Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Legislative Updates ~ Delegate Mike McDermott/Same Sex Marriage Vote

Press Release on Same Sex Marriage Vote in Joint Committee
Observations and Reflections on Legislative Activities
Delegate Michael A. McDermott
February 14, 2012

The O’Malley-Brown Gay Marriage Bill was voted on in a combined House Judiciary and Health/Government Operations Committee meeting. Several attempts were made to amend the bill and a lot of behind the scenes arm twisting has going on up until the final minutes before the committee convened. All of the Democratic leadership from the House was in the room to keep the pressure on members.

The following amendments were offered:
1-Would allow public school teachers the ability to opt out of teaching materials relating to sex education or non-traditional families if it were to be opposed to their values or religious teachings. This amendment was defeated following debate.
2. Would allow parents the opportunity to determine what portions of a sex education curriculum that their students will participate in at school. As opposed to opting out of the education, this would require parents to opt into the instruction. This amendment was defeated following debate.
3. Would prohibit a minor from marrying another individual of the same sex. It was fascinating to see all of the democrats agree that it would be alright for a 16 year old boy to marry a 48 year old man...incredible! Even this amendment, reasonable as it is, was defeated.
4. Would allow the effective date to be pushed back by several months to allow for a public referendum to be mounted. There was much debate on the process and whether the rights of the people would be protected should the Attorney General not certify the petition process.There is a lot of concern that shenanigans would follow this process and the people would have their Constitutional rights abridged. This amendment was also defeated on a very close vote.
5. Would protect the definition of marriage and create Civil Unions for same sex couples.It would give all the rights of married individuals to same sex couples, but it would not redefine marriage as being between a man and a woman. I consider this amendment a great compromise that bridges the gap. This was also defeated by the democrats.

Following the amendments, there were closing statements on HB-438 itself. Having made the final arguments, and lamenting that the people were not being allowed to vote for themselves.Several delegates raised concerns on many aspects of the bill, but in the end, both committees voted largely along party lines with a few democrats voting against the bill. The bill was passed onto the floor by a vote of 25-18.



The Ocean City Police Department’s narcotics unit recently concluded a nearly two-year undercover investigation with the criminal indictments of 34 individuals. The indictments, which included 91 charges of distribution of controlled dangerous substances (CDS) and 28 charges of conspiracy to distribute CDS, resulted in preset bonds totaling $4,555,000.

During the investigation, an Ocean City Police detective acting in a covert capacity started a legitimate taxicab company during which the detective acted as the owner/operator.  The cab company, the “Tipsy Taxi,” had an actual official Town of Ocean City cab license and ran legitimate fares, in addition to the undercover operation.

On February 2, 2012, the Ocean City Police Department, along with the Worcester County Criminal Enforcement Team, began apprehending the indicted suspects.  During the course of three days, the law enforcement teams apprehended 22 of 34 individuals.  In addition to those apprehended, four of the suspects were already incarcerated on unrelated charges.  The arrest warrants for the remaining wanted individuals who are no longer living in the Ocean City area will be turned over to the Maryland State Apprehension Team (MSAT).

“I commend our narcotics unit for their investigative initiative,” said Chief Bernadette A. DiPino.  “I also want to commend the undercover detective involved in this operation.  The self sacrifice and dedication to this lengthy investigation demonstrated incredible commitment and reflects great credit upon them and all of the law enforcement officers involved.”

During the operation, the Ocean City Police Department seized two vehicles, a stolen firearm and $985 in cash.  “This operation would not have been possible without our partners at the Worcester County Sheriff’s Office and the Worcester County State’s Attorney,” Chief DiPino said.  “Sheriff Mason, State’s Attorney Oglesby and members of their agencies, have helped in not only keeping drugs off the streets of Ocean City, but Worcester County as a whole and continue to make our community a safe place to live, work and visit.”

Legislative Updates: Delegate Mike McDermott

Feb. 14th, 2012

Lincoln Day Speech:
to the Maryland House of Delegates February 13, 2012
by Delegate Michael A. McDermott

Motive is an interesting thing. I have questioned the motives of people for decades, as, no doubt, have you as well. As an investigator, I can tell you that finding the motive for a crime is a critical element in solving it.

