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Man arrested after he was caught with a handgun at BWI Airport 

12-15-2016 BALTIMORE – A man who drove to the Baltimore region with a gun, tried to fly home to Oklahoma with it when Transportation Security Administration officers found the gun in the man’s carry-on bag as he entered a checkpoint at Baltimore Washington International-Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) this morning, Dec. 15. The small .22 caliber Derringer was loaded with two bullets. Another 16 loose bullets also were found in the carry-on bag.

TSA officers detected the gun inside the man’s bag as his items were passing through the checkpoint metal detector. TSA officers contacted the Maryland Transportation Authority Police who responded to the checkpoint, confiscated the firearm and arrested the man on state weapons charges.

The man, a resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma, told officials that he had driven to the area and forgot that he had a loaded gun in his car and claimed that he still did not remember that he had a loaded gun with him in his carry-on bag at the airport.

As a reminder, firearms, firearm parts and ammunition—are not permitted in carry-on bags, but can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline. Travelers who bring firearms to the checkpoint are subject to possible criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from TSA of up to $12,000.

TSA’s website has details on how to properly travel with a firearm. Airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition, so travelers should also contact their airline regarding firearm and ammunition carriage policies.

Check this list to see what you can bring to an airport!

Too Little Too Late - Update Minimum Wage Workers

It is now 8-24-2016 and wages have not gone up. The Baltimore City Mayor is supposed to have a hearing on that with the city council this week. Details are the council wants wages to be $15.00 per hour, but does not want to make it into law until 2020. By that time we will need another $5.00 per hour. It will be too little too late again. Employers must take up the slack, even if it means their profit will go down a little bit. Each city has different housing and expense needs, and that means heir corprate officers need to do the right things period.

12-5-2013 Nearly 21.3 million U.S. workers (or 16.4% of the workforce) would be directly affected by raising the minimum wage to $10.10 by July 2015, as the Senate bill referred to above seeks to do, according to analysis of microdata from the Current Population Survey by the Employment Policy Institute (a labor-backed research group that supports raising the minimum wage). 85.5% of those workers, according to EPI’s analysis, are 20 or older; 57.3% are female; and 39.4% are black or Hispanic (versus 26.8% of the workforce as a whole).

While not strictly minimum-wage workers, almost 23.2 million Americans (17.8% of all wage and salary workers) worked in the nation’s lowest-paid occupations as of last year, according to Pew Research Center analysis of occupational employment and wage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those occupations, defined as paying $10.15/hour ($21,112/year) or less, were largely in a few categories: retail salespeople (4.3 million), cashiers (3.3 million), food preparers/servers, including fast-food workers (2.9 million) and waitstaff (2.3 million). According to President Obama, he is expecting Congress to get back to work and he wants the minimum wage law and unemployment issues to come first.

The 19th Amendment Law "Women Have the Right to Vote"

8-8-2016 At the Joint Resolution of Congress they proposed a constitutional amendment extending the right of suffrage to women, May 19, 1919; Ratified Amendments, 1795-1992; General Records of the United States Government; Record Group 11; National Archives.

It does not matter what anyone else thinks about it, it is a law. We can vote and we have the freedom of thought as well. We are not 2nd class citizens. Nor should we be treated like 2nd class citizens or anything less.

We women have gotten to the point where we won't settle anymore. Men have dominated our lives for over 300 years, we won't be intimidated anymore by anyone, man or woman. It is not to be, we have come too far to go backward anymore. We are smart, wel educated and can compete in the workplace and we want our fair pay as well. It is our time now!

It must be noted, that women have been discriminated way before we obtained voting rights. And those voting rights began amidst many years of strife and harm done to women just for being alive. We finally got the right to vote in 1920.

But, we are still being discriminated against 75 years later who have read their bibles and twisted all manner of thoughts and interpretations of Holy words.

Lets just put aside bible for the moment and talk about fairness, not that people used to believe in slavery, a whole Civil War already took care of freeing our slaves and their inhumane treatment. We are past that, way past it, and everyone needs to remember that when trying to put women down!

