Thursday, April 17, 2014
Flashback: A reminder of the old board of commissioners
Marland Independent - LTE

I am horrified at the recent vote to take away the authority of Charles County commissioners’ President Candice Quinn Kelly.

This secret maneuver reminds me of the previous board of county commissioners, which, except for Commissioner Reuben Collins, was roundly voted out of office.

Commissioner Kelly was elected, by me, and many voters like me, to be president, and to have the president’s authority. I am very glad to see the changes she has brought to county governance, and I wholeheartedly support her actions in office.

To those commissioners who secretly hatched and voted for this power grab, without input from citizens like me, if President Kelly’s authority is not restored, I will work day and night to see that you are not re-elected.

Read more...

Sammy 06:23 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Myrtle Grove Wildlife Management Area Now 773 Acres Larger
Southern Maryland Online

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has increased the Myrtle Grove Wildlife Management Area, located in Charles County, by more than 30 percent. The new 773-acre parcel, known as the Pomfret Tract, is now open to the public. With this addition, Myrtle Grove encompasses 2,496 acres and has replaced Cedar Point as the largest Wildlife Management Area in the Southern Maryland.

Hunting on the new tract will follow all established season dates and bag limits found in the Guide to Hunting and Trapping in Maryland, and will be open for Spring Turkey Season beginning April 18, 2014. Hunter access to Myrtle Grove WMA is generally permitted and does not require possession of a seasonal permit or daily reservations. Hunters must park in designated areas only.

Sammy 06:21 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Md. Drivers Charged with Cellphone Usage Triples
NICOLE JONES ― Southern Maryland Online

It’s been six months since the Maryland law banning cellphone usage while driving became more strict, and the number of drivers ticketed has more than tripled.

The change in state law makes driving while talking on a hand-held phone a primary offense, allowing police officers to stop a driver on Maryland roadways for just holding their phone.

And later this year, penalties for causing a serious or fatal car crash while talking on the phone or texting will increase, according to a measure Gov. Martin O’Malley signed into law Monday.

Sammy 06:20 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Absentee Ballots Moving Online Causes Security Concerns
Glynis Kazanjian ― Southern Maryland Online

Voters may get to skip the lines at the polls this summer by receiving and marking their ballots online, but election officials must first decide if the convenience outweighs the security risks.

The State Board of Elections will vote this month on using a new online ballot marking system, which includes electronic delivery of absentee ballots, in the June 24 gubernatorial primary election.

But voter advocates and security hawks warned in recent months that poor authentication methods — as well as inconsistent online requirements — make the system vulnerable to voter fraud.

Sammy 06:18 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Charles County Sheriff’s Office warns of copper thefts
THEBAYNET.COM

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office is investigating several reports of copper thefts in which suspects stole copper wiring from large light poles. The most recent theft occurred at a school.

On April 16 at about 3:30 a.m., a patrol officer was conducting a building check at Westlake High School, 3300 Middletown Road in Waldorf, when he discovered someone had tampered with the light poles near the back of the parking lot. A closer look revealed the wires were pulled out of the pole, cut and stolen.

Copper wires were recently stolen from two other schools and two businesses. Officers have been directed to increase patrols in these areas and residents are urged to report suspicious activity immediately.

Sammy 06:16 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Plant expansion opponents address board
Marty Madden ― THEBAYNET.COM

Opponents of a plan to build a $3.8 billion liquefaction facility at a 40-year-old Lusby gas plant decided to take their case to the Calvert County Commissioners Tuesday, April 15. Additionally, one of the local residents opposed to Dominion’s plan to export natural gas to other countries via the Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Plant rendered remarks during two public hearings on matters unrelated to the expansion plan.

Six residents spoke during the weekly meeting’s public comment segment.

Sammy 06:14 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
PET Scans Offer Clues on Vegetative States
DENISE GRADY ― New York Times

People with severe brain injuries sometimes emerge from a coma awake but unresponsive, leaving families with painful questions. Are they aware? Can they think and feel? Do they have any chance of recovery?

