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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Day Wicomico County Voters Will Never Forget

If you had the luxury of being there or watching on PAC 14 I'm confident each and every person in the game was on the edge of their seats wondering, will she flip flop? I knew my answer to that question early on but I have to tell you, she had me going for quite a while. In the end Councilwoman Stevie Prettyman made the call and said she now supports moving forward with a commitment letter on behalf of Bennett Middle School.

Councilwoman Stevie Prettyman thought she was being smart when she challenged my recent Post about the new property being in a flood plain zone. Well, perhaps I worded it improperly. The TECHNICAL term is call Hydric Soil. That's what 90% of that property is, allow me to explain more nut clearly from Mrs. Prettyman's question she had no idea of the following information. "A hydric soil is a soil that formed under conditions of saturation, flooding, or ponding long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic conditions in the upper part."

Now I don't care WHAT you want to call it, 90%, (or so) of that property has that soil and with floating footers there could be very serious settlement issues. Heck, the new Fire Station in Salisbury buried footers way into the earth and guess what Folks, they STILL had major settlement and continue to experience cracks in the concrete.

The Images above clearly show/prove that what I was saying is completely true. Now, that being said, while this was being challenged today I directly discussed it with Rick Pollitt and he said, "well, you know Joe, that wasn't wasn't my first choice." He then said, "I wanted that school to go behind the WalMart".

I should add, I'm putting this information up for selfish reasons as I want my readers to understand I did not try to mislead anyone. The experts and even Council Members can challenge me on a technicality but the TRUTH in the end is, this soil is some of the worst soil you could place a school on.

There could be a LOT of arguments as to why this shouldn't go forward but there's little doubt there was political influence. Many will claim a deal was made behind closed doors. Mrs. Prettyman stated the new financial information changed her mind but in all reality, nothing changed financially.

Mr. Pollitt and one BOE Board Member told me, "Wicomico County is the laughing stock of the entire state of Maryland". Well, Wicomico County is on the Eastern Shore. We do not enjoy the interest in development other counties experience. Always trying to be number one or the center of attention isn't even possible for Wicomico County, let's be real.

What we should be doing is LEARNING from those other counties and NOT make the same mistakes. We should be USING other plans/designs from other counties who have already designed new schools to save us millions of dollars.

The other day we exposed the serious problems with 40% of our schools failing state standard tests. THAT makes Wicomico County the laughing stock of the entire state, wake up people. Should Wicomico County be rewarded for the failures in those educators not capable of TEACHING our students.

I'm not trying to create sour grapes here. Similar to last night's City Council Meeting, what's done is done. However, wouldn't it have been WISE to add in an addendum for tomorrow's meeting into that letter stating IF Public Works doesn't agree to 100% of the original package the County Council could back out of their commitment? Am I the only one out there who thinks ahead. I mean, fair is fair, right?

In time each and every one of you will see the problems the County will experience attempting to build that kind of structure on that kind of land. The documents above do not lie. When we have so many financial road blocks ahead of us, so much uncertainty, I have lost ALL faith in Wicomico County and the direction our leaders are heading us into.

In the end I can say in the very least for Salisbury News we will continue to have a lot to publish daily. So I hate to say this but this decision is actually great for business. Over the last 5 days we have experienced record days, one day after the other beating out the previous days numbers.

I guess in the end I need to rethink things. I'll have to somehow convince myself that in today's world when you have 40% of the schools failing it's best to spend up to $80,000,000.00 to reward them in the firm belief they will do better. At least that's how Councilwoman Stevie Prettyman is thinking along with three other Council Members. I truly thought someone with wisdom and experience would know better but as I said earlier, I need to rethink the way things are run in this country/county any more and many of you do too, because obviously we're wrong in the way we were raised.

Job Discrimination On The Rise

Federal job bias claims rise to an all-time high. The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission says workers filed almost 100,000 claims in fiscal 2011.That's the most in its 46-year history. Charges of discrimination based on religion and national origin drove the up-tick. On the flip side, claims of racial and sexual discrimination fell.

Rescuers Cut Through Second-Floor Wall To Extract Obese Man

SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY (PIX11)— Suffolk county cops and first responders thought they were answering a call to help a man who had fallen in an upstairs apartment bathroom in Center Moriches but they found much more, including a house with debris stacked almost to the ceiling. They ended up cutting out a second floor window to rescue the man described as obese."This is just so sad and unfortunate to see this happen." said the man's friend Janet Pepe. She says her pal, identified only as Marty was a big guy who liked candy. That love of sweets may have put him in danger.


Veterans Affairs Finds Big Problems At Several Of Its Cemeteries Nationwide

VA says in at least eight cases, people were buried in the wrong plots. The Washington Post, also reports mismarked and unmarked graves. The problems apparently stem from renovations at seven cemeteries across the country. VA says contractors temporarily removed headstones and put them back in the wrong places. The department is working to contact affected families and fix the problems.

Breaking News-- On Special County Council Meeting

The Wicomico County Council just completed thier meeting on Bennett Middle School.

The Wicomico County Council  has decided to vote YES on going forward with the letter of intent.

Joe Holloway-NO

Stevie Prettyman- YES

Gail Bartkovich-NO

John Hall-YES

Matt Holloway-YES

Sheree Sample Hughes-YES

Bob Culver-NO

Do Drones Undermine Democracy?

IN democracies like ours, there have always been deep bonds between the public and its wars. Citizens have historically participated in decisions to take military action, through their elected representatives, helping to ensure broad support for wars and a willingness to share the costs, both human and economic, of enduring them.

In America, our Constitution explicitly divided the president’s role as commander in chief in war from Congress’s role in declaring war. Yet these links and this division of labor are now under siege as a result of a technology that our founding fathers never could have imagined.


Smithsonian Awaits Shuttle

The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum is preparing to welcome the space shuttle Discovery into its collection, the Associated Press reports. Smithsonian Secretary Wayne Clough says the shuttle will be flown to Washington Dulles International Airport on the back of a Boeing 747 in April. A flyover is also planned above the nation's capital on April 17. The Discovery will makes its final home at the museum's massive hangar in Northern Virginia. The remaining Shuttle Endeavour will travel to the California Science Center in Los Angeles in the second half of the year.

Thirty Years Before SOPA, MPAA Feared The VCR

Thirty years before SOPA, the MPAA was in Washington, demanding legislative protection from a new and dangerous technology: the VCR. Here’s then-MPAA head Jack Valenti, testifying before a House Judiciary Subcommittee in 1982:
I say to you that the VCR is to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman home alone…
The Mediastat’s analyst says that 67 percent of the VCR owners own no prerecorded cassettes and 72 percent plan to buy one in the coming year and 48 percent have never rented a prerecorded cassette. The major source of programing material is home recording, which thus preempts prerecorded tapes and their revenue…
The loser will be your public because they don’t have these expensive machines. And that is what I am saying, sir. The public is the loser when creative property is taken and here is the reason why. The investment of hundreds of millions of dollars each year to produce quality programs to theaters and television will surely decline.


