Saturday, October 08, 2011
Building new high school not practical
SoMdNews.com - LTE

The state of Maryland is in dire financial straights and just keeps borrowing money to stay afloat to try and keep from cutting services.

We have a school board that wants to spend $74 million on a new high school but has no tangible, forthcoming funding from the state for it. Henry E. Lackey High School is at 84 percent student capacity and Thomas Stone High School is at 98 percent capacity. La Plata High School is 234 students over capacity. Maurice J. McDonough is 56 students over capacity. North Point is 600 students over capacity and having fights involving as many as 20 students, resulting in a school administrator using pepper spray against students, and the Charles County Sheriff’s Department arresting several of those students.

Does the school board really think that they should postpone addressing this situation by trying to build a new high school in 2013 that has yet to be funded?

Sammy 08:15 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Growing Grapes for Wine Program grant announced
SoMdNews.com

The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission is offering grants to farms in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties to aid in the purchase of wine grape vines.

The grant program offers matching funds for the purchase of grape vines compatible with the region. The Grapes for Wine Program is offered together with the University of Maryland Extension, which will provide ongoing training and production expertise.

To be eligible, an applicant must own or be co-applicant with the owner of at least 5 acres of land currently in agricultural use. The site must be suitable (determined by an extension educator) and the soils tested for nematodes. Soil samples must be taken this fall and sent to a laboratory for analysis. The grant application and guidelines detail procedures and provide a list of laboratories.

Sammy 08:13 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Company offers bus service to Fort Meade
SoMdNews.com

The Central Maryland Regional Transit Corp. announces subscription bus service from the Waldorf and Clinton areas to Fort Meade. CMRT, in cooperation with Pullen’s Tour Service, provides riders with a deluxe coach bus equipped with comfortable seats, Wi-Fi and a restroom.

The bus departs the St. Charles Park and Ride at 5:20 a.m. and proceeds to the Clinton Park and Ride at 5:40 a.m. The bus then becomes express and arrives at Fort Meade at 6:20 a.m. The bus makes a series of drop-offs at various Fort Meade buildings that include DISA, DMA and DAA. The bus departs from Fort Meade at 4:05 p.m.

Sammy 08:11 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
In Prince George’s, a new economic development team with a new focus
Lindsey Robbins ― Gazette

County overhauls its economic development efforts

[...]
When Baker took office, he cited revitalizing the Prince George’s commercial sector as one of his primary goals.

His first step was the creation of an economic development team, led by Carla A. Reid, its deputy chief administrative officer and former deputy general manager of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.

The team’s intended purpose is to oversee and steer economic development through 17 county agencies and manage a $50 million Economic Development Incentive Fund, a key Baker initiative that a county council committee signed off on last month and is expected to be approved by the council.

Sammy 08:05 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
St. Mary’s median income growth fourth-highest in nation
JASON BABCOCK ― SoMdNews.com

Defense industry shields St. Mary’s

As the nation’s economy struggled, household income in St. Mary’s County rose at the fourth highest rate in the United States between 2007 and 2010, the county commissioners were told Tuesday.

From 2007, median household income went from $73,663 to $88,444 in 2010, an increase of 20.1 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Monongalia County, W.Va. was No. 1 in income growth, which was attributed to the presence of West Virginia University.

Sammy 08:02 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Southern Maryland Antique Tractor Parade and Cart Cruz…
JESSICA GOOLSBY ― SoMdNews.com

...hit Leonardtown Oct. 9

Sunday’s event will benefit Christmas in April, firefighters

They’ll be rockin’ and rollin’ Oct. 9 in Leonardtown from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. when the second Southern Maryland Antique Tractor Parade and first-ever Cart Cruz pull through town, and entries will still be accepted for both the day of the parade.

Sponsored by the Southern Maryland Antique Power Association, the tractor parade will lead the charge and host dozens of John Deere, Farmall, Oliver, Ford and Massey Ferguson equipment from today and yesteryear. Tractors will also be on display throughout the downtown area.

“So far we’ve got about 50 tractors lined up that we didn’t see last year,” said Walter Neal of the Southern Maryland Antique Power Association. “It’s a day that’s all about educating the younger kids while also reminding some of the older folks like me of old tractors we all saw growing up.”

Sammy 07:59 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Smart growth or partisan planning?
Gazette - LTE

Smart growth or partisan planning? That is the question an increasing number of county and municipal officials throughout the State of Maryland are asking themselves. The issue which spurred this debate is the new PlanMaryland idea presented by Gov. Martin O’Malley at the recent MACO conference in Ocean City.

