Bob Culver Sworn in as Wicomico County Executive

SALISBURY, MD – Joined by Governor-elect Larry Hogan, Bob Culver was sworn in this morning as Wicomico County’s second County Executive.  According to the Daily Times’ Phil Davis:

During Culver’s speech, he said noticed while campaigning he "wasn’t the only one that wanted to see change" and that the "social fabric of our county has detriorated also."

"If you have a good idea to contribute to the social and financial well-being (of Wicomico County), I want to hear it," Culver said. "My door will always be open and my cell phone will always be on."

 

photo courtesy of the Daily Times

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Twiddlin’ Thumbs on Taxpayers’ Dime

WASHINGTON, DC – You’ve heard of New York City’s infamous “Rubber Rooms” where teachers are paid for years to sit around and do nothing.  The federal government has a similar deal.

An Inspector General’s report details how the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pays employees on “paid administrative leave”.  The EPA payments are costing taxpayers over $1 million per year.  A report by by the General Accountability Office (GAO) estimates that paid administrative leave cost federal taxpayers $3.1 billion between 2011 and 2013.

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Obama to Appoint Ashton Carter as Next Secretary of Defense

WASHINGTON, DC – The New York Times reports that President Barack Obama will to appoint Ashton B. Carter to replace outgoing Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

Carter is a former Deputy Secretary of Defense and was reported to have been on the short list to replace former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

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Maciarello Wants Police Oversight Board

SALISBURY, MD – Wicomico County State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello proposed civilian oversight boards for both the Salisbury Police Department and the Wicomico County Sheriff’s office according to a report by Daily Times reporter Jeremy Cox.  Maciarello also proposed that both SPD officers and WCSO deputies wear body cameras.  Details of Maciarello’s proposal are not currently available.

As with all such proposals, the devil is in the details.  The Salisbury city council and mayor could easily pass legislation to institute a civilian oversight board and require officers to wear body cameras.  The wisdom of such proposals can be debated.  However, neither Maciarello nor the Wicomico County government have the authority to institute such proposals.  The county government funds the Sheriff’s office with local tax dollars.  It cannot dictate to Sheriff Mike Lewis how he chooses to operate his office.  Unless the state plans on passing such a law OR Wicomico County plans on creating a county police department, such proposals are nothing more than suggestions.

In the Daily Times’ account, the subheadline reads:

Maciarello’s push represents the most tangible action taken so far after a string of violent —sometimes fatal — interactions between police and citizens in Wicomico

This hardly represents “tangible” action as Maciarello lacks the authority to do anything but hold a press conference regarding this matter.

photo courtesy of the Daily Times

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Lewis Wins Senate Seat … Barely

NORFOLK, VA – If an anticipated recount doesn’t change the outcome, Del. Lynwood W. Lewis (D-100) will move to the Virginia Senate this session.  In yesterday’s special election to replace Lt. Governor-elect Ralph Northam, Lewis defeated small businessman and first time candidate Wayne Coleman by 22 votes (0.1%).

Over 20,000 voters from Accomac, Northampton, and Mathews counties, along with a small section of Norfolk, braved the bitter cold to cast their ballots.  In unofficial results Lewis received 10,197 votes and Coleman received 10,175.

Read more at the Daily Press and the Virginian-Pilot.

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Should Salisbury Taxpayers Pay More for City Services?

SALISBURY, MD – It appears that Salisbury City Council president Jake Day and councilwoman Shanie Shields want taxpayers to pay more for city services.  According to the Daily Times’ Jeremy Cox, Day and Shields are pushing the Ireton administration to move forward with a plan to increase the city’s payroll by approximately $750,000 per year.  This 8.5% increase is based on a study performed by Evergreen Solutions, LLC.

Day wants to quickly move forward in raising the city’s payroll:

“Anything we consider implementing we should implement it quickly for sure,” Day said during a council work session. “We value our people like any organization, and want to compensate them fairly and bring the best here and keep the best here.”

Given that Day has repeatedly claimed that he is opposed to raising taxes beyond constant yield, voters should ask how he plans to pay for this raise.

Councilwoman Terry Cohen asked about the possibility of merit based raises.  According to Evergreen, city workers are opposed to pay raises based on merit.  This is not surprising given that government employees are not used to being paid based on performance.

Taxpayers may be interested to know that Wicomico County continues to suffer one of the highest unemployment rates in Maryland.  Given that there are numerous persons standing in line to fill any position left by a disaffected city employee, why should raises be given at this point in time?

