Showing posts with label Maryland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maryland. Show all posts

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Delegate McDermott Proposes Several Business-Friendly Bills”

Delegate McDermott Proposes Several Business-Friendly Bills for the 2014 Legislative Session

“Delegate McDermott Proposes Several Business-Friendly Bills”

ANNAPOLIS – Four bills proposed during the 2014 legislative session by Delegate Mike McDermott (R-Worcester & Wicomico) will create a more business-friendly environment for the state of Maryland. Delegate McDermott, who represents the Lower Eastern Shore, is sponsoring several legislative bills aimed at making Maryland work for business.

 “Maryland desperately needs legislation that will make it a more business friendly state.  Our current business environment does not allow it to adequately compete with our neighboring states,” Delegate McDermott said of his proposed bills. “These laws will help out not only big business, but also small business owners, contractors, electricians and the like.  We need to change the way we think about business in Maryland.”
McDermott’s “Truth in Permitting” bill restructures the way in which local government responds to proposed building and electrical permits. The current system in place doesn’t require the permit review board to specify why a particular permit was rejected, nor does it require the permit review board to review a permit within a “reasonable amount of time.” Delegate McDermott’s proposal will change this process and require the board to indicate exactly what is wrong with the proposed permit within a reasonable amount of time.
“There is a poor system in place today that often fails to tell a contractor what is wrong with their permit,” Delegate McDermott said. “This faulty process results in a back and forth between contractors and architects trying to identify the problem which is often omitted by those reviewing the permit. This adds to the time and money it takes business owners to have their permits approved often resulting in months of lost time.”
Additionally, House Bill 199, or the “Corporate Income Tax-Rate Reduction” bill, will reduce the corporate tax-rate from the current 8.25% to a lower 6%, helping corporations statewide. The reduction will give corporations in Maryland more breathing room, allowing them to operate more freely. It would provide a competitive response to surrounding states with lower rates and incentives.
Likewise, House Bill 26 will require agencies who are submitting regulations to also submit a fiscal impact statement. Currently, when an agency submits a regulation for review they do not have to assess the fiscal impact of that regulation.  The bill will make sure that before any regulations are passed, lawmakers and Marylanders alike have a chance at analyzing how the regulation will impact the economy as well as the state’s budget. The impact of this bill is far reaching and will affect farmers and other businesses across Maryland.
Delegate McDermott’s fourth bill aimed at aiding business will alter the penalty process presently regulated by the Department of Labor and Licensing Regulations (“DLLR”). Currently, the DLLR penalizes small businesses for “non-serious violations” without first giving them a warning. Delegate McDermott’s bill, though, will make sure that a warning is first given for non-serious violations before the DLLR can fine the business owner.
“Maryland needs to be a more business-friendly state and it can start with this legislative year,” Delegate McDermott said. “We have a real opportunity here to do what’s right, to compete with our neighboring states, and to make Maryland a more prosperous, inviting state in which to do business.”

Monday, June 10, 2013

PRESTON FORD Celebrates 100 Years In Business!

CONGRATULATIONS!!  To PRESTON FORD for 100 years in business!

Preston, Maryland- The Biggest Little Town in the USA

((Oh, I have to smile...How could this be?  100 years!  Surely it has not been that long ago since my cousins and childhood friends played in that area of  Preston Ford years ago when the dealership was on Main Street.))

Over the weekend Preston Ford threw an enormous community birthday bash to celebrate the 100th anniversary of having a Ford dealership in Preston, Maryland.

Just as the Preston Frog had promised the Preston Ford grounds were transformed into an amusement park/carnival setting with everything to enjoy from rides and games, great foods, LIVE music by  Mikes Hines & The Look and the one and only Kentavius Jones!!!

The weekend closed  with the big bang celebration of fireworks on Saturday night!  


History of Fords being sold in Preston, MD for 100 years (1913-2013)

In the year 1913 Joseph J. Garris opened the first Ford dealer in Preston, MD and it was called Preston Auto Agency.  He eventually built the a new building on Main Street in Preston and that is where it stayed until destroyed by a fire in February of 2000.

 In 1935 Garris sold the Ford Dealership to Mr. M Heber Lane and Frank Brauchle, the name was changed to the Preston Motor Company. In 1975 M. Heber Lane sold the dealership to Frank Showell and Robert MacDonald, the name was changed to Preston Ford Inc.  The current owner of Preston Ford Inc. is Dave Wilson and the dealership has grown to be the Preston Automotive Group selling more than just Fords.

 Although there are other brands sold at the dealership, it all started with Ford and that is what is being celebrated, 100 years of it!


