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Thursday, June 07, 2012

Salisbury Settles On Waste Water Treatment Plant Lawsuit

Salisbury settles for $10,000,000.00. Because Paul Wilbur crossed out the liability warranty clause.

At an estimated ADDITIONAL cost to repair @ $66,000,000.00 plus change orders. Are you throwing up in your mouth yet?

Agencies Sitting on $70B in Unspent Funds, Report Finds

A congressional report outlines $70 billion of unspent federal dollars that could have helped disaster victims, spurred highway construction and funded education programs.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who released the report today, said the languishing funds are due to "poorly drafted laws, bureaucratic obstacles and mismanagement, and a general lack of interest or demand from the communities to which this money was allocated," according to a release.

Lack of congressional oversight in spending only leads to more unneeded, wasteful spending, Coburn said.

"The exception to the proverb 'a penny saved is a penny earned' is the federal government, where an unspent dollar represents lost opportunities to reduce the debt or to assist an individual, a family, or a community. Nearly every challenge we face conjures up the same response from Washington: spend more money," Coburn said.


Minnesota student banned from wearing rosary beads to school

A Minnesota high school student who wears rosary beads to school in support of his cancer-stricken grandmother was ordered to pocket them by school district officials, who said the beads could be a symbol of gang membership.

Jake Balthazor, 15, of Coon Rapids, a northern suburb of Minneapolis, was told Wednesday by Coon Rapids High School officials that he could no longer wear the black and silver rosary honoring his grandmother, who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, his father told

“He was told not to wear it again,” Chad Balthazor said Thursday. “He was upset when he came home from school. A teacher sent him down to the office, but the reason he was wearing it was for his grandmother.”



ANNAPOLIS (June 7, 2012) -- Maryland State Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp announced the very sad news of the death today of former Maryland State Treasurer Richard N. Dixon following a stroke earlier in the week.

Treasurer Kopp said “I had the very good fortune to serve with Richard in the House of Delegates for 12 years and in particular together on the Appropriations Committee. Treasurer Dixon was a person who succeeded as a military officer during the Viet Nam War, as a businessman and stockbroker, as a State legislator and as the State Treasurer. He was committed and conscientious. He was clear and confident in his convictions and brought great intelligence and common sense to public service. My condolences go to his wife and family."

Treasurer Dixon had an exemplary career in public service highlighted by many firsts including Maryland’s first African-American Treasurer. Born and raised in Carroll County, Treasurer Dixon served his County and the State well during his years of public service as a member of the Carroll County Board of Education, the Maryland House of Delegates, and finally as State Treasurer.

Another Company Leaving Maryland

Catnip, cat treat manufacturer moving to Ohio 

Cosmic Pet Products facility near Hagerstown has already begun the transition

A Washington County company that manufacturers catnip and other feline treats will close its doors and move to another location in Ohio by the end of the month, a company official said Wednesday.

Rochelle Hartigan, spokeswoman for OurPet’s Co. of Fairport Harbor, Ohio, said in an email that the Cosmic Pet Products facility at 16014 Business Parkway near Hagerstown has already begun the transition to Mentor, Ohio.

She did not give the specific date when the move began.



Bizarre Video: London-Based Cleric Claims ‘Well-Known Anal Disease’ Causes Homosexuality Addiction in Men

In an extremely odd appearance on Fadak TV in the United Kingdom, London-based Kuwaiti Shiite Cleric Yasser Al-Habib argued that an “anal disease” causes some men to become addicted to homosexuality.

According to a translation provided by MEMRI TV, Habib referenced former Caliph Omar, who ruled the Rashidun Islamic Caliphate in the year 634, to make his case.

“It is told that Omar Ibn Al-Khattab had an anal disease, which could be cured only by semen,” he said. “Someone who, god forbid, has been penetrated in the anus – a worm grows within him due to the semen discharged in him. A disease develops in his anus, and as a result… he cannot calm down unless he is penetrated again and again.”


Karl Rove to Address Maryland Republican Party

Karl Rove, the former adviser to President George W. Bush, will be the featured speaker at the Maryland Republican Party's Red, White and Blue Dinner in Baltimore.

The party announced Wednesday that Rove will speak at the dinner Saturday evening.

Rove served as Bush's chief political strategist and went on to become deputy chief of staff and senior adviser in the White House.


Pa. Groom's golf cart ride cut short in Washington County

A Peters police officer interrupted a groom and his best man as they tried to kick off a "memorable" wedding night last weekend.

The officer spotted groom Michael Mitchko and best man Ian Hopkins, both 27, as they drove a golf cart in the 4100 block of Washington Road just before midnight on Saturday, Peters police Chief Harry Fruecht said Wednesday.

The two told police they took the golf cart from the Rolling Hills Country Club, where they celebrated the wedding, and wanted to drive it to the hotel.



(McHenry, MD) -- Maryland State Police are part of the federal, state, and local law enforcement effort underway in three states to find a pair of robbery suspects who are believed to have committed multiple bank robberies during May in Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

One suspect is described as a white male with a dark complexion, between 5’6” and 6’ tall, medium build, dark hair and mustache, who possibly has sleeve tattoos on both arms.

The second suspect is a white female about 5’5” to 5’6” tall, with a thin build, blonde hair and a possible tattoo on her neck. The female is said to walk with a slight limp.

The two suspects may be using a light blue pick-up truck with a tool chest in the bed. The truck is described as possibly being an early 1990’s model Chevrolet or GMC.

The FBI is offering a $500 reward for anyone providing information leading to the identification, arrest, and successful prosecution of the robbers. Any information regarding the suspects or suspect vehicle can be provided to the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center at 304-558-4831, toll free at 1-866-WVWATCH, or at

The female suspect and the light blue pick up are believed to have been involved in a robbery of the M&T Bank in Friendsville, Md., on May 7, 2012. The suspect presented a note to the teller demanding money.

Prior to that, on May 3, 2012, the male and female suspect and the truck were allegedly involved in a bank robbery at the First Summit Bank in Salix, Pa., and an attempted bank robbery at the M&T Bank in Tyrone, Pa.

On May 29, 2012, the male suspect entered the WesBanco Bank in Bruceton Mills, WVa., and presented a note demanding money. After leaving the bank, he was seen getting into a light blue pick-up with a white female passenger.

