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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Trayvon Martin's Parents: One Year Later

Hebron VFD Member Killed In Tanker Truck Crash

Police have identified the victim as 34-year-old David Mammi of Hebron, Maryland.
WEST MARLBOROUGH, PA — The Chester County Coroner’s Office was dispatched Tuesday afternoon after a fuel-tanker overturned in a single vehicle crash on Route 82 around 3 p.m., officials said.

A tanker truck carrying liquid petroleum overturned around 11:54 a.m. Tuesday on Route 82 just north of Covered Bridge Road, according to the Chester County Department of Emergency Services. The identity of the deceased person was not immediately known.

Authorities said the tanker, which jack-knifed and overturned just off the roadway, was the only vehicle involved in the crash. Members of the Chester County Accident Reconstruction Team were present investigating the cause of the crash.


President Obama On Maryland’s Better Choices

In case you missed it, this morning at the National Governors Association annual meeting, President Obama praised Maryland’s “smart choices” that have enabled us to nearly eliminate the $1.7 billion structural deficit we inherited in 2007 and preserve our AAA bond rating, while at the same time investing to keep college affordable and create the #1 schools in America for five years in a row.
We wanted to share three graphs related to the President’s remarks:

(1) Fiscal responsibility: Since 2007, we’ve cut state spending by approximately $8.3 billion — including $325 million in cuts this year. We’ve now cut state spending more than any other administration in modern Maryland history.



A sophomore at the University of North Carolina claims she’s facing disciplinary action by the school after speaking out about her alleged rapist, a fellow student on campus and her ex-boyfriend.

Landen Gambill was one of 64 students named in a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights filed by the former University of North Carolina assistant dean of students and four students claiming the university pressured officials into underreporting cases of sexual assault.

Now Gambill says that, in publicizing her story and speaking to the press, UNC claims she’s “intimidating” her rapist and violating the school’s honor code.



(PIKESVILLE, MD) – As cold weather continues, Maryland State Police are reminding drivers that an unoccupied vehicle with its engine running is an open invitation to car thieves who are prowling neighborhoods, convenience stores, and gas stations, looking for the easy steal.

Troopers across Maryland are continuing to educate drivers that leaving a vehicle running, or with the keys in it, are the quickest ways to have it stolen. Leaving a vehicle unoccupied with the engine running is also illegal. Most violators, fortunate enough to find their vehicle still there when they returned have been issued warnings, but could have found a state trooper waiting to issue a citation that carries a fine of $70 and one point. Maryland motor vehicle law states that before a person driving a motor vehicle may leave it unattended, he or she must stop the engine, lock the ignition, remove the key, and set the parking brake.

Although Maryland law enforcement and citizens working together have driven down vehicle thefts to record lows in recent years, there were still more than 16,000 vehicles stolen in Maryland 2011. That works out to a motor vehicle theft occurring every 33 minutes. More than 50 percent of the vehicles stolen were unlocked and more than 30 percent of the stolen vehicles had the keys inside them. Investigators estimate that as many as 4,000 of those vehicles stolen were actually running at the time they were stolen.

Car thieves are like anyone else. They love to find ways to make their job easier. State and local police know that as the cold weather persist, there will be more reports of vehicles stolen while they sat running in front of a house, a convenience store, or a gas station. Owners always report they were just ‘warming up’ their car, or they were only in the convenience store for a few seconds.

Police have scores of cases involving car thieves cruising neighborhoods early in the morning just looking for the telltale plume of exhaust from an unoccupied vehicle. Other thieves loiter around store parking lots watching for the driver who leaves his or her vehicle running just to keep it warm while they go inside. This especially concerns police when it involves parents who leave their children in cars with the engine running. Car thieves don’t always check to see who is in the back seat before stealing the vehicle.

Maryland state troopers at all 22 barracks will carry on specific initiatives to locate unoccupied vehicles with the engines running. They will focus on commercial areas and communities, depending on their areas of responsibility and the locations of their highest rates of vehicle thefts.

State Police are reminding drivers that the most important steps to vehicle theft prevention are easy – lock your car and take the key. Additional layers of protection can be added, such as using a mechanical anti-theft device, etching the vehicle identification number onto various locations of the automobile, and investing in a vehicle tracking security system.

'Buy a Shotgun!'

Shields Apologizes To Albero

It's been an interesting morning already. I've been to all three polling places by 7:30 AM. Shanie Shields was across the street from the Fire Station 16 putting signs in the ground and then she was off to her campaign office, (McDonald's) for her daily cup of coffee.

Debbie Campbell was the only candidate out and about waving to the public. 

While Shanie was out putting up signs I finally had the opportunity to confront her about her statement in the Daily Times a couple weeks ago calling me a racist. 

I explained to her how Mayor Ireton was stupid enough to try to get the NAACP to go against me for two articles I had put up in which the titles were somewhat racy, yet the Mayor didn't click on MORE to see who wrote each articles. I explained to Shanie how BOTH authors of the articles Ireton challenged me on are African American.

