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Monday, March 26, 2012

Facebook Agrees: Employers Should Definitely Not Be Asking For Your Passwords

We weren't the only ones shocked to find out that employers have been asking job applicants or in some cases, actual workers, for the passwords to their Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts. Facebook has issued a statement addressing that practice, calling it "alarming."


Americans Will Shell Out $145 Each To Turn Into The Easter Bunny

So maybe not everyone is going to strap on a fluffy white tail and don bunny ears, but the average American celebrating Easter this year will be spending around $145 on assorted springtime merchandise. That's up from about $131 at the same time last year.


Smart Flight Attendant

A 50-something year old Muslim man arrived at his seat on a crowded flight and immediately didn't want the seat. The seat was next to an elderly white woman reading her Bible.

Disgusted, the muslim man immediately summoned the flight attendant and demanded a new seat. The man said "I cannot sit here next to this infidel."

The fight attendant said "Let me see if I can find another seat."

After checking, the flight attendant returned and stated "There are no more seats in economy, but I will check with the captain and see if there is something in first class."

About 10 minutes went by and the flight attendant returned and stated "The captain has confirmed that there are no more seats in economy, but there is one in first class. It is our company policy to never move a person from economy to first class, but being that it would be some sort of scandal to force a person to sit next to an UNPLEASANT person, the
captain agreed to make the switch to first class."

Before the irate muslim man could say anything, the attendant gestured to the elderly woman and said, "Therefore ma’am, if you would so kindly retrieve your personal items, we would like to move you to the comfort of first class as the captain doesn't want you to sit next to an unpleasant person." Passengers in the seats nearby began to applause while some gave a standing ovation.

Be On The Lookout

Please be on the lookout someone stole the scout troops trailer that we have all our fund raising supplies stored in a police report has been filed it was taken from the lot across the street from danny fosters house at approx 1:20 a.m Sunday. Trailer is white & has lettering on sides that says boy scouts of america troop 754 east new market md. We cant sell any funnel cake sales without the trailer and its contents!

NYC Airports To Penalize Passengers Who Cause Flight Delays

In an effort to recoup costs resulting from flights delayed by passengers — and to discourage certain behaviors that cause these delays — the operators of the three major NYC-area airports plan to begin fining travelers who cause planes to stack up on the tarmac.


Gay Marriage Effort Attracts A Novel Group Of Donors

Los Angeles - On a warm Friday afternoon three years ago, Rob Reiner, the director, arrived for lunch at the Beverly Hills estate of David Geffen, the entertainment mogul. Mr. Reiner and his political adviser, Chad H. Griffin, had spent six months drafting an ambitious legal campaign aimed at persuading the United States Supreme Court to establish a constitutional right of same-sex marriage.

Mr. Reiner, joined by Mr. Griffin and Mr. Reiner’s wife, Michele, told Mr. Geffen they would need $3 million to challenge Proposition 8, a California voter initiative approved the previous November banning same-sex marriage. He informed Mr. Geffen that they had recruited two renowned lawyers, David Boies, a Democrat, and Theodore B. Olson, a Republican, to argue the case.

“Our feeling is not to go state by state,” Mr. Reiner said. “Our strategy is to make this wind up in the United States Supreme Court and have this a settled issue for all time.”


Loan Forgiveness Good For The Economy, And Maybe Fannie And Freddie Mac Too

New analyses by mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have added an explosive new dimension to one of the most politically charged debates about the housing crisis: Whether to reduce the amount of money beleaguered homeowners owe on their mortgages.

Their conclusion: Such loan forgiveness wouldn't just help keep hundreds of thousands of families in their homes, it would also save Freddie and Fannie money. That, in turn, would help taxpayers, who bailed out the companies at a cost of more than $150 billion and are still on the hook for future losses.

The analyses, which have not been made public, were recently presented to the agency that controls the companies, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, according to two people familiar with the matter. Freddie Mac's meeting with the FHFA took place last week.

The decision of whether to allow such reductions rests with Edward DeMarco, the acting director of the FHFA, who has steadfastly opposed so-called principal reductions on the grounds that it's a bad business decision for the companies and would cost taxpayers money.

Many economists and policy makers contend that cutting principal — the amount of money lent to the homeowner — is one of the best solutions for keeping people in their homes and to bolster the fragile economic recovery.


Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Press Release 3-26-12

DATE: March 23, 2012
CBI Case # 11-0291, 11-0292, 12-0028
LOCATION: Worcester County, Maryland
CHARGES: 3 Counts – Burglary 1st Degree
3 Counts – Theft $1,000-$10,000

Jennifer Lee Morris W/F 35 yoa
John Docherty W/M 46yoa
Dover, Delaware

NARRATIVE: On November 18, 2011
, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a burglary on the 10500 block of Bunting Road in Bishopville, Worcester County, Maryland. It was reported that someone had forced entry into the residence and stolen several electronic gaming system and system accessories, as well as a laptop computer, musical instruments, and other items, valuing over $1,000 total. Due to the nature of the offense, the Worcester County Bureau of Investigation was requested to handle the case.

On December 6, 2011, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office received another report of a burglary, this time on the 3700 block of Sand Road, Snow Hill, Worcester County, Maryland. In that case, it was reported that someone had forced entry into the rear door of the residence and stolen several pieces of jewelry, a .38 caliber revolver, and other items, valuing over $1,000 total. Due to the nature of the offense, the WCBI was requested to handle the case.

On February 1, 2012, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office received another report of a third burglary, this time on 7600 block of Greenbriar Swamp Road, Snow Hill, Worcester County, Maryland. In that case, it was reported that a subject attempted to force entry to the residence at the front doors, before breaking out a window in the rear of the residence. It was reported that the subject stole a gaming system and games, LCD television, and laptop computer, valuing over $1,000 total. Due to the nature of the offense, the WCBI was requested to handle the case.

On March 22, 2012, the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office received a wanted check from the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office in Coffee County, Tennessee, requesting that they confirm that a .38 caliber revolver that they had recovered had been reported stolen in Worcester County. The revolver was confirmed as having been the same gun that was taken in the Sand Road burglary. Upon making contact with the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office, Detectives learned that the suspects that were in possession of the stolen revolver were John Docherty and Jennifer Morris. John Docherty and Jennifer Morris had previously been identified as persons of interest in the Bunting Road burglary, and Detectives were able to confirm that Docherty and Morris were still in possession of many of the items that had been reported stolen in that burglary.

Upon learning of the involvement of Docherty and Morris in multiple burglaries in Worcester County, Detectives also reviewed additional burglaries that had occurred in the same time frame, and were able to determine that Morris and Docherty were also in possession of several of the items that had been reported stolen in the Greenbriar Swamp Road burglary.