Maryland State Police in Western Maryland are on the lookout for the suspects and suspect vehicle. Anyone who spots the suspects or vehicle is urged to call the West Virginia location listed above, or call 911.

Best Pregnancy Reaction Ever!


Salisbury and O’Brien & Gere Settle Wastewater Treatment Plant Suit

The City of Salisbury and O’Brien & Gere announced today that they have settled the lawsuit relating to the role the company played in the upgrade of the local wastewater treatment plant.

Last month, representatives from O’Brien & Gere and the City participated in a mediation session aimed at resolving the dispute. Their efforts resulted in a settlement of $10 million dollars for the City.

The settlement also states that there is no admission of fault by O’Brien & Gere. The City states that it plans to continue

What $40,000 Gets You in Presidential Fundraising

If you have $40,000 to spend, President Barack Obama's campaign has a deal for you.

Write a big check, and you'll get you a picture with the president and a chance to swap political strategy with him _ all while enjoying a gourmet meal at the lavish home of a Hollywood celebrity or Wall Street tycoon. And if you get the campaign even more money, you might just end up with a plum post as a U.S. ambassador or an invitation to an exclusive White House state dinner.

Obama not your preference? No problem. Mitt Romney is offering donors perks that include everything from a private dinner with him to seats at the fall debates.


Church Loses Majority of Members & Faces Foreclosure Following Pastor’s Support for Gay Marriage

The Rev. Oliver White of Grace Community United Church of Christ in St. Paul, Minnesota, has lost two-thirds of his congregation. The mass exodus from his pews started back in 2005 when he voted in favor of gay marriage at the national United Church of Christ assembly meeting. Following his support for the measure, the majority of his 320-member flock was flabbergasted and left the church.

“I was really in shock. I visited one member after another, who told me they weren’t coming back because of it,” White, who has pastored at the house of worship for 22 years, said in an interview with The Star Tribune. “The membership evaporated right before my eyes. Their fundamental belief was it’s wrong for a man and a man to marry or a woman and a woman to marry. A lot of them said if I change, they’d come back. But I told them, it is what it is. I am who I am. And this is what I fight for.”


Environmentalists Attempt To Find The Cause Of The Growing Stench At The Inner Harbor

A strange smell is taking over the Inner Harbor. Now, an environment group think it’s pinpointed the cause.

The problem isn’t only in the air, it’s also in the water.

The Inner Harbor overpowered by an abundance of trash, dead fish and an overwhelming odor.

“We woke up in the morning and we smelled sewage,” one Baltimore resident said.


Oprah's Career 'Tanking Because of Obama'

Oprah Winfrey’s virtual vanishing from America’s airwaves is the direct result of her political support for Barack Obama, according to the nation’s top-rated radio host.

“Oprah threw away her TV career for Obama,” Rush Limbaugh said this afternoon. “If you want to know why Oprah’s not on television anymore, it’s because she supported Obama. If you want to know why Oprah is flailing away on a cable network that nobody watches, it’s because of Obama.”

Oprah is best-known for her self-titled TV talk show, which became the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally broadcast from 1986 to 2011.


LinkedIn, EHarmony Suffer Data Breaches

Social networking site LinkedIn and online dating service eHarmony warned that some user passwords had been breached after security experts discovered scrambled files with passwords for millions of online accounts.

The two companies declined to say how many accounts had been breached when they disclosed the breaches in statements issued on Wednesday.

They only said they were conducting investigations.

The breaches are the latest in a string of high-profile attacks around the world that have put personal information of millions at risk. The release of information stolen from the intelligence analysis firm Stratfor in December included data belonging to former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.


Wisdom Of Regulators? ... Systemic Risk Group Formed To Supervise Wall Street

Group Forms to Urge Strict Oversight of Wall Street ... Efforts to increase and improve regulation of Wall Street have bogged down, according to Sheila C. Bair, the former chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. On Wednesday, she will announce a new group, the Systemic Risk Council, that will monitor and encourage regulatory reform ... The organization is being formed by the Pew Charitable Trusts, where Ms. Bair now works, and the CFA Institute, an organization of financial analysts. – New York Times

Dominant Social Theme: Since Wall Street can't run itself we'll provide the leadership.

Free-Market Analysis: So a new group will do what Wall Street won't – bring sanity to finance! Or will it ...

Imagine, however, that a group was formed to provide oversight to the risks undertaken by, say, the auto industry – or ... cruise lines. Wouldn't this be seen as overreach?

How can individuals outside of an industry calculate the risks in a given industry better than the participants? It's the height of arrogance, it seems to us, though granted that Wall Street is an unusual place, fueled by the high-powered money of central banking.

Without central banking and the fiat-monopoly dollar, there would be no Wall Street as we know it today. Wall Street would be what it is supposed to be, a venue for raising capital and trading assets, securitized or not.

It would be a small, low-key place. In fact, get rid of government bonds and it would be smaller still. There would likely be a great deal fewer masters of the universe. Without central banking, banks themselves would deflate.


LA Governor Bobby Jindal Veritably Giddy Over Pro-Gun Legislation

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is getting pumped up as he prepares to vote on pivotal pro-gun legislation.

Those of you who obsessively read every single article will remember this piece a little while back about the Louisiana legislators’ attempt to solidify citizens’ Second Amendment rights. The bill cruised through the house with a 77-22 vote.

For gun rights advocates, the bad news is that the bill will meet an untimely death if voters do not approve of it when they go to the polls on Nov. 6. On the bright side, though, the bill has been gaining steam.

Gov. Jindal called the bill, “our own Second Amendment,” and is enthusiastic about what the bill will do for the Cajun state, saying, "We are adopting the strongest, most iron-clad, constitutional protection for law-abiding gun owners.” He added, “I look forward to voting for this amendment in the fall."



This story goes hand in hand with the PA pension story. Stockton is the dead canary in the coalmine. Over the next 5 to 10 years localities will be filing bankruptcy by the boatload because the money to pay for decades of promises is gone. For all the government drones out there, guess what happens in bankruptcy? That’s right. Your gold plated pensions and health benefits go poof. You get nada. So keep picketing and demanding more. You’ll get it. You’ll get it good and hard, just like you deserve.

I love the description of Stockton City Hall. It sounds delightful.