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When Subsidies Go Bad

PORTLAND, OR – What happens when the taxpayers loan a company $10 million and provide another $20 million in other incentives in return for a PROMISED 450 jobs?  If you are an Oregon taxpayer and the company is SoloPower, the answer appears … NOT MUCH.

Like the better known case of Solyndra, Oregon taxpayers are waiting to find out if they will ever recover any of their hard earned money after the San Jose, CA based firm has announced that it is closing shop.

READ MORE …

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Lawyers Before Funerals

WEST, TX – As the death toll has risen to 15 from last week’s explosion at a West, TX fertilizer plant explosion the lawsuits are already starting.  While the first funeral for a victim of the blast was yesterday, the first of at least five (5) lawsuits was filed on April 19th.

For attorneys, burying the dead seems to come a distant second after filing lawsuits.

READ MORE …

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Is Jake Day Breaking Promises Already?

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North Korea Vows to Strike Without Warning After Seoul Protests

PYONGYANG – The North Korean government has vowed to attack South Korea without warning if anti-North Korean protests continue in the south.

"The supreme command of the Korean People’s Army Tuesday issued an ultimatum to the South Korean puppet group," Pyongyang’s official news agency, KCNA, said.

Threatening that it would not give any advance notice before attacking South Korea, the North warned: "Our retaliatory action will start without any notice from now."

North Korea said it was responding to insults from the "puppet authorities" in the South, who yesterday held a rally against the North in Seoul.

While North Koreans were celebrating the 101st anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth, South Koreans protested recent threats from the North including burning North Korean leaders in effigy.

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NASA Hosts Space Apps Challenge

SALISBURY, MD – This weekend NASA will host the second International Space Apps Challenge.  Scientists, software developers, hackers, and ordinary citizens from around the world will gather in over 75 cities, including Salisbury, to help solve various space exploration problems.  The program is part of the Open Government Partnership.

Individuals and teams will tackle one of 53 challenges.  The Salisbury site for the challenge will be at the HotDesks small business incubator at the Tri-County Council building across from Wor-Wic Community College.

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Jake Day Elected Council President

Ireton, Shields Sworn in for New Terms

SALISBURY, MD – Newcomer Jake Day, along with incumbent Shanie Shields, were sworn-in to the Salisbury city council Monday night.  In a surprise move, Day was also elected as council president.  Councilwoman Laura Mitchell was elected vice president.

Mayor Jim Ireton was also sworn in to a second term.  The terms of Ireton and all five council members will end in November 2015 as the city adopts a new election cycle.

At the end of the meeting Ireton delivered his FY 2014 budget to the council.  In his budget Ireton calls for a $0.065 rate increase.

photos courtesy of Jeremy Cox via Twitter

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Today’s Weather – April 15, 2013

for Wilmington, DE

Today –
Rain showers early becoming more intermittent for the afternoon. High 59F. Winds ESE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

Tonight –
Partly cloudy. Low 49F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph.

for Salisbury, MD

Today –
Mostly cloudy. Periods of rain this morning. High 62F. Winds E at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Rainfall near a quarter of an inch.

Tonight –
Partly cloudy skies. Low 52F. Winds ESE at 10 to 20 mph.

for Cape Charles, VA

Today –
Mostly cloudy with occasional rain… mainly in the morning. High 64F. Winds E at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70%. Rainfall near a quarter of an inch.

Tonight –
A few clouds. Low 57F. Winds E at 10 to 15 mph.

[Read more…]

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Why Do YOU Pay Rent to Joe Biden?

GREENVILLE, DE – Last year YOU paid $26,400 in rent to Vice President Joe Biden.  Why?

It seems that the U.S. Secret Service uses a cottage on the grounds of Biden’s estate outside Wilmington.  This property is used as part of Biden’s protection detail but Biden charges the taxpayers $2,200 per month!

Typical of most high-profile liberals, Biden and his wife donated less than two percent of their adjusted gross income to charity in 2012.

READ MORE …

photo courtesy of the Washington Times

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Today’s Weather – April 14, 2013

for Wilmington, DE

Today –
Plentiful sunshine. High 63F. Winds WNW at 10 to 20 mph.

Tonight –
Partly cloudy early followed by cloudy skies overnight. Low 49F. Winds light and variable.

for Salisbury, MD

Today –
Sunny to partly cloudy. High 67F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.

Tonight –
Partly cloudy skies early will give way to cloudy skies late. Low around 50F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.

for Cape Charles, VA

Today –
Sunshine to start, then a few afternoon clouds. High 69F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.

