Monday, January 11, 2010
New Jersey Lawmakers Pass Medical Marijuana Bill
DAVID KOCIENIEWSKI ― New York Times

The New Jersey Legislature approved a measure on Monday that would make the state the 14th in the nation, but one of the few on the East Coast, to legalize the use of marijuana to help patients with chronic illnesses.

The measure — which would allow patients diagnosed with severe illnesses like cancer, AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis to have access to marijuana grown and distributed through state-monitored dispensaries — was passed by the General Assembly and State Senate on the final day of the legislative session.

Sammy 11:18 PM | (4) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
O’Malley budget could make over government
Douglas Tallman ― Gazette

Official: We are ‘crossing our fingers’ that hundreds of millions in write-downs at end

When Gov. Martin O’Malley unveils his fiscal 2011 spending plan on Jan. 20, the massive document is likely to include elements of a state government makeover.

“The budget will have reorganization and restructurings,” said Shaun Adamec, an O’Malley (D) spokesman.

You know the budget must be in dire straits if the O’Malley administration is looking for Ehrlich-era ideas.

Sammy 11:08 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Committee nixes plan to sell medical centers
Daniel Valentine ― Gazette

The Prince George’s County Hospital Authority, a committee that has been working for two years on selling the financially ailing county hospital system, announced today that the medical system simply cannot be sold.
[...]
Instead, the authority is drafting a report on steps the state and county can take to resolve health care issues in the county in future years, including building a new hospital for resident care. Lawmakers at the meeting applauded the report.

Sammy 11:04 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
SHERIFF EVANS: Speeding by Deputies is UNSAT
Southern Maryland Online

LETTER TO THE EDITOR:

I read Mr. Stu Giles’ letter to the editor regarding speeding by deputies printed in the Calvert Recorder on January 6 with great interest as the Sheriff of Calvert County. I’m glad Mr. Giles indicated these acts were by “some deputies” and not a pervasive attitude within the Sheriff’s Office. I do not doubt that there are a few deputies that have exceeded the speed limit when not necessary and I can assure all the citizens that this activity is not condoned by me or my administration.

Mr. Giles urged citizens to write down dates, times, locations, and tag numbers of deputies observed doing such illegal activities as speeding. I also urge citizens to report such behavior; but, I ask that you not hold the information until some later time, but report it to the Sheriff’s Office immediately. The Administration of the Sheriff’s Office takes a dim view of this type of activity and routinely investigates complaints of speeding by our deputies. In fact, the incident where Mr. Giles indicates he spoke to me directly was investigated and the deputy disciplined.

Sammy 05:32 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Hoyer Statement on December Jobs Report
The Bay Net

Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after the Department of Labor announced unemployment numbers for the month of December:

“Today’s job numbers are a disappointment—for Congress and, more importantly, for the millions of American families who continue to struggle with an unemployment rate of 10%. In 2007, America entered the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, and our recovery is still incomplete.

Sammy 05:28 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Duck Hotline: Rescuers Needed Rescuing

Fire crews from Charles Co responding to a boater in distress found themselves in need of help.

A man in a canoe in one of the tributaries of the Potomac River became stranded on thin ice. Fire boats from several companies responded including an ‘air boat.’ The air boat became disabled after being damaged on ice and then was not able to reach shore and other boat crews weren’t able to get close due to surrounding ice.

Maryland State Police helicopter crews from Trooper 2 and Trooper 7 air lifted the fire crews on the stranded air boat to safety by lifting them in rescue baskets.

The person in the canoe was able to free himself and make it to safety on his own.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

The Quack 12:40 PM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
OMG, 60 R caught texting while driving
C. Benjamin Ford ― Gazette

State law seen as effective deterrent despite initial doubts

Del. Frank S. Turner feels vindicated.

Many skeptics had a field day when he sponsored a bill in the House of Delegates to ban texting while driving, he acknowledges. Logistically, it seemed like it would be a challenge to nab offenders in the act.
[...]
The new law makes typing or sending text messages while driving an offense punishable by a $500 fine and a point on the driver’s license. Maryland is one of 18 states that prohibit sending text messages while driving.

Sammy 09:46 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Public Hearing: Bill Number 2009-14 - County Commissioners Compensation

Board Docs - Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting - Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2.02 [7:00 p.m.] Public Hearing: Bill Number 2009-14 - County Commissioners Compensation (Mr. Roger Fink, County Attorney)

Public Notice for Public Hearing on Bill 2009-16 compensatio.pdf

2009-16 CC compension bill.pdf

Compensation Commission Report.pdf

Read more...