You Can Now Apply For Passport Online

Book that trip overseas. You can now apply for a U.S. Passport card online. The State Department is launching a 90-day pilot program. It allows U.S. citizens to apply for the travel cards digitally, instead of having to mail in their current passport book and other forms. The agency hopes it will help save them time and money. Participants in the pilot must have a valid passport, upload a digital picture and make an online payment in using The pilot program is the department's main initiative to meet a presidential order to simplify customer service interactions. The wallet-sized passport card is a low-cost alternative to the passport book.

GOP Angst: Gingrich's Rise Could Be Their Downfall

Washington (CNN) -- Newt Gingrich might have led Republicans to their first House majority in 40 years in the 1990s, but the prospect of the former House Speaker becoming their presidential nominee is producing significant GOP angst.

"If he's the nominee, it's a disaster. There is no way to sugar-coat it," said one GOP congressional strategist describing the tension after Gingrich won South Carolina.

"There is a reason most people who know him best aren't supporting him," said a former House colleague still serving in Congress.


Obama Offers Three Names For Undersecretary

President Obama nominates three people for undersecretary jobs at the Defense Department. He names Erin Conaton to personnel and readiness. She's been Air Force undersecretary since 2010. Conaton would replace Clifford Stanley, who left last year amid charges of abusive management. The president named Frank Kendall to acquisition, technology and logistics. He's been deputy to Ashton Carter, who was promoted to deputy secretary. The president named James Miller to the top policy slot, replacing Michelle Flournoy.

5 Marriage Secrets For Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day is the holiday for romance and romantic gestures. Why not take advantage of this day dedicated to love to improve your marriage? With a few simple switch-ups, you can put some practices in place that will improve your marriage-- for Valentine's Day and beyond!

5 Marriage Secrets for Valentine's Day

Don't Hold Your Breath On 2013 Budget Numbers

If you're holding your breath waiting for the president's 2013 budget numbers, you can exhale. The White House says it's delaying release of President Obama's budget for one week. It was first scheduled to come out Monday, Feb. 6. Now it will be Feb. 13. An administration official says staff needs more time to finalize decisions. The president delivers his fourth State of the Union speech tonight, and will likely reveal at least some budget proposals.

Former Council President Mike Dunn Files Ethics Charges Against Current City Council

Mike Dunn has filed ethics charges against three Salisbury City Council Members for hiring Mark Tilghman as their new City Solicitor.

Mike Dunn, still a drama queen, thinks he's going to out grandstand Laura Mitchell and attempt to make every one's life that much more difficult.

Funny, the jackass doesn't attend meetings and pretty much got throw out of Town by the voters because of all the unethical things HE was involved in for far too many years. Oh, remember the WWTP, the Old Mall, Sassafras Meadows pipe stem annexation and the list goes on and on and on.

Rumor has is that Mike Dunn IS getting back into local politics. Some have even claimed he's going to run against Debbie Campbell. I wonder if the Camden residents will sick their dogs after him and throw crinkled up paper in his face and give him exactly what he used to dish out.

In the mean time, Mike Dunn IS connected with Barrie Tilghman, Jonathan Taylor, Lynn Cathcart, Jim Ireton, Shanie Shields, Gary Comegys and the rest of the Dirty Dozen. Go for it Mike, you were a complete fool back then and you're still a complete fool today.

I may not personally like how things were handled last night but this Jonathan Taylor style bullsh!t has got to end. They're wasting taxpayers time and money. YES, you heard it here first on Salisbury News.

Fill In The Blank 01/24/12

My ALL time favorite movie line is _____.

Utah Boy Dies After Accidentally Shooting Himself With Replica Cannon

TREMONTON, Utah – A 14-year-old boy from Utah died after accidentally shooting himself in the head with a small replica cannon, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Robby Ostberg is believed to have been playing with the 18th-century replica cannon in the living room of his home in Tremonton, Utah, when it went off Monday morning.

The teenager was left with massive head injuries and died in his home.
Cops investigating the incident initially thought the cannon, which has a 6-inch barrel, was decorative, but they discovered that it was designed to fire a .50-caliber round, Tremonton police chief David Nance said.

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Tonight's State Of The Union Speech

We're learning of at least one proposal from tonight's State of the Union speech. President Barack Obama will renew his call to create a national broadband network for emergency responders. Capacity for that network would have to come from spectrum now used by television broadcasters. A big question is how public safety agencies would get the required bandwidth. Aneesh Chopra is the administration's chief technology officer. He speculates a network provision will be attached to the bill extending payroll tax cuts.

School Daze: Misspelled Crosswalk Has Reportedly Remained On New York City Street Since Last Summer

An embarrassing spelling mistake outside a school in Manhattan's Lower East Side reportedly remains unfixed months after the error was made.

The word school was misspelled as "shcool" on Stanton Street in front of Marta Valle High School. The error was made sometime last summer, reports.

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State Roundup, January 24, 2012

O’Malley’s new same-sex marriage proposal offers broad protections to opposing groups; gov to back bill protecting transgendered people; chief fiscal analyst says O’Malley’s budget goes a long way to shore up against federal cuts; 93 new staff proposed for Perkins Hospital; redistricting ruling appealed while Sykesville goes on record against redistricting plan; state ready to pick prescription drug provider; and robocall defense paid out of Ehrlich campaign fund.


Starbucks Moves Forward With Extended Boozy Menu Hitting More Locations

While it seems a Starbucks sprang up on every corner and in every mall at the rate of one new location per second, it's taking a little bit longer for their extended menu, including alcohol, to reach the nation. After testing it at Seattle locations and in Portland, Ore., the chain is finally ready to branch out to a few more locations.

More »

O’Malley Tweetup Provides Little New Information

The Monday morning session with Gov. Martin O’Malley was billed as the “first tweetup by a Maryland governor,” focused on his legislative agenda. But what can you expect from a meeting where the Twitter work product from each person is 140 characters long?

Continue Reading...

Bus Group Doesn't Mind If Priceline Kills Off William Shatner As Long As It's Not With One Of Their Vehicles

Priceline is reportedly offing their spokesman William Shatner in an ad, which is just fine with the American Bus Association — but they'd prefer it if his means of death is something other than a fiery bus explosion as seen in a new commercial. They're asking the travel booking site to pull the ad, which they feel is in poor taste.

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Wind Power Bill Reintroduced

Gov. Martin O’Malley reintroduced a wind farm bill Monday night that postpones unpopular surcharges on ratepayers and omits strict mandates to power companies to buy wind power.

Continue Reading...

Defense Opening Case In Stun-Gun Death Trial

BALTIMORE (AP) — A former Frederick County sheriff's deputy is set to present his defense at a stun-gun death trial in federal court in Baltimore.

The trial resumes Monday.

Former Cpl. Rudy Torres is accused in a civil complaint of having used excessive force against 20-year-old Jarrel Gray. Gray died after Torres shocked him twice with a stun gun while responding to a reported fight near Frederick in November 2007.