Shanie responded by saying her friends had called her and told her Joe Albero was attacking her on Salisbury News. I said, Shanie, Joe Albero may disagree with you at times but your never going to tell me that Joe Albero has EVER written anything racist about you. 

Shanie immediately agreed and offered me an apology for what she said in the Daily Times. I accepted her apology but went on to say I didn't like it and just because I disagree with you at times DOESN'T make me a racist. 

Shanie then changed the subject to Ms Gibson last night, stating she was wrong. I looked at her and said, you mean to tell me after all you said in the past about relocating the Downtown Station 16 to the west side of town so the African American citizens would be encouraged to join the Fire Department. She replied, "my people don't want to be Firefighters". I said, what about Lorenzo Cropper and what he was put through. Shanie replied, "who told you Lorenzo has a lawsuit against the City". Completely shocked I said, I never said anything about Mr. Cropper and any lawsuit. Seems to me Shanie just let the cat out of the bag.

Last nights dog and pony show with the Firefighters once again proves that even though they know one of their own who allegedly got pushed out of the Fire Department and has now filed suit against the City and perhaps even Mr. Hoppes, (I don't know this to be a fact) shows Ms Gibson may have been right on track. The fact is, out of that entire room full of Firefighters in City Uniform, there was not a single black, brown or female face. NOT ONE. 

IF there is a discrimination lawsuit against the City and it is proven that Mr. Hoppes had anything to do with this discrimination, Hoppes, (IMHO) is not the man for the job.

Shanie Shields immediately showed her support towards the City and no support to Lorenzo, who is a cousin of her first husband. 

I am glad Shanie apologized for her statement to the Daily Times about me. 

Election Coverage

We will be updating this post throughout the night as information becomes available.

  • There will be around 140 votes cast in District 1 and over 700 in District 2

     District 1 Final Results 
    Shanie Shields 55 votes 
    Cynthia Polk 40 votes 
    April Jackson 39 votes 
    District 2 Final Results
    Jacob Day 803 votes
    Debbie Campbell 271
    Jack Heath 197 


A new report by the Government Accountability Institute has discovered that, according to the California Film Commission, Ben Affleck and George Clooney’s Oscar-winning film, Argo, received $6.21 million in California transferrable film tax credits.

Last October, Affleck, a committed and vocal Democrat, told Bill O’Reilly that President Barack Obama’s “major policy goal of changing the tax structure so that the wealthy pay their fair share, to me, is of towering importance.” Argo’s producer, Clooney, has also been a strong Obama supporter, hosting a fundraiser for the president at his Los Angeles home and another in Geneva.

Forty states offer film subsidies totaling $1.51 billion. Film tax credits may be used to defray income and sales taxes incurred during a film or TV production. Some states allow leftover tax credits to be converted into cash that filmmakers can keep—paid for by taxpayers.


Convicted Sex Offender Removed GPS Ankle Bracelet

Convicted sex offender removed GPS ankle bracelet and 'molested two teen sisters' and THOUSANDS more are doing the same
Supreme Court declared California prison overcrowding unconstitutional
in 2011

Convicted sex offenders 'no longer fear being sent to state prison'
3,400 arrest warrants, many for known sex offenders, issued in past
18 months
A convicted sex offender has been arrested for allegedly molesting two sisters, aged 13 and 15, after breaking into their home and threatening them. 
Rithy Mam, 33, who was previously found guilty of child stalking, had removed his GPS ankle monitor in September before entering the girls' home in Stockton, California. He was later arrested in a public park and is now in custody on felony child molestation charges. 
Mam committed the crime after being arrested three times in two months last year on similar accusations. However, he was later released because California's legislation on parolees has been relaxed due to overcrowding in prisons.


The United States federal government has approved the export of tear gas to the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled government of Egypt, the State Department stated Monday.

A reporter asked Deputy Spokesman Patrick Ventrell about the sale of tear gas canisters from a U.S. manufacturer at a midday press conference, and Ventrell confirmed the State Department had authorized the deal in question.

"I can tell you that we have approved an export license for the shipment of U.S.-manufactured nonlethal riot control agents to the Egyptian Government," he responded, with the caveat that "we strongly support the right of all Egyptians to assemble, to peacefully protest, and violence has no place in a free and democratic Egypt."


DelDOT Begins $2.4-Million Streetscape Project In Bethany Beach

Project to improve safety along Garfield Parkway

Bethany Beach
-- The Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) has begun a $2.4-million streetscape improvement project on Garfield Parkway in Bethany Beach.

The project covers a two and a half block stretch of Garfield Parkway that extends from the boardwalk past Pennsylvania Avenue and Atlantic Avenue to State Route 1. A DelDOT contractor is widening sidewalks, adding pedestrian crossings, upgrading curb ramps, installing lighting, landscaping, and improving signage for bicycle lanes.

"We're very pleased to be able to improve safety for this heavily traveled area in the Bethany Beach area. Our streetscape improvements will help reduce the risk of traffic accidents involving pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists who use this roadway," said Delaware Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt.


While gun rights supporters might like to think the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is an absolute guarantee against government interference, according to at least one (relatively conservative) appeals court, they are severely mistaken. In fact, according to that same court, when it comes to carrying concealed weapons, the Second Amendment is basically irrelevant.