Tonight –
Cloudy skies. Low 57F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph.

[Read more…]

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BBC Attacks Margaret Thatcher in Death… As in Life

LONDON – The British Broadcasting Corporation is facing heavy criticism for its coverage of the passing of former PM Margaret Thatcher.  The BBC was been criticized for giving undue prominence to Thatcher’s political opponents in their coverage of her death.  Now the broadcaster has been covering a campaign to encourage citizens to buy recordings of the song, “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”, including playing the song on air.

READ MORE …

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Hijacking an Aircraft with a Smartphone

AMSTERDAM – A speaker at a recent computer security conference in Amsterdam demonstrated how to seize control of an aircraft using an app developed for Android smartphones.

READ MORE …

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Liberal Group Suspected in Bugging of GOP Senate Leader’s Office

LOUISVILLE, KY – Progress Kentucky, a liberal group with a history of attacking Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), has emerged as a suspect in the bugging of McConnell’s DC office.

It was reported earlier this week that Mother Jones magazine had published an article based the illegal recording and highlighted comments made by McConnell and staffers regarding the potential candidacy of actress Ashley Judd against McConnell in 2014.

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Today’s Weather – April 12, 2013

for Wilmington, DE

Today –
Cloudy with rain likely. A thundershower is possible as well, especially during the morning. High 61F. Winds SE at 15 to 25 mph. Rainfall possibly over one inch.

Tonight –
Showers early, then clearing overnight. Low 47F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

for Salisbury, MD

Today –
Periods of rain with a few thunderstorms likely. A few storms may be severe. High around 75F. Winds S at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of rain 90%. Rainfall around a half an inch.

A few showers early, then clear overnight. Low 52F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

for Cape Charles, VA

Today –
Windy with showers and thunderstorms. A few storms may be severe. High 77F. Winds SSW at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of rain 60%.

Tonight –
A few showers early, then clear overnight. Thunder is possible early. Low 56F. Winds W at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

[Read more…]

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What Happened to Free Markets?

One of the assumptions of a free market is that all parties have equal access to all available information.  This is why things like “insider trading” are illegal.  We acknowledge that we do not live in a Pollyanna world of perfect competition and perfect information.  That said, we thought that the government was supposed to protect consumers from market manipulation.

It appears that this is not the case.  Any viewer of CNBC or Fox Business know that the release of minutes of the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) or of a Board of Governors’ meeting can, and do, move markets.  Why then did copies of the minutes of the March Fed meeting go out a day early to several banks, at least one hedge fund, a law firm, and several Congressional staffer?

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The Sequester March

WASHINGTON, DC – While the Obama Administration continues to insist that children are starving and old people are dying because of the cuts required under sequestration, ESSENTIAL federal spending continues for … BAGPIPES.

H/T – the Drudge Report

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If Cuccinelli Gives Facts, It’s an ATTACK

The Daily Press’s Shad Plank blog calls this video released by GOP gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli an “attack” ad.  No one questions the facts imparted in the video.  The outlets which have been covering Democrat candidate Terry McAuliffe’s less than open departure from GreenTech certainly don’t share a reputation for conservative or Republican bias.  They include Politico, the Washington Post, and the Associated Press.

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Today’s Weather – April 11, 2013

for Wilmington, DE

Today –
Partly cloudy skies during the morning giving way to a few showers late. High 67F. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

Tonight –
Showers developing late tonight with the possibility of a thunderstorm. Low 51F. Winds ENE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 70%.

for Salisbury, MD

Today –
Sunshine to start, then a few afternoon clouds. High 77F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph.

Tonight –
Cloudy skies with a few showers after midnight. Low 61F. Winds SE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

for Cape Charles, VA

Today –
Sunshine to start, then a few afternoon clouds. Very warm. High 83F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph.

Tonight –
Some clouds and possibly an isolated thunderstorm late. Low 67F. Winds S at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

[Read more…]

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Senate Office Bugged by Left

WASHINGTON, DC – For those that believe only Republicans would engage in things such as illegal wire-tapping, fear not.  It appears that the left doesn’t bother with legal niceties when it suits their purposes either.

Mother Jones has published an article based, in part, on illegal recordings made of Sen. Mitch McConnell discussing the possibility of a challenge from actress Ashley Judd.

While Judd has announced that she will not run in 2014, her response to the illegal act sounded and awful lot like a candidate:  “This is yet another example of the politics of personal destruction that embody Mitch McConnell and are pervasive in Washington, D.C.”

