Sunday, October 09, 2011
Docket #437 (File 5)
SoMdNews.com

THE BOARD OF APPEALS FOR CHARLES COUNTY, MARYLAND has been petitioned by Willett Construction Company for a modification and renewal of a Special Exception for surface mining more than 10 acres, as provided in Article XIII, Section 297-212 and Article XXV, Section 297-415 of the Charles County Zoning Ordinance. The property, as shown on Tax Map 14, Grid 17, Parcel 23, contains approximately 170.60 acres and is located in the Rural Conservation, Deferred Development District RC(D) Zone. Approximately 10 acres will be mined. The Board of Appeals is hereby giving notice that a Public Hearing will be held on this matter Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room of the Charles County Government Building, La Plata, Maryland.

The Petition and Plats, filed on March 3, 2011, and Zoning Officer’s Report for Docket #437 (File 5) are available for inspection at the Office of the Board of Appeals located in the Planning and Growth Management Office, Charles County Government Building, La Plata, Maryland.

Sammy 08:16 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Dunkirk wants to ‘make Calvert whole’
MEGHAN RUSSELL ― SoMdNews.com

Dunkirk residents have expressed their concerns about voter redistricting in letters to the editor, at public hearings and now through the Dunkirk Area Concerned Citizens Association.

“This isn’t Republican or Democrat or independent or martian. This is something that affects all of us,” DACCA President J.P. Sherkus said at last Thursday’s semiannual meeting. “How can they take a chunk of Calvert County and put it up in Prince George’s? ... The cutting and pasting of this county and that county are making this place look like an octopus.”
[...]
Dunkirk no longer wants to be in the same state legislative district as Prince George’s County, Sherkus said, as the two counties have different political and economic ideals and Prince George’s voters overpower the small chunk of Calvert in the district represented in the Maryland House of Delegates by James Proctor Jr. (D-Calvert, Prince George’s) and Joseph Vallario Jr. (D-Calvert, Prince George’s).

Sammy 08:12 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Dominion project to bring county boost
MEGHAN RUSSELL ― SoMdNews.com

Estimates adding up to $40M in property tax revenue, 3,100 peak construction jobs

Dominion announced this week that it has filed the second phase of its two-part application to export liquefied natural gas from its Cove Point LNG facility, and also released some early estimates for the economic boost the project will bring to Calvert County.

This summer, Dominion requested to become a re-exporting facility, where shipments would come in, be stored on site and then re-exported, and then submitted the first phase of its application to become a regular export facility, in addition to its current status as an import facility, vaporizing LNG into natural gas. The first part asked the Department of Energy for exporting ability to countries that have a free trade agreement with the U.S.; the second, filed on Monday, requested permission to export to countries without a free trade agreement.

Sammy 08:10 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Federal deficit cutting ‘to require difficult tradeoffs’ for naval aviation
JESSICA GOOLSBY ― SoMdNews.com

The push to reduce the federal budget deficit will have consequences for naval aviation, the head of maritime aviation programs on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations told members of the Southern Maryland Navy Alliance last week.

“All programs and initiatives will be reviewed to determine possible eliminations, to consolidate functions and reduce the cost and size of staffs,” Rear Adm. William F. “Bill” Moran said at the alliance’s annual membership meeting in St. Mary’s City. “Overhead and business operations will also be looked at.

“What we’re seeing up there [at the Pentagon] is ugly,” Moran said. “As you all know, we have deficit panels all over Washington, D.C., right now one in the Pentagon and the magnitude of the changes associated with the panels’ ability or inability to find savings is a significant direction-setting event to us ... It’s very clear that achieving any savings is going to be very, very hard. It’s going to require difficult trade-offs for the Department of the Navy and naval aviation.”

Sammy 08:05 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Some St. Mary’s officials skeptical of statewide land-use plan
JASON BABCOCK ― SoMdNews.com

Maryland passed a law in 1974 calling for a statewide land-use plan. It is just now being crafted and some county officials around state, including some St. Mary’s County commissioners, are worried that the plan will usurp local autonomy.

More than 1.6 million acres (27 percent) of the state has been developed, according to Plan Maryland. Its goal is to save farmland and forests, while making room for 1 million new residents in the future by stimulating economic development and revitalizing existing populated areas.

Phil Shire, acting director of the St. Mary’s County Department of Land Use and Growth Management, said the plan is “perhaps threatening to local autonomy in general,” but has “many good points.”

Sammy 07:59 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Ban on synthetic stimulants in works
JOHN WHARTON ― SoMdNews.com

Federal drug enforcement authorities who earlier this year outlawed chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana recently said they are taking steps to also ban the sale of three synthetic stimulants.

St. Mary’s top prosecutor urged local merchants on Thursday to get rid of any of the products they currently may have in their inventory. The county’s lead narcotics investigator said that there has been no recent evidence that the substances are being sold locally, but that a lookout continues.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration advisory issued last month states that the products sold as bath salts or plant food under a variety of trade names “are comprised of a class of chemicals perceived as mimics” of illegal drugs such as cocaine, LSD and methamphetamine, and that the products’ users have reported side effects including extreme paranoia and violent episodes. The DEA reports that it intends to publish a final order in a federal register that will designate the chemicals as Schedule 1 controlled substances for at least one year as further studies continue on their effects.