Total State Budget: How Big Is It Really?

Gov. Martin O’Malley used a 38-page PowerPoint presentation full of numbers, charts and graphs to unveil his fiscal 2013 budget plan last Wednesday. But one key number was missing. What is the total budget?

Continue Reading...

49ers' Kyle Williams Ignoring Twitter Threats

(CBS/AP) SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Kyle Williams is ignoring the barrage of hateful, hurtful, even threatening comments he has received via social media in the aftermath of his ill-timed fumble that cost the San Francisco 49ers the NFC championship game against New York.
Williams said Monday he takes full responsibility for his fumble on a punt return in overtime of a 20-17 loss to the Giants on Sunday night that set up Lawrence Tynes' winning field goal, calling the moment "painful."


Grant To Help Train Hospital Personnel To Recognize Signs Of Domestic Violence

HAGERSTOWN — Victims of domestic violence often go to hospital emergency rooms claiming their injuries were a result of accidents rather than abuse.

Training medical professionals to tell the difference and uncover the truth is one goal of a new hospital-based domestic violence screening program announced Monday by Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown.


BREAKING NEWS: No Confinement Recommended For Marine In Iraqi Killings

Judge recommends no confinement for Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, who pleaded guilty to negligent dereliction in the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqis at the hands of his squad.

From Fox News

'Blind Mules' Unknowingly Ferry Drugs Across The U.S.-Mexico Border

(CNN) -- Every weekday, Juan Andres drives across the U.S.-Mexico border from his home in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, to the University of Texas at El Paso.

The three-and-a-half-mile commute takes him a world away from a major flashpoint in Mexico's drug cartel war, away from a city with one of the world's highest murder rates.

Andres, who agreed to speak to CNN under the condition that his name was changed, has always been keenly aware of his and his family's safety while living in Juarez.

"The city was already pretty dangerous. We tried not to go to restaurants and things like that where [kidnappings] could happen," he said.


The Latest Views From The Gleeful Evil Bast@#d Soros

Well, this is interesting coming from a likely key backer of the Occupy movement. George Soros is predicting violence from the movement and evil from the government he tries to influence

The Daily Beast reports:

He sympathizes with the Occupy movement, which articulates a widespread disillusionment with capitalism that he shares. People “have reason to be frustrated and angry” at the cost of rescuing the banking system, a cost largely borne by taxpayers rather than shareholders or bondholders.

Occupy Wall Street “is an inchoate, leaderless manifestation of protest,” but it will grow. It has “put on the agenda issues that the institutional left has failed to put on the agenda for a quarter of a century.” He reaches for analysis, produced by the political blog, that shows how the Occupy movement has pushed issues of unemployment up the agenda of major news organizations, including MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News. It reveals that in one week in July of last year the word “debt” was mentioned more than 7,000 times on major U.S. TV news networks. By October, mentions of the word “debt” had dropped to 398 over the course of a week, while “occupy” was mentioned 1,278 times, “Wall Street” 2,378 times, and “jobs” 2,738 times. You can’t keep a financier away from his metrics.

As anger rises, riots on the streets of American cities are inevitable. “Yes, yes, yes,” he says, almost gleefully. The response to the unrest could be more damaging than the violence itself. “It will be an excuse for cracking down and using strong-arm tactics to maintain law and order, which, carried to an extreme, could bring about a repressive political system, a society where individual liberty is much more constrained, which would be a break with the tradition of the United States.”


Sarah Ferguson Will Not Be Extradited To Turkey

LONDON — There is no prospect of Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, being extradited to Turkey to face criminal charges over her undercover reporting for a TV documentary on Turkish orphanages, a British interior ministry source said on Friday.
Turkey sought Ferguson's extradition after a Turkish court accused her of "breaking the law in acquiring footage and violating the privacy of five children" while making the documentary in 2008, Turkey's Anatolian news agency said.


Delmarva Power To Receive 38MW Of Pa. Wind Power

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Pepco Holdings, Inc. says its Delmarva Power subsidiary will receive 38 megawatts of wind energy from the recently finished Chestnut Flats wind farm in south central Pennsylvania.


Deadline Set In Iowa Lottery Mystery

(CBS News) It's a first for the Iowa lottery. Officials are demanding that a person claiming a "Hot Lotto" jackpot step out from behind lawyers and reveal his or her identity - or forfeit the prize.

At a news conference Monday, Lottery CEO Terry Rich set a Friday, 3 p.m. deadline for lawyer Crawford Shaw to provide key details about the identity and contact information of the person who bought the winning ticket at a Des Moines gas station in Dec. 2010, and the chain of custody of that ticket.


For Giffords, House Comeback Is One Too Many

Washington — For months, Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in the head in an assassination attempt last year, signaled that returning to Congress, something she desperately longed to do, was in the realm of the possible.

She listened pensively as her friend, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, briefed her on the conflict in Libya, and she expressed in clipped phrases her views on the matter. She cast a vote to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. Her Congressional aides continued to churn out news releases outlining her positions and hold community meetings, and she and her husband gave an interview to ABC News in which she demonstrated her improving ability to speak.

But Ms. Giffords, a moderate Democrat from Arizona whose remarkable comeback stirred the nation, decided in recent days that she could not continue her recovery and still serve as a member of Congress. On Sunday, she announced that she would step down.

Ms. Giffords’s decision shook up the race for her seat representing Arizona’s Eighth District. She barely fought off her Republican challenger in 2010 but was expected to be a shoo-in for re-election if she had decided to run this year.

“She could have definitely done it,” Ms. Gillibrand said. “But I think she made a realization, if she really wanted to focus on the recovery, she shouldn’t.”


Britain, US And France Send Warships Through Strait Of Hormuz

Britain, America and France delivered a pointed signal to Iran, sending six warships led by a 100,000 ton aircraft carrier through the highly sensitive waters of the Strait of Hormuz.

This deployment defied explicit Iranian threats to close the waterway. It coincided with an escalation in the West's confrontation with Iran over the country's nuclear ambitions.


Obama Is on the Brink of a Settlement With the Big Banks—and Progressives Are Furious

For months, a massive federal settlement with big Wall Street banks over their role in the mortgage crisis has been in the offing. The rumored details have always given progressives heartburn: civil immunity, no investigations, inadequate help for homeowners and a small penalty for the banks. Now, on the eve President Obama’s State of the Union address—in which he plans to further advance a populist message against big money and income inequality—the deal may be here, and it’s every bit as ugly as progressives feared.



Salisbury, MD -- January 24, 2012 Wicomico County Council members voiced their approval Tuesday to send a letter of intent in support of the Bennett Middle School project to the state Board of Public Works. The County Council held an emergency legislative session on Tuesday regarding the Capital Budget and 5-year program. As part of the $35.2 million total request from county departments, the Bennett Middle School project was the budgetary issue discussed. The Bennett Middle School project, which has been a top priority for County Executive Rick Pollitt, received a favorable 4 to 3 vote from the County Council today one week after the council initially voted the matter down.

