Tuesday, April 15, 2014
It’s a Southern Maryland Thang!

Pauleen Brewer 08:14 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
For the public’s consideration…

While pondering who you might vote for among the candidates who are running for office this year, think long and hard about those who were voted out in 2010 and are trying to make a come back, as well as, the current leftover from the previous board: 

FLASHBACK:  October 29, 2010 Opinion from the Open Meetings Compliance Board

Pauleen Brewer 05:59 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Consumer Reports: What you need to know about prepaid cards
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Prepaid cards are no longer just for people who don’t have bank accounts. They’re the fastest-growing payment method in the U.S., and they’re attracting those who want to budget their spending. And there is some positive news for consumers: Fees have declined, and many prepaid cards offer more features.

Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, has tracked the prepaid card market for years, and previous analyses found that checking accounts (which prepaid cards aim to replace) provided guaranteed protection, at a lower cost, than most cards. But this year’s report on 26 cards found that some are now more competitive with checking accounts.

Sammy 05:59 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
PNC Bank refunding customers hit by fees
Patricia Sabatini ― Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Customers of PNC Bank who got hit with overdraft fees in recent years because the bank reordered debit card transactions from highest dollar amount to lowest are receiving refunds under a class-action settlement approved last year.

The $90 million settlement, announced in 2012 and approved in August 2013, covers customers who had PNC accounts accessible by a debit card between Jan. 1, 2004, and Aug. 15, 2010.

The class action lawsuit involved a number of big banks nationwide, accusing them of improperly manipulating debit card purchases by re-sequencing them and clearing them from high-to-low. That practice, long decried by consumer groups, tends to drain an account more quickly and trigger the most overdraft fees.

Sammy 05:56 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Rising food, housing costs push up U.S. inflation
Lucia Mutikani ― REUTERS

U.S. consumer prices firmed a bit in March, as food and housing rental costs rose in a possible sign that a disinflationary trend had run its course.

The increase should allay concerns among some Federal Reserve officials that inflation was running too low, although the rise was mild enough to suggest the central bank could keep benchmark interest rates near zero for quite some time.

Sammy 05:55 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Apple cannot escape U.S. states’ e-book antitrust cases: judge
Nate Raymond ― REUTERS

Apple Inc on Tuesday lost an attempt to dismiss lawsuits by state attorneys general accusing it of conspiring with five major publishers to fix e-book prices.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote’s ruling paves the way for attorneys general in 33 states and territories to move forward, along with attorneys for consumers, in pursuing hundreds of millions of dollars in damages at a July 14 trial.

Sammy 05:54 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Doctors, medical staff on drugs put patients at risk
Peter Eisler ― USA TODAY

[...]
America’s prescription drug epidemic reaches deep into the medical community. Across the country, more than 100,000 doctors, nurses, technicians and other health professionals struggle with abuse or addiction, mostly involving narcotics such as oxycodone and fentanyl. Their knowledge and access make their problems especially hard to detect. Yet the risks they pose — to the public and to themselves — are enormous.

A single addicted health care worker who resorts to “drug diversion,” the official term for stealing drugs, can endanger thousands. Nearly 8,000 people in eight states needed hepatitis tests after David Kwiatkowski, an itinerant hospital technician, was caught injecting himself with patients’ pain medicine and refilling the syringes with saline. He infected at least 46, mostly in New Hampshire.

Sammy 05:50 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Montgomery school system studying fairness of private contributions
Lindsay A. Powers ― Gazette

Officials seek public’s opinion for its policy

From gardens to benches, scoreboards to playground equipment, public schools across Montgomery County receive facility improvements that are paid for with private contributions rather than out of the county’s pocket.

But that can lead to inequities between schools. Next month, Montgomery County Public Schools plans to hold three meetings to ask the public whether there’s a problem in the ability of wealthier schools to raise more money for nonessential improvements than other schools can.

Sammy 05:47 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Study finds signs of brain changes in pot smokers
MALCOLM RITTER ― WTOP

A small study of casual marijuana smokers has turned up evidence of changes in the brain, a possible sign of trouble ahead, researchers say.

The young adults who volunteered for the study were not dependent on pot, nor did they show any marijuana-related problems.

“What we think we are seeing here is a very early indication of what becomes a problem later on with prolonged use,” things like lack of focus and impaired judgment, said Dr. Hans Breiter, a study author.

Related USA TODAY articleCasual marijuana use linked to brain changes

Sammy 05:45 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Md. gives customers a break on utility cutoffs
WTOP

The Maryland Public Service Commission says utility customers are getting a break after an unusually cold winter.

The commission’s order recognized the commitment of certain utilities to extend until May 31 a period in which they are restricted from terminating service to customers who have fallen behind on their regular bill payments, provided the customer has made other payment arrangements and met other conditions. The new period ends May 31, instead of March 31.

Sammy 05:43 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
N.Y. Native American Nation files petition against U.S.
Megan Cloherty ― WTOP

Wanting to be a part of the discussion about future land use, environmental protections and equal rights, a Native American nation is filing a human rights petition against the U.S. government.

“We would like to be who we are without having to constantly protect ourselves and work to protect ourselves. We were seen as someone who needed to go away,” says Frieda Jacques, clan mother of the Onondaga Nation Turtle Tribe.

Sammy 05:41 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Union fights push to hire private tax collectors
Daily Record

A public employees union is fighting a bipartisan effort in Congress to force the Internal Revenue Service to hire private contractors to collect some delinquent taxes.

The IRS stopped using private tax collectors in 2009 after determining that agency employees could do a better job.

The National Treasury Employees Union said the program failed in the past and should not be forced on the IRS.

Sammy 05:37 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Bills to facilitate prison guard investigations
Daily Record

The governor has signed a series of bills aimed at preventing another corruption scandal like the Black Guerrilla Family case at the Baltimore Jail.

The bills give more power to correctional authorities to investigate and punish corrupt officers. They make it easier to suspend officers without pay, to charge those caught with contraband and to test job applicants with polygraphs.

Sammy 05:36 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Court upholds EPA emission standards
Daily Record

A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s emission standards for mercury and other hazardous air pollutants from coal- and oil-fired power plants.

In its ruling, the court rejected state and industry challenges to rules designed to clean up chromium, arsenic, acid gases, nickel, cadmium as well as mercury and other dangerous toxins.

The standards are the first federal mercury controls for power plants.

Sammy 05:34 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Citizens of Bryans Road spoke, Patterson did not hear
Marland Independent - LTE

Friday, September 03, 2010

In 2005, the Charles County commissioners unanimously approved a rezoning plan for the Bryans Road area in front of a room full of disgruntled, frustrated citizens. The entire item on the agenda took 10 minutes.

Although the vote was unanimous, Commissioner Edith Patterson’s vote had added significance because she was the representative for the Bryans Road area. Patterson proved her constituents were not her top priority.

When the plan was first proposed, citizens in the Bryans Road area started Protect Bryans Road. I was one of the founding members and the group’s president until, for health reasons, I was not able to continue. The plan laid out zoning changes allowing high-density development on more than 700 acres in and around Bryans Road — densities higher than anywhere else in the county including Waldorf. Our group worked on community outreach and education; citizens repeatedly banded together to express concerns about what the plan would bring with it to Bryans Road.

Sammy 07:56 AM | (3) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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