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Saturday, May 03, 2014

Guests Hit The Red Carpet At White House Correspondents' Dinner

Hollywood and politics went should to shoulder on Saturday evening as stars, pundits and officials began arriving on the red carpet for one of D.C.’s glitziest nights — the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, falling on the 100th anniversary of the press group.

Spotted entering the Washington Hilton were actors Patrick Stewart, Sofia Vergara, Matthew Morrison and Katharine McPhee. Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo was another early arrival with his wife as well as “Duck Dynasty” stars Willie and Korie Robertson.

The stars will be among the 2,600 guests expected to fill the Hilton’s ballroom, alongside President Barack Obama and the first lady, who arrived to the hotel around 7 p.m., according to the pool report.
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Complaint Asks Library To Remove ‘Hop On Pop’ Because It Promotes Violence Against Dads

When you’ve got a system that allows the general public to air grievances, it’s pretty much guaranteed that there will be some off-the-wall issues. Or at least, problems that seem to not be all that serious: the Toronto Public Library received a complaint asking for librarians to remove Dr. Seuss’ Hop On Pop, claiming that it promotes violence against well, pops, dear old dad, father dearest. You get it.

That being said, we are very pro-pops here at Consumerist, pro-parent, really, and would never want any dad to be harmed as a result of reading Hop On Pop.

Moving along — yes, this is a real(ish) issue, according to a document the library posted online with seven books that the library was asked to remove over the year (via UPI).

The complaint says the 1963 Seuss favorite “encourages children to use violence against their fathers,” according to the complaint.

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Maryland To Require Math For All Years Of High School; Universities Also Adjust Rules

Many high school students in Maryland have been able to lighten their academic load during senior year by taking a break from tough math courses.

But that’s about to end.

Starting with the Class of 2015, 12th-grade math is required for seniors who are seeking admission to Maryland’s system of public universities. Separately, all students in Maryland will soon be required to take math every year of high school in order to graduate, a change that will start with next fall’s ninth-graders.re

The changes come from state law and admissions policies meant to increase rigor and better prepare students for college and careers.

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Report: Debt Collectors Now Using Court System To Unfairly Force Consumers To Pay Up

Debt collection is a big business that doesn’t look to be shrinking anytime soon. But along with the rapid expansion of the industry, there has been an increase in abusive and predatory collection practices. One of those practices, obtaining default judgements against consumers, has led the Center for Responsible Lending to call for stricter regulations over the process of selling debt to collectors.

A new report [PDF] from the Center for Responsible Lending highlights how a lack of regulations over the debt buying and collection industries has become a billion dollar business while financially devastated consumers.

Nearly one in seven Americans are currently being pursued by a debt collector, but most of the debts being sought aren’t even owed. How can collectors be hounding consumer for debts that simply don’t exist anymore?

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Maryland Prosecutors Struggle With Marijuana Cases

As prosecutors across Maryland wait for the new law that will remove criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana, they're taking a patchwork approach in the way they handle such cases.

In some counties, including Harford and Carroll, state's attorneys are taking a hard line, continuing to seek criminal convictions that carry the threat of jail time and fines for offenders. But in Baltimore County and some other localities, prosecutors have become more lenient, knowing that on Oct. 1 possession of small amounts of pot will trigger nothing more than a civil fine.

"It's uncharted territory. We're prosecuting offenses that are criminal now that won't be in a few months," said Queen Anne's County prosecutor Lance Richardson. "It's hard to wrap your head around that."
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Carney fumbles on bombshell email that shows WH post-Benghazi scheming

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney endured a sustained grilling from reporters on Wednesday as he struggled to explain an email showing the White House's involvement in spinning a false account of why four Americans died in Benghazi, Libya less than two months before the 2012 presidential election.

The email, written by Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes, described a 'prep call' with then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice which took place four days after the September 11, 2012 terror attack, and less than a day before she was to be a guest on five different Sunday morning political talk shows.

During the initial weeks after the attack, the White House and congressional Democrats told the public that Muslim protesters, upset over a crude American-produced YouTube video mocking Islam, demonstrated outside U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi before channeling their anger toward arson and artillery.

Rhodes informed the West Wing communications team – including Carney – that one 'goal' of the Sept. 15, 2012 call would be to prepare Rice 'to ​underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.'

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It's Time To Stop Tinkering And Just Ban Crabbing For One Year

A couple of years ago, the governor of Maryland stood on a dock on South River, a bushel of steamed crabs at his feet, telling everyone it was OK to eat Chesapeake blue crabs again — sort of like the mayor in "Jaws" telling everyone it was OK to go back in the water.

"I am glad to report that the population of the blue crab is now at a 19-year high," the governor said in April 2012. There was so much excitement about the comeback of the blue crab that the state launched a "True Blue" marketing campaign, identifying and promoting restaurants and markets selling Chesapeake lump.

That was then; this is now: For the second year in a row, the blue crab population is in a serious slump, and the number of females has dropped below the level science believes necessary to sustain the overall population.
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Aeropostale Inc - Closing 125 Mall Based P.S. Stores - 100 Corporate Layoffs

Aeropostale, Inc. (NYSE: ARO) provided an update on its strategic initiatives and announced a comprehensive cost reduction program as part of the Company's on-going turnaround plans. Following a strategic business review, the Company has identified key initiatives it estimates will generate approximately $30 million to $35 million in annualized pre-tax savings, of which approximately $5 million to $10 million is expected to be achieved in fiscal 2014.

