Wednesday, October 26, 2011
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Pauleen Brewer 09:52 PM | (6) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
SBLE Program Passes First Hurdle
Andy Marquis ― The Bay Net

A new Small Business Local Enterprise Program passed the first hurdle on Tuesday afternoon.  On the eve of the Charles County Economic Summit, the Commissioners approved a plan to start the process in to initiating the SBLE program. The program offers incentives to buy locally and hire locally.

Participation in the program has requirements on the size and income of the business.  The business can’t employ more than 100 people and can’t make more than $3 million, as once they have, they are considered to have graduated from the program.
The process to start the program takes six months.  County staff is starting the process of looking in to implementing the program.  The next is for the legislation to be formally proposed, followed by a public hearing.  Businesses would have to go through an application process to participate in the SBLE program.

Sammy 09:11 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
NRC issues recommendations for immediate action

The five-member, presidentially appointed commission responsible for leading the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission voted last week on recommendations that should be implemented “without delay” in response to the nuclear disaster at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi reactor site last March.

The approved plan calls for the changes to be carried out for U.S. plants via orders, development of new regulations and requests for plant-specific information. Top priority areas include: seismic and flood hazard re-evaluations; station blackout regulatory actions when there is a loss of both off-site power and on-site emergency power; assessments to ensure there are reliable hardened vents for certain containments; and spent fuel pool instrumentation, according to NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan.
All U.S. nuclear power plants, including the Calvert Cliffs site in Lusby, will be affected by the implemented changes.

Sammy 06:18 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Travel to Asia
The Bay Net

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today plans to travel to Vietnam and China in mid-November to help strengthen bilateral trade relations and support the American brand throughout the Asia Pacific region. Vilsack is the first sitting American Secretary of Agriculture to visit Vietnam.

In comments at the National Journal’s Healthy Food, Healthy Planet Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., Vilsack highlighted the strong performance of the U.S. farm economy, pointing to record exports, a record trade surplus, near-record farm income, and low farm debt as signs that America’s farm sector is making major contributions to the nation’s overall economy.

Sammy 06:15 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
P-8A Successfully Launches First MK 54 Weapon Test
The Bay Net

The P-8A Poseidon successfully launched the first MK 54 torpedo during a test event in the Atlantic Test Range Oct. 13.

“The P-8A is advancing along a rigorous test schedule,” said Tony Schmidt, P-8A assistant program manager for Test and Evaluation. “The success of the first separation test of the MK 54 moves us one step closer to delivering the P-8A to the fleet on time.”

By using the Mission Computing and Display System aboard the P-8A, allowed the launching of a single torpedo from P-8A test aircraft, T-3, at 500 feet above water.

Sammy 06:13 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Study: Rich get a lot richer, outpace middle class
Daily Record

The richest 1 percent of Americans have been getting far richer over the last three decades while the middle class and poor have seen their after-tax household income only crawl up in comparison, according to a government study.

After-tax income for the top 1 percent of U.S. households almost tripled, up 275 percent, from 1979 to 2007, the Congressional Budget Office found. For people in the middle of the economic scale, after-tax income grew by just 40 percent. Those at the bottom experienced an 18 percent increase.

“The distribution of after-tax income in the United States was substantially more unequal in 2007 than in 1979,” CBO Director Doug Elmendorf said in a blog post. “The share of income accruing to higher-income households increased, whereas the share accruing to other households declined.”

Sammy 06:09 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Small Business Saturday - November 26, 2011

First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday. November 27, 2010 was the first ever Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday is the day we celebrate the Shop Small movement to drive shoppers to local merchants across the U.S.

The 2nd annual Small Business Saturday® is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses on one of the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

On November 26, we’re asking millions of Americans to shop small at their favorite local stores and help fuel the economy. When we all shop small, it will be huge.

Pauleen Brewer 06:00 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Zoning Text Amendment #11-125 - Medical/Office Building Parking

Notice is hereby given that the Charles County Planning Commission will hold a Public Meeting on proposed Zoning Text Amendment ZTA # 11-125 on November 7, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in the County Commissioner’s Meeting Room located in the Charles County Government Building, La Plata, Maryland.

