Board Docs - May 21, 2013 - Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting
3.05 [4:00 p.m.] Work Session: School Adequate Public Facilities Program and Funding Review Committee Membership(Request for Teacher Representation) (Mr. Jason Groth, Chief of Resource & Infrastructure Management, Planning & Growth Management)
In Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s cash-hungry capital city, local political battles are waged much as they are across the United States: with big personalities and bare-knuckled verbal brawls.
But unlike most cities, Harrisburg’s financial troubles have thrust it into the national spotlight, most recently with a slap from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for fraud. Financing for a single incinerator has been driving the city toward insolvency since 2009.
The $3.7 trillion U.S. municipal bond market will be watching on Tuesday when Harrisburg, a poster child for mismanaged public finances, holds its Democratic Party primary for mayor. There is no Republican mayoral primary.
Cheaper competition from west coast and natural gas, federal regulations will only exacerbate the situation in a region that is hemorrhaging jobs and money.
Hard times are expected to continue in the Appalachian region that was once the heart of the nation’s coal production, according to a new report.
Coal business in the mountains of eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia is facing declining reserves, higher production costs and competition from other coal basins and natural gas.
It was unanimous. All 30 tables of participants in last year’s Reality Check conference on the region’s future said transportation was a key issue to tackle. Twenty-seven, or 90 percent, supported expanding mass transit. On Thursday, about 150 people gathered at Old Dominion University to review the results and start moving forward.
Dwight Farmer, director of the Hampton Roads Transportation Planning Organization, imagined a multirail network – with light rail, high speed and Amtrak – connecting the region to other parts of the state and beyond.
Don’t think it’s impossible, said guest speaker Robert Grow, president and CEO of Envision Utah. Utah, he said, is known for its conservatism, with Democrat Bill Clinton finishing third in 1992, behind Republican George H.W. Bush and independent Ross Perot. Yet voters in the state twice approved tax increases to extend rail lines, Grow said.
As a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association with an “A+” rating for her voting record in the Tennessee House of Representatives, Debra Maggart never imagined that her political career would end this way.
Maggart, who chaired the Republican caucus, killed an NRA-backed bill that would have permitted Tennesseans to keep firearms in their parked vehicles wherever they went — work, school or the neighborhood bar.
Months later, Maggart was stunned to see NRA-sponsored ads on billboards in her district. Her face was next to a picture of President Obama. The ads proclaimed: “Sure, Rep. Debra Maggart Says She Supports Your Gun Rights. Of Course, He Says the Same Thing.”
One interesting fact: The high cost of student debt is stopping many young consumers from buying big items, such as new cars, homes and furniture.
Nearly 30,000 Americans commented to the federal consumer watchdog agency on the student debt issue, and many discussed day-to-day struggles.
One borrower, Debra, told the CFPB, “I can’t buy a house because of my student loan. I have to rent.” Another borrower, Daria, said: “These loans are stunting my growth as a citizen. No car. No home.”
A meteoroid struck the surface of the moon recently, causing an explosion that was visible on Earth without the aid of a telescope, NASA reported Friday. But don’t be alarmed if you didn’t see it; it only lasted about a second.
“It exploded in a flash nearly 10 times as bright as anything we’ve ever seen before,” said Bill Cooke, of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office.
NASA astronomers have been monitoring the moon for the past eight years, looking for explosions caused by meteoroids hitting the lunar surface. It’s part of a program to find new fields of space debris that could hit Earth. NASA says it sees hundreds of detectable lunar meteoroid impacts a year.
Two health workers in Saudi Arabia have become infected with a potentially fatal new SARS-like virus after catching it from patients in their care - the first evidence of such transmission within a hospital, the World Health Organization said.
The new virus, known as novel coronavirus, or nCoV, is from the same family of viruses as those that cause common colds and the one that caused the deadly outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) that emerged in Asia in 2003.
Giant leatherback turtles, some weighing half as much as a small car, drag themselves out of the ocean and up the sloping shore on the northeastern coast of Trinidad while villagers await wearing dimmed headlamps in the dark. Their black carapaces glistening, the turtles inch along the moonlit beach, using their powerful front flippers to move their bulky frames onto the sand.
In years past, poachers from Grande Riviere and nearby towns would ransack the turtles’ buried eggs and hack the critically threatened reptiles to death with machetes to sell their meat in the market. Now, the turtles are the focus of a thriving tourist trade, with people so devoted to them that they shoo birds away when the turtles first start out as tiny hatchlings scurrying to sea.
A simple test could have alerted officials that the drinking water at Camp Lejeune was contaminated, long before authorities determined that as many as a million Marines and their families were exposed to a witch’s brew of cancer-causing chemicals.
But no one responsible for the lab at the base can recall that the procedure , mandated by the Navy , was ever conducted.
Now that the recreational boating season is beginning, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources reminds residents that most skippers ages 41 and under are required to pass a boating safety course.
The Boating Safety Education Law requires that any person born on or after July 1, 1972, must have in his or her possession a certificate of boating safety education while operating a numbered or documented boat on Maryland waters.
The number of sexual assaults in the armed services has risen to an astonishing and alarming level.
According to a recently released confidential Pentagon survey of 108,000 active-duty service men and women, 26,000 responded they had been sexually assaulted, 7,000 more than in 2010.
Compare that to recorded assaults and an even more worrying picture emerges: 3,374 assaults were formally reported in 2011, only about 200 more than in 2010.
U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD),Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Water and Wildlife Subcommittee, has introduced a bill to reauthorize theNeotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act. More than half of the bird species found in the U.S. migrate across our borders and many of these spend our winter in Central and South America. This bill promotes international cooperation for long-term conservation, education, research, monitoring, and habitat protection for more than 350 species of neotropical migratory birds. The Cardin bill aims to sustain healthy populations of migratory birds that are central to the $2.7 billion wildlife-watching industry and also help our farmers by consuming billions of harmful insect pests each year.
“Maryland’s beloved Baltimore Oriole has been experiencing a decline in population for years, despite being protected by federal and state laws. We must keep up the fight to protect it and other vulnerable bird populations that face the dangers of pesticide pollution, deforestation, sprawl, and invasive species that threaten their habitat and, ultimately, their survival. Conservation efforts in our country are essential, but we gain dividends from investing in programs throughout the migratory route of these and countless other birds.
Area drivers have another new signal to keep in mind.
The District Department of Transportation has finished installing its fifth pedestrian High-Intensity Activated Crosswalk, or HAWK. The crosswalks “help pedestrians safely cross high traffic volume streets,” according to DDOT.
The latest is on Connecticut Avenue NW, between Ordway and Macomb streets.