Last Friday, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals handed down its decision in the case of Peterson v. Martinez, a case involving the question of whether a state has an obligation to provide a concealed carry license to anyone who has been granted such a license in another state. Their answer was, to put it mildly, “no.”

In fact, the court adopted a fairly novel approach in explaining why the right to keep and bear arms didn’t apply in this case: Rather than rely solely on precedent that restricted gun rights, they built most of their analysis on language from cases that expanded gun rights, but still made clear that there were limits, of which concealed carry was certainly one. As’s Larry Bodine put it, “To bullet-proof the ruling against an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, the 10th Circuit recounted numerous court rulings and state laws dating back to 1813, and based its ruling on prior U.S. Supreme Court cases.”


Citi's Government-Job Bonus For Jack Lew

It's not uncommon for a U.S. Treasury Secretary to have served on Wall Street, but what's interesting about this next one is that his bank gave him a pretty significant financial incentive to do so.
The Senate Finance Committee will vote Tuesday on President Obama's nomination of White House Chief of Staff and former Citi executive Jack Lew for the top job at the U.S. Treasury.

Lew left Citi in 2009 to become the Deputy Secretary of State.

At Lew's recent confirmation hearing for Treasury Secretary, an interesting detail about his employment contract with Citi emerged: a bonus meant to keep him at Citi – meaning he wouldn't get it if he quit – would still be granted on the condition that he left the bank for a "high level" position in the federal government.


Art Bouvier, the owner of a New Orleans-inspired restaurant located in Indianapolis saw a young man trudging through the early morning snow and ice last week. The teen stopped to ask Bouvier — who owns Papa Roux Po Boys and Cajun Food– how much further it might be to his final destination and was told it was six to seven miles.

“He thanked me and continued on,” Bouvier, who also goes by Papa, wrote of the encounter in a now viral Facebook post. “He could have asked me for money for a bus. In fact I quite expected him to. He didn’t. He just started walking.”

To a local news station, Fox 59, Bouvier added that the teen later said he wouldn’t have money for a bus ride until he got a job.

BREAKING NEWS: Senate Confirms Hagel For Defense Secretary

Senate confirms Chuck Hagel as next Defense secretary in 58-41 vote, ending historic nomination battle. 

Delaware Issues Important Consumer Alert About Corporate Records Service Scam

The Delaware Secretary of State’s Office and the Delaware Division of Corporations recently learned of a deceptive solicitation that has been mailed to numerous Delaware corporations from a company named Corporate Records Service. These solicitations urge corporations to file information and send payment in the amount of $125.00 by a certain date in order to complete corporate meeting minutes on behalf of the corporation.

These solicitations appear to be purposefully timed to coincide with the March 1 due date for annual corporation franchise tax reports. The solicitations include statutory citations regarding corporate records and annual meetings and are designed to look official. However, Delaware corporations are not required to file corporate minutes with the Secretary of State’s office or the Division of Corporations and consumers should independently evaluate their need for such a service before paying any vendor to provide such a service. We want to alert all entities of this deceptive solicitation to prevent entities from completing the form and sending funds or forms to Corporate Records Service for a service that is not required by Delaware law.


Liberty Preservation Bill Seeks To Limit Reach Of Federal Detainment Law

The Maryland Liberty Preservation Act of 2013, which prohibits state officers from detaining an American indefinitely and without due process, got the support of Marylanders opposed to action recently legalized in the National Defense Authorization Act.

“Regardless of political ideology, regardless of what side of the political spectrum you occupy, every person has the right to due process of law and the presentation of evidence,” said Harford County resident Scott DeLong in his testimony at the House Health and Government Operations Committee Thursday.

DeLong was one among many individuals who attended the hearing in order to express their opposition to the Defense Authorization Act and support state resistance the controversial federal bill.


Make Your Prediction

Which candidates will win District 1

Which candidates will win District 2

Don't Blink, Or You'll Miss Another Bailout

Many people became rightfully upset about bailouts given to big banks during the mortgage crisis. But it turns out that they are still going on, if more quietly, through the back door.

The existence of one such secret deal, struck in July between the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Bank of America, came to light just last week in court filings.

That the New York Fed would shower favors on a big financial institution may not surprise. It has long shielded large banks from assertive regulation and increased capital requirements.

Still, last week’s details of the undisclosed settlement between the New York Fed and Bank of America are remarkable. Not only do the filings show the New York Fed helping to thwart another institution’s fraud case against the bank, they also reveal that the New York Fed agreed to give away what may be billions of dollars in potential legal claims.


Obama Releases Jailed Immigrants Ahead of Budget Cuts

The Associated Press has learned that federal immigration authorities have released a number of detainees around the country to save money.

Gillian Christensen, spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Washington D.C., said Monday that field offices have been directed to review their numbers of detained immigrants to ensure the jail populations stay within budgeted resources.

Christensen says an unspecified number of immigrants have been released and placed on more cost effective forms of supervision.


California Teachers Divest Pension Fund From Assault Weapons

After Sandy Hook, a bold collective move to take the union's money out of guns.

