Saturday, April 25, 2015
Budget Work Session- Fiscal Year 2016 General Fund Budget

Board Docs - Apr 28, 2015 - Charles County Commissioners’ Meeting

2.07 [9:40 a.m.] Budget Work Session- Fiscal Year 2016 General Fund Budget (Mr. David Eicholtz, Director of Fiscal & Administrative Services/Ms. Jeni Ellin, Chief of Budget, Dr. Brad Gottfried, President, College of Southern Maryland; Ms. Diane Johnson, Acting Director, Charles County Library, and Sheriff Berry, Charles County Sheriff’s Office)

Sheriffs FY16 Budget Report for April 28..pdf (270 KB)

Charles County Futures Fund April 2015.pdf (63 KB)


Sammy 07:02 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Blue Crabs to Launch Fireworks During Game
Southern Maryland News Net

Team To Experiment With Mid-Game Fireworks for Young Fans Every Friday & Saturday Home Game

The marriage of Southern Maryland Blue Crabs Baseball and post-game fireworks every Friday and Saturday night is a combination that has become one of the region’s most popular summer activities. However, the team has heard from many fans with young children that at times the kids run out of steam climbing the rock wall and playing in Regency Furniture’s extensive Playground. “They really look forward to the fireworks, but sometimes the kids fall asleep before the end of the game,” is heard occasionally in the Ballpark according to Blue Crabs Assistant General Manager Courtney Knichel.

In response to these Fan comments, the Blue Crabs this season have announced a daring, first of its kind experiment in Minor League Baseball. Instead of waiting until the game is over, on Opening Day, Friday, April 24, and on each Friday and Saturday Home Game during the season, FIREWORKS WILL BE LAUNCHED IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE LAST OUT OF THE SEVENTH INNING!

Sammy 07:00 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
More Zebra Mussels Found in Upper Chesapeake Bay
Southern Maryland News Net

DNR calls on boaters to help prevent further spread of this harmful invasive

As the weather warms and boating season begins, DNR reminds boaters to be on the lookout for zebra mussels and to take precautions to prevent their spread. Department biologists recently found a significant increase in this harmful invasive during their most recent zebra mussel monitoring effort in the upper Chesapeake Bay.

Every fall for the last three years, DNR has inspected marker buoys and anchors as they are brought aboard the Department’s buoy-tending vessel, the A.V. Sandusky, for winter storage. This past fall, there were approximately 35 times more attached mussels and colonized anchors compared to the year prior.

Also during this time, two alert watermen submitted specimens of zebra mussels that had colonized their fishing gear on the Susquehanna Flats. Citizen sightings ─ such as zebra mussel larvae entering water system intakes, and adults attaching to infrastructure ─ help DNR assess trends in the population.

Sammy 06:58 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Maryland Association of Counties - This Week on Conduit Street

This Week on Conduit Street - April 24, 2015

Sammy 06:55 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Binge, heavy drinking up in Maryland, study shows
Meredith Cohn ― Baltimore Sun

Binge drinking in Maryland is on the rise, driven in large part by women whose rate jumped 34.7 percent from 2005 to 2012, according to new estimates published online Thursday in the Journal of Public Health.

Overall the increase was about 20.8 percent in Maryland for such drinking. That compares with a rise of 8.9 percent nationally, according to the study by researchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.

Binge drinking is considered four drinks for women and five for men in a short period of time and has been linked to increased risk of injury and alcohol poisoning.

Sammy 06:51 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
In varying amounts, casinos dole out millions on ‘free play’
Jeff Barker ― Baltimore Sun

Maryland casinos have been collectively giving away tens of millions of dollars a year — as much as 20 percent of their revenue in one case — in free play on slot machines and table games designed to keep their big-spending customers gambling, according to state documents.

And that doesn’t include the free hotel stays, dinners, gift cards, luxury car rides, flights and other “comps” that casino executives say are an essential part of doing business.

Sammy 06:49 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Rand Paul, Ted Cruz sign pledge not to raise taxes
Joseph Lawler ― Washington Examiner

Rand Paul and Ted Cruz on Friday signed a pledge not to raise raise taxes, becoming the first presidential candidates to do so.

The pledge, drawn up by the conservative group Americans for Tax Reform, includes a promise directed to the public to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.”

“Senator Paul understands that government should be reformed so that it takes and spends less of the taxpayers’ money, and will oppose tax increases that paper over and continue the failures of the past,” said Grover Norquist, president of the group and long-time anti-tax crusader. Norquist later issued a similar statement for Cruz, who signed the pledge shortly thereafter.

Sammy 06:45 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Va. utility delays offshore wind project that got Energ Dept. grant
Zack Colman ― Washington Examiner

Virginia Dominion Power is delaying an offshore wind pilot project after the cost estimates came in significantly higher than anticipated.

