I was disappointed to learn in the article, “MDE denies permit for connector road” [Maryland Independent, Nov. 4] that Commissioner Reuben Collins favors this very destructive highway.
I find his position surprising because his bio on the county website says he grew up in Bryans Road, which would be intensely urbanized by the cross-county connector.
I live in Bryans Road and want it to keep the small-town feel it had when the commissioner was growing up here. I agree with the many hundreds who several years ago came out against the subarea plan that would convert Bryans Road into a new city.
MILLERSBURG, Ohio (AP) — Members of the Amish community in three states have been frightened by recent hair-cutting attacks in Ohio, making fearful calls to authorities and arming themselves with pepper spray and shotguns, a sheriff said.
Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said Amish in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana were concerned about the attacks that led federal authorities on Wednesday to raid the compound of a breakaway Amish group and charge seven men, including group leader Sam Mullet, with hate crimes.
“We’ve received hundreds and hundreds of calls from people living in fear,” he said. “They are buying Mace, some are sitting with shotguns, getting locks on their doors because of Sam Mullet.”
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP)—Air pollution isn’t just harmful - it’s expensive, resulting in health care and environmental costs of more than euro100 billion ($130 billion) in 2009, the European Union’s environment agency said Thursday.
The energy sector had the highest pollution costs, followed by manufacturing and production processes, according to the report by the European Environment Agency.
The findings underscore the environmental and health impacts of fossil fuel-based power generation, “making the case for introducing cleaner types of energy even more urgent,” EEA head Jacqueline McGlade said in a statement.
A new study says that regular consumption of canned soup may be associated with an increase in levels of bisphenol A (BPA), which has been associated with a number of harmful health effects.
The study authors added that the increase may be temporary and more research is needed.
BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical used in the lining of metal food and beverage cans, in polycarbonate bottles, and dentistry composites and sealants. It’s been linked with diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease in humans and has been shown to interfere with reproductive development in animals.
State regulators approved a controversial Dominion Virginia Power plan on Wednesday that adds a charge for larger home users of solar energy.
Dominion plans to impose a monthly “standby” charge, starting in April, on residential customers with solar systems that generate between 10 and 20 kilowatts. Today, that fee would apply to only one customer, according to Dominion.
Most homeowners’ solar systems produce about 3 or 4 kilowatts, so they wouldn’t see the standby charge. But they - and companies that sell and install solar equipment - fear that Dominion will seek to expand the fee to all solar users in the future and stymie the budding development of residential renewable energy.
The region’s federal lobbying organization is leading an effort to make Hampton Roads a player in the blossoming field of unmanned aircraft.
Such vehicles are already in regular use in war zones, but, with the exception of small-craft hobbyists, they are not permitted for wide use in the United States.
That is likely to change in the coming decades, say federal officials, as the technology becomes more advanced.
Congress is considering legislation that would direct the Federal Aviation Administration to figure out how to integrate unmanned flying vehicles into national airspace, already used daily by hundreds of thousands of manned aircraft.Read more...
Several community organizations came together on Saturday to provide food, water, clothing and other services to Nanjemoy residents ahead of Thanksgiving. The effort was led by community activist Cornell Posey.
“This Nanjemoy Community Day was put together by Cornell Posey and Brenda Thomas and they invited people that were from all over the region who have food for the residents and we’re also taking names and numbers to follow up on specific issues,” Charles County Commissioner Debra Davis (D: 2nd) said. “This is an awesome addition, especially during the holiday season, to determine what people need and hopefully move forward. This is awesome. This is a great example of what communities can do when they put their minds to it. I support them one hundred percent and this can’t be done by government alone.”
Primarily, a time for giving thanks, the Thanksgiving Holiday means many things to each of us. It is a time of turkey and pumpkin pie. It is a time to be thankful for our family and friends. Friends that we have contact with on a regular daily basis, and some that I choose to call friends that I have never personally met, those who are serving in the Armed Forces protecting our freedoms.
In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a Thanksgiving proclamation in the midst of the Civil War, inviting “my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise for our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”
In keeping with Abraham Lincoln’s proclamation, whenever and wherever possible, our troops stationed around the world and those fighting our wars are given a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. History tells us that Thanksgiving has been celebrated in turbulent and sad times.
...will boost safety, chief says
Glenarden police officers will soon be able to match the firepower of Prince George’s County’s dangerous criminals after a City Council decision Nov. 14 to use its police department general fund money instead of a Wegmans grant intended to buy four semiautomatic weapons.
The City Council approved the police department to use $7,000 from the department’s general fund to purchase four AR-15 rifles and pay for officer training on how to use the weapons, which are longer guns that carry more firepower than the officers’ .40 caliber handguns. Officers will always be armed with the handguns, said Glenarden Police Chief Phil O’Donnell.
Program helps non-violent offenders stay out of jail
Frederick County commissioners last week agreed to share evenly with the state the $21,478 it will cost to test for drug use the people enrolled in Drug Treatment Court.
Barbara Domer, administrator of Frederick County Circuit Court, told commissioners on Nov. 17 that testing and monitoring are important for the program’s success.
Drug courts provide treatment for non-violent drug offenders in hopes of keeping them out of jail.
State funding decreased this year because the program is not new, but Domer told commissioners that the state would pay for half of the program if commissioners did the same.
Prosecutors say the harsh 10 ½-year prison sentence handed to a former fundraiser for ousted Gov. Rod Blagojevich should send a message about public corruption: Expect no mercy unless you quickly fess up and cooperate with authorities.
Tony Rezko learned that lesson too late, they said, while several others involved in schemes to squeeze kickbacks from companies wanting state business, among other misconduct, told all and likely will get lighter sentences.
“We’re trying to send a deterrent message to people not to commit the crimes, but we’re also trying to send a message that if people have done wrong, that they wake up, smell the coffee and work with us,” U.S. Attorney Pat Fitzgerald said after Rezko’s sentencing.
...Myersville gas compressor to FERC
The Frederick County Commissioners voted Tuesday to send a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voicing their concern about a gas compressor station planned for Myersville.
Dominion Transmission has a pre-application before FERC to build the proposed station, dubbed the Allegheny Storage Project, on a 22-acre site on Milt Summers Road.
The commissioners’ letter questions FERC on whether alternative industrial sites were evaluated or analyzed. It also asks if the needs for emergency response at the site, including water supplies for firefighting equipment, has been assessed, whether natural gas will be stored on-site, if security is planned for the location, if the compressor will be monitored for potential leaks, and whether the site has any provisions for automatic shutdown.
In 1993 Congress mandated that prospective gun purchasers undergo a background check to see if their names showed up in a database of individuals for whom gun ownership was prohibited—including mentally ill individuals.
A recently released report by a coalition of U.S. mayors listed Maryland as one of 23 states that has been doing a poor job of reporting to an important national database created to facilitate the 1993 law.
The problem is that the names of those individuals are not being reliably supplied to NICS so that other states will have access to them. In fact, since 1999, Maryland has reported only 58 mental health records to NICS—58 in more than 11 years.
A Frederick County commissioner has filed a lawsuit challenging Maryland’s redistricting map.
The Frederick News-Post reports that Republican Commissioner Paul Smith has filed complaints in the Court of Appeals and Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.
He is criticizing the new map signed into law last month by Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley for failing to design contiguous and compact voting areas.
The map has drawn other legal challenges as well.