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Monday, January 16, 2012

Will County Council Vote For 7 Cent Tax Increase 5 Months Before New Budget

Tomorrow morning the County Council, (under severe pressure) will gather to discuss and perhaps vote to possibly commit, (in writing) to a 7 cent, (per hundred dollars) tax increase to fund Bennett Middle School.

The way I see it is as follows. The citizens of Wicomico County VOTED in SIX republicans to lead their County. Rick Pollitt and John Fredericksen are strong arming the Council to commit to something no other County has experienced and quite frankly could perhaps be violating the charter in doing so.

Now let me educate each and every one of you before they vote tomorrow on this matter. This is not just a 7 cent per hundred dollars increase. Here's what the Daily Times and the rest of your MSM have conveniently ignored as well. There will be a 7 cent increase on personal property as well as inventory for ALL businesses in Wicomico County.

Now if you think this is a simple matter, you better think again! Every computer, every copier machine, every washer and dryer, dishwasher, drywall, lumber, the list goes on and on, will be subjected to this very same tax increase. Again, 5 months BEFORE they even see the new budget!

Now I want ALL Sheriff's Deputies and ALL States Attorneys to think about something here. While Sheriff Mike Lewis and States Attorney Matt Maciarello sit quiet on this matter, you people better damn site understand that you will see NOTHING next year. These are the only two elected officials who should be screaming at this proposal, but they can't because it's a school. How would they look screaming about NOT wanting a new Bennett Middle School. Gotta love politics!

You see, to me, I'd be looking out for those people who work for me no matter what the circumstances are. Mind you, I am not Mike or Matt but I was raised somewhat different, so it obviously seems. I would not sit idle.

Now, another thing many of you might not know is that Rick Pollitt and John Fredericksen are now claiming they want to use the additional $14,000,000.00 left over, (not yet used) from Bennett High School. Smoke and mirrors Folks, this cannot be done. That contract specifically states that money MUST be used for that High School and that's a fact! While these men are trying to lighten the load in supporters minds, this cannot happen.

So which Council Members will bend over for Rick Pollitt and John Fredericksen?

Folks, I can't encourage you enough to get your business associates, friends and family to come to Salisbury News and read the TRUTH. MANY lies have been told by the Daily Times on this project. Your local MSM do NOT want to rock the boat and instead go with the flow. If you want to witness a 7 cent increase in support of this project when times are as difficult as they are, know the next time you go out to eat you'll be paying an additional 7 cents EVERY time you do so on inventory tax, same goes for furniture, appliances and the whole nine yards. I really do not believe you understand what the County is getting you into.

Finally, keep this in mind every time you pay the new rates going over the Bay Bridge and when your sales tax increases to 7%. Even those people who have had enough and dream of relocating to Delaware can't fulfill their dream because their property values have dramatically dropped, they can't get out. It has to stop somewhere.

O'Malley, O'Pollitt, O'Fredericksen, O'Sample/Hughes, we'll finish that list tomorrow...... The rest, (republicans) may soon have new names.

Senate Bill Authorizes Feds To Revoke Citizenship Of Americans

A bill has been introduced in the United States Senate which will authorize the federal government to revoke the citizenship, creating practical expatriates, of American citizens.

Introduced by Connecticut Independent Joe Lieberman and Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown, S 1698, the “Enemy Expatriation Act,” is a simple, 2 page document which offers apparently innocent amendments and additions to existing federal legislation.

That legislation, known as Title 8, “…outlines the role of aliens and nationality in the U.S. Code.” And it is just one small piece of this massive and complex law which the Enemy Expatriation Act seeks to modify, that being Section 349, the means by which “a person who is a national of the United States whether by birth or naturalization, shall lose his nationality…,” that is, his citizenship.

Though there is currently little contained in Section 349 which would alarm any American citizen, one phrase added to the legislation by the “Enemy Expatriation Act” would change everything. For it states that anyone voluntarily “engaging in, or purposefully and materially supporting, hostilities against the United States” will lose his “nationality.” And nationality means citizenship!


New Posts to fall below.


ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 16, 2012) – Governor Martin O’Malley today issued the following statement honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

"Today, we honor and reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"At a time in our nation when many are divided whether by political or social beliefs, we should all remember Dr. King's belief in oneness—one nation, one people, one human spirit.

"When so many of our families face hardship and so many innocent children are hurting, we honor Dr. King in our service and sacrifice to one another. Together, we can look to his unwavering fight for progress to help us turn challenges into opportunity and the impossible into victory.

"Dr. King and all those who fought for justice before us struggled so that we could enjoy a better quality of life. We should not let their struggles rest in vain as we think about the world we will leave to our children and the choices we make to give them a better future."

Osteen: Romney "Believer In Christ, Like Me"

(CBS News) Pastor Joel Osteen, one of America's most popular religious figures, said on "CBS This Morning" that GOP candidate Mitt Romney believes in Jesus like he does.

 "What I see about Governor Romney is that he says, 'I believe Jesus Christ is the son of God, he's raised from the dead and he's my savior.' I see him as being a believer in Christ, like me."

 Charlie Rose said, "That's enough for you?"

 "That's enough for me," Osteen said. "There's differences in all religion. I realize Mormonism is different from Christianity, but you know what, he's a man of faith and values. And to me, that's strong."


Dead On Arrival: SOPA Shelved Indefinitely, Obama Succumbs To Pressure, Issues Official Veto Threat

We aren’t one bit convinced that this veto was done in the interests of free expression, as the administration may claim. In November, the President issued a similar veto threat about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which allows for the detention of American citizens who are determined to be a threat to national security and/or public safety on the domestic (U.S.) battlefront. He flip-flopped on the veto just a couple of weeks later…


Venezuela Sends Miami Consulate Staff Home

(CARACAS, Venezuela) — Venezuela is withdrawing personnel from the country's consulate in Miami more quickly than planned because the personnel have been threatened by exiles with links to terrorism, the foreign ministry announced on Monday. "With the intention of preserving their physical and moral integrity, the government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has decided to withdraw its consular personnel," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

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Agree, Or Disagree?