Plans to exit the P.S. from Aeropostale mall locations – Based on changing consumer patterns, particularly of the "mom" shopper, the Company has made the determination to close approximately 125 mall-based P.S. from Aeropostale stores by the end of fiscal 2014. The Company plans to restructure the brand to focus on faster growing sales channels, including off-mall locations (including outlets), e-commerce, and international licensing. The Company is also exploring other potential third party distribution channels. By taking these steps, the Company expects to eliminate pre-tax losses of approximately $15 million that were generated in the mall-based business in fiscal 2013, excluding any impairment charges.
Streamlining and improvement of expense structure – Following a thorough review of the Company's current cost structure, Aeropostale has implemented a cost reduction plan that will target both direct and indirect spending across the organization. This includes the Company's plans to reduce corporate headcount by approximately 100 positions to align with current business strategies, in addition to the workforce reductions from the Company's on-going store closure program.

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Mudslide Reported At Baltimore Cemetery

The recent continuous rain likely contributed to another Baltimore mudslide, this time in the southwest part of the city.

SkyTeam 11 captured video Thursday of the huge mudslide at Western Cemetery.

The video shows several headstones that were dislodged. Some ended up at the bottom of the mudslide.

There's no word yet as to whether actual graves were compromised.
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BREAKING NEWS: California Chrome wins Kentucky Derby

California Chrome wins the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby

From Fox News

Reno City - Vote to Layoff 35 Firefighters

In a 5-2 vote, the Reno City Council today authorized laying off 35 firefighters despite pleas from the fire union and homeowners to preserve the jobs.

The layoffs became necessary after the city lost a federal grant that was to fund 50 firefighters next year. City staff found enough money to retain 15 of those jobs, largely by paying off a bond used to purchase city hall. Funds used to make those bond payments will now pay the salaries of those 15 positions.

But available city funds still fell short, meaning 35 firefighters will lose their jobs on July 1.

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Threats Against Maryland Gun Dealer Raise Doubts About Future Of Smart guns

The latest skirmish over the nation’s first smart gun, marked this week by death threats against a Maryland gun dealer who wanted to sell the weapon, has raised doubts about its future and prompted some gun-control advocates to back away from legislative efforts to mandate the technology.

Engage Armament, a Rockville gun shop, endured an outpouring of vitriol from gun rights activists who fear the technology will be used to curtail their Second Amendment rights by limiting the kinds of guns they can buy in the future.

The protests echoed those against the Oak Tree Gun Club, a Los Angeles area store that offered to sell the smart gun and — like Engage Armament — quickly dropped the idea after opposition mounted. Electronic chips in the Armatix iP1 can communicate with a watch that can be bought separately. Then the gun cannot be fired without the watch. 

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Report: China to Overtake US Economy This Year

BEIJING (AP) — China has rejected a World Bank report that suggests it might pass the United States this year to become the biggest economy measured by its currency's purchasing power.

China is on track to become the No. 1 economy by sheer size by the early 2020s and possibly sooner. But its leaders downplay such comparisons, possibly to avert pressure to take on financial obligations or make concessions on trade or climate change.

The estimate by the World Bank's International Comparison Program says that based on 2011 prices, the purchasing power of China's currency, the yuan, was much stronger than was reflected by exchange rates.

By that measure, China's economy was 87% the size of the United States' in 2011, or 15% bigger than the previous estimate, according to a calculation by RBS economist Louis Kuijs. Faster-growing China would pass the United States in purchasing power terms this year, though it still would be about 60% the size of the U.S. economy at market exchange rates.

China's National Bureau of Statistics, which took part in the study, rejected its conclusion, according to the World Bank report.

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Maryland Marijuana Decriminalization Explainer

Flying Is Safer Than Driving?


As border security expands, complaints of abuse rise among Americans

CHULA VISTA, CALIF. — A series of lawsuits filed in recent months in federal courts along the U.S. border with Mexico highlight what advocates say is a growing list of complaints against two U.S. agencies that have expanded rapidly amid the clamor to secure the nation’s borders.

In one lawsuit, centered on events in Chula Vista, Calif., a Border Patrol agent is accused of leaping on the hood of a car driven by a mother of five and shooting her dead. She was unarmed. The agent had been fired from his previous job as a sheriff’s deputy for a variety of misconduct.

In a second case, a Customs officer in Brownsville, Texas, violently pushed a disabled woman to the ground. She had a miscarriage the next day. Border officers also had to call firefighters to remove handcuffs that allegedly had bound her wrists too tightly.

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Read more here: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/04/30/226084/as-border-security-expands-complaints.html?sp=/99/100/&ihp=1#storylink=cpy

Ocean City Approves Tall Ships, Air Show

The city gave its final stamp of approval this week to two events for the 2014 season by promoter and frequent town collaborator Bryan Lilley.

The OC Air Show will return for its seventh year on June 14-15, and Lilley’s nonprofit National Air, Sea, and Space Foundation will be bringing in two historic sailing vessels for the entire month of August this year after last year’s successful “tall ship” event.

Lilley said he expects considerable resurgence this year in the air show business, after federal sequestration cuts last year eliminated all military performance teams.
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Child Abuse Prevention and Response Training

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Chesapeake

Every year over 3 million referrals are made to Child Protective Services involving over 6 million children. A report of child abuse is made every 10 seconds in the United States and many cases of child abuse go unreported. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Chesapeake wants to ensure that the community, especially those in it that interact with children regularly have the knowledge and skills to identify the signs of child abuse. Furthermore we want to ensure that you know how navigate a situation in which a child discloses abuse to you. In this training, these, as well as other topics related to abuse will be discussed.

