Saturday, January 30, 2010
Md. May Be Too Blue for Republican Surge
Southern Maryland Online

By GRAHAM MOOMAW

WASHINGTON (Jan. 29, 2010) - A wave of voter anger and frustration sweeping the nation may make for a more interesting election year in strongly Democratic Maryland, conservative activists and candidates say.

Sammy 07:55 AM | (3) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Legislation Would Close Embattled Waxter Detention Center for Girls
Southern Maryland Online

By SHAUNA MILLER

ANNAPOLIS (Jan. 29, 2010) - Delegate Kathleen Dumais, D-Montgomery, has drafted legislation that would close Laurel’s struggling Thomas J.S. Waxter Center for female juvenile offenders.

Dumais said she drafted the bill as a first step toward finding solutions for Waxter, which has been the subject of numerous critical reports by the Attorney General’s Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit. One 2007 report recommended closing Waxter, saying it was “virtually impossible to improve the physical plant sufficiently to make it suitable for a secure detention program.”

Sammy 07:53 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Steel slag dumping questioned
PAMELA WOOD ― The Capital

Material being used as oyster reef base in Severn River

Late last year, crews hired by the Army Corps of Engineers spent several weeks dumping piles and piles of granite, concrete and steel slag onto the floor of the Severn River.

The idea was to create an artificial base for new oyster reefs.

But no one ever tested the steel slag - a rock-like byproduct of the steel-making process - for heavy metals or other contaminants.

Now some local environmentalists are asking how the project ever could have been approved with a lack of such critical information. And they’re having a difficult time getting answers.

Sammy 07:21 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Companies say Alaska gas pipeline could cost $41B
BECKY BOHRER ― Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Companies working with the state of Alaska to develop a major natural gas pipeline estimated Friday that the project would cost $20 billion to $41 billion, depending on the route.

The Alaska Pipeline Project seeks to move natural gas from the harsh North Slope to market in Alaska, through Canada and to the Lower 48.

The high end of the estimate is at least a billion more than earlier thought, but project officials believe the pipeline is economically viable and could start carrying gas in about 2020.

Sammy 07:12 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thread - January 30, 2010

“Men are respectable only as they respect”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sammy 05:00 AM | (2) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Friday, January 29, 2010
WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM SATURDAY TO 4 AM EST SUNDAY

...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM SATURDAY TO 4 AM EST SUNDAY…THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR SNOW…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM SATURDAY TO 4 AM EST SUNDAY. THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.* PRECIPITATION TYPE…SNOW.* ACCUMULATIONS…3 TO 6 INCHES.* TIMING…SNOW WILL BEGIN SATURDAY MORNING AND IT WILL PERSIST PAST MIDNIGHT. SNOW WILL BE HEAVIEST SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING.* TEMPERATURES…TEMPERATURES IN THE LOWER 20S SATURDAY MORNING WILL RISE INTO THE MID 20S SATURDAY AFTERNOON. TEMPERATURES SATURDAY NIGHT WILL FALL INTO THE TEENS.* WINDS…NORTHEAST 10 TO 15 MPH. SOME GUSTS UP TO 20 TO 25 MPH WILL BE POSSIBLE SATURDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING ALONG THE SHORELINE OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. STRONG WINDS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE. THIS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

The Quack 06:18 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Man pleads guilty in 8 street racing deaths
Washington Post

A Waldorf man pleaded guilty Friday to causing the car crash in Accokeek nearly two years ago that killed eight people at a street race.

Darren J. Bullock, 22, pleaded guilty in Prince George’s County Circuit Court to eight counts of vehicular manslaughter.
[...]
Bullock agreed to a statement of facts read into the court record by Assistant State’s Attorney Wes Adams, in which the prosecutor said Bullock was driving a white Crown Victoria at more than 100 mph when he smashed into the victims, who had wandered onto the road after watching an illegal street race.

Related WTTG-TV (Fox 5) article: Man Pleads Guilty in Street Racing Deaths

Sammy 05:09 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Officials report stadium revenue increases
ERICA MITRANO ― Maryland Independent

The Charles County commissioners heaped praise on the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs after executives presented the baseball team’s second annual report Tuesday.

Despite the economic downturn, the Atlantic League team has seen attendance and revenue expand, according to General Manager Chris Allen and Peter Kirk, chairman of Opening Day Partners, the Lancaster, Pa.-based firm that owns the team. The league is independent from Major League Baseball teams.