Hackers Zap Zappos: Info From 24 Million Users Stolen

Popular online shoe retailer said late Sunday that hackers had accessed its network, stealing customer account information from as many as 24 million customers.
Credit card information was not stolen, company CEO Tony Hsieh said in a statement sent to users, but email addresses, billing and shipping addresses, phone numbers, the last four digits from credit cards -- and more -- may have been compromised.

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Left In The Cold, Baby Girl Dies Overnight

A baby girl left out in the cold died overnight.

A male neighbor found the abandoned infant at 11:30 p.m. Sunday, in the 3000 block of Channing Street NE. He called 911, and the baby was transported to Children's Hospital, where she died about three hours later.


Nine Companies That Are Hiring In 2012

While the unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent in December, the lowest since February 2009, companies seem to be thawing the chilly jobs outlook. Here are nine companies hiring this year across the country.


Caption This Photo 1-16-12

Reading This? You Can Be An Executive Documentation Comprehension Evangelist

Vint Cerf is called many things: a computer scientist, one of the fathers of the Internet, maybe even occasionally a smarty pants. So he wasn’t all that surprised when Google leaders Larry Page, Sergey Brin and Eric Schmidt came up with a new, never-been-used title for him: VP and Chief Internet Evangelist of Google.
“They first asked me what title I wanted, and I said ‘Arch Duke,’” Cerf told me, laughing. “They said, ‘Why don’t you be our Chief Internet Evangelist?’ Anytime you get a chief something it is a measure of respect.”

Go Figure

UPDATE: Board Of Pardons Votes 4-1 In Favor Of Clemency For Robert Gattis

UPDATED STORY 01.16.12:  Delaware Gov. Jack Markell will have the final say on whether convicted killer Robert Gattis lives or dies this week.
The state Board of Pardons is recommending on a 4 to 1 vote that Gov. Markell grant clemency to Gattis and commute his death sentence to life in prison without parole for the 1990 murder of his former girlfriend Shirley Slay.

Washing Dishes With Coldwater

Can Cold Water Clean Dishes? This is for all the germ conscious folks that worry about using cold water to clean.

John went to visit his 90 year old grandfather in a very secluded, rural area of Saskatchewan .

After spending a great evening chatting the night away, the next morning John's grandfather prepared breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast.

However, John noticed a film like substance on his plate, and questioned
his grandfather asking,

'Are these plates clean?'

His grandfather replied,

'They're as clean as cold water can get em. Just you go ahead and finish your meal, Sonny!'

For lunch the old man made hamburgers.

Again, John was concerned about the plates, as his appeared to have tiny specks around
the edge that looked like dried egg and asked,

'Are you sure these plates are clean?'

Without looking up the old man said,

'I told you before, Sonny, those dishes are as clean as cold water can get them. Now don't you fret, I don't want to hear another word about it!'

Later that afternoon, John was on his way to a nearby town and as he was leaving, his grandfather's dog started to growl, and wouldn't let him pass.

John yelled and said, 'Grandfather, your dog won't let me get to my car'.

Without diverting his attention from the football game he was watching on TV, the old man shouted!

'Coldwater, go lay down now, yah hear me!'

What Doctors Know — And We Can Learn — About Dying

Last month, an essay posted by retired physician Ken Murray called “How Doctors Die” got a huge amount of attention, some negative but mostly positive. Murray tells the story of an orthopedic surgeon who, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, chose not to undergo treatment. The surgeon died some months later at home, never having set foot inside a hospital again.

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Could Colbert Actually Win In South Carolina?

At least some establishment figures are worried that Colbert might cause an upset in the Romney coronation. CNN has a blistering anti-Colbert opinion piece pointing out that Colbert's platform is a travesty, calling for more unemployment, more wars, more inequality. In other words what George W. Bush wanted to do and did and what George W. Romney and George W. Santorum and George W. Gingrich want and plan to do. 

Colbert knows what he is doing, South Carolina does not have same day registration but registered voters can vote in the primary of either party. Colbert has already racked up a 5% showing amongst Republicans. Nobody is polling Democrats of course but it is probably safe to assume that 90% of Democrats motivated enough to vote will go for Colbert. The unknown quantity is turnout.



Cop Turns Off Video Equipment, Beats 66-Yr-Old Man w/ Dementia

Death To Pennies

Reid On Bipartisanship: Republicans, Drop The Tea Party 'Extremism'

Saying it's time to rebuild America by working together to create jobs, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Sunday prepared for Congress' return to Washington this week with a warning to Republicans to leave Tea Party "extremism" behind and "learn what legislation is all about."

"I would hope that they understand that everything doesn't have to be a fight. Legislation is an art of working together, building consensus, compromise. And I hope that the Tea Party doesn't have the influence in this next year that they had in the previous year," Reid said.

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The Tea Party's Not-So-Civil War

I met Karen Martin, a few days before New Year’s, at a cafe in Greenville, the hub of conservative politics in South Carolina. A 54-year-old refugee from the North Shore of Massachusetts, Martin is the lead organizer of the nearby Spartanburg Tea Party. Another Tea Party leader described her to me as a grown-up, and in fact, Martin turned out to be the kind of activist — ideology notwithstanding — who makes you feel hopeful about the new age of political uprising. She recounted how she burst into tears at the moment she realized, watching the news in 2008, that children growing up today wouldn’t have the economic opportunities that she did. She talked about how the Tea Party would need to mature and become more politically sophisticated in the years ahead. “I think the movement is just too young and too emotional,” she said.

Then our conversation turned to Mitt Romney, and Martin’s sunny countenance darkened. “I don’t know a single Tea Party person,” she said, slowly drawing out her words, “who does not despise Mitt Romney to the very core of their being.” I searched her face for levity or compassion, but found neither.