On a ball field, it is easy to spot the team that lacks motivation. The best coaches are those who can keep their team upbeat and pressing toward the goal.

On a battlefield, it is the leadership which refuses to surrender, finds a way to win, and leads from the front.

We admire it in an individual, we struggle to maintain it in ourselves, and we will die without it…motivation.

If we want to be a successful leader, we look to those who, having been tried in a crucible, came out to victory on the other side. And, having found them, we must uncover their motive, less we be guilty of merely mimicking their actions.

Perhaps no president has been studied as much as Abraham Lincoln and we could easily find ourselves occupied by his actions without searching out his motives…but we would do this great man a disservice and would hinder ourselves in our quest.

No doubt, a couple of things jump right to the front when we consider his motivation. For starters, how about saving the union? We could easily make that argument. Yet, saving the union was only relative to the preservation of that which was greater.

We could make a case that the emancipation of those held in bondage would provide all the motivation necessary to propel a man to cast aside every burden and press on to the goal which lies before him. Yet, even this noblest of causes does not reach the depth of Lincoln’s motivation.

 It was a speech in Peoria where he challenged his listeners by saying:
“Let us re-adopt the Declaration of Independence, and with it, the practices, and policy, which harmonize with it. Let north and south -- let all Americans -- let all lovers of liberty everywhere -- join in the great and good work. If we do this, we shall not only have saved the Union; but we shall have so saved it, as to make, and to keep it, forever worthy of the saving. We shall have so saved it, that the succeeding millions of free happy people, the world over, shall rise up, and call us blessed, to the latest generations.”

That speech was given six years before this country would plunge itself into a great civil war. It was a clarion call to embrace that which we had walked away from. The Founders had made solemn declarations about us as a people. We had claimed a God given right to freedom as opposed to the charity of a government or a king. We had stated clearly, “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”…and yet we allowed one citizen the right to enslave another. We were not walking in the truth we had proclaimed. By the sixteenth presidential administration, it had finally caught up to us.

The harmony which Lincoln sought…that place where practice and policy would merge so that all could enjoy the fruits of liberty, was not fully discovered in the Constitution…yet the foundation for it is laid out plainly in our Declaration of Independence.

Lincoln saw clearly that the United States was liberty’s hope. If the world would know freedom, its lamp could not be extinguished in America. If his country was broken asunder…if some of her sons and daughters remained in bondage…liberty would not continue and the promise that was independence would be consigned to that forgotten shelf of history.

Lincoln new that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were unalienable rights given by God and not granted by a government…and for the government to impose itself on that which was granted by God could only produce sorrows and shame. 

If Life and Liberty were a gift of God’s grace, Lincoln wisely concluded that they were not merely to be experienced on our shores, but they belonged to the world as well. If they died here, there was no telling if the opportunity for men and women to know freedom would ever arise again.

Lincoln’s motivation was not simply to save or to set free, but rather to restore. It was in restoration of liberties principles that salvation and freedom would be found. And not simply found and preserved for future generations of Americans…it was to be for the world.

Even as our own countrymen struggled with freedom for all peoples, never the less, the foundation stood firm. Lincoln took us back to our beginnings that we might right the wrongs and provide a hope and a future to ourselves and our posterity.

Some may find it interesting and some may view it as prophetic the words of a speech given by Lincoln on September 11th, 1858 in Edwardsville, Illinois

What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling sea coasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, every where. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.

It is our love of liberty that makes us a peculiar people. It was this love that was secured by our founders when they pledged their lives, their treasure, and their sacred honor. The price has not cheapened over time although the love of liberty is often hidden from a people who take it for granted.

Are we nobly defending liberty in this place or is it our own ambitions and affections? With every law we pass, with every word we speak in these halls we are building up or we are tearing down the principles that guard our freedom.

Our country was never intended to become merely a fortress where liberty could find a voice. We  were never intended to simply provide safe haven for the oppressed peoples of the world. We were crafted as an instrument of change for the world…we are the example so that others might see. Lincoln ran to the battle with this in mind.

