Sunday, February 19, 2012
201060862/10-NT-0205: HOWLIN OAKS PROPERTY, INC

Notice of Application for State Wetland Licenses, Private Wetland Permits or Water Quality Certification and the Opportunity to Provide Written Comment or Request an Informational Hearing

The Water Management Administration is reviewing the following applications for State Wetland Licenses, Private Wetland Permits and/or Water Quality Certifications. The applications and related information are on file at the Administration. Arrangements may be made for inspection and copying of file materials. Interested parties may provide written comment on the application or request an informational hearing on any listed application. A request for a hearing must be in writing and provide the following information: 1) Name, Address, and Telephone Number of the person making the request; 2) The identity of any other person(s) the requestor is representing; and 3) the specific issues proposed to be considered at the hearing. Please refer to the case number (i.e., 00- WL-0000) which identifies each application. Address correspondence to: Nontidal Wetlands Division, Water Management Administration, 1800 Washington Boulevard Baltimore, Maryland, 21230. Telephone(410) 537-3768. Written comments or requests for a hearing must be received on or before March 15, 2012.


Sammy 10:13 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Scientists Find New Dangers in Tiny but Pervasive Particles…
New York Times

... in Air Pollution

Fine atmospheric particles — smaller than one-thirtieth of the diameter of a human hair — were identified more than 20 years ago as the most lethal of the widely dispersed air pollutants in the United States. Linked to both heart and lung disease, they kill an estimated 50,000 Americans each year. But more recently, scientists have been puzzled to learn that a subset of these particles, called secondary organic aerosols, has a greater total mass, and is thus more dangerous, than previously understood.
Taken together, the findings of the new study and of a handful of others published in the past two years could mean that two decades’ worth of pollution-control strategies — focused on keeping tiny particles from escaping into the atmosphere — have addressed only part of the problem.

Scientists and regulators say that new models, strategies and technologies would be needed to address the secondary organic aerosol particles, which are formed not during combustion but later, in the wake of interactions between pollutants and natural chemical compounds.

Sammy 10:05 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
When a County Runs Off the Cliff
New York Times

This is life today in Jefferson County — Bankrupt, U.S.A. For all the talk in Washington about taxes and deficits, here is a place where government finances, and government itself, have simply broken down. The county, which includes the city of Birmingham, is drowning under $4 billion in debt, the legacy of a big sewer project and corrupt financial dealings that sent 17 people to prison.
Ordinary citizens can’t do much at this point. Jefferson County has even canceled municipal elections scheduled for this August. It seems that there’s no money for voting booths, either.
That’s why the developments in Jefferson County are so unnerving. About 300 municipalities nationwide are in default on their debt, but most of them are so tiny that they draw little attention. What is more, after New York City ran into financial trouble in the ’70s, and Cleveland fell into a hole in the ’80s, the federal bankruptcy code was changed to ensure that certain types of muni bonds would keep paying interest and principal even if the issuing government authority sought bankruptcy.

Sammy 10:00 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
High court dilemma: Can lie about medal be crime?
MARK SHERMAN ― Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Xavier Alvarez was in good company when he stood up at a public meeting and called himself a wounded war veteran who had received the top military award, the Medal of Honor.

Alvarez was lying about his medal, his wounds and his military service, but he wasn’t the first man to invent war exploits.

He was, however, one of the first people prosecuted under a 2006 federal law aimed at curbing false claims of military valor.

Concerns that the law improperly limits speech and turns people into criminals for things they say, rather than do, are at the heart of the Supreme Court’s review of his case and the Stolen Valor Act.

Sammy 09:53 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
FDA officials plan to review safety of inhalable caffeine

U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials plan to investigate whether inhalable caffeine sold in lipstick-sized canisters is safe for consumers and if its manufacturer was right to brand it as a dietary supplement.
“I am worried about how a product like this impacts kids and teens, who are particularly vulnerable to overusing a product that allows one to take hit after hit after hit, in rapid succession,” Schumer said.

Sammy 09:38 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Feds won’t fight suit over military same-sex benefits

The Obama Administration said Friday it is declining to defend the government in yet another lawsuit challenging federal laws limiting recognition of same-sex marriage.

Attorney General Eric Holder sent Congressional leaders a letter formally notifying them that the Justice Department will not defend a case challenging the constitutionality of a federal law preventing same-sex spouses of military personnel from receiving veterans’ benefits.

“The legislative record of these provisions contains no rationale for providing veterans’ benefits to opposite-sex spouses of veterans but not to legally married same­-sex spouses of veterans,” Holder said. In the letter (posted here), Holder instructed Justice Department lawyers not to fight the constitutional claims in a lawsuit brought by the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network in federal court in Massachusetts on behalf of individuals who have been denied benefits.

Sammy 09:27 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Removal from office
Frederick News-Post - Editorial

State lawmakers look set to toughen penalties for our more errant elected officials, a move prompted by the corruption cases of former Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson, his wife, Leslie, who served on the County Council, and former Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon, among others.