Docherty was placed under arrest by the Coffee County Sheriff’s Office for involvement in crimes in Tennessee, as well as a fugitive warrant from the State of Florida, and was being held in lieu of bond in excess of $600,000 for his charges in Tennessee, as well as the detainer from Florida. Morris was not immediately arrested, and fled the area immediately after being questioned by police.

Arrest warrants are on file for both Docherty and Morris for the crimes in Worcester County, facing three counts each of 1st Degree Burglary and Theft $1,000-$10,000.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Is Making An Appeal To Young Latinos Today

He'll pitch the department as a great place to work in a speech to a group of Hispanic colleges and universities. Salazar also will discuss the agency's attempts to make Latino history more prominent at national parks. But first this morning, Salazar will help Labor Secretary Hilda Solis rename that agency's auditorium in honor of civil rights leader Cesar Chavez. Just 8 percent of federal workers are Latinom, making them the most underrepresented ethnic group in the government. President Barack Obama has called on agencies to improve diversity among their ranks.

Two Teens Charged In Vandalism

Location: Fir Drive and Shady Ridge Drive, Rehoboth, DE

Date of Occurrence: Between Thursday March 22, 2012 at approximately 9:30 p.m. through Friday March 23, 2012 at 7:00 a.m.


36 year old female from Rehoboth, DE
66 year old male from Rehoboth, DE
80 year old female from Rehoboth, DE
61 year old female from Lewes, DE
67 year old male from Rehoboth, DE
67 year old female from Rehoboth, DE

Defendants, Charges, and Bail Information:

17 year old male from Lewes, DE
Hate Crime
Conspiracy 1st
Conspiracy 3rd
Criminal Mischief under $1,000.00 (6 counts)

Arraigned at JP2 and released to the custody of parent pending Family Court hearing.

17 year old male from Rehoboth, DE
Hate Crime
Conspiracy 1st
Conspiracy 3rd
Criminal Mischief under $1,000.00 (6 counts)

Arraigned at JP2 and released to the custody of parent pending a Family Court hearing.

Rehoboth, DE- The Delaware State Police have arrested two teens after they spray painted several cars.

The incidents occurred sometime between 9:30 p.m. on Thursday March 22nd and 7:00 a.m. on Friday March 23rd after State Police were called to a residence on Fir Drive for a reported criminal mischief to a vehicle. One of the victims noticed a male suspect near his vehicle and was able to see him flee into a nearby residence. Upon inspecting his car, the victim saw his tail lights had been spray painted red.

The Trooper was able to locate the two suspects in a residence close to where the crime occurred and place them in custody. Further investigation revealed the two still had red paint on their hands and face.

More victims were located in the area of Fir Drive and Shady Ridge Drive that had red spray paint on their cars, house windows and fencing. One victim on Shady Ridge Drive had anti-gay sediments spray painted on his automobile and along the front of his house.

The two teens were charged with one count of Hate Crime, Conspiracy 1st, Conspiracy 3rd, and six counts of Criminal Mischief under $1,000.00. They were arraigned at JP2 and released to the custody of a parent pending a Family Court hearing.

Because of the age of the suspects, no names or photos will be giving out to the media.

If anyone has any information on this incident or any other similar incident, they are asked to contact Troop 7 at 302-644-5020 or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333. Information may also be provided via the internet at

Send an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword "DSP."

Two Veterans Affairs' Workers Have Served Suspensions For Violating The Hatch Act

They admitted to using their work email accounts to campaign for then-candidate Barack Obama back in 2008. The Office of Special Counsel says they did that, despite daily reminders from the agency about the Hatch Act and its restrictions. One employee served a two-week suspension; the other served three weeks. The Hatch Act bans government workers from using their official positions to engage in political activity. Congress is considering loosening the Hatch Act for that state and local workers — but not feds.

Supreme Court Starts Hearings On Health Care Law

The Supreme Court kicks off the first of three days of hearings on President Barack Obama's health care law. The two-year-old Affordable Care Act has been surrounded by controversy, mainly over whether the federal government can require people to get health insurance. But today's argument focuses on a more technical aspect of the law: Key provisions don't kick in until 2014. A 19-th century law would prohibit the court from ruling until that time. But both the plaintiffs and the federal government agree the Supreme Court shouldn't wait to act.

Kim Nichols Publicly Sworn In As The New City Clerk Of Salisbury

While Kim was chosen and sworn in officially on March 23rd, tonight the City Council wanted it publicly known Kim was their choice to replace Brenda Colegrove, also present for this ceremony.

Kim is a wonderful person who will serve the City well.

Maryland State Police Investigate Charges of a Trooper Assaulting a Waitress

Maryland State Police are investigating whether one of their own, a state trooper, assaulted a waitress at a popular restaurant chain.

The alleged incident happened at a Ruby Tuesday's in Prince Frederick last Thursday, apparently after the trooper became upset about how his meal was cooked.

Maryland State Police are confirming they're investigating the incident. They say an assault complaint has been filed against a State Trooper from the Leonardtown Barracks. This all began with an undercooked chicken dinner.

Waitress Amy Howes say it was the most intimidating and frightening encounter she's ever had with a customer.


Democrats Respond To GOP 2013 Budget

Congressional Democrats plan to release an alternative to the GOP's response to President Barack Obama's fiscal 2013 budget. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) says House Democrats' plan also would reduce the federal deficit. But he says it would preserve Medicare. Van Hollen criticized the Republican budget released last week as giving tax breaks to millionaires and ending the Medicare guarantee. The Hill newspaper reports the Democrats' plan would cap overall discretionary spending at the levels set by last summer's debt-ceiling deal, even though some on the left of the party say that's too restrictive.

Caption This Photo

KNIGHT: Taming the EPA Monster

Slowly, inexorably, the monster is being driven back to its lair. Its days of terrorizing villagers may soon be over. I wish I were talking about the federal government, but it’s the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), better known as the Environmental Protection-or-else Agency.

At one time, it was a harmless little back-alley operation that stumbled upon a secret growth formula, downed the whole vat and began wreaking havoc. You won’t find this account on the EPA’s official website, but you will find ample evidence of the monster’s ambitions to control the world, such as its quest for “environmental justice.”

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court slapped the monster right across the chops in Sackett v. EPA. An Idaho couple, Chantell and Mike Sackett, were building a home but fell victim to an EPA compliance order in 2005. Their building permit was revoked after the EPA charged that they had violated the Clean Water Act by filling in their lot with rocks and dirt.


O’Malley Administration Waters Down Septic Control Bill In Order To Save It

A series of nine amendments to the O’Malley administration’s septic bill cleared the Senate Friday evening, preserving longstanding control of septic use by local planning authorities. The administration worked on the deal with the Maryland Association of Counties, farmers, developers and builders to salvage passage of the controversial measure. Liberal Democrats opposed the compromise.


