Monday, July 26, 2010
Scheduled Ground-breaking Cancelled

According to Ken Robinson’s comments (here and here), the scheduled ground-breaking ceremony for the affordable housing project at Cliffton on the Potomac is now canceled.

GROUNDBREAKING CANCELLED due to the feared protest!

I had two TV crews that said they would cover the groundbreaking/protest.

Great work by the community and again, kudos to John Gardner for getting this the attention it deserved.

02:38 PM | (26) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Finance reform law draws ire from bankers, praise from retailers
Kevin James Shay ― Gazette

Some say it will endanger some institutions; merchants like fee caps

Executives with Maryland banks and other financial institutions blasted certain parts of the financial reform bill signed into law this week by President Barack Obama, while officials with retail groups praised the measure.

Reforms of the financial industry were needed and original intentions were sound, but the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act went too far, said J. Scott Wilfong, chairman of the Maryland Bankers Association. It will tack on several hundred new regulations and possibly lead to more banks seeking mergers, he said.

“We need to figure out how to make it work and not have a negative impact on the economy,” said Wilfong, who is also chairman, president and CEO of SunTrust Bank’s Greater Washington and Maryland region. He said he was speaking on behalf of the trade group and not SunTrust.

Sammy 02:21 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Deportation of illegal immigrants increases under Obama administration
Peter Slevin ― Washington Post

In a bid to remake the enforcement of federal immigration laws, the Obama administration is deporting record numbers of illegal immigrants and auditing hundreds of businesses that blithely hire undocumented workers.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency expects to deport about 400,000 people this fiscal year, nearly 10 percent above the Bush administration’s 2008 total and 25 percent more than were deported in 2007. The pace of company audits has roughly quadrupled since President George W. Bush’s final year in office.

The effort is part of President Obama’s larger project “to make our national laws actually work,” as he put it in a speech this month at American University. Partly designed to entice Republicans to support comprehensive immigration reform, the mission is proving difficult and politically perilous.

Sammy 02:08 PM | (38) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Reminder:  What to name the new high school? Weigh in before August.
Ready, Willing and Abell

A committee was comprised of county residents, staff, and students to review the submitted suggestions. The committee came before the board on June 28, 2010 and presented their unanimous top three suggestions in no particular order.
The Board unanimously decided that the new high school should be named after a location not a person and therefore the following submissions would be mute.
The Board will be voting on the name at the August Board Meeting. Please respond with your vote.

Sammy 09:47 AM | (2) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Over at Ready, Willing and Abell:  Tasers in School

This serves as follow-up to a previous post. There is a list of article links below involving tasers and their use in schools. Please review them and give me your thoughts. Officers, including the Juvenile Resource Officers in the schools, currently are armed with tasers. There is NOT a policy in place either with the Charles County Sheriff’s Office or the Charles County Board of Education regarding the use of tasers on school grounds.

Sammy 09:39 AM | (10) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Public Meeting on proposed Zoning Text Amendment, ZTA # 10-121 and…
Maryland Independent

...Subdivision Regulations Amendment, SRA 09-12

Notice is hereby given that the Charles County Planning Commission will hold a Public Meeting on proposed Zoning Text Amendment, ZTA # 10-121 and Subdivision Regulations Amendment, SRA 09-12 on August 9, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. in the County Commissioner’s Meeting Room located in the Charles County Government Building, La Plata, Maryland.

The proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance and the Subdivisions Regulations are to allow Rural Preservation Subdivisions, up to 14 ten acre lots on a private road in the Agricultural Conservation (AC) and Rural Conservation (RC) Zones. The proposed zoning amendment adds to Article III §297- 49 Word usage; Article VI, §297-87 Agricultural Conservation Zone; and, Article VI, §297-88 Rural Zones in the Charles County Zoning Ordinance (2006 Edition). The proposed subdivision amendment adds to Article III, §278-19, Rural Preservation Subdivisions; Article V, §278-56 Rural Preservation Subdivisions; and amends Article IV, §278-31 Procedures for Processing Subdivision Types; and, Article VII, §278-80 Private Rights-of-Way and Access Easements in the Charles County Subdivision Regulations (2007 Edition)

Sammy 08:18 AM | (2) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Reminder:  Candice Quinn Kelly, candidate for commissioner president… holding a town hall meeting this evening

Indian Head - South West County

Monday, July 26, 2010
6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Indian Head Senior/Community Center
100 Cornwallis Square
Indian Head, MD

Sammy 08:06 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
‘Villages’ let elderly grow old at home
Haya El Nasser ― USA TODAY

The explosive growth of the USA’s older population is fueling a grass-roots “village” movement in neighborhoods across the country to help people age in their own homes.