Take Care of Your Pets Just Like You do Your Children They are Also a Part of Your Family


Photo by Diane Knaus©2015-2016

image snickers hanging around copywrited 2016

Snickers "Just Hanging Around by Diane Knaus ©

Clean your outside grill safely

6-10-2016 After a woman was taken to the emergency room of a hospital with a piece of wire in her throat from a wire brush that got stuck on a hamburger, she vows I'll never clean my grill with anything but oven cleaner"

The CDC urges people to examine grills for the presence of bristles and use alternative grill-cleaning methods.

Kathy Bousquet owns Barbeque Mercantile in North Austin. She showed us a few safe ways to clean a grill. "The problem with brushes mounted in plastic is if you use these on a very hot grill, the plastic wants to start to melt and release the bristles. So if you are going to use one like this make sure you are using it on a cooler grill surface. That helps eliminate that problem. Another way to clean your grill is using a scraper. It's really versatile. Nothing is gonna break off or harm you," Bousquet said. "The best solution of all is a wooden paddle. It comes straight across but as you use it on a hot grill, it will char in and make a custom scrape for your grill. So obviously no bristles, very safe and they look pretty good too."The CDC recomends you to read full CDC report: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6126a4.htm.

NCMEC provides:

Assistance to law enforcement in their efforts to locate non-compliant sex offenders in the U.S through the Sex Offender Tracking Team®.

Analytical services to law enforcement in their investigations of child sex trafficking through the Child Sex Trafficking Team.

"Report a Missing Child, Because Every Child's Life is Important"

To report a child missing or if you believe you have seen a missing child, call NCMEC toll-free 24 hours a day at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).

"Report Child Sexual Exploitation, Because Every Child's Life is Important"

If you have information about suspected child sexual exploitation, including the exploitation of children by the possession, manufacture, distribution or receipt of child pornography report it to NCMEC’s CyberTipline® at www.cybertipline.com or call 1-800-843-5678.

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Maryland State House Photo by Diane Knaus©

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Senators Who Voted Against the Bipartisan Gun Control Background Checks Bill Are:


Alexander, Lamar- Rep.- Tennessee

Ayottle, Kelly- Rep.- New Hampshire

Barrasso, John- Rep.- Wyoming

Baucus, Max- Democrat-Montana

Begich, Mark- Democrat- Arkansas

Blunt,Roy- Rep.- Montana

Boozman, John -Rep.- Arizona

Burr, Richard- Rep.- North Carolina

Chambliss, Saxby- Rep.- Georgia

Coats, Daniel- Rep.- Indiana

Coburn, Tom- Rep.- Oklahoma

Cochran, Thad- Rep.- Mississippi

Corker,Bob- Rep.- Tennessee

Cornyn, John-Rep.- Texas

Crapo, Mike- Rep.- Idaho

Cruz, Ted- Rep.-Texas

Enzi, Michael-Rep.- Wyoming

Fisher, Deb Rep.- Nebraska

Flake, Jeff-Rep.- Arizona

Graham, Lindsey- ep.-South Carlina

Grassley, Chuck- Rep.- Iowa

Hatch, Orrin-Rep.- Utah

Heitkamp,Heidi- Democrat- North Dakota

Heller,Dean- Rep.- Nevada

Hoeven, John Rep.- North Dakota

Inhofe, James-Rep.- Oklahoma

Isakson, Johnny- Rep.- Georgia

Johanns, Mike-Rep.- Nebraska

Johnson, Ron- Rep.- Wisconsin

Lee, Mike- Rep.- Wisconsin

McConnell, Mitch- Rep.- Kentucky

Moran, Jerry- Rep.- Kansas

Murkowski, Lisa- Rep.- Arkansas

Paul, Rand- Rep.- Kentucky

Portman, Rob- Rep.- Ohio

Pryor, Mark- Dem.- Arkansas

Reid, Harry- Dem.- Nevada

Risch, James- Rep.- Idaho

Roberts, Pat- Rep.- Kansas

Rubio, Mark- Rep.- Florida

Scott, Tim- Rep.- South Carolina

Sessions, JeffRep.- Alabama

Shelby, Richard- Rep.- Alabama

Thune, John- Rep,- South Dakota

Vitter, Davia- Rep.- Louisiana

Wicker, Roger- Rep.- Mississippi

President Obama is Absolutely Right, These People - Our Senators, Should be Ashamed of Themselves Because 93% of all Americans Wanted This Consensus on Gun Violence Background Checks Changed and These People Failed Them Again. This has happened again in 2016, What is it going to tke to get common sense laws passed?

