Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Honoring Jimmy Ginas a Local Hero
Southern Maryland News Net

James (Jimmy) M. Ginas Class of 2003 passed away on Saturday, April 18th, 2015. It is a sad day as we lost one of our own serving this country.

Jimmy, who was voted “Most Spirited” his senior year, left Westlake and immediately joined the United States Army where he became part of the very distinguished Special Forces as a Green Beret. He proudly served tours in Korea, Iraq, and 3 tours in Afghanistan.

Jimmy was highly decorated with awards and medals to include the Purple Heart, Bronze Star with “V” for Valor and was an Airborne Ranger, Sniper, and HALO trained soldier, among many other honors.

Sammy 07:13 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Straight Talk on Environmental Protection – But not in Charles County’s Draft Comp. Plan
Smarter Growth Alliance for Charles County

Between politicians assuring us that “growth has to go somewhere” and developers claiming that environmental regulations will keep them from poisoning our environment, it is hard to wade through all of the rhetoric to find the truth. While it’s true that growth has to go somewhere, it is not true that Charles County can’t restrict both where it goes and the growth rate. Homes, roads, offices, stores, schools, sewer and water lines, etc. may have to go “somewhere,” but they don’t have to go “everywhere.”

The developers’ insistence that just by following the regulations, whatever they do and wherever they do it will not further degrade our environment ignores reality. Often, the quest for that “balance” we discussed before allows us to accept this totally erroneous fable. The truth is that the flawed regulations were never intended to completely cancel the adverse environmental consequences of development in the wrong places.

Sammy 07:12 AM | (4) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Unmanned X-47B Jet Completes First Aerial Refueling
Southern Maryland News Net

The Navy’s unmanned fighter completed its first aerial refueling Wednesday, the first of the aircraft’s final tests before it’s retired to make way for the next generation of carrier-launched drones.

The X-47B received over 4,000 lbs. of fuel from an Omega K-707 tanker aircraft, unmanned carrier aviation program manager Capt. Beau Duarte said, while flying off the coast of Maryland and Virginia from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

It was a huge achievement for unmanned aviation, Duarte said in a Thursday news conference, as the first autonomous aerial refueling on the books.

Sammy 07:06 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
State business czar brings upbeat message to area
Dick Myers ― TheBayNet.com

“Economic development is a team sport,” Maryland’s chief business cheerleader told the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland at its April 23rd quarterly meeting. Maryland Secretary of the Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED) R. Michael “Mike” Gill was guest speaker at the dinner meeting at Sotterley Plantation in Hollywood. He said to the assemblage of elected leaders and government officials about the state’s economic development efforts: “It’s everything coming together and we are all on the same page.”

Gill was highly complementary of the recommendations of the so-called Augustine Commission created by legislative leaders, including Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller [D; Calvert/Prince George’s] who was sitting at a table right of front of Gill as he spoke. He called the 125-page report “a blueprint for prosperity.” He said the message to the state from the commission, chaired by retired Lockheed Martin Corp. chairman and CEO Norm Augustine, is “You have to be more competitive.”

Sammy 07:05 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
County Executive Proposes Selling Properties to Fund School System
Robin Jessica Clark ― Maryland Association of Counties - Conduit Street

As reported by the Baltimore Sun, Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman is hoping to sell off several county properties to raise some extra money for the school system’s budget next fiscal year.


The money the county recuperates by selling the properties would go towards purchasing a site for a thirteenth public high school, and could also be used to unlock state matching funds for school construction, Kittleman wrote.

Even if the properties are sold in the current year, making additional funding available, rules regarding education funding complicate and delay the application of additional school funding by county governments. For one-time funding to be used for one-time school costs, such as laptops and library books for students or professional development training for teachers, county governments must first receive approval from the Maryland State Board of Education. The current deadline set by the Maryland State Department of Education for applications for non-recurring cost applications is March 31 of the prior year.

Sammy 07:04 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Glassman Begins Streamlining HarfordNEXT: A Master Plan for the Next Generation
Kaley Schultze ― Maryland Association of Counties - Conduit Street

Recently, Harford County Executive Barry Glassman has directed the Department of Planning and Zoning to begin an update to the 2012 Master Plan and Land Use Element Plan.  The Department is undertaking a streamlined approach to preparing a Master Plan which will incorporate the various Element Plans into one cohesive document known as HarfordNEXT.

According to a Harford County press release,


  “HarfordNEXT is an opportunity to shape Harford County’s future, not only for ourselves but for our next generation,” said County Executive Glassman. “I invite all citizens to share their ideas. My administration plans an inclusive and transparent process including public meetings and a new online forum to encourage community engagement.”

  Unlike previous Master Plan updates, HarfordNEXT will be organized around several themes that incorporate one or more component elements of the plan, such as the Natural Resources Element Plan, Priority Preservation Area Plan, Historic Preservation Plan and Transportation Plan.

