Saturday, January 16, 2010
Maryland Tea Party Star Hopes to Unseat Hoyer
Southern Maryland Online

By GRAHAM MOOMAW

didn’t take much for Charles Lollar to fire up the audience as one of the first speakers at Wednesday’s Tea Party rally in Annapolis.

“Believe it or not, I’m running against Steny Hoyer,” Lollar said to a crowd of several hundred cheering conservatives gathered outside the State House as part of the national Tea Party movement, which protests high taxes and government overspending.

Lollar, whose most recent political position was the chairmanship of the Charles County Republican Central Committee, is hoping to translate his Tea Party stardom into a serious run for Congress against House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Mechanicsville, in Maryland’s 5th Congressional District.
[...]
Lollar, 38, was an active-duty Marine for seven years before going into the business world. He’s now a general manager at Cintas Corp., a uniform company with a location in Landover. He lives in Newburg with his wife, Rosha, and their four daughters.

Sammy 05:01 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Bill Would Ban Same-Sex Marriage Recognition
Southern Maryland Online

By SHAUNA MILLER

Baltimore County delegate introduced legislation Thursday that would ban recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries.

Maryland Delegate Emmett Burns, D-Baltimore County, introduced House Bill 90 as Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler prepares to issue his opinion on whether the state must recognize same-sex marriages from out of state.

Sammy 04:58 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Natural gas under Gulf may be too much of a good thing
BRETT CLANTON ― Houston Chronicle

The prospect of yet another new frontier for U.S. natural gas development, this time in super-deep wells beneath the Gulf of Mexico’s shallow waters, is not all good news for Houston’s energy sector.

A big uptick in output from the emerging region — predicted this week after announcement of a major discovery there — would clearly signal new life for the heavily explored offshore region. But it could also boost already swollen U.S. gas supplies, weaken prices and keep producers on the sidelines.

Sammy 04:46 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
US vets return to see grim legacy of Vietnam War
BEN STOCKING ― Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

[...]
These old American soldiers recovered from the physical scars of combat long ago. But last week, they visited a place where people still have fresh wounds from the Vietnam War, which ended nearly 35 years ago.

They came to Quang Tri Province, which is still littered with landmines and unexploded ordinance that routinely kill and maim people trying to scratch out a living in the rice fields. Their visit was organized by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which built the Washington, D.C., monument that commemorates the lives of the 58,000 Americans who died in Vietnam.
[...]
The delegation began its weeklong tour of Vietnam in Hanoi. They were impressed by the economic boom unleashed by the market reforms the communist country has implemented over the last two decades.

And they were heartened by the warm welcome they received from the people, including those in a Quang Tri district where they dedicated a new elementary school funded by VVMF.
[...]
According to VVMF, more than 350,000 tons of landmines and explosives remain scattered across the country, much of them in Quang Tri, near the former Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, which once divided North Vietnam and South Vietnam. The province was the most heavily bombed and shelled during the war, and 92 percent of it remains contaminated with explosives.

Sammy 04:28 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Falling wages, rising inflation a bad combo
Ann Belser ― Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

‘09 earnings hurt workers the most

Workers who in other years would not have been hurt by a nominal increase in annual inflation took an economic hit last year when wages fell through the floor.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yesterday that the Consumer Price Index, a measure of a theoretical basket of goods consumed in the U.S., rose at an annual rate of 2.7 percent with the core rate, in which food and energy are removed from the mix, rising 1.8 percent.

It wasn’t inflation, however, that hurt consumers; instead, it was falling wages.

Sammy 04:23 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
From the Duck Hotline…

...I guess this group is unaware of the planning on the Harry Nice Bridge – the concept that is to date the most widely accepted would call for the access road going right through Aqualand – it will need to start much farther back on 301 and run up gradually over that property so that the bridge can have the greatest rise at the MD side of the river – which is where the shipping channel is.  In order to make the new bridge safer they want the increase of the grade to happen more gradually.  Wonder what’s up here – do they want to artificially inflate the value so that when it’s condemned the owners will get a bigger pay day?

Sammy 04:10 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
County Commissioners’ Expense Reports

Cooper Exp report EXEC.pdf

Graves Exp Report Dec EXEC.pdf

Sammy 08:50 AM | (5) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
County Commissioners’…

...meeting minutes: Tuesday, December 1, 2009
[...]
Page 4:

Old Business

1. Briefing/Update: Waterfront Property Development Concepts – Mr. Chuck Beall, Director of Planning & Growth Management, Mr. George Robertson, Director of Economic Development, Mr. Steve Ball, Planning Director, and Ms. Cathy Thompson, Community Planning Program Manager, joined the Commissioners to provide a briefing on Charles County Waterfront Development Concepts. This briefing is in follow-up to a briefing provided by staff in 2008.