Many of us said at the time it was enacted into law that smart growth was just the first step toward ultimate state control, or at least “veto power” over local land use decisions. PlanMaryland makes me think we were right.

Sammy 07:56 AM | (3) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Kansas gets wind farm, BP gets tax credit—just in time
Los Angeles Times

Kansas is to wind as Saudi Arabia is to oil. So it makes sense that energy conglomerate BP recently announced plans to build an $800-million, 262-turbine wind farm in the southern part of the state.

The project seems like a big deal—especially considering the several hundred jobs the wind farm will bring—but it might be one of the last big stories we’ll hear about wind energy for a while. The move comes just in time to take advantage of a stimulus-funded federal tax credit that’s set to expire next year.

Sammy 07:54 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Stem cell therapy might help kidney transplant patients
Mary Brophy Marcus ― USA TODAY

A novel stem cell therapy given shortly after a kidney transplant allows some patients to cast away the medicines meant to keep their body from attacking the new organ, according to a small new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Kidney transplants are common in the United States and while they can greatly improve quality of life for someone with kidney failure, post-transplant life still carries challenges.

A lifelong cocktail of drugs is required to help a transplant patient ward off rejection of the new kidney. The powerful medicines have serious side effects, too, including an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease, and infection. Though meant as a protective therapy, some immune-suppressing drugs can contribute to damage and the eventual loss of the transplanted kidney.

Sammy 07:51 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Canadian Arctic nearly loses entire ice shelf
USA TODAY

Two ice shelves that existed before Canada was settled by Europeans diminished significantly this summer, one nearly disappearing altogether, Canadian scientists say in newly published research.

The loss is important as a marker of global warming, returning the Canadian Arctic to conditions that date back thousands of years, scientists say.

Floating icebergs that have broken free as a result pose a risk to offshore oil facilities and potentially to shipping lanes. The breaking apart of the ice shelves also reduces the environment that supports microbial life and changes the look of Canada’s coastline.

Sammy 07:49 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
US asks court to halt Alabama’s immigration law
GREG BLUESTEIN ― Frederick News-Post

The federal government asked an appeals court Friday to stop Alabama officials from enforcing a strict immigration law that has already driven Hispanic students from public schools and migrant workers from towns, warning that it opens the door to discrimination against even legal residents.

The Department of Justice’s filing to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also said the law, considered by many to be the most stringent immigration measure in the country, could cause considerable fallout as immigrants flee to other states or their native countries.

Sammy 07:47 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Feds vow crackdown on Calif. pot operations
DON THOMPSON ― Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Federal authorities in California vowed to shut down dozens of pot growing and sales operations in a major crackdown, saying the worst offenders are using the cover of medical marijuana to act as storefront drug dealers.

The aggressive crackdown comes a little more than two months after the Obama administration toughened its stand on medical marijuana.

Prosecutors Friday described it as the first coordinated statewide offensive against marijuana dealers and suppliers who use California’s 15-year-old medical marijuana law as legal cover for running sophisticated drug trafficking ventures in plain sight.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner cited a 2009 federal study that 72 percent of marijuana plants eradicated nationwide were grown in California.

Sammy 07:37 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Ohio Amish sect linked to beard-cutting attacks
Paula Reed Ward ― Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Two families have come forward to press charges

[...]

The Millers said they were the fifth Amish family targeted in the last several weeks to be terrorized by what the Millers believe is a group that once was Amish but is now believed to have formed a cult in nearby Bergholz, Jefferson County.

Officials in Jefferson County were interviewing four suspects late Friday night. The Millers and another man who was assaulted the same night in nearby Holmes County have decided to go forward with criminal charges, something unusual among the Amish.

“In pressing charges, this isn’t revenge,” Mrs. Miller said. “This is to help those people. There are a lot of children in that community.”

“This is different,” Mr. Miller, 45, added. “They’re like hate crimes. They’re terrorizing people and communities.”

Sammy 07:31 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Bill Introduced to Ensure Safety of Nanotechnology Products
The Bay Net

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced legislation with U.S. Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR) to address potential health and safety risks about products that contain nanotechnology materials.

“Nanotechnology has become increasingly indispensible in our daily lives—everything from our cellphones and MP3 players, to packaging of our snack foods, to cancer treatments in development employ the use of nanotechnology,” said Senator Cardin. “As this burgeoning technology continues to power more of our consumer products and drive job creation in America, it is essential that we fully assess, understand and address any risks that nanotechnology may pose to safety, public health and our environment. By soundly assessing the safety of nanotechnology and developing best practices, this legislation will further job creation, public safety and growth in the industry.”

Sammy 07:18 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thread - October 8, 2011

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Pauleen Brewer 04:00 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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