Zoning Text Amendment #11-125
Medical/Office Building Parking

The proposed amendment to the Zoning Ordinance is to amend the parking requirements of Use #5.01.116 (Offices or Clinics of Physicians, Dentists, or Chiropractors) found within Figure XX-1 Table of Off-Street Parking Requirements, in order to revise the current requirement of 4 spaces per exam, diagnostic and/or treatment room, plus 1 employee and replace it with a 1 space per 200 square feet of gross floor area requirement.

Sammy 05:57 PM | (7) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Resident criticizes planning commission vice chairman

(scroll down)

Nanjemoy resident Edwin Baker spoke Oct. 17 during the public portion of a Charles County Planning Commission meeting to criticize a letter to the editor that planning commission Vice Chairman Joe Richard submitted to the Maryland Independent.

Baker said that Richard appeared to advocate for the cross-county connector, the Indian Head Science and Technology Park and a continuation of residential sprawl development in the county.

“I find ... Mr. Richard’s public announcement on these three very controversial issues atonishing,” Baker said.

Sammy 05:50 PM | (6) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Richard asks for rules for meeting with commissioners

Charles County Planning Commission Vice Chairman Joe Richard asked staff Oct. 17 for “rules of engagement” for a joint meeting in December between the planning commission and the county commissioners.

The meeting is intended for the commission and commissioners to give planning staff and consultants direction on the draft preferred scenario for the comprehensive plan update.

Sammy 05:44 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Better explanation of TDR program essential - LTE

My husband and I attended the Charles County Comprehensive Plan open house Oct. 19, where we were hoping to get solid information about the future of the county.

Instead, the ERM consultants confused us with questionable evaluations about how the scenarios would affect quality of life in the county. What is more, the consultants did not provide answers to legitimate questions by attendees.

Sammy 11:33 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Citizens group disturbed by comp. plan evaluation change - LTE

A version of this letter was sent to Steven Ball of the Charles County Department of Planning and Growth Management.

Citizens for a Better Charles County has continued our involvement in the process for developing the comprehensive plan. Members of our board have attended and participated in all public aspects of the process. On Oct. 17, we held an urgent board meeting to review the two revised scenarios to be presented at the Oct. 19 open house.

Prior to the Monday meeting we obtained a copy of the comprehensive plan scenario evaluations, but we did not have time to review it fully. Tuesday morning, the evaluations were no longer available on the website, but I was able to get revised evaluations from the website Wednesday morning.

At the open house, it was explained that the evaluations were revised because of citizen requests as to who had prepared the evaluations. The initial version identifying them as “staff” evaluations and the revised version stating, “The county’s consultant, ERM evaluated the scenarios.” There was no mention of, or explanation given with respect to a far more substantive change in the revised evaluations.

Sammy 11:30 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Minority representation might dominate next round

Redrawing state legislative districts might put even more focus on race and minority representation than last week’s congressional realignment process.

The legislative plan, to be introduced by the governor and reviewed by the General Assembly during its regular session in January, is likely to ruffle feathers as some advocates and lawmakers push for more minority-majority districts, which could jeopardize incumbents who would like to keep their jobs, some observers say.

Sammy 11:24 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
D.C. express bus coming Nov. 7

Heeding the pleas of Southern Marylanders at a hearing in July, the Maryland Transit Administration has added a new commuter bus line, transportation officials told the Charles County commissioners last week.

The 906 will leave from Regency Furniture Stadium in Waldorf and head to Washington, D.C., after stopping at the Accokeek park and ride lot, but skipping other intervening stops, making it the region’s only express route.

The route, which will make six trips morning and evening on weekdays, is intended to relieve chronic overcrowding on the 905 and particularly the 901, which is the busiest in the state’s commuter system, said MTA Director of Planning Diane Ratcliff.

Sammy 11:22 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
County says light rail is now priority

A light rail line to Washington, D.C., is now Charles County government’s chief transportation-related desire, but the state transportation secretary told the county commissioners Oct. 19 not to expect much of anything to happen soon.

A rail system linking White Plains and Waldorf to the Branch Avenue Metro station, with stops in Prince George’s County, was the county’s primary request in a letter to the Maryland Department of Transportation in the spring. But when Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley presented her department’s funding plan through fiscal 2017, commissioners’ President Candice Quinn Kelly (D) noted that light rail was not mentioned anywhere.

Sammy 11:17 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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