Consider for a moment that icon of liberty erected in New York’s harbor. Many have described the Statue of Liberty as guarding the gateway to freedom…that her presence bids the people of the world to come to our shores as she lights the way, but the artist had something far greater in mind.

The statues name in French is La Libert√© √©clairant le monde which translated m eans “Liberty Enlightening the World”. At her feet lies a broken chain and she is not standing in place, she is striding forward, away from our shores and moving out into the world. She is the vision that Abraham Lincoln had of America...the same vision shared by the founders and the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

It is a vision that may be lost on those who have confused power for liberty and money as the means of freedom. We are under attack by those who do not comprehend the essence of our spirit. It was seen on December 8th, 1941 and on September 12th, 2001 when flags fluttered from our homes and we stood together to reaffirm and readopt those principles that find fertile ground in our hearts.

On Abraham Lincoln's inaugural journey to Washington in February of 1861, he stopped in Philadelphia at the site where the Declaration of Independence had been signed and made a few remarks.

I am filled with deep emotion at finding myself standing here, in this place, where were collected together the wisdom, the patriotism, the devotion to principle, from which sprang the institutions under which we live. You have kindly suggested to me that in my hands is the task of restoring peace to the present distracted condition of the country. I can say in return, Sir, that all the political sentiments I entertain have been drawn, so far as I have been able to draw them, from the sentiments which originated and were given to the world from this hall. I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence. I have often pondered over the dangers which were incurred by the men who assembled here, and framed and adopted that Declaration of Independence. I have pondered over the toils that were endured by the officers and soldiers of the army who achieved that Independence. I have often inquired of myself, what great principle or idea it was that kept this Confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the Colonies from the motherland; but that sentiment in the Declaration of Independence which gave liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but, I hope, to the world, for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weight would be lifted from the shoulders of all men. This is a sentiment embodied in the Declaration of Independence. Now, my friends, can this country be saved upon that basis? If it can, I will consider myself one of the happiest men in the world, if I can help to save it. If it cannot be saved upon that principle, it will be truly awful. But if this country cannot be saved without giving up that principle, I was about to say I would rather be assassinated on this spot than surrender it.

Abraham Lincoln did not surrender the principles of liberty. He laid hold of them for future generations and preserved a heritage and hope for the entire world. That which stood up at Lexington and Concord...that which knelt humbly before God at Valley Forge...it stood at Antietam, Gettysburg, and Shiloh...it crawled through the Argonne Forest...it swam ashore from Pearl Harbor...it waded ashore at Normandy...it has been a hand extended to our friends and one brandishing a sword against tyrants...it is that same unquenchable spirit that dwells in me and you...and while we, as a family, can argue and be angry with one another from time to time...we are, in the end, family...bound together by cords of liberty, paid for with the blood of patriots,  past...present...and future.

Let us encourage one another with these words and let us maintain these principles and be sure to teach them to our children’s children... that government of the people, by the people, and for the people will never perish from this earth.

May God bless this General Assembly and the Great State of Maryland.

Family Pet Missing In Pocomoke ~ Have You Seen "MITTENS"

From Butler's Village area
Pocomoke City, Md.
7 year old domestic cat ~
short hair with black and gray stripes

Answers to the name of

"Mittens" is wearing a pink collar with a heart tag with her name and telephone # on it.

