After early complaints that out-ofstate firms got the most jobs, some local construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they’re now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom.
That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit the drilling process known as fracking.
...The Cleanup Of The Chesapeake Bay?
Over the years, the Chesapeake Bay has been known for many things: bountiful seafood, such as clams, oysters and the bay’s iconic blue crabs; its boating, fishing and water sports industry; its curly-haired duck-hunting dogs.
Now, however, the bay has become famous for something else: its pollution.
A proposed toll road championed by former Gov. Bob McDonnell might not be built but still cost taxpayers $400 million to $500 million.
Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne told lawmakers Wednesday that there’s a slight chance the proposed route running parallel to U.S. 460 from Suffolk to Petersburg might not be built because of permitting issues.
Drought spread and/or intensified this week in seven western and central states, including California, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Oklahoma, according to this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor, a federal site that tracks drought.
This week marks the first time in the 15-year history of the Monitor that 100% of California was in moderate to exceptional drought.
An estimate this week puts the cost of the drought in California at at least $7.48 billion in both direct and indirect costs, according to Mike Wade, executive director of the California Farm Water Coalition. This includes crop losses and about 20,000 job losses due to 800,000 acres of idled farmland.
The river is the site of the final battle in the long-running quest to eradicate the beaver-like rodents (“nutria” means “otter” in Spanish) that have destroyed thousands of acres of the state’s wetlands during the past 40 years. It has taken longer than expected — news articles profiled the waning fight in 2011 — but finally, the state is almost free of the invasive rodents.
Led by Kendrot, the project, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, has cleared marshes up and down the Delmarva Peninsula during the last 12 years. On the Wicomico River, Kendrot’s team is after the last surviving colony.
Secretary of Agriculture Buddy Hance is warning Maryland residents with small children to be aware of the danger posed by many common household chemicals and to make sure they are kept safely away from children and pets. Although drugs, caustic chemicals such as drain cleaner, and poisons such as insect sprays are commonly of most concern to parents and pet owners, other materials are also dangerous and may be stored in less secure areas.
“Many consumers will soon be stocking up on lawn and garden chemicals for spring,” said Secretary Hance. “Outdoor chemicals are sometimes stored in locations that are out of sight of adults, but those locations, such as barns and sheds, may be appealing to curious children. Dangerous substances in those areas should also be secured.”
... Doubler on Top-Prize Winning Lottery Ticket
A Southern Maryland couple’s easy-going Sunday ended with an exhilarating celebration after the lucky wife checked their ticket for the Maryland Lottery’s April 20 Bonus Match 5 drawing.
In the blink of an eye, the pair discovered three incredible facts. First, they won the top prize of $50,000 in the drawing. Next, they realized the ticket bought at Centre Liquors in Leonardtown carried a Doubler message and boosted their prize to $100,000. And, last but not least, the win hit during a Lottery Taxes-Paid promotion on the game’s top prizes of $50,000 and $100,000!
The Maryland State Police – La Plata Barrack, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration, are asking citizens to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs during the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this coming Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 10:00 am to 2:00 p.m.
The La Plata Barrack will act as a collection station, providing citizens an opportunity to dispose of all unwanted and unused prescription drugs. The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while educating the general public about the potential dangers of possessing unused medications.
Standing next to a new charging station, Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler touted the fast EV chargers set to be installed along Maryland highways.
The grant process will start soon using $1 million in funds. Gansler says the state will match any private investment in the chargers.
“Approximately 20 of them from this money will go in from western Maryland to Ocean City and across the state,” Gansler says.
With the self-imposed deadline only weeks away, the Charles County Commissioners got to listen to their constituents in regard to the proposed FY2015 budget, and as usual, they got an earful. Citizens apparently disgusted with rising tax rates say people are leaving Charles County for a place “where they can still afford to live.”
The commissioners are considering a proposal from staff to increase the constant yield tax rate from $1.205 per $100 of assessment to $1.221. The commissioners voted to set the date, time and place where they would establish the tax rate and will meet Tuesday, May 20 at 6 p.m. in La Plata to determine whether or not they will raise taxes, not something considered prudent during an election year.
The evening opened with a public hearing on the proposed constant yield tax rate, an event which drew most of the ire of taxpayers.
The St. Mary’s County Board of Education has passed off to the county commissioners the decision on what to do about the system’s approximately $6 million budget shortfall due to health care costs. The school board at a special meeting Wednesday went along with School Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano’s recommendation to present to the commissioners three options ranging from the school system absorbing the shortfall to the commissioners providing an upwards of $3.7 million bailout. The issue will be the subject of a commissioners’ budget workshop session next Monday.
Martirano detailed once again the culprits of the health care budget problems: increased insurance enrollment, increased prescription usage and more costly health care issues for employees. But the real culprit was admittedly the school board’s decision to switch to self-insuring its employees from a system in which the cost in any given year was determined by the actual costs in the previous year. It was hoped the new system would save money but it also left open the possibility of what happened this year. Martirano is recommending going back to the previous “modified retrospective” system.
Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010
I find it absolutely absurd that the Charles County commissioners want to continue to push the building process in Cliffton on the Potomac.
I am not sure how anybody who lives in Charles County already is OK with the ridiculous amount of housing being built now or planned for the future. School class sizes are too big already, (and wait for this upcoming year when the classes get even bigger due to the lack of new teacher hires from budget cuts).
Charles County must stop building. Period. No new homes, no future developments. Let’s focus on cleaning up our areas first, and helping those in need instead of slamming communities with unneeded housing.Read more...
Charles County Finance Director David Eicholtz told the Charles County Commissioners April 22 that the Board of Education may have to face a $5 million cut from the Capital Improvement Projects portion of their budget.
Citing a $5.3 million gap in the FY 2015 budget, Eicholtz suggested that the expanse be forded using BOE’s slice of the pie, which represents 45.1 percent of the almost $400 million staff is requesting for the coming year.
“Our staff recommendation for the amount currently out of balance would come from BOE,” Eicholtz told the commissioners.