners in “high-priority” portions of the bay where farm runoff is a major source of pollution fouling the water.
[...]
The public will have an opportunity to comment on the draft federal strategy until Jan. 8. Federal officials then expect to refine the plan before finalizing it by May.

Sammy 01:10 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
CSX Becomes First Transportation Provider to Join Maryland Green Registry

CAMBRIDGE, MD (November 5, 2009) – CSX today was recognized as the first transportation provider to join the Maryland Green Registry, a voluntary self-certification program that promotes and recognizes sustainable practices by organizations throughout the state.

The Maryland Green Registry includes organizations that complete a best practices profile covering environmental management and leadership, waste reduction, energy and water conservation, transportation, and green building design.  The selection was announced by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley at a Maryland Chamber of Commerce Business Policy Dinner in Cambridge, Maryland.

Sammy 12:27 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
PAX NAS Workers Discover Unexploded Ordnance Near Gate 3
The Bay Net

On Friday, Nov. 6 about 6 p.m., while working to restore Pond No. 3 near gate three on base, a crew scanning the surface waters with a metal detector for debris discovered an unexploded mid-twentieth century 5 inch rocket. The area was cordoned off, the ordnance sand-bagged and guards were set to keep people away from any potential danger.

Sammy 12:19 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Learning to live with less, and appreciating it
Nick Carey ― Reuters

For a man who has had his salary cut 10 percent and now has to work hard to make it to his next paycheck, Denny Robertson is in a philosophical frame of mind.

“I have had to learn to live with less. But I have shelter and I have food, so I have everything I need,” he said. “It’s uncomfortable to run out of money before the next paycheck, but we’ll get by.

Sammy 12:15 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
County Commissioners’…

...meeting minutes:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

Sammy 08:23 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
EPA Alerts W.Va. and Ohio Officials of Potential Concerns about AEP Coal Ash Impoundment

As part of an ongoing comprehensive review of dam integrity of coal ash impoundment sites nationwide, EPA has alerted West Virginia public officials and first responders that an impoundment at American Electric Power’s (AEP) Philip Sporn facility requires additional safety testing. While EPA does not believe the impoundment’s dam is at immediate risk of failure given the information we currently have, out of an abundance of caution the agency has notified W.Va. and Ohio officials of the need for further testing to fully determine the impoundment’s integrity. AEP has committed to submitting a plan to carry out the safety tests. That plan will be provided to EPA on Monday, November 2. EPA will oversee the testing and use all necessary authority to assure the safety of the facility.

Following the failure of an impoundment at the TVA facility in Kingston, Tenn., in December 2008, EPA has been conducting on-site evaluations at electric utilities nationwide to determine the impoundments’ structural integrity.

Sammy 08:15 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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