If you see "MITTENS" PLEASE call 410.490.6579

From U.S. Representative Scott Rigell, 2nd District of Virginia

Funding for Mayport Improvements
Stripped from FY13 Pentagon Budget

Washington – Today the Pentagon released its FY13 budget without military construction funds to homeport a nuclear carrier at Naval Station Mayport.  The news presents a severe setback to those pushing for a carrier move to Florida and is widely interpreted as good news for Hampton Roads. 
Representative Scott Rigell, a member of the House Armed Services Committee who has spent the past year working to stop the anticipated carrier move to Florida, applauded the news that the homeport shift – estimated to cost between $500 million and $1 billion – had effectively been canceled.
“After persistent efforts from the Hampton Roads delegation to stop this carrier move, it appears the President has finally recognized that spending scarce resources to improve Naval Station Mayport is strategically unwise and unnecessary,” said Rigell.  “Our local House delegation has done its job on behalf of Hampton Roads and the nation – and it is a clear victory for our region,” added Rigell, who worked to successfully strike the funding from the House defense authorization bill last year.
Given the pressure for cuts across the defense budget, Rigell and his Hampton Roads colleagues, Representatives Forbes and Wittman, encouraged the Administration to take this expense off the table indefinitely.  The Congressmen appealed publicly via personal and delegation letters to the President, Secretaries of Defense Gates and Panetta, and other senior military officials including the Chief of Naval Operations.  On Monday, they learned their efforts were successful.
“Today’s budget makes it crystal clear that now we are all on the same page,” Rigell said.  “Sending a carrier to Mayport is unwise, and it should not happen.  I am proud to have been a part of seeing this through.”

Text Amendment Proposal for Wattsville Sewage Treatment Plant Falls Flat At Public Hearing

Accomack county citizens have been speaking out against the sewage treatment facility and  Monday evening the Accomack Board of Supervisors listened!!

The answer was a unanimous no at the Accomack Board of Supervisors public hearing on a proposed text amendment to the County code which would have allowed the process of a planned unit development to proceed in Wattsville. Roughly 150 people attended the meeting which took place at Metompkin Elementary School in Parksley last night. The text amendment would have changed the County's definition of a public utility to more closely align with the Commonwealth of Virginia's definition as well as other benchmark counties, including Northampton. Such action would have allowed a planned shopping center and housing development to continue.

The meeting began with a presentation on the hotly debated sewage treatment facility by Mark Baumgartner of Atlantic Town Center Properties. In the presentation, Baumgartner addressed an Accomack County report which stated there was a "critical and serious" need for such a facility. The system is designed to take sewage, purify the sewage to a Level 1 quality as defined by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and then release it into what Baumgartner described as "horse pasture-like" fields.

A lengthy public comment period ensued, where all twenty six of those who took to the microphone did so in opposition. Citing concerns about the cleanliness of drinking water, strangling the agriculture and aquaculture industries, hurting tourism, not trusting the developer, constitutionality, logistics, odor and sea level rise, the citizens made their distaste with the plan clear to the Board of Supervisors.

Baumgartner was given a change for a rebuttal and argued that electricity is a public utility run by a private company, as should sewage. He finished calling the NASA Wallops Flight Facility a once in a lifetime opportunity and this plan is looking to harness the potential growth of the area. According to their studies, if it would have passed, it would have brought hundreds of jobs to the area and infused $840,000,000 into the local economy.

Then the question turned to the Boards legal authority to deny the request. County attorney Mark Taylor expressed it was his opinion that the Board had proper legal footing to render a decision.

Supervisor Ron Wolff made the motion, seconded by Supervisor Grayson Chesser. It passed unanimously.

"Disappointed in the ruling," Baumgartner said after the ruling. "We'll just have to move onto the next options... We're hoping that what we can do is sit down with the County and determine the best alternative. They actually told us that they were in support of this text amendment and that changed so we"ll try the next option."

Supervisor Grayson Chesser felt quite differently. "I think the people spoke loud and clear."

Chesser said he was not worried about the County being sued.

"You can't live in fear. Shakespeare said a brave man only dies once a coward dies a thousand deaths. We have an excellent lawyer, I trust his opinion. You can't base all your decisions on whether or not someone is going to take you to court."


Don't Forget Your Valentine Today!

Don't worry ladies.  If you don't get that diamond ring in your dessert tonight or if he doesn't get down on bended knee........Just Remember This:








LIKE Shore Beef and BBQ on Facebook

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pocomoke City Police Department ~ PRESS RELEASE

Pocomoke Police Department
300 Second Street
Pocomoke, Maryland 21851

Arrests – February 4, 2012 to February 12, 2012

02/04/2012 Pocomoke Police Officers initiated a traffic stop for speeding. Upon contact with the driver, Tawana Deshonda Jones, 33, of New Church, VA was found to be in possession of a suspended license. Jones was issued a State Citation and released pending trial. The vehicle was removed from the scene by a licensed driver.

