Friday, November 28, 2014
School board wrangles over funding renovations
Jeremy Bauer-Wolf ― Maryland Independent

Members wonder where needed $600 million will come from

Republican Gov.-elect Larry Hogan is honing his budget but has not exposed his financial priorities, leading to uneasiness among interest groups and Maryland jurisdictions — none more so than the Charles County Board of Education members, who were left scratching their heads Monday upon realizing state money for school construction could be slashed in the future.

At the Monday work session scheduled to discuss an auditor’s report indicating Charles County Public Schools requires a $600 million infusion to renovate some of its aging buildings, board members attempted to solidify their opinions on whether new schools should be built or additions for existing facilities should be explored.

Sammy 08:22 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
4 county high schools listed in top 100 in Md.
Jeremy Bauer-Wolf ― Maryland Independent

One new ranking has recognized four Charles County public high schools as among the best in the state.

Niche, an organization that aims to lend transparency and accountability to public and private schools, and universities, published a top 100 list ranking public high schools in Maryland. Niche honored North Point, La Plata, Maurice J. McDonough and Thomas Stone high schools after examining thousands of high schools across the country.

Sammy 08:21 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Calvert commissioners approve 17 cliff stabilization measures
Sarah Fleischman ― The Recorder

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners approved 17 recommendations of the Cliff Stabilization Advisory Committee at its Nov. 18 meeting to help county residents living along the eroding cliffs of the Chesapeake Bay.

After previously hearing a presentation on the same recommendations in May, the commissioners asked for feedback from department heads on the implementation of the recommendations. Environmental planner Dave Brownlee presented that feedback during the BOCC’s regular meeting last week.

Sammy 08:18 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Lawmakers to hear property condemnation proposal
Marty Madden ― TheBayNet.com

The Calvert County Commissioners revisited a proposal from staff that could impact the timing of crucial roadway projects should it become law. Time is also the crucial component in a new measure presented by another county government department during the same segment of the board’s Tuesday, Nov. 25 meeting.

The previously discussed proposal involved granting county officials authority to condemn property for road construction and widening through “quick take.” The commissioners requested staff to conduct further research on the procedure.

“The power to condemn real property for the widening, repair and maintenance of existing public roads will require an amendment to the Maryland Constitution,” County Attorney John Norris stated. The state constitution stipulates “the General Assembly may not enact any law authorizing private property to be taken for public use, without just compensation, as agreed upon between the parties, or awarded by a Jury, being first paid or tendered to the property owner.”

Sammy 08:16 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Starr to place spending restrictions on Montgomery school system
Lindsay A. Powers ― Gazette

Montgomery County schools Superintendent Joshua P. Starr is putting spending restrictions on the school district starting Dec. 1 to save money for the next fiscal year.

The restrictions are being made in light of a projected “funding gap” in Montgomery County Public Schools’ fiscal 2016 operating budget, Starr said in a letter on Wednesday to Montgomery County Council President Craig L. Rice.

The new measures affect contracts, employee hiring and non-school-based office supplies, among other things.

Sammy 08:15 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Md. moving to impose tough new farming pollution rules
Kaustuv Basu ― Herald-Mail

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is moving ahead with a plan that seeks to reduce polluted phosphorus discharges into the water ways by imposing new rules for farmers.

The plan has been controversial and divisive. Environmentalists say the plan protects the Chesapeake Bay and other water bodies, while farmers have said the requirements would hurt them.

Phosphorus is present in manure and some chemical fertilizers, and its presence in waterways can cause algae blooms and damage underwater grasses.

Sammy 08:14 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Maryland Stem Cell Commission sees boom in interest for $10.4M in research grants
Sarah Gantz ― Baltimore Business Journal

Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission expects a record number of applications for the $10.4 million it gives out annually for stem cell research.

The commission received 240 letters of intent from researchers and businesses for four grant categories, up from 195 letters of intent last year. Researchers, universities and businesses interested in applying for one of four grants offered by the commission must first submit a letter of intent. Applications for fiscal 2015 funding are due January 15.

Sammy 08:13 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Companies prepare for possible SEC regs that would reveal CEO-employee pay gap
Jennifer Nycz-Conner ― Washington Business Journal

[...]
The Wall Street Journal reports that the SEC may adopt the new regulation for 2016 to require businesses to compute the pay of their median worker and disclose how it compares to the boss.

