Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Board of Education seeks opinions on quality education

What do you think counts in education? The Board of Education wants to know.

“What Counts II” is the topic for discussion at a community forum set for Thursday, Feb. 18, 6:30-9 p.m., in the Westlake High School cafeteria. Westlake is located at 3300 Middletown Road in Waldorf.

Invitations have been sent out to a cross-section of county residents to ensure well-rounded participation, but the public is invited to attend and participate as well.

The goal of the forum is simple. Board members want to learn what Charles County residents think counts in education and explore how the effectiveness and quality of public schools should be measured. The Board hopes to engage participants in small round-table discussions about what the community wants from its public schools and review the top 10 results of the previous What Counts session.

Sammy 06:33 PM | (5) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Miller: Senate to post committee votes within days
Washington Post

The Maryland Senate soon will post committee votes online within days after they occur, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert) said Tuesday morning.

The announcement was the latest in a flurry of rule changes and proposed legislation this session designed to make state government more open.

Sammy 04:54 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
U.S. bans truckers, bus drivers from texting while driving
Ashley Halsey III ― Washington Post

The government Tuesday formally barred truckers and bus drivers from sending text messages while behind the wheel, putting the federal imprimatur on a prohibition embraced by many large trucking and transportation companies.

“We want the drivers of big rigs and buses and those who share the roads with them to be safe,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This is an important safety step, and we will be taking more to eliminate the threat of distracted driving.”

Sammy 04:51 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Virginia Senate Passes Bill Allowing Clothes Lines

The Virginia Senate wants all homeowners to be able to air out their clean laundry.

By a 37-3 vote Tuesday, the Senate passed a bill that would prohibit homeowner’s associations from banning residents from stringing up clothes lines to dry their garments.

Sammy 02:30 PM | (2) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Firefighters Removing Body Discover Man Was Breathing

A 26-year-old man was trapped inside his burning Cadillac that had run into the back of another vehicle on I-95 in Laurel early Sunday morning. The burning car had slammed against trees in the median strip.
PGFD Chief Spokesman Mark Brady confirms this in a statement provided to 9NEWS NOW, saying, “A preliminary patient assessment was made soon after the fire was extinguished, while the victim was still trapped within the wreckage, that he was priority 4 (deceased).”

Brady also confirms that about eight-minutes later firefighters were asked by Maryland State Police to help in the removal of the body. It was then that firefighters determined the man was still breathing. The man, whose identity has not been released, was removed from the car and, at last word from police, was in the hospital with life-threatening burns and other injuries.

Sammy 02:27 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Lost: 44,000 state jobs in 2009
Kevin James Shay ― Gazette

Biggest annual loss in Maryland in two decades

Maryland employers shed about 8,700 payroll jobs in December, making a total of 44,400 jobs lost in 2009, the most since at least 1990, according to federal figures released Friday.

Every state lost jobs last year, with only Washington, D.C., bucking the trend. Washington added 6,200 jobs in 2009, a gain of almost 1 percent. Maryland’s 1.7 percent job loss last year was smaller than the national loss of 3.1 percent.

Sammy 12:39 PM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Steele’s secure in his job, despite criticisms
Paul West ― Baltimore Sun

In his first year as Republican national chairman, Michael Steele has alarmed and infuriated the GOP establishment with frequent gaffes and what some see as a tendency to put his personal interests ahead of the party’s.

At the same time, the Republican National Committee has raised more money than its Democratic counterpart and helped its candidates to key wins. Capturing Edward M. Kennedy’s Senate seat thrilled Republicans and shifted attention from Steele’s problems, which had re-emerged in recent weeks.

Sammy 12:36 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Bottled Water Drive to Benefit Survivors of the Earthquake in Haiti
The Bay Net

The recent series of earthquakes, ranging in magnitude from 6.5 to 7.3 on the Richter scale, devastated the Republic of Haiti. In order to help the millions of Haitians who are without the bare necessities to survive, I am coordinating a bottled water collection through the Haitian Embassy. Their need for food and water is constant and may be for some time.