FreedomWorks Delivers Over 120,000 Petition Signatures to End Obamacare Now

House Changes Rules For Judges’ Salaries

A bill to raise pension contributions for new judges was amended in the House of Delegates Saturday to strike down a contentious provision in Maryland law that awards judges automatic pay hikes if the legislature fails to reject them.


Special Presentation To Take Place At Salisbury City Council Meeting

The Salisbury City Council cordially invites the public and members of
the press to a special presentation to be held at the beginning of tonight's
regular legislative meeting at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers, Room 301, of
the Government Office Building, 125 N. Division St. in Downtown

Tea Party Activists Defy Rain to Rip Obama Health Care Law

Several hundred rain-soaked Tea Party activists rallied on Saturday to call for the U.S. Supreme Court to repeal President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law after arguments next week.

Speaker after speaker at the two-hour protest in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol tore up copies of the law and condemned it as a threat to American freedoms and a violation of the Constitution.

The flag-waving rally by the Tea Party movement, which fueled a conservative Republican wave in 2010 mid-term elections, was an early start to demonstrations by opponents and supporters of the law around the Supreme Court arguments.

The Supreme Court has scheduled six hours over three days for the arguments from Monday to Wednesday.

"If Obamacare stands, I would have, you would have, future generations would have a future that not even ("1984" author George) Orwell could have foreseen coming," Representative Louie Gohmert, a Texas Republican, told the crowd.



On March 23, 2012, Darian Harold Makle, age 26, of Salisbury, Maryland was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the Attempted Second Degree Murder, that occurred on May 7, 2011, at Gully’s located at 733 Roland Street. The Defendant received a consecutive sentence of 10 years for the crimes of Use of a Handgun in the Commission of a Crime of Violence and Possession of a Regulated Firearm by a Prohibited Person. The defendant was found guilty of the above noted crimes on January 25, 2012 by a Wicomico County Jury.

Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matthew A. Maciarello commended the Salisbury Police Department and the detectives of Salisbury City’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) for their work in the investigation and prosecution of this case. Mr. Maciarello also thanked the citizens of Wicomico County who sat on the jury and Deputy State’s Attorney Ella Disharoon who prosecuted this case.

U.S. Gasoline Hits $3.93 a Gallon: Survey

The price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States rose 11.49 cents over the past two weeks as profit margins for refiners and gasoline retailers increased, according to the nationwide Lundberg Survey.

The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline rose to $3.9297 on March 23, the survey of about 2,500 gasoline retailers in the continental United States found.

That was a smaller increase than the 12.31-cent rise in the previous survey, which covered the two weeks that ended March 9.

"Profit margins have been exceptionally narrow for quite some time and they have normalized," survey editor Trilby Lundberg told Reuters. "Crude oil price hikes have found their way through to the pump."

The benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed on Friday at 106.87, down slightly from the March 9 price of $107.40 a barrel.

Lundberg added it was difficult to predict which way gasoline prices would go, but said it would likely take another crude price increase to see a jump in costs at the pump, because the United States is currently sitting on a large cushion of excess refining capacity.



On March 21, 2011, a Wicomico County Jury found Anthony Waters, Jr., age 29, of Salisbury, Maryland, guilty of First Degree Murder, Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery, and various other crimes. The maximum penalty for the First Degree Murder conviction is life without the possibility of parole.

The investigation conducted by the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit revealed that Anthony Waters, Jr. murdered Veshawn Bratten in the early hours of July 31, 2011 on Patrick Avenue.

Wicomico County State’s Attorney, Matthew A. Maciarello, commended the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit, the Wicomico County Bureau of Investigation, the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office, the Maryland State Police, and the Salisbury City Police Department for their role in the investigation and prosecution of this case.

This case was prosecuted by State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello and Deputy State’s Attorney Ella M. Disharoon.

Cheney Older, Waited Longer Than Average For Heart Transplant

At 71, former Vice President Dick Cheneywas older than average for a heart transplant, but doctors said on Sunday that advances in care have made it possible for older patients to still be good transplant candidates.

And not only was he older than the typical patient, but he waited longer than average as well -- 20 months vs six months to a year.

Doctors said Cheney must have been in excellent health to have survived five heart attacks and still been eligible for a heart transplant. Cheney is recovering at a Washington-area hospital after transplant surgery on Saturday.

"He's obviously received superb care," said Dr. James Kirklin, director of cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a recent past president of the International Society of Heart & Lung Transplantation.

"He's an elderly man who likely has taken very, very good care of himself to be in this good shape at age 71. It appears that he has been relatively lucky to have avoided major organ problems that would have precluded a transplant," said Kirklin, who is not treating Cheney.


WCSO Press Releases 3-26-12

Incident: Fugitive from Delaware
Date of Incident: 20 March 2012
Location: 27000 block of Pemberton Drive, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Valerie Denise Onley, 41, Salisbury, MD

Narrative: On 20 March 2012
at 11:45 AM, a deputy responded to a residence in the 27000 block of Pemberton Drive at the request of Delaware authorities for the purpose of locating Valerie Onley. Onley was wanted out of Delaware for Theft over $50,000.00. The deputy located Onley and took her into custody.

Onley was transported to the Central Booking Unit where she was processed and charged as a Fugitive from the State of Delaware. The Commissioner detained Onley in the Detention Center without bond pending extradition back to Delaware.

Charges: Fugitive from Delaware

Incident: Fugitive
Date of Incident: 20 March 2012
Location: Somerset County, MD
Suspect: Michael D. Bivens Jr., 25, New Castle, DE

Narrative: On 20 March 2012
at 12:01 AM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office picked up Michael D. Bivens of Delaware who was being detained in Somerset County on a Wicomico County warrant. Bivens failed to appear for a violation of probation hearing in a traffic case in August 2011.

Bivens was taken into custody and transported to the Central Booking Unit where he was processed. He was detained in the Detention Center pending an appearance before a Circuit Court judge.

Charges: Failure to Appear

Incident: Warrant
Date of Incident: 21 March 2012
Location: 2300 block of N. Salisbury Blvd., Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Kierre Lontel Collick, 24, Delmar, MD

Narrative: On 21 March 2012
at 5:27 PM a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle for an equipment violation and discovered an open warrant for the arrest of the driver, Kierre Lontel Collick. The warrant had been issued on 9 February 2012 for failure of Collick to pay a deferred payment in a CDS Possession case.

The deputy took Collick into custody and transported him to the Central Booking Unit where he was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner. After an initial appearance, Collick was released on Personal Recognizance.

