The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not represent our advertisers

Friday, December 13, 2013


Government Office Building Room 301

Times shown for agenda items are estimates only.

2:00 p.m. CALL TO ORDER


2:03 p.m. ORDINANCE – City Attorney Mark Tilghman

 Ordinance No. 2273 – 2nd reading - to authorize and empower City of Salisbury (the “City”) to issue and sell from time to time, upon its full faith and credit, General Obligation Bonds in one or more series in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed three million one hundred seventy-eight thousand dollars ($3,178,000.00), the proceeds of the sale thereof to be used and applied for the public purpose of financing, reimbursing or refinancing costs (as defined herein, which include issuance costs and capitalized interest) of the public purpose projects identified herein as: Riverwalk, Mainstreet
Master Plan, Coty Cox drainage improvements and Germania Circle


Note: The December 23, 2013 Legislative Session has been cancelled

Proposed agenda items for January 13, 2014 (subject to change)

 Public Hearing/Ordinance No. 2272 - 2nd reading - rezoning property (former Linens of the Week property) located on the Northerly side of Anne Street and on both sides of Short Street from General Commercial to R-5a Residential

 Public Hearing/Resolution No. 2356 - approving the Merritt Mill Road/Smith Annexation and establishing a date for the public hearing

 Public Hearing/Resolution No. 2357 - approving the Merritt Mill Road/Smith Annexation plan

Posted: December 11, 2013


Maryland may have to refund the federal government up to $5.8 million it received as reimbursement for prescription medication through Medicaid and Medicare, after it failed to properly bill pharmaceutical companies for rebates.

A recent audit of Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General revealed the state was not eligible to receive some of the federal reimbursement it claimed for medication administered by doctors.

As a result, Maryland is obligated to refund more than $3.5 million to the federal government. State officials and representatives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will also need to review an additional $2.3 million Maryland received to determine whether the state is eligible to keep the money.




Closed Session – 1:30 p.m.

 Vote to convene in Closed Session for the purpose of discussing a personnel matter (City Clerk evaluation) in accordance with the Annotated Code of Maryland §10-508(a)(1)(i).

Special Meeting – 2:00 p.m.

 Ordinance No. 2273 – 2nd reading – to authorize and empower City of Salisbury (the “City”) to issue and sell from time to time, upon its full faith and credit, General Obligation Bonds in one or more series in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed three million one hundred seventy-eight thousand dollars ($3,178,000.00), the proceeds of the sale thereof to be used and applied for the public purpose of financing, reimbursing or refinancing costs (as defined herein, which include issuance costs and capitalized interest) of the public purpose projects identified herein as: Riverwalk, Mainstreet Master Plan, Coty Cox drainage improvements, and Germania Circle

Work Session – following adjournment of the Special Meeting

 2:15 p.m. Establishing a Stormwater Utility – Michael Moulds

 2:45 p.m. Records Retention Policy – Tom Stevenson/Bill Garrett

 3:00 p.m. Foreclosure Task Force Resolution – Tom Stevenson/Cheryl Meadows/Brandon Brittingham

 3:30 p.m. Pay for Elected Officials – Council discussion

 4:00 p.m. General Discussion

 4:15 p.m. Adjournment

Former Illegal With Prior Fake Social Security Number Sues Over Job Rejections

A California man who lived in the United States for years as an illegal immigrant and worked using a fake Social Security number is suing the state because it won’t hire him as a correctional officer.

Victor Guerrero, 34, of Stockton, filed his lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco through his attorneys, the Legal Aid Society – Employment Law Center, after California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation after it twice rejected his application to become a corrections officer due to his previous illegal activity, according to The Daily Caller.

Guerrero’s lawyers claim that he came to the United States with his parents at age 11, illegally obtained his false Social Security number when he was 15 but didn’t realize it was fake until two years later.

The Daily Caller reported:


Conservation Group Opposing Rockfish Change

OCEAN CITY — Despite the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announcement to increase the allowable harvest of striped bass, or rockfish, in state waters in 2014, a coalition of recreational anglers is calling for a voluntary “set-aside” to protect, rather than put at risk, the perceived population increase.

The DNR recently announced the allowable harvest limit for striped bass in Maryland waters would be increased by 14 percent in 2014, despite conflicting scientific data about the health of the species’ population. The decision was based on a 2011 stock assessment of stripers in state waters that appears to indicate the species is flourishing again after years of decline.