Training is free to all Bigs and $5 for guests. To register contact Kelsi Owens atkowens@biglittle.org or 410-726-2900 or complete the registration form and fax to 410-543-8032. Register by May 17th.

May 19th
6:30-8:30 PM

Greater Salisbury Building
2nd Floor Conference Room

200 W Main St.
Salisbury, MD
21801

Mother's Day at SoBo's

Greetings!
 
A special MOM deserves a special meal... Celebrate at SoBo's!
SoBo's will be open on Sunday, May 11th for Mother's Day!  
Offering a special deal for only $29.99!  
(Offer available Saturday & Sunday.)
 Bring the kids and they EAT FREE on Sunday (ages 10 and under)!  
Reservations are recommended, call today!  
SoBo's Wine Beerstro
410.219.1117

This Is What Firemen Do With Their Spare Time

Troopers Investigate Stabbing Outside a Rehoboth Restaurant

Rehoboth, DE- The Delaware State Police are currently investigating the stabbing of a 22 year old Laurel man after a minor collision occurred in the parking lot of the Delaware Distilling Company.

Troopers responded to 18693 Coastal Highway around 1:53 a.m. this morning after a 9-1-1 call was received about a minor collision in the parking lot of the establishment. Within two minutes of the first call, another one was placed to the Sussex Emergency Operations Center requesting an ambulance for a male subject who had been stabbed. Upon the arrival of the troopers and EMS, it was determined that a 22 year old male had just left the restaurant was attempting to back his vehicle when he struck another vehicle. Some unknown subjects that witnessed the incident then pulled the male victim from his vehicle and began physically assaulting him and at one point, an unknown suspect stabbed him in the upper torso by unknown means.

The male victim was transported to Beebe Medical Center in Lewes where he is currently admitted in stable condition.

Troopers are continuing their investigation into this incident by interviewing witnesses that were at the scene. If anyone has any information in reference to this assault, they are asked to contact Corporal M. Warrington at 302-644-5020 ext. 241 or by utilizing the Delaware State Police Mobile Crime Tip Application available to download at: http://www.delaware.gov/apps/. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333, via the internet at www.tipsubmit.com, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword "DSP."

Mother's Day Brunch Buffet ~ Sunday, May 11th


STATION 7 RESTAURANT - WEST OCEAN CITY

In town for Spring Fest? Avoid the crowds and head out to Wes OC!

Saturday
full menu available 11am-10pm & late night menu til 1am!
Live Music by Rampage
Sunday
breakfast served 10am-1pm! Free coffee with your breakfast this Sunday when you mention this email!
Full menu available 1pm-10pm!

Parents Of Boy Who Died In Icy Md. Pond Sue Real Estate And Construction Companies

The parents of a 10-year-old boy who died in January after falling into an icy pond in Montgomery County have sued several real estate and construction-related companies, asserting that they failed to keep a mandatory fence around the pond that would have kept the child out.

“Had the defendants acted properly, D’Angelo McMullen would not have died,” the parents’ attorney, Andrew G. Slutkin, wrote in a complaint filed in Montgomery Circuit Court on Wednesday.

The parents are seeking millions of dollars in damages, Slutkin said.
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STATION 7 RESTAURANT - PITTSVILLE

Saturday
full menu available 11am-9pm
Live Music by Nando - come check out this incredibly talented musician as he prepares for his upcoming audition for The Voice!
Mystery Shooter Special! We are clearing out some liquor to bring in new choices - try some of our creative concoctions $2!!

Sunday
awesome breakfast available 9am-1pm! Haven't tried it yet? Mention this email and get FREE COFFEE with breakfast this week only!
limited lunch menu available til 1pm with the full menu available 1pm-8pm!

MAY IS MELANOMA AND SKIN CANCER DETECTION AND PREVENTION MONTH

Wicomico Health Reminds Residents There is No Such Thing as a Safe Tan

(Salisbury, MD)
- Melanoma and Skin Cancer Detection Month kicks off on Melanoma Monday® on May 5, 2014 and runs through Don’t Fry Day™ on Friday May 23, 2014. The Wicomico County Health Department joins Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and partners, such as the Maryland Skin Cancer Prevention Program of the Center for a Healthy Maryland, to educate Maryland residents about protecting their skin from both natural and artificial sources of UV radiation. Health Department staff will be wearing orange in observance of Melanoma Monday on May 5, 2014.

“Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun and from artificial tanning devices (tanning lamps and tanning booths) is the biggest risk factor for skin cancer,” says Lori Brewster, Health Officer for Wicomico County. “Skin cancer affects all skin types.” The number of people with melanoma, particularly among young women, has been increasing for several years according to the National Cancer Institute. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2014, approximately 1,400 Marylanders and 76,100 persons in the United States will be diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

“To reduce risk of developing melanoma and other skin cancers, avoid tanning devices, limit exposure to sunlight, especially between 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., wear sun-protective hats, clothing, and sunglasses with UV protection, and use sunscreens and lip balms with a SPF of 15 or higher when exposed to the sun—even on cloudy days,” says Mrs. Brewster. “There is no such thing as a safe tan.”

For more information, visit wicomicohealth.org, spotskincancer.org or healthymaryland.org. Make sure to follow WicomicoHealth on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest for health information and motivation.

Internal memos reveal EPA worked behind the scenes to kill Alaska mine project

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency came under fire Thursday after new emails surfaced that allegedly show government officials worked in secret with tribal leaders and other environmental groups to preemptively oppose the controversial Pebble Mine project in Alaska before a review was even conducted.

The internal memos published by The Washington Times show EPA officials working behind the scenes as early as 2008 to kill the gold and copper mine project -- two years before any scientific study or survey was conducted looking into the environmental impact.

“As you know I feel that both of these projects (Chuitna and Pebble) merit consideration of a 404C veto,” EPA official Phillip North wrote, according to the emails.

North, according to the Times, pushed to have the mine’s veto added to the agenda of a 2009 agency retreat.

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Ball Point Pens...

When NASA started sending astronauts into space, they quickly
discovered that ball-point pens would not work in zero gravity.
To combat this problem, NASA scientists spent a decade and
$12 billion developing a pen that writes in zero gravity, upside-down,
on almost any surface including glass and at temperatures ranging
from below freezing to over 300 C.

The Russians used a pencil.

Your taxes are due again, enjoy...

Another Oil Train Explodes in Town; River Contaminated: Who Wants Keystone Now?

Another major derailment of a train carrying oil through a town in the U.S. has caused the evacuation of 300 people, with oil washing into the James River in Virginia, which feeds into the Chesapeake Bay.

“A CSX train carrying crude oil derailed Wednesday afternoon in downtown Lynchburg, Va.,” reports Bloomberg, “prompting the evacuation of some 300 people. Six cars went off the tracks, and local news reports cite at least three breaches on a train carrying between 12 and 14 tank cars loaded with crude. Early videos and pictures posted by onlookers show plumes of black smoke billowing up from the crash. No injuries have been reported yet, although witnesses described a floor-shaking explosion that sent a fireball almost 200 feet into the air.”

So much for the “pipelines aren’t safe” argument that’s been delaying the obvious, easy choice to build the Keystone Pipeline.

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American Legion Seeks To Defend War Memorial Cross

BLADENSBURG, Md. (AP) -- The American Legion is seeking to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a cross-shaped World War I memorial in Maryland.

The lawsuit was filed earlier this year by the American Humanist Association, a group that advocates for atheists and others who do not believe in a deity. It says the display of the cross by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission amounts to government sponsorship of religion and violates the First Amendment.

The Bladensburg World War I Veterans Memorial was erected by the American Legion, a group founded by veterans of that war. It was dedicated in 1925.
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Where taxpayers are fleeing and where they're headed to

The Internal Revenue Service's latest data on the migration of taxpayers from one state to another has been released for the years 2010 and 2011. Back in 2012 the IRS announced it was discontinuing this series, but after protests from, among others, the Washington Examiner editorial page, reversed itself and promised to continue the data series.

The 2010-11 data shows that, as in the past, there is a large migration away from high-tax states to low-tax states. The biggest gainers were the two megastates with no state income tax: the net gain in taxpayer income from migration was $4.9 billion in Florida and $2.4 billion in Texas. The biggest losers were high-income-tax states: New York (-$3.3 billion), Illinois (-$2.0 billion), New Jersey (-$1.7 billion) and California (-$1.0 billion). That amounts to a net transfer of more than $7 billion to those first two states from the latter four.

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Lost Cat 5-3-14

Please help us find our sweet boy. He was last seen on Tuesday, April 29th in the Avalon Park area of Salisbury. If found, please call (302) 236-2316. His family misses him dearly and is worried about him. Thank you so much.

Obama-Biden vacation tab reaches $40 million --- $2.9 million alone for two Obama 2014 golf outings

The travel costs for vacations taken by the first family and the Bidens have reached over $40 million with the Air Force's revelation that two golf outings by President Obama this year cost $2.9 million, according to the taxpayer watchdog group Judicial Watch.

The group said that the Air Force provided documents and records that put the price of the first family's trip to Key Largo, Fla., in March at $885,683 just for flying Air Force One. The travel costs to golf in Palm Springs, Calif., in February, where the president also met with King Abdullah II of Jordan, was $2,066,594, said the Air Force documents, according to Judicial Watch.

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Workers Younger Than 55 Lost 259K Jobs In April

Taking another peek beneath the only headline that vacuum tubes and algos care about, namely the headline establishment survey print, reveals another mockery of a "recovery", because in addition to the farce that 1 million Americans were added to the "not in labor force" number, a breakdown of jobs added by age group reveals more of the same. Namely, in the one most important age group for jobs, those workers aged 25-54 which represent the bulk of the US labor force and are also the best and most productive group, the total number of jobs tumbled from 95,360K to 95,151K, a drop of 209K!

But wait, because it wasn't just the most important age group bucket: it was all younger workers who got the shaft: jobs in the 16-19 age group dropped by 24K, while those in the 20-24 age group declined by another 26K,which means that in the "young" workers category, those under 55, some 259K jobs were lost.

So did anyone gain jobs in April? Why yes: according to the establishment survey, the only beneficiary of whatever this "recovery" is, were workers aged 55-69, who gained 174K jobs.

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RAMPANT SOCIAL INJUSTICE

My name is d'Lynn. I'm a disabled Vietnam vet. I don't look too bad for a beat-up old fart, do I? And that's my ride. She's looking pretty good also, especially when you consider that she'll turn twenty this summer. That's right, it's a 1990 with a 1990 sidecar. I can't ride a solo bike, ergo the sidecar rig. It's my sole means of transportation - rain or shine, snow or wind, and this summer also marks a milestone in both of our lives, as I will finally be able to pay her off. Twenty years old? What? Why did it take so long? You weren't paying attention, were you? It's right at the beginning of this paragraph. 
I am a disabled vet, which means I receive a veterans administration disability pension, which also means "I'm broke!" Just one step ahead of being homeless every month, and that's not an idle statement or an "Oh, woe is me" dire complaint. There’s a point to this, so hang in there a minute or two and read on.

There's a 25-year-old illegal immigrant woman living in Florida , with eight kids. Yes, eight "anchor babies" and she receives just shy of $1,500 per month per kid, plus medical, plus food stamps. 
Oh, wait. I've been informed that I shouldn't call them Food Stamps anymore. That's not PC. It's all called “Social Assistance” now. You do the math on that yourself. I'd say that she was schooled early in how to make it in the system. Twenty-five years old, eight kids . . .. . . yep, she started early. 

GOVERNOR O’MALLEY ANNOUNCES MARYLAND RANKS IN THE TOP 10 AMONG BICYCLE FRIENDLY STATES

Bike Month Brings #7 Ranking for Maryland From League of American Bicyclists

Cycle Maryland Bikeways Program Has Funded 74 Projects Since 2011

ANNAPOLIS, MD
– Kicking off National Bike Month, Governor Martin O’Malley announced that Maryland is ranked among the Nation’s Top 10 Bicycle Friendly States according to an annual evaluation done by the League of American Bicyclists. Maryland is ranked number 7 in the nation, up from number 11 last year, and number 2 among Mid-Atlantic and North East States. Thanks to the passage of the landmark Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013, Maryland will dedicate nearly $210 million over the next six years (FY 2014 – FY 2019) to fund programs that support alternative transportation projects, including building bicycle lanes and trails.

“To build a modern transportation system that supports the needs of all Marylanders, we have to invest in alternative forms of travel like bicycling,” said Governor O’Malley. “We are honored that the League of American Bicyclists recognizes Maryland as a leader in making bicycling a true transportation alternative. Beyond the health benefits, expanding cycling and walking opportunities are fundamental to our ongoing efforts to foster sustainable land-use, protect the environment, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and better connect our communities.”

The Bicycle Friendly States (BFS) ranking is based on a number of key indicators, including infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities; education programs that promote cycling; and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride. The BFS program is more than an annual assessment. Throughout the year, League staff worked closely with state officials and advocacy leaders to help Maryland identify and implement the programs, policies and campaigns that will improve conditions for bicyclists.

“Thanks to the Governor’s leadership and established partnerships with bicycle advocacy groups, we are investing in an interconnected bicycle network that safely connects people to where they want to go,” saidTransportation Secretary James T. Smith, Jr. “It’s gratifying to be recognized for our ongoing efforts to make Maryland a safe, bicycle-friendly State.”

County’s Liquor Licensee Prices Competitive

When an Ocean City bar received its delivery of 107 bottles of spirits Tuesday from the Worcester County Department of Liquor Control, its tab was $2,025.08. If the owner had bought the liquor from wholesalers, the tab would have been $2,073.85.

“So it’s beneficial for them to continue to do business with the county,” said Robert “Bobby” Cowger, executive director of the Department of Liquor Control, last Friday.

The perception of some people is that the county’s prices are 20 percent to 25 percent higher than the wholesalers’ prices, but that is simply untrue, Cowger said. In addition, this particular bar owner would have had to get four deliveries from wholesalers for the 107 bottles of liquor, but the county took care of it all with just one delivery.

Starting July 1, licensees may purchase wine or liquor from wholesalers or continue to purchase it from the Department of Liquor Control or they may purchase wine and liquor from both.
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US Economy Is A House Of Cards

The US economy is a house of cards. Every aspect of it is fraudulent, and the illusion of recovery is created with fraudulent statistics.

American capitalism itself is an illusion. All financial markets are rigged. Massive liquidity poured into financial markets by the Federal Reserve’s Quantitative Easing inflates stock and bond prices and drives interest rates, which are supposed to be a measure of the cost of capital, to zero or negative, with the implication that capital is so abundant that its cost is zero and can be had for free. Large enterprises, such as mega-banks and auto manufacturers, that go bankrupt are not permitted to fail. Instead, public debt and money creation are used to cover private losses and keep corporations “too big to fail” afloat at the expense not of shareholders but of people who do not own the shares of the corporations.

Profits are no longer a measure that social welfare is being served by capitalism’s efficient use of resources when profits are achieved by substituting cheaper foreign labor for domestic labor, with resultant decline in consumer purchasing power and rise in income and wealth inequality. In the 21st century, the era of jobs offshoring, the US has experienced an unprecedented explosion in income and wealth inequality. I have made reference to this hard evidence of the failure of capitalism to provide for the social welfare in the traditional economic sense in my book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism, and Thomas Piketty’s just published book, Capital in the 21st Century, has brought an alarming picture of reality to insouciant economists, such as Paul Krugman. As worrisome as Piketty’s picture is of inequality, I agree with Michael Hudson that the situation is worse than Piketty describes.http://michael-hudson.com/2014/04/pikettys-wealth-gap-wake-up/

Capitalism has been transformed by powerful private interests whose control over governments, courts, and regulatory agencies has turned capitalism into a looting mechanism. Wall Street no longer performs any positive function. Wall Street is a looting mechanism, a deadweight loss to society. Wall Street makes profits by front-running trades with fast computers, by selling fraudulent financial instruments that it is betting against as investment grade securities, by leveraging equity to unprecedented heights, making bets that cannot be covered, and by rigging all commodity markets.

The Federal Reserve and the US Treasury’s “Plunge Protection Team” aid the looting by supporting the stock market with purchases of stock futures, and protect the dollar from the extraordinary money-printing by selling naked shorts into the Comex gold futures market.

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9/11 pilot

Pilots often claim that the two worst things that can happen to a pilot are:
(1) Walking out to the aircraft knowing this will be your last flight or
(2) Walking out to the aircraft NOT knowing this will be your last flight.

This pilot's story adds another possibility....

The events of September 11, 2001, put two F-16 pilots into the sky with orders to bring down United Flight 93.

Late on that Tuesday morning of September 11th, Lt. Heather "Lucky" Penney was on a runway at Andrews Air Force Base and ready to fly. She had her hand on the throttle of an F-16 and she had her orders, "Bring down United Airlines Flight 93."

The day's fourth hijacked airliner seemed to be hurtling toward Washington. Penney, one of the first two combat pilots in the air that morning, was told to stop it.

"I genuinely believed that was going to be the last time I took off," says Maj. Heather "Lucky" Penney, remembering the September 11 attacks and the initial U.S. reaction.

From the Desk of the Fire Chief

“Where Does The Time Go?” 

As the first calendar quarter draws to a close, I find myself reflecting on the last year and what has transpired over that time period. April 2014 marks the end of the first year of my tenure as fire chief of this great organization. Since last April the department has really come together and worked toward our goal of becoming a truly integrated combination Fire and EMS Service. I am so proud of the efforts we have made and look forward to continuing this progress toward becoming a model agency that other departments will pattern their efforts on.

The months of January through March have been busy for the department and that includes the Chief’s Office. During this time period we have worked diligently to produce a comprehensive Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for the next five years. The CIP comprises many needed capital projects that include new fire stations and apparatus replacement based on need, following an evaluation of mileage, condition, and maintenance expense for each to determine remaining life expectancy. The volunteer executive board was included in the planning of the CIP and a financial plan has been developed which supports many of the CIP projects and some that do not fit into the CIP but are needed to fulfill our mission.

Immediately following the CIP, marked the beginning of the preparation phase for the annual operating budget for the department. This year was much like many of the previous years with instructions that included restrictions on requests based on our current and projected economic conditions. The department was able to submit its budget requests and did so on time with additional requests for critical needs that did not align themselves with the budget instructions. There were several major requests made that include:

construction of a new Fire Station # 2 (from the CIP), S.A.F.E.R. funding requests, and the creation of a new Division of Fire Prevention and Code

Enforcement; which is projected to be revenue positive for the City and designed to enhance the safety of our citizens and emergency services personnel. 

Caption This Photo 5-3-14


Illinois state representative who resigned is charged with child porn

Illinois representative Keith Farnham has been charged with using state and personal computers to trade child pornography.

The 66-year-old allegedly boasted about molesting a six-year-old girl and used online chat rooms to discuss his fantasies.

When he resigned on March 19, one week after his Elgin office and home were raided, he claimed he was standing down because of health concerns.

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Teachers Union Boss Randi Weingarten: My Salary’s Only $360K

American Federation of Teachers (AFT) President Randi Weingarten, who was paid $543,150 last year, defended her compensation by claiming her pay is $360,000 and other reported expenses simply prove the union’s “transparency.”

As part of a series of April 28 Twitter posts demanding Congress hike the federal minimum wage to $10.10, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) District 1199 quoted from a January column Weingarten wrote for The Huffington Post.

“Justice means that hardworking people must have access to a living wage,” Weingarten wrote. AFT paid Weingarten $556,981 in 2012 and $543,150 in 2013.

When her 2013 pay was pointed out on Twitter, Weingarten made an awkward attempt to defend the gold-plated compensation she takes from AFT members and forced “fair share” fee payers in districts represented by AFT:

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You Will Not Believe How Much Michelle Obama Spent On Her TWO DAY VACATION IN CHINA

Michelle Obama likes to travel in style. Sadly though, she does it by spending an estimated $220,000 of the People’s money on a TWO day vacation!

Michelle Obama wrapped up her March visit to China with a stop in Chengdu, arriving on March 25 and departing for the United States on the following day. But that one leg of the trip alone required about 900 room nights, ranging from 21 rooms beginning on March 13 for the advance team to a peak of 144 rooms when the first lady herself was at the hotel.

The documents prepared in support of the stay estimated the cost at around 1,393,500 yuan (RMB), or $222,000 at current exchange rates: According to the documents, one of the factors in choosing the Shangri-La Hotel was a security consideration that “will allow party to occupy the entire top two floors for the visit.”

The documents also state that the local Ritz-Carlton had expressed interest in hosting the first lady, but: in preliminary price comparisons, the cost was sufficiently more than the Shangri-La. We requested a price reduction but a great cost difference remained for the both the Executive Junior Suites, that will serve as control rooms, and the Presidential Suite. So far, the documents for the Chengdu portion of Mrs. Obama’s trip are the only ones that have been posted online by the State Department. Mrs. Obama was in China March 19-26.

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Benghazi Email: Hillary Clinton Deputy Names Islamic Extremists, Not YouTube, Morning After Attack

A newly-emerged government email directly "contradicts the message that President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice and White House press secretary Jay Carney repeated publicly" in the immediate aftermath of the attack in Benghazi.