Discussions about the Tea Party often miss the extent to which the movement is loose and leaderless, a disjointed collection of local chapters and agendas. But if the phenomenon has an epicenter, that place is South Carolina. The state’s junior senator, Jim DeMint, is generally seen as the ideological forefather of the Tea Party, at least among elected officials. Tea Party activism propelled South Carolina’s 39-year-old governor, Nikki Haley, into office in 2010, along with four new Republican congressmen. There are, by some estimates, more than 50 autonomous Tea Party groups operating throughout the state, and according to a recent Winthrop University poll, 61 percent of South Carolinians say they approve of the movement — more than double the national figure, according to data from the Pew Research Center.


Caddo Parish May Consider Ban On Pajamas In Public

SHREVEPORT, La. -- Public pajamary might get you busted in Caddo Parish if a parish commissioner has his way.
The Times reported Commissioner Michael Williams said an incident at a local Wal-Mart in which he and others were offended by a customer clad in pajamas was the spark for his proposal to ban them in public.
One problem with a prohibition on wearing jammies in public is defining what constitutes pajamas, Williams acknowledges.
Khiry Tisdem of Shreveport has no problem going out in his “Family Guy” Stewie pajama pants.

How A Little Bit Of Good Economic News Can Be Bad For The President

Two years ago the unemployment rate was 9.9 percent. Now it’s 8.5 percent. At first blush that’s good news for the President. Actually it may not be.

Voters pay more attention to the direction the economy is moving than to how bad or good it is. So if the positive trend continues in the months leading up to Election Day, Obama’s prospects of being reelected improve.

But if you consider the number of working-age Americans who have stopped looking for work over the past two years because they couldn’t find a job, and young people too discouraged even to start looking, you might worry.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which measures the unemployment rate every month, counts people as unemployed only if they’re looking for work. If they’re too discouraged even to enter the job market, they’re not counted.

If all the potential workers who have dropped out of the job market over the past two years were counted, today’s unemployment rate wouldn’t be 8.5 percent. It would be 9.5 percent. That’s only a bit down from the 9.9 percent unemployment rate two years ago.


Army Brass Knew WikiLeaks Accused Had Serious Issues

A court martial recommendation for the US soldier accused of giving documents to WikiLeaks has raised questions about the accountability of his superiors, writes Paul McGeough in Washington.

A FORMAL recommendation that Bradley Manning face a court martial has sharpened demands that others also be held accountable for a mountain of classified diplomatic cables being dumped to WikiLeaks almost two years ago.

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Survey: Illegal Corporate Campaign Contributions Up 400%

In 2009, just 1 percent of respondents to National Business Ethics Survey — a large industry study funded by major corporations like Walmart — said they had witnessed illegal corporate political donations. This year, that number quadrupled to 4 percent. Management-level employees at large, publicly traded companies were most likely to see the illegal activity, with seven percent of senior managers saying they had witnessed it.

While it’s unclear exactly what caused the spike, Roll Call reports it may have to do with increasingly lax campaign finance laws in the wake of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision:

“If these numbers are quadrupling, it is eye-popping,” said Kenneth Gross, a lawyer with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom’s political law practice who advises corporate clients on government affairs compliance. “Possibly the relaxed laws on giving have pervaded … the workplace, giving people the impression that things aren’t as strict as they were.”

Although it is not clear what led to the spike, there is no question that the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which opened the door to unlimited political spending by unions and corporations, has dramatically changed the landscape of political giving in the business world, heightening pressure on fundraisers to rake in big sums from new sources.


Hazmat Called In To Perdue Again, No Drill

Today a pipe burst containing hot oil and an automatic alarm went off causing a hazmat condition at Perdue.

Salisbury News was on the scene early, (before anyone else) but we wanted to make sure this wasn't yet another drill. It turns out it was no drill. WBOC Captain Willie showed up soon after.

Mitt Romney To Wheelchair-Using Medical Marijuana Patient: "I Don't Support Medical Marijuana. Bye."

How Washington And Big Business Colluded To Make The Rich Richer

This weekend Bill Moyers returns to television with Moyers & Company. In his first show, Bill explores how Washington made the rich richer at the expense of the middle class. On Friday, the premiere episode of Moyers & Company, Bill’s guests – Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, authors of Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer -- And Turned Its Back on the Middle Class, argue that America’s vast inequality is no accident, but in fact has been politically engineered.

How in a nation as rich as America can the economy simply stop working for people at large, while super-serving those at the very top? Through exhaustive research and analysis, the political scientists Hacker and Pierson -- whom Bill regards as the “Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson” of economics -- detail important truths behind a 30-year economic assault against the middle class.

Who’s the culprit? “American politics did it-- far more than we would have believed when we started this research,” Hacker explains. “What government has done and not done, and the politics that produced it, is really at the heart of the rise of an economy that has showered huge riches on the very, very, very well off.”


Why I’m Suing Barack Obama

Attorneys Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran filed a complaint Friday in the Southern U.S. District Court in New York City on my behalf as a plaintiff against Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force as embedded in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act, signed by the president Dec. 31.

The act authorizes the military in Title X, Subtitle D, entitled “Counter-Terrorism,” for the first time in more than 200 years, to carry out domestic policing. With this bill, which will take effect March 3, the military can indefinitely detain without trial any U.S. citizen deemed to be a terrorist or an accessory to terrorism. And suspects can be shipped by the military to our offshore penal colony in Guantanamo Bay and kept there until “the end of hostilities.” It is a catastrophic blow to civil liberties. 

White House Airs Objections To SOPA, PIPA Anti-Piracy Bills

Score one for Google. The White House raised concerns Saturday about aspects of pending anti-piracy legislation that has been strongly backed by the Motion Picture Assn. of America, Hollywood's chief lobbying arm.

