Archive for the ‘Maryland Politics’ Category

It’s been awhile since I talked about the concept of Smart Growth, but some relatively recent developments caught my eye and I figured it was time to talk about them. One of these items has been sitting on my top bookmarks for a few weeks now.

Last spring, against my advice, the voters of Salisbury elected Jake Day to their City Council. Since that time, Day has joined with nine other local elected officials around the state as part of an advisory board for Smart Growth America’s Local Leaders Council. This is a collaboration between the rabidly anti-growth 1,000 Friends of Maryland and Smart Growth America.

Now allow me to say that downtown development is just fine with me. My problem with so-called Smart Growth legislation – such as the Septic Bill which mandated counties provide tier maps for approval by the state, usurping local control – is that it eliminates options local landowners may choose to use. If there is a market for people who wish to live in a rural area, it should be served; moreover, many parts of the region are already off-limits to development because the land doesn’t drain properly. At least that restriction makes sense.

Developing Salisbury’s downtown is important for the city, but not squeezing rural development is important for Wicomico County.

Another recent development in the city is the adoption of designated bicycle pathways, which in Salisbury are marked by “sharrows.” Since I frequently drive in Delaware, I’m familiar with their custom of designating bicycle lanes on the shoulder of the highway, as that state seems to take the concept farther than their Maryland neighbors. But sharrows have a different purpose, simply denoting the best place to ride in a shared lane. In theory, however, a group of bikes moving along the shared lane could slow traffic down to their speed. It may seem extreme, but this has happened in larger cities.

Granted, the designated bicycle ways in Salisbury are somewhat off the beaten path of Salisbury Boulevard, which also serves as Business Route 13 in Salisbury. But the anti-parking idea expressed in the American Spectator article is a dream of Salisbury bicyclists, who want to eliminate one lane of on-street parking when downtown is revitalized. With the lower speed limits common along downtown streets, the bigger danger for bicyclists comes from a driver of a parked car unwittingly opening a car door in the path of a bicyclist rather than the large speed difference common on a highway with a bike lane.

Read more here.

It is hard to believe that today I am celebrating the 5th anniversary of starting this website, and when the day is over marching into my 6th. This site has come a long way since that cold day in December of 2008. As I state every year when this day comes around, the main reason I started this site was to state the truth of what was going on in our City and not have the lies and bs of Joe Albero be what people believed. I have accomplished that goal as only the blind cult members remain that support him or his site.He is a non factor in the area now as all that is on his laughable site is copy and paste from all over the Country .

The other great thing that has been accomplished in the past year was finally the removal from office of the Queen of hatefulness who had held this area under siege. That person was the one and only, thank goodness, Debbie Campbell. The way the citizens finally stood together and gave her a humiliating defeat to send her packing has been the highlight of my year, that along with the aforementioned moron getting humiliated by Jim Ireton.

The thing many don’t realize about this site is the number of nasty cowardly anonymous comments that are left every day that I laugh at and yet wonder what kind of human beings could say some of the stuff I have read. The thing is to all you idiots who don’t like me keep them coming in, because the fact is undeniable you cant get enough of my site or you wouldn’t be here.

Read more here.

So I get a call from a bus driver saying my five yr son stood up to two older bullies, and guess who gets thrown off the bus? I am tired of this pc, totalitarian crap. liberals hate our kids. My five yr old will not be bullied by anyone…………

Days after a Republican was elected mayor of Annapolis, City Council members say they will revisit legislation that would strip the mayor’s office of much of its power.

Democratic Alderman Ross Arnett of Ward 8 tells The Capital he will introduce a charter amendment to move Annapolis to a council-manager style of government. The city manager would report directly to the City Council, not the mayor.

Under Arnett’s legislation, the mayor’s post would be largely ceremonial. The mayor would retain a single vote on the council. Arnett says the change would stabilize the city’s management.

If the measure is approved, it would mean the Democratic-dominated council would be removing the powers of the first Republican mayor elected since 1997.

Read more here.

(he’s in the middle wearing the long-sleeved white-collared shirt holding a cell phone)

Thank you so much for taking to the time to visit and learn more about why I wish to serve you on the Wicomico County Council.

The obvious questions you may have is why am I running and what do I have to offer?

To answer the first, I love Wicomico County and I am pleased to say we are one of the 100 Best Communities in the Country in which to live. We have so much to offer people who are looking for a great place to live, work, worship, learn and play. My purpose and my goal in running for County Council is to ensure that we remain one of the 100 Best Communities.

As I see it, there are several key issues we need to address to not only keep that status, but improve our standing among our 100 peers.

Today I am putting forth the Wicomico Initiative, a five point plan to take our County and Region to the next level. These five issues are key to addressing many of the problems that threaten our way of life and I am committed to working with all municipalities, Law Enforcement, the business community, our educational system, civic groups and those elected with me to County offices to strategically implement the Wicomico Initiative.

