Board Docs - Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting - Tuesday, March 2, 2010
1.09 [1:00 p.m.] County Business: FY2010 Budget Transfer Request, $1,863,190.00, Capital Projects, Piney Branch Interceptor Capacity Construction (Ms. Deborah Hudson, Fiscal & Administrative Services)
One of the really “Big Ones” to shake the United States was a magnitude-9.0 earthquake along the Pacific Northwest coast more than 300 years ago, before the arrival of people and development, that sent a catastrophic tsunami to Japan.
Were something like that 1700 quake to occur today — and it certainly could, seismologists say — enormous destruction and loss of life would result in a region that is home now to big cities and millions of people.
The magnitude-8.8 earthquake that rocked Chile and sent tsunami fears across the Pacific on Saturday — nearly seven weeks after the enormously deadly quake that destroyed parts of Haiti— serves as a vivid reminder of the perils posed to the United States by countless fault lines and shifting plates.
The so-called “Great Recession” has left Americans depending on the government dole like never before.
Without record levels of welfare, unemployment and other government benefits as well as tax cuts last year, the income of U.S. households would have plunged by an astonishing $723 billion — more than four times the record $167 billion drop reported last month by the Commerce Department.
Moreover, for the first time since the Great Depression, Americans took more aid from the government than they paid in taxes.
Happy Monday! Federal funding for major road construction projects and national anti-drunk driving campaigns dried up Sunday night amid Congressional gridlock.
Lawmakers failed to reach agreement last week on tax credits, unemployment insurance for roughly 400,000 Americans and a short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that he expects Republicans to along with a vote this week to pass the $10 billion package despite objections from Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.), who objected and delayed the bill.
Nearly 40 years after the first Earth Day, this is irony: The United States has reduced the manmade pollutants that left its waterways dead, discolored and occasionally flammable.
But now, it has managed to smother the same waters with the most natural stuff in the world.
Animal manure, a byproduct as old as agriculture, has become an unlikely modern pollution problem, scientists and environmentalists say. The country simply has more dung than it can handle: Crowded together at a new breed of megafarms, livestock produce three times as much waste as people, more than can be recycled as fertilizer for nearby fields.
Not far from Yosemite’s waterfalls and in the middle of California’s redwood forests, Mexican drug gangs are quietly commandeering U.S. public land to grow millions of marijuana plants and using smuggled immigrants to cultivate them.
Pot has been grown on public lands for decades, but Mexican traffickers have taken it to a whole new level: using armed guards and trip wires to safeguard sprawling plots that in some cases contain tens of thousands of plants offering a potential yield of more than 30 tons of pot a year.
It’s not being called “Cash for Clunkers,” but it is similar.
The Maryland Energy Administration’s mail-in rebate program will help residents replace older, inefficient appliances with new Energy Star-qualified and ultra-efficient ones. The program launches in March.
Since the program was announced, the state has seen a lot of interest, MEA spokeswoman Christina Twomey said.
Eligible products include refrigerators, clothes washers and heat pump water heaters.
But once in the emergency room, the investigator is told it is hospital policy not to allow its medical personnel to help collect such evidence because they could be hauled into court and diverted from patient care. As a result, there is no chemical evidence and the case against the drunken driver falls apart.
In what Bizarro World could such a thing happen? A parallel universe? Some place out of a comic book?
That is, in fact, the state of the law here. Harford County State’s Attorney Joseph Cassilly is trying to change that.
For decades, Maryland lawmakers have built up public education through spending requirements that they’ve imposed on themselves and on local governments. But this year, more seriously than ever, the General Assembly is looking for ways to nip at school funding.
There’s broad agreement among lawmakers that the depth and length of the national economic downturn means the time has come to review this previously untouchable part of the budget - which accounts for about 20 percent of state spending.
History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.
~John F. Kennedy