However, several advocacy groups, including the Coastal Conservation Association of Maryland (CCA) have called for a review of the state’s decision to increase the harvest allowance and are pushing for a voluntary 14-percent “set aside” for 2014 until further data can be assessed. With projections by the updated 2013 stock assessment that striped bass spawning stock will decline, the CCA has asserted the future of striped bass fishing in Maryland may depend on immediate actions to conserve the stock. The CCA sent a letter to DNR Secretary Joseph Gill on Monday and reinforced its position.

More Great Moments In Government Schooling

The government’s monopoly education system is a travesty mostly because taxpayers spend record amounts of money and we get very poor results.

But I’m also irked at the way government schools engage in absurd displays of political correctness, particularly when it comes to make-believe weapons.


A little boy was suspended for throwing an imaginary grenade while playing by himself in Colorado.

A school wanted to force a deaf child to change his name because, when using sign language to say who he is, his fingers looked like a gun.

Speaking of which, a six-year old in Maryland was suspended for saying “pow” while having his fingers shaped like a gun.

All this sounds crazy, but at least school bureaucrats are consistent in their nuttiness. Not only are they against non-existent grenades and imaginary guns, they all have a zero-tolerance approach for bows and arrows that don’t exist.

Here are some of the details about what happened at a Pennsylvania school.


Catch the year's best meteor shower overnight Friday

WASHINGTON -- Yeah, I know it is cold. But if the sky stays clear overnight Friday, we will enjoy the peak time for what I think is the best meteor shower of the year, the Geminids.

I say this because it reliably produces a large number of meteors per hour -- between 100 and 200 -- and and many of them are bright. Plus, the Geminids is the only major meteor shower where you can see a good number of meteors during the early evening hours instead of the hours just before dawn.

The predicted peak of the 2013 Geminid meteor shower is overnight Dec. 13, but you can see Geminids from Dec. 12 through 16. Each year at this time our planet encounters a debris stream of rock particles made by Asteroid 3200 Phaethon. The Geminids is the only meteor shower caused by an asteroid or what astronomers call a rock comet. All others are due to cometary debris.

Leo Grand Is Homeless, But Hopefully Not For Long

A young programmer named Patrick McConlogue approached him with an offer – take $100 dollars or take an opportunity to learn how to write code. Mr. Grand, who lost his job at MetLife in 2011, decided to learn to code – and he created his own app – Trees for Cars – which just launched at the Apple Store. His app helps users save the environment by carpooling, and calculating how much CO2 they're saving by riding together. And, because the proceeds will go to Leo Grand, he will be able to further his programming education, get himself off the streets, and help users fight climate change. In an official statement about his new app, Mr. Grand said, “Trees for Cars is a great way to build relationships, strengthen communities, help each-other financially and energy wise, all under the umbrella of saving the environment." There's an old saying - “If you give a man a fish, you will feed him for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, you will feed him for a lifetime.” Apparently the same goes for teaching a man to code.

Price Tag Placement Can Change The Product Name...12-13-13

Bang! Payday For Man Suing Cops Over Guns

A man who sued police in Colorado Springs, Colo., for violating his Second Amendment rights has reportedly won more than $23,000 from the city, as local officers apparently did not know it was legal to “open carry” firearms at public parks.

The saga of James Sorensen began in July 2012 at a homosexual-pride festival, just one day after the shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., that left 12 people dead and 70 others injured.

He was openly sporting a handgun on his hip, which prompted police to take him into custody.

Sorensen’s arrest was caught on camera by his partner, who documented the discussion with officers who at one point threatened Sorensen with violence. (Watch raw video of the arrest below:)


‘Walk Smart Berlin’ Campaign Launched; Route 113 Speed Study Underway

BERLIN — Incoming safety improvements to US Route 113 were outlined this week following a meeting between the Berlin Pedestrian Safety Committee and the State Highway Administration (SHA).

The committee is riding the tide of community demand for changes to the road following the death of one teenager and injury of another in a vehicle and pedestrian collision in November.
“We’ve had a whirlwind month,” Patricia Dufendach, committee chair, told the Berlin Town Council Monday. “So much has happened in this last month. A tragic accident and a community response to that accident that has been overwhelmingly positive because we want to make changes in our community that are meaningful and increase safety and reduce the chance of death on a highway that dissects our community.”

