Sunday, October 23, 2011
Profanity on television linked to foul-mouthed kids

Is TV turning our kids into fountains of four-letter words? Maybe so, says a new study that finds a link between foul-mouthed inner-city children and profanity-ridden shows and video games.

However, the research doesn’t confirm that exposure to trash-talking adults directly leads to swearing among kids, nor does it explain why non-aggressive cussing might be a bad thing. And the actual size of the possible effect is unknown, although the study’s lead author called it “moderate.”

“As a society we’ve gotten pretty lax concerning profanity. We’re desensitized to it,” said the author, Sarah M. Coyne, an assistant professor at Brigham Young University. “This study shows that it does matter. It matters where they hear it, and parents should maybe be a little more vigilant about profanity exposure in the media.”

Sammy 04:08 PM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Detention center dangers
Gazette - Editorial

New building is not the cure-all for ongoing problems at Cheltenham Youth Facility

A report released Oct. 5 by the Juvenile Justice Monitoring Unit describes the Cheltenham Youth Facility, a juvenile detention center in Upper Marlboro, as “outdated, overcrowded and inappropriate for youth residence.”

Given these conditions, it is no surprise that just months prior to the release of the report, two boys escaped while a staff member who was supposed to be watching them fell asleep. However, it is surprising that these problems continue to exist at the facility despite repeated reports of unsafe conditions.
DJS vows to continue focusing on staff training and ensuring policies are implemented, but it’s a pledge residents have heard for years. Residents and facility staff are put at risk when policies are not followed; they cannot afford to wait until 2015 for real change.

Sammy 04:05 PM | (4) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Crops spring from an urban rooftop
Geraldine Baum ― Los Angeles Times

The last thing a New Yorker expects to find atop a massive building in industrial Queens is a farm.

We’re talking 140 rows of crops, including leafy greens, tomatoes, even fancy Japanese turnips — as well as high-tech irrigation and five plump hens who enjoy a sixth-story view of the Manhattan skyline that any penthouse dweller would pay millions for.

The Brooklyn Grange, named before its young founders settled on another borough, is the city’s largest rooftop commercial farm — and one of the few here, on or above ground.

“It just makes sense to utilize the open spaces we do have in the city to benefit the community,” says Ben Flanner, head farmer and a co-founder.

Sammy 04:00 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
NASA Is Considering Fuel Depots in the Skies
New York Times

By considering a proposal to put filling stations in the sky, NASA is looking to accelerate plans to send astronauts to distant destinations.

The filling stations — NASA calls them propellant depots — would refuel a spacecraft in orbit before it headed out to the moon, an asteroid or eventually Mars. Currently, all of the fuel needed for a mission is carried up with the rocket, and the weight of the fuel limits the size of the spacecraft.

Sammy 03:53 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
U.S. to Keep Strong Presence in Pacific, Panetta Says
New York Times

BALI, Indonesia — Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said on Sunday that despite hundreds of billions of dollars in expected cuts to the Pentagon budget, the United States would remain a Pacific power even as China expanded its military presence in the region.

Mr. Panetta, who is on his first trip to Asia as defense secretary, made the comments at a meeting of Southeast Asian nations on this Indonesian resort island. He sought to reassure Pacific nations that are concerned about China’s assertiveness that the United States, as he put it, would be “a force for peace and prosperity” here.

Sammy 03:50 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Russia parliament adopts law restricting abortions

Russia’s parliament adopted a law Friday limiting abortions but rejected even tougher restrictions backed by the country’s conservative Orthodox Church.

Health officials say Russia’s abortion rates are among the world’s highest, contributing to a fertility rate of only 1.4 children per woman _ far below the 2.1 needed to maintain the existing population. The country’s birth rate has become a serious concern for Russia as it fights to stem a steep population decline.

The Health Ministry says more than a million pregnancies are terminated in Russia annually, although abortion critics say the statistics don’t include private clinics and the real number amounts to six million a year.

Sammy 03:45 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Copper thefts can lead to dangerous leaks

If it’s stolen from your house it can be inconvenient. If it’s stolen from the empty house next door or around the corner, it can be deadly.

Columbia Gas is warning customers of possible thefts of copper piping from vacant homes, and tampering with natural gas meters, which could lead to dangerous leaks.

Sammy 03:42 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Solar power is beginning to go mainstream

Solar energy may finally get its day in the sun.

The high costs that for years made it impractical as a mainstream source of energy are plummeting. Real estate companies are racing to install solar panels on office buildings. Utilities are erecting large solar panel “farms” near big cities and in desolate deserts. And creative financing plans are making solar more realistic than ever for homes.

Solar power installations doubled in the United States last year and are expected to double again this year. More solar energy is being planned than any other power source, including nuclear, coal, natural gas and wind.

Sammy 03:36 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
August earthquake may have caused unseen chimney damage

A nice roaring fire will start to look pretty tempting as the temperatures start to drop, but before you do, make sure you check for damage.

An annual chimney inspection is always a smart move before the winter season kicks in, but it may be especially wise this year following the August earthquake.

Experts say even if your chimney looks structurally safe—only an inspector can see internal damage.
If there’s a crack in your chimney and you skip the inspection, you risk possible fires or carbon monoxide leaks.

Sammy 03:33 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Number of suspended licenses soaring

35 percent increase tied to Jan. 1 traffic law change

The state no longer assigns court dates in all traffic cases. Drivers must now specifically request trials within 30 days of getting a ticket - or risk the MVA suspending their licenses.
The MVA suspended 89,868 licenses in the first seven months of 2011, according to the most recent data available. That is up from

66,609 during the same period in 2010 and 66,940 in 2009.

Driving while suspended is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. If a police officer stops a person driving on a suspended license, the officer has the option of arresting the driver.

Sammy 08:52 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
NORAD: 2 Aircraft Intercepted In DC Region

NORAD says military aircraft intercepted two civilian aircraft in separate incidents in the Washington region.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command says the first aircraft was out of radio communication Saturday morning. The plane was intercepted by two Air Force F-16s, but once it regained communication it was allowed to proceed.

Sammy 08:41 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Economic Summit

Board Docs - Oct 26, 2011 - Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting

1.01 [8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.] Economic Summit - “Harvesting our Own…Cultivating Growth and Job Creation from Within” (Greater Waldorf Jaycees, Waldorf, Maryland)

Sammy 08:39 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Scrap Metal Resolution

Board Docs - Oct 25, 2011 - Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting

1.02 [4:00 p.m.] County Business: Scrap Metal Resolution

Sammy 08:38 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Briefing: Small Local Business Enterprise Program (SLBE)

Board Docs - Oct 25, 2011 - Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting

1.01 [3:30 p.m.] Briefing: Small Local Business Enterprise Program (SLBE) (Mr. Gene Lauer, Interim Director of Economic Development/Ms. Deborah Hudson, Director of Fiscal & Administrative Services)

111018 - SLBE Prog Brief to Comms Nov 2011 - FINAL w Slide.pdf (5,040 KB)

Sammy 08:33 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Shore farmers go solar power

Multiple factors driving shift to new energy source

Rising utility prices and the fluctuating price of corn and soybeans have led some local farmers to begin installing solar panels on their farms.

Because the panels are still extremely expensive to install, farmers are increasingly seeking out federal grants and loans to help absorb some of the cost.
“The major motivator is that we are with Choptank Electric and two years ago we got notified that we were losing our agriculture rate,” Anderson-Ring said. “Because our electricity use was going down, we lost our agriculture rate and our electric bill went up ... we were basically being penalized for reducing our energy use.”

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