2/06/2012 Pocomoke Police Officers arrested Terelle Lorone Murray, 32, of Pocomoke, MD who was found to be wanted on a Worcester County Warrant for "Failure to Appear". Murray was arrested, processed and taken before the Commissioners and released under conditions pending trial.

2/06/2012 Pocomoke Police Officers initiated a traffic stop during a Seat Belt Enforcement Detail. Upon contact with the driver, Mitchell Thomas Crosby, 47, of New Church, VA was found to have a suspended license through Virginia DMV. Crosby was issued a State Citation and released pending trial. The vehicle was removed from the scene by a licensed driver.

2/08/2012 Pocomoke Police Officers during an investigation of a theft of a 4-wheeler arrested and charged a 15 year old male juvenile from Pocomoke City, MD. The juvenile was charged and released to his parents pending trial.

02/09/2012 Pocomoke Police Officers located a Dana Rene Boyer, 27, of Pocomoke City and arrested her under an active Warrant for Theft.

02/10/2012 Pocomoke Police Officers initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle displaying expired registration tags. Upon contact with the driver, Constance Rena McCarthy, 25, of Pocomoke City, MD was found to also be in possession of a suspended license. McCarthy was issued State Citations and released pending trial.

2/10/2012 Pocomoke Police Officers responded to a fight in progress in the area of Fifth & Walnut Streets. Upon police arrival, several subjects ran from the area. While attempting to speak with an individual he failed to follow police orders and fled from the scene. The subject was apprehended on Fourth Street. Arrested and charged was a 16-year-old male juvenile. The juvenile was released to family pending trial.

2/10/2012 Pocomoke Police Officers during routine patrol were alerted to a vehicle with an active DMV Pick-Up Order for Insurance violations. Amanda Ann Biggins, 44, of New Church, VA was charged and issued State Citations.

2/12/2012 Pocomoke Police Officers were called to the scene of an accident at the intersection of Route 13 & Route 113 in Pocomoke City, MD. Upon arrival Officers spoke with both drivers and found no injuries; however the driver of the at-fault vehicle was found to be under the influence of alcohol and was arrested and charged with DUI and other traffic related charges. The driver was identified as George Oswald Finney III, 22, of Parksley, Va.

Submitted by:

Kelvin D. Sewell

Kelvin D. Sewell

Chief of Police



Md. Senator Proposes Animal Abuse Registry

If you have never seen an abused animal I suggest you get yourself to the nearest shelter and take a look or ask someone that fosters these frail, frightened animals that have NO voice.  There are connections between animal abuse, domestic violence and child abuse.  88%  of homes where children have been physically abused pets were also mistreated!  A study a few years ago also determined that women abused by their partners  were TEN times more likely to also report that their partner had abused OR killed one or more pets than women not abused.

EASTON, Md.- People convicted of abusing any kind of animal may soon have their information made public, under a new bill proposed last week by Maryland Sen. Ron Young. 

Talbot Humane Society Executive Director Patti Quimby thinks the registry is a great idea.

"The animal abuse registry is going to make a big difference, specifically for humane organizations and rescue groups," she said.
This bill was proposed to help protect all animals. Animal abuser's information will be listed on the Maryland database for 10 years. Similar to the sex offender registry, abusers' photos and addresses will me made available to the public. 

Quimby is in full support of the bill and said it is another step in the right direction.

"I will be another tool for us to use, ensuring that the animals that are in our care don't go back into harms way," she said. 
Animal rights advocates like the idea but say this should have been done years ago.

"There are not quite as many advocates out there for animals as there are for young children or in some other issues," said Peggy Geisler of Cordova. 

Not everyone is in favor of Sen. Young's bill. "I think it's an unnecessary legislation that is an undue burden," said the Rev. Charles Cephas of Hurlock. 

According to the proposed bill, a person would go into the registry if he or she abuses, neglects or poisons an animal, attends dog fights, or leaves a dog unattended outside while it is tied up. 

Supervisors To Hold Public Hearing on Atlantic Project

The Accomack County Board of Supervisors will meet Monday night at 7:00 PM at Metompkin Elementary School to consider whether or not to allow Atlantic Properties LLC to build a sewage treatment plant in Atlantic. The Accomack County Planning Comission voted not to recommend the proposal to the Board after a public hearing in January. At that meeting dozens of local residents spoke against the proposed plant many of whom contended that the developer should locate the plant within the boundaries of the development instead of transporting the sewage to Atlantic.

Atlantic Properties LLC contended that according to the State code that public utilities could by right build sewage treatment plants in agriculturally zoned areas and that their proposed sewage treatment plant which would serve their proposed planned unit development in Wattsville, was in fact a public utility as defined by the state code.

If the Supervisors follow the path of the Planning Comission, the only option will be for the developer to petition the courts.

The meeting will begin at 7:00 PM at Metompkin Elementary School in Parksley.


Sunday, February 12, 2012

VietNam POW Day

In 1973, the first American prisoners of war were released from Vietnam prisons.

 "OperationHomecoming" began February 12 when three C-141A aircraft headed to Hanoi, North Vietnam, and a C-9A aircraft headed to Saigon, South Vietnam from Clark AFB in the Philippines.

In all, 591 American POWs returned from captivity in Operation Homecoming between February 12 and April 1, 1973.

I remember watching this event unfold on the telelvision while at work.  Eventurally "Operation Homecoming" would include the POW whose name I had worn on a POW/MIA bracelet from many months.  Lt. Col Carlye S. "Smitty" Harris had grown up in the small town of Preston, Maryland with my father.

Lt. Col. Carlyle S. Harris
Lt. Col. Harris spent 2,871 days in captivity.  It was just a few months later that the Lt. Col. returned to Preston, Maryland and I got to meet him for the first time.

Since this time in history there have been many documented reports have been received by the United States Government stating there were LIVE American soldiers still prisoners, missing, or unaccounted for throughout Southeast Asia.  At one time the count was over 21,000.

How many are still waiting? 

Legislative Updates From Delegate Mike McDermott

Feb. 12th, 2012

Field Notes
Observations and Reflections on Legislative Activities

Week 5 February 10, 2012

Judiciary Bill Hearings, Wednesday:
HB-252: Veteran Courts
We reviewed a bill which would create a task force on military service members and veterans having access to a special “Veteran’s” court which would be very similar to the Drug Courts now in existence which offer alternatives and diversions for those who submit to be subjected to the special actions taken by these courts. The idea has merit in that veterans often experience problems resulting from issues which are specific to their jobs and exposure during combat service. Drug Courts have proven successful when used in Maryland and this may also have merit. This bill merely seeks to study the issue.HB-337 Courtroom Discovery
This bill would provide greater discovery of information for a creditor seeking to collect on a judgment previously rendered by the court. Some of the information often needed to contact for the purposes of collecting a judgment is currently not available through trial discovery.

Judiciary Voting Session, Thursday
The following bills were voted on favorably by the committee and sent to the House:
HB-92 Domestic violence shielding from public web siteHB-111 Specifies a time period on a rental car return where one cannot be charged with theft of a motor vehicle for failure to return the vehicle.HB-115 Would increase from $500 to $1000 the amount on a theft charge whereby a law enforcement officer may perform a warrantless arrest of the individual.HB-117 Would simply change the reporting deadline for an annual report of the State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy.HB-187 This bill would allow for the expungement  of certain records for deceased persons when the charges were pending and had not gone to trial or otherwise been adjudicated.

Judiciary Hearings, Thursday
Caylee’s Law” HB-
18/20/122: We heard testimony on several bills which seek to address cases where a child may not be reported missing by the parents, guardians, or caretakers in a timely manner. These are in response to the case involving the disappearance and homicide of Caylee Anthony in Florida. These bills would place time constraints and requirements for various incidents involving missing juveniles and make it a crime to fail to report such a disappearance. Most aspects of these bills are covered by existing law, but it may be wise to address some aspects of reporting which are not covered.