More than 50 villages in a neighbor-helping-neighbor system have sprouted in the past decade from California and Colorado to Nebraska and Massachusetts. They are run largely by volunteers and funded by grants and membership fees to provide services from transportation and grocery delivery to home repairs and dog walking.

Most villages have opened in the past couple of years, an indication that the momentum is growing in the face of a demographic tsunami: The number of Americans 65 and older is expected to more than double to 89 million by 2050, according to the Census Bureau.

The oldest of 79 million Baby Boomers turn 65 next year, a turning point that will begin to put pressure on social services, retirement homes and assisted-living facilities.

Sammy 08:04 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Agenda - Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting - TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2010

Board Docs - Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting - TUESDAY, JULY 27, 2010

1.02 [8:45 a.m.] Groundbreaking Ceremony: Cliffton on the Potomac Affordable Housing Unit (Cliffton on the Potomac Subdivision) 

1.04 [11:30 a.m.] Lunch

1.05 [12:30 p.m.] Closed Session (Legal, Land Acquisition, Personnel Appointments, Personnel) *All or a portion of this session may be closed pursuant to Section 10-508 of the Annotated Code of Maryland

1.06 [1:30 p.m.] Old Business: 1) Follow-up on term limits for Board of Electrical Examiners Members (Mr. Roy Hancock, Assistant to the County Administrator/Mr. Greg Taylor, Chairman)

1.07 [1:40 p.m.] Old Business: 2) Charles County Government Safety Manual Revisions (Ms. Joane Gulvas, Safety Officer)


Sammy 07:30 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Cities View Homesteads as a Source of Income
Monica Davey ― New York Times

Give away land to make money?

It hardly sounds like a prudent scheme. But in a bit of déjà vu, that is exactly what this small Nebraska city aims to do.

Beatrice was a starting point for the Homestead Act of 1862, the federal law that handed land to pioneering farmers. Back then, the goal was to settle the West. The goal of Beatrice’s “Homestead Act of 2010,” is, in part, to replenish city coffers.
Around the nation, cities and towns facing grim budget circumstances are grasping at unlikely — some would say desperate — means to bolster their shrunken tax bases. Like Beatrice, places like Dayton, Ohio, and Grafton, Ill., are giving away land for nominal fees or for nothing in the hope that it will boost the tax rolls and cut the lawn-mowing bills.

In Boca Raton, Fla., which faces a budget gap of more than $7 million, leaders are thinking about expanding the city’s size and annexing neighborhoods as an antidote. Sure, more residents would cost more in services, but officials hope the added tax revenues will more than make up for it.

Sammy 07:24 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Reminder:  Rick Campbell Fund Raiser is being held this evening at the…

...Legends Club at Blue Crabs Stadium

Sammy 06:52 AM | (2) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thread - July 26, 2010

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life. ~Charles Darwin

Sammy 06:50 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Mexico braces for effects of Arizona immigration law
Chris Hawley ― USA TODAY

The other side of the border is also preparing for the implementation of Arizona’s new immigration law, which could lead to a surge of deportees back to Mexico.

Migrant shelters along the border in Mexico say they’re bracing for new arrivals after the law goes into effect Thursday.

Mexico’s government has added more workers to its consulate in Phoenix to assist detained Mexicans. Migrants who have been deported say they’re watching to see how the law is enforced before deciding whether to try again to cross the border illegally into Arizona.

“On the plane, everybody was talking about the law,” said Ernesto González, a deportee who arrived here last week on a U.S. government flight from Tucson. “Everybody knows it’s coming.”

Sammy 06:46 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Quarterly economic forecast takes a turn for the worse
Paul Davidson and Barbara Hansen ― USA TODAY

More than eight in 10 economists surveyed by USA TODAY have downgraded their economic outlook amid the European debt crisis and a flurry of disappointing reports, but nearly all expect the nation to avoid a double-dip recession.

The quarterly forecast of the 47 economists, conducted July 15-21, was decidedly gloomier than April, when the recovery was gaining steam and most experts were ratcheting up their estimates.

But the turmoil in Europe, along with lackluster job growth, a weak housing market and a slowdown in factory output, have damped hopes the nation will recover the 8.5 million jobs lost in the downturn at a more-than-glacial pace.

Sammy 06:44 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Leaked files lay bare war in Afghanistan
Greg Jaffe and Karen DeYoung ― Washington Post

Tens of thousands of classified documents related to the Afghan war released without authorization by the group reveal in often excruciating detail the struggles U.S. troops have faced in battling an increasingly potent Taliban force and in working with Pakistani allies who also appear to be helping the Afghan insurgency.

The more than 91,000 classified documents—most of which consist of low-level field reports—represent one of the largest single disclosures of such information in U.S. history. Wikileaks gave the material to the New York Times, the British newspaper the Guardian and the German magazine Der Spiegel several weeks ago on the condition that they not be published before Sunday night, when the group released them publicly.

Sammy 06:38 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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