“Today, Wicomico County took a giant step forward as a community,” Pollitt said, “We have shown that through collaboration and cooperation, supported by a vigorous body of concerned citizens, local government can change its mind and act responsibly when pursuing a vision for the future of our county. ”

The Board of Public Works – through the Interagency Committee for School Construction (IAC) -- requires that the County Council submit a letter of intent to fund Bennett Middle School. This letter of support will now allow the County to receive state funds – currently recommended at $4.5 million—towards the completion of the project. Pollitt will join other officials from the school system in Annapolis before the Board of Public Works on Wednesday, seeking to increase the level of State funding to as much as $10 million.

Universal Public Education Is Dead

The National Education Association (NEA) received criticism for publishing an Op-Ed with Teach for America (TFA). Ken Bernstein found the piece to be “unbelievable,” while raising the possibility that union members felt betrayed. Anthony Cody first responded with “I just don’t get it,” and then raised this question:

“I wonder how it is possible to fight vigorously for a minimum one-year residency program and simultaneously praise someone whose recruitment model features a five week summer training course, and targets people who do not even wish to become teachers?”

While this rising concern that NEA is failing its mission has received relatively strong coverage in the new media of blogs and twitter, Susan Ohanian has been raising a similar (but nearly ignored) concern about the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)—the largest professional organization for teachers of English. I too have challenged NCTE’s role insupporting national standards and partnering with National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) for teacher certification standards. But my voice like Ohanian’s has been essentially shouting down an empty well, it seems.


Tenn. Cop "smoked Out": Veteran Officer Fired For Frequently Lighting Up

(CBS/AP) NEWBERN, Tenn. - Smoking in the precinct building is a fireable offense - and so a veteran Newbern, Tenn. police sergeant has been dismissed for doing just that.
Sgt. James Bishop, a 17-year veteran of the force, was terminated last week. A 2007 city policy prohibits smoking in all municipal offices and buildings.



The Ocean City Knights of Columbus held their annual award ceremony onWednesday, January 18, 2012. Among their top honors, such as Firefighter of the Year,EMTof the Year, Teacher of the Year and Couple of the Year, the Knights of Columbus awarded Ocean City Cpl. Richard Wawrzeniak with the prestigious title of Officer of the Year.

“I am extremely proud of Cpl. Wawrzeniak,” said Chief Bernadette DiPino. “He demonstrates the high qualities and standards expected of an Ocean City Police Officer. He is a hero”


Rick Santorum On Opposition To Abortion In Cases Of Rape: 'Make The Best Out Of A Bad Situation'

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum explained his opposition to abortion even in cases of rape during an interview Friday, saying that women who face such circumstances should "make the best out of a bad situation."
Asked by CNN's Piers Morgan what he would do if his own daughter approached him, begging for an abortion after having been raped, Santorum explained that he would counsel her to "accept this horribly created" baby, because it was still a gift from God, even if given in a "broken" way.
"Well, you can make the argument that if she doesn't have this baby, if she kills her child, that that, too, could ruin her life. And this is not an easy choice, I understand that. As horrible as the way that that son or daughter and son was created, it still is her child. And whether she has that child or she doesn't, it will always be her child, and she will always know that," Santorum said.


Very Best Campaign Poster!


It is not we non-interventionists who are isolationsists. The real isolationists are those who impose sanctions and embargoes on countries and peoples across the globe because they disagree with the internal and foreign policies of their leaders. The real isolationists are those who choose to use force overseas to promote democracy, rather than seek change through diplomacy, engagement, and by setting a positive example.
Some of the strongest supporters of the war declare that we are a Christian nation, yet use their religious beliefs to justify the war. They claim it is our Christian duty to remake the Middle East and attack the Muslim infidels. Evidently I have been reading from a different Bible. I remember something about “Blessed are the peacemakers.” My beliefs aside, Christian teaching of nearly a thousand years reinforces the concept of “The Just war theory.” This Christian theory emphasizes six criteria needed to justify Christian participation in war… The war in Iraq fails to meet almost all of these requirements. This discrepancy has generated anger and division within the Christian community. Some are angry because the war is being fought out of Christian duty, yet does not have uniform support from all Christians. Others are angry because they see Christianity as a religion as peace and forgiveness, not war and annihilation of enemies.


Mortgage Interest Deduction May Be Eliminated In MD!

Governor O’Malley announced his budget proposal which will reduce the deductions of all Marylanders who itemize and make more than $100,000. Most heavily impacted is the Mortgage Interest Deduction.

Instead of introducing the proposal as a separate bill, where it would have a hearing at which MAR could testify, the Governor is including it in BRFA, the Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act, which means that there will be no hearing or testimony on this specific provision.

The proposal to reduce deductions for Maryland taxpayers will disproportionately burden Maryland homeowners.

The two most important deductions for Maryland homeowners are the mortgage interest deduction and state and local property tax deduction.

Over 50% of Maryland taxpayers itemize, the highest proportion in the country.

Maryland has the highest percentage of taxpayers, almost 38%, claiming the mortgage interest deduction.

The mortgage interest deduction and real estate taxes account for almost 70% of total deductions for Maryland taxpayers.

In 2008, almost 1.1 million Maryland taxpayers claimed the mortgage interest deduction.

That same year, over 1.1 million Maryland taxpayers deducted property taxes.

Real estate accounts for over 20% of Maryland’s gross state product.

Housing and real estate are one of the most heavily taxed sectors of the economy, and Maryland has one of the most aggressive real estate tax structures in the country.

Maryland property owners already carry a significant tax burden, contributing the majority of revenue to local jurisdictions as well as 4.6% of state tax revenues. The average percentage of state tax revenue from real estate nationally is only 1.8%.

President Obama's New Numbers Look Great

Just in time for his State of The Union address, the latest ABC News/Washington Post Poll shows that President Obama has garnered a 53 percent favorability rating--much higher than Republican opponents and his highest since April 2010. Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, the two Republican frontrunners at the moment, clock in with 31 and 29 percent favorability ratings respectively.


Will They Show It During The Super Bowl?

Tilghman Turbine Hearing Tonight

EASTON Talbot County residents may comment on a proposed wind turbine on Tilghman at a hearing set for 6:30 tonight at the Talbot County Courthouse.
The plan is for a 50-kilowatt unit at 152 feet tall, with blades 63 feet in diameter, expected to produce about 150,000 kilowatt hours of electricity at the county's wastewater plant. Also included are plans for a 40-kilowatt solar array field, County Engineer Ray Clarke said.


Why Teachers Drink

The following questions were set in last year's GED examination
These are genuine answers (from 16 year olds) ....... And they WILL breed.

