Thursday, October 13, 2011
Information at MDE hearing ‘incomplete and poorly presented’
SoMdNews.com - LTE

A version of this letter was sent to Judy Broersma and Mohammad Ebrahimi, project managers at the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Thank you for considering the following comments relevant to the permit considerations by the Maryland Department of the Environment for Waldorf Crossing. This is the large, 140-acre development project in Charles County that involves construction of the proposed Western Parkway and that spans U.S. 301 at the county line between Charles and Prince George’s counties as defined by the Mattawoman Creek.

These written comments are in addition to our testimony recorded by MDE at the public informational hearing on Sept. 22 at Thomas Stone High School. As described below, we have strong reservations on the wisdom of issuing permits for such significant impacts to aquatic function in as outstanding a waterway as Mattawoman, that is nonetheless declining, and for MDE acting independently of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, given the extent of impacts to aquatic resources of both state and federal concern.

Sammy 05:47 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
LTE Scheduled to be in Tomorrow’s Indy

I was troubled to read in Wednesday’s Maryland Independent a story concerning the accusation that I contacted Governor O’Malley’s office concerning the event that took place at Mt. Victoria several weeks ago. I want to set the record straight.  I have NEVER sent the Governor’s office emails, letters, or phone calls about anything, much less a social event.

From what I have read and heard, I understand the event itself was quite successful with many dignitaries among the several hundred in attendance. That being the case, it remains baffling to me that my absence is causing such grief for Mike Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan continues to send me emails ranging from accusations to mundane ideas he has. He may continue to do so as I am a public official.

It’s disappointing that all of us have had to spend so much valuable time defending our personal choices as to whether or not to attend a social event, as well as to whom we talked with or email sent.  It’s beyond me why anyone believes we have the time for these continuing trivialities, as well as the wasting of taxpayers’ dollars (i.e., County Attorney and staff hours). Don’t each of us have much more important matters to tackle than one man’s preoccupation with what I’m doing day-to-day?  I would guess not.

Mr. Sullivan was unhappy with my election as County Commissioner and made his feelings abundantly clear at a public event immediately following the September, 2010 primary. It seems I’m an obsession and, in my personal opinion, friends of Mr. Sullivan should discuss with him the negative impact of his actions and perhaps emphasize the importance of concentrating on service to humanity in a manner which may truly benefit society.

Ken Robinson
Swan Point

Pauleen Brewer 05:10 PM | (16) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Possible Tornado Reported Near Epicenter of August Earthquake
WRC-TV (NBC4)

A tornado was reported in the central Virginia county that was the epicenter of the 5.8-magnitude earthquake in August, the Associated Press reported.
[...]
Law enforcement reported a possible tornado after a house was damaged in Louisa County about 3:45 p.m. An historic plantation house’s roof was ripped off at Sylvania, which dates to 1746, according to county spokeswoman Amanda Reidelbach. Columns also toppled.

No injuries were reported, but four funnel cloud sightings were reported in that area.
[...]
Storms moving toward D.C. have the potential to drop hail and up to 6 inches of rain in an hour.

Sammy 05:04 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Tornado Watch

TORNADO WATCH NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK 430 PM EDT THU OCT 13 2011 TORNADO WATCH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 1100 PM EDT FOR THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS MARYLAND COUNTIES INCLUDED ARE ANNE ARUNDEL CALVERT CHARLES DORCHESTER MONTGOMERY PRINCE GEORGES ST. MARY’S

Click here to view the notification on the Charles County CNS website

Sammy 04:58 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Coastal Flood Advisory

COASTAL HAZARD MESSAGE…CORRECTED NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC 1231 PM EDT THU OCT 13 2011 DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA-HARFORD-PRINCE GEORGES-CHARLES- PRINCE WILLIAM/MANASSAS/MANASSAS PARK-STAFFORD-KING GEORGE- 1231 PM EDT THU OCT 13 2011 COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 2 AM EDT FRIDAY… THE COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY IS NOW IN EFFECT UNTIL 2 AM EDT FRIDAY. * TIDAL ANOMALY…1.5 TO 2 FEET ABOVE ASTRONOMICAL PREDICTION. * TIMING…NEAR TIMES OF HIGH TIDE THROUGH THIS EVENING. * EXPECTED IMPACTS…MINOR SHORELINE INUNDATION. HERE ARE THE TIMES OF THE NEXT HIGH TIDES ALONG THE POTOMAC RIVER… WASHINGTON CHANNEL…9:44 PM… ALEXANDRIA…10:02 PM… INDIAN HEAD…9:30 PM… AQUIA CREEK…8:16 PM… GOOSE BAY…5:36 PM… COLTONS POINT…4:26 PM. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A COASTAL FLOOD ADVISORY INDICATES THAT ONSHORE WINDS AND TIDES WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE FLOODING OF LOW AREAS ALONG THE SHORE.

Click here to view the notification on the Charles County CNS website

Sammy 04:55 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Student Struck at Bus Stop
Southern Maryland News Net

On Oct. 13 at 7:13 a.m., officers responded to Marshalls Corner Road at Lakeview Drive in Pomfret for the report of an accident.

A preliminary investigation revealed the victim, 18, was at his bus stop when he saw the bus approaching from the north. He walked out in the southbound lanes of Marshalls Corner Road – prior to the bus activating the red lights – and was struck by a vehicle traveling south. EMS responded and transported the victim to a hospital where he was admitted with non life-threatening injuries.

Sammy 02:44 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Md. to add 667 area code

Within the next year those connecting a new phone line to their house or adding a family member to their cellphone plan may no longer have the 410 or 443 area code.

The Maryland Public Service Commission anticipates numbers beginning with those area codes will run out within the next 10 months and is planning to implement a new 667 area code throughout the state.