Charges: Failure to Pay Deferred Payment

Incident: Warrant
Date of Incident: 21 March 2012
Location: 400 block of S. Main Street, Hebron, MD
Suspect: Brandon Alan Ward, 22, Newark, DE

Narrative: On 21 March 2012
at 6:55 PM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office located Brandon Alan Ward in the 400 block of S. Main Street in Hebron and discovered an open warrant for his arrest. The warrant was issued on 8 March 2012 for failing to pay a deferred payment in a CDS possession case.

Ward was transported to the Central Booking Unit where he was processed and taken in front of the District Court Commissioner who subsequently released Ward on Personal Recognizance.

Charges: Failure to Pay Deferred Payment

Incident: Fugitive
Date of Incident: 21 March 2012
Location: 200 block of Catherine Street, Salisbury, MD
Suspect: Darrell Donta Cook, 19, Salisbury, MD

Narrative: On 21 March 2012
at 3:40 PM, a deputy from the Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence in the 200 block of Catherine Street for the purpose of locating Darrell Cook who was wanted on a Wicomico County Circuit Court Bench Warrant. Cook was charged on 16 March 2012 with violation of Probation in CDS Distribution case.

The deputy took Cook into custody and transported him to the Central Booking Unit where he was processed and detained in the Detention Center without bond pending an appearance in front of a Circuit Court Judge.

Charges: Violation of Probation

Bacteria Help Body Beef Up Immunity, Study Says

When it comes to bacteria, many people have a pretty simple view: Germs are bad, and our lives should be as free of them as possible.

But an alternate idea suggests just the opposite: Germs are a necessary part of a healthy immune system, helping our body's defenses beef up and fight future illnesses. When a person's exposure to germs is decreased, problems may arise.

The idea is called the hygiene hypothesis. For years, scientists have suspected that it played a role in how diseases affect people in the modern hand-sanitized world, but they never had any specific evidence.

But a new study from researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston has changed that.


Parent Power Hour: A Morning Of Inspiration For Parents

Parent Workshop to be held on April 21, 2012 from 8:30 until 12 at Prince Street Elementary. This event is a partnership with Wicomico Birth to Five, Wicomico Department of Social Services, Wicomico Judy Center Partnership and the Lower Shore Early Intervention Program. We are offering a number of workshops for parents such as Sensory Awareness, Positive Solutions for Parents and Positive Parenting.

View Parent Workshop Flyer. Call 410-677-5250 to register or for more information!

Trayvon Martin Shooting: White House Senior Adviser Calls Santorum, Gingrich Reaction to Obama’s ‘If I had a son’ Comments ‘Reprehensible’

White House senior adviser David Plouffe lashed out on Sunday over a pair of comments by Republican presidential candidates Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum to President Barack Obama's reaction to the Trayvon Martin shooting.

"Those two comments are really irresponsible," Plouffe said on CNN. "I would consider them reprehensible."

"If I had a son he would look like Trayvon," Obama said on Friday.

"Is the president suggesting if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be OK because it wouldn't look like him?" Gingrich said Friday on Sean Hannity's radio show. "That's just nonsense. I mean, dividing this country up, it is a tragedy this young man was shot."

In a separate radio interview Friday, Santorum had a similar reaction.

"What the president of the United States should do is try to bring people together, not use these types of horrible and tragic individual cases to try to drive a wedge in America," Santorum said.


Summer Engagement Expo For Students & Families Tuesday, March 27 At Prince Street Elementary School

Prince Street Elementary will host a Summer Engagement Expo for families in the community from 5:30-7 p.m. Tuesday, March 27. Community groups will be present that evening to share brochures and flyers about fun, engaging activities that they provide for children during the summer months. Parents and caregivers can browse through the displays to find activities that may interest their child. Each organization will have a representative available to answer questions. There is no fee to attend this event. 410-677-5813

Check out the list below to see many of the camps and activities that will be at the Summer Engagement Expo Tuesday.


Labor Activist Asks Wal-Mart to Protect Her

A Bangladeshi labor activist is urging Wal-Mart and other well-knownAmerican clothing brands to call on the government to drop the criminal "incitement" charges leveled against her after she rallied to improve working conditions at garment factories there.

"The brands can really play a vital role when we are put in jail," activist Kalpona Akter told ABC News. "They are the most powerful, and can put pressure onto the factory owners and the Bangladeshi government to tell them these charges should be dropped."

Wal-Mart alone buys over $1 billion worth of readymade garments from Bangladesh annually.


Fruitland Primary School’s Susan S. Jones Named 2012-13 Wicomico Teacher Of The Year

Susan S. Jones, a Fruitland Primary School first grade teacher who has been known to reward student effort with words of praise like “kiss your brain” and “superstar zone” – and even to perform a happy dance on a desk – was recognized for her outstanding work in the classroom when she was named 2012-13 Wicomico Teacher of the Year March 22 at the annual Wicomico Teacher of the Year Banquet at the Commons at Salisbury University.

Nominations for Jones came from a student, parents and colleagues, all of whom praised her fun, caring, energetic and expert teaching style.

“She makes me feel good,” a student wrote. “She is exciting!”

A parent characterized Jones as “genuine, caring, firm yet fun-loving,” and said she is a “shining example of what a teacher should be.”

A parent who has had two children in Jones’ class said her 10-year-old still remembers how cool it was to have Mrs. Jones do a happy dance on his desk. “I know this seems like such a simple thing, but it has such an impact on the kids in that room. How awesome it must feel to have somebody dance just for you when you answer a tough question right or when you meet a math test goal.”

Another parent praised her ability to differentiate instruction each and every day to engage students of every level and to help each child develop and celebrate his or her own unique gifts.

A colleague shared that she is “incredibly flexible, imaginative and resourceful, constantly searching for new ways to help her students experience success. Perhaps most of all, Susie is gifted with a genuine and powerful desire to influence little learners. Perceiving this, her students eagerly respond with an excitement for learning they will carry with them for life!”

Jones works actively and eagerly on the transition to Race to the Top, embraces STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) opportunities for her students, serves as co-chair of her school’s Instructional Leadership Team, and fosters the development of future teachers by working with numerous teacher interns at Fruitland Primary and serving as an adjunct professor at Salisbury University.

Jones holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Salisbury University, and began working for Wicomico County Public Schools in 1994 as a teacher at North Salisbury Elementary School in the Magnet Program. She has taught first grade at Fruitland Primary since 2006. Last year, Jones was a Teacher of the Year finalist.

As Wicomico Teacher of the Year, Jones represents the outstanding staff of Fruitland Primary School and the county's more than 1,250 teachers. Later this year, she will represent Wicomico County Public Schools in the Maryland Teacher of the Year contest. Wicomico is proud to have two former Maryland Teachers of the Year, Bonnie Walston and Aaron Deal, working in the school system on behalf of students.