Organic Milk Is Better For Humans Because Of Delicious Grass

Cows’ stomachs are optimized to graze on grass. As ruminants, it’s just what they do, but modern milk production doesn’t give them opportunities to wander outside and eat grass. It turns out, though, that when cows get to eat grass, the milk they produce is better for humans.

How does that work? A study published this week in the journal PLOS One shows that milk from grass-fed cows, whether that milk is organic or not, has a different fat composition than milk that comes from cows that primarily eat corn.

Cows that eat grass produce milk with more omega-3 fatty acids. Those are the fats found in foods like flaxseeds and fish that we keep hearing that we should eat more of. While the science isn’t settled regarding how well omega-3 fatty acids protect humans from cardiovascular problems or why, they do seem to be better for us.


Lost Dog 12-13-13: UPDATE

Joe: My friends miniature Schnauzer by the name of Tea is missing off Mt. Hermon Road on Cedar Drive. Please call 410-726-5549 or 410-430-6113 if you find him. He is not used to being out and escaped. We need help from your folks.

Va., Md. Colleges Make 'Best Value' List

WASHINGTON -- Several Virginia and Maryland universities made Kiplinger Magazine's "Best Values in Public Colleges" list.

Two Virginia schools ranked in the top five, and many more in both states made the top 100.

The University of Virginia was ranked No. 2 and The College of William and Mary came in at No. 4.

University of Maryland College Park made No. 7.

St. Mary's College of Maryland, Salisbury University, Towson University and University of Maryland Baltimore County were all in the top 100.

Colorado School Shooter Dead From Possible Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound, Sheriff Says

The dead gunman was a male student at the high school, Sheriff Grayson Robinson told reporters. He declined to identify the student.

"We have not been able to locate a second suspect, but that's part of our ongoing investigation," the sheriff said.

The shooting began after the student entered the school and identified a teacher whom he wanted to confront, Robinson said. That teacher was informed of the situation and exited, he added. One student was taken to a hospital in serious condition with a gunshot wound; another was injured, though the cause was not clear, he said.


FDA Politely Asks Drug Companies To Voluntarily Stop Providing Antibiotics For Animal Feed

In the face of numerous reports indicating that the practice of using medically unnecessary antibiotics to bulk up farm animals is leading to millions of people getting sick each year from drug-resistant pathogens, the Food & Drug Administration drew a line in the sand today and put an end to the practi– oh wait, I meant that the FDA has politely asked drug companies to voluntarily phase out sales of these drugs to farmers.

After an inexplicably long delay, the FDA finally released its final guidance for industry [PDF] today, in which it sets forth completely voluntary guidelines for how drug companies couldphase out the sale of medically unnecessary antibiotics for the sole purpose of encouraging growth in farm animals.


Public Hearing Planned On Proposed Salisbury Annexation

SALISBURY – The City Council is being guided to accept the annexation of land on the north-eastern edge of the city to be developed into a residential community.

The City Council had two resolutions before it on Monday evening regarding the “Merritt Mill Road/Smith Annexation.”

The first resolution proposed the annexation of land to the City of Salisbury known as the “Merritt Mill Road/Smith Annexation.”
According to the resolution, “the City has received a petition to annex, signed by at least 25 percent of the persons who are resident registered voters and of the persons who are owners of at least 25 percent of the assessed valuation of the real property in the area sought to be annexed.

“The area of land is contiguous to and binding upon the easterly corporate limit of the City. More specifically, located on the southerly side of and binding upon Merritt Mill Road, east of the intersection of Merritt Mill Road and Philip Morris Drive, and it is recommended that the boundaries of the City be changed as to annex and include all parcels of land and residents in that area.”

Taxpayers Shell Out $14,000 Per Obamacare “Enrollee”

$5.2 billion for just 364,682 “enrollees”

In her testimony before Congress today, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius provided an updated dollar amount for the cost of $677 million. In addition to the $677 million spent on the federal Obamacare website, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has shoveled $4.5 billion of taxpayer money to promote Obamacare on the state level.

HHS also released updated “enrollment” figures for Obamacare. According to the agency 364,682 people have “selected a plan” – the equivalent of putting an item in your online shopping cart and leaving it there.

That means the taxpayer cost per “enrollee” is over $14,000.