In an unusually blunt statement, Obama administration officials signaled that the White House would not support parts of two bills wending their way through Congress -- the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) that critics say would limit freedom of speech on the Internet and unfairly punish legitimate websites.

"While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet,'' said a statement from Victoria Espinel, intellectual property enforcement coordinator; Aneesh Chopra, U.S. chief technology officer; and Howard Schmidt, cybersecurity coordinator for the national security staff.


Colbert: ‘The More Money You Have, The More You Can Speak’

Comedy Central host Stephen Colbert declared Sunday that he believes in Super PACs because “the more money you have, the more you can speak.”
Last week, Colbert turned the Super PAC that he founded over to Comedy Central host Jon Stewart so as not to run afoul of campaign laws while he considers running for the Republican presidential nomination in South Carolina.
The Stewart-controlled Super PAC released an ad Saturday attacking Colbert’s potential opponent Mitt Romney as a “serial killer” for his record of destroying corporations as the head of Bain Capital. Speaking at the Iowa State Fair last year, Romney had asserted that “corporations are people.”

Iowans Frustrate Reporters With Their Multiple Opinions

The usual criticisms of the Iowa caucuses--that the votes of a small, demographically unrepresentative slice of America gobble up too much airtime--are basically correct.

As David Sirota noted in Salon (1/3/12):

The same journalism industry that pleads poverty to justify cutting big city newspapers' editorial staffs, gutting coverage of state legislatures and city councils, and eliminating every other critical topic not related to Washington's red-versus-blue fetish from news content--as writer Joe Romero recounts, this same industry has for months devoted a massive army to cover Iowa's small contest.


Santorum Says There's A US Program To Kill Iranian Scientists And Dead Ones Are A Wonderful Thing

France Steps Forward With Robin Hood Tax

Paris - The decision by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to push ahead with a financial transactions tax (FTT) may be a political ploy ahead of elections, but it has the approval of many non-governmental organisations, even as support lags elsewhere.

"If France is setting an example, we support this as a principle," said Matt Davies, head of international policy and advocacy for international movement ATD Fourth World, a French-based organisation that works to eradicate extreme poverty.

"I think there’s a consensus in society that there should be a far greater accountability by the financial sector," he told IPS in an interview. "What’s important is that the money that’s brought in by the FTT should go towards combating poverty, but we’re slightly sceptical in some ways because we often see that money destined for development doesn’t reach the poorest people."

Sarkozy said this week that the French government may implement the tax without waiting for its European or G20 partners to come on board. "If France waits for others to tax finance, then finance will never be taxed," the President said in a speech.


China Has 513 Million Internet Users

BEIJING - The number of Internet users in China has surged past 500 million as millions of new Web surfers go online using mobile phones and tablet computers, an industry group reported Monday.
The popularity of the Internet in China has driven the explosive growth of profitable Web companies and made fortunes for some Chinese entrepreneurs despite government controls on what the public can see online.
The number of mainland Internet users rose to 513 million in December, up 12 percent from a year earlier, the government-sanctioned China Internet Network Information Center said.

Congress Returns This Week

Congress returns to town this week, and the bickering is likely to look pretty much like it did last year. High on the list of debates is how to extend a payroll tax holiday. It expires at the end of February, two months after it started. At issue is how to pay for it. Republicans would cut federal employee benefits. President Barack Obama would raise fees for airline passengers and eliminate Saturday mail delivery. Democrats in Congress would charge employers higher premiums for federal pension guarantees. Also on the docket is whether and how to extend federal unemployment benefits, which also expire Feb. 29.

Youth & Civic Center Study Released In Salisbury

Salisbury, MD - Wicomico County’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism, who oversee operation of the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center, today, released the market and economic analysis study prepared by the Maryland Stadium Authority to determine whether the facility should be renovated, expanded, or rebuilt to best serve county residents and visitors.

The study was completed by Crossroads Consulting Services. It evaluated the existing facility, its uses and potential. In addition to the findings, the report contains a number of recommendations for facility modifications.

The study determined the management of the Youth and Civic Center, as well as its multi‑purpose focus have served Wicomico County well. The facility remains competitive in the event market and its versatility has allowed it to attract room‑night generating events in recent years.

However, the aging of the building and its amenities are beginning to erode its market, which will worsen if steps are not taken to update it. The study contends “remaining status quo will result in a continual decline in both event activity and competitive position over the long‑term.”

Of the options studied, the most economically feasible with least financial risk was determined to be an upgrade of the existing facility. Expanding the existing space would maintain the existing market share while allowing it to grow, increase revenues, and enhance the overall impact to the local economy.

Some of the recommendations include:

Replace seats and redesign the seating bowl to offer closer experience and better sight lines
Add a mechanical curtain system that allows arena to be partitioned for smaller events
Build a divisible ballroom, meeting rooms and exhibit space outside Normandy arena
Reconfigure the overall layout to accommodate simultaneous events
Improve traffic and parking to support activities at a larger facility

This approach is preferable to building a new facility, which would necessitate a far greater financial commitment. It also achieves the goals expressed by stakeholders to book more events and offer greater variety of attractions to the regional audience.

The study concludes it is in the County’s best interest to improve its ability to operate as the best multi‑purpose civic center possible and capitalize upon its existing market, excellent customer service reputation, affordability and growing sports visitor industry.

“The Maryland Stadium Authority is pleased to assist Wicomico County in evaluating the Youth and Civic Center and recommending options to improve the facility,” said Chairman John Morton III.

“The preliminary study provides decision makers with information which allows them to make an informed decision about the most productive and cost effective means to achieve their goals.”

With the completion of the study, the governing Civic Center Commission will process the study’s findings and present the County Executive with a recommendation to move forward with Phase II of the study. If accepted by the Executive, Phase II entails working with the Stadium Authority in developing architectural engineering drawings and estimates so costs can be estimated to carry out the steps outlined by Crossroads Consulting.