The new Teacher of the Year will begin her year in style, arriving at Fruitland Primary School at 9:40 a.m. Friday chauffeured in a classic 1949 Buick provided for the occasion by Wicomico music teacher and auto enthusiast Buck Burton. Jones will be featured, along with this year's three finalists and 22 semi-finalists, in a "Working Together for Children" Teacher of the Year special on PAC 14.


Trayvon Martin: What RFK Said

Dear Friend:

I live in Orlando, so a number of people have asked me what I think about the death of Trayvon Martin. Trayvon, a teenager, was shot dead by a "neighborhood watch" member as Trayvon was walking home from a convenience store. Trayvon was armed with nothing but a bottle of iced tea and a bag of Skittles. For me, it calls to mind the sentiments in the speech that Robert F. Kennedy gave from his heart on April 4, 1968, in Indianapolis, after Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed. This is what Robert F. Kennedy said:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I'm only going to talk to you just for a minute or so this evening, because I have some – some very sad news for all of you – Could you lower those signs, please? – I have some very sad news for all of you, and, I think, sad news for all of our fellow citizens, and people who love peace all over the world; and that is that Martin Luther King was shot and was killed tonight in Memphis, Tennessee.

Martin Luther King dedicated his life to love and to justice between fellow human beings. He died in the cause of that effort. In this difficult day, in this difficult time for the United States, it's perhaps well to ask what kind of a nation we are and what direction we want to move in. For those of you who are black – considering the evidence evidently is that there were white people who were responsible – you can be filled with bitterness, and with hatred, and a desire for revenge.

We can move in that direction as a country, in greater polarization – black people amongst blacks, and white amongst whites, filled with hatred toward one another. Or we can make an effort, as Martin Luther King did, to understand, and to comprehend, and replace that violence, that stain of bloodshed that has spread across our land, with an effort to understand, compassion, and love.

For those of you who are black and are tempted to be filled with hatred and mistrust of the injustice of such an act, against all white people, I would only say that I can also feel in my own heart the same kind of feeling. I had a member of my family killed, but he was killed by a white man.

But we have to make an effort in the United States. We have to make an effort to understand, to get beyond, or go beyond these rather difficult times.

My favorite poet was Aeschylus. And he once wrote:

Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget
falls drop by drop upon the heart,
until, in our own despair,
against our will,
comes wisdom
through the awful grace of God.

What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love, and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love – a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke.

We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We've had difficult times in the past, but we – and we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; and it's not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.

And let's dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.

Thank you very much.


Alan Grayson

'James Madison Is Turning Over In His Grave'

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and former GOP presidential contender Herman Cain were two keynote speakers who addressed the Road to Repeal rally organized by Jenny Beth Martin of the Tea Party Patriots in the Upper Senate Park this weekend.

Martin held up Obama’s massive health-care law and announced, “Obamacare is cancer in our government, and we are gonna rip it out, we’re gonna repeal this bill, this law!”

Despite cold and rain, a crowd of patriots warmly welcomed leaders and prayed that Obama’s health-care law will be struck down in the U.S. Supreme Court and fully repealed by Congress. All speakers noted that repeal depends on a new Senate majority and a new president.

Cuccinelli, who’s also a 2013 Republican candidate for Virginia governor, will be arguing before the Supreme Court next week.


Lost Dog In Hebron: UPDATE

Rat Terrier black and tan with white muzzle. She weighs 10 lbs. and her name is MINNIE.

She is very, very scared. She loves treats. She does not bite. Please, Please help us find her.

County School Funding Per Pupil For Fiscal 2012

The figures represent only the local per pupil contribution to school funding.

When state and federal contributions are added, the per pupil spending is much higher. For instance, in Baltimore County, nearly half of the total operating budget comes from the state.

The complete article can be viewed HERE

Trayvon Martin Killing: George Zimmerman's Attorney and Friend Speak Out

The attorney counseling George Zimmerman, who shot unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin as he was walking home from the store with a bag of Skittles, says if charges are filed, Zimmerman will argue that he acted in self-defense and that Florida's stand-your-ground law applies.

Attorney Craig Sonner said the public is only hearing part of the story, and when all the facts come out, it will be clear that Zimmerman acted in self defense. A grand jury is scheduled to begin hearing the case April 10.

"George Zimmerman suffered a broken nose, and had an injury to the back of his head, he was attacked by Trayvon Martin on that evening," Sonner said. "This was a case of self defense."


Is CBS Houston Intentionally Misleading Their Viewers?

Two elementary school children were caught having oral sex underneath a desk at Tallulah Elementary School in Tallulah, Louisiana. According to, the school in question is 80% black and only 14% white.

What CBS Houston does is a perfect example of what we call “phase 2″ media censorship of black crime. The station shows an unrelated stock photograph of a white student. Instead of simply censoring the race of the perpetrator when a black commits a crime (that is phase 1), media outlets will actually show an unrelated stock photo of a white person to try to trick the public into assuming the perpetrator or perpetrators were white.

In the next issue of the Citizens’ Informer newspaper, we will be publishing a full expose on “phase 2″ style media censorship of black crime. We will also discuss the new tricks that have emerged recently in the Swedish media, which we are calling “phase 3.”

The staff of feels that the CNS Houston report is not only intentionally misleading, it is tantamount libel against the handful of unfortunate white children attending Tallulah Elementary.


Mailman Discouraged from Telling Obama Story

A retired Chicago-area mailman who has come forward with his first-person recollection of a clean-cut young man he identified as Barack Obama who approached him and told him he was going to be president says he wasn’t worried about relating his experience, but he also wasn’t encouraged by friends and family.

Allen Hulton, who previously told WND in a videotaped interview about meeting Obama long before his political career was launched in Chicago, was interviewed by Mark Gillar on his BlogTalkRadio program just days ago.

Gillar asked him why he didn’t made a more concerted effort to tell people about how Mary Ayers, the mother of longtime Obama associate Bill Ayers and one of the residents to whom he delivered mail, boasted of helping this “foreign” student with his college.


Basket Raffle

Fruitland Easter Parade


The Salisbury City Council has scheduled an additional work session for Monday,
March 26, 2012 following the conclusion of the City Council’s 6:00 p.m.
legislative session. The work session will focus on a follow-up discussion on the
Board of Zoning Appeals, its procedures and the issue of determining the status of
legal non-conforming uses vs. illegal conversion, particularly for residential
properties located in single-family home districts.

The work session will be held in Council Chambers (Room301) of the Government
Office Building at 125 N. Division St. in Salisbury.

Today's Fill In The Blank 3-26-12

I couldn't live without my ________.