($4.5 billion + $677 million = $5,177,000,000 ÷ 364,682 = $14,196)


The Federal Reserve: 100 Years Of Boom And Bust

Worcester County Bureau Of Investigation Press Release 12-13-13

LOCATION: 5634 George Island Landing Road, Stockton, Maryland, 21864 

CRIME: Possession and Distribution of Child Pornography

ACCUSED: Perry William Sharpley, 5634 George Island Landing Road, Stockton, Maryland 21864

CHARGES: One(1) count of Distribution of Child Pornography and three(3) counts of Possession of Child Pornography

NARRATIVE: On Thursday, December 12, 2013, Perry William Sharpley of Stockton, Maryland was arrested and charged with three counts of Possession of Child Pornography and one count of Distribution of Child Pornography.

The arrest was the result of the combined efforts of the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit and the Department of Homeland Security. Through their affiliation with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, Detectives learned that Perry had uploaded an image of known Child Pornography to a “Facebook” account he had created. Investigators obtained his personal laptop computer on which they found three more images of known child pornography.

Sharpley was taken before a Maryland District Court Commissioner and released on his own recognizance.

30 Naughtiest Dogs: You’ll Crack Up When You Find Out What They Did

Like people, dogs can get up to no good. They dig stuff, eat things, and generally like to “change the appearance” of things. Plus their farts stink! But maybe they’re just very creative and don’t like the state of how things are? They are pioneers? Wanting to teach us something? Who really knows. Whatever the reason is, they should just do what they do best – being dogs. That’s why we love them. So here are 30 of the funniest things a dog has ever done. Enjoy!


Making Spirits Bright

Santelli & Stockman Blast "Festering Fiscal" Budget Deal "Betrayal"

Former OMB director David Stockman rages to none other than Rick Santelli that the budget deal is a "betrayal and a joke" and "the final surrender of the House Republican leadership to beltway politics." The dismal reality - that little to no one in the mainstream media will dare utter - the budget adds $70 billion to spending this year and next year, and "then they're going to pretend to save it in '22 and '23." Stockman blasts, "they've not only kicked the can down the road, but kicked it into low-earth orbit." The only hope of getting our fiscal house in order was if House Republicans stand up, and Stockman warns "will trigger an enormous negative reaction from Tea-Party Republicans." The truth hurts...


Caption This Photo 12-13-13

Police Train In Freezing Temperatures

Thousands Of MARTIAL LAW Signs Spotted By Truck Load In Illinois

Salisbury Council News In Brief

SALISURY – The City Council this week approved Comcast’s rates for 2014, two lease renewals with the Tri-County Council for a Shore Transit bus stop and the establishment of a mechanical fee.

New Cable Rates Accepted
The council voted 3-0, with Councilwoman Terry Cohen and Councilwoman Shanie Shields absent, to approve a Resolution to accept the calculation of maximum permitted rates for limited basic service and regulated equipment and installation rates as set forth in Comcast’s rate filing dated Sept. 30, 2013.

According to Salisbury Director of Internal Services Keith Cordrey, the city received from Comcast, Forms 1240 and 1205, which calculate the maximum permitted rate for limited basic service and maximum permitted rates for equipment and installation of service based on Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations.

Defend Yourself Against The Vaccinaters

Vaccinations are not as safe as advocates say, and ARE questioanble at the very least. You may be sitting on the fence regarding the vaccination issue. If so, please read on and use the links for more resources. If you know the truth about vaccinations, use the information to influence others.

Bolster your arguments with the facts regarding polio and vaccines addressed here. You can use the words of medical professionals themselves with some quotes from doctors, medical researchers and holistic practitioners, on this site. Instead of defending yourself verbally, consider printing out the several pages of quotes by courageous medical professionals on polio vaccines and all others.

But why does it take courage for an MD to question or speak out against vaccines, even if only against vaccine purity or quantity and timing of vaccinations?


Kentucky Doctor Closing Practice, Cites Obamacare As Reason

A Kentucky M.D. named Stephen Kiteck is shutting down his medical practice and citing Obamacare as the reason.

Dr. Kiteck published an ad in the local paper saying his office will close Dec. 31, 2013 because of Obamacare. He invites his patients to drop by prior to that date to pick their charts.

Ben Carson: Doctors Risk Being Government Employees Under ACA

One of the reasons the private medical practice is disappearing is that the costs of the new Obamacare rules are so onerous, Dr. Ben Carson said Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren."

