Friday, November 25, 2011
States expect budgetary fallout from ‘supercommittee’ failure
Washington Post

Funding cuts for school lunches, home energy assistance, child support enforcement, HIV care, Race to the Top grants and other government programs will come quicker than advertised following the failure this week of the congressional “supercommittee.”
But in state capitals, where legislatures are bound by requirements to balance budgets, the committee’s failure cocked a trigger on $1.2 trillion in cuts that must, by law, be built into spending plans that governors will begin releasing within weeks.

Lawmakers in Annapolis and in Richmond began meeting in recent days to grapple with the potential effects: State budgets that are required to be approved next spring, and that will take effect in July, will overlap with the federal budget that is scheduled to contain the deep cuts. In Virginia, which budgets over a two-year cycle, the full effect of future cuts could be spread out and felt next summer.

Sammy 02:23 PM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
What you need to know before driving the ICC

The Intercounty Connector is Maryland’s first ever all electronic toll road, which helps traffic to keep moving rather than slow down.

Tolls are tacked on to your E-ZPass while overhead transponders recognize where you get on and off the road.

If you don’t have an E-ZPass and you want to drive the ICC, be prepared to pay more. You will be sent a bill for 150 percent of the original toll.

Sammy 02:15 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Public may weigh in on SMECO plans

As the Southern Maryland Reliability Project moves forward, residents living along the proposed right-of-way installation may have received a public notice from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requesting input in its project evaluation.

The notice is part of a joint application to the Maryland Department of the Environment and USACE for any sort of tidal wetlands crossing and associated impacts during Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative’s 30-mile utility pole installation project.
“We have to have a permit before we can do any temporary work,” SMECO Government and Public Affairs Manager Tom Dennison said. “Landowners along the right-of-way near Hunting Creek, St. Johns Creek or St. Leonard Creek, or any designated wetland the project crosses, get a notice,” to which they have until Dec. 12 to respond with comments before USACE makes a decision on whether to grant the utility company a wetland crossing permit.

Sammy 02:05 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Resident: Collins has conflict

Woman says law firm affiliation precludes voting

A Welcome woman filed an ethics complaint against Charles County Commissioner Reuben B. Collins II (D) on Monday afternoon, alleging that he should recuse himself from matters involving The St. Charles Cos., the Waldorf-based developer of the county’s largest planned community, because of his affiliation with a law firm representing the company.

In particular, Cheryl Thomas took issue with Collins’ vote last week against hiring an outside attorney to compile, for county government, a summary of zoning Docket 90 at the request of County Attorney Barbara L. Holtz, who said the file has become so large and unwieldy that county staff members need a professional summary.

Sammy 01:59 PM | (13) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Commission splits on planning staff policy change

Attorney says planning group lacks authority

Two Charles County Planning Commission members proposed motions to change planning staff policy Monday, a move Deputy County Attorney Elizabeth Theobalds said the commission does not have the authority to make.

Lou Grasso made the first motion at Monday’s planning commission meeting, which proposed that all letters addressed to the planning commission be directly sent to all planning commission members as soon as they are received.

Sammy 01:56 PM | (4) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Chairman: Planning commission disregards public input

Port Tobacco recovery zone passes 4-3

The Charles County Planning Commission chairman questioned whether the commission is willing to listen to the public on land use decisions shortly before it voted 4-3 to recommend the Port Tobacco Environmental Recovery and Restoration Area to the county commissioners for approval.

Chairman Courtney Edmonds said that approving an amendment to the 2006 comprehensive plan for the ERRA goes against public input on the issue and falsifies statements about the 2012 comprehensive plan update.

Sammy 01:52 PM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
A Village Christmas

December 3, 2011, 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m., at Remembrances Antiques in Hughesville, MD!  See flyer for details.


Pauleen Brewer 11:02 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Claim Your Cash

Tens-of-thousands of people in our area are owed over $2 billion in unclaimed cash and property. Are you one of them?