The mainstream media’s response seems to be more concern about McConnell “digging up dirt” on Judd rather than the fact that an illegal act had taken place.  We can only assume that ABC News has never heard of opposition research.

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Sequester Soul Show at White House

We thought that children were starving and old people were dying because of the sequester?  Yet … we would dare deprive the Obama’s of a little in-house entertainment (or multi-million dollar vacations).

See video at RealClearPolitics.com

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LaFerla to Challenge Harris in 2014

CHESTERTOWN, MD – Unsuccessful 2012 congressional candidate John LaFerla will officially announce today that he will challenge incumbent Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) for Maryland’s First District congressional seat.

LaFerla received 4% of the vote in 2012 in a write-in campaign after losing to disgraced candidate Wendy Rosen in the Democrat primary.  Rosen received almost 28% of the vote despite having withdrawn amid charges of voter fraud (Rosen voted in multiple states).

H/T – Michael Swartz @ Monoblogue

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Today’s Weather – April 10, 2013

for Wilmington, DE

Today –
Partly cloudy. A stray shower or thunderstorm is possible. High 84F. Winds WSW at 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight –
Isolated thunderstorms early, then mainly cloudy after midnight. Low around 60F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

for Salisbury, MD

Today –
A mix of clouds and sun. Very warm. High 84F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight –
Clear to partly cloudy. Low 62F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.

for Cape Charles, VA

Today –
Sunshine and clouds mixed. Very warm. High 88F. Winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight –
Mainly clear skies. Low 64F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.

[Read more…]

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Brown to Kick-off 2014 Campaign May 10

LARGO, MD – According to the left-wing blog Maryland Juice, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown will kick-off his 2014 gubernatorial campaign on May 10th at Prince George’s Community College in Largo.  It is also rumored that Brown will also announce his running mate at the event.

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Is “Lockbox” Amendment a Fraud?

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Next year voters will have a chance to amend Maryland’s constitution to place gas tax funds in a “lockbox”.  The stated purpose of the amendment is to prevent a future raid on highway user funds like those that occurred with regularity during Maryland governor Martin O’Malley’s two terms in office.

While the amendment’s stated purpose may seem noble, and sound policy for Maryland taxpayers, some legislators are questioning whether or not the proposal is real, or little more than political theater.  The amendment would require a 60% vote of both houses to raid the highway user fund.  However, each time in recent years this has occurred it was accomplished by a vote of greater than 60%:

House Minority Leader Tony O’Donnell objected, “Every time we raid the Transportation Trust Fund, it meets the three-fifths vote” in both houses.

Even here on the Eastern Shore we’re not exempt.  While legislators like Del. Norm Conway (D-38B) and Sen. Jim Mathias (D-38) don’t mind coming home to tell constituents that they voted against bills like the recent gas tax hike, they also haven’t hesitated to vote in favor of raiding the highway user fund.

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Ireton to Unveil “Let’s Do Business Salisbury” Plan at Chamber

SALISBURY, MD – Today incumbent Salisbury mayor Jim Ireton is to unveil a new approach to business at the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce.  According to the Daily Times, “Let’s Do Business Salisbury”appears geared almost exclusively towards developers, not just those seeking to open a business in Salisbury.

For those members of the business community looking for a a “one-stop shop” for permitting, registration, and other bureaucratic entanglements, Ireton’s presentation will be viewed either with disappointment or as a baby step in the right direction.  Newly elected councilman Jake Day and unsuccessful mayoral candidate Joe Albero both focused heavily on the need to court new business and on the need to streamline things like the permitting process, often viewed as an impediment to doing business in Salisbury.

Ireton’s plan involves setting up a kiosk on the first floor of the Salisbury / Wicomico Government Office Building (GOB) with form packets useful to developers.  Ireton also hopes to install a similar kiosk at the Chamber’s office on East Main Street.

According to the Daily Times’ Jeremy Cox:

…Those changes will be accompanied by a new, business-friendly atmosphere in the city’s staff offices, Ireton said. Those adopting the customer-service approach are the Mayor’s Office; Public Works; Building, Permits and Inspections; and Planning and Zoning.

… (Asst. City Administrator Lore) Chambers, though, said city administrators have worked on the plan for more than a year. Ireton said he was loath to announce the effort during the election season out of concern it would be criticized as a self-serving campaign ploy.

It should be noted that Ireton’s plan for downtown redevelopment was released two years ago.  Some members of the business community are skeptical that this “customer-service” approach has been in the works for over a year.  One local business owner, who asked that his name be withheld, stated, “I can’t believe that the mayor expects us to believe that it took a year to put some forms together.  No one, certainly not the mayor, talked about treating businesses as customers until Joe Albero decided to run against him.”