"We are in the process of making doctors government employees," he said. "You need to be under the umbrella of a hospital or a big medical system."

Dr. Stephen Kiteck, of Somerset, Ky., also appeared on the program to discuss the newspaper ad he took out announcing he is quitting his practice because of the policies of Obamacare.

Kiteck told Van Susteren he is about five years away from retirement anyway, and doesn't want to invest in converting all his paper files to electronic, as required by the Affordable Care Act.

Carson said he was not surprised at Kiteck's decision. It costs a lot to upgrade, and records are accessible to people you may not want seeing them.


'Under A Cloud': Dems Advance DHS Pick Despite Claims Of Political Favors

Democratic senators appeared to gloss over new allegations -- as well as an internal investigation -- against a Homeland Security nominee, voting Wednesday to advance his nomination over the stiff objections of Republicans.

Alejandro Mayorkas, tapped for the No. 2 position at the Department of Homeland Security, and others are facing an inspector general probe over allegations they helped a company with ties to Virginia Gov.-elect Terry McAuliffe secure visas for investors. Adding to the controversy, The Washington Times reported overnight that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid reached out to Mayorkas to help speed along visas for foreign investors of a politically connected casino hotel in Las Vegas.

But the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday voted 9-0 to advance his nomination to the full Senate -- with all Republicans sitting out and voting "present."


Jim Rogers: When 'Sea Of Liquidity' Dries Up, Look Out

Financial markets are afloat on an "artificial sea of liquidity" thanks to central bank easing, but eventually the sea will dry up and the result won't be pretty, says star investor Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings.

Policymakers "everywhere are under no constraint," Rogers told New York Markets Live online radio. Central banks can print as much as they want; the governments spend as much as they want. So there's no reason this can't go on for a while, because any corrections due to tapering will probably be temporary."

If markets correct in reaction to a Federal Reserve tapering of its quantitative easing, as Rogers expects, the Fed will simply restart its easing, he says.


Families Outraged Over Teen's Probation-Only Sentence In Fatal DWI Crash

Youth minister Brian Jennings was killed in the June 15 car crash. He was the father of three. (FAMILY PHOTO)

The families of four people killed by a North Texas teen who was drunk when he lost control of his pickup truck are angry over his probation-only sentence.

A juvenile court judge sentenced a 16-year-old boy on Tuesday to 10 years' probation after he confessed to intoxication manslaughter in the crash, which happened June 15 on a dark rural road near Fort Worth.

Killed were Brian Jennings, 43-year-old Burleson youth minister; Breanna Mitchell of Lillian, 24; Shelby Boyles, 21, and her 52-year-old mother, Hollie Boyles, who lived near the crash site.

Are The Markets Rigged?

Despite being found guilty of and fined for manipulations of every other market in the world (from FX to rates to energy), investors small and large continue to play the markets on the basis that they are fair and balanced. Aside from high-profile insider trades; day after day, the oddly high correlations, the obvious spikes, blips, and front-running are ignored... until now. In this brief documentary, CBC asks the critical question "are the world's stock markets rigged?" Amanda Lang concludes "there’s a sense among the general public that nobody seems to be maintaining the integrity of the system." as she highlights case after case "as though everything is rigged!" Conspiracy theory evolves once again into conspiracy fact as the system that's supposed to benefit many, but actually enriches a few.


Obamacare Whistleblower: I Was Told IRS Retaliation 'Came From The Top'

Wednesday, radio talk show host Sara Marie Brennerinterviewed Bill Elliott, the cancer patient who gained notoriety when he appeared on Fox News with Megyn Kelly after his insurance was cancelled. Elliott, you may remember, later received notification of his audit from the IRS on the same day C. Steven Tucker, the man who helped him get his insurance back, received his. After reaching out to SC Governor Nikki Haley, a SC congressman and a Democratic US Senator from North Carolina, he was able to get his IRS "audit" terminated.

According to Elliott, the US Senator - presumably Kay Hagan - was especially helpful on that front.

Via The Washington Times:

Elliott explained that he got cancer in 2007 when he was exposed to some radiological contamination in his work as a chemical and biological trainer to the military. He received a settlement from the government in 2009, which is the same year that the IRS wanted to audit. However, Elliott explains that settlements like these are tax-exempt, and that the IRS was inquiring about something to which they already should have known the answer.