“We are extremely grateful for the Maryland Stadium Authority’s support in conducting this study,” said Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt. “The Wicomico Youth and Civic Center is one of this County’s many treasures. Not only does it improve our quality of life, but the events held there such as the Annual Poodle Club of America’s National Specialty Show and multiple sports marketing tournaments such as wrestling result in a positive economic impact for our community.”

“The report prepared by Crossroads Consulting, LLC. confirms that modernizing and expanding the venue is a viable investment if we are to continue to grow,” the County Executive added.

Ed Urban, Chairman of the Civic Center Commission, gave his thoughts.

“The commission had a long‑term vision and plan for the future of the Civic Center,” he noted. “This report substantiates that vision, and we’re excited to now embark on the next chapter. It is imperative that we as citizens of Wicomico County continue the work begun here if we are to retain and grow business in a competitive marketplace.”

The complete study may be viewed online at:

Calif. Killings Suspect's Dad Also Homeless

YORBA LINDA, Calif. - Just days before being arrested, a Marine veteran suspected in the deaths of four homeless men in Southern California visited his father, who is himself homeless, warning of the danger of being on the streets and showing him a picture of one of the victims.
"He was very worried about me," Refugio Ocampo, 49, told The Associated Press on Sunday. "I told him, `Don't worry. I'm a survivor. Nothing will happen to me."'
The father also said his son came back a changed man after serving in Iraq, expressing disillusionment and becoming ever darker as his family life frayed and he struggled to find his way as a civilian.

Republicans Calling For Smaller Government?

Republicans have been calling for smaller government, but they're wishy-washy on President Obama's plan to merge six agencies. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) says "there is no shortage of agencies and programs ripe for streamlining." But she worries that the plan to consolidate the Small Business Administration into a larger Commerce Department could make it harder for small businesses to get help. Collins is the top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. On the House side, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) says he's "ready to work" with the president. Congress will have to reinstate the president's power to consolidate agencies for any merger to happen. It abolished that power in 1984.

Fourth Fine Accuser Admits To Lying

The fourth accuser to come forward in the sexual molestation allegations against former Syracuse men's basketball assistant coach Bernie Fine has admitted to lying.
Floyd VanHooser, currently in state prison, wrote a letter obtained by the Syracuse Post-Standard and said he was never abused by Fine as a child. He said he made up the lies about Fine in part as revenge because the former coach would not hire a lawyer to help with his latest criminal action.

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Women Getting Closer To Serve In Combat

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey predicts women are getting closer to serving in combat. The Joint Chiefs chairman told young cadets that it would change on his watch, and if not, then certainly on theirs. He says it's a two-step process. The military has to remove restrictions on intelligence analysts serving in battle, which he called completely ludicrous. Then it has to lift a ban on women serving in ground combat unit, like tanks, artillery and infantry. That, he says, will be harder because of Congressional interest. But, he says, "I think we'll be better for it." He spoke to ROTC cadets in North Carolina Friday.

Dallas-Area Boy Scout Leader Faces Federal Child Porn Charges

(CBS DALLAS-FORT WORTH) ARLINGTON, Texas - An Arlington boy scout leader is facing federal child pornography charges. 
41-year-old Timothy Weirich was arrested at the Arlington restaurant where he works after an internet-crimes task force claims he used file-sharing software to send them inappropriate videos in October, reported CBS Dallas-Fort Worth.

Two Pro-Business Groups Challenge President Obama's

Two pro-business groups are challenging President Obama's recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. The National Federation of Independent Business and the National Right to Work Foundation made their case Friday to a federal district court in Washington. They say it's unconstitutional for the president to bypass the Senate in appointing three new members to the five-person board. It's part of an ongoing lawsuit against the labor board for a decision requiring businesses to put up posters telling workers about their right to form a union and the first legal challenge to the appointments.

The Case Of The Missing Cash

This really happened.

 George is 90 and is generally doing well, but has a few memory problems. His wife, Gloria worries about him keeping track of things.

 He has a full time caregiver from a qualified agency. He goes to the gym for an hour every day. The caregiver drives him there and to the bank, to his errands and to lunch. He keeps cash on hand for his own use. The last time George went to the bank, Gloria wanted to know what had happened to the $300 he withdrew. He couldn't find it.


Merchants Oppose Md. Sales Tax Increase Proposal

Gov. Martin O'Malley's suggestion to add a penny to Maryland's sales tax has generated a lot of reaction, mainly against the measure.

The governor floated the idea during a radio interview Wednesday, saying the money is needed to address the state's budget problems.

Local business owners are not happy.

Any tax increase will only accelerate the departure of businesses from the state, said Gary Brooks, owner of Barley and Hops restaurant in Frederick.

"Our neighboring states are equal or less than what we are now, with Delaware at zero (sales taxes)," Brooks said. "You see on the radio and TV and in the paper our neighboring states promoting the fact that their sales tax is less than ours, so come shop in their state and save."


Illinois Woman Accused Of Bringing 5-Year-Old Son To Bank Heist

Illinois child welfare officials are investigating whether a woman brought her 5-year-old son with her while robbing a bank with her boyfriend, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Lauri L. Ruble, of Antioch, Lake County, and Brandon Stancliff have been charged in federal court with robbing Wauconda Community Bank in December. Ruble was ordered released on $5,000 bail Thursday.

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Two Sides Prepare For Same-Sex Marriage Fight

Sen. Rich Madaleno of Montgomery County and Del. Emmett Burns of Baltimore County discuss the prospects of passing marriage equality law in this podcast with Duane Keenan of Madaleno is hopeful the governor's support will spell victory for gay couples who want to marry, while Burns decries says support for the measure by union officials goes against the wishes of their members.