Federal Court Orders Scott Platto and His Company The Yorkshire Group, Inc. to Pay More Than $1.56 Million for Engaging in Illegal, Off-Exchange Precious Metals Transactions

Washington, DC10-19-2016 – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) obtained a federal court default judgment Order Adopting the Report and Recommendation (Order) against Defendants The Yorkshire Group, Inc. (Yorkshire) and its principal Scott Platto. The Order stems from a CFTC Complaint, filed on September 25, 2013, that charged the Defendants with engaging in illegal, off-exchange transactions in precious metals with retail customers on a leveraged, margined or financed basis (see CFTC Complaint and Press Release 6713-13, September 26, 2013). At the time the CFTC filed the Complaint, Platto’s residence and Yorkshire’s offices were in Staten Island, New York.

The Order, entered by United States District Judge Ann M. Donnelly on October 12, 2016, requires Yorkshire and Platto, jointly and severally, to pay a $1.54 million civil monetary penalty and to disgorge $29,801.64 in ill-gotten gains. The Order also imposes permanent trading and registration bans against Yorkshire and Platto, and prohibits them from violating the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and CFTC Regulations, as charged in the Complaint.

The Order states that the Court has reviewed the Report and Recommendation issued on August 19, 2016 by United States Magistrate Judge Steven L. Tiscione and finds no error with his “thorough and well-reasoned opinion.” The Report and Recommendation finds that from September 2011 to August 2012, Yorkshire and Platto illegally solicited and accepted $93,700 from eleven retail customers to purchase physical precious metals, such as gold, silver, platinum, and palladium, on a leveraged, margined or financed basis, and that Yorkshire and Platto received commissions totaling $29,801.64 in connection with those transactions.

In addition, the Report and Recommendation finds that Platto, as controlling person for Yorkshire, is liable for Yorkshire’s violations of the CEA as well as his own violations, and that Yorkshire is liable as principal for the CEA violations committed by its officers, employees, and agents, including Platto.

U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. of the Western District of North Carolina entered a monetary judgment of $4.8 million against James Meyer

8-24-2016 James Meyer was the CEO of Preferred Merchants LLC, a financial services company based in Napa, California. He was sentenced today in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina to 15 months in prison for engaging in an elaborate obstruction of justice scheme to conceal from the government millions of dollars, which were subject to a freeze order and seizure warrant.

Imortant because he was swindling the USA out of millions of tax money

According to the plea agreement, in or about 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Division of Enforcement commenced a securities fraud investigation concerning a Ponzi scheme centering on Rex Ventures Group LLC (RVG), a North Carolina-based company for which Preferred Merchants held millions in assets in treasury and trust accounts. As a result of its investigation, the SEC filed a civil enforcement action against RVG, resulting in an order freezing all of RVG’s assets and appointing a receiver to marshal, manage and distribute remaining RVG assets to impacted investors. The U.S. Secret Service also obtained a seizure warrant of RVG assets held by Meyer through Preferred Merchants. Meyer admitted that in August 2012, the SEC informed him of, among other things, the investigation and the freeze order and requested that Meyer freeze any RVG assets in his possession, custody or control.

According to the plea agreement, in or about 2012, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Division of Enforcement commenced a securities fraud investigation concerning a Ponzi scheme centering on Rex Ventures Group LLC (RVG), a North Carolina-based company for which Preferred Merchants held millions in assets in treasury and trust accounts. As a result of its investigation, the SEC filed a civil enforcement action against RVG, resulting in an order freezing all of RVG’s assets and appointing a receiver to marshal, manage and distribute remaining RVG assets to impacted investors. The U.S. Secret Service also obtained a seizure warrant of RVG assets held by Meyer through Preferred Merchants. Meyer admitted that in August 2012, the SEC informed him of, among other things, the investigation and the freeze order and requested that Meyer freeze any RVG assets in his possession, custody or control.

According to the plea agreement, in response to this request, Meyer misled the SEC by falsely implying that Preferred Merchants did not exercise dominion or control over any RVG assets when, in fact, Meyer controlled approximately $17.4 million in RVG assets. Meyer further admitted that he wired approximately $4.8 million from an RVG trust account to a brokerage account under his control after learning about the SEC’s investigation and used that money to purchase homes in Napa and the Turks and Caicos, and took additional measures to conceal his RVG assets.