The numbers could spark outcry. An AFL-CIO study showed the average S&P 500 CEO earned 331 time more than the average worker in 2013. That’s up from 1980 when it was 42 times more.

The SEC could adopt the regulation by year-end, and companies are shoring up how to handle the reaction and possible morale fallout if it goes through, the Journal reports.

Sammy 08:09 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Children who break bones are rarely splinted properly, study says
Meredith Cohn ― Carroll County Times

Hundreds of thousands of times each year in the United States, a kid heads to the emergency room with a fracture. But new research from University of Maryland School of Medicine shows that the injury is almost never splinted properly.

A whopping 93 percent of the splints that are used to immobilize fractured limbs temporarily are not put on correctly, according to the study of pediatric patients in the Baltimore area. And that can lead to swelling, skin injuries and other problems — some of them long-term.

Sammy 08:00 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Shunned by banks, legitimate pot shops must deal in risky cash
David Pierson ― Los Angeles Times

The suppliers arrive at one of the nation’s largest marijuana dispensaries carrying hundreds of pounds of cannabis in duffel bags, knapsacks and baby diaper totes. They leave with those same carriers stuffed with wads of cash.

Harborside Health collects the money from thousands of customers, spending $40 to $60 a pop for one-eighth of an ounce of pot. No credit cards or checks are accepted.

That’s not by choice. Though Harborside’s business is legal in California and a growing number of other states, most banks still won’t touch the marijuana industry, fearing the federal prohibition that remains in place.

Sammy 07:56 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
NATO unconcerned by Russian warships in English Channel
REUTERS

A squadron of Russian warships entered the English Channel on Friday but a NATO official dismissed a Russian media report that they were there to conduct military exercises.

Russian news agency RIA quoted the Northern Fleet as saying its vessels, led by anti-submarine ship Severomorsk, had passed through the Strait of Dover and were now in international waters in the Seine Bay to wait for a storm to pass.

“While it is anchored the crew are undertaking a series of exercises on how to tackle infiltrating submarine forces and are training on survival techniques in the case of flooding or fire,” RIA quoted the Northern Fleet as saying in a statement.

Sammy 07:55 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Q and A: Check Facebook’s hidden inbox
Kim Komando ― USA TODAY

Q. I ran into an old friend and he says he sent me direct messages on Facebook over the last year trying to reconnect, but I didn’t get them. Do you know where they went? I want to make sure I’m not missing messages from other people, too.

A. I bet I know what happened. If someone sends you a Facebook message and you have no mutual friends, Facebook automatically puts their message into your inbox’s Other message folder. To find the Other folder, open your Facebook page and click Message icon at the top of the page. Next to where it says Inbox, click Other. It’s grey so it’s hard to see. The messages will probably be there. Great story, I recently mentioned this tip on my show and a few days later heard from a woman who reconnected with her birth mother. Had she not checked the Other folder, she may have never seen the message from her mother wanting to reconnect.

Sammy 07:50 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Oil prices plummet as OPEC decides against output cut
Kim Hjelmgaard ― USA TODAY

Crude prices plunged Thursday after the powerful Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said it wouldn’t cut production levels to stem the collapse in oil prices that have fallen 40% since June.

Saudi Arabia’s oil minister Ali Al-Naimi delivered the news as he left a nearly five-hour meeting of the cartel’s 12 oil ministers here.

Benchmark crude oil prices plummeted in London following the meeting, with Brent crude sinking 6.2% to $69.11 a barrel. In June, prices were as high as $115 a barrel. Oil prices are at their lowest levels since September 2010, in part due to oversupply, lower demand and a boom in North American production.

Sammy 07:47 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Too little sleep poses long-term health risks
Karen Weintraub ― USA TODAY

We all know what it’s like to get a lousy or short night of sleep: Tempers shorten, snacks become more tempting, attention gets harder to sustain.

Researchers are just beginning to understand the long-term consequences of a lifetime of those rough mornings — and it doesn’t look good.

Poor sleep has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, obesity and depression. Newer research has drawn connections between bad sleep and Alzheimer’s. A study released last year showed that the better 700 participants slept, the less likely they were to develop Alzheimer’s over the next 3.5 years.

Sammy 07:45 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thread - November 28, 2014

Men are not punished for their sins, but by them. ~Elbert Hubbard

Pauleen Brewer 04:00 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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