A Shorebird, A Crab And A Call To Action

The red knot has begun its 9,300-mile migration from its wintering areas in the Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego regions of Argentina to its mating grounds in the Canadian Arctic. Like clockwork, the shorebird makes a crucial two-week stop each May in Delaware Bay; it is estimated that nearly 90 percent of the surviving Atlantic red knot population can be found there on a single May day.

The bird’s annual arrival coincides with horseshoe crab spawning. Crab eggs are essential to the red knot, which consumes enough to double its body weight and gain the strength to complete the nonstop last leg of the journey north.

Around 2000, it became clear to scientists that the red knot population was crashing, possibly because of accelerated commercial harvesting of the horseshoe crab in Delaware Bay in southern New Jersey and on Delaware’s eastern shore during the 1990’s. Fewer horseshoe crabs meant fewer eggs. It is estimated that fewer than 13,000 of the long distance migrant red knots remain, down from around 60,000 in the 1980’s. Last month ‪the New Jersey Department of Environment Protection placed the red knot on its endangered species list.


Same Sex Marriage Petition

Last month, a bill to legalize same-sex marriage won narrow approval and was signed into law by Governor O’Malley. If you disagree with the recent decision by the Maryland legislature to change the definition of marriage – that it is no longer just the union between a man and a woman -- then read on. If you agree with the decision, then I apologize for bothering you.

Below is the link to the Maryland Marriage Alliance. It is a grassroots, non-partisan, interfaith coalition dedicated to preserving the traditional definition of marriage in Maryland law. The group is taking the lead of putting on this year’s November ballot a referendum to repeal the law. The group will need to collect 55,736 VALID signatures by June 30 to get the referendum on the ballot. That means in reality they will need to collect double that number to assure the proper amount of valid signatures.

This website will enable you to receive a petition and to sign it properly. Once you receive it in the mail, sign it and then send it back to the Alliance. You can also collect other signatures if you want. HOWEVER, take caution. The law regarding petitions in Maryland is very strict. Everyone MUST sign the petition exactly the way they signed their name when they registered to vote. The alliance will provide that information for you.

Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Press Releases 3-26-12

On Thursday 3-23-12, at about 0012 Hrs., a Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Deputy stopped a vehicle for making a left turn from the far right lane on Rt. 50 at Keyser Pt. Rd. West Ocean City Md. The driver was identified as Chelsea Brown, 23, of West Ocean City Maryland. Ms. Brown appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and was arrested. Ms. Brown was charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol and released pending trial.

On Saturday 3-24-12 at about 0230 hrs., a Worcester County Sheriff’s Deputy stopped a vehicle operated by a Michelle Dickerson 38 years of age of Delmar Md. was stopped for failure to move over or slow down for an emergency vehicle stopped on the roadside with emergency equipment activated, On 113 S/B near Shire Drive. Ms. Dickerson appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. Ms. Dickerson was arrested and charged with driving while under the influence of alcohol. Ms. Dickerson was released pending trial.

Today's Advertiser Of The Day 3-26-12

What Bennett Could Have Done

People were complaining that one of the reasons why Bennett High School was torn down at was because they were unable to upgrade the building with AC. This picture is of a similar building with similar windows and design. They managed to keep the structure, save money, and upgrade.. Picture is from Norfolk State University.


Maryland Woman Allegedly Drives Over Former Boyfriend

OAKLAND, Md. (AP) -- Garrett County authorities say an Oakland woman is charged with attempted murder after running over her former boyfriend and crashing his car into a downtown business.

Twenty-year-old Miranda White was awaiting a bond hearing Monday. She was jailed after the incident Sunday evening.


Alec Baldwin Chickens Out on Twitter Challenge

Actor unable to take treatment he dishes routinely

Actor Alec Baldwin, who earlier this week called Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., an “oil whore,” has a long history of casting slurs and issuing outrageous attacks on those with whom he disagrees. But he apparently cannot take what he dishes.

The most notable instance was Baldwin’s call for the late Rep. Henry Hyde, R-Ill., to be stoned to death – along with his wife and children.

It was Dec. 12, 1998, when Baldwin said, “I am thinking to myself, if we were in other countries, we would all right now, all of us together … would go down to Washington and we would stone Henry Hyde to death. We would stone him to death. Wait! … Shut up! No, shut up! I’m not finished. We would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and we’d kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families.”

Among other incendiary statements from Baldwin are:

  • After a GOP suggestion regarding a millionaire’s tax, Baldwin said, “Only a Nassau County Republican tool like Dean Skelos could drag my name into a debate on state income tax … he’s so dumb.”

Douglas To Cardin: Stop Parroting State Department Talking Points On North Korea, Other Hot Spots

Bladensburg, MD - As international foreign policy attention focuses on North Korea, US Senate candidate Richard Douglas today urged Ben Cardin to use his position on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to emphasize working in concert with democracies in West Asia to address the rogue state's nuclear ambitions.

"The communist bosses in Beijing surely are content with Cardin's famous – or, perhaps, infamous -- desire to work 'in concert' with China on threats like Iran," said Douglas. "Cardin's compliant attitude toward Beijing probably explains his failure to object when China forcibly returns starving and desperate North Korean refugees to their homeland. But it does not excuse it."

For years Communist China has forcibly returned North Korean refugees to their suffering homeland, in blatant violation of the principle of non-refoulment, a foundation stone of international humanitarian law. Many North Korean refugees have been tortured or killed upon return to their homeland.

Ben Cardin's continuing failure to speak out against North Koreans attempting to escape their starving prison-nation assists the rogue state in developing weapons capacity at the expense of its own people.

"North Koreans, caught in a crushing vice formed by Pyongyang and Beijing, are the forgotten victims of communist oppression," said Douglas. " Maryland does not need a US Senator who chirps pathetic State Department talking points and calls it 'statesmanship.'"

A Letter To The Editor 3-26-12


thought i would send a note to you since this seems to be the place for news on the 'bury. wonder if you would write an article on something close to all of us - downtown.

i work down there, we were at the library this weekend. its just sad. one street? really?

we were in easton a few weekends back and the streets were clean, nice wide sidewalks, shops, original live music, bars, ect why cant salisbury seem to do the same?

lived here for 12 years and it just gets worse. its becoming a city of highways; no where to walk, no where to just park and walk and feel safe.

i enjoy living here and want us all on the same page with turning this downward trend around.

just went to your blog and wanted to say something; get the word out.


Today's Survey Question 3-26-12

What should the Supreme Court do with the health care law President Obama signed two years ago?