Meyer also admitted that throughout the pending civil litigation surrounding the RVG scheme, he made fraudulent and misleading statements to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, the SEC and the court-appointed receiver during depositions.

In connection with his plea agreement, Meyer consented to the $4.8 million money judgment entered against him and forfeited the homes that he purchased in the Turks and Caicos and Napa as proceeds of the obstruction of justice offense.

The U.S. Secret Service and IRS-CI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Grus Sugar of the Western District of North Carolina and Trial Attorneys Kevin Lowell and Brian D. Frey of the Criminal Division’s Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section – Bank Integrity Unit prosecuted the case.

How to Fix Congress According to Warren Buffet

8-7-2016 Warren Buffett, "I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971... before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc. Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking everybody to share this and ask their friends to do likewise.

*Congressional Reform Act of 2011*

1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/2017. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term's), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.

Affordable Housing Programs

As the Housing Recovery Strengthens, Affordability and Other Challenges Remain. Harvard Research Center Releases The State of the Nation’s Housing 2016 Cambridge, MA and Washington, DC – The national housing market has now regained enough momentum to provide an engine of growth for the US economy, according to the latest The State of the Nation’s Housing report released today by the Joint Center for Housing Studies. Robust rental demand continues to drive the housing expansion, and sales, prices, and new construction of single-family homes are on the rise. Even more important, income growth has picked up, particularly among the huge millennial population that is poised to form millions of new households over the coming decade. At the same time, however, several obstacles continue to hamper the housing recovery—in particular, the lingering pressures on homeownership, the eroding affordability of rental housing, and the growing concentration of poverty.

The national homeownership rate has been on an unprecedented 10-year downtrend, sliding to just 63.7 percent

in 2015. As Chris Herbert, managing director of Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, notes, “Tight mortgage credit, the decade-long falloff in incomes that is only now ending, and a limited supply of homes for sale are all keeping households—especially first-time buyers—on the sidelines. And even though a rebound in home prices has helped to reduce the number of underwater owners, the large backlog of foreclosures is still a serious drag on homeownership.”

iAs these lingering effects of the housing crash fade, homeownership may regain some lost ground, but how soon and how much are open to question. Moreover, the report finds that income inequality increased over the past decade, with households earning under $25,000 accounting for nearly 45 percent of the net growth in US households in 2005–2015. As Herbert sums it up, “The question is not so much whether families will want to buy homes in the future, but whether they will be able to do so.”

Mirroring the persistent weakness on the owner-occupied side is the equally long surge in rental housing demand, with increases across all age groups, income levels, and household types. With vacancy rates down sharply and rents climbing, multifamily construction is booming across the country. But with strong growth among high-income renters, so far most of this new housing is intended for the upper end of the market, with rents well out of reach of the typical renter making $35,000 a year. Because of the widening gap between market-rate rents and the amounts many households can afford at the 30-percent-of-income standard, the number of cost-burdened renters hit 21.3 million in 2014. Even worse, 11.4 million of these households paid more than half their incomes for housing, a record high. The report finds that rent burdens are increasingly common among moderate-income households, especially in the nation’s 10 highest-cost housing markets, where three-quarters of renters earning $30,000–45,000 and half of those earning $45,000–75,000 paid at least 30 percent of their incomes for housing in 2014.

Download the full report here:www.jchs.harvard.edu/research/state_nations_housing

Childrens Furniture Falling and killing them IKEA Problems

6-06-2016 According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission there are more than 43,000 injuries due to furniture tip-over incidents each year, and about 25,000 of these are injuries to children. More than 80 percent of the 430 deaths reported to the Consumer Product Safety Commission from 2000 to 2013 involved children under 10, said the agency.

In an independent report by the Philadelphia Inquirer, When empty dresser drawers were opened all the way, and the final drawer was fully extended, the unit instantly tipped over. When 50 pounds was hung on one of the drawers (about the weight of a child), both dressers tipped over with a violent crash.