The utility had hoped to get its twin test turbines off the Virginia Beach coast running by 2017. Dominion’s internal calculations said constructing the turbines would cost $230 million, but initial bids ranged between $375 million and $400 million. That price was too expensive to pass onto the customers who would finance the project through rate increases, said Dominion spokesman David Botkins.

“At that price tag, the estimates that came in, it was just so extreme that we didn’t feel like we could go forward with a July filing to [state utility regulator the Virginia State Corporation Commission],” Botkins told the Washington Examiner.

Sammy 06:42 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Devastating Nepal earthquake kills hundreds, triggers deadly Everest avalanche
Gopal Sharma and Ross Adkin ― REUTERS

A powerful earthquake struck Nepal and sent tremors through northern India on Saturday, killing hundreds of people, toppling a 19th-century tower in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu and triggering a fatal avalanche on Mount Everest.

There were reports of devastation in outlying areas of the Himalayan country after the quake struck with a magnitude of 7.9, its epicenter 50 miles (80 km) east of Nepal’s second largest city, Pokhara.

The worst quake to hit the impoverished Himalayan nation in 81 years also caused damage in neighboring Indian states and Bangladesh. The quake was shallow, intensifying the amount of energy released over a relatively small area.

Sammy 06:40 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
FEC decision may allow more foreign money in U.S. votes, critics say
Michelle Conlin and Lucas Iberico Lozada ― REUTERS

The Federal Election Commission has declined to investigate the funding of a campaign to defeat a Los Angeles County ballot initiative by an international conglomerate, raising fears among campaign finance reform advocates that foreign funds may flood into U.S. elections.

The 2012 ballot initiative required adult film stars to wear condoms while filming movies.

After the initiative passed, a California HIV-AIDS advocacy group filed a complaint charging that $327,000 in donations made by two pornography distributors tied to Manwin International SARL, a global pornography and advertising firm, violated the Federal Election Campaign Act, which prohibits foreign nationals from donating to U.S. campaigns. 

Sammy 06:38 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Nevada’s Lake Mead on track to reach record low water level amid drought
Victoria Cavaliere ― Yahoo News

Nevada’s Lake Mead, the largest capacity reservoir in the United States, is on track to drop to its lowest water level in recorded history on Sunday as its source, the Colorado River, suffers from 14 years of severe drought, experts said on Friday.

The 79-year-old reservoir, formed by the building of the Hoover Dam outside Las Vegas, was expected to dip below 1,080 feet on Sunday, lower than a previous record of 1,080.19 feet last August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Predictions show that on May 31, the reservoir will have dipped again to 1,075 feet, well below its record high levels of around 1,206 feet in the 1980s, according to Bureau of Reclamation data.

Sammy 06:34 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Washington gov. signs overhaul of medical marijuana market

Nearly two decades after voters passed a medical marijuana law that often left police, prosecutors and even patients confused about what was allowed, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Friday attempting to clean up that largely unregulated system and harmonize it with Washington’s new market for recreational pot.

Among the law’s many provisions, it creates a voluntary registry of patients and, beginning next year, eliminates what have become in some cases large, legally dubious “collective gardens” providing cannabis to thousands of people.

Instead, those patients will be able to purchase medical-grade products at legal recreational marijuana stores that obtain an endorsement to sell medical marijuana, or they’ll be able to participate in much-smaller cooperative grows, of up to just four patients.

Sammy 06:32 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Hawaii poised to become 1st state to raise smoking age to 21

A bill that would make Hawaii the first state to raise the legal smoking age to 21 cleared the Legislature on Friday and is headed to the governor.

The bill would prevent adolescents from smoking, buying or possessing both traditional and electronic cigarettes.

“It’s definitely groundbreaking legislation,” said Jessica Yamauchi, executive director of the Coalition for a Tobacco-Free Hawaii, which pushed for the bill. “It’s amazing to be the first state in something. That’s very exciting for us.”

Sammy 06:29 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Open Thread - April 25, 2015


Pauleen Brewer 04:00 AM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
Friday, April 24, 2015
Summit offers new approaches to Bay restoration
Karl Blankenship ― Bay Journal

Nutrient limits for individual farms. Better environmental enforcement. More technical assistance for farmers. An honest discussion about population. Greener development.

Those were among the ideas proposed by a panel of Bay experts on Tuesday about policy changes that could lead to greater improvements for the Chesapeake, where three decades of work — and billions of dollars — has produced only slow progress in improving water quality and forging a more sustainable watershed.

“The Chesapeake Bay Summit: Charting a Course” was presented by Maryland Public Television and broadcast on numerous other public television stations throughout the watershed to offer alternative solutions.
For information about the summit, and to view the full panel discussion, visit

Sammy 03:12 PM | (0) Comments | Email this post | Permalink
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