Change Maryland Grows To 70,000 Strong!

"The growth we've seen in the last few weeks is incredible," said Larry Hogan, founder and Chairman of Change Maryland. "This further cements what we’ve been saying over the last two years: Marylanders, regardless of party, are ready to say enough is enough, and they’re ready to stand up together and fight back for a change."


Tilghman Island Tries For World Record 'Christmas Tree'

TILGHMAN — Who said a Christmas tree has to be green? Why not a rusty red? the Tilghman Island community asked. And why not make it out of crab pots and place it at the base of the Tilghman Island bridge for everyone to see?

Spearheaded by Kelley Cox, the executive director and president of Phillips Wharf Environmental Center, with overwhelming effort from the community, Tilghman Island is erecting its first crab pot Christmas tree.

“An associate of mine brought it to my attention that a town in Washington state claimed to have the world’s largest. I thought, well, we could do that,” Cox said.


Obama Selfies

Teen Thugs In DC Run Wild — Even While Wearing GPS Ankle Bracelets

Tyran McElrath was already in trouble with the law when he sneaked through a rear window of a Northwest D.C. home last year in the course of a burglary.

Inside, the 18-year-old encountered an 81-year-old woman who was legally blind. He savagely beat her and ransacked her house.

The crime is detailed in court records that also explain how officials quickly caught the youth: He was wearing a GPS tracking device assigned to him by the city’s juvenile justice agency.

Now a report by the District’s office of the inspector general is taking issue with the use of the monitoring devices by the city’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services, in whose custody McElrath was before the crime and his subsequent guilty plea.


How Far Will Stocks Fall This Time When The Fed Decides To Slow Down Quantitative Easing?

When QE1 ended there was a substantial stock market correction, and when QE2 ended there was a substantial stock market correction. And if you will remember, the financial markets threw a massive hissy fit a few months ago when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke suggested that the Fed may soon start tapering QE3.

Clearly Wall Street does not like it when their supply of monetary heroin is interrupted. The Federal Reserve has tricked the American people into supporting quantitative easing by insisting that it is about “stimulating the economy”, but that has turned out to be a massive hoax. In fact, I just wrote an article that contained 37 statistics that prove that things just keep getting even worse for ordinary Americans. But quantitative easing has been exceptionally good for Wall Street. During QE1, the S&P 500 rose by about 300 points. During QE2, the S&P 500 rose by about 200 points. And during QE3, the S&P 500 has risen by about 400 points. The S&P 500 is now in unprecedented territory, and stock prices have become completely and totally divorced from reality. In essence, we are in the midst of the largest financial bubble this nation has ever seen. So what is going to happen when the Fed starts pulling back the monetary crack and the bubble bursts?

A lot of people out there are claiming that the Federal Reserve will never end this round of quantitative easing. They are suggesting that the Fed may hint at tapering from time to time, but that when push comes to shove they will just keep printing more money.

There is just one big problem with that theory.


Happy Fesitvus

The War on Christmas is in full swing, and Florida is the latest battle ground. Governor Rick Scott has approved the installation of an 8-foot tall Festivus pole in front of the Florida State Capitol Building. After learning that there was a nativity manger and Three Wise Men display in front of the Capitol, Florida-resident, and self-proclaimed "militant atheist" Chaz Stevens asked permission to erect her own holiday monument. When Mr. Stevens was asked why he wanted to install the pole, he simply said, "I figured [that] one ridiculous act required another." The 8-foot pole is made up of empty Pabst Blue Ribbon beer cans, and it commemorates the parody holiday based on the TV show Seinfield. Fesitvus is celebrated on December 23rd, and it's a non-commercial holiday "for the rest of us" who don't follow typical religious traditions. Regardless of how we feel about Festivus, we should still be thankful to Chaz Stevens for getting Fox so-called News to cover anything besides Obamacare. That is a true holiday miracle.

