Monday, August 15, 2011
Pet Project - Humane Society of Charles County

Pet Project - Humane Society of Charles County:

12:50 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
For Maryland lawmakers, high stakes as annual lobbying ritual begins at Ocean City
Aaron C. Davis ― Washington Post


2008 MACo Party hosted by Comcast
Photo: Raphael Talisman/The Gazette

Stop by the office of almost any Maryland lawmaker this week, and you’ll probably find the lights off and nobody home. Leave a message for any lobbyist registered in the state, but don’t expect a reply anytime soon.

But if your job is running Maryland government — or trying to influence it — you’ll be in Ocean City, along with about 2,000 other elected leaders, lobbyists and corporate sponsors for four days of sand, seafood, sunrise yoga and meetings sprinkled in between.

The gathering’s annual crab fest and long nights at beach-side bars with lobbyists picking up the tabs are derided perennially for the way they let special interests pay to cozy up to Maryland’s elected leaders.


11:33 AM | (2) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Tax-free week kicks off in Maryland

COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) - Maryland’s annual tax-free week is getting started.

Comptroller Peter Franchot is kicking it off Sunday at The Mall in Columbia.

Maryland residents will not have to pay the 6 percent sales tax on qualifying clothing and shoes priced at $100 or less during the period.

It runs from Sunday until Saturday.

Sammy 06:37 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Fire In Great Dismal Swamp Now Tops 6,100 Acres

SUFFOLK, Va. (AP)—A wildfire in the Great Dismal Swamp National Refuge has now burned more than 6,100 acres.

An incident report released Sunday says firefighters are continuing to strengthen fire lines to contain the blaze.

About a half-inch of rain fell on the area Saturday afternoon, cooling off smaller branches and sticks on the surface but having little effect on the extremely hot embers deep in the peat and under large logs. Firefighters are pumping water from Lake Drummond into ditches throughout the swamp. But fire management officer Timothy Craig says that even if six inches of rain fell, they would have to run the pumps for a month to put out the fire.

The fire, the largest in the refuge’s history, was started by lighting and was reported Aug. 4.

Sammy 06:35 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
O’Malley to promote solar-powered car-charging stations
John Wagner ― Washington Post

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) plans to continue his advocacy of alternative energy Monday morning, promoting a two-fer of sorts: electric car-charging stations powered by solar energy.

O’Malley is scheduled to appear in Bethesda with Montgomery County officials and others at an event touting a “Solar Power Pole car-charging system” developed by a Columbia-based company.

Advanced Technology & Research Corp. says its devices, which the company is manufacturing and assembling in Maryland, are the first of their kind. Solar panels mounted on poles capture power from the sun throughout the day, generating enough energy to charge two vehicles at a time, according to the company.

O’Malley has sponsored several measures in recent legislative sessions intended to spur the use both of electric cars and solar power in Maryland. In April, he drove a Chevy Volt to highlight the introduction of eight new electric-car charging stations at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport.

Sammy 06:33 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Lawsuits challenge Lanier’s policies on discipline
Jeffrey Anderson ― The Washington Times

One of Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy L. Lanier’s methods of disciplining officers above the rank of captain accused of misconduct - or who have failed to meet her expectations - is to designate them as at-will employees who can be fired or demoted without the due-process rights commonly afforded to police officers.

But her methods have resulted in a potentially costly dispute within the department about employee classifications that appear to have led her to contradict positions taken in federal court by the D.C. attorney general’s office.

A number of high-profile lawsuits charge Chief Lanier with imposing at-will status on so-called “excepted service” employees to deny them hearing and notice rights and enforce a code of conduct based on loyalty and fear rather than fairness and sound police disciplinary policies.

Sammy 06:26 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
New courthouse lacks handicap-accessible parking
Rachel Baye ― Washington Examiner

For residents who use wheelchairs, Rockville’s new District Court of Maryland could be nearly impossible to reach.

Though there is parking at the courthouse for judges, there is no public parking, handicap-accessible or otherwise.

Kensington resident Brigette Woods, who uses a wheelchair, said she is concerned that if she has to go to the new courthouse at 191 E. Jefferson St., she won’t be able to get there because of the lack of handicap-accessible parking. After being frustrated by conversations with county and state officials, she said she is ready to sue.

“You can’t blatantly discriminate against a group of people,” she said

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Sammy 06:21 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Prince George’s school board faces flood of discrimination lawsuits
Robert Samuels ― Washington Post

A light-skinned science teacher in Prince George’s County says he didn’t get promoted because his supervisor prefers dark-skinned teachers. An African immigrant in the information technology department says he has been mocked by African Americans.

And there are two teachers who say a young black principal forced them out because they are in their 60s and white.

It’s not unusual for a board of education to face a handful of employee discrimination cases at any given time. But the Prince George’s school board now faces 16.

“Honestly, this is unusual,” said Abbey G. Hairston, a lawyer whose firm represents the county’s Board of Education. “I’ve been practicing 30 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this. And I wish I hadn’t.”

Sammy 06:15 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thread - August 15, 2011

“The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.” Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

Pauleen Brewer 04:00 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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