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

2013 Law Enforcement Torch Run – Worcester County, MD

2013 Law Enforcement Torch Run – Worcester County, MD

On June 3, 2013, Ocean City Police participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics Maryland. OCPD joined law enforcement agencies from all over Worcester County for this great cause.


Thank you for all you do !

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

BUSTED!! OCPD and Worcester Co. Sherriff Crack Down On Drugs

During this Memorial Day weekend, the Ocean City Police Criminal Investigation Division and Narcotics Unit, as well as the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Enforcement Team, conducted multiple undercover drug enforcement operations at various locations in Ocean City. These plain clothes drug investigations resulted in eight felony arrests, one citation, and the seizure of various drugs and paraphernalia.

The following people were charged with various drug charges by Ocean City Police:
  • Shawn Matthew Gilmore, 25, of Ocean City, MD
  • 17-year-old juvenile male of Stevensville, MD
  • 16-year-old juvenile male of Easton, MD
  • James David Brooks, 25, of Snowshoe, PA
  • Danielle Clarissa Jones, 32, of Randallstown, MD
  • Rodney Lamont Burnett, 32, of Baltimore, MD
  • Thomas Edward Dalton, 27, of Bryans Road, MD
  • Jeremy Adam Thomas, 27, of Welcome, MD
Police seized approximately $600 in cash, a 2002 Chevrolet Trail Blazer, a 2011 Chevrolet Tahoe, assorted drug paraphernalia, and multiple controlled dangerous substances.

Citizens are encouraged not to buy, use or sell illegal drugs in Ocean City and Worcester County. Police remind citizens that undercover officers will be actively ensuring the safety of residents and visitors this summer on the boardwalk and throughout the town of Ocean City.

Ocean City Police Dept.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pocomoke City Police Dept. Gun Turn-In Day A Success

Pocomoke City Police participated in Maryland’s first statewide Gun Turn-In Day on Saturday, May 11th.

Officers from the department were on hand to collect any handguns, rifles, ammunition, BB Guns or other dangerous weapons from the Pocomoke City Community.

Chief Kelvin D. Sewell announces that Pocomoke City’s event was a success and thanks the Pocomoke City Community for taking steps to ensure the welfare and safety of our residents.

Kelvin D. Sewell
Chief of Police
May 13, 2013

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013


~Update on Gun Bill-From the Hearing~

Observations and Reflections on Legislative Activities
  • By Delegate Mike McDermott
  • Mar. 1st, 2013

    Update on House Joint Hearing on HB-294 (Gun Bill)

    By Delegate Mike McDermott
    (Annapolis) The House Joint Hearing on HB-294, the Governor’s Gun Bill, continues on into the night and is passing 8-hours of testimony at the time of this writing. Well over a thousand signed up to testify against this bill and only a very few testified in favor of the bill. In fact, except for the “professional” panels that came in support of the governor (about 20 people), everyone else has been opposed.

    We have heard from retirees and 10-year olds, people in
    suits and people in working uniforms, people of great means and people of  lesser means, people from Worcester and people from Prince George…all in all, we have heard from Maryland and they do not want this bill passed.

    There have been a few good exchanges with some of those who
    have come in to testify. The governor skated today and did not respond to questions as he had surrounded himself with a large panel providing insulation and the right questions were not asked.

    The Speaker and Chairmen running the joint committee simply did not allow many questions and he quickly escaped out of the chamber and away from questions.
    As of 8:00pm, there were still over 600 hanging around to
    testify against the bill. Sheriff Lewis joined several other Sheriff’s from around the state and provided passionate testimony before the committee in defense of the 2nd Amendment. In fact, we heard from many in law enforcement who stood with the people’s right to defend themselves as they see fit.

    We heard from Beretta Arms who strongly indicated that they
    would look seriously at moving from Southern Maryland to another state. This echoes what we have heard from other manufacturers of firearms in Maryland. Beretta alone would mean over $400 million to our state coffers.

    It was nice to see Worcester State’s Attorney Beau Oglesby
    in attendance as well. It seems the only support the bill had was from inside the beltway. We will be going well into the early morning hours and may well need to come back later in the day on Saturday to insure that every Marylander who wishes to be heard on this issue is heard.

    Legislative Updates By Delegate Mike McDermott

    Feb. 28th, 2013

    ‘HB 837 -- Protecting Maryland’s Farm Families’
    (ANNAPOLIS) -- “The farming community plays an important role in our state’s economy. Since farmers are particularly vulnerable in these difficult economic times, we should not hesitate to ease their burden wherever we can, and stave off the frivolous environmental lawsuits taken against them.  HB 837 seeks to do just that,” declared Delegate Michael McDermott (R-Worcester and Wicomico Counties).

    “The traditional family farm is a recognized heritage and treasure,” stated Delegate McDermott, “and farmers have proven themselves to be the original conservationists, continuing a strong tradition of protecting natural resources.” But a farm family today of limited means can find itself in court up against a multi-million dollar environmental group with endless resources at its disposal. As the cost of attorney fees runs up, the expense of the litigation alone can crush a farm into bankruptcy, regardless of its culpability in the case.

    Under current law, a federal court can award legal expenses on behalf of a farm cleared of a clean-water regulatory violation, but no such recourse is available for a case in the state courts.  HB 837 (Family Farm - Prevailing Party - Attorney’s Fees and Expenses) allows a court to award reasonable attorney’s fees and expenses to a family farm  that is sued for causing water pollution but is successful in the case outcome.  This law would cover cases similar to the one that was brought against the Hudson Family Farm.  In 2010, the University of Maryland Environmental Law Clinic, the Assateague Coastkeeper, and the Waterkeeper Alliance filed a suit against Alan and Kristin Hudson, alleging that the farm’s operations were polluting Maryland’s waters.  In December 2012, the judge ruled in favor of the Hudsons, since there was insufficient evidence to show that their farm was the source of the pollution.  However, the Hudsons now face $3 million in legal fees and expenses.

    The bill does not apply to local governments and does not undermine their authority and duty to enforce local environmental laws. It does however, protect farms from spurious suits by putting the burden of paying legal expenses on the prosecution.

    Yesterday HB 837 was heard in the House Judiciary Committee.  Both the Maryland Farm Bureau and Delmarva Poultry Industry voiced their strong support for the bill.  HB 837 has not yet received a vote from the Committee.

    “Sadly, this is something that Maryland has never had to contemplate before, but today we must take action to insure that our future farmers will have the hope of carrying on their family legacy.  The time has come to stand up and draw a line in the sand.”  said Delegate McDermott.

    Tuesday, February 26, 2013

    Legislative Updates By Delegate Mike McDermott

    Field Notes
    Observations and Reflections on Legislative Activities
    Feb. 24th, 2013

    Week 7  Feb.18-Feb. 22, 2013
    Tuesday Meeting-Special Work Group on Gun Bill:
    Today, we heard from many psychiatric professionals regarding their thoughts on addressing the mental health aspects of the governor’s gun bill. They shared many concerns regarding folks who may choose to forgo treatment if it has a direct impact on their right to possess a firearm. We also spoke about where effective lines could be drawn as to when a restriction should come into play. There was not a lot of give with these folks and I could hear some frustration with my colleagues on this unwillingness to address the concerns expressed about finding this measuring line.
    Tuesday Judiciary Hearing:HB-476 seeks to correct technical challenges to the legislation that was passed last year regarding bail bonds written for alien defendants. It would not hold bondsmen responsible for alien defendants who are deported by US authorities while under bond.HB-489 would provide that a State’s Attorney or Asst. State’s Attorney should be covered by laws covering threats against public officials. This is a result of a recent homicide of an Asst. State’s Attorney on the western shore after she had received many threats from an individual.HB-531 would create a new theft charge relating to mail which is taken from any location. This would provide state sanctions that replicate federal law.HB-540 would require a foreign entity to honor a Search Warrant which is served on a person representing the entity in Maryland. This can often pose a problem for law enforcement to access court ordered records from larger corporations who do not hold their records or headquarters in Maryland.HB-544 deals with transfers of Registered Sex Offenders and would make it a requirement for local law enforcement to be notified when a registrant moves into their area. It was argued that current provisions within existing law already provide for this type of notification.HB-651 would create a specific charge for an inmate using a contraband cell phone while incarcerated. This bill has been modified each of the last two years and I believe it is very necessary given the current smuggling and use of cellular phones within our correctional facilities.HB-652 addresses the identity of a minor being disclosed when they are acting as an informant for law enforcement. The shielding would remain until the trial begins.HB-709 would expand the penalties for the crime of Accessory to Commit Murder: in 1st Degree cases to a 20-year maximum; and in 2nd Degree cases to a 10-year maximum. This bill attempts to address some recent problems associated with significant support provided by accomplices to homicides. Many of these are grievous situations that a 5-year sentence simply does not provide adequate punishment.HB-713 would allow for the forfeiture of property utilized in human trafficking. Much like we confiscate and move for forfeiture in drug cases and other smuggling acts, we do not do so when it relates to human trafficking. We heard many speak passionately about the great need of the victims of this crime.HB-719 would allow a person who makes a false statement regarding a destructive device (a bomb threat) to be prosecuted in the jurisdiction where the alleged device is to have been planted. Often it is difficult to know where a call was made or to prove jurisdiction during prosecution and this would simplify the matter considerably. There was no opposition.HB-727 makes the crime of Theft over $100 and less than $1000 able to be charged via Criminal Citation. This charge was inadvertently taken out of last year’s Citation Bill and this bill simply restores this as a crime which can be charged with a citation. There was no opposition.HB-737 seeks to create a separate charge for defacing property with graffiti instead of simply charging the individuals with Malicious Destruction of Property.HB-1109 would require a comprehensive risk assessment be performed on defendants held under No Bond to determine if they truly represent a risk to the public if they are released. This would require quite a bit of personnel infrastructure in many areas of the state.
      would require a member of the Chief’s Association of Prince Georges County to be appointed to the Maryland Police Training Commission. I believe we would see other metro counties seek similar representation if this is approved.
    Wednesday Meeting-Special Work Group on Gun Bill:Today we heard from the Baltimore County Chief of Police. He is an advocate for the governor’s gun bill. There was no new information exchanged. The chief believes reducing magazine capacity creates an opportunity for unarmed people to attack a shooter when he is forced to reload. I asked him that if he advocated an attack, why not allow the people to be armed in the first place so they could truly defend themselves. He rejected that notion out of hand. As a police officer, he made it clear that he never goes anywhere without being armed, but he does not see this as desirable for the law abiding public. He also believes that gun registration and fingerprinting would stop straw purchases of firearms. It is tough for liberals to give up on their policies even when they have limited success.
    Wednesday Judiciary Hearing:HB-629 seeks to provide some protections for bank customers when a garnishment is attempted against a joint account held by married couples. The bill would notify an individual of their entitled exemption of $3000 by the holders of the account.HB-509 this would create a Maryland False Claims Act of 2013. This is designed to cover the Whistle Blowers who detect fraud being performed within business or government entities. It would establish in Maryland what already exists within the federal government. Currently we allow for this type of action within our Medicaid system and health care, and this would expand the law to cover all manner of fraud.HB-599 would require employers to pay the wages of an employee to attend to the requirements of Jury Duty. This bill would have a significant impact on Maryland businesses by forcing them to pay for a traditional civic duty.HB-732 seeks to include “unmarked” police vehicles under the statute governing Fleeing and Eluding from a Law Enforcement Officer. It was pointed out the changing nature of police vehicles over the years and the lights and sirens employed which further identify them as police vehicles. There was no opposition.HB-765 would qualify the testimony of a Drug Recognition Expert and their opinion as acceptable as evidence in Maryland courts. It would accept the protocols which have been scientifically accepted.HB-821 would allow certain disclosures of otherwise privileged communication between a psychiatrist and their patient. In particular where criminal activity is discussed or a threat is made directly against the psychiatrist and the disclosure is being utilized in court to prove a case. The psychologists testified of the need to protect their doctors from threats, but I found it interesting that they do not feel the same obligation for disclosing directly to police on other threats made during their treatment sessions.HB-987 would create another level of crime for those convicted of multiple DWI’s or for operating with a blood alcohol level beyond a certain level and allow for punitive damages to be awarded to victims of these acts.HB-1271 would create protections for the use of a name or likeness (usually someone with celebrity status) in the state. This is similar to copyright or trademark laws.
    Thursday Morning Session:HB-226
    , the governor’s offshore wind bill, was on 2nd Reader. A couple of amendments were offered to try and make the bill better. I offered one which would have required that suppliers purchase their green energy from the least expensive provider. This would greatly reduce the cost for energy being passed onto consumers. This was rejected by the democrats. Another amendment was offered by Del. McDonough which would have required that the production of the wind turbines would need to be performed in America. This was also rejected by the democrats. So a chance to give consumers a break and to make sure any jobs would actually be in the United States were summarily rejected.
    Thursday Judiciary Hearings:HB-442 seeks to codify current procedures already in place with Child Care Providers across the state.HB-282 addresses the expungement of Juvenile Records. This would allow for greater expungement of juvenile records when certain criteria are met. Some actions would preclude someone from qualifying as would an established period of time which needed to elapse before a person would qualify.HB-245 would require that a health practitioner report any infant that is deemed to be “substance exposed” if certain factors exist. Ironically, the bill only addresses a child that is outside of the womb. There was quite a bit of discussion concerning whether the bill could address pre-natal issues. It was clear from the testimony that the reporting requirement is not applicable under the proposed law unless the child is outside of the womb.HB-264 would allow for the sharing of certain Juvenile Records to other states and their respective juvenile authorities. This bill has been refined since it was presented last year.HB-539 would require the reporting of the death or disappearance of a minor.HB-428 would require a college or university to disclose and report allegations of abuse. It is designed to prevent something like what occurred in Pennsylvania (the Sandusky case) where reporting requirements were unclear as to sexual assaults committed by faculty and staff members.HB-588 would allow the Baltimore City Health Department to access certain criminal  records for juveniles involved in specified activities and criminal activity. The bill is a continuation of a current practice that sunset in September of 2012.HB-876
    would create a civil penalty for failing to report acts of Child Abuse and mandate reporting by certain individuals. It would also create a task for to look at other options going forward. The fines levied would be used to further prevention and detection of child abuse.
    Friday Morning Session:
    We had a special Joint Session recognition service to honor the 100th anniversary of the Woman’s Suffrage March which began the legislative movement to give women the right to vote. We began with only the men occupying the Chamber (there are 86) and the women members came in together. It was a good history lesson for everyone.
    Voting on Third Reader Bills:
    The only debated bill was the governor’s Offshore Wind Bill,
    HB-226. I have written more extensively on the many problems with this legislation. I believe the bill is a true boondoggle and I highlighted the issues before the assembly. Sadly, this bill is a “leadership vote” and most of the democrat’s line up and vote for these with little thought. Such was the case today as well…a bad day for consumers.
    HB 1
    Third Reading Passed (132-0)HB 70
    Third Reading Passed (135-0)HB 99
    Third Reading Passed (135-0)HB 103
    Third Reading Passed (131-4)HB 206
    Third Reading Passed (133-0)HB 226
    Third Reading Passed (86-48)HB 262
    Third Reading Passed (133-2)HB 312
    Third Reading Passed (134-0)HB 346
    Third Reading Passed (135-0)HB 359
    Third Reading Passed (133-0)HB 425
    Third Reading Passed (134-0)HB 494
    Third Reading Passed (134-0)
    Friday Voting Session of Judiciary Committee:
    Bills which were voted “favorable” by the Committee which will move to 2nd Reader
    HB-83-Adds to the number of judge positions across the state.HB-153-Addresses Public Defender representation at certain Bail HearingsHB-197-Adds 5 points to a person’s Driver’s License if convicted of Illegal DumpingHB-244-Grants subpoena power to certain individuals within Dept. of Corrections Adm.HB-254-Allows Allegany County Jail to hold prisoners pending Initial Appearance.HB-309
    -Allows for discovery proceedings to aid enforcement in monetary settlements.
    Senate Action-Gun Bill
    The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee passed
    SB-281, the governor’s gun bill, out of committee with amendments. It will be introduced to the full Senate on Monday and the debate will begin on Tuesday. 