Sammy 03:48 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
New candidates get head start on funds
MEREDITH SOMERS ― Maryland Independent

It might be their first foray into county politics, but it would appear District 1 commissioner candidate Ken Robinson (D) and District 2 commissioner candidate Rick Campbell (R) know more about the inner workings of campaign financing than other novices.

Sammy 03:45 PM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Miller hints at retirement after next term
ALAN BRODY ― Maryland Independent

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. signaled on Thursday night that his next four-year term – if he wins re-election – will be his last.

The comments came during a meeting of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland, a regional development and planning organization that includes community members, and local and state elected officials from Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties. The audience at the Loews Hotel Annapolis included Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and several cabinet secretaries.

Sammy 03:42 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
LTE: Commissioners should have rejected raises from beginning
Indy

In his remarks at Tuesday’s Charles County commissioners’ work session regarding the pay increases for the commissioners, Gary Hodge reminded the board of the hearing Jan. 13 that only 11 attendees spoke and four of those were political candidates seeking office who, according to Hodge, “… had their own agendas.”

He further stated that he “was not elected to run from controversy or make decisions based on emotional public hearing.”

The only agenda at the Jan.13 public hearing was to squelch the exploitation of the process for the political gain of those sitting behind the polished oak desk in a million-dollar auditorium intended for the public, but stripped away by the self-serving desires of government officials who have done everything but “hear” from its public.

Shouldn’t we be commending our commissioners for doing the honorable thing as they suggest in their “sacrificial” screed?

Categorically no.

Commendation would have come had the commissioners read the compensation committee’s report, thanked them for a job well done and said this isn’t the time or the economy for anyone to receive a raise on the day the report came out.

That is what a representative would have done considering all things in this economic crisis.

The state legislature was certainly capable of doing just that. Had that scenario occurred, an honorable mention would have been noteworthy.

What did occur was — unanimously — each commissioner voted to draft an ordinance. Commissioner Edith Patterson called this a “wait and see approach” according to the Maryland Independent on Nov. 20.

Wayne Cooper openly stated then he would accept the raise in the same article.

Interestingly enough, during this two-month-long process, Hodge could either not be reached or did not return calls for comment for Independent articles Nov. 20 and Dec. 2.

He was outraged at the Maryland Independent on Dec. 18 and bullied his way into favorable press by threatening to pull commissioner ads.

All the rhetoric, but he never offered any rational justification for considering himself a raise — just that his actions were “legal.”

I suppose he was too busy not running from controversy to offer his thoughts when it matters the most to those he was elected to represent.

Need he be reminded that he too is a candidate? I guess he doesn’t have an agenda.

Bruce Wesbury, Waldorf

The writer is the chairman of the Charles County Republican Central Committee.

The Quack 02:11 PM | (69) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
CCPS cancels weekend activities

Due to inclement weather forecasts, Charles County Public Schools has canceled all weekend activities scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.

The Quack 01:38 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Wages and benefits rise in 2009 by smallest amount on records going back 27 years
MARTIN CRUTSINGER ― Baltimore Sun

Wages and benefits paid to U.S. workers posted a modest gain in the fourth quarter, ending a year in which recession-battered workers saw their compensation rise by the smallest amount on records going back more than a quarter-century.

The anemic gains have raised concerns about the durability of the economic recovery. The fear is that consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of economic activity, could falter if households don’t have the income growth to support their spending.

Sammy 12:18 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Maryland Politicians Miss the Tweet Life
Southern Maryland Online

By MORGAN GIBSON

Official congressional life in 140 characters is passing much of Maryland by, while constituents from other states get instant Twitter updates from Capitol Hill constantly.

Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Fort Washington, and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md. are the only members of Maryland’s congressional delegation with accounts on Twitter, the social media update Web site, and they are barely used.

The rest of the state’s Hill delegation are either not interested in tweeting, or are working to set up an account.

Sammy 12:14 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Bill Seeks to Suspend Fees for Aquaculture
Southern Maryland Online

By JENNIFER HLAD

Raymond Combs and his family have been trying to get permits to raise oysters for the last three years.

They started growing a few oysters in a tributary near their home in Hollywood and would eventually like to have at least a 5-acre aquaculture site. But their plan stalled when they learned that just applying for an aquaculture permit is $750, and the application and impact fees could total $90,000.

Combs was one of a handful of people who testified Thursday in support of a bill that would suspend Maryland Department of the Environment application and impact fees for commercial aquaculture—at least for a few years.

Sammy 12:12 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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