Q. Name the four seasons
A. Salt, pepper, mustard and vinegar

Q. Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink
A. Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists

Q. How is dew formed
A. The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire

Q. What causes the tides in the oceans
A. The tides are a fight between the earth and the moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins the fight

Q. What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on
A. If you are buying a house they will insist that you are well endowed

Q. In a democratic society, how important are elections
A. Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election

Q. What are steroids
A. Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs (Shoot yourself now , there is little hope)

Q.. What happens to your body as you age
A. When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental

Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty
A. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery

Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes
A. Premature death

Q. What is artificial insemination
A. When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow

Q. How can you delay milk turning sour
A. Keep it in the cow (Simple, but brilliant)

Q. How are the main 20 parts of the body categorized (e.g. The abdomen)
A. The body is consisted into 3 parts - the brainium, the borax and the abdominal cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs and the abdominal cavity contains the five bowels: A, E, I,O,U.. (wtf!)

Q. What is the fibula?
A. A small lie

Q. What does 'varicose' mean?
A. Nearby

Q. What is the most common form of birth control
A. Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium (That would work)

Q.... Give the meaning of the term 'Caesarean section'
A. The caesarean section is a district in Rome

Q. What is a seizure?
A. A Roman Emperor. (Julius Seizure, I came, I saw, I had a fit)

Q. What is a terminal illness
A. When you are sick at the airport. (Irrefutable)

Q. Give an example of a fungus. What is a characteristic feature?
A. Mushrooms. They always grow in damp places and they look like umbrellas

Q. Use the word 'judicious' in a sentence to show you understand its meaning
A. Hands that judicious can be soft as your face. (OMG)

Q. What does the word 'benign' mean?
A. Benign is what you will be after you be eight (brilliant)

Q. What is a turbine?
A. Something an Arab or Shreik wears on his head

FBI Arrests 4 Conn. Cops For Alleged Racial Profiling

The FBI arrested three police officers and one sergeant in Connecticut for allegedly mistreating Hispanic suspects and residents while on patrol, law enforcement officials said. 
Three East Haven police officers and the sergeant were taken into custody early Tuesday and are expected to be arraigned in federal court in Bridgeport later on the civil rights-related charges, the officials said.
The officers were identified as Dennis Spaulding, David Cari, Jason Zullo and Sgt. John Miller.
Connecticut U.S. Attorney spokesman Tom Carson confirmed the arrests and said the charges would be outlined at a news conference in Bridgeport later Tuesday morning.


The Debt Generation

Brain Scans Spot Early Signs Of Dyslexia

Instead of waiting for a child to experience reading delays, scientists now say they can identify the reading problem even before children start school, long before they become labeled as poor students and begin to lose confidence in themselves.
Although typically diagnosed during the second or third grade of school - around age 7 or 8 - a team from Children's Hospital Boston said they could see signs of the disease on brain scans in children as early as 4 and 5, a time when studies show children are best able to respond to interventions.

Soros: Occupy To Turn Violent

Billionaire George Soros is predicting protests by Occupy Wall Street will turn violent, while warning the U.S. financial system may collapse.

In an interview with Newsweek writer John Arlidge, Soros reportedly said riots on the streets of American cities are inevitable.

“‘Yes, yes, yes,’ he says, almost gleefully,” when asked about the prospect of Occupy turning violent, writes Arlidge.

Soros claimed the riots will “be an excuse for cracking down and using strong-arm tactics to maintain law and order, which, carried to an extreme, could bring about a repressive political system, a society where individual liberty is much more constrained, which would be a break with the tradition of the United States.”

“At times like these, survival is the most important thing,” Soros continued.

“I am not here to cheer you up. The situation is about as serious and difficult as I’ve experienced in my career,” Soros said.


The Places I've Been

I have been in many places, but I've never been in Cahoots.

Apparently, you can't go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.

I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.

I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport; you have to be driven there.

I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work.

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I'm not too much on physical activity anymore.

I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

Sometimes I'm in Capable, and I go there more often as I'm getting older.

One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart!

At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!

I may have been in Continent, and I don't remember what country I was in. It's an age thing.

Aloha On Your Dime

Ron Paul: ‘Police State’ Is ‘Growing Out Of Control’

Republican presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul issued a sharply-worded statement in reaction to the detention of his son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, by Transportation Security Administration agents in Nashville on Monday.

“The police state in this country is growing out of control,” Paul wrote in a statement provided to The Daily Caller. “One of the ultimate embodiments of this is the TSA that gropes and grabs our kids and our seniors and does nothing to keep us safe.”

Paul has been a vocal critic of the TSA, and is the sponsor of the “American Traveler Dignity Act,” which would remove TSA agents’ immunity from prosecution for implementing invasive pat-down procedures.

In Paul’s Monday statement, he noted, “my ‘Restore America Plan,’ in additional to cutting $1 trillion dollars in one year, eliminates the TSA.”

Read more


“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” - Upton Sinclair

I began to write this article in early December. I had just written a piece that attempted to scrutinize how the American public could stand idly by while heavily armed mercenary thugs viciously crushed the Occupy encampments across the country in a Department of Homeland Security coordinated attack at the behest of the ruling oligarchy. Comfortably Numb made a case that the political and economic systems of the United States have been captured by a few evil men and they use their wealth and power to control the message hammered into the psyches of an apathetic, distracted, vincibly ignorant public. I started to tackle the question of why Americans could stand by as the new Greatest Generation was being abandoned, derided, scorned, beaten, tear gassed, and arrested for having the courage and audacity to stand up to a powerful corrupt unholy alliance between Wall Street psychopaths, corporate fascist barbarians, and Washington DC power hungry jackals. But I became overwhelmed with a feeling of disillusionment and hopelessness and was unable to write anything for about a month. I found myself questioning whether it was worth fighting such a powerful foe after seeing how easily they crushed the opposition put forth by OWS. After a month I decided I am not one to love my servitude.



Corzine, MF Execs and JPM Named in RICO Lawsuit
Privately sponsored RICO lawsuits have a difficult time obtaining the types of information that are required to make a conspiracy case unless they get really lucky. The defendants will lawyer up and stonewall, using the types of court maneuvers that prove so effective in mortgage fraud cases, theft of customer funds, and mass foreclosures based on forged documents.

The chances of an Obama Administration investigation with teeth seems unlikely. Their Justice Department has strong ties to the big banks and mortgage companies and a very poor record of prosecuting fraud cases.

Of course there is little reason to hope for anything different from any Republican administration. Ron Paul would be honest enough, but it is hard to tell which laws he would choose to enforce and which ones would be considered an intrusion on free markets.

It might be more effective for the public to demand the appointment of a special prosecutor with a proven record of effective investigation of the big banks. Too bad Eliot Spitzer was taken out of the picture in a bank sponsored ‘investigation’ by the Bush Justice Department.


Of All The Candidates, Ron Paul's View Is Closest To That Of A True Zionist


Help Wanted 01/24/12

Businesses looking to fill positions can put their information in comments for FREE.

Gingrich Contract With Freddie Mac Leaves Questions Unanswered

The consulting firm founded by Newt Gingrich on Monday night released a copy of its 2006 contract with Freddie Mac showing it was paid $300,000 to provide unspecified "consulting and related services" for one of the federally sponsored housing agency's top lobbyists.
The contract between the Center for Health Transformation, an arm of the Gingrich Group, and Freddie Mac shows that Gingrich reported directly to  to Craig Thomas, who at the time served as the agency’s director of public policy and was one of its registered lobbyists on Capitol Hill.