Last year in 2015 the Consumer Product Safety Commissions warned consumers in an announcement not to use any unsecured “Ikea” children’s chests and dressers taller than 23.5 inches, and adult chests and dressers taller than 29.5 inches. The repair kits provided by the Swedish retailer would allow consumers to anchor the furniture to a wall.

Elliot F. Kaye, the commission’s chairman, said he was also challenging manufacturers to make safer products. He said:On average, every two weeks a child dies from unsecured televisions and furniture, according to data from the commission. Two-thirds of the 38,000 Americans who visit emergency rooms each year for injuries related to the tipping over of a piece of furniture are younger than 5 years old.

More than 80 percent of the 430 deaths reported to the commission from 2000 to 2013 involved children under 10, the agency has said. There were two chests in Ikeas “Malm line” that are prone to tipping over.

Ikea provides a method in a kit to secure them to your walls. However if you want to secure them yourself you can get L brackets in any hardware store and a few nails or screws to attach them to your wall and dresser. All in all it's a pretty quick fix. You might also want to do this for your large screen tv as well so it won't tip over onto your family. That way you don't have to wait for a company to ship the pieces to you.Information shared from http://www.momsez.com

IRS Scam Warnings

4-6-2016 The IRS has seen a surge of scams, see the most recent below. The IRS reminds taxpayers to guard against all sorts of con games that arise during any filing season. Tax Refund Scam Artists Posing as Taxpayer Advocacy Panel.The IRS has seen a surge of scams, see the most recent below. The IRS reminds taxpayers to guard against all sorts of con games that arise during any filing season.Tax Refund Scam Artists Posing as Taxpayer Advocacy Panel

A new email scam targeting taxpayers has emerged. According to the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel (TAP), taxpayers are receiving emails that appear to be from TAP about a tax refund. These emails are a phishing scam, where unsolicited emails which seem to come from legitimate organizations -- but are really from scammers -- try to trick unsuspecting victims into providing personal and financial information. Do not respond or click the links in them. If you receive an email that appears to be from TAP regarding your personal tax information, please forward it to phishing@irs.gov and note that it seems to be a scam email phishing for your information.

TAP is a volunteer board that advises the IRS on systemic issues affecting taxpayers. It never requests, and does not have access to, any taxpayer's personal and financial information such as Social Security and PIN numbers or passwords and similar information for credit cards, banks or other financial institutions.


Same Sex Marraige Approved by the Supreme Court

by Diane Knaus

7-24-2015 The Suprteme Court approved same sex marriage for all states last month. In a move that gay people across the country did not believe would ever happen. It is now legal for same sex couples to marry in every state.

There has been a lot of fall out from the ruling. Some city hall clerks have refused to give out marraige licenses. According to www.kentucky.com, Governor Brashears told Casey County Clerk Casey Davis on Thursday that Davis should issue marriage licenses to every qualified person or resign. Read More Here

According to Human Rights Organization “Delaying the issuances of marriage licenses to same-sex couples is not only unlawful, but allows the discriminatory impacts of an unconstitutional law to continue.”

So even if your state leadership is kicking and screaming, the law stands for equality right now. There is no reason why it shouldn't stand, right is right. What do you care what someone else does in their bedroom? It's not your business except when someone is getting beat up or abused, then you call the police for physical abuse, and protection of the person getting beat up.That is not right, you always protect the person who is innocent. Why, because no one should ever beat someone else up. We have laws againt that.

People need to talk out their differences. You, me, everyone needs to be able to talk out their problems, if you can't do that then you as a couple need counseling that is what it is to change something that isn't right between you.The problem needs to be worked on and talked out so that you solve the problem.

Violence is never the answer to any problem because it just brings on more of the same.You need to talk out the situations of love as well. If one person loves another who are you to judge them. It is not your place to do that.

Do you tell everyone you know about all of your personal business in the bedroom or other personal information? Your marriage is between you and your spouse and family. Just like other peoples marriage is between the two of them and their families, same sex or not. I't not your business, nor your responsibilit.. Stay out of it for everyones sake. If there is violence that makes it different for everyone,. Call for help then.

Home/Apt Rentals Like Dinosaurs/Extinct Md.

According national low income housng coalition:

6-17-2015 In Maryland, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,297. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities – without paying more than 30% of income on housing – a household must earn $4,323 monthly or $51,871 annually. Assuming a 40-hour work week, 52 weeks per year, this level of income translates into a Housing Wage of $24.94.

