Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Premiums are key issue for health care negotiators
RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR ― Houston Chronicle

Congressional Democrats and President Barack Obama began work in earnest Tuesday on difficult issues still standing in the way of their national health care overhaul after months of tortuous debate. Topping the list: How to help Americans pay for insurance premiums.

Republicans weren’t invited, and they complained that the Democrats intended to deliberate behind closed doors — though lawmakers often do so in the final stages of such complex legislation. Separately, the head of C-SPAN, the nonpartisan public affairs network, called for letting the sun shine in on the discussions — as Obama once had promised.
[...]
Pelosi, D-Calif., met Tuesday with senior Democrats to go over the major issues. Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., were to meet with Obama at the White House late in the afternoon, with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., joining by telephone.

Sammy 07:21 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Board of Elections: Charles - Monthly Statistical Report

Last Transaction Date From : 12/01/2009 To : 12/31/2009

Sammy 06:50 PM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
PLANNING COMMISSION AGENDA - January 11, 2010

[...]

4. PUBLIC MEETING

A. HUGHESVILLE STATION, Step II, General Development Plan, PDZA #08-19, 9th e.d., 49.80 acres, 1 lot, commercial-Industrial, PEP Zone, located off of Foster Lane

5. SITE PLAN

A. ST. CHARLES OUTPATIENT CANCER CENTER, SDP #09-0019, 6th e.d., 39,674 acres, 1 lot, Office or clinics of physicians, dentists or chiropractors, PUD
Zone, located on St. Patrick’s Drive, between Hollander Dental Office & Valvoline

6. PRELIMINARY PLAN 6-YEAR CONFORMITY REVIEW

A. CAPITAL BUSINESS PARK/GREENSWARD TECHNOLOGY PARK, XPN 02- 0005, 6th e.d., 92.16 acres, 22 lots, commercial use, BP Zone, located on MD 228, Approved: 12/1/03

B. WHISPERING WOODS, XPN 02-0019, 6th e.d., 27.81 acres, 64 lots, single family cluster, RL zone, located on MD 229, Approved: 12/1/03

C. COACHMAN’S PATH, XPN 02-0021, 8th e.d., 252 acres, 60 lots, single family (24 conventional and 36 cluster), AC Zone, located on Woodville Road, Approved: 12/1/03

D. TURTLE CREEK, XPN 03-0013, 8th e.d., 250 acres, 69 lots, single family (28 conventional and 41 cluster), AC Zone, located on Gallant Lane, Approved: 12/1/03

7. PLANNING COMMISSION OFFICER ELECTIONS

Sammy 05:46 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Water main break Route 301 north at Mattawoman Beantown Road

Water main break Route 301 north at Mattawoman Beantown Road, Waldorf.  Water has been turned off. Repairs to begin 8:00 pm this evening until repaired. Dept of Utilities 301-609-7400
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

The Quack 04:40 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
US forecasters to send hurricane warnings earlier
WJLA-TV (ABC 7)

The National Hurricane Center (web | news) said Tuesday it will begin issuing storm watches and warnings about half a day sooner in the biggest change to its warning system in decades. When a storm is approaching land, forecasters will now send watches advising that tropical storm conditions could be expected there in 48 hours, instead of 36 hours. Warnings of tropical storm or hurricane conditions will be issued 36 hours ahead, not 24 hours.

“It’s really just the result of the accumulated improvements over time - the track forecasts have been getting better incrementally year after year,” said James Franklin, chief hurricane specialist at the center. “And there’s been enough of an improvement now that we can feel comfortable increasing it.”

Sammy 03:22 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
SMADC Hosts Retirement Planning and Investments Workshop
The Bay Net

Today’s ‘retirement’ is not the same as your parent’s retirement. Fewer and fewer employees are covered by an employer pension and the longevity of Social Security is in doubt.  With life expectancies on the rise, tomorrow’s retirees will spend significantly more time in retirement and will rely more on their personal savings.

Learn how to plan for a secure and successful retirement and avoid common retirement planning mistakes by understanding your sources of retirement income. The Retirement and Investments Workshop topics will cover the allocation of investments in your retirement plans, understanding spousal benefits and the differences between IRA, Roth IRA and 401k, Required Minimum Distribution, and guidance on determining how much income a retiree can withdraw from savings.

The Retirement and Investments Workshop is being presented in partnership with the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission and Wealth Management Partners, an independent financial planning firm located in Waldorf. No company products will be offered or recommended. The workshop is intended solely as a way for farming families and residents of Southern Maryland to become more informed about their retirement planning options.

Sammy 03:12 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Man Dragged 50 Feet as Suspect Hops in Getaway Car
The Bay Net

On January 2 at 12 p.m., Charles County Sheriff’s officers responded to the 9200 block of Wills Road in Bel Alton for the report of an assault in progress.