Maryland Leads States Backing Federal Health Insurance Law

While attorneys general in Virginia, Florida and a dozen other states have sued to block federal health care reform, Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler is leading the charge to support the Affordable Care Act before the U.S. Supreme Court. Friday afternoon, Gansler filed a friend-of-court brief cosigned by attorneys general from 12 other states and territories supporting the constitutionality of the federal law.


Small Turnout For Occupy Annapolis

Determined local activists try to renew interest in national economic protest

For a while yesterday afternoon, Brian Dobbs "occupied" downtown Annapolis all by himself.

That is to say, the Occupy Annapolis organizer and Edgewater resident stood with his protest sign completely by himself.

"Some people have snarkily commented, 'Not too many of you out here, huh?' " Dobbs said. "I'll stand out here alone if I have to."

Dobbs was eventually joined by a few others who came to the City Dock area yesterday to protest economic and social inequality in the U.S. as part of Occupy Annapolis, the local companion to the movement that started with Occupy Wall Street in New York.


Fill The Blank 01/16/12

The one thing I would change about myself would be _____.


(RUXTON, MD) – A search is underway for a driver and vehicle that fled after hitting and injuring a Maryland state trooper while he was on a traffic stop early this morning on I-83 near Ruxton Road in Baltimore County.

The trooper is identified as Trooper First Class Jason M. James, 30, who is assigned to the Golden Ring Barrack and has been a member of the Maryland State Police for four and one-half years. He was taken by ambulance to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center where he is being treated for what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries.

The preliminary investigation indicates that shortly after 1:00 a.m. today, TFC James was on a traffic stop on northbound I-83, just north of Ruxton Rd. As the trooper was standing at the side of the stopped vehicle issuing a citation to the driver, he was struck by a northbound vehicle. At this time, it is believed the trooper was struck by the mirror and side of the passing vehicle and was pushed into the car he had stopped. The trooper was able to call over his radio to report he had been struck.

The vehicle that struck the trooper did not stop and fled the scene. The suspect vehicle is described as a four-door passenger car, possibly gold or tan. Due to pieces of the vehicle found at the scene, investigators believe the car could be a Buick Le Sabre. No further description is known at this time.

The trooper was in uniform and was wearing a light-colored reflective jacket. The emergency lights and the spotlight on his car were activated at the time he was hit.

Anyone who may have seen this occur or who may have been northbound on I-83 in the area of Ruxton Road about 1:00 a.m. today is urged to contact the Golden Ring Barrack at 410-780-2700, then press ‘0’ to speak to the duty officer or police communications officer.

Worcester County Sheriff's Office Press Releases 1-16-12

On January 5, 2012 at approximately 0931 hours a Deputy of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office arrested Larry Randolph Marshall Jr. of Snow Hill, MD on a District Court Warrant for Failure to pay deferred payment of $257.50 for paternity. Marshall was released on personal recognizance.

On January 5, 2012 a Deputy of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office arrested Stephen Richard Karafa of Salisbury, MD on a Circuit Court Civil Body Attachment for Failure to appear for court for paternity. Karafa was released after paying $1000.00 bond.

On January 12, 2012 at approximately 0943 hours a Deputy of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office arrested Rodrique Samson of Salisbury, MD on a Circuit Court Warrant for Failure to appear for court on 1/11/2012 on the charge of Fraud identity to avoid prosecution and multiple traffic charges. Samson was held on $75,000 bond at the Worcester County Jail.

On January 12, 2012 at approximately 1200 hours a Deputy of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office arrested John Sullivan Robinson of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania on a Fugitive Warrant from Pennsylvania for Burglary, Burglary Conspiracy, Theft, and Theft Conspiracy. Robinson was held without bond at the Worcester County Jail.

On January 13, 2012 at approximately 0855 hours a Deputy of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office arrested Darry Nebrowski Ames Jr. of Berlin, MD on a District Court Warrant for Failure to appear for court on 1/10/2012 on charges of second Degree Assault. Ames was released on personal recognizance.

On January 13, 2012 at approximately 1145 hours a Deputy of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office arrested Donshay Hagans of Ocean City, MD on a Circuit Court Warrant for Failure to appear for court on 1/09/2012 on charges of Robbery, Robbery Conspiracy, Theft under $100, and CDS possession Marijuana . Hagans was held on $150,000 bond at the Worcester County Jail.

Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Press Release 1-16-12

Date: Sunday January 08, 2012
Location: Worcester County
Crime: Theft 3 counts, Traffic charges
Victim: Carter’s, The Gap, Aeropostale-- White Marlin Mall West Ocean City, Maryland
Accused: Shannon Ohara Lee Irving 23 year old female Frankford, De.

Charges: Criminal: Theft over $100-under $1,000 (2-counts), Theft Under $100 (1-count) Traffic: Driving on suspended out of state license, Driving in violation of rental agreement, throwing substance at a motor vehicle

On Sunday January 08, 2012 at approximately 1311 hours the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office was given a broadcast to be on the lookout for three suspects, in a black vehicle that was leaving the White Marlin Mall West Ocean City, Maryland area. The suspects and vehicle were reported traveling west bound on Route 50 from the White Marlin Mall. The suspects and vehicle were wanted in question for shoplifting from the Carter’s clothing store. Sgt. Muir of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office located the vehicle on Route 50 west bound and initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle after the driver threw a cigarette out of the vehicle which hit the patrol vehicle windshield. Contact was made with the driver of the vehicle. The driver was later identified as Shannon O'Hara Lee Irving. Irving advised the Deputy that her Delaware license was suspended. It was also determined that the 2011 Nissan Sentra she was driving was a rental vehicle. Irving was not on the rental agreement to drive the vehicle and was in violation of the rental agreement.

During the investigation Sgt. Muir was able see in plain view in the rear passenger side floor a pile of what to be children’s clothes. A Carter’s clothing tag was also seen. A probable cause search was done on the vehicle.