Ex-CIA Agent Charged With Leaking Classified Info On Gitmo Case

A former U.S. Senate investigator who had previously worked for the CIA was arrested Monday and charged with repeatedly leaking classified information to journalists as well as violating the federal law that forbids disclosing the identity of covert intelligence officers.
John Kiriakou, who between 2009 and last year worked as an investigator for Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was charged by a federal grand jury with one count of violating the Intelligence Agencies Protection Act, two counts of violating the Espionage Act and one count of lying to the CIA about his actions in an effort to convince the agency to let him publish a book, "The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA's War on Terror."

Read More

10 Signs You’re Dating A Jerk

Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to strap on your tallest heels and reserve a window seat at a chic lounge for some champagne and brie.  Or, for the more traditional lady, there’s no greater treat than spending an evening enjoying red wine and dark chocolate with your love, be it your soul mate or your best friend.  The only wrong way to spend this special day is with a jerk.  Sometimes hard to spot, these heartbreakers have a pension for making their dates feel awful and are experts in keeping a relationship miserable.  Fortunately, enough women have been there before you and there are now many  easy to spot red flags.  Keeping a lookout for these top ten signs you’re with a jerk is the first step to ensuring you won’t have a Valentine’s Day to regret:

Today's Survey Question 1-24-12

How important is your morning cup of coffee?

Jeffrey: Newt Used Both Barrels

Newt Gingrich routed Mitt Romney in South Carolina because he routed the media first.

A Public Policy Polling survey of likely South Carolina primary voters completed on Friday revealed that 77 percent said they had an unfavorable opinion of the media. Among the most conservative South Carolina primary voters, fully 89 percent had an unfavorable opinion of the media. The same poll showed Gingrich beating Romney in the primary, 37 percent to 28 percent — fairly close to the actual outcome.

Conservatives not only resent the liberal media for trying to pick the Republican nominee (n.b. the media prefer Romney) but they also resent Republican politicians who, once elected, spend their careers appeasing the media while abandoning conservative principles (n.b. the supine leadership of the Republican party in the House of Representatives).

Conservatives want a president whose attitude toward the media matches the attitude Gingrich has shown in recent debates. A president with that kind of attitude, they hope, might actually govern as a conservative.


Arkansas Democratic Campaign Manager Comes Home To Find Child’s Cat Murdered, ‘LIBERAL’ Written On Dead Body

The campaign manager of Arkansas Democratic congressional candidate Ken Aden arrived home last night to find his child’s pet cat murdered on the front porch with the word “LIBERAL” scrawled across its lifeless body.
Aden’s campaign manager, Jake Burris, lives in central Arkansas with his four kids. Blue Arkansas has more on the scene at Burris’s home (emphases are ours):
Last night, Jake and his four kids had come back to their Russellville home. As they were getting out of the car, one of his children discovered their family cat dead on the front porch. One side of the animal’s head had been bashed in and an eyeball was hanging out of its socket. But there was something even more horrifying to be found on the corpse. Written across the animal’s fur in black marker was the word “LIBERAL“.

Maryland Republican Party Moving Headquarters

The New Office Will Be Located at 95 Cathedral Street

- The Maryland Republican Party will officially move into their new offices on February 13, 2012. The Party will conduct a ribbon cutting ceremony at 4:30 on February 13 that is open to all press and the general public. A reception with refreshments will follow the ceremony. Local, state and federal elected officials have been invited.

"We are really excited about our new headquarters," said Maryland GOP Chairmen Alex Mooney. "The new space is modern, and more importantly, it will enable us to save nearly $50,000 a year in rent, utilities and taxes."

Good Morning?

By the time I got out of my Downtown Office last night it was almost midnight. I drove home thinking, man, this has been one heck of a long day, it started at 4:30 AM.

I hadn't eaten any dinner and quite frankly wasn't in the mood when I finally got home. I made the attempt to go to bed right away but I couldn't get all of the Council matters off my mind. I'm talking about City and County Council's.

Now you might be thinking, how does Joe feel about things after he's had a night to "think about it". If I had been able to get any kind of real sleep I might have a decent answer. Instead, 5:30 AM came faster than I had hoped, especially after falling asleep around 2:00 AM.

I got my little guy on the bus and headed right back into Salisbury to get my day started on Salisbury News. To my amazement, after I was deep into multiple Posts, the front door opened and it was my beautiful Bride holding my cell phone in her hand. I was so out of it this morning I had forgotten one of the most important tools I own.

Her timing couldn't have been any better too. No sooner did she leave I started getting calls from all over the place. Mind you, mornings are the absolute worst time to try to reach me, unless it's an emergency. We take what we do at Salisbury News very seriously. We set goals each and every morning to research and provide articles in which we feel you'll be most interested in, left or right.

That being said, I have finally finished the "regular Posts" you'd normally see in my name throughout the day and this is the time I can start calling people back, draft my own Posts and deliver my personal opinion about recent matters/issues. However, today I'm just too damn tired at the moment and I have to plan on being at the GOB, (again) at 11:00 AM for the County Council Special Meeting. HOPEFULLY we'll see a lot of YOU there as well. I figure, if I can put in all these hours, its time YOU start participating when we request you to do so.

Councilwoman Stevie Prettyman is by far the most unpredictable Council Member I have ever experiences/seen. I can tell you this. New information will come forward today that should amaze you. Mind you, it's on both sides of the table. I like knowing the Bennett Middle School funding will no longer be a part of the "general funding" but we'll let Council Members explain that deeper today.

Sharee Sample Hughes, (who was expected not to be there) WILL be there today. I'm sure many are crossing their fingers in the hope that the end result will change. I guess we'll all see about that. The KEY to this meeting is as follows, OPEN GOVERNMENT. You have to at least give this Council some credit towards the fact that once they learned of this new information, knowing they could have left things as they were, they have chosen to go public with that information to be fair to the taxpayers.

NOW, that being said, the Board of Education has a reputation of NOT being so fair, yet the personal attacks, (especially anonymous ones) have been extremely harsh. Even former County Council Members and other leaders in Wicomico County have made statements that were not only lies, they were despicable and I hope they're called out today.

Mr. Sarbanes, I have heard some things you have come out and said and quite frankly, shame on you. I'll deal with you head on a little later. Just know Sir, you are on my radar screen and I seriously doubt you want to go toe to toe with me.

Nevertheless, I think its high time the Board of Education start being more forthright with information.

OK, I've had my cup of coffee and I'm ready to go to the County Council Meeting. More to come...

Former CIA Officer Charged In Alleged Leaks

The Justice Department on Monday charged a former CIA officer with repeatedly leaking classified information, including the identities of agency operatives involved in the capture and interrogation of alleged terrorists.
The case against John Kiriakou, who also served as a senior Senate aide, extends the Obama administration’s crackdown on disclosures of national security secrets. Kiriakou, 47, is the sixth target of a leaks-related prosecution since President Obama took office, exceeding the total number of comparable prosecutions under all previous administrations combined, legal experts said. 


