Tuesday, October 11, 2011
TSA: Children pose little risk, can keep shoes on during security check

It turns out that children do not actually merit all the fuss the Transportation Security Administration has made over them since the shoe bomber tried to blow up an airliner almost 10 years ago.

So in a welcome step for little feet and parents, children 12 and younger are no longer required to remove their shoes every time they go through airport security.

Kids also are less likely to face pat-downs under newly revised rules. It is part of an effort to show Congress that the agency is getting serious about replacing a one-size-fits-all security program with a more risk-based approach that relies on gathering intelligence and terrorist watch lists to determine the level of scrutiny each passenger receives.

Sammy 08:31 PM | (2) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Japan to offer thousands of free airfares to lure tourists

Reporting from Seoul— Seeking to lure tourists to a nation still reeling from the effects of the March earthquake and tsunami, Japan says it will make it easier for foreign travelers to visit: It’ll offer free airline tickets.

Officials next year plan to offer 10,000 travelers free airfares to visit the country, which is still coping with the tsunami-triggered nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant several hundred miles north of Tokyo. Government officials say the nation is safe for travel anywhere but the area near the stricken nuclear power plant.

The Japan Tourism Agency announced this week that it plans to ask would-be travelers to submit online applications for the free flights, detailing the region of the country they would like to visit, according to a story in the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper.

Sammy 08:28 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Montgomery prepares to charge shoppers a nickel per bag
Erin Cunningham ― Gazette

As Montgomery County prepares to charge the state’s first tax on paper and plastic shopping bags, officials are hoping to partner with stores and environmental groups to give away reusable bags.

The county has placed an order for 30,000 reusable bags to be distributed ahead of the nickel-per-bag tax, which will be assessed beginning Jan. 1, said county spokesman Patrick K. Lacefield.

The tax is expected to generate $561,640 in fiscal 2012, which ends June 30. Of that, $234,000 will be spent to implement and manage the tax. Another $249,580 will be spent educating people about the tax and on purchasing a total of 70,000 reusable bags. The county also plans to spend $50,000 on additional street sweeping.

Sammy 08:22 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
States Adding Drug Test as Hurdle for Welfare
New York Times

As more Americans turn to government programs for refuge from a merciless economy, a growing number are encountering a new price of admission to the social safety net: a urine sample.

Policy makers in three dozen states this year proposed drug testing for people receiving benefits like welfare, unemployment assistance, job training, food stamps and public housing. Such laws, which proponents say ensure that tax dollars are not being misused and critics say reinforce stereotypes about the poor, have passed in states including Arizona, Indiana and Missouri.

Sammy 08:02 PM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Ryland Group to pay $625K to feds, Md. and…
Washington Post

...6 other states for stormwater violations

One of the nation’s largest homebuilders must pay $625,000 to the federal government and seven states, including Maryland, for stormwater violations.

The Department of Justice and the federal Environmental Protection agency announced the penalty on Friday against The Ryland Group Inc. for alleged violations at construction sites nationwide, including the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Sammy 03:59 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Protecting the county’s rural charm
SoMdNews.com - LTE

The front page of Friday’s Maryland Independent presented three seemingly unrelated articles that in fact contained a single compelling story of how our choices affect the present and future quality of life in Charles County.

Overarching was the article on the ongoing and all-important comprehensive plan revision [“Business-friendly plant option dumped”]. Had past comprehensive plans embraced Smart Growth principles, the article on the positive steps taken by the Charles County commissioners to alleviate school overcrowding would have been unnecessary [“Capacity vote means fewer school seats, stalling growth”].

Similarly, the piece on the requirement to reduce water pollution [“County has new targets for cleaning up watersheds”] would have read very differently because, for example, forest preservation would have maintained Mattawoman Creek as the best in the Chesapeake Bay, as fishery scientists have reported. Instead, Mattawoman is now declining due to watershed urbanization from past land use choices that will require costly corrections.

Sammy 03:51 PM | (6) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Personal log-on info often leaks to advertisers, researcher finds
Los Angeles Times

Information that could identify you often leaks from major websites to online advertisers because of the practice of embedding such data in the Web addresses shared between sites when a user logs on.

Such data leakage may involve a person’s name, user name or email address and is pervasive, though not necessarily intentional, among the most popular websites, said Jonathan Mayer, a Stanford graduate student who has studied the phenomenon and released findings Tuesday.

The information is transferred because the unique Web address, or URL, created when a person logs on to a site is sent to third parties to assist them in delivering pertinent ads and other content on the page. Mayer and other privacy advocates said the leakage is a risk because one identifiable piece of information associated with a Web browser’s unique sequence of numbers could allow all that browser’s activity to be connected to a particular person.

Sammy 03:42 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Applicants’ Briefings Scheduled for Maryland Counties
The Bay Net

Officials from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that Public Assistance applicants’ briefings are scheduled for areas included under President Obama’s disaster declaration issued for Maryland.