Immediately after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December, managers for the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) began divesting from companies that make and sell assault weapons.

CalSTRS, the retirement system for more than 800,000 California teachers, is the nation’s second-largest public pension fund. It has about $750 million invested with the private equity company Cerberus Capital Management. Cerberus owns the Freedom Group, which makes the Bushmaster M4A3 semi-automatic rifle used at Sandy Hook. When media reports began drawing attention to the origins of that weapon, investment staff at CalSTRS decided the fund could not support the Freedom Group.


Virginia Shows Maryland How Transportation Funding Can Be Done

WHY CAN VIRGINIA, a state evenly divided between the parties, enact a landmark transportation funding deal while Maryland, a one-party state, remains paralyzed? In a word: leadership.

Two years ago, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) appointed a commission to find a fix for a transportation funding system heading toward insolvency. The commission recommended taxes and fees that would yield $870 million in annual revenue — an amount regarded as a bare minimum to maintain existing infrastructure and to build new roads and rail projects.

Its report was presented to Mr. O’Malley and lawmakers in Annapolis — and that was basically that. While the governor offered a transportation proposal last year, he dropped it in the face of resistance from legislators allergic to gasoline-tax increases. 


Exactly Why Is President Obama Going To Israel?

Both Israel and the United States seek to quash expectations that the visit will jump-start the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he and U.S. President Barak Obama have agreed that when the U.S. President visits Israel they would discuss “three main issues ... Iran's attempt to arm itself with nuclear weapons, the unstable situation in Syria ... and the efforts to advance the diplomatic process of peace between the Palestinians and us," that’s not exactly what others are saying in either Washington or Tel Aviv.

As soon was announced that the President would be visiting the Middle East, supporters of the policies of the Netanyahu government went into overdrive in an effort to throw cold water on any idea that the diplomatic mission could achieve any breakthrough in the Israeli-Palestinian “peace process.”


Smoking Banned From Baltimore Sports Complexes

Maryland Stadium Authority officials say they will prohibit smoking at the Camden Yards Sports Complex and M & T Bank Stadium.

Officials announced the new policy on Monday. The policy will also make it illegal to smoke any tobacco product within 25 feet of any entry.

A spokesman for the authority says the rule will take effect March 4 and will apply to all games and events held within Oriole Park at Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium.


Help Decide Salisbury's Future - VOTE TODAY!

Today is the primary election for the District 1 and District 2 Salisbury City Council seats currently held by Shanie Shields and Debbie Campbell.  Your vote today can help determine the future of Salisbury.

DISTRICT 1 - Cynthia Polk

Four years ago Cynthia Polk lost to incumbent Shanie Shields by one vote.  We can only imagine the difference in Salisbury if Polk, a local entrepreneur, had been the winner rather than SAPOA's chosen candidate.  Voters in District 1 now have a chance to fix that error.

The District 1 race has been low key, with little media attention.  Neither candidate has been receiving much attention outside of the district, which is a shame.  Neither candidate is taking a public stance on issues which is greatly different from their opponents'.  This makes an informed decision more difficult and reduces this race to one based more on personalities than on issues.

We believe that Polk would be the best choice for District 1, and for Salisbury.  With jobs and economic revitalization the apparent top issues in this year's election, it makes sense that people should vote for a small business person.  The third candidate, April Jackson, appears to be running on the strength of her family name and the support of the local Rudy Cane machine.  Cane's endorsement implies that Jackson would take the same high tax, big government approach to city government that her supporter takes to state government.  Salisbury needs innovative solutions to solve its problems, not simply a higher tax bill.

Shields certainly doesn't deserve a second term.  While the official line of the Daily Times and the city's special interests is that the current council majority is the disruptive factor in city politics, anyone who bothers to attend legislative or work sessions of the council knows that it is Shields and her ally, Laura Mitchell, who have stymied progress.  Shields has even gone so far as to advocate riots in the streets when she and her allies did not get their way over "The Bricks" project.  Salisbury, and the people of District 1, deserve better.

DISTRICT 2 - Debbie Campbell

For eight years the groups which have historically controlled Salisbury government have attacked Debbie Campbell, usually through the pages of the Daily Times.  For eight years Campbell has quietly went about the business of trying to make Salisbury a better place to live and work.  Unfortunately for Salisbury, Campbell has only been able to accomplish much during the last two years.  This was due to the election of Tim Spies and the formation of a working council majority that refused to simply show up and rubber stamp the proposals of the mayor.

We haven't agreed with Campbell on every issue.  We don't need to.  The fact that she will listen to a reasoned argument, and place the best interests of her constituents ahead of a handful of developers and landlords speaks volumes.

While incumbent mayor Jim Ireton likes to label Campbell and the council majority "The Party of No", almost every accomplishment Ireton claims in his quest for a second term is a direct result of the hard work of Campbell, councilwoman Terry Cohen, and Spies:
  • Campbell, et al, prevented Ireton's proposed property tax hike without cutting city services.
  • Campbell's work on the Crime Task Force, along with Cohen's bringing forward the Safe Streets initiative were the catalyst to a reduction in Part I crime.
  • Campbell saved taxpayers over $1 million in the last year alone by cutting wasteful or unnecessary spending.
IF the "Dream Team" council had paid any attention to Campbell's questions, it is likely that Salisbury would not be having to pay TWICE for the failed waste water treatment plant.