Ireton will present his plan in the lobby of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce at 1:30 PM today.

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McAuliffe Ends Career as “Green” Executive

RICHMOND, VA – Presumptive Democrat nominee for the Virginia governor, Terry McAuliffe, appears to have ended his ties with electric car company GreenTech.  While McAuliffe submitted his resignation as chairman on December 1, 2012, the information was not made public until last Friday.

“Terry McAuliffe’s walking away as chairman of GreenTech Auto undercuts what was supposed to be his chief qualification for office,” said Cuccinelli spokeswoman Anna Nix.

“His sudden and shady resignation exposes the fact that all the hype and fanfare was nothing more than smoke and mirrors for a business that has always been more about keeping McAuliffe in the headlines than creating jobs.”

McAuliffe’s campaign claims that his resignation was motivated by his commitment to running for governor.

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Commercial Air Service to Resume in DE

NEW CASTLE, DE – Commercial air service will return to Delaware after a five (5) year absence.  The Associated Press reports that Frontier Airlines will begin offering three (3) flights per week to Chicago and Houston beginning on July 1.  Additional flights to Orlando, Tampa, and Denver will begin soon after.

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Businesses Object to Stormwater Fees

BALTIMORE, MD – While Eastern Shore property owners brace for the news of how much they will be forced to pay, business owners and non-profits on the Western Shore of Maryland are already complaining about the new stormwater fees they will be charged starting July 1.  Fees for homeowners are running from $18 to more than $100 per year.  Businesses and non-profits estimate that their charges could be more than $10,000 per year in some cases.  Because this is classified as a fee rather than a tax, non-profit organizations are not exempt.

On Tuesday, newly re-elected Salisbury mayor Jim Ireton is presenting his plan for improving downtown Salisbury.  He is not expected to unveil the fee structure.  Businesses question whether or not investment in Salisbury is cost-effective given that lower tax Delaware and Virginia are just a few miles to the north and south.

In Baltimore and other counties, businesses are being charged this fee even if they treat their own stormwater:

David C. McKenzie, vice president of Liquid Transfer Terminals Inc. in Curtis Bay, said his company pays about $58,000 in property taxes and could get hit with nearly $44,000 in stormwater fees. That fee is too high, McKenzie argues, because his company treats its own stormwater.

"A facility that manages its own stormwater is not treated any differently than a facility that does nothing to mitigate its stormwater pollution," he said.

One Baltimore business, Rukert Terminals Corp., estimates that its fee could be in excess of $300,000 per year.

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Today’s Weather – April 8, 2013

for Wilmington, DE

Today –
Sun and clouds mixed. Warm. High 74F. Winds WSW at 5 to 10 mph.

Tonight –
Partly cloudy skies this evening. A few showers developing late. Low 59F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 30%.

for Salisbury, MD

Today –
Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 74F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight –
Partly cloudy this evening with more clouds for overnight. Slight chance of a rain shower. Low 58F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.

for Cape Charles, VA

Today –
Partly cloudy. High 77F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph.

Tonight –
A few passing clouds. Low near 60F. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph.

[Read more…]

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Maryland Group Enters Sussex Sheriff’s Fray Over Powers

GEORGETOWN, DE – Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher’s ongoing battle with the state of Delaware over the extent (limit) of his powers has found an out-of-state ally.  The Pasadena, MD based Institute on the Constitution hosted a forum yesterday at DelTech’s Georgetown campus.

“Our drive is to raise up a citizenry that understands these issues and can act on them from a basis of knowledge, not just petty personal interests,” said Michael Anthony Peroutka, a lawyer from Pasadena, Md., and founder of the institute.

Christopher argues that the state’s constitution provides his office with law enforcement powers.  Delaware governor Jack Markell, AG Beau Biden, and several state courts have disagreed.

photo courtesy of the Cape Gazette

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FDR’s Grandson Working on Energy Independence … With Oil

Elliott Roosevelt, grandson of Democrat icon Franklin Delano Roosevelt, is sitting on top of almost 2 BILLION barrels of oil.  By injecting carbon dioxide into the ground he, and independent experts, expects to release 400 – 600 million barrels of that oil.  Of course, that’s assuming that the Obama administration doesn’t throw up additional roadblocks.