Further investigation lead to the discovery of other clothes on the floor that had tags on them and no receipts for any of the clothing. Ms. Irving later admitted to taking the clothes from the stores without paying for them.

Several clothes were taken from Carter’s Clothing store, Aeropostale store, and The Gap store. Over $450 in merchandise was stolen from all three stores. All merchandise was later returned back to the proper stores. Irving was issued three criminal citations and three traffic citations. Irving was later released after the citations were issued. A court trail is pending in Worcester County, Maryland.

Attack Email In 6th Cong. District Links Garagiola To Abramoff

WASHINGTON The Maryland 6th District congressional campaign saw its first attack Thursday with an email sent to state delegates, senators and Maryland reporters linking state Sen. Rob Garagiola, D-Montgomery, to felonious lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
The email by a "Tim Teblow" accuses Garagiola of working with Abramoff while at the firm Greenberg Traurig and includes a cartoon depicting Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. riding on a "Garagiola" donkey tied to an "Abramhoff" ball and chain, spelling the lobbyist's name wrong.

Woman Loses Arm To Flesh-Eating Bacteria From Bath Salts

A New Orleans woman’s experiment with the illicit drugs dubbed “bath salts” cost her her arm -- and nearly her life -- after she was ravaged by flesh-eating bacteria that invaded an injection site.

 The 34-year-old woman showed up at a Louisiana hospital complaining of pain and redness on her right forearm, where there was a puncture wound the woman admitted was a needle stick. She said the symptoms started two days after she injected bath salts at party, according to a case report published online in the journal Orthopedics.


Gas Prices On The Rise

Gas prices are at historic highs – showing double digit increases since the start of the year.  The price for regular grade gasoline nationally last week increased 4 cents to $3.39 – 11 cents higher than on January first.   In Delaware the price of a gallon of regular grade gas decreased a penny from the week before to $3.39.   AAA Mid-Atlantic official say one thing contributing to the increase is the repeal of the ethanol tax credit.  Analysts believe that the price at the pump will build through the spring before tapering off later this year.

Seaford Man Charged In Sexual Assault

Location: Residence located on King Road, Seaford, DE

Date of Occurrence: Wednesday, August 26, 2009


11 year old Seaford, DE female (age at time of crime)

Defendant, Charge, and Arraignment Information:

Brent L. Kane, 22, Seaford, DE (pictured below)
Rape 1st degree

Arraigned at JP Court 2 and committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution for lack of $50,000.00 secured bail.

Seaford, DE- Delaware State Police detectives have arrested a Seaford, DE man in connection with the sexual assault of a Seaford female who was 11 years of age at the time.

The investigation into the incident began in December of 2011, after detectives were contacted by the father of a Seaford juvenile who advised them that his daughter, who was currently visiting him in Georgia, had revealed to him that she had been sexually assaulted at her home, located on King Road in Seaford, when she was 9 years of age. The victim advised her father that the incident had happened in August of 2009 and that Brent L. Kane, 22, was the person who had assaulted her.

Detectives scheduled an interview with the victim which was conducted on January 10, 2012. It was then that detectives learned that Kane had been at the victim’s residence visiting her brothers. The victim had fallen asleep on a couch in the home at which time Kane, who was then 20 years of age, picked her up, took her to a bedroom, and sexually assaulted her.

Detectives obtained warrants against Brent L. Kane, who is a high risk Tier III sex offender, charging him with one count of Rape 1st Degree. He was located and taken into custody without incident. Kane was then arraigned at JP Court 2 and committed to the Department of Corrections for lack of bail.

Today's Survey Question 1-16-12

Have you ever taken condiments from a restaurant?

Obama Citizenship Trial. Is This Legit?

Pre-trial evidence released in GA: Obama using stolen SSN; passport & birth certificate show Indonesia birth; his selective service is a forgery; e-verify fails; Trial just moved up to TOMORROW, Hawaii officials in transit.


Mort Zuckerman Blames Lack Of Upward Mobility In America On Teachers Unions

I don't know about anyone else, but I feel there's something rather disconcerting about about watching four extremely rich American immigrants who were all born on third base, discussing the reasons for lack of upward mobility in the United States, but that's exactly what we got here on CNN's weekend show, Your Money.

 I guess they couldn't find anyone who actually grew up as a member of the working class or a union member or leader to potentially counter the likes of Mort Zuckerman, and statements such as this one that are inevitable when you allow him on the air:

Read More

Brains - You Won't Want To Miss This Video

Rick Perry Defends Marines Who Urinated On Corpses

WASHINGTON — Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry on Sunday accused the Obama administration of "over-the-top rhetoric" and "disdain for the military" in its condemnation of a video that purportedly shows four Marines urinating on corpses in Afghanistan.
Perry's comments put him at odds with Sen. John McCain, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, who said the images could damage the war effort.
"The Marine Corps prides itself that we don't lower ourselves to the level of the enemy," McCain said when asked about Perry's position. "So it makes me sad more than anything else, because ... I can't tell you how wonderful these people (Marines) are. And it hurts their reputation and their image."

Town Of Berlin-Town Council Meeting

Dear Joe,

I wanted to voice some concerns about the perception of favoritism, leniency and collusion on the part of the Town of Berlin with current members of its own Town Council and Planning and Zoning Commission, not just on this current issue, but on several other occurrences this past year.

Regarding this week's approval for a daycare building (on the former Tyson Food property) which Councilman Troy Purnell (owns) and plans to have constructed and open by July… my first question is how can the Town grant approval in one session upon hearing about this project for the first time? Did every aspect of the project conform to the Town’s code? How was all that determined in one meeting since only a rendering was presented and no architect from Becker & Morgan attended to present the final blueprints for construction? What about a traffic study to determine how the surrounding neighborhood will be impacted? How can the Council approve the project without a Public Hearing allowing the citizens to voice their concerns?