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

    RE-EDITED/ From "Why Do We Kill" - Episode Three

    "The Five Women Who Died"


    Based on the book "Why Do We Kill"
    Written by Kelvin D. Sewell and Stephen Janis

    When is one life, worth more than another? T
    hat's the question Baltimore faced as the bodies of strangled women were found strewn across the city during the summer of 2008. In roughly four months, five women died, all strangled, all victims discarded in back alley's and side streets of West Baltimore. Among the victims, Nicole Sesker, the daughter of Baltimore's former top cop, Leonard Hamm.

    The killings spurred speculation that a serial killer was targeting prostitutes, and shortly after the last victim was found, a man was arrested who had indeed strangled two women and nearly killed another. But what happened after the arrest, and how the cases were handled, revealed just how treacherous life is for the city's  poorest, and most vulnerable.
    Why Do We Kill? EP3 "The Five Women Who Died" from Why Do We Kill? on Vimeo.

    To read more about this case and why people kill in Baltimore and beyond go to:

    Here are the links to episode one and two if you would like to review them.  There is no word yet on when these videos will become a television show nor what the viewing area will be. 

    But in the meantime, in order to gain some insight on how Chief Sewell was able to make such a difference in Pocomoke and why he feels the way he does about community policing you need to read the book. 



    "Because in a sense being a police officer seems right when you're part of the community you serve.  When the people you are sworn to protect are a part of what you do, it's easy to put on the uniform, in fact you look forward to it."    
    - Pocomoke City Police Chief  Kelvin D.  Sewell -