The Blaze Fact Checks ‘Weeping Voter’: His Claims Are…

During an “emotional” segment following the results of last night’s recall election between Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett (D), one miserable Barrett supporter said the following:
We just got outspent $34 million to $4 million dollars. This was, this was the biggest election in America and I hope you keep me on tonight because this hurts us all. Every single on of you out there in the nation, if you’re watching democracy died tonight.

I’m very emotional because we all had a lot invested in this. This was it. If we didn’t win tonight, the end of the U.S. as we know it just happened. That’s it. We just got outspent $34 million to $4 million dollars.

Brainwashing Starts With This Two-Letter Word

The big news out of New York City these days is Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s proposed ban on the sale of soda drinks over 16-ounces (about 1/2 liter) at restaurants, movie theaters, sports stadia, street carts, fast food chains, etc.

Bloomberg stressed that we have a responsibility to combat obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, and that the government must consequently regulate what people can/cannot put in their bodies. Michelle Obama even came down to applaud the idea.

Last night I was out with a group of friends at a chic Soho restaurant called the Dutch, and we started talking about the soda ban.

One of them defended it, saying that ‘we’ have a responsibility to do something about the obesity problem in this country.

“Excuse me,” I asked, “but who exactly is ‘we’…? I certainly didn’t come into this world born with a burden prevent obesity. And I’m pretty sure nobody else signed up for it either.”

‘We’ is one of the most dangerous words in the English language, particularly when bandied about in Western representative democracy.

It’s a term often used when a politician wants to thrust a burden or obligation onto everyone else’s shoulders, but without being too direct about it.


Goats Removed From Conn. High School Roof Overhang

Firefighters were called to a Connecticut high school for a goat removal.

Authorities say firefighters rescued four goats from an overhang above the entrance to Simsbury High School on Wednesday morning. They say the goats may have been placed there as a senior prank.

Principal Neil Sullivan says the goats were discovered by a custodian at about 5:30 a.m. No injuries were reported.

After being taken down, the pygmy goats were brought to Flamig Farm in West Simsbury. Officials are trying to find their rightful owner.


Do you remember what you did for your senior prank?

The Global Obesity Bomb

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in the headlines last week for his proposal to ban soft drink servings over 16 ounces. It’s the latest front of his war against obesity, which kills 5,000 residents in the city each year. (The mayor is the founder of Bloomberg LP, which owns Bloomberg Businessweek.)

The U.S. is a heavyweight champion in fat. It has the most obese population of any industrialized nation. About two-thirds of all adults in the country are overweight and one-third are fully obese, according to the World Health Organization.

This, however, is yet another area where U.S. leadership is being challenged by upstart contenders from the developing world. Already, a larger proportion of people in Panama, Saudi Arabia, and six different Pacific Island nations are obese than in America. Growing obesity in poorer countries is a sign of a historic global tipping point: After millennia when the biggest food-related threat to humanity was the risk of having too little, the 21st century is one where the fear is having too much.


Panetta Visits Afghanistan Amid Violence, Expresses Frustration With Pakistan

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is keeping the pressure on Pakistan and expressed continued frustration with the country's failure to root out the terrorist Haqqani network.

"We are reaching the limits of our patience here," Panetta said during a joint press conference the Afghan defense minister.

A senior U.S. official acknowledged Thursday that the recent increase in drone strikes on insurgents in Pakistan is due in part to frustration with Islamabad. Despite pressure from U.S. commanders, Pakistan remains reluctant to go after insurgents, particularly the Haqqani network, which was likely responsible for recent deadly attacks on U.S. forces.


Speeding Praetorians

If “speeding” – defined as driving faster than the legally posted maximum velocity – is necessarily “unsafe,” why do cops do so routinely?

The answer, of course, is: Because they can.

More precisely, they can do so with impunity. Who watches the watchmen, after all?

Here is a recent – and particularly egregious – example:

Denver cop Derrick Saunders was caught doing 143 MPH in a 55 – while legally drunk (.089 BAC). The repercussions? A 42 day suspension. At first, he was at least fired. But Saunders, who like a lot of cops apparently does not believe that “speed kills” when he is the one speeding - appealed his firing. And the police union backed him up. To repeat: a drunk cop doing 143 MPH in a 55 is demanding his job back. And the police union is helping him get his job back. The full story is here.

Meanwhile, let’s consider what would have happened to a non-anointed Mere Ordinary in my own state of Virginia:

Va. defines “reckless driving” as exceeding the posted maximum speed by more than 20 MPH – or any speed over 80 MPH, anywhere. Note carefully that one’s driving is considered legally reckless merely as a function of speed. It is not a viable legal defense to argue that you were sober – and in full control of your car and posed no danger to anyone. Merely to be caught driving 80 MPH of faster ( that’s all of 10 MPH over the highway limit of 70 MPH) or faster than 20 MPH over any posted limit (so, for instance, 56 MPH in a posted 35 zone) constitutes “reckless” driving – ipso facto – which in Va. is a Class 1 misdemeanor criminal offense, not merely an infraction – like a standard speeding ticket. If convicted, you will have a permanent criminal record that will be indexed in the NCIC database (where murderers, rapists and others are cataloged), spend up to a year in jail, pay a $2,500 fine, and face the strong likelihood that your driving privileges will be suspended for six months – and the absolute certainty that you will pay extortionate insurance premiums for at least the next five years.


Same-Sex Ceremony on Military Base Sparks Outrage

A same-sex ceremony between a lesbian couple in the base chapel at Fort Polk in Louisiana has created a storm of controversy among conservative religious leaders and a growing number of lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

“The liberal social experiment with our military continues,” Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) told Fox News Radio. “A same-sex marriage-like ceremony should not have occurred at Fort Polk, especially since the people of Louisiana have made it abundantly clear that our state does not recognize same-sex marriages or civil unions.”

Fort Polk is in Fleming’s congressional district. The Fort Polk Public Affairs Office and the Army did not return numerous calls seeking comment.


Never Again!

This past weekend I went as a delegate to the Missouri state republican convention. After many years of being a proud non-voter, in January I registered to vote only because I wanted to be involved if Ron Paul had a chance of winning. Except for meeting and becoming friends with other liberty lovers in town, I regret my entire involvement. The local caucus, the congressional district convention, and the state convention were all long, stupid pep rallies for republicans to replace their identical twin democrats in office, as if that would make any difference.