The five key actions we need to focus on are Reducing Crime, enhancing our Educational Opportunities, refining and developing our economy, Defending our Revenue Cap and Protecting our Property Rights. Though there are more issues that will need to be addressed throughout this campaign, these issues are key in setting the foundation on which I stand.

I certainly understand that I alone cannot implement policy direction and legislation. It will take the Council as a whole in cooperation with the County Executive and all public servants in Wicomico County and its municipalities to do what is right for our people, our neighborhoods, and our County. It requires us to put aside political differences and egos, for those are the greatest impediments to positive progress. Join me and send a message to our leaders to stand with us in protecting our way of life.

If you would like more information on my campaign please Visit our website at boda4council.com.

Muir Boda
At-Large Candidate for Wicomico County Council

Maryland public schools plan to move ahead with a new curriculum next school year, undeterred by opposition to the Common Core curriculum standards in other states.

Forty-five states and the District of Columbia have adopted the standards, but some states are reconsidering or slowing implementation due to opposition. Much of that opposition comes from conservative and Tea Party groups concerned about the federal government taking over the education system.

Yet it was the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers — not the federal Department of Education — that coordinated the creation of the new state standards.

In Maryland, the new curriculum is moving forward with little controversy. It was adopted in 2010 by the state and is being rolled out over a three-year period.

Curriculum called different, but not drastically so

William Reinhard, a spokesman for the Maryland Department of Education, said the new curriculum is different than the current one, but not drastically so. The difference is bigger in math than reading, he said.

Reinhard said the sense from the nation’s governors and education leaders was that they needed a national standard that was internationally benchmarked.

The development was welcomed by the U.S. Department of Education, but the federal government did not have input on the standards themselves, he said.

“We’re happy to put Maryland students up against any in the country and any in the world,” Reinhard said. “We welcome this opportunity.”

‘Tsunami’ of reform

From the teachers’ perspective, it’s jokingly being called the “tsunami” of education reform because the new curriculum is being introduced at the same time the state is changing the way teachers are evaluated, according to Cheryl Bost, vice president of the Maryland State Education Association.

Bost, who was a fifth grade teacher until she took the position with the state teachers’ union last year, said some teachers are concerned about getting enough training on the new curriculum. But many teachers are looking forward to the new content itself.

Read more here.

Todd Starnes at FoxNews reports the following:

An 11-year-old boy who hopes to become a Navy SEAL was suspended from a Maryland school last December after he used the word ‘gun’ in a conversation on board a school bus.

The sixth-grader at Northern Middle School in Owings was talking with a group of friends about the Sandy Hook Elementary school massacre when the bus driver overheard the conversation.

“He said, ‘I wish I had a gun to protect everyone from the bad guys,’’ said Bruce Henkelman, the boy’s father. “He wanted to be the hero.”

Henkelman, who first shared his story with radio station WMAL, told Fox News that his son was interrogated by Principal Darrel Prioleau and a deputy sheriff – without their knowledge or permission.

“The principal told me if you say the word gun in my school – you will face a ten day suspension,” he said.

The incident happened just after the Sandy Hook shootings. Henkleman said he finally decided to speak out after a 5-year-old boy in their county was suspended for 10 days after he brought a toy cap gun onto a school bus.

Since the incident happened a day before winter break, the principal reduced the suspension to one day. But the family was ordered to complete an ‘intrusive’ four page questionnaire and the deputy sheriff said he would have to search their home — without a warrant.

“But he was emphasizing that it warranted a 10-day suspension,” he said.

Robin Welsh, the deputy superintendent for school system, confirmed to Fox News that the incident occurred. She also said there was misinformation about the case. However, she declined to go into any details citing federal and local confidentiality laws.

Welsh did point out that the principal of the middle school did nothing wrong.

“The principal followed our policies and procedures and absolutely did handle it in an appropriate manner,” she said.

Henkelman told Fox News that he is outraged over his son’s treatment at the hands of the school.

“I keep telling him that he did nothing wrong,” he said. “At the very least the principal owes him an apology. Our personal rights were violated.”

Henkelman, a retired Navy veteran, said his son is an honors student who pitches for the local baseball team. And the boy wants to be a Navy SEAL.

“That’s the context of the comments he made on the bus,” he said. “He wants to be a hero.”

“He’s infatuated with the Navy SEALS,” he said. “He thinks they’re great – how they go and save the world. The context was to protect people just like the police department does with their guns.”

After Henkelman picked up his son from school, the deputy sheriff said he would need to search their home.

“I said, by what authority and he said that he had to make sure the house is clear of guns,” he said.

The deputy arrived at their home 15 minutes later armed with a four-page questionnaire.

Read more here.