While the Obama administration has all but stopped new drilling on public lands, energy exploration on private lands has grown and yielded results.  North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation thanks to “fracking” for natural gas.  The method being used by Roosevelt has the potential to bring another 3 – 4 million barrels per day to market.

Photo courtesy of Bloomberg

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Fisker Heading Towards Bankruptcy?

Another beneficiary of millions in taxpayer subsidies appears headed for bankruptcy.  Fisker, the electric car company, has fired three quarters of its staff according to Wilmington’s News-Journal.

In 2009 Fisker received a $529 million Federal loan and $21 million in other incentives from the state of Delaware.  President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden heralded Fisker as a big part of the administration’s “Green Energy” initiative.

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Free-For-All at Somerset Board of Ed

WESTOVER, MD – Daily Times reporter Deborah Gates describes a free-for-all at this month’s Somerset County Board of Education meeting as competing groups collided over recent criticism of Washington High School principal William Johnson.  Parents have accused Johnson of poor leadership and spoke of disciplinary issues at the last two BOE meetings.  At this month’s meeting supporters of Johnson came out and accused Johnson critics of being racially motivated.

At several points during the meeting BOE chair William Miles had to gavel the crowd to order.  Several Johnson supporters called for the resignation of BOE members Dan Kuebler and Robert Wells because of their public criticism of Johnson.

At several points in the evening a Johnson supporter attempted prevent Gates from taking pictures of Johnson.  After the meeting, Johnson supporter went so far as to steal Gates’ cell which she was taking pictures with.  A police officer had to retrieve Gate’s property.

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MD Senate Finalizes Gun Control Bill

ANNAPOLIS, MD – It didn’t take very long for the Maryland Senate to adopt the version of SB-281 approved by the House of Delegates late yesterday.  The bill, which is one of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country, now goes to Gov. Martin O’Malley for his signature.

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Maryland House Passes O’Malley Gun Control Bill – 78-61

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland House of Delegates passed one of the nation’s most restrictive gun control laws yesterday by a vote of 78-61.  In addition to banning so-called “assault weapons”, ammunition magazines will be limited to 10 rounds and Marylanders will have to undergo a background check with fingerprints in order to purchase a handgun.

While the bill must be reconciled with the Senate version passed last month, the bill is expected to become law and Maryland will join the ranks of New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia as having the nation’s most restrictive gun laws.

Del. Mike McDermott (R-38B) observed that this bill is equivalent to banning legal gun ownership:  “…the licensing requirement would add even more delay, amounting to a “defacto ban” on gun sales in Maryland”.

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Ireton, Shields, and Day Sweep Salisbury City Elections

Incuments Mayor Jim Ireton and Councilwoman Shanie Shields, along with challenger Jake Day swept today’s Salisbury city elections in a landslide.  The results were:

Mayor    
  Joe Albero

782

  Jim Ireton

1,694

     
District 1    
  April Jackson

77

  Cynthia Polk

80

  Shanie Shields

145

     
District 2    
  Debbie Campbell

612

  Jake Day

1,569

While these results are not official, the margin of victory for each candidate was large enough to negate any impact from the counting of absentee and provisional ballots.  There are approximately 300 absentee ballots outstanding.  As of today, approximately 250 ballots had been returned.

In addition to the margins of victory, probably the biggest surprise was voter turnout.  While Salisbury has a reputation of abysmal turnout in municipal elections, it has continued to grow each cycle.  This year’s turnout saw a dramatic drop – to 17.32% citywide compared to 21.10% four years ago.  While the addition of absentee and provisional ballots will increase the turnout percentage slightly, there will still be a large decrease.

The council will reorganize later this month.

*****************************

For additional analysis of the 2013 Salisbury election, tune in to WSDL (90.7 FM) at 9 AM Friday when DelMarVa Observer’s G. A. Harrison joins WSDL’s Don Rush and SU political science professor Michael O’Loughlin on Delmarva Today for an election post-mortem.  The show can also be seen on-demand at a later date.

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Delegate Demonstrates Treachery in Maryland House of Delegates

Maryland Delegate Mike Smigiel (R-36) has posted a video which shows the House Judiciary Committee changing the vote AFTER an amendment had passed.  The amendment, offered by Smigiel, would have increased punishment for criminals convicted of a gun crime.

One of the arguments against Maryland governor Martin O’Malley’s gun control measure is that it punishes law-abiding Marylanders while doing NOTHING to punish criminals or actually prevent gun crime.

The video was prepared by pro – Second Amendment group The Maryland Minutemen.

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Jake Day Denying Special Interest Money

  1. Salisbury District 2 council candidate Jake Day isn’t happy that people are beginning to notice that tens of thousands of dollars in special interest money is being thrown at his campaign to unseat Debbie Campbell.  Who would blame him?
     
    You’ve got a national political action committee (PAC) out of Chicago throwing money at a council race in the little city of Salisbury.  Why?  It’s pretty obvious that their membership sees Day as the chance to hop back on the taxpayer-funded gravy train.  Ten years ago the "Dream Team" council of Mike Dunn, Gary Comegys, and Lynn Cathcart rode into power allying themselves with councilman Michael Day.  They proceeded to borrow millions and hand the money over to residential developers.
     
    Jake Day’s plan calls for much the same – subsidizing residential development by waiving capacity fees for residential development downtown (and that’s only what Day has admitted to).
     
    Since this became public, Day and his campaign treasurer Jordan Gilmore have been vigorously denying it (see the exchanges at the bottom of this post):

  2. There are over 14,000 registered voters in Salisbury.  The mail shop out of Virginia that did the mailing householded the list (this is so that only 1 piece of mail goes to the same address to people with the same last name).  This would have yielded approximately 9,000 pieces mailed PER MAILING.  Remember, there were TWO MAILINGS.  So … here’s the math:
     
    18,000 pieces
    $0.75 per piece (this is conservative given the size and type of mailing)
    $ 13,500 for two mailings
     
    But WAIT … There’s more:
     
    The same national PAC is also running radio ads in support of Jake Day.  We don’t have access to the details of the buy, but hearing from many people who listen to many radio stations, that probably cost the PAC a couple of thousand bucks.  That brings the total up to over $15,000. Greater than $10,000 is tens of thousands of dollars.  Mr. Day and his treasurer may not like it.  They can continue to deny it.  Unfortunately for them, math remains one of the few immutable truths
     
    Note – these are "independent expenditures".  There is nothing illegal.  We only have to ask the question -Is Salisbury for sale?  Perhaps this is why councilwoman Debbie Campbell is drawing attention to the fact with a video launched yesterday:

[Read more…]

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Daily Times Gears Up for Sunday Attack

 

 

DAILY TIMES PREPARES “OCTOBER SURPRISE”
What Happened to “Stick to the Issues”?

Salisbury’s Daily Times is planning its own version of the “October Surprise” for this Sunday’s edition. According to Daily Times city reporter Jeremy Cox, the paper plans to run a front page “expose” outlining the past legal difficulties of incumbent mayor Jim Ireton and his opponent, businessman Joe Albero.

“I’m really disgusted with the entire approach taken by our local newspaper”, stated Albero. “It’s small wonder that they’ve had to put their building up for lease. People just don’t want to read a paper that is one step above the National Enquirer. Who cares that Jake Day has a heavy foot, or that our three District 1 candidates have met with personal financial misfortune, or that both my opponent and I have had some minor brushes with the legal system? Why does the Daily Times think that these things take precedence over my plan to bring jobs to Salisbury, Jim Ireton’s repeated attempts to raise our taxes, or Jake Day’s plan to use our tax dollars to subsidize residential development in the city?”

Albero also noted that early in the campaign the Daily Times stated that they wanted to ONLY report on issues. “Throughout this campaign I have focused on how to make Salisbury a better place to work and to live. It’s unfortunate that they have gone back on their word and chosen to take this path. What have we seen from our local paper during this campaign? Most of the articles we’ve seen this election season have been thinly disguised attack pieces. Any discussion of real issues has been little more than fluff. I don’t believe that reporter Jeremy Cox is either lazy or a bad reporter. I can only conclude that publisher Tom Claybaugh and editor Michael Kilian believe that they can gin up advertising sales from certain business segments or somehow increase readership by attempting to use Gannett’s assets to impact a local election with salacious stories that have no real impact on Salisbury’s residents and businesses.”

Albero’s publication, SBYNews will print a response (written by a named contributor) after the Daily Times runs its piece.

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Rep. Andy Harris and Sheriff Mike Lewis Host Town Hall Meeting on Gun Rights

Monday evening a crowd of over 500 people showed up at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center to hear some of their elected officials discuss current federal and state initiatives to curtail Marylanders’ right to keep and bear arms.  The meeting, hosted by Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) and Wicomico Sheriff Mike Lewis featured the two hosts, Del. Mike McDermott (R-38B), Wicomico State’s Attorney Matt Maciarello, Worcester Sheriff Reggie Mason as well as Sheriff’s (and their representatives) from around the state.