One bill, sponsored by Delegate Jolene Ivey, a Prince George’s County Democrat, would amend the Maryland Constitution to remove state, county or municipal elected officials from office upon conviction or guilty plea.
If this legislation is successful, and it has picked up enough co-sponsors in both the House and the Senate that it looks set to be just that, voters will have their say on it as a ballot measure in November.


Sammy 09:22 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Our Say: Requiring voter IDs won’t fix a crumbling system
The Capital

Del. Nic Kipke of Pasadena last week was taking part in a annual ritual that goes back to at least 2005: Republican legislators offering bills to require Maryland voters to present proof of identification at the polls.
The researchers commissioned by Pew put the number of active registrations in the country that are invalid or inaccurate at 24 million. That’s one out of eight. About 2.75 million people have active registrations in more than one state; more than 70,000 could be registered in three or more.

And more than 1.8 million people listed as active voters are deceased. Just call them “The Voting Dead.”

In the age of the Internet and smartphones, state election officials struggle on with manually entered written records. Without access to the databases or data-matching techniques common in private industry or among other government agencies, they can’t cope with a highly mobile population.

Sammy 09:16 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Juvenile Charged in Newburg Fire
Southern Maryland Online

Deputy State Fire Marshals have concluded an investigation into a Newburg Fire with the arrest of a 16-year-old male juvenile. The juvenile has been transported to the Cheltenham Youth Facility where he will be held pending a hearing. Charges include Arson 1st Degree, and additional charges being handled by the Charles County Sheriff’s Office.

Sammy 09:11 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Cardin Votes Against Conference Report
The Bay Net

U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), gave the following remarks after both the Senate and House passed the Payroll Tax Conference Report:

“We reached a consensus today that will maintain the payroll tax holiday for 160 million American families, help our seniors through Medicare, and continue to provide extended unemployment benefits to those still out of work through no fault of their own. In what has become all too rare an occurrence, the Senate and the Congress actually worked out their differences to reconcile legislation. I signed the document that allowed this process to move forward because I believe there is too much gridlock on Capitol Hill. I also successfully fought side-by-side with fellow Marylander Rep. Chris Van Hollen, to remove provisions that were in the House bill that would have increased pension contributions for current federal workers, reduced a general reduction in pension benefits for federal workers, and added an additional year of a pay freeze.

Sammy 09:07 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
SHA Crews Rested, Trucks Loaded with Salt and Ready for Weekend Storm
The Bay Net

As weather forecasters near a consensus that Central Maryland is likely to receive its first major winter storm, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is prepared.  Crews will pre-treat interstates and major primary roads in Western Maryland and the Baltimore/Washington metro areas with salt brine on Saturday.  Pre-treatment delays the initial bonding of snow and ice from adhering to the pavement.  SHA crews loaded trucks with salt today and will be positioned prior to the beginning of precipitation early Sunday.  SHA will also deploy heavy duty tow trucks at strategic locations along interstates to respond quickly to tractor trailer and large truck incidents
“The storm poised to strike the region this weekend has the potential to deliver significant snow throughout much of Maryland,” said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters.  “The difference between heavy snow and just wet pavement can vary greatly across Maryland.  Garrett County in Western Maryland has already received nearly six feet of snow this season.  Whether a dusting or a repeat of Snowmaggedon, SHA crews are up for the challenge.”

Sammy 09:05 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Judge rules in-state tuition bill can go on ballot

A judge has ruled a measure allowing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants is subject to referendum.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Ronald Silkworth issued the decision late Friday.

Supporters of the bill contended the measure is not subject to referendum, because it involves funding of state government programs.

However, Silkworth found that the Maryland Dream Act is not a law making any appropriation. Instead, he found it is an act of general legislation to change eligibility requirements for students to receive in-state tuition.

Sammy 08:59 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
US Capitol bomb plot arrest capped yearlong probe

Within the last week, authorities say, Amine El Khalifi’s plan to wreak havoc was proceeding as hoped: An al-Qaida associate handed him an automatic weapon to kill security officers inside the U.S. Capitol. A bomb-laden vest would detonate the building. He would die as a martyr.

But there was a problem: The explosives were inert, the gun inoperable and the supposed al-Qaida member was actually an undercover officer, according to court documents.

El Khalifi was arrested Friday in a parking garage on his way to carry out an attack the FBI says he kicked around for months, even detonating a practice bomb in a quarry, all with varied targets in mind.

Sammy 08:57 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Whooping cough cases on the rise, free vaccines offer help
Anna-Lysa Gayle ― WTOP

After a steep spike in whooping cough diagnoses in Fairfax County last year, health officials are now offering free vaccinations against the disease to adults.

From 2010 to 2011, Fairfax County saw a 55 percent increase in cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, officials say. The disease is more common among infants less than 2 months-old.

“In order to protect those kids who are too young to be vaccinated, it is very beneficial to vaccinate all of the individuals who are going to have contact with those newborns—so pregnant mothers, any sort of caregiver, daycare providers, nannies, fathers of newborns, grandparents should all be vaccinated, “says Dr. Peter Troell, a medical epidemiologist with the Fairfax County Health Department.

Sammy 08:54 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thread - February 19, 2012


Pauleen Brewer 05:00 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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