There is no evidence that either of Campbell's opponents would be the type of council member that can move Salisbury forward.  Jack Heath is a nice guy, who has refused to take a solid stance on any issue of consequence.  He's basically running to be a "rubber stamp" councilman.  The mess of high crime and massive debt left by the Mike Dunn, Gary Comegys, Lynn Cathcart "Dream Team" should turn off any concerned Salisbury voter.

We understand the appeal of Jake Day, particularly to any voter that gets his or her information from within the pages of the DT.  Day has something to appeal to everybody.  Why not, he has taken multiple stances on every major issue to date.

Salisbury deserves the hard work and honesty of Campbell.

Warning: Do Not Store Your Glock And Ammo In The Oven

Sure, the oven seems like an ideal place to stash your handgun: it’s out of sight, but easily accessible in an emergency, and it’s not the first place an intruder would think to look for guns. Unfortunately, there’s a reason why this isn’t a common practice. Ovens get hot. That’s how a Florida woman got shot by the oven while making some waffles at a friend’s house.
The gun itself was stored in what I call “the cookie sheet drawer” that’s part of the oven, but the owner stashed the magazine in the oven itself. When his visitor preheated it to make waffles, one of the bullets exploded, flinging shell casings into her skin. her injuries were not serious.

A Letter To The Editor 2-26-13


At last night’s meeting an obviously organized group demanded that the City Council members explain why they have not approved Mr. Ireton’s request to make Rick Hoppes the permanent Fire Chief. As Terry Cohen calmly pointed out under Maryland law they cannot address that matter at a public meeting without his consent. I have my suspicion about who incited the group to attend and pose their question – what’s your guess about the man behind the curtain.
And, speaking of explaining, Mr. Hoppes may have some to do. 

Many among that group at the meeting were Salisbury fire personnel who used fire equipment to get there. In my days in the armed forces, such misuse of equipment and absence from one’s post would be court-martial offences unless authorized by the C.O. And if such conduct was authorized by Mr. Hoppes or done with his knowledge, then he might be subject to disciplinary action initiated by his superior – in this case, Mr. Ireton.


We have previously reported about Mr. Ireton’s order that bars city employees from speaking with the media unless he has given prior authorization. Last night that prevented a news reporter from the mainstream media from speaking with the City’s acting Fire Chief according to a report on WBOC.

Small Business Administration Isn't Worried About Sequestration

One federal executive says her agency will do just fine, even it there is sequestration. Karen Mills, head of the Small Business Administration, said she won't need to order furloughs because enough people have retired early. Mills said sequestration will have little effect on the number of loans the agency guarantees. The White House has warned that Section 504 loans would be cut by $900 million. But Mills said demand for the loans has already dropped by that much. Mills has announced her departure once a replacement administrator is confirmed.

Michelle Obama’s Oscar Presentation Raises Questions About The Role Of A First Lady

Is this what Michelle Obama looks like untethered to the pressure of a campaign? Is she free to follow her whims without worries about political backlash?

The first lady became the buzz of the weekend when she beamed into the Academy Awards from the White House to present the award for best picture with Hollywood legend Jack Nicholson. Attendees and viewers were flabbergasted at the satellite image of the elegantly dressed Obama, flanked by young service members in full regalia, opening the envelope to name Ben Affleck’s “Argo” the winner.

“It just seem[ed] so natural because the whole thing is so unnatural,” Affleck told reporters after the show — right after he said he thought he was “hallucinating.” 


Selective Service Can Go

Some lawmakers say one small agency has outlived its usefulness. Reps. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) are betting that the military will remain a volunteer force. That means the Selective Service can go. The 130-person agency maintains a database of eligible men, just in case there's a military draft. Agency Director Lawrence Romo said it is an inexpensive insurance policy. The Pentagon's recent decision to let women serve in combat is raising questions about whether women would have to register with the agency too.

Rhetoric Over Sequestration

The White House spent the weekend upping the rhetoric level over sequestration. It released a state-by-state listing of potential impact. The $85 billion in cuts are scheduled for Friday unless Congress figures out an alternative plan. White House officials highlighted Ohio, the home state of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). The Buckeye state would lose $25 million in education spending and another $22 million for students with disabilities, according to White House figures.

WCSO Press Release 2-26-13


How Jack "Bailout Bonus" Lew Got To Treasury

As I and many others have pointed out for years, unless you are a crony Wall Street welfare queen you can pretty much forget about any high level position in the Obama Administration. Barack made that clear from day one when he decided to surround himself with two of the people at the core of the 2008 financial crisis, Larry Summers and Tim Geithner. The trend is simply continuing with the current nominee for Treasury Secretary: Jack “Bailout Bonus” Lew. The revolving door is institutionalized and at this point as reliable as a Swiss watch. From Bloomberg:
Jack Lew is the nominee for Treasury secretary whose own bonus as an investment banker was bailed out by the Treasury Department when it rescued Citigroup Inc. (C) in 2008. He owes much to America’s taxpayers. He should also be grateful to Citigroup for agreeing to let him rejoin the government without suffering much for it financially.
An intriguing revelation from Lew’s Senate confirmation hearing last week was that he stood to be paid handsomely by Citigroup if he left the company for a top U.S. government job, under his 2006 employment agreement with the bank. The wording of the pay provisions made it seem, at least to me, as if Citigroup might have agreed to pay Lew some sort of a bounty to seek out, and be appointed to, such a position.


Dog Found On Eastern Shore Drive

Eastern Shore Drive by Bob Hamils Barber Shop. Small Daschund / Chihua. Mini Pin.... ears stick up. 443-614-3727

BREAKING NEWS: Senate Committee Advances Lew Nomination

Senate Finance Committee endorses Jack Lew for Treasury secretary, sending nomination to the floor.

Councilwoman Laura Mitchell Rushed To Hospital With Chest Pains

Salisbury News learned that Laura Mitchell was rushed by ambulance to the Hospital with chest pains during yesterdays Airport Commission Meeting. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Laura and her Family. 

What Is Wrong With This Picture?

 USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), USS Enterprise (CVN 65), USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), and USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) are all in port at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., the world’s largest naval station.

What is wrong with this picture?
The picture is of the five nuclear carriors.
Just like Battleship Row, Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941.
This picture was taken the other day in Norfolk. The Obama Administration ordered 5 nuclear carriers into harbor for "routine" (?) inspections. Heads of the Navy were flabbergasted by the directive.
NORFOLK, VA. (February 8, 2013). The first time since WWII ...that five nuclear powered aircraft carriers were docked together.

Sources stated that this breached a long standing military protocol in the Navy meant to avoid massive enemy strike on major US forces. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Ryan J. Courtade/Released)


“The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted.” 

–Aldous Huxley – Brave New World Revisited

Ron Paul: "When They Came For The Raw Milk Drinkers."

While I oppose most gun control proposals, there is one group of Americans I do believe should be disarmed: federal agents. The use of force by federal agents to enforce unjust and unconstitutional laws is one of the major, albeit overlooked, threats to liberty. Too often Americans are victimized by government force simply for engaging in commercial transactions disproved of by Congress and the federal bureaucracy.

For example, the offices of Rawesome Foods in Venice, California, have been repeatedly raided by armed federal and state agents, and Rawesome’s founder, 65-year old James Stewart, has been imprisoned. What heinous crime justified this action? Rawesome sold unpasteurized (raw) milk and cheese to willing customers – in a state where raw milk is legal! You cannot even drink milk from a cow without a federal permit!

This is hardly the only case of federal agents using force against those who would dare meet consumer demand for raw milk. In 2011 armed agents of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raided the business of Pennsylvanian Amish farmer Dan Allgyer. Federal agents wasted a whole year and who knows how many millions of our tax dollars posing as customers in order to stop Allgyer from selling his raw milk to willing customers.

The use of force against individuals making choices not approved of by the political elite does not just stop with raw milk. The Natural News website has documented numerous accounts of federal persecution, including armed raids, of health food stores and alternative medical practitioners.

Federal bureaucrats are also using force to crack down on the makers of gold coins for fear that people may use these coins as an alternative to the Federal Reserve’s fiat currency. Bernard von NotHaus, the founder of Liberty Dollars, is currently awaiting sentencing on federal counterfeiting charges — even though Mr. von NotHaus took steps to ensure his coins where not used as “legal tender.”

Yet, the federal government was so concerned over the possibility that Mr. von NotHaus’s customers might use his coins in regular day-to-day commerce they actually labeled Mr. von NotHaus a “terrorist.”


O'Malley Meets With Obama on Sequester

Governor Martin O'Malley, along with a number of other governors from around the country, met with with President Obama at the White House to talk about the sequester.

The governors of Maryland and Virginia are asking Congress to avoid the huge, automatic federal budget cuts set to begin this week. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says cuts indeed are needed, but not with such a heavy burden placed on defense under the plan.

"Both of us govern states that sit in this corridor of science and security with lots of moms and dads that work at The Pentagon and the National Institutes of Health," said O'Malley. "We will probably take a bigger hit than others will."


What Overeating Does To Your Body

Wall Street is an easy place to pick up the habit of overeating.
Think about it: It's a place that embraces taking clients out to lavish dinners, working long days and sometimes splurging on meals to make up for those miserable hours.

And then there's the time honored tradition of the Wall Street eating contest.

Eating contests are the product of bankers — competitive by nature — having down time during their long days at the office. All of the sudden, someone decides to bet someone else that they can't eat the entire contents of a vending machine... or 60 hamburgers... or 500 Starbursts.

So you can see how bankers may start thinking it's okay to stuff themselves to the brim. It's not. Overeating can be addicting, and that addiction can make you depressed and spur disease.

13 Things That Are Better To Buy Used

It's no secret consumers have less cash to burn these days than ever before, but there are plenty of ways to save that don't require diving headfirst into a sales bin.For some products, there's just no point paying full-price when you can find the same quality in a second-hand or used product.

SPD Press Release 2-26-13

Field Notes

Observations and Reflections on Legislative ActivitiesBy Delegate Michael A. McDermott
Week 7 Feb.18-Feb. 22, 2013

Tuesday Meeting-Special Work Group on Gun Bill:

Today, we heard from many psychiatric professionals regarding their thoughts on addressing the mental health aspects of the governor’s gun bill. They shared many concerns regarding folks who may choose to forgo treatment if it has a direct impact on their right to possess a firearm. We also spoke about where effective lines could be drawn as to when a restriction should come into play. There was not a lot of give with these folks and I could hear some frustration with my colleagues on this unwillingness to address the concerns expressed about finding this measuring line.

Tuesday Judiciary Hearing:

HB-476 seeks to correct technical challenges to the legislation that was passed last year regarding bail bonds written for alien defendants. It would not hold bondsmen responsible for alien defendants who are deported by US authorities while under bond.

HB-489 would provide that a State’s Attorney or Asst. State’s Attorney should be covered by laws covering threats against public officials. This is a result of a recent homicide of an Asst. State’s Attorney on the western shore after she had received many threats from an individual.

HB-531 would create a new theft charge relating to mail which is taken from any location. This would provide state sanctions that replicate federal law.

HB-540 would require a foreign entity to honor a Search Warrant which is served on a person representing the entity in Maryland. This can often pose a problem for law enforcement to access court ordered records from larger corporations who do not hold their records or headquarters in Maryland.

HB-544 deals with transfers of Registered Sex Offenders and would make it a requirement for local law enforcement to be notified when a registrant moves into their area. It was argued that current provisions within existing law already provide for this type of notification.

HB-651 would create a specific charge for an inmate using a contraband cell phone while incarcerated. This bill has been modified each of the last two years and I believe it is very necessary given the current smuggling and use of cellular phones within our correctional facilities.

HB-652 addresses the identity of a minor being disclosed when they are acting as an informant for law enforcement. The shielding would remain until the trial begins.

HB-709 would expand the penalties for the crime of Accessory to Commit Murder: in 1st Degree cases to a 20-year maximum; and in 2nd Degree cases to a 10-year maximum. This bill attempts to address some recent problems associated with significant support provided by accomplices to homicides. Many of these are grievous situations that a 5-year sentence simply does not provide adequate punishment.

HB-713 would allow for the forfeiture of property utilized in human trafficking. Much like we confiscate and move for forfeiture in drug cases and other smuggling acts, we do not do so when it relates to human trafficking. We heard many speak passionately about the great need of the victims of this crime.

HB-719 would allow a person who makes a false statement regarding a destructive device (a bomb threat) to be prosecuted in the jurisdiction where the alleged device is to have been planted. Often it is difficult to know where a call was made or to prove jurisdiction during prosecution and this would simplify the matter considerably. There was no opposition.

HB-727 makes the crime of Theft over $100 and less than $1000 able to be charged via Criminal Citation. This charge was inadvertently taken out of last year’s Citation Bill and this bill simply restores this as a crime which can be charged with a citation. There was no opposition.

HB-737 seeks to create a separate charge for defacing property with graffiti instead of simply charging the individuals with Malicious Destruction of Property.

HB-1109 would require a comprehensive risk assessment be performed on defendants held under No Bond to determine if they truly represent a risk to the public if they are released. This would require quite a bit of personnel infrastructure in many areas of the state.

HB-1175 would require a member of the Chief’s Association of Prince Georges County to be appointed to the Maryland Police Training Commission. I believe we would see other metro counties seek similar representation if this is approved.

Wednesday Meeting-Special Work Group on Gun Bill:

Today we heard from the Baltimore County Chief of Police. He is an advocate for the governor’s gun bill. There was no new information exchanged. The chief believes reducing magazine capacity creates an opportunity for unarmed people to attack a shooter when he is forced to reload. I asked him that if he advocated an attack, why not allow the people to be armed in the first place so they could truly defend themselves. He rejected that notion out of hand. As a police officer, he made it clear that he never goes anywhere without being armed, but he does not see this as desirable for the law abiding public. He also believes that gun registration and fingerprinting would stop straw purchases of firearms. It is tough for liberals to give up on their policies even when they have limited success.

Wednesday Judiciary Hearing:

HB-629 seeks to provide some protections for bank customers when a garnishment is attempted against a joint account held by married couples. The bill would notify an individual of their entitled exemption of $3000 by the holders of the account.

HB-509 this would create a Maryland False Claims Act of 2013. This is designed to cover the Whistle Blowers who detect fraud being performed within business or government entities. It would establish in Maryland what already exists within the federal government. Currently we allow for this type of action within our Medicaid system and health care, and this would expand the law to cover all manner of fraud.

HB-599 would require employers to pay the wages of an employee to attend to the requirements of Jury Duty. This bill would have a significant impact on Maryland businesses by forcing them to pay for a traditional civic duty.

HB-732 seeks to include “unmarked” police vehicles under the statute governing Fleeing and Eluding from a Law Enforcement Officer. It was pointed out the changing nature of police vehicles over the years and the lights and sirens employed which further identify them as police vehicles. There was no opposition.

HB-765 would qualify the testimony of a Drug Recognition Expert and their opinion as acceptable as evidence in Maryland courts. It would accept the protocols which have been scientifically accepted.

HB-821 would allow certain disclosures of otherwise privileged communication between a psychiatrist and their patient. In particular where criminal activity is discussed or a threat is made directly against the psychiatrist and the disclosure is being utilized in court to prove a case. The psychologists testified of the need to protect their doctors from threats, but I found it interesting that they do not feel the same obligation for disclosing directly to police on other threats made during their treatment sessions.

HB-987 would create another level of crime for those convicted of multiple DWI’s or for operating with a blood alcohol level beyond a certain level and allow for punitive damages to be awarded to victims of these acts.

HB-1271 would create protections for the use of a name or likeness (usually someone with celebrity status) in the state. This is similar to copyright or trademark laws.

Thursday Morning Session:

HB-226, the governor’s offshore wind bill, was on 2nd Reader. A couple of amendments were offered to try and make the bill better. I offered one which would have required that suppliers purchase their green energy from the least expensive provider. This would greatly reduce the cost for energy being passed onto consumers. This was rejected by the democrats. Another amendment was offered by Del. McDonough which would have required that the production of the wind turbines would need to be performed in America. This was also rejected by the democrats. So a chance to give consumers a break and to make sure any jobs would actually be in the United States were summarily rejected.

Thursday Judiciary Hearings:

HB-442 seeks to codify current procedures already in place with Child Care Providers across the state.

HB-282 addresses the expungement of Juvenile Records. This would allow for greater expungement of juvenile records when certain criteria are met. Some actions would preclude someone from qualifying as would an established period of time which needed to elapse before a person would qualify.

HB-245 would require that a health practitioner report any infant that is deemed to be “substance exposed” if certain factors exist. Ironically, the bill only addresses a child that is outside of the womb. There was quite a bit of discussion concerning whether the bill could address pre-natal issues. It was clear from the testimony that the reporting requirement is not applicable under the proposed law unless the child is outside of the womb.

HB-264 would allow for the sharing of certain Juvenile Records to other states and their respective juvenile authorities. This bill has been refined since it was presented last year.

HB-539 would require the reporting of the death or disappearance of a minor.

HB-428 would require a college or university to disclose and report allegations of abuse. It is designed to prevent something like what occurred in Pennsylvania (the Sandusky case) where reporting requirements were unclear as to sexual assaults committed by faculty and staff members.

HB-588 would allow the Baltimore City Health Department to access certain criminal records for juveniles involved in specified activities and criminal activity. The bill is a continuation of a current practice that sunset in September of 2012.

HB-876 would create a civil penalty for failing to report acts of Child Abuse and mandate reporting by certain individuals. It would also create a task for to look at other options going forward. The fines levied would be used to further prevention and detection of child abuse.

Friday Morning Session:

We had a special Joint Session recognition service to honor the 100th anniversary of the Woman’s Suffrage March which began the legislative movement to give women the right to vote. We began with only the men occupying the Chamber (there are 86) and the women members came in together. It was a good history lesson for everyone.

Voting on Third Reader Bills:

The only debated bill was the governor’s Offshore Wind Bill, HB-226. I have written more extensively on the many problems with this legislation. I believe the bill is a true boondoggle and I highlighted the issues before the assembly. Sadly, this bill is a “leadership vote” and most of the democrat’s line up and vote for these with little thought. Such was the case today as well…a bad day for consumers.

HB 1

Third Reading Passed (132-0)

HB 70

Third Reading Passed (135-0)

HB 99

Third Reading Passed (135-0)

HB 103

Third Reading Passed (131-4)

HB 206

Third Reading Passed (133-0)

HB 226

Third Reading Passed (86-48)

HB 262

Third Reading Passed (133-2)

HB 312

Third Reading Passed (134-0)

HB 346

Third Reading Passed (135-0)

HB 359

Third Reading Passed (133-0)

HB 425

Third Reading Passed (134-0)

HB 494

Third Reading Passed (134-0)

Friday Voting Session of Judiciary Committee:

Bills which were voted “favorable” by the Committee which will move to 2nd Reader

HB-83-Adds to the number of judge positions across the state.

HB-153-Addresses Public Defender representation at certain Bail Hearings

HB-197-Adds 5 points to a person’s Driver’s License if convicted of Illegal Dumping

HB-244-Grants subpoena power to certain individuals within Dept. of Corrections Adm.

HB-254-Allows Allegany County Jail to hold prisoners pending Initial Appearance.

HB-309-Allows for discovery proceedings to aid enforcement in monetary settlements.

Senate Action-Gun Bill

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee passed SB-281, the governor’s gun bill, out of committee with amendments. It will be introduced to the full Senate on Monday and the debate will begin on Tuesday.

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