Per Sharyl Attkisson dot com, the "email is titled “Libya update from Beth Jones.” Beth Jones served as Assistant Secretary of State to Hillary Clinton at the time. The email documents a conversation between Jones and Libya’s Ambassador at 9:45am on Sept. 12, 2012 not long after the attacks. 

This below contradicts the White House and State Department's story that they believed a video led to what was thought to be a spontaneous attack.

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The Next NSA? Police Departments Under Scrutiny For Phone, License Plate Surveillance

The NSA isn’t the only government agency raising concerns about electronic privacy. Local police departments are coming under similar scrutiny – not only for using spying technology, but for hiding their use from the public.

At least 25 police departments now use what is known as "Stingray," a briefcase-sized box that swallows up cell phone data within a mile radius.

More than one in three large police departments are also using license-plate readers, which can record every plate -- even on a four-lane highway – from vehicles going at speeds of up to 150 miles per hour.

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Hillary’s Unconscionable Benghazi Lie

Remembering the injustice done to the grieving father of an American hero.

The Ben Rhodes memo revealing the duplicity of this administration on the subject of Benghazi reminds us about the character of those involved. That President Obama could lie so evenly and so passionately (remember the second presidential debate?) is perhaps not surprising at this stage. But let’s not forget what it took for Mrs. Clinton to lie to the grieving father of an American hero.

First, a refresher on the facts (as they were certainly known to the principals):

A convoy of well-armed terrorists rolled into the complex housing the American consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. The attackers sealed off streets leading to the consulate with trucks and then commenced the attack on the building using rocket-propelled grenades, AK-47s, mortars, and artillery mounted on trucks. Ambassador Chris Stevens called Deputy Chief of Mission Gregory Hicks for help, saying “Greg, we’re under attack.” Hicks, who was in Tripoli, conveyed this up the line, but no help arrived.

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Sterling, Media and the Race Card — a Confederacy of Dunces

A secretly taped conversation between long-time L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his then-girlfriend was released. The NBA has now banned Sterling from the league. The commissioner recommends that Sterling sell his team.

The old guy had a quarrel with his girlfriend, which she apparently — surreptitiously — recorded. The most eye-raising parts have to do with Sterling, 80, telling his less-than-half-his-age girlfriend that he doesn’t want her attending games with black people, specifically with Magic Johnson. She can “f–k” anybody, he said, just don’t bring “them” to the games.

His reasons appear to be that his girlfriend, who describes herself as black and Mexican, would look — to others — more white if she sat next to white people. I guess. I really don’t know. He probably doesn’t.

Despite his obvious anger, Sterling never says the “n” word, let alone calls her a “c” word. He expresses admiration for Johnson. He says to the girlfriend, almost in disbelief, “You think I’m a racist!” The now ex-girlfriend is currently being sued by the Sterling family for allegedly embezzling almost $2 million.

The tape released contains some 15 minutes, although reportedly there are many more hours. He sounds jealous and insecure — an old guy asking his girl not to make him into a bigger, behind-the-back joke than he already is. She sounds shallow and manipulative, clearly trying to get him to say some really bad stuff to retain what she has — or to cash in for more.

For this Jerry Springer stuff, Sterling is deemed unfit to own a team?!

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Mother's Day is Next Weekend!


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HISTORICAL COMMENTS BY GEORGE CHEVALLIER 5-3-14

The Greeting Card

With all the electronic methods of modern society, we have forgotten one of the most important pieces of humanity – the greeting card. How many of us just get on the computer and email a birthday greeting when we used to send a card. Of course, cost is a major factor in the demise of one of the old stand-bys. It costs nothing to send an email. I have always used Hallmark cards and noticed that they have risen in price considerably over the years. I guess the new technology within the card figures in the cost. The card I just sent to my granddaughter had buttons to push (five of them) and each one triggered a mechanism that vocalized a different birthday greeting. It was clever but expensive. I bought it more for its entertainment value than the greeting. After all, she’s only four and can’t read past “Pop-Pop”, so the spoken word relayed my message.

The greeting card actually predates the postcard but the post card was very popular in the early part of the 20th century. This was probably because of the cost. The era of the “penny post card” lasted for many years and people have made a hobby out of collecting the various holidays. I always liked the Fourth of July best because of the patriotic themes and the colors. Halloween is the hardest to collect although Labor Day cards are the scarcest. Vacation views are still sent in large numbers.

In years gone by, I could always count on my mother sending me a greeting card on every holiday of the year. She was never officially voted the United States Post Office’s best customer but, if they had such an award, she would have been right in contention for the honor. She never missed a holiday from New Years right through to Christmas including my birthday. She understood what it meant to someone to be remembered by some tangible means.

The idea of sending cards is personal and can be done at one’s leisure by the sender. The person receiving the card has something to put up on the mantle and enjoy for days. And we underestimate the powerful impact that a handwritten greeting conveys.

There are also tricks involved with cards. My favorite is when my house is not at its best and I have someone coming over. I just keep a stack of “Get Well” cards handy and put them out on the mantle. Everyone thinks I have been sick and understands why the house is not 100%.

The “money card” was always a favorite with kids. If the sender used one of those cards that have the distinctive shape of a money card, it sort of gave away the mystery inside. Any card from a favorite aunt or uncle just might contain money and they were always eagerly opened.

So, along with the written letter, the greeting card is disappearing from modern society. From what I have seen of the results that our children learn about penmanship in school, I guess the computer is certainly much more legible. Maybe it is more legible, but not nearly as personal. There is still magic in the handwritten message and it conveys your personal thoughts so much better than any old greeting card.

