Sunday, August 12, 2012
Social Security surplus dwarfed by future deficit

As millions of baby boomers flood Social Security with applications for benefits, the program’s $2.7 trillion surplus is starting to look small.

For nearly three decades Social Security produced big surpluses, collecting more in taxes from workers than it paid in benefits to retirees, disabled workers, spouses and children. The surpluses also helped mask the size of the budget deficit being generated by the rest of the federal government.

Those days are over.

Sammy 03:20 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
As Obama policy kicks in, young illegal immigrants…
Susan Carroll ― Houston Chronicle

...set to apply for deportation reprieve

“If only they knew … ,” Ofelia Amador would say to herself, thinking of some of the people at the gym who pass them in the hall as if they were invisible.

If only they knew that Raul Jr., the young man with the mop, had an undergraduate degree in prosthetics and orthotics from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. If only they knew, she thought, that he was in his second year of his Ph.D. studies in kinesiology at the University of Houston.

More than two decades after Raul Jr.‘s parents carried him across the border from Mexico, he will finally have his chance to trade his mop for a white lab coat, to work legally in the U.S. He and more than a million other young, illegal immigrants on Wednesday will become eligible to apply for deferred action, a temporary reprieve from deportation, and for a work permit. The permits and temporary status would last for two years and then could be renewed.

Sammy 07:23 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Cybertainment: Facebook launches storytelling website
Adrian McCoy/ ― Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Facebook has come up with a new way of keeping people online. The social media giant recently launched Facebook Stories, a website that gives people in the Facebook community a chance to share their stories with the world in a new way.

It’s storytelling with more depth than the usual Facebook news feed post. Sometimes Facebook users just update others about what they ate for lunch, but some stories people tell on Facebook are compelling and inspiring. The goal of Facebook Stories is to share some of the latter.

Facebook members are invited to submit their own stories to be considered for future editions of Facebook Stories.

Sammy 07:15 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Companies pile on perks to keep drivers truckin’
Lynn Adler ― Reuters

Truck stops are getting a makeover as companies add amenities to combat a growing shortage of a precious commodity: drivers.

On a blistering July afternoon, truckers at TA and Petro stops in Ohio played basketball, cooled off in a 60-seat theater showing Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law in “Sherlock Holmes” and had their blood pressure checked by nurse practitioners.

TravelCenters of America, which runs TA and Petro rest stops, and other truck stop operators have spent millions of dollars over the last two years on jogging trails, gyms, clinics, private showers and healthier menus in a bid to enhance driver loyalty and keep the country’s 3 million truckers on the road.

Sammy 07:01 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Beverage companies pay millions to conserve water
Ramit Plushnick-Masti ― USA TODAY

Fifty miles outside the nation’s fourth-largest city is a massive field of waist-high grass, buzzing bees and palm-size butterflies, just waiting to be ripped up by a developer.

But rather than develop this pristine remnant of coastal prairie, vast enough to house more than 300 football fields, the Dr Pepper Snapple Group is investing hundreds of thousands of dollars to ensure it remains untouched.

The project is part of the company’s $1.1 million investment in the Nature Conservancy, designed to benefit five Texas watersheds — including Nash Prairie outside Houston — from which its bottling plants draw water.

Sammy 06:57 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
U.S. Navy ship collides with oil tanker in Gulf

The U.S. Navy says one of its guided-missile destroyers collided with an oil tanker early Sunday but that no one was injured in the accident.

The collision involving the USS Porter and the Panamanian-flagged bulk oil tanker M/V Otowasan occurred at approximately 1 a.m. local time, the U.S. Navy said in a statement.

The damage to the Porter is being evaluated and the incident is under investigation, the Navy added.

Sammy 06:46 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Arundel officers reveal details of working for Leopold
Erin Cox and Andrea F. Siegel ― Baltimore Sun

As Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold awaits trial on criminal allegations that he misused his police detail for personal and political gain, new depositions from police officers provide a glimpse of working relationships at the center of another controversy.

The depositions, given under oath and filed this week in a separate civil suit, reveal that some officers perceived Leopold’s actions as exasperating — so much so that a 22-year-old veteran said police sometimes referred to him as “Crazy Uncle Jack.”

Sammy 06:37 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Patuxent Habitat for Humanity Dedicates Veteran’s Project
The Baynet

Patuxent Habitat for Humanity (PHH) will dedicate the first ten homes in the Gary Senese Memorial Veterans Repair Corps project on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 10:00 a.m. at the home of Caleb Getscher. Donors, elected officials, volunteers and community stakeholders will join the PHH Board and staff at the ceremony.