Sammy 07:56 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
In Georgia, a Lawsuit Over Guns in Church
New York Times

A legal battle is brewing in Georgia over whether licensed gun owners should be allowed to carry firearms to churches, synagogues, mosques and other places of worship.

The United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, heard arguments last week on a lawsuit brought by a central Georgia church and the gun rights group GeorgiaCarry.org claiming that a state law banning firearms in places of worship violates their constitutionally protected religious freedoms.

Sammy 07:41 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Consumer borrowing dropped $9.5 billion in August
MARTIN CRUTSINGER ― Houston Chronicle

Consumers cut their borrowing in August by the most in 16 months. The drop suggests many worried about taking on new debt while the economy slumped and the stock market fluctuated wildly.

Fewer people used their credit cards. And a measure of demand for auto and student loans fell.

Total borrowing dropped $9.5 billion in August, the Federal Reserve said last week. In July, borrowing increased $11.9 billion.

Sammy 07:39 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Smuggled U.S. ammo feeds drug wars
Robert Anglen ― USA TODAY

Every year, thousands of guns are smuggled into Mexico from the United States, fueling the brutal drug-cartel wars and stirring outrage on both sides of the border.

But often overlooked in the controversy are the tons of bullets that also make their way south of the border.

In Mexico, ammunition is strictly regulated and possession of even a single illegal round can lead to prison. But there is nonetheless a steady supply of bullets. Almost all of it comes from the north.

Sammy 07:32 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Small Business Owners Downgrade Outlook for U.S. Economy
The Bay Net

With weak sales as a major challenge, four out of five U.S. small business owners have no plans to hire over the next six months and they see little value in proposed incentives to create jobs, according to the PNC Economic Outlook survey’s newest findings.

Only 14 percent of businesses say proposed tax incentives will positively impact their hiring plans, PNC found, as owners’ expectations for sales and profits are significantly lower than last spring, ushering in renewed pessimism compared to six months ago.

“As business confidence plunges to a near-record low, the concern is we will scare ourselves into a double-dip recession, thus turning it into a self-fulfilling prophecy,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). “These findings support our forecast that the economic recovery will persist, but the slow pace of growth will be insufficient to make any progress in lowering the nation’s painfully high unemployment rate in the coming year.”

Sammy 07:28 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Outdoors: Menhaden in precarious shape
CHRIS D. DOLLAR ― The Capital

For hundreds of years, fueled by humans’ rapacious appetite for fresh seafood and false notion that stocks were inexhaustible, fish and shellfish have been pulled out of bays and oceans at an unsustainable rate. Cod, striped bass, sturgeon, and oysters headline the list of species that at some point have been fished to near zero. Unless things change, and fast, add menhaden to that list.

A key food for rockfish, birds and sea mammals, menhaden are in trouble. The most recent stock assessment by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission revealed overfishing has occurred in 32 out of the last 54 years. Even scarier is that East Coast menhaden populations are estimate to be only 8 percent of its historical abundance. Today, one-fifth of the bunkers caught are used for bait by sport and commercial fishermen. The rest - about 150,000 tons - is caught by reduction fishery, run by Omega out of its Reedville plant. There, this key forage is cooked down into industrial oils for cosmetics and vitamins or ground into chicken feed or meal for farmed fish.

Sammy 07:25 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
District maps likely headed to court
EARL KELLY ― The Capital

Elbridge Gerry died 197 years ago next month, but the Massachusetts politician and signer of the Declaration of Independence would feel right at home at the Maryland General Assembly’s special session that starts a week from tomorrow.

After all, the art of drawing political boundaries to give one party an advantage over the other bears his name, “gerrymandering.”

Some political experts blame gerrymandering nationwide for the House of Representatives becoming so ineffective. Members of Congress take extreme positions on issues so they will appeal to their base, the ideological voters who turn out for primaries. Lost in the process is any desire to cross the aisle and work for effective compromise.

Sammy 07:21 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Libyan fighters taking Kadafi’s hometown street by street
Ruth Sherlock ― Baltimore Sun

After weeks of failed offensives, insubstantial incursions and withering counterattacks, it seemed Saturday that the end game had begun in earnest for Moammar Kadafi’s hometown, Surt.

Street by street, fighters for Libya’s transitional government captured a residential district that had been riddled with loyalist snipers.

“Kadafi’s men are 300 meters away,” a fighter shouted over the machine-gun fire, pointing to the end of the street where smoke curled from a mortar round explosion.

Sammy 07:16 AM | (3) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Hazmat team called to bleach fight at Md. Walmart
WTOP

ARBUTUS, Md. (AP) - Authorities in Maryland say a woman poured bleach and Pine-Sol on another woman during a fight Saturday at a Walmart store, prompting officials to evacuate the store for nearly two hours.

A fire department spokesman said 19 people were taken to hospitals after the fight, although only one was thought to have serious injuries. That person was taken to the Wilmer Eye Institute with a potentially serious injury.

Police spokesman Shawn Vinson said the two women were familiar with each other and apparently had an ongoing dispute. The woman who initiated the attack followed the other woman into the store. Following the attack she went into a nearby police precinct and turned herself in, Vinson said.

Sammy 07:07 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thread - October 9, 2011

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