Sammy 02:17 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Suspect, recently released from psychiatric facility, accused…
Dan Morse and Mary Pat Flaherty ― Washington Post

...in stabbing at Md. Target

The woman who attacked shoppers with butcher knives at a Bethesda Nordstrom in 2005 stabbed a woman who was loading bags into her van outside a Target in Lanham on Tuesday, according to police and court papers.

The attack occurred two months after Antoinette Starks had been released from a Maryland psychiatric facility over prosecutors’ protests.

Sammy 02:04 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Banks turn to demolition of foreclosed properties to ease housing-market pressures
Brady Dennis ― Washington Post

Cleveland — The sight of excavators tearing down vacant buildings has become common in this foreclosure-ravaged city, where the housing crisis hit early and hard. But the story behind the recent wave of demolitions is novel — and cities around the country are taking notice.

A handful of the nation’s largest banks have begun giving away scores of properties that are abandoned or otherwise at risk of languishing indefinitely and further dragging down already depressed neighborhoods.

The banks have even been footing the bill for the demolitions — as much as $7,500 a pop. Four years into the housing crisis, the ongoing expense of upkeep and taxes, along with costly code violations and the price of marketing the properties, has saddled banks with a heavy burden. It often has become cheaper to knock down decaying homes no one wants.

Sammy 12:45 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Bilingual voting ballots ordered in Va., 24 other states
Hope Yen ― Virginian-Pilot

In the run-up to the 2012 elections, the federal government is ordering that 248 counties and other political jurisdictions provide bilingual ballots to Hispanics and other minorities who speak little or no English.

That number is down from a decade ago following the 2000 census, which covered 296 counties in 30 states. In all, more than 1 in 18 jurisdictions must now provide foreign-language assistance in pre-election publicity, voter registration, early voting and absentee applications as well as Election Day balloting.

The latest requirements, mandated under the Voting Rights Act, partly reflect second and third generations of racial and ethnic minorities who are now reporting higher levels of proficiency in English than their parents. Still, analysts cite a greater potential for resistance from localities that face tighter budgets, new laws requiring voter IDs at polls and increased anti-immigration sentiment.

Sammy 12:39 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Our Say: Something fishy about plan to move 2 state offices
The Capital

The decision of Gov. Martin O’Malley to move two state offices out of Anne Arundel County has been suspicious since it was first proposed. But at least one member of the Board of Public Works found something even more substantive than political favoritism.

The Department of General Services appeared before the board last week to ask approval to move the Maryland Higher Education Commission from Annapolis to Baltimore. Officials argued that it made more sense to have the office and its 50 employees with the State Board of Education. Admittedly, it makes sense to have these two offices under the same roof.

However, Comptroller Peter Franchot, who sits on the board, voted against the transfer because he saw inconsistency in the arguments presented by DGS. He also questioned why this action needed emergency attention, as DGS requested.

Sammy 12:36 PM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Maryland veterans’ cemetery improvements funded
Daily Record

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded Maryland a $4.6 million grant to expand and improve the Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery in Owings Mills.

U.S. Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin, both Democrats, said the grant will fund construction of 462 cremains gravesites (cremains are what remains after a body is cremated), a new administration building, a new maintenance facility and supporting infrastructure.

Sammy 12:34 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Bank of America Responds to 200,000 Angry Customers
The Bay Net

A Bank of America executive has responded to an explosive campaign on Change.org demanding the bank cancel its new $5 fee for customers who use a debit card, saying that canceling the fee would be “premature.”

Andrew Plepler, Bank of America’s global corporate social responsibility executive and consumer policy executive, called Molly Katchpole, the 22-year-old Bank of America customer who launched the online petition campaign, earlier this week.

“We understand you and 200,000 people who have signed your petition are very frustrated,” Plepler told Molly over the phone. When asked directly whether Bank of America would reverse the fee, he said it would be “premature” to answer, but that “we constantly listen to our customer feedback.”

Sammy 12:30 PM | (4) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
In the Dead of the Night…Ghosts of Sotterley Tours

Into the woods … in the dead of night!

“1878: After the Storm”

Ghosts of Sotterley Tours 2011

October 13, 14, 15, 21 & 22, 2011

Tours run every ten minutes, beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Reservations Required – No Walk-ins

After being greeted by their creepy guide, visitors of this year’s Ghosts of Sotterley Tours will begin their ghostly adventure by taking a wagon ride into the woods in the dead of night. Disembarking at the bottom of the hill under a canopy of trees, guests will begin the most spine-tingling outdoor walking tour of the season! All will encounter both the earthly inhabitants of the time and those not of this earth on this historical and spooky tour. This year’s new script is a time-traveling experience to the year 1878, when a vicious hurricane has swept up the East Coast causing a shipwreck at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. Dr. Walter Hanson Stone Briscoe has been called upon to treat the survivors. Creepy chaos prevails as the plantation is reeling from the disaster and teeming with the restless spirits of the newly departed, as well as the spirits of those long past who have been unsettled by the upheaval.

Pauleen Brewer 09:34 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Wind energy testing facility set for Eastern Shore
Josh Brown ― Virginian-Pilot

Wind turbines towering as high as 750 feet could soon become fixtures on the Eastern Shore.

A joint venture between two renewable-energy firms plans to build one of the first testing facilities for offshore wind turbines in Northampton County, Gov. Bob McDonnell is scheduled to announce this morning.

Poseidon Atlantic LLC plans to spend roughly $9 million and begin construction by mid- to late-2012. The company is a joint venture between Real NewEnergy, a renewable-energy technology firm based in Rockville, Md., and Ecofys, a subsidiary of the Dutch utility company Eneco. Active in European wind-generated energy, Eneco has developed projects with more than 2,500 megawatts of capacity.

Sammy 08:29 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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