Ms. Thompson gave a slide show presentation on the seven (7) waterfront areas identified during a 1999 Waterfront Study. Mr. Ball reviewed staff’s top 3 priority concepts Potomac Crossing (Aqualand), Upper Potomac (Marshall Hall), and Benedict and specific action plan implementation recommendations.

Following the presentation, a motion was made by Commissioner Hodge, seconded by Commissioner Collins, and passed with all Commissioners voting in favor to move forward on the top three (3) priority sites as presented by staff, and to hold the remaining four (4) sites in reserve in the event any of the top three (3) sites to not work out. The Commissioners also directed staff to provide them with a report on the waterfront development concepts in June, 2010

Sammy 08:43 AM | (27) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Achievement bar moves higher as funding declines
Marge Neal ― Frederick News-Post

Maryland’s public school system was recently named best in the nation, even as legislators advocate to reduce education funding initiatives.

That irony is not lost on parent Janice Spiegel.
[...]
“And you can’t reduce Maintenance of Effort and not reduce outcomes mandates.”
[...]
If passed, the waiver would allow counties and Baltimore city to request up to a 5 percent reduction in funding. In Frederick County, a 5 percent waiver would translate to a loss of about $11 million, said Hal Keller, executive director of fiscal services for Frederick County Public Schools.

Sammy 08:36 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
LTE: Snow budgets
Maryland Independent

This story should be used by every math or economics teacher on how not to plan a budget.

The county set aside $350,000 for snow removal, yet the article [”Big storm busts snow budget,” Maryland Independent, Jan. 6] says they used to budget $1 million but officials felt the mild winters warranted a downsize in the budget. And then the article gives some facts that totally make the decrease to $350,000 a year seem irresponsible. The 10-year total was $10.7 million — sounds like that averages out to about $1 million a year; the lowest was in 2002 which was $425,000 (that is the lowest, yet it is still $75,000 more than budget); and last year the county spent $792,000. So who would think that $350,000 would be a sufficient amount to budget? Maybe the same person who was planning to bring in manmade snow to the town of La Plata so we could have snow to play in.

Sammy 08:29 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Tylenol recall expanded to Motrin, Benadryl, more
USA TODAY

Johnson & Johnson issued a massive recall Friday of over-the-counter drugs including Tylenol, Motrin and St. Joseph’s aspirin because of a moldy smell that has made people sick.

It was the second such recall in less than a month because of the smell, which regulators said was first reported to McNeil in 2008. Federal regulators criticized the company, saying it didn’t respond to the complaints quickly enough, wasn’t thorough in how it handled the problem and didn’t inform the Food and Drug Administration quickly.
[...]
The recall includes some batches of regular and extra-strength Tylenol, children’s Tylenol, eight-hour Tylenol, Tylenol arthritis, Tylenol PM, children’s Motrin, Motrin IB, Benadryl Rolaids, Simply Sleep, and St. Joseph’s aspirin.

Sammy 08:26 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thread - January 16, 2010

The little money I have - that is my wealth, but the things I have for which I would not take money, that is my treasure.  ~Robert Brault

Sammy 08:22 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
In a gender shift, more moms become breadwinners
HOPE YEN ― WTOP

The number of working moms who are the sole breadwinners in their families rose last year to an all-time high, and the number of stay-at-home dads edged higher, in a shift of traditional gender roles caused partly by massive job losses.

The number of moms who were the only working spouse rose for the third straight year, according to Census Bureau figures released Friday. The number of dads who were the only working spouse dropped, and the number of stay-at-home dads ticked higher.

Sammy 08:15 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Administrative charges filed against Md. judge who deflated tire
Ruben Castaneda ― Washington Post

Maryland’s judicial commission has filed administrative charges against the Charles County judge who deflated the tire of a part-time cleaning woman at the courthouse in August.

In charges filed by the investigative counsel of the Commission on Judicial Disabilities, Circuit Court Judge Robert C. Nalley is accused of violating the canon that calls on judges to observe “high standards of conduct” to preserve the integrity and independence of the bench.
[...]
Nalley faces a public hearing on the charges. The commission can recommend a wide range of sanctions, from a reprimand to suspension to removal from the bench. Maryland’s Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, would consider and decide on any recommendation for punishment.

Sammy 08:11 AM | (5) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Reversing itself, FDA expresses concerns over health risks from BPA
Lyndsey Layton ― Washington Post

The Food and Drug Administration has reversed its position on the safety of Bisphenol A, a chemical found in plastic bottles, soda cans, food containers and thousands of consumer goods, saying it now has concerns about health risks.

Growing scientific evidence has linked the chemical to a host of problems, including cancer, sexual dysfunction and heart disease. Federal officials said they are particularly concerned about BPA’s effect on the development of fetuses, infants and young children.

Sammy 08:06 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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