In The Gusher Of Super PACs, Even One Named ‘The Internet’

Sure, there’s the GOP symbol, but the real elephant in the room at any of the Republican debates since December has been the super PAC, the turbocharged political action committee able to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money on political ads — as long as that spending isn’t coordinated with a particular campaign.

Mitt Romney supporters used Restore Our Future to tank Newt Gingrich in Iowa, while Gingrich supporters relied on Winning Our Future for revenge in South Carolina.


Return Of The 'Welfare Queen'

(CNN) -- She's out there, lurking in the 2012 presidential race like a horror movie villain who refuses to die.
She has 12 Social Security cards, mooches on benefits from four fake dead husbands, and collects food stamps while driving a Cadillac. She rakes in about $150,000 a year in welfare benefits and, of course, people assume she must be African-American.
President Ronald Reagan gave America a sunny "Morning in America" optimism, but he also gave it the "Welfare Queen," an infamous character who has re-emerged in this year's presidential race.


False Joe Paterno Death Report Relied On Faulty Sourcing

The student publication that erroneously reported Joe Paterno's death Saturday night has an editorial process built for the web, and they proudly don't subscribe to traditional journalistic standards.

The Onward State tweet that erroneously reported Joe Paterno's death Saturday night and led to an avalanche of false reports in other outlets was based on the work of two student reporters: One was snookered by a false email, and one overstated his knowledge of the events, according to the site's co-founder.

A third student, Managing Editor Devon Edwards, decided to pull the trigger on the tweet. Edwards resigned Saturday night.


Otway,Russo & Rommel, P.C.

JFK Library To Release Last Of Secret Tapes

The tapes include discussions about Vietnam and the race to space with the Soviets. Andm there are moments with his children.


New Castle Businessman Challenges Carper

LewesKevin Wade wants to change the way Delaware is represented in Washington, D.C.  More than 60 Delaware residents gathered Jan. 12 to rally support for Wade, a Republican, in his run against Delaware’s U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat who has never lost an election.
Wade said he is not concerned with Carper’s political career.  “Tom Carper may be winning, but everyone in this room is losing,” Wade said as he glanced around the Sussex East clubhouse in Lewes.
Wade said career politicians such as Carper have stopped working for their constituents. “The people I work with have to do their job or they have to go,” Wade said.  Wade founded Philadelphia Control Systems Inc., an engineering corporation based in Christiana, about 30 years ago, at age 29.
“Kevin doesn’t have to do this.  He’s been very successful,” said Sussex County Republican Dan Anderson.  “He’s doing this because he’s a patriot.”


Goalie Skips White House Event For NHL Champs

WASHINGTON (AP) - Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas says he didn't attend the White House ceremony with President Barack Obama honoring the team for its 2011 Stanley Cup Championship because he believes the federal government "has grown out of control" and threatens rights and liberties.

Thomas said on his Facebook page Monday night he was exercising his rights. He said it wasn't "about politics or party," and he blames both political parties.


Small Town Ky. Mayor Shot Dead

(CBS/AP) HICKMAN, Ky. - The mayor of a small western Kentucky town was shot dead early Monday morning in his home, and a suspect turned himself in shortly afterward.
Hickman Police Chief Tony Grogan said 30-year-old Thomas Joseph Lattus walked into the police department around 1 a.m. and told an officer he had just shot Mayor Charles Murphy. An officer went to Murphy's home and found the mayor's body in the bedroom.
Lattus has been charged with murder and is being held at the Fulton County Detention Facility, where records do not indicate whether he has an attorney. A home phone number for Lattus could not immediately be found Monday morning.


Arrests In Fagan's Homicide

DATE: 01/23/12
LOCATION: East Road, Salisbury, MD

NARRATIVE: On January 20h
the Wicomico Bureau of Investigation and Maryland State Police Homicide Unit obtained additional arrest warrants for murder in the case of Arnold Fagans. The Wicomico Bureau of investigation and Maryland State Police working in conjunction with specialized units of the Maryland State Police, developed information that led to the arrest warrants and subsequent service of those arrest warrants. Both subjects were taken to WCDC where they are being held without bond. The investigation into this homicide is continuing and ongoing, additional arrests are expected in this case.

Anyone with information can contact the Wicomico Bureau of Investigation at 410-548-4898.

Spates Darell Lorenzo 06/03/1989, Salisbury, MD
Taylor, Cassone Arnaze 02/22/1992,Salisbury, MD

Murder First Degree
Murder Second Degree
Assault First and Second Degree

DISPOSITION: Held Without Bond

Dodd Accused Of “Bribery” Over SOPA Remarks

With the (at least temporary) shelving last week of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), Hollywood was dealt a defeat following a backlash led by Internet giants Google, Wikipedia and others. 

Now Chris Dodd, senator turned Motion Picture Association of America chief, is out with an informative interview warning lawmakers — particularly Democrats — not to count on Hollywood’s historically generous campaign contributions. He told Fox late last week:


Public Hearing Set For Proposed Fare Increase Of West Ocean City Park & Ride Shuttle

The Ocean City Mayor and Council will hold a public hearing at its Monday, March 5 meeting to seek public comment on a proposal to raise the fare for the shuttle that operates between the West Ocean City Park & Ride and the South Transit Station in downtown Ocean City. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall, 301 Baltimore Avenue.

Al Franken Said It All

Hi. My name is Al Franken. I am a Senator from Minnesota. A proposed bill in the Senate, PIPA, threatens to treat the concept of free speech in much the same way that totalitarian regimes in China, Iran and North Korea do. This bill is why so many internet sites have 'gone black' in protest. It was written for lobbyists to place corporate greed over the fundamental freedoms our nation was founded on, and I support it.

Read More

Plane Crash Off Deal Island

It appears that the engine noise and splash were made by oyster poachers using a power dredge, not by an airplane. The noise was from the auxiliary engine and the splash was the dredge basket hitting the water. Rumor is that DNR has them in custody.

Brain Games May Help Thwart Alzheimer’s: Study

Worried about Alzheimer’s disease? You may want to finish that game of Sudoku before you read this.
Researchers behind a study in this week’s Archives of Neurology say they have a found a link between “brain-stimulating activities” and levels of protein thought to cause Alzheimer’s disease.
“Your lifestyle over the course of your lifetime may be critical in the development of Alzheimer’s disease,”  University of California-Berkeley researcher and study author Dr. Susan Landau said.


Supreme Court Court Rejects Willy-nilly GPS Tracking

The Supreme Court said Monday that law enforcement authorities might need a probable-cause warrant from a judge to affix a GPS device to a vehicle and monitor its every move — but the justices did not say that a warrant was needed in all cases.
The convoluted decision (.pdf) in what is arguably the biggest Fourth Amendment case in the computer age, rejected the Obama administration’s position that attaching a GPS device to a vehicle was not a search. The government had told the high court that it could even affix GPS devices on the vehicles of all members of the Supreme Court, without a warrant.