SPD Press Releases 12-12-13

You Shouldn't Spend More Than 30% On Housing

Experts say that you shouldn't pay more than 30 percent of your income on housing, but a record number of Americans are doing just that. According to a new study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, more than 20 million people were paying more than a third of their income on rent. And, over 70 percent of those living on $15,000 dollars a year are paying more than half their income. As American wages have stagnated, and more and more people have struggled to survive on poverty wages, the cost of housing has continued to go up. That predicament has left people with no other choice but paying a larger and larger share of their income to put a roof over their heads, which means they have even less money to spend on other things. That means less money for basic necessities, like food and clothing, and it means that people have virtually nothing left over to save or invest. This is just a problem for people trying to get by on poverty wages, it has a broader effect on our entire economy. The solution is simple – continue the fight to ensure that everyone gets paid a living wage.

How To Not Suck… At Charitable Giving

They say it’s better to give than to receive, but if you can also get a little something back when you give, what’s not to like? While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with tossing some cash to those bell-ringing Santas, there’s a better way to give.

You see, giving to charity is one of the easiest ways to lower your tax burden, as long as you follow the rules and do it by Dec. 31.

Here are 15 things to know to make the most of your selfish reasons for charitable donations.

1. In order to deduct a charitable contribution, you must itemize your deductions on Schedule A of your Form 1040.


Easy Public Displays Of Support For Charities Lead To Slacktivism

Scroll through your Facebook timeline and you’ll no doubt see any number of people passing on links, photos, stories, invites to groups… all for allegedly good causes. It’s become increasingly simple to say you support things like ending world hunger or providing shelter to victims of natural disaster, while at the same time doing absolutely nothing that actually helps to solve those problems. Such behavior has earned the name “slacktivism,” and a new study aims to show how many people can trick themselves into thinking they have done enough by simply putting on a ribbon or liking a Facebook page.

The report, published in the Journal of Consumer Research by researchers at the University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business, performed various tests to see if public support for a cause had any correlation to his/her likelihood of donating time or money to that cause.


Thank God Its Friday 12-13-13

What will you be doing this weekend?

SFD Calls For Service 12-13-13

  • Thursday December, 12 2013 @ 21:18:37Nature: Chimney FireAddress: E Church St and young Ave Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Thursday December, 12 2013 @ 20:14:15Nature: Odor InvestigationAddress: E Church St and truitt St Salisbury, MD 21802
  • Thursday December, 12 2013 @ 17:42:26Nature: Pi AccidentCity: Salisbury
  • Thursday December, 12 2013 @ 15:35:17Nature: Chest PainCity: Salisbury
  • Thursday December, 12 2013 @ 14:58:44Nature: Pi AccidentCity: Salisbury
  • Thursday December, 12 2013 @ 14:20:59Nature: Medical AssistAddress: 200 Civic Ave Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Thursday December, 12 2013 @ 14:20:56Nature: Delayed AmbulanceAddress: 1340 S Division St Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Thursday December, 12 2013 @ 14:15:06Nature: Unconscious SubjectCity: Salisbury
  • Thursday December, 12 2013 @ 13:53:30Nature: Medical AssistAddress: 406 Moss Hill Ln Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Thursday December, 12 2013 @ 13:44:47Nature: Medical AssistAddress: 611 Spring Garden Ave Salisbury, MD 21801
  • Thursday December, 12 2013 @ 12:27:10Nature: Auto Accident RescueAddress: N Salisbury and salisbury Bypass Salisbury, MD 21802
  • Thursday December, 12 2013 @ 10:10:40Nature: Sick SubjectCity: Salisbury
  • Thursday December, 12 2013 @ 08:39:02Nature: Allergic ReactionCity: Salisbury
  • Thursday December, 12 2013 @ 00:59:00Nature: Sick SubjectCity: Salisbury

WCSO Press Release 12-13-13

O'Malley Confident Health Exchange Will Meet Goal

Gov. Martin O'Malley is voicing confidence Maryland will reach a 260,000-person enrollment goal by the end of March through the state's health care exchange, despite a rocky start with computer problems.

O'Malley gave an update Thursday on how the state is addressing challenges to getting people enrolled. The open enrollment period closes at the end of March.

The Democratic governor says that while Maryland has had a tough start, he's hopeful the state will make up ground in the coming months.

Contractors Experiencing PTSD

Defense contractors in war zones suffer from post-traumatic stress just like the troops they support. In fact, mental problems may be more pervasive among contractors. About a third of the ones surveyed by the RAND corporation showed signs of PTSD. Just a fifth of U.S. service members report the same. And service members tend to have better access to mental health services. The researchers say private contracting firms should better prepare employees for the stress of working in a conflict zone, and afterwards they need to encourage employees to seek treatment.