Patuxent Habitat for Humanity joined partner Home Depot Foundation to make the Getscher home accessible for Marine LCPL Caleb Geschler from Chaptico. Getscher, 21, was injured in Afghanistan on June 18, 2011 when he stepped on an IED. He is currently undergoing rehabilitation at Bethesda Naval Hospital. “We were overwhelmed by the community support for this young man,” said Don Parsons, chairman, PHH board of directors. “We are pleased to complete this project for Caleb and his family.”

Sammy 06:33 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Device delivers speed, accuracy in research
Courtney Mabeus ― Frederick News-Post

Scientists write algorithm to help map DNA

Adam Phillippy and Sergey Koren compare their work to piecing together a complex jigsaw puzzle.

Except theirs is not a puzzle of some faraway castle or beach scene. Correctly aligning the pieces of their puzzle can mean curing diseases, finding a criminal, or pinning down the strain of E. coli responsible for sickening dozens of people before a pandemic occurs.

Sammy 06:27 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Have you applied for Homestead Tax Credit?

State residents have until the end of the year to apply for the Maryland Homestead Tax Credit, which protects homeowners from sudden increases in property tax bills from reassessments.

Once a homeowner is eligible for the credit, his or her property tax can increase by no more than 2 percent in a given tax year.

To see if you have been approved for the credit, visit and type in your address. At the bottom of the page, check the field that says Homestead Application Status to see if you are approved.

Sammy 06:21 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Farmers battered by drought lean on crop insurance to survive
Christopher Doering ― Daily Times

The worst drought to hit the United States in more than 50 years has left Justin Dammann, a 32-year old Iowa farmer, watching helplessly as his corn crop dies prematurely and soybean plants are forced to abandon the growth of new pods in order to conserve moisture for the precious few that remain. But as Dammann braces for his first loss on his farm since 2002, the financial blow to his balance sheet has been buffered by the popular federal crop insurance program.

“It has been absolutely essential. In our environment with high priced inputs, high priced land, cash rents, I cannot afford to have a one year total loss,” said Dammann, who raises corn, soybeans and cow calves near Essex, in far southwest Iowa. “I borrow money and I leverage myself and I manage those risks by buying crop insurance to ensure that if we do have a catastrophe like we do now, I will still receive revenue to carry me into the next year to keep us in business,” he said.

Sammy 06:19 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Commissioner President Candice Quinn Kelly


My thoughts about .....

Planning Commission is BROKEN
Politicizing Youth Offenders
Meet Chaplain Lewis
No Texting during Meetings

Sammy 06:11 AM | (2) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Md. delegate to propose oversight panel on gambling
BRIAN WITTE ― Daily Times

A Maryland lawmaker says he will be proposing a change to a gambling measure to create a House and Senate oversight panel.

Delegate Eric Luedtke indicated his plan to propose amending the bill to expand gambling during a meeting Saturday with about a dozen members of the House of Delegates. Luedtke, a Montgomery County Democrat, says he’ll submit the proposal Monday.

The measure to allow table games and allow a casino in Prince George’s County will reshape the State Lottery Agency as a new State Lottery and Gaming Control Agency. Members would be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.

Sammy 06:07 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
ECI’s power plant goes green with waste
Deborah Gates ― Daily Times

ECI opened a quarter of a century ago with a power plant that burned wood chips as the institution’s primary source of electricity, burning mostly loblolly pine trees. The biomass operation provides the only wood-burning plant at a state-operated facility in Maryland, supplying almost 75 percent of the institution’s power needs.

The unique system is about to become even more watched on the national stage. Maryland Environmental Services, the company contracted the last two decades to operate the ECI power plant, is working to install a manure-to-fuel operation that when completed in mid-2013 will provide 25 percent of the prison’s electrical power.

The wood-chip and manure-to-fuel operations will supply 100 percent of energy needs at the estimated 3,000-inmate prison in Westover.

Sammy 06:02 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Start of Maryland tax free shopping week

Shoppers, especially back-to-school bargain hunters, will zone in on Maryland stores this week to take advantage of tax-free shopping.

Shoppers can save themselves the standard six percent sales tax on clothing and shoes that cost $100 or less as part of Maryland’s tax free week.

The tax break does not apply to school supplies, accessories or handbags.

Sammy 05:58 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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