9NEWS NOW wants to help you Claim Your Cash.  Below you will find links to search for your name, as well as your family and friends:

Sammy 10:28 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Silver Spring woman fights to get advance directive registry going
C. Benjamin Ford ― Gazette

Law has been on the books since 2006; state never created registry

Maryland had a law since 1993 establishing living wills and advance directives pertaining to who could make medical decisions should an individual become incapacitated.

Kipping, who is vice president of the Compassion and Choices’ National Capital Chapter, has begun a letter-writing campaign to urge the state to fund the registry.

The amount it would cost for the registry is unknown and would be determined as part of an upcoming study, state officials said.

Sammy 10:15 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Less invasive aneurysm treatment offers hope

So on Nov. 16, Terry became one of the early patients to receive a minimally invasive treatment using a “pipeline embolization device,” a stent placed in the blood vessel through a tiny catheter threaded from the leg into the brain.

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April, the device promises hope for aneurysm patients with no other options.
Nationally, experts estimate the surgery is offered at fewer than 50 medical centers—and has been used on about 500 patients since FDA approval—because it targets a specific type of very large aneurysm and requires special skills and training. It’s part of a larger trend toward less-invasive treatments for brain aneurysms, which kill 40 percent of people who have them if they rupture.

Sammy 10:04 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Briefing: Housing Authority Board Flow Chart

Board Docs - Nov 29, 2011 - Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting

1.06 [10:00 a.m.] Briefing: Housing Authority Board Flow Chart (Ms. Eileen Minnick, Director of Community Services)

Housing Authority Flow Chart.pdf (180 KB)

Sammy 10:00 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Briefing/Update: County Intervention Team

Board Docs - Nov 29, 2011 - Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting

1.05 [9:30 a.m.] Briefing/Update: County Intervention Team (Ms. Eileen Minnick, Director of Community Services)

Rural Housing Initiative Progress Report 11-29-2011.pdf (4,072 KB)

Sammy 09:58 AM | (5) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Transfer Request, $160,000, Waldorf West Library

Board Docs - Nov 29, 2011 - Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting

1.03 [9:00 a.m.] (VOTE) County Business: Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Transfer Request, $160,000, Waldorf West Library (Ms. Deborah Hudson, Director of Fiscal & Administrative Services)

FY12 Budget Transfer 160K Waldorf West Library.pdf (873 KB)

Sammy 09:55 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
By-the-mile road tax
Frederick News-Post - Editorial

A recent CNN story took a look at the nation’s transportation infrastructure, how it’s funded, and what might be coming down the road in the future.
The story focused on a specific idea that’s being seriously investigated as a way to fund the roads, bridges and other slowly disintegrating components of America’s national highway system.

Isn’t that what the national gas tax is for, you ask? Well, yes, but that solution is becoming increasingly unable to do the job. More fuel-efficient cars plus reduced driving due to the price of gas equals less fuel tax revenue.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the tipping point at which the fund “will be unable to meet its obligations in a timely manner” happens in 2012.

Related CNN article:  Will pay-per-mile be a buzzkill for American road trips?

Sammy 09:49 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
The Supreme Court’s unlikely friend to criminals
David G. Savage ― Los Angeles Times

Justice Antonin Scalia, the Supreme Court’s most outspoken and combative conservative, is not often described as friendly to criminals.

But in recent years, Scalia has led an unusual pro-defendant faction at the high court in reversing convictions for murder, drug dealing, wife beating and drunken driving.

Next up in early December is a Chicago rapist who claims his 6th Amendment right to confront his accusers was violated because prosecutors did not put on the witness stand a lab technician from Maryland who conducted the DNA test that sent him to prison.

This claim might have been a loser even during the court’s long-past liberal era. But with the relentless Scalia leading the charge, it may well succeed, a prospect that worries prosecutors and crime lab directors across the nation.

Sammy 09:35 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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