For this weekend's state convention, we had to arrive at 7:30 AM for registration and then wait, squished in, shoulder-to-shoulder for the convention to start (nearly a half hour late) at almost 10. First, we were subjected to a video message from Rick Santorum, urging us to unify behind Romney. That was followed by campaign speeches by the three republicans running for Senate against Claire McCaskill. All of the speeches were of course filled with empty platitudes, (my personal favorite was "the status quo has got to go!") but nothing about sound money or ending the wars. Next we had to elect officers of the convention including chairman and secretary, and this apparently required three minute speeches in support of each candidate -- one person claimed that voting for one person to serve as convention secretary was a vote to revitalize the republican party. Puh-leeze, isn't this person just going to take the minutes?

The convention agenda called for a recess for lunch from noon until 2:00 but we were so far behind schedule that some time after 1:00 it was motioned that we recess for lunch for one hour. But then when a known Paul delegate suggested that an hour wasn't long enough for the nearly 2,000 delegates to get lunch and that the recess ought to be at least 90 minutes, the Rom-torum delegates took nearly 45 minutes arguing over the length of lunch and requiring a standing vote (rather than voice vote). This was similar to the Boone county caucus when the rules committee needed a recess to convene for 10 minutes and the crowd debated for over 30 minutes whether or not to allow the recess. It was decided that we would vote on the slates of 25 at-large delegates to Tampa before lunch. One slate had 19 pledged to Romney and 6 to Santorum and the other than 16 for Paul and the other 9 for Santorum. If the Santorum supporters had voted where they earned more delegates, the Paul slate would have won and denied any more delegates to Romney. Alas, Santorum supporters didn't get that 9 is greater than 6, and the Romney slate won by a narrow margin.


Senior Pranks _ Where Do You Draw The Line?

Well, it's that time of year again. Time to stash a dead fish somewhere to stink up the school hallways. Time to drop tennis balls on the heads of people in the lobby. Time to cover your soon-to-be alma mater with Post-It notes.

For high school seniors, it's prank time _ or "structured mayhem" in the words of Mindy Utay, a therapist who works with teens.

It's a rite of passage as graduation looms, mostly harmless fun but sometimes a escalating into vandalism. This spring alone, windows at school have been smashed, walls and sidewalks spray painted, and paint poured down steps. Cars have been flipped. Property has been damaged from California to Kentucky to Maryland.


The Case For The Dollar: Nothing Has Changed

If one looks at a chart showing the value of the United States dollar against major currencies, one could argue that what was achieved in the presidency of Barack Obama looks very similar to what was achieved in the presidency of George W. Bush. Both presidents created substantial amounts of credit inflation during their time in office and both presidents saw the value of the United States dollar decline against other major currencies in the world.

The only thing that separates the two periods is the time in which there was a "flight to quality" in late 2008 and early 2009 and the value of the dollar rose. However, as President Obama took charge the decline in the value of the dollar resumed.


More Media Declaring Obama the Wisconsin Winner

The mainstream media continues to spin last night's victory for Scott Walker in Wisconsin's recall election as a win for President Barack Obama--either because faulty exit polls showed him ahead of presidential challenger Mitt Romney, or because he didn't expend political capital campaigning for the recall effort. One of the worst examples was the Chicago Sun-Times, which declared Obama "beyond recall" in a front-page banner headline.

The article inside, by confirmed Obama fan Lynn Sweet, concluded that Obama's absence from Wisconsin proved he has more appeal to independent voters than Romney. Yet Romney, also, stayed away from the recall--so why should the same conclusion not apply to him? Sweet does not explain. She simply seizes--like many of her mainstream media colleagues--on the kinds of faulty exit polls that vastly inflated Barrett's chances. Organized labor lost, she admits--but not Obama, who is simply a better candidate than Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett.


Paul Supporters Say RNC Is Blocking Festival Plans

TAMPA, Fla. – Ron Paul supporters are unhappy that Republican National Convention organizers aren't letting them throw a festival honoring the Texas congressman and presidential candidate the weekend before the gathering.

Spokesman Bryan Siemon said his group is organizing a three-day "PaulFest" at the Florida State Fairgrounds that would include music, comedians and speakers. But the Republicans control Tampa's public venues during the convention and haven't given PaulFest approval to use the fairgrounds.

Convention organizers say they aren't blocking anyone and that a decision will be made within a few weeks.

"We do have the request," said James Davis. "We have an extraordinary amount for requests for the venues we do have. We're going through and making assignments and no one has turned down any assignment yet."


Stage 3 ‘Live It’: Beck Launches Massive Food Drive in Effort to Fight Nanny State

Glenn Beck is dedicating the week to unveiling a four-part plan to reclaim the personal liberties that have been slipping away from American society. On Monday, he asked Americans to “commit” to a high standard of conduct and to a plan of action, and on Tuesday evening, he launched a major voter registration effort that is already realizing substantial results. On Wednesday evening, Beck revealed the third phase of his initiative focused on curbing the power of politicians like New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Obama regulatory “czar,” Cass Sunstein, in their push to grow the already overblown Nanny State.  Beck noted that the Federal Register of all government regulations is over 80,000 pages long. 

Blaze readers are likely already familiar with the unsettling string of state-led crackdowns on children’s lemonade stands, student as well as city-wide bans on fatty foods, bake-sales, smoking, unpasteurized milk, and now, sugary Big Gulps. Worse still, is that homeless shelters and soup kitchens across nearly a dozen states are now rejecting quality food donations based on their perceived salt or sugar content.

In other words, government is attempting to thwart people from being humanitarians.


Md. Construction Firms Passed Over For BWI Security Checkpoint Project

A Colorado firm that was the low bidder on a $44 million project at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport beat out two well-connected local companies -- Bethesda’s Clark Construction Group and Whiting -Turner Construction headquartered in Baltimore. The Board of Public Works approved the contract for a new terminal connector and security checkpoint Wednesday.

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Who Said The Fed Never Gets Anything Right?

Federal Reserve vice-chairman, Janet Yellen, delivered a speech this evening before the Boston Economic Club Dinner, Boston, Massachusetts.

In her remarks, she gave a huge backslap to the Fed and said (my bold) and I am not making this up:

As a result, the current slump has not generated the downward spiral of falling expected and actual inflation that a simple accelerationist model of inflation might have predicted. Indeed, keeping inflation expectations from declining has been an important success of monetary policy over the past few years.
Well, what a success! Congratulations to the Fed for spooking the American public about price inflation.


High State Fee For Inner Harbor Piers Rocks The Boat At Board Of Public Works

The Board of Public Works on Wednesday asked the the state’s wetlands administration to explain the high compensation rates of $175 per square foot proposed for three Cordish Power Plant restaurants in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor -- Hard Rock, Dick’s Last Resort and Phillips Seafood.

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Today's Fill In The Blank 6-7-12

I can't stand it when someone ______.

Thanks To The Supreme Court, Our Democracy Is Now In Deep Trouble

Fueled by tens of millions of dollars in out-of-state corporate and billionaire cash – giving him an 8-to-1 spending advantage over his Democratic opponent – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker prevailed in Tuesday night's recall election. This is the second major election in the post-Citizens United era – and for the second straight time organized money beat organized people – just like what happened in 2010 when Tea Party Republicans swept into Congress with the help of over $300 million in outside corporate cash. In a slight consolation – Democrats may take control of the state Senate – as one Republican state Senator out of four facing a recall appears to be headed for a defeat. Despite reports of massive voter turnout around the state Tuesday afternoon – the turnout was actually closer to 2010 levels when more than 2 million Wisconsinites voted and Republicans won big – rather than 2008 levels when closer to 3 million Wisconsinites elected President Obama and Democrats. So what does all this mean? It means that things really are as bad as we think they are – and the Supreme Court really has handed over our democracy to the highest bidders – giant corporations, foreign governments, and the likes of the Koch brothers.

Wisconsin gives us a glimpse into the election coming this November – and patriotic Americans have five months to figure out how to overcome these oligarchs – and undo the incredible damage the Roberts Court has done to democracy in the nation of its modern-era birth. Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders are fighting against the cancer in our democracy - Citizens United - and you can join their efforts at and, and

The Pension Reform Prairie Fire Has Started

After the defeat of Governor Scott Walker’s recall, we thought we’d post this piece from January 2011. Big pension reform ballot measures won big in San Jose and San Diego. This gives us our children hope.

Interestingly, Europe is dealing with very similar issues, but on a cross-country basis and without political union.

Smells like a prairie fire to us and the President is caught offside. Expect markets to start flirting with and sniffing out that Romney rally.

P.S. We were way wrong about Governor Brown.

State and Local Governments, Man Your Battle Stations!

Take a look at the new cover of the Economist. We have been all over the coming “battle royal” between the state and local governments and their public sector unions, but not as much as Mike Shedlock over at the Global Economic Trend Analysis blog. We love teachers, fighter fighters, policemen, and all productive public servants, but think they are being led over the cliff by their unions.


Women Are Screwed

Yesterday – the Paycheck Fairness Act, which demands women get the same pay for the same work as men, and gives women more protections to fight back against gender discrimination, was put to a vote in the Senate. And 52 Senators – a majority of Senators – supported it. Unfortunately – a near-unified Republican filibuster – prevented passage of the bill now that Republican obstruction in the Senate now requires a 60-vote supermajority to pass anything. Republicans say there is no such thing as a "war on women" – but Tuesday's vote in the Senate – when nearly every single Senate Republican affirmed that women shouldn't be paid as much as men in the workplace – just confirms it.

Today's Advertiser Of The Day 6-7-12

The WikiLeaks Trial Is Set To Resume

Defense attorneys plan to call State Department workers as witnesses. Army Pvt. Bradley Manning is charged with the biggest leak of government secrets in U.S. history when he gave thousands of classified documents to the website. His attorneys want to know how much damage that leak did to U.S. foreign relations. Manning worked as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad in 2009 and 2010.


Ron Paul’s quote says everything you need to know about war in America:

“It is no coincidence that the century of total war coincided with the century of central banking.” ~ Ron Paul

Follow the money. Politicians, mega-arms dealers, and bankers – the evil troika.

War is America’s new economic stimulus policy

Commentary: Why are we still throwing extra billions at Pentagon?

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Yes, I’m mad as hell again. I just read some bad news that should make every American mad as hell. In fact, two bad news items.

First, as a U.S. Marine vet, I got angry reading that there have been more military suicides than war deaths the past decade. Yes, more Iraq and Afghan war vets have killed themselves than were killed by America’s enemies in combat. And more are expected as we had more than two million serve in the two wars.

A soldier from the U.S. Army’s Charlie Company, 1/12 Infantry, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division scans across the border at houses in Pakistan during a Sunday patrol near Dokalam village in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province.

Second, if the economic, psychological, political and moral consequences of the past two wars aren’t bad enough, many politicians and candidates — some of whom never served in the armed forces — are proposing that the full Congress pass the Ryan budget and force Pentagon generals to spend billions more than they requested.

This is insane. More taxpayer money for the Pentagon war machine? Why? We’re winding down two wars. We’re dealing with the tragedy of vet suicides. These same politicians whining about the debt and taxes. So why do they want to increase Pentagon spending? Do we love war that much? Are they planning to start a new war? Let’s analyze this contradiction.


Dog Found On Riverside Drive

This dog was found on Riverside Dr this morning. 904-252-4046

Oh Boy

Federal unions can't bargain for pay or benefits, but maybe they can help you keep your job. The courts are saying as more agencies offer buyouts and consider those mass-layoffs known as reductions-in-force, they'll have to talk more with their unions. The American Federation of Government Employees sued the Air Force. The service had planned to cut competitive-service jobs but save those it had given to veterans. The union protested. It said some of those vets had not been in their jobs for as long as their colleagues. The D.C. Circuit Appeals Court said the union has a right to negotiate those terms.

Air Force: Up to 78 Cadets Cheated on Math Test

Up to 78 Air Force Academy cadets cheated on an online calculus test by getting help during the exam from a website, the academy said Wednesday.

Most of the cadets took responsibility for their actions and have begun a six-month remediation program, a type of academic probation, said Lt. Col. John Bryan, an academy spokesman.

Bryan did not know how many cadets have been ordered to take the remediation program. Some are still awaiting their turn before an honor board.


I'm A Dude. Why Is My Health Insurance Adding Maternity Coverage?