Foreign Students Here For Summer

Given the volatility of international relations, “status quo” is typically seen as a good thing when it comes to the thousands of foreign students the resort relies upon each summer as temporary workers.

“Usually a big change means something bad has happened,” said Irina Capaldi of visa agency CCI Greenheart. “We like it to stay the way it is for a while.”

In a few short weeks, students will begin arriving under the U.S State Department’s J-1 visa program, which offers young people from overseas to opportunity to experience America while working to pay off their travel costs.

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Spring Craft Sale


Looking For New Auto Insurance? Walmart Offers A One-Stop-Shop For That Now, Too

Here’s our idea of what a typically Walmart shopping list looks like: bread, butter, milk, eggs, toothpaste, shampoo, and auto insurance. That is not a typo, Walmart has officially entered every facet of our lives with the launch of their new auto insurance comparison service.

The super-store teamed up with AutoInsurance.com to begin a comparison service that aims to help drivers buy and save on their auto insurance policies, the company announced Wednesday.

Because, you know, you’re already making money transfers and trading in video games for cash at Walmart, why not buy auto insurance there, too?

“Providing our customers with access to a broad assortment – from groceries to tires – at low prices and in one location is what we’re known for. We’re bringing the same one-stop shopping mentality to the insurance industry with AutoInsurance.com,” Daniel Eckert, senior vice president of services for Walmart, says in a news release.

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Runaway Budweiser Blimp Breaks Free, Goes Cruising Over Canada

Maybe you thought your dream had come true, that finally someone realized how important your annual spring barbecue is to everyone involved and sent a beer blimp to mark the occasion. Sorry, folks. It’s just that a Budweiser blimp broke free of its tethers and is on the lam, cruising the Canadian skies like the rebel it never knew it could be.

Officials with Transport Canada’s Civil Aviation Daily Occurrence Reporting System (try saying that three times fast, why don’t ya?) says the approximately 69-foot dirigible in the shape of a hockey goal light (#Canada) was floating somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 feet over New Brunswick, reports CBC News.

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8 Things That Won't Get You Banned By The NBA

With the lifetime ban by the NBA of despicably racist Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the door is wide open to further sports bans on people who say offensive things in private.

That, of course, is why Sterling was ousted. Everyone knew for decades that Sterling was a disgusting pig racist – he had federal lawsuits led by the Department of Justice against him for discriminating against blacks, Hispanics, and Asians in housing (one allegation in the 2006 DOJ lawsuit: he said black people “smell”). That would have been an excellent reason for ousting Sterling years ago. The NBA did nothing. Neither did the NAACP, which gave him a lifetime achievement award. But now that his 31-year-old consort has released tape of him saying racist things, the thought police have sprung into action – and the NBA has followed.

Good riddance to Sterling. But let’s understand that ginning up the mob based on private feelings is a dangerous business. We now live in a world in which racial feelings are more important than racist acts (as Sterling’s housing discrimination non-ban shows), and in which bad thought trumps bad action.

Here, then, is a brief list of things that will not get you banned by a sports league for life. The good news: if we tape record all of these people and then hand the tape to Harvey Levin, presumably we can get them banned relatively quickly. Because privacy now extends only to comments with which we agree as a society.

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Virginia Democrat to Supporters: Harass Tea Party Members by Calling the Police on Them

Mike Dickinson, a Virginia Democrat, badly wants Eric Cantor’s House seat. He wants it so badly that he’s willing to break the law to get it:

Mike Dickinson, the Virginia Democrat who wants the House seat currently held by Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., is not on the ballot in his district, but continues to issue unhinged tweets as though he is a viable candidate. On Sunday, he urged his supporters to violate Virginia law and use the police to harass members of the Tea Party.

“Use the Supreme Court ruling to harass tea party members. When you see them call the police,” he tweeted.

“You do realize you are advocating people to make false statements to the Police? That’s, last I checked, a crime,” one person said in response.

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That's A Moron - Parody of Dean Martin "That's Amore"

‘Twelve is about as old as I can handle’: Graphic emails sent from Democrat state rep charged with trading child porn

Illinois continues to be a beacon of democracy, thanks to a pillar of law-abiding, freedom-loving politicians. The state that gave us our esteemed president and Jesse Jackson, Jr. has also giving us Keith Farnham, the Democrat who loves kiddie porn.

Illinois representative Keith Farnham has been charged with using state and personal computers to trade child pornography.

The 66-year-old allegedly boasted about molesting a six-year-old girl and used online chat rooms to discuss his fantasies.

When he resigned on March 19, one week after his Elgin office and home were raided, he claimed he was standing down because of health concerns.

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Publishers Notes: How many more SICK politicians will be exposed. From Salisbury to Congress, gay marriage, transgender bathroom access, foot tapping in bathrooms, Liberals have screwed this country up so bad it isn't funny.

British politician arrested for quoting Churchill

FBI document details alleged misdeeds of infamous Philly union boss

A state judge this week unsealed documents from a 2006 FBI investigation into infamous Philadelphia union boss John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty.

The document is a sworn affidavit by FBI Special Agent Kathleen O’Hanlon, who said she had probable cause to believe Dougherty broke federal laws. The agent believed Dougherty unlawfully received free labor at his house and a condo in Wildwood, N.J., and he lied about his income and evaded taxes.

At the time, the FBI was seeking a warrant to search Doughtery’s south Philadelphia home. Dougherty was never charged with a crime.

Dougherty was and still is the business manager of the Local 98 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

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