Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Open Thread - September 17, 2014


Pauleen Brewer 04:00 AM | (1) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Maryland faces worse climate-driven flooding, report warns

Baltimore and Annapolis are likely to suffer significant coastal flooding once more just before this century is more than, and men and women and property in Ocean City and on the reduce Eastern Shore face even higher dangers as climate adjust accelerates sea level rise along Maryland’s extensive shoreline, warns a new report.

Drawing on new government data and projections, Climate Central, a nonprofit analysis and data group, calculates that 41,000 residences with 55,000 residents in the state are in danger below mid-range sea-level rise projections if storm-driven flooding surges 5 feet above the higher tide line—which it did in the Baltimore area and elsewhere during Tropical Storm Isabel in 2003.

But the quantity at danger jumps to 94,000 properties with 132,000 residents if worst-case projections of rising seas combine with a big storm to trigger flooding up to 9 feet above higher tide, the group’s report says.

Sammy 11:36 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Frederick woman celebrates 112th birthday
Daily Record

Frederick resident Helen Wheat, born the same year as aviator Charles Lindbergh, celebrates her 112th birthday Tuesday.

During the year she was born, 1902, Theodore Roosevelt was president of the U.S., Cuba gained independence from Spain, the second Boer War ended, and the U.S. bought the rights to the Panama Canal from France.

Wheat is the oldest person in Maryland, the 16th oldest in the U.S. and the 41st oldest in the world, according to the Gerontology Research Group, a group of physicians, scientists and engineers that keeps records of people age 110 and older.
According to the Gerontology Research Group, 71 people in the world are older than 110.

Sammy 11:33 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Social Security resumes mailing benefit statements
Daily Record

The Social Security Administration has resumed mailing statements to workers letting them know the estimated benefits they will get when they retire.

The agency stopped mailing the statements to most workers two years ago to save money. Instead, Social Security directed workers to track their future benefits online using a secure website.

Congress, however, passed a bill last year requiring Social Security to resume mailing the statements.

Sammy 11:32 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Our say: Gambling industry never a sure bet

Given the extent to which Maryland has pinned its hopes on the gambling industry, the state’s politicians should be paying close attention to news about how it is doing. They should have noticed a few recent stories:

•In Delaware, as the Associated Press reported, state lawmakers earlier this year approved a $10 million bailout for the casino industry. The study commission that called for this move has until Jan. 15 to submit further recommendations. Up for discussion: eliminating the state’s annual $3 million table game fee and reducing its share of table game revenue — a benefit to the state’s three casinos estimated at about $7.2 million.

•In Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Friday, more than 3,000 workers at the Trump Taj Mahal casino received layoff notices in advance of a possible closing date two months off. The Trump Plaza — which will be the fourth Atlantic City casino to close this year — is scheduled to shut its doors on Tuesday. The resort city had a dozen casinos at the start of the year. By Thanksgiving it may have seven. Close to 6,000 jobs have been lost so far.

Sammy 11:30 AM | (2) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Finance complaints stack up as election day nears
Lejla Sarcevic ―

The Maryland State Board of Elections is reviewing the two complaints Maryland gubernatorial campaigns have filed against each other in the past two weeks.

But theirs are not the only electoral grievances filed with the state.

Anyone can file a campaign finance complaint, and they do: Maryland Board of Elections records of a dozen complaints this year show everyone from private citizens to disgruntled campaign employees are feeling aggrieved this election season. And the state prosecutor’s office has received many more.

Sammy 11:28 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
UPS boosts holiday hiring to avoid delivery delays
Nanci Hellmich ― USA TODAY

UPS disappointed thousands of customers last year when it couldn’t keep up with package shipments and left many without their gifts in time for Christmas.

To help with this year’s deluge of holiday package deliveries, the company announced today that it expects to hire 90,000 to 95,000 seasonal workers. The increase in volume begins in October and will continue through January.

The new positions include package sorters, loaders, delivery helpers and drivers. “We have needs throughout the United States and anticipate more applicants this year than in 2013,” John McDevitt, UPS senior vice president of human resources and labor relations, said in a statement.

Sammy 11:26 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
California wildfires continue to rage
Trevor Hughes ― USA TODAY

The fast-growing King Fire in El Dorado County, Calif., has forced school closures and evacuations of nearby homes, and firefighters fear increasing winds and high temperatures later this week could push the wildfire even bigger. It’s one of nearly a dozen major wildfires burning drought-stricken California, and experts say the worst may be yet to come.

The King Fire is now 11,570 acres, or 18 square miles, and is burning in a canyon of the south fork of the American River, northeast of the community of Pollock Pines. It’s considered 5% contained, even though the fire itself grew from 3,900 acres on Monday morning to 8,600 Monday night, and then to its current size overnight. Authorities report trouble fighting the fire because the steep terrain it’s burning in makes it hard for firefighters, helicopters and airplanes to attack it.