The briefings will help representatives from the state, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations (not households and individuals) apply for federal disaster assistance to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by Hurricane Irene during the period of August 24 to September 5, 2011.

Sammy 03:28 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Selection of 14 Infrastructure Projects to be Expedited…
The Bay Net

...Through Permitting and Environmental Review

Today, the Obama Administration announced the selection of 14 infrastructure projects around the country that will be expedited through permitting and environmental review processes, an important next step in the Administration’s efforts to improve the efficiency of federal reviews needed to help job-creating infrastructure projects move as quickly as possible from the drawing board to completion.  This announcement comes as a result of the Presidential Memorandum President Obama issued in late August at the recommendation of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. Through the Presidential Memorandum, the President directed agencies to expedite environmental reviews and permit decisions for a selection of high priority infrastructure projects that will create a significant number of jobs, have already identified necessary funding, and where the significant steps remaining before construction are within the control and jurisdiction of the federal government and can be completed within 18 months.  Below is the full list of projects selected by those agencies, which represent diverse sectors of the economy and combined will support the creation of tens of thousands of jobs.
Baltimore Red Line, Maryland

The Baltimore Red Line is a 14 mile rail transit line connecting the suburban areas west of Baltimore to downtown, the Inner Harbor and Fells Point areas, and the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Campus. This project has many outstanding permitting issues that will require substantial cooperation between a number of resource and other federal agencies.  By engaging in early negotiations with all necessary federal agencies and optimizing coordination amongst the agencies this project will begin construction earlier than currently planned, potentially reducing the project timeline by two years.

Sammy 03:23 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Iranian Faction Plotted to Kill Saudi Ambassador: Holder

Federal authorities indicted two Iranian-born men in an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States by bombing a restaurant he frequents in D.C., MSNBC reported.

“The criminal complaint unsealed today exposes a deadly plot directed by factions of the Iranian government to assassinate a foreign Ambassador on U.S. soil with explosives,” Attorney General Eric Holder said.

The investigation began when one of the suspects, naturalized U.S. citizen Manssor Arbabsiar, on behalf of an arm of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, contacted an undercover DEA agent in Mexico in May about getting help from the Zetas drug cartel in attacking a Saudi Arabian embassy, NBC News reported.

Sammy 03:12 PM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Board of Elections: Charles - Monthly Statistical Report

Last Transaction Date From : 09/01/2011 To : 09/30/2011

Sammy 08:47 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
National Merit Scholarship Corporation Honors Students
The Bay Net

The National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) recently honored 11 Charles County Public Schools students for their academic success through the 2012 National Merit Scholarship Program and National Achievement Program. Westlake High School senior Felicia Dillard was named as a semifinalist in the National Achievement Program.

Dillard is one of 1,600 nationwide high school students eligible to compete for 800 achievement scholarship awards, worth more than $2.4 million. Students are considered for the program when they take the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/ NMSQT) as high school juniors.

Sammy 08:41 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Nominate a Student for 2012 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
The Bay Net

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) is accepting nominations for the 2012 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards for middle and high school student volunteers. The annual award program provides a unique opportunity to recognize students for exemplary acts of volunteer service in their communities. The awards are given to students for serving their communities through volunteer activities, such as helping the less fortunate, promoting health and safety or protecting the environment.

The award is open for students in grades five through 12. Eligible students will have engaged in a volunteer activity that occurred at least in part after Sept. 1, 2010. Students can apply online at http://spirit.prudential.com or at www.nassp.org/spirit. Applications must be completed by Nov. 1, and submitted to the student’s middle or high school. The school principal may nominate top Local Honorees for state-level judging by certifying an application by Nov. 8. All state-level honorees will be announced in February.

Sammy 08:39 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Abandoned Building Burns to Ground at Hallowing Lane Dock
Dennis Hook ― The Bay Net

On Tuesday, October 11, 2011, at approximately 2:00 am, there was a report of a building fire at 6900 Hallowing Lane.  This was an abandoned building at the Hallowing Point Dock area on Hallowing Lane on the Calvert County and Charles County lines.

The Commercial box was dispatched for Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad (Co.2) who responded to the call, as well Hughesville, St. Leonard (Co.7) and Huntingtown (Co. 6).

The building was fully involved as the fire equipment arrived on the scene.  This was known as an abandoned building so the attached was to control and let the building burn.

Sammy 08:36 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Hughesville VFD Open House
Ryan DeGruy ― The Bay Net

After hours of cleaning and preparation, Hughesville Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad opened their doors to the public for an open house in conjunction with National Fire Prevention Week on Sunday, October 9, 2011. The department had their apparatus on display as well as apparatus from Benedict Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, St. Leonard Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Charles County Sheriff’s Department, Maryland State Police Aviation, and Charles County Hazmat. Activities throughout the day included fire prevention displays, fire sprinkler system demonstration, and an EMS display.

Sammy 08:34 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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