Sammy 08:24 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Flock of black vultures vexes Virginia woman

The birds are watching Nancy Cox, waiting on her lawn and slowly chewing their way inside her Ridgeway home.
[...]
Cox has the only home in her neighborhood with rubber roofing. But she may not have it much longer. The vultures are steadily ingesting the rubber, leaving Cox with a leaky roof and shaky nerves.
[...]
They damage roofs by pulling off corners of shingles, and they chew off the rubber seals around exhaust pipes, Barras said. He added that they often pull the rubber blades off windshield wipers while damaging a vehicle’s paint with their large talons.

Sammy 08:18 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Mikulski writes GSA about EShore training center

Sen. Barbara Mikulski has sent a strongly worded letter to the head of a federal agency demanding better communication about a proposed federal training center planned on the Eastern Shore.

Mikulski wrote to the head of the federal General Services Administration saying representatives from the State Department and the GSA gave two presentations last week in Queen Anne’s County and failed to answer questions satisfactorily.

Related threads:

Queen Anne’s Co. commissioners withdraw support for security training complex

Md. is preferred site for federal training center

Sammy 08:13 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Large Price Jumps Reported for Small but Vital Drugs
GARDINER HARRIS ― NEW YORK TIMES

Prices for a small but growing number of brand-name drugs have risen more than twofold in recent years as drug makers seek to squeeze greater profits out of often small-selling but vital medicines, according to Congressional investigators.
[...]
Most of the big price increases ranged from 100 percent to 499 percent, but some of the price increases were far larger, the investigators found. For instance, the prices of 26 brand-name drugs rose more than tenfold. The largest price increase found by the investigators was about 4,200 percent.
[...]
The drugs’ makers were not always behind the price rises. In more than half of the cases disclosed by investigators, the price increases were made by a middleman that bought the medicines from manufacturers and repackaged them for hospitals or doctors.

Sammy 08:02 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Cold raises demand for heating fuel
William M. Welch ― USA TODAY

Cold weather across much of the eastern United States is increasing demand for energy and bringing higher heating bills at a time when the down economy has sent millions of families in search of winter fuel aid.

In Scranton, Pa., the agency that handles requests for home heating assistance has been deluged with requests, many from families that have never sought help before.

“This is as bad as it has ever been,” says Fred Lettieri, executive director of the Scranton-Lackawanna County Human Development Agency.

His office is getting 300 to 350 callers a day but is able to help only 90 to 100 of them, he says. The agency can provide up to $400 to purchase heating fuel, using federal energy aid.

Sammy 07:55 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thead - January 11, 2010

So, let us not be blind to our differences - but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. ~ John F. Kennedy

Sammy 07:42 AM | (3) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Study: Youth now have more mental health issues
MARTHA IRVINE ― WTOP

A new study has found that five times as many high school and college students are dealing with anxiety and other mental health issues than youth of the same age who were studied in the Great Depression era.

The findings, culled from responses to a popular psychological questionnaire used as far back as 1938, confirm what counselors on campuses nationwide have long suspected as more students struggle with the stresses of school and life in general.

Sammy 07:37 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
AP: Feds probe cadmium in kids’ jewelry from China
JUSTIN PRITCHARD ― WTOP

Moving swiftly, U.S. product safety authorities say they are launching an investigation into the presence of the toxic metal cadmium in children’s jewelry imported from China after disclosure of lab tests showing that some pieces consisted primarily of the dangerous substance.

The promise to “take action as quickly as possible to protect the safety of children” followed by hours the release Sunday of an Associated Press investigative report that documented how some Chinese manufacturers have been substituting cadmium for lead in cheap charm bracelets and pendants being sold throughout the United States.
[...]
The most contaminated piece analyzed in lab testing performed for the AP contained a startling 91 percent cadmium by weight. The cadmium content of other contaminated trinkets, all purchased at national and regional chains or franchises, tested at 89 percent, 86 percent and 84 percent by weight. The testing also showed that some items easily shed the heavy metal, raising additional concerns about the levels of exposure to children.
[...]
Cadmium is a known carcinogen. Like lead, it can hinder brain development in the very young, according to recent research.

Sammy 07:34 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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