Investigation revealed the suspect, Jonathan Lee Reinhardt, 19 of White Plains, went to an acquaintance’s house and knocked on the front door. When the victim answered, the suspect pushed him to the ground, entered the house, removed a computer and left, getting into a nearby car. As the suspect tried to leave, the victim – a 35-year-old man-  opened the car door at which point the suspect accelerated, dragging the victim approximately 50 feet. The victim freed himself and the suspect fled.

Sammy 03:10 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Nineteen lawyers disbarred in state in past six months
Margie Hyslop ― Gazette

Some 34 attorneys are sanctioned for range of offenses

Nineteen lawyers were disbarred in Maryland in the second half of 2009, according to a report by the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission.

Of the 19, two were convicted of crimes, and another took a plea deal after being indicted for theft.

Sammy 02:58 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
New law grants residents more power to protect environment
Douglas Tallman ― Gazette

Maryland residents now have greater powers to challenge polluters in court, thanks to legislation that took effect at the start of the year.

At the same time, the new law removes some administrative hurdles the business community found burdensome, said Sen. Brian E. Frosh (D-Dist. 16), one of the sponsors of the legislation.

“Basically for many years, there have been situations in which somebody pollutes or violates a permit that gives them a limited right to pollute, and there’s nobody in state of Maryland or anyone else who has the right to go court to say cut it out,” Frosh said.

Sammy 02:52 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
GM says sales dropped 33 percent last year, off 10 percent for December
DEE-ANN DURBIN, TOM KRISHER ― Baltimore Sun

General Motors says its December sales were down 10 percent and off 33 percent for 2009, a year that saw the top U.S. automaker go through bankrutpcy court and industry sales drop to the worst level in nearly 30 years.

The troubled automaker faltered even as crosstown rival Ford Motor Co. reported a 33 percent sales jump last month and a 15-percent decline for the year. Chrysler sales slipped 4 percent in December but it suffered through its worst sales year since 1962.

Nissan sales climbed 18 percent for the month but fell 19 percent for the year.

Sammy 02:20 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Americans slow spending on health care
John Fritze ― USA TODAY

A decades-long boom in spending on doctors, hospitals and drugs slowed in 2008 to its lowest level, even as health care costs accounted for a greater share of the nation’s economy, the federal government said in a report released Tuesday.

Health care spending rose 4.4% in 2008 to $2.3 trillion, or $7,681 per person, the smallest increase since the spending was first tracked in 1960, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The report suggests the down economy forced Americans to go without care.

Sammy 07:38 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Dallas police aim to help, not jail, prostitutes
JEFF CARLTON ― Frederick News-Post

[...]
With those options, the city is taking a new approach to the world’s oldest profession. Police treat prostitutes as sex crime victims, offering many a chance to clean up and get off the streets.

The program could soon spread beyond Dallas. More than 200 law enforcement agents from the U.S. and Canada attended the National Prostitution Diversion conference here in November. Since then, groups from Edmonton, Atlanta and Fort Worth have asked for more information about the program.

“We are the pioneers, I suppose,” said Renee Breazeale, program director for Homeward Bound, a nonprofit detoxification and counseling center in Dallas. “It’s the only police-led program and represents a change of culture for law enforcement.”

Sammy 07:32 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Wildlife Agency Raises Stop Sign For Sprawl Highway
Bay Daily

Here’s a gift of good news for the New Year. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is opposing the approval of a permit that would allow the paving of wetlands in Southern Maryland for the construction of the Sprawl Highway.

A recent letter from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the Army Corps of Engineers says the Chesapeake region’s “most productive nursery” for several species of fish, the Mattawoman Creek,  would be hurt if Charles County is permitted to build the seven mile roadway, called the Cross County Connector.
[...]
The Charles County government has argued (with little basis) that the road would not stimulate sprawl development.  In fact, the county’s own documents show that the highway would “facilitate” the construction of at least 1,113 homes in an area that is now largely forest, and perhaps many times that number.
[...]
The agency wrote in their letter to the county: “With the building of the highway, several thousand acres of land are expected to be developed…

Related threads:

Charles County connector put on hold for further environmental assessments

Interior Dept. opposes permits for Charles County connector

Sammy 07:18 AM | (26) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Staff quits after Ala. congressman switches to GOP
USA TODAY

All but one of the Washington staffers for Rep. Parker Griffith resigned on Monday in protest of the Alabama congressman’s decision to switch from the Democratic to the Republican Party.

In a sharply worded statement, Griffith’s former chief of staff, Sharon Wheeler, called the freshman congressman’s switch a “mistake” that goes against the interests of his district, which relies heavily on federal funding for defense and aerospace jobs.

Sammy 07:11 AM | (2) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
In America’s next decade, change and challenges
Rick Hampson ― USA TODAY

A new decade finds Americans in an uncomfortable and yet familiar position: running scared.
Almost three-fourths of them, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, don’t like the way things are going in the country. Given economic deprivation and political division, plus war, terrorism and a warming world, who would?

But during the next 10 years, our fright may be our salvation. Americans often suspect they face the worst of times and, as a result, try harder to make the best of them.

Sammy 07:06 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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