Please join me in this relief effort by donating a case of bottled water. With the combined effort of the community, we can help victims survive. There are three drop off locations and are as follows: the lobby of Wyle’s Exp. I building at 22309 Exploration Drive, Lexington Park. and Century 21’s offices located at 23063 Three Notch Road in front of Lowes hardware store.

Sammy 12:32 PM | (7) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Coast Guard to Establish Security Zone for State of the Union Address
The Bay Net

The Coast Guard will establish a temporary security zone in designated waters of the National Capitol Region for the State of the Union address Wednesday, Jan. 27. During this period, security zone enforcement will prohibit navigation by commercial and recreational waterway users.

Coast Guard Station Washington, D.C., along with temporarily relocated units from Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes, Md., Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Teams from Boston, Mass., and Kings Bay, Ga., will work with the Secret Service, U.S. Capitol Police, D.C. Harbor Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol in providing security during the State of the Union address.

Sammy 12:30 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Our Say: A plugged-in generation poses problems for parents
The Capital

Last week we got the dismal news that a county police lieutenant had been arrested on child pornography charges. Prosecutors claimed that he traded more than 1,300 text messages, along with nude pictures, with a 16-year-old girl with whom he apparently had an extended relationship.

If true, this is an extreme case. But many parents may have put themselves in the place of that 16-year-old’s parents and wondered uneasily who their kids are texting, or what they are exposed to through their nonstop use of entertainment media.

And we do mean nonstop. A new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation -“Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds” found that the average daily media consumption of those surveyed was seven hours and 38 minutes a day. And, through the wonders of multitasking, young people were shoehorning 10 hours and 45 minutes of media exposure into that length of time.

Do these kids ever sleep? When do they do homework? Do their parents have the faintest idea about what they are being exposed to?

Sammy 08:32 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Government plans cautious moves on Atlantic drilling
JENNIFER A. DLOUHY ― Houston Chronicle

The federal government is set this week to begin a process that could clear the way for energy companies to do seismic research aimed at locating pockets of oil and natural gas along the Atlantic Coast, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told reporters Monday.

The moves to study the environmental effects of seismic studies could represent very initial steps to leasing federal waters in the Atlantic for drilling.

But first, Salazar said, the government and energy industry need to know what is available under the ocean floor — and the government is required to assess the environmental effects of seismic studies before developers can do the research.

Sammy 05:28 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Rise in teenage pregnancy rate spurs new debate on arresting it
Rob Stein ― Washington Post

The pregnancy rate among teenage girls in the United States has jumped for the first time in more than a decade, raising alarm that the long campaign to reduce motherhood among adolescents is faltering, according to a report released Tuesday.

The pregnancy rate among 15-to-19-year-olds increased 3 percent between 2005 and 2006—the first jump since 1990, according to an analysis of the most recent data collected by the federal government and the nation’s leading reproductive-health think tank.

Sammy 05:20 AM | (4) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
GM to build electric motors in Maryland
Peter Whoriskey ― Washington Post

Betting that hybrid and electric vehicles will play a growing role on American highways, General Motors is expected to announce Tuesday a $246 million investment to add production of electric motors at its White Marsh, Md., manufacturing plant.
The electric-motor project is expected to create about 200 jobs and will be funded in part by a $105 million grant from the Department of Energy, the automaker said. While GM did not disclose the project’s location, sources familiar with the arrangements who spoke on condition of anonymity said it would be at the company’s White Marsh facility. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and local officials have scheduled a news conference there Tuesday.

Sammy 05:17 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Obama to propose freeze on government spending
Lori Montgomery ― Washington Post

Under mounting pressure to rein in mammoth budget deficits, President Obama will propose in his State of the Union address a three-year freeze on federal funding that is not related to national security, a concession to public concern about government spending that could dramatically curtail Obama’s legislative ambitions.

The freeze would take effect in October and limit the overall budget for agencies other than the military, veterans affairs, homeland security and certain international programs to $447 billion a year for the remainder of Obama’s first term, senior administration officials said Monday, imposing sharp limits on his ability to begin initiatives in education, the environment and other areas of domestic policy.

Sammy 05:14 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thread - January 26, 2010

The friend in my adversity I shall always treasure most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.
~Ulysses S. Grant

Sammy 05:08 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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