The Salisbury Obamanistas

House GOP Budget Plan Heats Up as Campaign Issue

WASHINGTON (AP) — The new debt-slashing budget plan pushed by House Republicans heated up as a presidential campaign issue Sunday as the proposal's architect, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, sparred with top Democrats over its political fallout and downplayed the possibility he could be tapped as a vice presidential candidate.

Senior White House adviser David Plouffe dismissed the GOP plan Sunday as "a lot of candy, not a lot of vegetables," and charged that it would be "rubber-stamped" as law if leading Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is elected.

"This is really the Romney-Ryan plan," Plouffe said, adding that its mix of across-the-board tax cuts and stiff budget cuts "showers huge tax cuts on millionaires and billionaires paid for by senior and veterans."

Ryan tried to tamp down speculation that he could be tapped for the No. 2 spot on the GOP ticket, although who will be the nominee is far from settled.


Worcester Teachers Union


You are aware that there is a move by the teacher's union to increase the property tax in Worcester County for raises... Can't really blame them... they haven't had one in 3 years but, with the economy on the Lower Shore in the dumps, should they really expect one? So, in an effort to gain public support they've come up with yard signs to support their effort. I have no problem with that... the teachers give the union about $1000. a year each and get nothing in return... If they are stupid enough to give the bucks, let the union waste the bucks.

What does concern me is that these signs are popping up on School properties. Even in front of the Board of Education property on Worcester Highway. So... The way I see it is that School properties belong to the taxpayers of Worcester County. So, property owned by the taxpayers is being used to advertise for additional taxes from the people that own the property. I DO have a problem with that.