Steven has health insurance through Anthem Blue Cross, a company that deals in direct-pay individual policies, instead of employer-subsidized group health insurance. A recent change to the plan adds a service, maternity coverage. (Yes, many direct-pay plans require you to buy insurance covering pregnancy and delivery separately, and before you get pregnant.) The problem? If he and his wife want to have a baby, he's going to have to carry and give birth to it. The maternity coverage only applies to the policyholder, not their spouse or dependents. Pretty sweet if you're a fertile woman with her own policy. Pretty useless if you're not.

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Take Your Dog To Work Day

June 22nd is Take Your Pet to Work Day and we have dogs ready to hit the work force. We'd appreciate you sharing our news and we're grateful for your support.

Thanks so much!

Photo: Martin is one of Baywater Animal Rescue's dogs dressed and ready to go to work June 22nd.


Suzette Stitely
Executive Director

Please support Baywater Animal Rescue - the MidShore's Premier No Kill Shelter and Dorchester Chamber of Commerce 2012 Not For Profit Of The Year!

JCPenney Giving Up On The Whole "No More Sales" Thing

Remember in January when JCPenney had that revolutionary idea — touted in a series of not at all grating ads — of getting rid of "sales," and just lowering everyday prices by around 40%? Apparently, the shoppers of the world didn't get the message and JCP is bringing back the "S word."

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Today's Survey Question 6-6-12

Do you think Facebook should require people

take a Breathalyzer test before getting on Facebook?


"In the hands of the state, compulsory public education becomes a tool for political control and manipulation -- a prime instrument for the thought police of the society. And precisely because every child passes through the same indoctrination process—learning the same “official history,” the same “civic virtues,” the same lessons of obedience and loyalty to the state -- it becomes extremely difficult for the individual soul to free himself from the straightjacket of the ideology and values the political officials wish to imprint upon the population under its jurisdiction. For the communists, it was the class struggle and obedience to the Party and Comrade Stalin; for the fascists, it was the worship of the nation-state and obedience to the Duce; for the Nazis, it was race purity and obedience to the Fuhrer. The content has varied, but the form has remained the same. Through the institution of compulsory state education, the child is to be molded like wax into the shape desired by the state and its educational elite."

-- Jacob G. Hornberger

American author, journalist, politician, founder and president of the Future of Freedom Foundation

Source: The Nazi Mind-Set in America, The Tyranny Of Gun Control, 58 (Future of Freedom Foundation 1997).

Rep. Andy Harris Fights To Stop Taxpayer Funded Energy Efficiency Projects In China

Washington, DC – Yesterday, for a second year in a row, Rep. Andy Harris passed an amendment in the House to stop shipping hard-earned American taxpayer dollars to China and India to make their cities more energy efficient. Rep. Harris’ amendment to H.R. 5325 – FY 2013 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, would prohibit the use of funds for many of the international projects in the office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), including the President’s plan to spend up to $750,000 on “Sustainable Cities” projects in China and India.

“Unfortunately, President Obama is choosing to spend hard-earned taxpayer dollars in China and India on foreign “Sustainable Cities” projects, even as we borrow money from China to pay our national debt,” said Rep. Andy Harris. “We should not be making the massive national debt we pass along to our children and grandchildren even larger to increase Chinese efficiency. I do not believe these projects pass the test of making good use of hard-earned taxpayer dollars.”

Report: American Food Industry Workers Aren't Treated So Great

If you work anywhere in the American food industry — from farming to fast food, slaughterhouse to warehouse — a new report seems to indicate you're not being treat that well. The Food Chain Workers Alliance interviewed around 700 workers and employers in production, processing, distribution, retail and services and came up with some startling conclusions.

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Parker Place is under contract and is expecting to close this week. No one knows what the new owners want to do with it so time will tell.

House Ethics Committee Resumes Case Against Maxine Waters

California Representative Maxine Waters has technically been under investigation for numerous ethical problems for the past three years. However, because Waters has done her damnedest during those three years to exploit as many legal technicalities as possible to try to get the investigation halted, it has dragged on endlessly. Today, yet another of her excuses ran out of mileage.

The House Ethics Committee put its case against California Congresswoman Maxine Waters back on track Wednesday after finding that her due process rights had not been violated.

In the latest twist in an investigation that has gone on for three years, the committee acknowledged that its staff’s communications with only the Republican committee members during its investigation of Waters, a Democrat from Los Angeles, had “raised concerns about the appearance of staff partisanship.“ It also found that a committee staff member made ”inappropriate” remarks during the investigation.


Average Income Among Americas 400 Richest Dropped 25% In One Year

Guess who's making about $202.4 million? Not you, unless you happen to be among the 400 richest tax filers in the nation. While it might bum you out a bit not to be rolling around in piles of cash, those who live like Richie Rich are likely feeling a bit blue about the news because that 2009 average is down 25% from 2008 — and down from a peak of $344.8 million in 2007.

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Helping Maryland’s Caribbean Community Succeed & Thrive

By Lt. Governor Anthony Brown

Governor O’Malley and I recognize that diversity is our greatest strength, and there is no limit to what we can achieve when we commit to working together. Over the course of our nearly six years in office, we have launched numerous commissions to give a greater voice to diverse constituencies throughout our State.

Earlier today, I was honored to participate as the Governor signed an executive order creating a commission to help represent the issues of a group very close to my heart: Maryland’s Caribbean community.

My father came to America from Jamaica to escape poverty and pursue the American Dream. He was able to receive a high quality education and became a doctor, serving some of the poorest residents in our community.

Many members of the Caribbean community in Maryland have similar stories and are giving back to our State in meaningful ways. As I traveled around the State meeting with members of the Caribbean community, from Jamaicans to Barbadians to Trinidadians and Tobagonians, it became clear to me that more could be done to infuse our State’s cultural tapestry with the best of our Caribbean heritage.

With Maryland’s Caribbean population growing rapidly, I raised with the Governor the need to increase outreach, public awareness, and education about key issues for the community.

By creating the Governor’s Commission on Caribbean Affairs – the first in Maryland’s history – we have made it clear that the issues that are important to our Caribbean population will be addressed at the highest levels of our Administration.

The Commission will expand outreach to engage individuals and organizations in the Caribbean community and help them form partnerships with State government in promoting our shared social, cultural, and business interests.

I am very grateful that Ambassador Curtis A. Ward, a Montgomery County resident and former Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Jamaica to the United Nations Security Council, has agreed to chair the Commission. He brings to this role a wealth of knowledge about the needs of Maryland’s Caribbean population.

Ambassador Ward will be joined by eight fellow commission members, reflecting the diverse ancestry and national origins of Maryland’s Caribbean community, representing different geographic regions in the State, and providing expertise on issues important to the State’s Caribbean population.

All Marylanders benefit by embracing those who wish to contribute to our State. I look forward to working with the Governor’s Commission on Caribbean Affairs to ensure that, like my father, members of the Caribbean community have the opportunity to succeed and thrive in Maryland.

Another Great Day Downtown

The Opportunity Shop has people lined up once again to take advantage of their great deals twice a week. They just opened so if you'd like to take advantage come on down.

High Incarceration Rates Punish Taxpayers As Well, Panelists Say

Law enforcement, policymakers and justice advocates said Monday that excessive incarceration of blacks and other people of color is not only a moral injustice but doesn’t make economic sense for taxpayers. The Maryland State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights met in Annapolis to hear testimony on the disproportionate number of blacks incarcerated in Maryland and across the nation and its associated costs.

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Redskins Moving Preseason Camp to Richmond in 2013

The Washington Redskins will move their summer training camp about 100 miles south of their home base to an undetermined site in Richmond beginning in 2013.

The team's general manager, Bruce Allen, and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell jointly made the announcement Wednesday.

In addition to the eight-year agreement to hold two-a-day preseason camps in Virginia's capital city for eight years, the team also announced that it will retain its corporate headquarters and Redskin Park, its year-round training facility in suburban Loudoun County about 25 miles west of Washington.


Republicans Are Trying To Crash The Economy For Political Gain

Senate Majority Harry Reid is now saying out loud what most Progressives have been saying for more than a year now – that Republicans are trying to crash the economy for political gain. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday about House Republicans' blocking a highway transportation bill that will keep Americans at work building our infrastructure – Reid took aim at Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor saying, "I'm told by others that [Cantor] wants to not do a bill, to make the economy worse, because he feels that's better for them. I hope that's not true." Well, Senator Reid – it IS true. And it's been the Republican strategy to sabotage Democratic Presidents going all the way back to the Truman Administration and the "Do-Nothing" Republican Congress of 1948 – which, like today, blocked every single one of Truman's progressive reforms. Truman called out Republicans for their obstruction and was rewarded with a second-term. So if President Obama wants a second-term – then he needs to start calling out Republicans just like Harry Reid did yesterday.

Caption This Photo 6-7-12

Florida Gov. Rick Scott Will Push Ahead With Rigging The November Election

Florida Governor Rick Scott has until today to determine whether or not he will comply with the law and stop illegally purging Democratic voters from the voting rolls. And based on statements made to the Miami Herald by a spokesman with the Florida Secretary of State's office – Governor Scott will push full-steam ahead with rigging the election in advance of November. The Herald reports that the state of Florida "disagrees with the federal government and doesn't plan to throw in the towel." But if Governor Scott does intend to continue with his illegal voter purge – then he has a lot of work to do to overcome a rebellion by his own local elections officials. All 67 county election supervisors in Florida have suspended Scott's purge because of how flaky Scott's purge lists are.

Cap and trade works! Back in 2008 – nine states in the Northeast joined together to create a cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions. And after three years – the results are in – showing a resounding success. The states that took part in the "Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative" cut CO2 emission by 23% in three years – and electricity consumption also went down. Conservatives, bought out by the fossil fuel industry, warned that cap-and-trade would kill economic growth and stick consumers with high energy bills. That didn't happen though. Instead – as the Analysis Group found – the cap and trade system spurred $1.6 billion in new value to the state economies, consumers saved $1.1 billion on energy costs, and 16,000 new jobs were created. Back in 2009 – Democrats in Congress passed a national cap-and-trade plan to reduce carbon emissions – but Republicans in the Senate filibustered it. Given the results from the Northeast today – I'd say it's time to bring back this legislation for the sake of not just our environment – but our economy, too.

Maryland Lawmaker on Trial For Theft, Misconduct

Prosecutors say a Maryland lawmaker paid an employee of her law office with state funds after the firm's bank account was closed.

The defense, meanwhile, said in opening remarks Tuesday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court that politics may have played part in the decision to prosecute Del. Tiffany Alston. The lawmaker opposed a redistricting plan supported by Democratic lawmakers and voted against a gay marriage bill supported by the governor.

Prosecutors and a spokeswoman for the governor denied any political motivation.


Lt. Gov. Denn, Legislative Leaders Unveil Bill Helping Parents Of Children With Special Needs

DOVER - With members of the Delaware disability community voicing their support, Lt. Governor Matt Denn and legislative leaders unveiled a bill on Monday that would assist parents of special needs children in obtaining appropriate services for their children.


WCSO Press Releases 6-7-12

Incident: Most Wanted Arrest
Date of Incident: 5 June 2012
Location: Willards, MD
Suspect: Matthew Brandon Wells, 22, Salisbury, MD

Narrative: On 5 June 2012
at 3:00 AM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office located Matthew Brandon Wells at a residence in Willards. Wells had been spotlighted on local media as one of the Wicomico Sheriff’s Most Wanted Fugitives.

Wells had been sought on two Wicomico Circuit Court bench warrants that had been issued after Wells failed to appear for an Assault 1st Degree case and a CDS Possession with the Intent to Distribute case.

Wells was detained without bond in the Detention Center pending an appearance in front of a Circuit Court judge.
Charges: Failure to Appear

Incident: Assault
Date of Incident: 4 June 2012
Location: 500 block of Emory Court, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Laniceia Nutter, 19, Milford, DE

Narrative: On 4 June 2012
at 11:50 AM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office arrested Laniceia Nutter in connection with an assault that had occurred on 6 April 2012. During that incident, Nutter is accused of assaulting another woman during an altercation and destroying her cell phone.

The deputy transported Nutter to the Central Booking Unit where she was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance, the Commissioner released Nutter on Personal Recognizance.

