Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Second Comprehensive Plan Design Charrette to be Held Aug. 3

The 2012 Comprehensive Plan update process is now underway. Public input is essential to produce a new plan that reflects community consensus and identifies ways to maintain Charles County as an ideal place to live, work, shop and play.

Several Charles County Comprehensive Plan design charrettes have been scheduled for citizens. The series of similarly-structured, regionally specific follow-up meetings or “charrettes” are intended to give the community an opportunity to review and refine three distinct land use scenarios. Illustrated in three conceptual maps, the various scenarios have been developed as a result of public input on the visions, goals, and issues that should be addressed during the update process.

The next design charrette will be held on Wednesday, August 3, at Smallwood Middle School (4990 Indian Head Highway) in Indian Head.

Sammy 11:15 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Charles County to be Featured on Oprah Winfrey Network Show

The television series, “Saved by a Stranger: Extraordinary Acts of Courage,” a new program on the Oprah Winfrey Network, plans to air a story from Charles County in an upcoming episode.

A crew from Skip Films, a consultant with the Oprah Winfrey Network, visited Charles County recently to tape a segment highlighting Emergency Dispatcher I James Maloney and a seven-year-old Charles County citizen, Madison Davis.

On March 6, 2011, the quick thinking and bravery of Davis, who called 9‐1‐1 while her mother was having a life threatening medical emergency, and the calm, decisive actions of 9-1-1 Dispatcher James Maloney, who received her call, saved the life of Madison’s mother. Maloney and Davis gained national media attention for their story, and the Oprah Winfrey Network contacted Charles County Government expressing interest in devoting an episode to them.

Sammy 11:13 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
U.S. broadband closer to advertised speeds: study

Cable, DSL and fiber-to-the-home services were examined at 13 top U.S. broadband providers, representing about 86 percent of all U.S. fixed broadband connections.

Actual download speeds provided by the majority of U.S. broadband providers were within 80 percent or better of companies’ advertised speeds even during peak usage hours, according to a draft copy of the report.

The findings are considerably improved from data collected in 2009 for a study on U.S. broadband performance that showed actual download speeds were more often around 50 percent of the Internet service provider’s (ISP) advertised speed, the Federal Communications Commission said.

Sammy 11:08 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Putin says U.S. is “parasite” on global economy

“They are living beyond their means and shifting a part of the weight of their problems to the world economy,” Putin told the pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi while touring its lakeside summer camp some five hours drive north of Moscow.

“They are living like parasites off the global economy and their monopoly of the dollar,” Putin said at the open-air meeting with admiring young Russians in what looked like early campaigning before parliamentary and presidential polls.

Sammy 10:44 AM | (25) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Consumer spending falters, but inflation eases

The Commerce Department said on Tuesday consumer spending slipped 0.2 percent, the first decline since September 2009, after edging up 0.1 percent in May. Adjusted for inflation, spending was flat after a 0.1 percent decline.

“The growth potential for the economy has slowed significantly,” said Yelena Shulyatyeva, a U.S. economist at BNP Paribas in New York.

Sammy 10:41 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Japanese naval ships make Va. port visit

Three Japanese naval ships are visiting Norfolk following a training exercise with the U.S. Navy.

The Japanese training squadron arrived in downtown Norfolk Tuesday. They spent the past few days conducting maneuvers with U.S. warships after making a port visit in Tampa, Fla.

Sammy 09:47 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Maryland contractors grounded by FAA funding dispute
Kevin James Shay ― Gazette

Maryland companies’ deals range into the millions

Several more Maryland companies working on Federal Aviation Administration projects have seen their projects grind to a halt, as the 10-day congressional standoff over funding continued Monday.

Those include Greenbelt information technology company Applied Integrated Technologies, which is working on a $3.5 million contract to provide a next-generation traffic management system for air travel. Another Greenbelt contractor, ASRC Research & Technology Solutions, had a $1.3 million contract for planning work put on hold. Executives with the Greenbelt businesses could not be reached for comment Monday.

Sammy 09:38 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Energy programs prepare for cuts

Popular energy and environmental programs should prepare for a decade of spending cuts under the debt deal reached late Sunday between the White House and congressional leaders.

Less clear, however, is the effect that the landmark agreement will have on popular tax incentives for the oil, gas, renewable and other energy industries.

Constituencies fighting in the trenches for every dollar insist that their programs are small relative to other big-ticket items in the annual appropriations process. But there’s still plenty of concern that everything from wastewater grants to air pollution monitoring and biofuels research and development will face the scalpel as lawmakers start cutting about $2.7 trillion in spending over the next decade.

Sammy 07:53 AM | (2) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
School voucher bills flood GOP-led statehouses
DORIE TURNER ― Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

More states than ever before have considered school vouchers this year, driven by resurgent Republicans who see the lagging economy as an opportunity for a fresh push on one of their most contentious education policies.

As of mid-July, at least 30 states had introduced bills that would use taxpayer dollars to send children to private schools, most limited to poor or special needs children, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That’s compared with nine voucher bills in 2010, just one of which passed - a special needs voucher program in Oklahoma.

And 28 states this year have eyed giving tax breaks to those paying private school tuition bills, which some consider a back-door voucher program.

Sammy 07:46 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Markets fret over US economy despite debt deal
Frederick News-Post

Global stock markets tumbled Tuesday after downbeat U.S. data fueled fears the world’s largest economy might be sliding back into recession.

Oil prices fell to near $94 a barrel on expectations slowing global economic growth will reduce demand for crude.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX opened down 0.5 percent. France’s CAC-40 shed 0.2 percent and London’s FTSE was down 0.3 percent. Wall Street was poised to fall. Dow futures were off 0.3 percent at 12,001.

Sammy 07:25 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
US troops must have legal immunity to stay in Iraq
Frederick News-Post

BAGHDAD (AP) — The top U.S. military officer said Tuesday that American troops must be given immunity from prosecution as part of any agreement to keep them in Iraq beyond the end of the year and that this protection must be approved by Iraq’s parliament.

The comments by Joint Chiefs chairman Adm. Mike Mullen could make it more difficult for the troops to stay here.

Sammy 07:23 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Charles County Update: Charrette with Commissioner Robinson


Sammy 07:15 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Charles County Update: National Night Out


Sammy 07:14 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
First phase of debt deal poses little threat to economy
Daily Record

The first phase of a deal to raise the government’s borrowing limit would pose little threat to the economy in the short term because almost none of the spending cuts would occur before 2014.

Discretionary spending, which excludes Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, would be cut by $21 billion in 2012 and $42 billion in 2013, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. That’s a small fraction of the nation’s $14 trillion economy.

“The immediate economic impact of the … deal should be relatively minor,” Brian Gardner, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, said in a research note. “As is usually the case, most of the cuts” have been put off for several years.

Sammy 07:12 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
FCC seeks more channel choices in cable lineups

Federal regulators are adopting new rules intended to give cable viewers more channel choices.

The rules, approved by the Federal Communications Commission Monday, aim to make it easier for independent television programmers to get their channels carried in cable system lineups and to prevent cable companies from discriminating against independent channels that may compete with their own networks.

Program carriage disputes have pitted programmers against cable giants. Tennis Network and the NFL Network, for instance, filed complaints with the FCC in recent years accusing Comcast Corp. of discriminating against them by relegating them to a premium sports tier that reaches only a small number of subscribers.

Sammy 07:07 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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