4-Year-Old's Tip Leads NY Cops To Dad Hiding In Attic

(CBS/AP) MASSENA, N.Y - Police say they found a New York man hiding from arrest in the attic with help from an unusual source - the man's 4-year-old daughter.
State police say troopers went to John Colby's home in Massena in northern New York on Sunday morning to serve two warrants for his arrest for failure to appear in court for vehicle and traffic violations.
Troopers say Colby's 27-year-old live-in girlfriend told them she didn't know where Colby was. But then the couple's 4-year-old daughter chimed in, telling police that "daddy is scared and hiding in the attic."


A Letter To The Editor 1-24-12

Thoughts About BMS, And Closely Related Topics

Wicomico County Council got it exactly correct in its vote not to provide a letter of intent supporting destruction of Bennett Middle School (BMS) and construction of a new BMS in the Fruitland area. The council should resist efforts to have it reverse course on this topic based on whatever ‘found’ money or suddenly changed circumstances from last week are being proffered.

Nobody wants BMS students and staff to suffer during their time in the building, but WCBOE, under both the current and numerous preceding administrations and boards have consciously let maintenance of this school and many others lag deplorably for many, many years. That said, repair and maintenance in most other schools has improved, from personal observation, in recent years.

In my opinion, repeat, in my opinion, WCBOE has been less than forthright in its approach to the BMS issue. Part of this problem is that the State of Maryland funds a large portion of the costs related to new school building construction, and provides very little for renovations. Would you pay out of pocket to fix your older, paid for car if Ricky Pollitt or Marty O’Malley would pay the majority of the cost of a new, larger, more luxurious, more hi-tech one for you? Probably not, right? Same lure exists for county councils and boards of education across the state, and they rarely have said “No” in the recent past.

Slick Ricky has been at Wicomico County’s helm for over 5 years and he has yet to provide a lucid, transparent look at where the money has gone and where it is going. Oft forgotten is that he left a big dimple in a chair for almost 10 years as a member of the WCBOE board prior to running for County Executive. So if he was paying attention, he was in a position to ask about school building maintenance and construction plans, philosophies and practices. Evidence is scarce that he was ever curious.

He was O’Malley’s re-election head in this area so it’s fair to assume he could have the governor’s ear if he wanted it regarding the spending proposals O’Malley planned to float before his rubber-stamp legislature in Annapolis. Instead he appears to have chosen to wait until the last moment to trot out his FY 2013 budget requests and to force the county council to make major decisions, specifically the BMS proposal, without solid information about both 1) funds available to the county and 2) actual cost of the project. In our personal lives, how many of us would sign a blank check without a known source of income? Nothing prohibits Pollitt from informing the council and WCBOE of his plans in advance of the statutory deadline except his desire put them on the spot.

In like fashion, WCBOE has fixated on the notion that in order for the James M Bennett HS (JMB) project to be finalized, BMS must be leveled for additional sports fields, to the tune of $7.5 M, if memory serves. And a new BMS must be erected elsewhere at a cost which has gyrated, with state subsidies which have also been quoted in various sources at widely varying dollar amounts and percentages. Council was wise to have side-stepped this bait-and-switch ruse.

The major shortcoming of the old JMB and the current BMS is that they were overcrowded and lacked air conditioning. Maryland’s school construction regulations generally will only provide funds for a building that will hold the existing student population; this approach has both positive and negative outcomes. The old JMB was greatly overcrowded; the new JMB was basically at authorized capacity when it was opened. That will be the case for BMS if a new building is constructed. BMS could be renovated and enlarged to deal with these problems, if WCBOE wasn’t fixated on the knock-it-down syndrome. It was clear to those watching the telecast council meeting last week that no serious effort was made at WCBOE to really compare the cost and benefits of a renovation versus a new building.

How many of us heard parents or teachers or other adult figures we respected tell us “Where there’s a will there’s a way” when we came up with weak arguments while seeking not to do something? The plain fact is that some years back, when money was more readily available at federal, state and local levels, WCBOE decided to get its Christmas list for JMB and BMS filled in a two step fashion; JMB first and BMS second. Since then economic circumstances have changed dramatically for the worse and the previous plans are no longer financially viable. Since they never made a Plan B for either school (renovation) for county council or the public to consider and evaluate, WCBOE has elected to double-down by tying in with the newspaper to promote photos and articles which graphically demonstrate just how BMS has been left to deteriorate. Most of the photos show easily remedied tasks.

I’m not an engineer or an architect, but I am “handy” as are many other local residents. Renovation shows abound on TV. To suggest BMS, already bought and paid for long ago, couldn’t be retro-fitted with A/C, couldn’t be re-glazed (WiMiddle was recently) with high performance windows, and couldn’t get additional electric service (if needed) is to insult the public and the council. A/C could be run through the halls and into classrooms or externally. An elevator could be constructed adjacent to the current stairwells to service the upper floor; two if both wings need the feature. Could each of these items be added, incrementally, without interrupting instruction and for millions less than the sums that have been bandied about? You know it; I know it and so do all the local contractors capable of doing the work with local crews!

As an example, in 2005, BMS used to have 2 classrooms specifically for computer instruction, and another classroom converted for computer testing and drills, in addition to a number of computer stations in the media center (library), in addition to many classrooms with multiple computers. Yesterday’s on-line newspaper photos purported to show a clogged media center as the sole computer resource in the school; if this is the case it is because of subsequent administrative decisions and not because of inadequacies in the building.

Across the past decade WCBOE has utilized portable classroom trailers as its preferred band-aid for space needs as enrollment increased or programs proliferated at individual schools; BMS had relatively few trailers until recent years.

Councilman Culver made a very interesting observation in the council meeting when he stated that North Carolina has a uniform set of blueprints for schools. Why we should need individual, customized plans for these structures makes no sense and only runs the costs up; incremental changes based on experience are to be expected, but constructing architectural edifices just to show what is possible or fashionable no longer has merit.

Council: Stand firm and ratify your courageous and proper decision from last week. Mr. Matt Holloway and Mr. Hall; join with those who are not interested in squandering our scarce financial resources. Fix what we have before building anew.


An Interested Reader

Bruins Goalie Thomas Declines White House Visit For Political Reasons

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Boston Bruins' star goaltender Tim Thomas skipped Monday's White House visit by the Stanley Cup champions due to political differences with President Barack Obama. 

Thomas, a Flint, Mich., native and one of only two American players on the Bruins' Stanley Cup roster last season, was the only Boston player to decline the invitation. 


Exteme Prepping

A video of extreme prepping. Agreed, some of this is extreme but the video has some interesting ideas. It also shows that there are no limits to American ingenuity. It should also be noted that beginning February 5th, National Geographic will air the first in a series called Prepping for Disaster. You have to agree that prepping must be catching on for a television network to implement a TV series about it.


Today's Weather 01/24/12




Overnight Low