Dog Bills
HB-278 seeks to require owners of dogs which have been classified as “Dangerous” to be registered as “at-risk” owners by a local government authority. It would also require them to pay a registration fee. It seems the focus of the bill is to place responsibility on the owners rather than to focus on the dog. It would place other restrictions on folks who are classified as “at-risk” owners by the state.HB-336 Would allow the court require someone convicted of Animal Abuse to be required to pay for the treatment of the animal that was abused. You would think this would already be in the law, but it is not on the books. I think this should be corrected as we heard testimony which reflected great cost associated with the care of these abused animals being absorbed by the state and private individuals.
294/397/400 There were several bills addressing various aspects of Child Support. One attempts to address a fix for a formula on determining the amount of support which must be paid when multiple children are involved. One would provide for support payments for child care when the guardian of the child receiving support must return to school in order to advance or gain employment. Perhaps the most significant of the bills is 397 which would expand the act of criminal non-support and make it easier to go after dead beat parents who refuse to pay their child support when they have the means to do so.

Introduction of Bills in House:
I filed the following bills this week which were on First Reader in the House:
HB-984 Enhanced penalties for DWI on Controlled Dangerous Substances HB-999 Creating penalties for failure to report Child AbuseHB-1032 Providing protections for farmers and others involved in Agro-Tourism industry.

Eastern Shore Delegation Meeting:
The agenda was light for the meeting. We met with Linda Prochaska, a Special Assistant to Senator Barbara Mikulski’s office on the Eastern Shore. She reviewed some of the areas of assistance that the senator’s office provides in concert with our local legislative services on the shore.

Secretary Joshua M. Sharfstein of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene came before the delegation and spoke in general about some of the activities of his agency. He was asked about telemedicine (a greater use of conferencing with doctors and other specialists electronically) on the shore and explained how this issue was moving forward successfully. He also addressed the issues of funding in the budget as it relates to prevention services. He disagreed that funding was shifted in the governor’s budget, but I have spoken with various family services which are taking a significant hit.

We heard from the Healthy Families Eastern Shore group (Dir. Shelly Edwards, Dir. Mike Clark, and Dir. Dawn Shur) who are dealing with budget issues which will put many program areas at risk this year that have proven successful. As is often the case with the budget axe, prevention is often the first striking point while treatment is the last.

Combined Hearing of Judiciary and Health/Government Operations Committees:
474/728 Maryland Marriage Protection Act (Defense of Marriage)
438 Civil Marriage Protection Act (Same Sex Marriage)
1239 Straw Ballot on Definition of Marriage
A joint committee hearing was held on the above bills. Hundreds appeared to testify for and against these bills. I will say I was struck by the notion that the burden to change the law falls upon those who do not accept the definition of marriage in Maryland as being between one man and one woman.  The burden in the legislature seems to be upon those who simply want the definition to stay the way it has been since Maryland came into existence. Testimony began with Governor O’Malley as the lead off speaker in support of the same sex marriage bill.  I did ask the Governor why we simply did not put this issue before all of the voters as a referendum on the ballot…particularly when we thought enough about gambling to put that on the ballot for the people to decide. The governor was reluctant to do so as he seems afraid of what the people may say if given the chance.

Whitney Houston Died Saturday

Whitney Houston performing the Star Spangled Banner for the troops, live at her 1991 "Welcome Home Heroes" concert in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. 

Whitney Elizabeth Houston

(Singer, Actress, Producer, Model)

August 9, 1963 to February 11, 2012

TIME MACHINE ... Women Making News!

(Reader-friendly viewing of newspaper archives material)


March, 1893

(Oelwein Register, Oelwein, Iowa)

A Live Town Founded By A Woman

Elizabeth S. Chadbourne, a Boston elocutionist who studied her profession in the days when *Georgia Cayvan began to prepare for her career, is the leading spirit and founder of Parksley, in Virginia. When Miss Chadbourne first visited and recognized the possibilities of the fertile peninsula which had been practically closed to the world until about five years ago, a single farm house with a station composed the town. Game was left to the city sportsman, soft shell crabs fed the hogs, whose flesh was staple product and food for the peninsula. Now there is a flourishing town with broad streets, pretty houses, and great prospects owned by a stock company, of which Miss Chadbourne is Secretary, Treasurer and largest stockholder. She is also the inside worker who interests people to invest. She understands all kinds of leases, deeds, etc., and can make out an agreement on the spot which all the quibbles of the lawyers cannot circumvent.

*Popular stage actress.


December, 1911

(The Evening Post- Frederick, Md.)


Women Instructed By Just Government League to Learn It.

The State Just Government League has decided upon a song as its "battle hymn." Copies of it have been distributed among the members and they have been instructed by the president, Mrs. Donald R. Hooker, to memorize it, to be sung at all public meetings of the league. It was written by Miss Marie C. Jones of Pocomoke City, Md., who is herself an ardent suffragist.

The hymn is sung to the tune of "Maryland My Maryland." It's general character may be judged by its first stanza, which is as follows:


Oh, listen to the joyful note,

In Maryland, My Maryland!

The women here will surely vote,

In Maryland, My Maryland!

In city, town, and country lea,

The women will be surely free,

And they shall vote, as you shall see,

In Maryland, My Maryland!


July, 1914

In a page one story headlined PLEAD SUFFRAGE CAUSE AT FAIRS - The Frederick News Post reported on ambitious plans at County Fairs around the state including those on the Eastern Shore and at Pocomoke City, where the "Just Government Leagues" would have booths. "Like the wily Mrs. Spider on the lookout for unsuspecting Mr. Fly, the Maryland suffragists are getting ready to spread their net from one end of the state to the other."

Plans for their participation in the County Fairs at Pocomoke City, Salisbury, Cambridge, Easton, and Chestertown were said to be rapidly taking shape by advocates of the suffrage movement, hoping to further their cause, and with the intent to make their activities interesting alike to the farmers and the farmers wives. A feature at some of the fairs, including Pocomoke City, would be a booth gaily decorated with the suffrage colors, purple, green, and white, combined with the Maryland black and gold.

Mrs. Amy Pattison of Easton was the Eastern Shore's organizer and those who knew her best declared, according to the article, "the anti's never had a more determined and resourceful antagonist."


(Pocomoke City News)

March, 1952

A mid-morning blaze in Pocomoke on March 19th broke out in the basement of Feldman's Furniture Store on Market Street consuming all three floors of furniture. The Pocomoke and Snow Hill Fire Departments kept the flames from spreading to adjoining buildings housing Venables Jewlery, J.C. Penny, and Montgomery Ward.

Footnote: Feldman's continued to operate in Pocomoke City for many years at a new location on Front Street.



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Saxis Native Auditions for America's Got Talent

Written by
Carol Vaughn
Staff Writer
SAXIS — A Saxis native is waiting to hear whether his dream of pursuing a singing career could take a major step toward becoming reality, after he auditioned recently for the television show “America’s Got Talent.”

Larry Linton, 41, who currenly lives in Pocomoke City, Md., traveled to Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, where he was one of an estimated 10,000 hopefuls gathered in what AGT officials said was a record turnout for show auditions at the location.

The show features a variety of acts competing for a $1 million prize and celebrity judges Sharon Osbourne, Howie Mandel and Piers Morgan. Season seven airs this summer on Tuesday nights, with the season premiere May 31.

Word began to spread locally of Linton’s adventure this week when Red Miller — host of the Shore Made Music radio show, which airs Monday nights at 7 p.m. on WESR — posted his phone interview with Linton on Facebook.

“How it all started was my daughter put my name in,” in November, two days before his granddaughter was born, Linton said. She told him about it only after receiving word that his act had been accepted and he should come to a live audition.

Sadly, his infant granddaughter died when she was only three weeks old.

“When that happened, that’s when I really made my mind up and said, ‘I’m going to do this for her,’” Linton said of the tragedy.

Several family members including children and grandchildren accompanied Linton to the audition, all of them wearing T-shirts his stepdaughter had made for the occasion, reading “Go, Larry.”

If he should be fortunate enough to win the ultimate prize on AGT, Linton plans to donate a portion of the prize money to a charity that fights SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, in memory of his granddaughter.

Linton, who sings locally at weddings and karaoke events and who is a former drummer and singer with area band MindzEye, sang “Faithfully,” made famous by the band Journey, for his a cappella audition before an AGT judge.

He was the last in his group of five contestants to perform and thinks his act caught the female judge’s attention. “I got up there and sang...She looked at me and goes, ‘Larry, right?’...I didn’t see her do that to anybody else.”