  “Rather than ask citizens to fit their ideas into these separate elements, the themes are designed to reflect the comprehensive way in which people think about and use public services and public space,” said Department of Planning and Zoning Director Brad Killian.

Sammy 07:03 AM | (2) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Dredge survey results: Blue crabs in Bay more plentiful

Things are looking up for the blue crabs of Chesapeake Bay.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources on Monday released the numbers from its annual Blue Crab Winter Dredge Survey — the results of dredging at 1,500 sites throughout the bay from December through March.

The department found that the total blue-crab population of the bay is about 411 million, about 38 percent above last year’s number, and the critical spawning-age female population was pegged at 101 million — much higher than last year’s total, though still well below the goal.

Sammy 06:53 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Electric grid under attack, feds try to ‘stay ahead of the bad guys’
Paul Bedard ― Washington Examiner

Without specifically blaming Iran or other U.S. foes, the secretary of Energy today confirmed that the vast U.S. electric grid is being hit with an increasing number of cyberattacks from a growing number of enemies.

“The energy infrastructure is a major target of cyber attacks. That is increasing in frequency and perhaps source,” said Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

His comments at a media roundtable hosted by the Christian Science Monitor follow a department report last week that warned “modern life” would be threatened if the grid went down.

Sammy 06:51 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Your guide to the 2016 presidential candidates
Jason Russell ― Washington Examiner

As the fight to win the 2016 presidential election heats up, here is a guide to who may be the next president of the United States:

Sammy 06:49 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Big batteries could make or break solar energy
John Siciliano ― Washington Examiner

Big batteries are quickly becoming the technology du jour in making the case for transitioning the nation to increasing amounts of solar energy and renewables.

But the time it will take to work out the cost and regulatory kinks to move the batteries to a wider market have not been figured out, say investors and academics examining the prospects for electric storage technology.

Electric vehicle company Tesla is expected to announce a new business venture later this week focused on marketing the big batteries, referred to as “energy storage,” for residential and commercial use.

Sammy 06:46 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Japanese police investigate projectile launch near U.S. base

Japanese police said they were investigating a possible attack on a U.S. Army base near Tokyo after finding a pair of launchers and a projectile Tuesday following reports of explosions in the vicinity.

Two iron pipes planted into the ground and aimed at Camp Zama were found about 800 meters (half a mile) southwest of the base, which sits near a residential area and an elementary school, police said. No injuries or damage were immediately reported from the incident.

Police found the pipes after a resident reported hearing three explosions in the area in the early hours of Tuesday.

Sammy 06:43 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
A D.C. doctor makes medical marijuana a specialty

Twice a week at the office of Patrick Fasusi, District of Columbia residents line up to ask the pain specialist to approve their use of medical marijuana. For most, the brief wait in the lobby is longer than their consultation.

As marijuana, which became legal for recreational use in the nation’s capital in February, continues to morph from contraband to commonplace, Fasusi’s clinic is a window into the ease with which some residents have been buying officially sanctioned pot for more than two years.

Sammy 06:40 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
High court to consider lawsuits over personal data
Sam Hananel ― Daily Record

The Supreme Court said Monday it will decide whether Web sites and other firms that collect personal data can be sued for publishing inaccurate information even if the mistakes don’t cause any actual harm.

The case is being watched closely by Google, Facebook and other Internet companies concerned that class-action lawsuits under the Fair Credit Reporting Act could expose them to billions of dollars in damages.

The justices will hear an appeal from Spokeo.com, an Internet search engine that compiles publicly available data on people and lets subscribers view the information, including address, age, marital status and economic health.

Sammy 06:38 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Amazon among companies asking FAA to expand drone rules
Mike Snider and Bart Jansen ― USA TODAY

Amazon is among a host of companies asking the Federal Aviation Administration to expand the abilities of small commercial drones and the traffic control system that would monitor them.

The online retailer specifically wants to be able to fly drones beyond the line of sight of pilots and to allow pilots to monitor multiple drones. The FAA’s current proposal, announced in February, would allow individual drones weighing up to 55 pounds to fly within sight of their remote pilots during daylight hours.

Sammy 06:36 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Which state has the highest auto insurance rates?
Chris Woodyard ― USA TODAY

Michigan is famous as the nation’s automaker Mecca, but auto insurers apparently aren’t sharing the love of motoring.

Michigan is the nation’s most expensive state for car insurance, where residents pay double the national average, says InsuranceQuotes.com.

“Michigan is the only state where car insurance includes unlimited lifetime personal injury protection, so that’s a major reason why car insurance is so expensive in Michigan,” according to Laura Adams, InsuranceQuotes.com’s senior analyst. “Another reason is that Michigan has an unusually high number of uninsured drivers, which drives up rates for people who do have car insurance.” Most of those uninsured drivers are in Detroit, the city famous for cars.

Sammy 06:28 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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