But more importantly, based on this week's approval, my understanding is that the daycare will need to purchase 9 EDU’s from the Town in order to run the facility, and if they decide to install a snack bar, they will need to purchase two additional EDU’s for a total of 11.

My question is why is Councilman Troy Purnell allowed to construct 41 townhouse units on Broad Street and only required to have 13 EDU’s….Presumably the septic flow from 41 households that operate 24 hours a day would be significantly greater than a daycare facility that operates roughly 12 hours a day. Did the Town leave more than $500,000 on the table by not requiring Councilman Purnell to purchase the other 30 or so EDU’s?

Speaking of leaving money on the table…how is it that Newt Chandler, a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission is able to profit some $400,000 when he purchased the corner property of RT 113 and Assateague Road for $400,000 and then sold it to the Town for $800,000 within a very short period of time. Why didn’t the town have the foresight to purchase it at auction? Did Mr. Chandler’s position on the Planning and Zoning Commission provide him with inside information?

When the Town prepares its Comprehensive Growth Plan and receives State and Federal funds accordingly, how do the Town justify purchasing property from a member of its own Planning and Zoning Commission and grossly over paying for the property (intended location for the police station)? Isn’t that squandering tax payer funds?

How does the Town justify not collecting more than $500,000 for EDU’s from Mr. Purnell, a member of the Town Council, for his project on Broad Street?

And speaking of justification…how does the Town justify allowing a developer and member of its Town Council to arbitrarily decide whether or not he will build according to the code, specifically to install 12” curbing. Doesn’t the Town code call for 12” curbing?? Why is Councilman Purnell permitted to install 8” curbing at his own discretion? Is the curbing in question within the development and therefore his responsibility to maintain or is it curbing along the public town street and will eventually become the burden of the taxpayers to maintain?

On a stand alone basis, each of these items doesn’t amount to much, however, folded together over time they depict a pattern, and in the very least, it gives the appearance of impropriety totaling about one million dollars in just the past year.


Berlin Watch Dog

Galaxy Has 100 Billion Planets, Including 'Star Wars' Lookalike

Planets orbiting other stars may be a dime a dozen in the Milky Way, but cheap hardly means boring.

 From a new pair of planets like Tatooine of "Star Wars" fame, each with its own pair of suns, to a trio of small rocky planets zipping around a red-dwarf star, the cosmos presents a breathtaking plethora of planetary systems. A new estimate suggests that the Milky Way's population of planets exceeds 100 billion.


Quiz.............Can You Get 100%

Below is a link to a 30-question test to see how well you know US Law. Not exactly grade-school level. Give it a shot, and see how well you do!

Supposedly 96% of all High School Seniors FAILED this test .. AND if that's not bad enough, 50+% of all individuals over 50 did too!! Take the test and be surprised at what we don't know.


HP Services Heating & Air Conditioning,Inc

SEC Fiddles While The Financial Industry Burns?

COMPLY: Flattery on Facebook can mean headaches for advisers ... Financial advisers don't have the freedom to embrace social media with the same unbridled enthusiasm as the rest of the world. Even the most innocent comments posted to their social media profiles by friends and family could lead to trouble with regulators. Kind words from third parties may be construed as testimonials, which are heavily restricted for brokerages and not even permitted for registered investment advisers. – Reuters

Dominant Social Theme: The SEC is in tip-top shape and ready to rumble.

Free-Market Analysis: Why shouldn't US brokers be able to post encomiums on the Internet? From the point of view of those who run the US Securities and Exchange Commission, brokers that place praise or − heaven help them − self-praise on "social networking" sites are placing the consumer at grave risk.

The idea, according to regulators, is that unscrupulous brokers can fool investors into thinking they are honest and then abscond with fundsor otherwise perform nefarious and dishonest activities. Sound reasonable?

No. It is part of a larger misapprehension, in our view. It is all based on what may be considered a purposeful misunderstanding about how free markets work. The idea in the modern age is that one needs a huge governmental force of police to ensure that consumers are not taken advantage of.


Snap, Crackle, Die: Hubby Spiked Cereal?

A Southern California man has been arrested on suspicion of putting poison in his wife's cereal.

 Los Angeles County jail records show 43-year-old Fernando Porras of Azusa was being held on $1 million bail Saturday on suspicion of the attempted murder of his 51-year-old wife, Fernanda.



Now you know why the City of Philadelphia has been in a five decade downward spiral of Democratic Party rule. These government drones just pass ridiculous law after ridiculous law, while burying businesses under higher taxes and more regulations. Businesses have been leaving the city for decades. I wonder why. I find it hysterical that they pass this mind numbingly bad law for all businesses, but the city government drone agencies are exempted from following the law.

Don’t comply and a government thug will fine you $2,000.

New Philly law bans job application question on criminal past

Job applicants with criminal records will now have one fewer obstacle to getting a job in Philadelphia. The “ban the box” law, signed by Mayor Michael Nutter in April, takes effect Friday.

“Ban the box” prohibits Philadelphia businesses with more than 10 employees from asking applicants — on job applications and during an initial interview — if they have any criminal convictions. They can be asked later in the hiring process.

The law will give ex-offenders a fair shot, said Kevin Dow, the city’s deputy commerce director.

It “doesn’t guarantee them the job,” he said. “It is just designed to give that applicant a leg up — at least to be able to get their foot in the door.”

Employers who break the law face a warning notice for a first offense, and a fine of up to $2,000 for each infraction after that.


Republican State House Member Charged With DUI

UPDATE: Kip Smith co-sponsored HB 464, which is one of the many bills that would require drug testing for public assistance.

 UPDATE for fairness: As was a pointed out by a friend of mine of Facebook, we should note that he is innocent until proven guilty

 Maybe Scott Holcomb’s bill to drug test legislators is not such a bad idea. It appears some of them drink a bit to much. Not only did he get charged with a DUI, the report indicates that he also lied to police officers and made sure to mention that he was a State Representative: