Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I Can't Encourage You Enough To Watch This Video

Gabrielle Giffords’ Husband Pulls Daughter’s Dog Off Sea Lion In Laguna Beach

LAGUNA BEACH (CBSLA.com) — Gabrielle Giffords’ husband pulled his daughter’s dog off of a sea lion in Laguna Beach over the weekend.

The incident, which was captured on video, happened around 1:40 p.m. Saturday at Goff Cove Beach by the Montage Laguna Beach.

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly’s 18-year-old daughter, who was on vacation with her father and Giffords, was walking the American bulldog on a leash when the 65-pound dog saw the sea lion, ran off and attacked.

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PICTURE OF 'MARTIAL LAW' ALARMS FORENSIC PROFILER

Comments described as 'potential major warning' of Obama's intent
A forensic profiler who worked on the disappearance of Natalie Holloway and the double-murder case against O.J. Simpson says he is becoming alarmed by some of the references President Obama is using.

Andrew G. Hodges, M.D., who wrote “The Obama Confession: Secret Fear, Secret Fury,” previously said Obama’s statement “I am not a dictator” actually meant, “I am the dictator president.”
Hodges also concluded Obama unconsciously confessed to stealing the 2012 election.

On Hodges’ website, Steven A. Egger, associate professor of criminology at the University of Houston, Clear Lake, has written that Hodges’ technique is “becoming the cutting edge of forensic science.”

“Dr. Hodges’ investigation of forensic documents in the Natalee Holloway case indicates that his ‘thoughtprint decoding method’ and ‘reading between the lines’ is, in fact, becoming a major contribution to law enforcement tools used by criminal investigators,” wrote Egger.

Ocean City, Dew Tour Outline June Event Expectations

OCEAN CITY – The town of Ocean City is starting to feel the heat as this summer approaches with a crammed schedule of events.

Last week several private event requests were scheduled under the Mayor and City Council’s legislative consent agenda when most of them were removed to discuss in further detail.

Up first, Chris Prybylo of Alli Sports requested approval of the 2013 Dew Tour. The Dew Tour’s stop in Ocean City this summer is June 20-23 when professional BMX, skateboarders and surfers will compete for a title. The event takes place downtown on the beach between the Inlet and North Division Street.

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POWERFUL IMPACT OF PRE-KINDERGARTEN

Westover, Maryland- March 25, 2013- The Somerset County Public Schools Early Learning Advisory Council stresses the importance of how important pre-kindergarten attendance is in the academic lives of the students. This is being emphasized because registration for pre-kindergarten is scheduled from April 2 to and including April 5 for the 2013-2014 school year.

Pre-Kindergarten Every Day!

Children who will be four (4) by September 1, 2013, are eligible to participate in pre-kindergarten (pre-k). Registration for the upcoming school year is taking place April 2nd – April 5th from 9 am – 3 pm at Woodson Elementary, Deal Island Elementary, Ewell Elementary, Greenwood Elementary, and Princess Anne Elementary schools.

During the recent State of the Union address, U.S. President Barack Obama endorsed universal pre-kindergarten. The President said, “Study after study shows that the earlier a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road.” Other benefits of pre-k include:

Increasing graduation rates – children who attend pre-k have higher high school graduation rates than those who wait to enter school

Reducing the need for grade repetition – children who attend pre-k are less likely to repeat a grade

Improving standardized test scores – children who attend pre-k consistently perform better on standardized tests throughout their education

Lastly, pre-k is fun – children who attend pre-k are learning to interact with other children and adults, forming friendships, and learning new things every day!

Based on what we now know about children’s brain development during these crucial years, pre-kindergarten has become just as necessary as kindergarten or first grade. Experts believe that all children need the benefits of a high-quality pre-kindergarten education in order to succeed. In many states, today’s kindergarten is yesterday’s first grade. With more “academics” being presented in kindergarten, children must learn the pre-academic foundations for formal reading before they enter kindergarten. In pre-kindergarten children become familiar with books, new words and ways to use language, numbers, and problem-solving strategies. They also learn the social skills they need to get the most out of school -- how to pay attention in class and interact with peers.

Please contact Tracie Holland, Somerset County Public Schools if you have any questions about the registration process at (410) 621-6243.

NYC’s Michael Bloomberg Accused Of ‘Hypocrisy’ For Arming Security Detail In Gun-Free Bermuda

Bloggers are taking New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to task, accusing him of hypocrisy for pushing strict gun control onto Americans but simultaneously seeking gun-carry exemptions for his security detail when he travels to Bermuda, where firearms are largely prohibited.

The New York Times first reported of this disparity in 2010, stating that the mayor uses taxpayer dollars to pay for two armed city officers to accompany him on get-away jaunts to Bermuda. But before he can fly them in, he has to obtain special permission so they can keep their guns: Bermuda is so anti-gun that even its own police force isn’t armed, The Times reported then.

As Mr. Bloomberg ratchets up his Second Amendment clampdown, and spends millions of his own dollars to push for stronger gun controls through Capitol Hill, the online community is reigniting this story. 

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Incredible Articles To Follow Throughout The Day


Rep. Andy Harris and Sheriff Mike Lewis Host Town Hall Meeting on Gun Rights






The articles above were published early this morning. Rather than keeping them up top all day I chose to keep this Post with links to the articles up top instead so you can get to each article easily. 

While I have your attention, I'd like to thank ALL of you for a record day yesterday. Today has already proven we are already on track to beating yesterday's numbers. 

Obamavote: Healthcare Application Registers Voters, Too

The 61-page online Obamacare draft application for health care includes asking if the applicant wants to register to vote, raising the specter that pro-Obama groups being tapped to help Americans sign up for the program will also steer them to register with the Democratic Party.

On page 59, after numerous questions about the applicant's identity and qualification for Obamacare, comes the question: "Would you like to register to vote?" The placement of the question could lead some to believe they have to register to vote to get health care.

In the introduction of the document, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services declare: "This document-the 'questionnaire'-represents each possible item that may need to be asked for successful eligibility determinations."

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Autistic Girl's 'Broken Cheeseburger' Story Goes Viral

A local Chili's restaurant in Midvale, Utah, might have made the grave mistake of "breaking" one little girl's cheeseburger by cutting it in half, but the waitress, manager and line cooks more than made up for it Sunday when they presented her with a brand new "fixed" one.

Seven-year-old Arianna Hill is autistic and she loves cheeseburgers. But apparently, ones that are cut in half just won't do.

"We just decided we were going to get some lunch before we were taking her to see the Easter bunny," Arianna's older sister, Anna MacLean, 25, told ABCNews.com. "She usually does OK in restaurants. It seemed to be going pretty well. She wasn't too overstimulated. She was really enthusiastic before we were even able to put our drinks orders in. She told the waitress, 'I'll have my cheeseburger.'"

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The Irish Millionaire

Mick, from Dublin, appeared on 'Who Wants To Be A Millionaire' and towards the end of the program had already won 500,000 euros.

"You've done very well so far," said Chris Tarrant, the show's presenter, "but for a million euros you've only got one life-line left, phone a friend. Everything is riding on this question. Will you go for it?"

"Sure," said Mick. "I'll have a go!"

"Which of the following birds does NOT build its own nest?


a)  Sparrow
cid:2.2381218381@web181703.mail.ne1.yahoo.com


b)  Thrush,
cid:3.2381218381@web181703.mail.ne1.yahoo.com


c)  Magpie,
cid:4.2381218381@web181703.mail.ne1.yahoo.com 


d)  Cuckoo?"
cid:5.2381218381@web181703.mail.ne1.yahoo.com
 
"I haven't got a clue." said Mick,

''So I'll use my last lifeline and phone my friend Paddy back home in Dublin ...."

cid:6.2381218381@web181703.mail.ne1.yahoo.com 
Mick called up his mate, and told him the circumstances and repeated the question to him.

"Bloody hell, Mick!" cried Paddy. "Dat's simple. It's a cuckoo!"
"Are you sure?"
"I'm bloody well sure."

Mick hung up the phone and told Chris, "I'll go with cuckoo as my answer."

"Is that your final answer?" asked Chris.

"Dat it is."

There was a long pause and then the presenter screamed, "Cuckoo is the correct answer! Mick, you've won 1 million euros!"

The next night, Mick invited Paddy to their local pub to buy him a drink.

"Tell me, Paddy? How in Heaven's name did you know it was da Cuckoo that doesn't build its own nest?"
"Because he lives in a clock"!

DENIED: GUN STORE OWNER REFUSES TO HAND AR-15 OVER TO MARK KELLY

Diamondback Police Supply owner Douglas MacKinlay has halted Mark Kelly's attempted purchase of an AR-15 over concerns that Kelly was not in fact buying the gun for himself, and therefore could not have passed question 11a of the NICS background check form 4473.

You'll recall Kelly's AR-15 had been on hold for 20 days because it was trade-in firearm, and during those 20 days Kelly has not been shy about the fact that his plan was to buy the gun and give it to someone else all along.

Gun store owner Doug MacKinlay has now released this statement:

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Delaware Senate Amends Death Penalty Repeal Bill

DOVER, Del. (AP) - A bill repealing Delaware's death penalty has been revised to remove a provision that would spare the lives of 17 killers already on death row.

Senators overwhelmingly approved an amendment striking the provision just before beginning debate Tuesday on the bill itself.

Supporters of the bill argue that the death penalty is morally wrong, racially discriminatory, ineffective as a deterrent to violent crime and far more costly than putting killers in prison for life. They also point to cases in other states where condemned killers have later been exonerated.

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2013 OUTSTANDING PUBLIC HEALTH LEADER FOR WICOMICO COUNTY TO BE HONORED

WHO: 2013 Wicomico County Outstanding Public Health Leader

WHAT:
National Public Health Week will be observed the week of April 1 to April 7, 2013. To celebrate this observance the Wicomico County Health Dept. will host the 17th Annual Awards Ceremony to honor this year’s Outstanding Public Health Leader. This award will be presented to a community individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the public health of the citizens of Wicomico County. Previous winners will also be acknowledged at the ceremony. 

WHEN:
Monday, April 1, 2013 3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

WHERE:
Salisbury University
Guerreri Center Worcester Room
1101 Camden Avenue, Salisbury, MD

WHY:
To honor the Outstanding Public Health Leader for Wicomico County and to provide the public with health information.

To declare Public Health Week in the City of Salisbury and in Wicomico County.

SNAKE ROBOT TAUGHT ‘TERRIFYING’ STRANGLE TRICK

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have been working on a robotic snake that could be used for rescue or scouting purposes and other similar applications, but it has demonstrated a new feature that has some slightly concerned.

A video released by the university earlier this week shows how the robot will snap on and cling to whatever it touches when thrown. As GeekOSystem melodramatically put it, this “terrifying” demonstration shows how it “automatically [constricts] around whatever it comes in contact with — a tree branch, say, or your neck [...].”

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Congressman Harris Applauds President Obama’s Designation Of Harriet Tubman Monument

WASHINGTON, D.C.–Congressman Andy Harris, M.D. announced his support for President Obama’s designation of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument on the Eastern Shore. In February, Congressman Harris introduced legislation to establish the Harriet Tubman Railroad National Historical Park in Caroline, Dorchester, and Talbot Counties. He introduced identical legislation in the previous Congress.

Congressman Harris recognizes the importance of Harriet Tubman not only to our nation’s history, but the history of her native Maryland. Tubman was a key figure in the Underground Railroad and the effort to undermine slavery throughout the United States, as well as an active member of the women’s suffrage movement.

“I applaud the recognition of Harriet Tubman’s contribution to our nation’s history. Her relentless fight for equality and justice is a testament to her courage and resolve to improve the American way of life. Harriet Tubman is a role model for all Americans and someone who deserves to be honored.”

Brooke Mulford Update

The past couple weeks have been pretty eventful. Friday 3/15 we were packing for our spring break trip to Myrtle Beach but unfortunately wound up in the PRMC ER instead of leaving for our trip. Brooke had been throwing up with diarrhea all day/night on that Thurs and Fri morning spiked a fever. She was also dehydrated at this point. She was admitted and we wound up not being discharged until Tues night. She continued to spike fevers daily and in the early hours Tues even needed a platelet transfusion. So needless to say we had to cancel our vacation. I have to say though that while we would have much rather been in Myrtle Beach than in the hospital those 5 days, the entire staff at PRMC was wonderful and Brooke could not have received better care. Thank you so much to everyone who took part in her care and those that came by to check on us. We are so fortunate to have such a great hospital so close by! Brooke was feeling so good on our days at home Wed and Thurs so we decided to take a mini vacation and go to Annapolis for the weekend to visit friends. We had a fabulous time and can’t wait to go back!

Today we are back at CHOP in the oncology clinic waiting to have her IV put in and labs drawn and then we will head to Nuclear Medicine for her MIBG injection.Tomorrow we will be back in here for her MIBG scan and Spect Scan and then back to the oncology clinic for the results and possibly to start the next cycle of this clinical trial (depending on labs and the scan results). Please pray that the tumor on her spine is shrinking or even better gone and that there are no new areas of disease.

HARRY REID IS ABOUT TO GET A LETTER FROM SENS. RAND PAUL, TED CRUZ AND MIKE LEE — AND HE’S NOT GOING TO LIKE IT

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid should expect a letter from Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) on Tuesday. In it, the three Republican senators warn Reid that they will oppose a motion to proceed any gun control legislation.

“We will oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions,” the signed letter reads, according to a copy obtained by Politico.

While the GOP lawmakers don’t specifically mention the word “filibuster,” there aren’t really an array of options when opposing a “motion to proceed.” In other words, the filibuster threat is pretty clear.

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Judge Sides with Wyoming in Fracking Chemical Suit

(CHEYENNE, Wyo.) — A judge in Casper has sided with the state of Wyoming and ruled against environmentalists who sought to make public the lists of ingredients that go into hydraulic fracturing fluids.

Environmental groups had requested the ingredient lists from the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, arguing that the public needs to know what chemicals companies are putting underground.

Natrona County District Judge Catherine Wilking has ruled that Wyoming’s state oil and gas supervisor was correct to withhold the ingredient lists as protected trade secrets.


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Union Service Fees For All Teachers Would Have To Be Negotiated

Service fees for representation by teachers unions in over half of Maryland’s counties would have to be negotiated under a bill that passed the House of Delegates last week and has a Senate hearing Tuesday. The fees would have to be paid by non-union members for bargaining and other services provided by the unions.

Similar service fees are authorized at the state’s public four-year colleges and universities by bills that have passed in each house. But most university employees, including administrators and faculty, are not currently covered by collective bargaining units.

The service fees known as “fair share’’ are already in effect in 10 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions, including the largest counties, and 79% of teachers are already covered, according to Del. Anne Kaiser, D-Montgomery, the floor leader on the bill, HB667.

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DNC Targets Pennsylvania Republicans Over Electoral College Redistricting Plan

The Democratic National Committee is sending robocalls to Pennsylvania voters beginning Monday, going after a GOP-sponsored plan to change the way the state allocates its Electoral College votes in presidential elections.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the DNC is targeting voters in 10 state Senate districts that are represented by Republicans. The call, coming from former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D), asks voters to let their senators know that they should oppose the "election-rigging scheme" sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R). From the call:

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Obama Designates Harriet Tubman National Monument On Eastern Shore

President Barack Obama signed a proclamation on Monday designating five national monuments, including one commemorating Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad on the Eastern Shore.

The designation protects land in Dorchester County from development under the Antiquities Act of 1906, which gives the president the power to restrict the use of land.

Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration requested Obama give the site the designation last year. The National Parks Service will manage the monument.

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Torrington High School Students Rally For Rape Defendant, Blame Victim, Police

TORRINGTON -- A week after their school made national headlines following the arrests of three students on charges for statutory rape of two 13-year-old girls, Torrington High School students have continued to use social media to support the defendants, criticize the victims and police and make light of the charges.

In a photo posted to Instagram Friday by user “aalyahhx,”10 students are seen in the high school gymnasium, each making hand gestures which spell out the number “21,” the jersey number of football player Edgar Gonzalez, who was arrested in Feburary along with fellow teammate Joan Toribio.

Man Decorates Tree with 10,000 Easter Eggs

Easter is around the corner and German retiree Volker Kraft is going all out with his spring decorations.

Since 1965, Kraft and his wife Christa have decorated their garden's apple tree with painted hen's eggs to celebrate the Easter holiday. This year, Kraft and his family decorated their tree with 10,000 Easter eggs.

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A Comment Worthy Of A Post 3-26-13

Latest daily times op ED - someone from WESTOVER telling Salisbury people WHO to vote for Council.
This is what they are resorting to, in order to swing the votes - having someone from a DIFFERENT COUNTY to get their opinion on the PAGE.
Lame

What Am I Thinking?


House Approves Shark Fin Ban

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- A measure banning the trade of shark fins in Maryland has cleared the House of Delegates.

The bill passed on a 115-17 vote Monday. The measure now goes to the Senate, where there is a similar bill pending.

Shark fins are used in traditional Chinese soup. Demand has led to the practice of slicing off the fins of a shark while it is still alive and discarding the wounded shark at sea.

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Nancy Pelosi Is Now More Pro-Marijuana Than Rand Paul

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi has more pro-marijuana position than the Libertarian-Republican Sen. Rand Paul.

On Fox News Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) called for lighter penalties for marijuana offenses but is opposed to legalization. Paul said, “The main thing I’ve said is not to legalize them but not to incarcerate people for extended periods of time. So, I’m working with Senator Leahy. We have a bill on mandatory minimums…I don’t want to encourage people to do it. I think even marijuana is a bad thing to do. I think it takes away your incentive to work and show up and do the things that you should be doing. I don’t think it’s a good idea. I don’t want to promote that but I also don’t want to put people in jail who make the mistake.”

WICOMICO COUNTY TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL COUNTY GOVERNMENT MONTH IN APRIL

Leaders to Promote “Live Healthy, Wicomico”

LiveHealthyWicomico.org

Wicomico County will celebrate National County Government Month (NCGM) during the month of April to highlight essential county government programs and services to the public. The county’s theme for this year’s celebration is “Live Healthy, Wicomico.”

“We are very proud of the essential services and programs our county provides each day and especially the people who deliver them,” said County Executive Rick Pollitt, “National County Government Month is a great opportunity for the public to take a closer look at the county services and foster a greater understanding of the role and responsibility of county government.”

Here is a list of events for the month of April:

· April 1st – The 17th Annual Ceremony honoring the Outstanding Public Health Leader for Wicomico County will be held in the Worcester Room at Salisbury University, 3pm

· April 1st – 5th, the Wicomico County Health Department will be celebrating National Public Health Week –

o Learn Piloxing on Wednesday, April 3rd at the Health Department – Fritz Building – at 1230pm

· April 4th – Wicomico County Library (Main Branch) will be hosting a “Healthy Cooking, Healthy Families” event for parents and youth 8-12 years of age

· April 4th – County Executive Pollitt to throw first pitch for Shorebirds Home Opener, 7pm

· April 5th – County Executive Pollitt will be planting trees as part of the Backyard Buffer Program in celebration of Maryland Arbor Day

· April 8th – 12th, the Wicomico County Library will recognize National Library Week with youth and family activities at each branch

· April 13th is County Government Day at the Centre at Salisbury Mall; county employees will be on hand along with Mobile Command Centers, Hazmat and Volunteer Fire Department apparatus, 1pm-3pm

· April 19th—20th, Certified Family Leader Training through the Wicomico Partnership for Families and Children (application deadline March 25, 2013)

· April 19th – 21st, Pork in the Park BBQ Festival at WinterPlace Park

· Solid Waste Division of Public Works will be hosting public tours of the facility (please call the Solid Waste Division to schedule*)

National County Government Month helps raise public awareness and understanding about the roles and responsibilities of the nation’s counties.

License Could Not Be Used To Buy Firearms

ANNAPOLIS -- The state Senate's top Republican amended a bill to allow illegal immigrants to obtain Maryland driver's licenses to make sure those licenses couldn't be used to purchase firearms.

Senate Minority Leader E.J. Pipkin, R-Eastern Shore, said his concern arose from the licenses being considered a valid form of identification for all state purposes, including purchasing a firearm.

The licenses would not be valid for federal purposes, such as going through airport security or entering a federal courthouse.

"I think for security purposes the idea that someone who can't prove a physical presence in the state of Maryland, we can't prove exactly who they are ... they have the access to use this to purchase a firearm -- I don't think we want to go that far," Pipkin said.

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DHS To Buy 360,000 More Rounds Of Hollow Point Ammunition

While the Department of Homeland Security continues to ignore members of Congress demanding to know why the federal agency is engaged in an apparent arms build-up, the DHS has just announced it plans to purchase another 360,000 rounds of hollow point ammunition to add to the roughly 2 billion bullets already bought over the past year.
A solicitation on the Federal Business Opportunities website details the DHS’ plan to purchase 360,000 rounds of “Commercial leaded training ammo (CLTA) Pistol .40 caliber 165 grain, jacketed hollow point.” The bullets are to be delivered to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia, New Mexico, the same destination for 240,000 hollow point rounds which were purchased only last month.

Although the DHS has attempted to explain its mammoth purchase of ammunition by claiming the bullets are being acquired in bulk to save money and that they are for training purposes only, this has been disputed by reputable voices such as former Marine Richard Mason, who told reporters with WHPTV News in Pennsylvania earlier this month, “We never trained with hollow points, we didn’t even see hollow points my entire four and a half years in the Marine Corps.”

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UNFIT FOR WORK The Startling Rise Of Disability In America

In the past three decades, the number of Americans who are on disability has skyrocketed. The rise has come even as medical advances have allowed many more people to remain on the job, and new laws have banned workplace discrimination against the disabled. Every month, 14 million people now get a disability check from the government.

The federal government spends more money each year on cash payments for disabled former workers than it spends on food stamps and welfare combined. Yet people relying on disability payments are often overlooked in discussions of the social safety net. People on federal disability do not work. Yet because they are not technically part of the labor force, they are not counted among the unemployed.

Congress Funds Surveillance Planes In Hagerstown

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski says Congress has approved $43 million to continue production of border-patrol planes in Hagerstown.

The Democratic senator said Monday that the funds were part of a continuing resolution Congress passed last week to keep the federal government running through Sept. 30.

Mikulski says the money will pay for the purchase of two more planes modified by Sierra Nevada Corp. of Sparks, Nev.

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Survey Question 3/26/13


Will you be attending the Mayoral Debate tonight? 

Report Shows $60 Million In Annual State Tax Cuts Going To Wealthy Entities

Progressive Maryland released a report highlighting gaps in Maryland’s tax policy that prevent the state from bringing in almost $60 million in annual tax revenue from corporate sectors.

The 13-page report identifies seven sectors of Maryland’s tax policy that allow big businesses to take advantage of the state tax code. They are electricity deregulation, tax exemption on purchases of precious metals, subsidies for the coal/mining industry, excise taxes on boats, estate tax exemption, tax cuts for manufacturing, and the absence of combined reporting of corporate taxes..

Among the seven loopholes the report identifies, combined reporting has been one of the hotter economic debates. While some — such as Progressive Maryland — see it as a “no-brainer,” others are hesitant to enact the policy, including members of a commission set up to study the issue.

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Chief Justice's Lesbian Cousin Will Attend Landmark Gay-Marriage Argument

A lesbian cousin of Chief Justice John Roberts will attend the landmark Supreme Court arguments on gay marriage and says she is confident he will see that gays deserve “dignity, respect, and equality under the law.”

Jean Podrasky told the Los Angeles Times that she will sit in a section of the courtroom reserved for relatives and guests of the chief justice. She said that her partner of four years, Grace Fasano, whom she wants to marry, will attend with her.

DELEGATE MIKE MCDERMOTT PRESS RELEASE

‘Alex’s Law Passes in the House of Delegates’
(Annapolis) -- “This week Maryland took a step forward in protecting the rights of criminal victims and their families,” stated Delegate Mike McDermott (R - Worcester & Wicomico Counties) upon the passage of House Bill 1382 (“Motor Vehicle Accidents - Victim Impact Statement”) by the House Judiciary Committee. “Impact statements are often an important part of the emotional healing and recovery process for victims and their loved ones. Victim impact statements speak to the depth of the impact that a crime has on a victim - they provide a lot of information about the damage that the victim has had to endure. Many victims see these statements, the ability and opportunity to speak directly to the court, as a source of healing for themselves and their families.” noted Delegate McDermott. 
“This bill proposal comes directly from an actual case in Maryland where a victim was severely injured in an automobile accident, but because of the accident, the victim was injured beyond the ability to make a statement to the court. The mother was there to testify with the victim about the incident's impact, but they were not allowed to give the testimony because the defense objected to it and the judge didn’t find it practical to do so. The victim and the victim’s mother simply wanted the court to know the totality of the impact that the accident had on the victim’s life.” explained Delegate McDermott.
Though every state allows a court of law to hear written or oral testimony from the victim of a crime, some states, including Maryland, leave this option solely to the discretion of the judge. Delegate McDermott’s legislation, known as “Alex’s Law,” would shift the decision from the court to the victim, requiring the court, if practicable, to hear the victim’s testimony if the defendant is found guilty of causing a traffic accident. As Delegate McDermott explains, “All of our states allow victims to present victim impact statements to the court - but this right is limited to the discretion of the judge. A little over a third of states actually require the judge, if practicable, to allow the victim to address the court if the victim so chooses. Once HB1382 becomes effective, Maryland will be among the latter states. This is an opportunity for the victim to mitigate what they believe has been wrongly done to them and for there to be a full revelation of that to the trier of fact.” 

House Bill 1382 was passed unanimously by the Judiciary Committee on March 21st. It passed unanimously in the House of Delegates on March 23rd and awaits a vote in the Senate.

House Passes Health-Care Reform Measure

The Maryland House of Delegates has approved a measure to further implement Obamacare in the state.

The House passed the bill with little debate on a 94-42 vote on Monday.

The measure creates a dedicated funding stream for the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, which is the new insurance market that will offer residents a choice of private health plans. The money will come from an existing 2 percent tax on insurance plans that are state regulated.

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STATEMENT FROM GOVERNOR MARTIN O'MALLEY ON PRESIDENT OBAMA’S DESIGNATION OF THE HARRIET TUBMAN UNDERGROUND RAILROAD NATIONAL MONUMENT

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Martin O’Malley issued the following statement on the Presidential Designation of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument:
“Today, President Obama made a long-held dream come true for countless Marylanders with his decision to forever commemorate the life and legacy of one of the Underground Railroad's most famed conductors, Harriet Tubman. By selecting Maryland's Eastern Shore as the site for the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument, President Obama will help us preserve the life and legacy of an American hero. 

“This landmark designation comes two weeks after we broke ground on a new State Park in Cambridge bearing Harriet's name, which stands at the head of a scenic byway where she safely led scores of enslaved people to freedom. We are grateful to President Obama and our federal, local and private partners, including The Conservation Fund, for a donation of land that made this monument possible. Thanks to the hard work and commitment of many, Harriet Tubman's legacy will live on forever.”

New Study Using IRS Tax Data Shows Rich Are Staying Richer, Poor Poorer

A groundbreaking new study concludes that the rich became permanently richer and the poor permanently poorer from 1987 to 2009. Five economists, including one from the U.S. Treasury and two from the Federal Reserve, used data from nearly 34,000 working age households’ 1040s, W-2s and Social Security records to tease out how much of the much discussed rise in income inequality in the U.S. might simply reflect more volatility in earnings, with families having good and bad years. Their unhappy conclusion: almost all of the rise in inequality is life-long.

Rep. Andy Harris and Sheriff Mike Lewis Host Town Hall Meeting on Gun Rights

Monday evening a crowd of over 500 people showed up at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center to hear some of their elected officials discuss current federal and state initiatives to curtail Marylanders’ right to keep and bear arms.  The meeting, hosted by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) and Wicomico Sheriff Mike Lewis featured the two hosts, Del. Mike McDermott (R-38B), Wicomico State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello, Worcester Sheriff Reggie Mason as well as Sheriff’s (and their representatives) from around the state.

Each speaker emphasized the individual’s God-given right to bear arms, not just for hunting and sporting purposes, but for the protection of one’s person, family and community.  Another common theme was the fact that pending federal and state legislation do nothing to stop gun crime, but will make criminals out of law-abiding citizens.

Wicomico Sheriff Mike Lewis spoke and acted as the moderator for the evening’s event.  He emphasized the importance of our second amendment rights.  He was obviously torn over the potential consequences of pending state legislation.  Lewis noted that he swears an oath to protect and uphold the constitution of the United States, the state of Maryland and to enforce the laws of the state;  given that most county Sheriff’s believe that this legislation strips Marylanders of their rights to keep and bear arms.  Lewis provided an excellent analogy from the infamous Dred Scott decision - Slaves could not bear arms, because they are not citizens.

Congressman Harris made a moving argument regarding the consequences of attempts to strip citizens of their guns:

“Many of you already know my story.  My parents escaped from communism in the Ukraine right after World War II.  In communist regimes, the first thing they do is disarm the citizens.”

Harris also demonstrated the hypocrisy of claims that more gun control is about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals:

“In 2011, over 76,000 people were caught lying on their ATF form stating that they could legally purchase a firearm.  How many were actually prosecuted?  62! … Prosecute people who break the law!”

While every speaker received a standing ovation from the enthusiastic crowd, Del. Mike McDermott was probably the most impassioned speaker among many impassioned speakers.  McDermott emphasized that pending state legislation calls for registration of firearms and will require gun owners to go through a background check (with fingerprint) and could cost each law-abiding gun owner over $200.  This is on top of the other tax and fee increases already heaped on citizens just in this session.

“This legislation does NOTHING to stop criminals.  However, on November 1st it will make a criminal out of many of YOU.”

State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello gave examples of current cases his office is working on:

“Before I came over here tonight, I was in my office looking at some pending cases – burglary, armed robbery, murder, attempted murder.  Everyone involved a gun.  NONE of those crimes was committed with a LEGALLY OBTAINED firearm!”

G. A. Harrison is a former editor of SBYNews and a regular contributor.  He also writes at the DelMarVa Observer.  This article was originally posted at the DelMarVa Observer.

Md. Senate Passes Licensing Bill For Immigrants

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has passed a measure that would allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.

The measure was approved in a 29-18 vote.

The bill now moves to the House of Delegates for consideration.

Maryland law currently allows drivers who are in the country illegally to obtain a second-tier driver's license.

 More

Voters Learn More from Candidates at Camden Neighbor Forum

Salisbury voters had one more chance to see the candidates for Salisbury mayor and city council at last Thursday’s Camden Neighborhood Association candidate forum.  Last week’s forum was a bit different than previous outings – incumbent councilwoman Debbie Campbell brought her “A” game and mayor Jim Ireton acted like a petulant three year old.
One of the highlights of the CNA  forum was Ireton making a little sign reading “WRONG” and placing it on the table when his opponent was speaking.  It was challenger Joe Albero who looked mayoral, as he fielded questions and continued to emphasize his plan for improving the city’s quality of life by improving the city’s local economy and bringing more high quality jobs to Salisbury.  When not speaking or making signs, Ireton spent much of the evening engaged in a texting conversation with some supporters in the back of the room.
Campbell showed her neighbors some of the old fighting spirit.  In addition to answering questions, she finally called out challenger Jake Day on his plan – Our Vision for Salisbury.  (While no longer available on Day’s website, you can READ IT HERE.)  Campbell gave a laundry list of Day’s proposals, but asked how they would be paid for.  While Day has claimed that he won’t vote to raise taxes, the projects he supports will require spending AND borrowing millions of dollars – which will have to be paid back with …. TAXES.
Tonight voters will have an opportunity to see Salisbury’s mayoral and council candidates for the last time in a debate setting.  The Salisbury Chamber / PACE forum will be at 7PM this evening at Salisbury University Guerrieri Center, Wicomico Room.
G. A. Harrison is a former editor of SBYNews and a regular contributor.  He also writes at the DelMarVa Observer.

US Senate Unanimously Votes To End Unfair Subsidies For ‘Too Big To Fail’ Banks

“Too big to fail.”

This phrase will always be associated with the 2008 economic collapse that sent America into the deepest recession since 1929. In order to stop the financial bleeding, the U.S. government voted to rescue the big banks rather than allow them to fail and take our economy with them. Ever since, big banks have only gotten bigger on the premise that if they fail again, the government will bail them out. Billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies have been dealt to those very banks in the years since.

But on Friday, the U.S. Senate did something that it rarely does these days. An amendment was offered as an attachment to the Senate budget bill and it not only gained the support of both Republicans and Democrats, it received unanimous support. By a vote of 99-0, the U.S. Senate voted to strip “too big to fail” banks of the taxpayer subsidies they’ve been getting for far too long.

EVO Field Trip: Sheree Sample-Hughes

Thanks so much for your keen observation that we (Tri County Council) are partaking of the local economy. The practice of the TCC since its inception, has been to promote economic development by way of touring/conducting meetings at businesses in areas we serve. As for me, presently serving at the helm, I do not intend to change the mission nor the process to promote economic development. Evolution Brewery is on the cutting edge of innovation and I appauld their efforts to be an established entity within Wicomico County. I hope you continue to frequent Evolution Brewery and many other businesses located in the Tri County region as well.

Yours in Service,

Sheree Sample-Hughes, District 1
Wicomico County Council
443-366-5846 (phone)
ssamplehughes@wicomicocounty.org
The Reply:
So, Sheree, you do not answer the question. Are you spending money out of your own pockets there like I do, or are you spending my money I pay through taxes there. Keep in mind, My tax money already bought you a 10 million meeting room.

A Letter To The Editor 3-26-13

As Election Day approaches, it is time to change the future direction of Salisbury.

Salisbury has been entrenched in a decade of poor leadership. Any positive activity that has come forward has been through the efforts of the council majority, not the mayor. It is time to elect a new mayor, who has business experience and will dedicate his efforts on a full time basis.

Joe Albero has the experience and background necessary to change Salisbury. Albero will be a full-time mayor who will be more transparent and less confrontational then our current mayor.

We also must remember the mayor could not effectively lead without competent members on council. Debbie Campbell has proved her abilities and she remains loyal to the citizens of Salisbury. Campbell has stood her ground and has served this city with integrity and accountability.

Don’t be fooled by her challenger, Jake Day. Campbell represents the citizens, not special-interest groups or developers seeking to land grab within the city.

Campbell must be and should be re-elected; her efforts on the council have been affective and beneficial to Salisbury.

It is time for the rebirth of this community, with the re-election of Campbell and the election of Albero as mayor.

Bruce W. Webster

Daily Times Shows SBY Election Bias

The Daily Times seems hell bent on queering this year’s Salisbury mayoral / council elections just like they’ve tried every other time in recent memory.  Will they be successful?  We’ll know next week.
After a series of scandals destroyed what little credibility remained at Salisbury’s Daily Times, new publisher Tom Claybaugh and managing editor Michael Kilian faced a tough choice.  Change the paper’s ways or simply try to move down the same biased path that has cost them subscribers and readers.
All the News That We WANT to Print
To most of us, changing the paper’s ways is obviously the best path.  In an industry that appears to be dying, regaining credibility amongst readers is a good place to start if you want to rebuild.  The Daily Times can claim some good young reporters.  They’ve shown that, when allowed, they can provide good, accurate coverage of local news.  Alas, Claybaugh and Kilian have decided on a darker path.  Rather than report all of the news, the DT seems determined to only run stories which aid their preferred candidates.
How can I make such a claim?  Haven’t they run stories critical of Jim Ireton?  One!  Haven’t they run stories critical of Jake Day?  Less than one.  Who really cares that Day has a heavy foot?  I’m not claiming that the DT has savaged Joe Albero or Debbie Campbell.  They haven’t.  That’s the Daily Times of old.  Besides, like Katherine Crowell four years ago, I don’t believe that Jeremy Cox would allow his name to be put on pieces that are riddled with lies and innuendo.  No, the DT is playing the stealth game.
Where is the story on Joe Albero’s economic development plan?  Where is a thoughtful analysis of Jake Day’s slick manifesto (which you can’t even download from his site anymore)?  Where is an analysis of Jim Ireton’s attempt to raise taxes (more than once) while he claims that he never raised your taxes (technically accurate, but worth at least four Pinnochio’s over at the WaPo)?  Where is the story about Ireton and Day’s lack of basic math skills (how do to add 500 residential units downtown, plus commercial space when you have less than 100 available parking spots (after you have sold off all of the riverfront lots – which has merit – plus Lot 1 between the library and the plaza?).  WHERE is the story about national real estate interests doing a mailing for Jake Day?
They’re no where to be found.  Why?  Mr. Kilian doesn’t want the public to learn too much about the candidates running for office.  If they did, the DT’s favored candidates wouldn’t stand much of a chance.  Unfortunately, things are worse on the op-ed side of the shop thanks to Mr. Claybaugh and op-ed editor Susan Parker.
WE Decide the News, WE Decide YOUR Opinion
Have you bothered to ask yourself why there haven’t been many letters to the editor in support of Joe Albero or Debbie Campbell?  The answer is simple … the Daily Times won’t print them. 
I’ve only been sent letters regarding Mrs. Campbell’s race, but it seems that they are (almost) all too long, too short, too critical of Jim Ireton, too critical of Barrie Tilghman, too critical of other council members, too critical of the weather, printed on the wrong color paper or using the wrong type of ink.  NOW (from Monday’s paper) …
In other words, we will print your letter to editor IF it doesn’t talk about ANY issue other than the issues WE (the DT) deem worthy of having an opinion about.  Now, it’s the op-ed page.  They certainly have a right to print whatever they want.  Just don’t claim to be the voice of the community.
So… here’s what you can expect between now and Friday:
Dear Editor,
I’ve known Jake Day since he was at James M. Bennett HS.  He planted a garden.  He’s a good guy.  He went to some fancy schools.  He’s in the Army.  He’s a nice guy.  He has lots of ideas but I can’t talk about them because Jake doesn’t want the voters asking too many questions about the cost.
Signed – Someone who probably doesn’t live in Salisbury.
Messrs. Claybaugh and Kilian can be very proud of the business they are running into the ground.
G. A. Harrison is a former editor of SBYNews and a regular contributor.  He also writes at the DelMarVa Observer.  This article was excerpted from his Media Monday column.

Criminal Justice System In Turmoil

Budget cuts are throwing the criminal justice system into turmoil. Some federal defender offices have laid people off. Others are planning furloughs as long as six weeks. The courts pay for federal defenders out of a much smaller budget than the Justice Department's. That's why prosecutors seem to get a better shake. They may be furloughed for just two weeks. What's more, the courts are limited in how they can tackle sequestration. The law prohibits them from adjusting judges' salaries.