Sammy 11:24 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
UN: Nearly $1 billion needed now to stop Ebola

The number of Ebola cases in West Africa could start doubling every three weeks and it could end up costing nearly $1 billion to contain the crisis, the World Health Organization warned Tuesday.

Even as President Barack Obama was expected to announce the deployment of 3,000 American troops to help provide aid in the region, Doctors Without Borders told the U.N. health agency that the global response to Ebola was falling far short of what is needed.

“The response to Ebola continues to fall dangerously behind,” Joanne Liu, president of the medical charity, told a meeting at the United Nations in Geneva. “The window of opportunity to contain this outbreak is closing. We need more countries to stand up, we need greater deployment, and we need it now.”

Sammy 11:23 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Charles County Board of License Commissioners’ (Liquor Board) Meeting Video

Date:  09/11/2014


Sammy 06:44 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Emergency Services Acquires UAV for Incident Response

The Charles County Department of Emergency Services purchased an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), the DJI Phantom Vision II, using funds from the Homeland Security Federal Grant Program. The UAV enables emergency responders to remotely and safely acquire a real-time visual operating picture of an incident, and to gather critical information to mitigate an incident, while simultaneously ensuring responder safety.

The UAV will be used for public safety-related missions, including but not limited to: pre-event planning; recording public safety trainings; inspecting radio towers; and emergency calls for service such as hazardous material incidents.

The unit is a remote-controlled quad copter with an integrated live feed camera system and a removable SD card that can capture and store aerial video and still photography. The UAV is small, lightweight, portable and able to be deployed in two minutes. It has a flight time of 25 minutes on a single rechargeable battery with a line of sight flight range of 650 feet from the operator.

Sammy 06:42 AM | (13) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Liquor store gets first St. Mary’s ‘growler’ permit

A St. Mary’s County liquor store has received the first permit to sell “growlers’ in the county. The St. Mary’s County Alcohol Beverage Board (liquor board) on Sept. 11 approved a “Refillable Container Permit” for ABC Liquors in Hickory Hills Shopping Center in California.

Growlers are refillable containers that allow patrons to carry beer from a bar to their home. They are legal in Calvert County and will become legal on October 1 in St. Mary’s, the first day that ABC will be able to sell them. The store is already selling their personalized 64-ounce growler containers and is getting in a 32-ounce variety.

A customized growler dispenser will be installed on Wednesday in the store near the cash register. The dispenser fills the container with draft beer and then caps it with carbon dioxide to prevent it from going flat. The container is then sealed with a cap. The system is intended to prevent patrons from sampling the beer on the way home.

Sammy 06:40 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Street Gangs Tone Down Use of Colors, Tattoos

Nearly gone are the gang days of the 1980s and ‘90s, when the Bloods wore head-to-toe red, the Crips wore blue and Latin Kings wore black and gold.

Gangs from coast to coast have toned down their use of colors and are even removing or altering tattoos to avoid being easily identified by police and witnesses, law enforcement officials say.

Today, the most you might see is part of a red handkerchief hanging out of a back pocket or a gold and black baseball cap, said Johnmichael O’Hare, a Hartford police sergeant who monitors gangs.

Sammy 06:36 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Congress Scrutinizes Obama Military Strategy

President Barack Obama’s strategy to combat Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria is being scrutinized in Congress, where the expanded military campaign has broad support but faces skepticism rooted in more than a decade of war.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were scheduled to testify Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the first in a series of high-profile Capitol Hill hearings that will measure the president’s ability to rally congressional support.

Obama last week outlined his military plan to destroy the extremists, authorizing U.S. airstrikes inside Syria, stepping up attacks in Iraq and deploying additional American troops, with more than 1,000 now advising and assisting Iraqi security forces to counter the terrorism threat. The U.S. conducted the first of the airstrikes Monday, going to the aid of Iraqi security forces who were being attacked by enemy fighters.

Sammy 06:35 AM | (3) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
New device in the works to catch texting drivers
Dave Forster ― Virginian-Pilot

A Virginia company is developing a radar gunlike device that would help police catch drivers as they text.

The technology works by detecting the telltale radio frequencies that emit from a vehicle when someone inside is using a cellphone, said Malcolm McIntyre of ComSonics. Cable repairmen use similar means to find where a cable is damaged - from a rodent, for instance - by looking for frequencies leaking in a transmission, McIntyre said.

A text message, phone call and data transfer emit different frequencies that can be distinguished by the device ComSonics is working on, according to McIntyre. That would prove particularly useful for law enforcement in states such as Virginia, where texting behind the wheel is banned but talking on the phone is legal for adult drivers.

Sammy 06:33 AM | (2) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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