A new study has found that PET scans may help answer these wrenching questions. It found that a significant number of people labeled vegetative had received an incorrect diagnosis and actually had some degree of consciousness and the potential to improve. Previous studies using electroencephalogram machines and M.R.I. scanners have also found signs of consciousness in supposedly vegetative patients.

Sammy 06:12 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Delinquencies on loans expected to rise
Tim Grant ― Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Bankers are predicting more debtors are likely to fall behind on their auto loans and credit card payments this year, but there may be a silver lining.

While rising delinquencies will spell trouble for those individuals who cannot make ends meet, it could — on the other hand — be a sign the overall economy is inching its way back to health.

Sammy 06:07 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Allegheny County Council poses its own questions on Deer Lakes drilling
Kaitlynn Riely ― Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

For months, members of Allegheny County Council have heard from county residents speaking about the plan to drill for natural gas beneath Deer Lakes Park.

“Now, it’s the council members’ turn,” said Councilman Nicholas Futules, D-Oakmont, chair of the council’s parks committee.

Several members of council took turns Wednesday night offering their thoughts about the plan council is considering and posing questions to a 10-person panel that included county officials, the head of the Allegheny County Health Department, a geologist, and representatives from Range Resources and Huntley & Huntley and from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

Sammy 06:04 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Three bills passed by Md. General Assembly to help ag department
Herald-Mail

Three bills that will help the Maryland Department of Agriculture deliver its services more effectively passed during the 2014 General Assembly session and were signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley.

The three bills clarified existing laws to help streamline processes and save money.

Sammy 06:02 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Fracking chemicals should be disclosed
Frederick News-Post - Editorial

Who should have access to specific information on the toxicological, epidemiological and exposure-related information of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing?

That question is currently being taken up by Maryland’s Marcellus Shale Advisory Committee, which is charged with evaluating the safety, environmental impacts and public health issues associated with fracking — and then filing a final report containing its findings and recommendations. That report is due by Aug. 1.

According to the website of Physicians for Social Responsibility, “While the precise ‘chemical cocktail’ used may vary from company to company, a number of the known chemicals, including benzene products, formaldehyde, and petroleum distillate, are known carcinogens or toxins which would render water permanently undrinkable.”

Sammy 06:00 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Watchdog says Supreme Court ruling could pump money into local races
Bethany Rodgers ― Frederick News-Post

[...]
The high court this month held that it is unconstitutional to cap the cumulative amount an individual can contribute in elections, a ruling anticipated to have a far-reaching effect on national politics. While some say removing the contribution caps encourages a form of political expression, government accountability groups argue the ruling will enable special interests to tighten their grip on decision-makers.
[...]
In light of the ruling, Maryland elections officials last week announced they won’t enforce the state’s $10,000 aggregate contribution limit. As before the Supreme Court decision, Maryland contributors cannot donate more than $4,000 to a particular campaign. However, there is no longer a cumulative limit on how much they can contribute during each four-year election cycle.
[...]
These big givers will be “people with a very clear idea of the types of policies they want to move forward. They’ll be able to fund across the board to try to get a majority in the county government,” she said.

Sammy 05:56 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Appeals court upholds Snowden email firm contempt
Daily Record

A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a contempt of court citation against an email service provider used by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Dallas-based Lavabit Inc. and its owner, Ladar Levinson, were barred from raising key issues on appeal that they did not pursue in the district court.

U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton sanctioned Levinson for initially refusing to give federal authorities the technical assistance they needed to track the encrypted email of a target of a criminal investigation. The appeals court’s opinion did not name the target.

Sammy 05:53 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
OMB: Plan for implementing security-clearance fixes coming soon
Federal News Radio

In the coming months, the federal government will release a detailed plan for implementing more than a dozen recommendations to improve the security clearance process, the Obama administration’s management chief told an audience of government contractors Tuesday.

“As an administration, we are committed to making progress in this area and implementing changes as soon as practical,” said Beth Cobert, the Office of Management and Budget’s deputy director for management, in a speech to the Professional Services Council.

Sammy 05:41 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thread - April 17, 2014

-I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday. ~Unknown

Pauleen Brewer 04:00 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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