Charges: Assault 2nd Degree
Malicious Destruction of Property

Incident: Assault
Date of Incident: 4 June 2012
Location: 400 block of Patrick Avenue, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Robert Butler, 42, Salisbury, MD

Narrative: On 3 June 2012
at 10:23 PM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office responded to a reported physical altercation at a residence in the 400 block of Patrick Avenue in Salisbury. Upon arrival, the deputy met with a female subject who advised that she had been involved in an argument with her boyfriend, Robert Butler that turned physical. Butler was not there upon the arrival of the deputy. Based on the allegations made by the victim, a warrant for the arrest of Butler was obtained and that warrant was served the following day.

Butler was transported to the Central Booking Unit where he was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance, the Commissioner detained Butler in the Detention Center in lieu of $5,000.00 bond.

Charges: Assault 2nd Degree

Incident: Possession of Marijuana
Date of Incident: 4 June 2012
Location: N. Salisbury Blvd., Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Jack C. Shellenberger, 27, Salisbury, MD

Narrative: On 4 June 2012
at 9:43 AM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle operated by Jack Shellenberger for an equipment violation on N.Salisbury Blvd. in the area of Centre Road. Upon stopping the vehicle and contacting Shellenberger, the deputy observed indicators of possible illegal drug use which prompted him to question Shellenberger about the presence of same.

Shellenberger reached into his pocket and handed the deputy a small box that contained what the deputy recognized as marijuana.

The deputy placed Shellenberger under arrest and transported him to the Central Booking Unit where he was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance, the Commissioner released Shellenberger on Personal Recognizance.

Charges: Possession of Marijuana
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

DNREC Offers Rain Barrels At Discount Price To Delawareans June 26-28

DOVER - To encourage water conservation and promote wise use of it throughout the state, the DNREC Division of Watershed Stewardship is offering rain barrels at a discounted price to residents of Delaware at pickup locations in each county in late June.


Teen Struck And Killed In OC Crossing Coastal Highway

A 15-year-old girl from Western Maryland was struck and killed crossing Coastal Highway at 21st Street on Tuesday.

Police say it happened at around 5:45 pm.

"She was crossing against the cross walk light," said Ocean City Police Public Affairs Specialist Jessica Waters who also said the girl was crossing Coastal Highway north of the marked cross walk.  "Traffic travelling southbound actually had a green light. The driver who turned out to be a 17 year old male from this area in Worcester County was determined not to be at fault and no charges are pending against the driver."

Including the bus lanes along the curb, she was crossing an eight lane stretch of road in Ocean City when she was struck.


Wicomico Board Of Education Celebrates Many Students, Staff And Other Honorees At June 5 Awards

The Wicomico County Board of Education recognized many outstanding students, teachers, staff members, parents and community partners during its June 5 Awards & Recognitions Night at the Wicomico High School Auditorium. Details of the many recognitions is provided below.

Association of School Business Officials Award

Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting Award presented to Gary Green, Accounting Manager, for Green, Comptroller E. Bruce Ford and Business Support Services. Last year, Business Support Services earned the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association for the school system’s first Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), and the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting Award for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2010, from the Association of School Business Officials. This year, the staff again earned the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting Award, for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2011.

2012 Parent Involvement Matters Award Winner

Recognition of Lauralyn Geiser, a Fruitland Primary School parent volunteer and a founding member of the advocacy group Parents in Action, for being Wicomico’s semi-finalist and a state finalist for the 2012 Parent Involvement Matters Award for the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). MSDE recognizes a parent from each local school system in Maryland as a semi-finalist for the Parent Involvement Matters Award, or PIMA, the only parent award program of its kind in the nation. PIMA recognizes parents and guardians for exceptional support of public education.

In addition to chairing the Parent Advisory Committee at Fruitland Primary, this honoree has served her child’s school as chair of the 2011 Scholastic Book Fair, PTA Treasurer, Instructional Leadership Team representative, and parent volunteer. The principal said she is a true example of a parent who has had a huge impact on public schools. Her interest in public education and its importance to the community extends far beyond her own family and school, however. Last fall, after learning about significant funding challenges facing Wicomico Schools, she became active in researching the issue and speaking out on the importance of preserving funding for education. She joined with three parents who had similar concerns and formed Parents in Action, an independent parent advocacy group whose goal is to bring people together to enhance the quality of life in Wicomico County.


Report - Woman Slaps Mayor Barrett for Conceding Too Early

Mayor Tom Barrett's concession speech, following his loss to Republican Governor Scott Walker, did not make one local Wisconsin woman happy with the Milwaukee Democrat. According to WISN 12 News, a woman "slapped" Mayor Barrett for conceding the Gubernatorial recall race too early:
12 News' Terry Sater just spoke to the mayor about the 'slap.' Barrett said the woman asked if she could slap him for conceding. He said he'd rather she hug him. So he leaned down.. and got the slap.
More including video HERE

New Indian River Inlet Bridge

The existing bridge that crosses the Indian River connecting Bethany Beach and Dewey Beach has suffered from tidal erosion, because exposure of the steel 'H' piles to salt water has caused problems and it has come to the end of its useful life.

The current three-span concrete deck bridge only has support piers in the water and no supporting towers; it is still in use while the new structure is being built, and receives annual bathymetric inspections, as well as constant monitoring by the University of Delaware (pier sensors and sonar monitoring). The bridge was initially planned to open in 2011, but due to some constructional defects the opening will now take place during 2012. The old bridge will eventually be dismantled.

The construction of the new bridge is expected to cost an estimated $150m, a figure which has gone $20m over the original estimate and has caused some controversy.

A problem with the construction of the ramps (to lead into the new bridge) in 2006 has led to a change in the ramp design. In the original design, the ramps were sinking more than required.

The new ramp design includes piers instead (piles sunk into soil). The fault was blamed on a geotechnical survey carried out prior to the ramp construction. To involve the public in the design of the new bridge DelDOT called for a public vote between 27 April and 11 May 2009 on the choice of lighting fixtures on the pedestrian walkways, the colour of the cable stays, and the design on top of the pylons.


Maryland's Largest Casino Opens for Business

Gamblers are converging on Maryland's largest casino.

Cars were slowly streaming into the Maryland Live! Casino Wednesday night shortly before its official opening at 10 p.m. It's located next to the Arundel Mills Mall in Hanover.

The Maryland State Highway Administration was advising drivers to expect a high volume of traffic along Maryland Route 100 and Route 295 through this weekend because of the opening.