Each speaker emphasized the individual’s God-given right to bear arms, not just for hunting and sporting purposes, but for the protection of one’s person, family and community.  Another common theme was the fact that pending federal and state legislation do nothing to stop gun crime, but will make criminals out of law-abiding citizens.

Wicomico Sheriff Mike Lewis spoke and acted as the moderator for the evening’s event.  He emphasized the importance of our second amendment rights.  He was obviously torn over the potential consequences of pending state legislation.  Lewis noted that he swears an oath to protect and uphold the constitution of the United States, the state of Maryland and to enforce the laws of the state;  given that most county Sheriff’s believe that this legislation strips Marylanders of their rights to keep and bear arms.  Lewis provided an excellent analogy from the infamous Dred Scott decision – Slaves could not bear arms, because they are not citizens.

Congressman Harris made a moving argument regarding the consequences of attempts to strip citizens of their guns:

Many of you already know my story.  My parents escaped from communism in the Ukraine right after World War II.  In communist regimes, the first thing they do is disarm the citizens.

Harris also demonstrated the hypocrisy of claims that more gun control is about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals:

[Read more…]

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Yet Another O’Malley Promise Broken

Another great piece of reporting from Red Maryland‘s Mark Newgent:

Millions of Maryland electricity consumers, served by BGE, and will see yet another rate increase.  This is SEVEN YEARS after Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley pledged to “Stop the Rate Hikes”.  Remember, this was O’Malley’s biggest criticism against then governor Bob Ehrlich.
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Pope Benedict to Step Down

In an unusual move, it has been announced by Italy’s ANSA news agency that Pope Benedict XVI will step down at the end of this month.  Typically a Pope remains in office from installation to death.  No details are available at this time.

UPDATE:  MSNBC has confirmed that 85 year old Pope Benedict has announced his resignation.  During a canonization ceremony in Vatican City, he stated that he “doesn’t have the strength to go on”.  Reported on the Morning Joe show, it was also reported that the last resignation of a Pope was in 1415.

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News from the Old Dominion – Feb. 7, 2013

 

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Salisbury Mayor Refuses to Comply with Law

The Daily Times reports after the Salisbury City Council voted unanimously to allow acting fire chief Rick Hoppes to continue in his position for another month, mayor Jim Ireton continues to refuse to comply with the city’s law regarding the appointment of acting department heads.  Ireton disputes the interpretation of the law provided by city attorney Mark Tilghman.  Ireton appealed Tilghman’s interpretation to the Office of the Maryland Attorney General.  The AG’s office informed Ireton in a January 3rd letter that they defer to Tilghman’s interpretation of the law.

Ireton insists that he can interpret the law as he chooses:

“The July resolutions, which also covered Hoppes’ second-in-command John Tull, “simply provide for the Acting Status of both of these employees to be extended past six months.”

The council disputes Iretons actions and have the opinions of the city attorney and AG’s office to back them up.  At Monday’s council meeting, president Terry Cohen asked if Ireton felt he was above the law.  It appears that Ireton has delivered his answer.
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Royal May Have Been Target of Attack

The UK Press Association reports that Capt. Harry Windsor, better known to the world as Prince Harry, may have been the target of a Taliban attack against Camp Bastion.  Two U.S. Marines were killed in the attack.

Prince Harry may have been the primary target of an attack on the Camp Bastion military compound in Afghanistan, it has been claimed.

A Taliban commander told Sky News that Harry was the main focus of the attack, but other media organisations reported it was in revenge for an anti-Islamic film.

The prince was unharmed, but two US Marines were killed and several more wounded in Friday night’s attack.

Harry, an Army captain, is based at Camp Bastion for his second tour of duty.

US officials said the attack was by heavily-armed insurgents and involved a range of weaponry, including mortars, rockets or rocket-propelled grenades, as well as small arms fire.

Harry was about two kilometres away with other crew members of the Apache attack helicopters, of which he is a co-pilot gunner, when the attack took place, sources said.

There are no indications of any British fatalities or injuries.

A spokesman for the International Security Assistance Force coalition (Isaf) in Afghanistan said the attack happened near an airfield on the north-east side of the base, which houses American forces in Camp Leatherneck.

A Ministry of Defence source said: "After saying this attack was mounted in reaction to the video on Islam, it is entirely predictable that the Taliban have changed their tune to say it was aimed at Captain Wales.

"The insurgency who mounted this attack – most of who were killed by Isaf – were nowhere near Captain Wales, who with other UK and Isaf personnel was under lockdown."

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