Craig Theobald

Field Notes

Field Notes
Observations and Reflections on Legislative Activities
By Delegate Michael A. McDermott
Week 11 March 19-24, 2012
The news I bring you this week from Annapolis is not good. I will be providing a supplemental to these notes on some budget specifics. There will be changes and further compromises with the Senate before the final version is voted on. While I do not normally include amendment links, I did so on the budget and tax bills so you could see what was rejected by the democrat majority that rule the House. Not one Republican amendment was accepted.
Monday Evening Session
Second Reader, Third Reader
Tuesday Morning Session
Second Reader, Third Reader
There was only one controversial bill voted on this morning. HB-1204 will impose fees and further regulations for companies seeking to develop drill sites in western Maryland. No other state requires these types of fees, and now Maryland seeks to impose fees charged per acre on “potential” sites and continue to put the brakes on discovery and drilling for natural gas deposits located in Marcellus Shale. There was a significant amount of propaganda put forward by Chairman McIntosh citing many ground water contamination concerns. Although none of these instances has shown to have been caused by hydraulic fracturing in the process described, the chairman is a believer and is not swayed by many known facts. The passage of this bill only continues to set Maryland up for terrific losses of revenue due to the crafted moratorium by the General Assembly and the Environmental Matters Committee. This bill was passed on a vote of 88-49…many taking a walk on this bill while sitting at their desks.
Judiciary Hearings on Tuesday
HB-1365 would transfer collections for restitution payments from agencies like Juvenile Justice to the Central Collection Unit of the Department of Budget and Management. It was said that victims should benefit from a streamlined process and the CCU is better able to address the demands of these types of collections. The collection rate is currently 9% while CCU collection rate is 42.5%. HB-1143 would create a felony crime of Armed Home Invasion to address the increase in these types of offenses, particularly in the metropolitan areas. While there are particular cases which would support this bill, all of these offenses can be charged on existing law for the same or even greater combined sentencing. HB-1324 seeks to establish a standard for law enforcement on using eyewitness identification procedures. The goals of the bill are positive, but the opposition from law enforcement centered around the notion that we should not be legislating policy and procedures on best police practices. HB-1438 is a local bill seeking to allow Frederick County to perform background checks of a taxi applicant’s criminal history as a part of their processing. HB-1106 seeks to prohibit “inappropriate” searches of a minor by law enforcement and security (TSA) agents. It would require “probable cause” prior to a minor being subjected to intrusive searches of their person. HB-1111 seeks to provide limitation on the type of searches that can be conducted on persons in the United States. It stems from searches conducted by TSA personnel at airports but would apply to any searches conducted by agents of the government. The Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution provides protection from “unreasonable searches” and it would seem that most of the issues brought to the committee’s attention could be addressed through dealing with the TSA and congressional oversight.
HB-949 seeks to repeal the Death Penalty in Maryland and replace it with Life-Without Parole. I do not agree with removing the death penalty as an option for society in addressing certain criminal cases. There were many that testified that it should be abolished. I suggested that, perhaps, it should be a Constitutional Referendum to be put before the voters. Interestingly enough, advocates did not like the idea of asking the citizens to vote on the issue, but they would be the first to say that voters do not want the death penalty anymore. To say the least, I find this very interesting. HB-1310 would place incredible reporting restrictions on firearms dealers and require them to respond to audit demands from the State Police. Currently, dealers licensing is handled by the federal government who issues the licenses in the first place. This bill would provide the ability of the state to suspend a license for several weeks just for a clerical violation. This seems to be a significant change and intrusion from the current laws governing purchases in Maryland.
Voting Session Judiciary Committee Tuesday Evening
Bills voted favorably by the committee:,
HB-130, HB-140, HB-353, HB-509, HB-513, HB-573, HB-589, HB-604, HB-664, HB-666, HB-670,
HB-742, HB-823, HB-834, HB-860, HB-942,HB-1120, HB-1334
Bills voted unfavorably by the committee:
HB-469, HB-588, HB-611, HB-778, HB-821, HB-1020, HB-1021, HB-1066,
HB-1147, HB-1300, HB-1330, HB-1386
Judicial Hearings Conducted on Wednesday Afternoon
HB-1418 would preserve the right of a person to appeal a conviction under a writ of Coram Nobis. This is a particular writ which allows someone to come before the court with evidence and information which reveals a significant mistake made by the court during the trial. There have been some recent court cases which appear to have diminished a writ of Coram Nobis. HB-1441 would allow for the termination of an alimony payment when the recipient cohabitates. Some states have allowed for reductions in payments under these circumstances. HB-1402 would prohibit a court from incarcerating someone on a Contempt of Court Order for failing to pay Child Support who is a veteran.
Voting Session Judiciary Committee Wednesday Afternoon
Bills voted favorably by the committee:
HB-209, HB-598, HB-742, HB-762, HB-772, HB-834, HB-875, HB-1238,
HB-1326, HB-1418, HB-350
Bills voted unfavorably by the committee:
HB-1106, HB-1111, HB-1242
Thursday Voting Session-11 hours
Second Reader, Third Reader
Budget Bills Debated on Thursday
For review, these are the bills and the amendments for the $36.8 Billion budget package. I have included all of the proposed amendments offered which would have altered or eliminated various fees, taxes, transfers, or demands placed upon the citizens or local governments. All but two of them were offered by Republicans.
SB 150
Floor Amendment (Delegate Bates) {273422/1 Rejected (48-84)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Kach) {653224/1 Rejected (46-86)
Floor Amendment (Delegate McDonough) {753429/2 Rejected (40-89)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Vitale) {253229/1 Rejected (42-92)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Schulz) {573123/1 Rejected (48-82)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Costa) {743821/1 Rejected (41-88)
Floor Amendment (Delegate McComas) {313528/1 Rejected
Floor Amendment (Delegate Hough) {563720/1 Rejected (46-88)
Floor Amendment (Delegate O'Donnell) {903726/1 Rejected (47-90)
Second Reading Passed with Amendments
SB 152
Floor Amendment (Delegate Donoghue) {193826/1 Rejected
Floor Amendment (Delegate Simmons) {563124/1 Rejected (26-109)
Floor Amendment (Delegate McDermott) {813529/1 Rejected (43-85)
Floor Amendment (Delegate McDermott) {883323/1 Rejected (43-86)
Floor Amendment (Delegate McDermott) {813923/1 Rejected
Floor Amendment (Delegate O'Donnell) {693424/1 Rejected (53-79)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Krebs) {213323/1 Rejected (41-91)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Minnick) {393724/1 Rejected (50-81)
Floor Amendment (Delegate McConkey) {263922/2 Rejected (45-86)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Barkley) {243927/1 Rejected (62-72)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Serafini) {353329/1 Rejected (45-85)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Eckardt) {683729/2 Rejected (44-90)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Szeliga) {693622/1 Rejected (43-91)
Floor Amendment (Delegate George) {913820/2 Rejected (42-92)
Floor Amendment (Delegate George) {913820/3 Rejected (41-92)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Frank) {913221/1 Rejected (42-92)
Floor Amendment (Delegate McDermott) {543629/1 Rejected (51-85)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Stocksdale) {253029/1 Rejected (42-87)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Aumann) {363324/1 Rejected (45-84)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Olszewski) {933823/1 Rejected (43-78)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Krebs) {233226/1 Rejected (42-88)
Second Reading Passed with Amendments
HB 1412 is the bill which allows for counties to override their citizen imposed Revenue/Tax Caps and would require the Comptroller to take county revenue and give it directly to the Boards of Education if a county cannot make maintenance of effort on their budgets.
Floor Amendment (Delegate Kramer) {923327/2 Rejected (52-78)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Kramer) {923327/4 Rejected (46-78)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Kramer) {923327/3 Rejected (46-70)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Kramer) {723320/1 Rejected (49-77)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Haddaway-Riccio) {623020/1 Rejected (42-81)
Floor Amendment (Delegate McMillan) {963626/1 Rejected (40-86)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Krebs) {533722/1 Rejected (48-77)
Second Reading Passed with Amendments
SB 523 is the tax bill from the senate which creates various tax and fee revenues in support of the proposed budget.
Floor Amendment (Delegate Serafini) {143729/4 Rejected (41-87)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Serafini) {143729/6 Rejected (44-85)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Fisher) {983121/1 Rejected (40-67)
Floor Amendment (Delegate Szeliga) {773924/1 Rejected (42-69)
Second Reading Passed with Amendments
HB- 987 is perhaps the most potentially damaging legislation to the tax payer this session. It will require counties to fund projects to address storm water management which will cost billions. Baltimore City costs exceed $10 billion, Prince Georges exceeds $2 billion, Frederick County exceeds $4 billion, and Anne Arundel County exceeds $2 billion. These would be problem numbers if we were talking millions, but this is much worse. These are just four of the counties who fall under phase one of this mandate by the state in conjunction with the EPA (Executive Order-not legislated). While the Eastern Shore is exempt in the first round, there is no doubt we will be captured in future legislation. Many of us made strong arguments against this bill. It has everything necessary to bankrupt many of our jurisdictions in coming years while the science supporting these actions is questionable.
Voting Session Judiciary Committee Friday Morning
Bills voted favorably by the committee:
HB-300, HB-480, HB-543, HB-545, HB-707, HB-774, HB-1122, HB-1441
Bills voted unfavorably by the committee:
HB-719, HB-739, HB-1082, HB-1086
Friday Session Voting
Second Reader, Third Reader
There were a couple of contested bills. HB-1275 puts greater demands on those seeking to petition a bill to referendum and would require some of the information to be available online. I view these democrat sponsored efforts as an attempt lay stumbling blocks between the people and their government. It passed 93-42. SB-150, one of the budget bills, passed along party lines with 3 democrats not voting 95-43. SB-523, the Revenue/Tax Bill, saw several more Hdemocrats unwilling to sign on the dotted line for this massive taxing package. Sadly, this bill was approved 81-56. HB-443 is Maryland’s response to Obamacare. In spite of court decisions that look to rule it unconstitutional, the O’Malley-Brown administration continue to advance this agenda. Several amendments were made on this bill to strike out taxpayer funded abortion language now and in future bills, and this was met with stiff resistance from democrats. While the amendments went down to defeat, it was clear that many are sensitive on the issue in the House and do not like it coming up for votes. HB-1412 was one of the more troubling legislative acts outside of the budget so far this year. Democrats, including Del. Norm Conway, sponsored this bill which will effectively destroy a Tax Revenue Cap put into effect by the voters in counties such as Wicomico. Not only does it allow for an override of the cap, if the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) budget for the Board of Education, it requires the Comptroller to withhold tax money due the county. Further, it requires the Comptroller to take the money and divert it to the local Board of Education to make up any money the county withheld from the budget. This is one incredible overreach by the state and may only serve to force some of our counties into a state of bankruptcy or never ending tax increases. It passed 92-46.
Voting Session Judiciary Committee Friday Evening
Bills voted favorably by the committee:
HB-1438, HB-1122
Regular Session Saturday
Second Reader Bills, Third Reader Bills
The most interesting bill of the day was HB-576 which deals with public-private partnerships on special projects throughout the state. The legislation itself is not problematic, it was an amendment placed on the bill which would allow it to be retroactive, including pending litigation in our courts. It seems the redevelopment project in Baltimore City at the Center has been bound up in court by folks who opposed the project. This amended bill would have allowed a direct appeal to the Court of Appeals by the plaintiffs in the case, and he amendment was proposed by a lobbyist for those who want the Center project to get moving. There was strong argument against the General Assembly being used in this fashion. It was said to be turning the state into a “Banana Republic” where the one with the money buys the justice they desire. While many were offended by the debate, they were only offended by the truth. This bill was amended to help one particular party with a case already before the court, and, no matter how you slice it, that is just plain wrong. I was so glad to be ending my week on such high note.