In Maryland, a minimum wage worker earns an hourly wage of $7.25. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment, a minimum wage earner must work 138 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or a household must include 3.4 minimum wage earners working 40 hours per week year-round in order to make the two-bedroom FMR affordable.

In Maryland, the estimated mean (average) wage for a renter is $15.31. In order to afford the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment at this wage, a renter must work 65 hours per week, 52 weeks per year. Or, working 40 hours per week year-round, a household must include 1.6 workers earning the mean renter wage in order to make the two-bedroom FMR affordable.

Baltimore Riots to Protest Freddie Grays Death

4-28-2015 Update: Mayor Stephanie R. Blake has ordered a curfew for the city. The National guard has been ordered into the city by the Governor Larry Hogan for tonight. Immediately after school on Monday teens ran into the streets near Mondamin Mall and began throwing rocks and anything else they could find at the local police nearby just after the funeral for Freddie Gray. Those actions escalated as more people (older young men) came to the area and went near the Mall and started looting stores. Next thing people saw were that small fires started to burn. The Mall itself was closed at 1:00pm according to official, and the Mondawmin Metro Station has been closed as well.

An independent reporter said he saw the police giving some protestors a hard time. However, most of the kids were standing around, not doing the violence, but then began running away from the scene. The riot police were prepared to do what ever they had to do, but it ran to intimidation on some of the crowd. The Mayor has set a curfew for Tuesday evening, and the Governor has ordered the National Guard into the city for tomorrow.

There were many older men who were helping the police to keep the peace for a while. You could see them pushing back the teens and trying to calm them down. There was a veteran who told a reporter that parents needed to control their children. No doubt many people agree with him. But there are outsiders in the mix.


Downpour of Flood Insurance Information

8-1-2016 If you own or rent a home, then you know that homeowner’s insurance is something you cannot do without! But, did you know that most standard homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damage from flooding?

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is administered by FEMA, which works closely with nearly 90 private insurance companies to offer flood insurance to property owners and renters. In order to qualify for flood insurance, a community must join the NFIP and agree to enforce sound floodplain management standards.

In addition to having flood insurance, here are a few other things you should do:

Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan;

Avoid building in a floodplain unless you elevate and reinforce your home;

Elevate the furnace, water heater and electric panel in your home if you live in an area that has a high flood risk;

Consider installing "check valves" to prevent flood water from backing up into the drains of your home; and

If feasible, construct barriers to stop floodwater from entering the building and seal walls in basements with waterproofing compounds.

Flood risk isn't just based on history; it's also based on a number of factors: rainfall, river-flow and tidal-surge data, topography, flood-control measures, and changes due to building and development.

Take the first step in researching flood insurance by determining your flood risk. Check out the National Flood Insurance Program’s flood-hazard maps. These maps have been created to show the flood risk for your community. This helps determine the type of flood insurance coverage you will need. Contact your insurance provider to verify your coverage. For more information, insurance calculators, and interactive resources visit FloodSmart.gov.

Be Prepared for Floods

Turn around, don’t drown is the National Weather Service's campaign to warn people of the hazards of walking or driving a vehicle through floodwaters. Did you know that a mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult or that it only takes two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles?

Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States. So far in 2014, 16 major disaster declarations have been declared that involve flooding; the most recent on July 28 in South Dakota. However, not all floods are alike. Some floods develop slowly, while flash floods can develop in just a few minutes.

If you have to leave your home, or you’re out on the roads during a flood, remember these tips:

Do not walk through moving water. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.

Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, when water is not moivng or not more than a few inches deep. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly. If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle. If the water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.

Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams, rivers or creeks, particularly during threatening conditions.

For more detailed information, download How to Prepare for a Flood, a hazard-specific guide, which provides information on the basics of floods, how to protect yourself and your property, and what steps to take now. Come high water, don’t get caught!

Social Media and Emergency Preparedness

With the Internet at our fingertips and ever-changing methods of exchanging information, emergency management professionals should adapt to new communications outlets like social media in order to reach diverse audiences of all ages.

It is critical for emergency management organizations to establish themselves on social media outlets before a disaster strikes, so community members know where to look for information during the response and recovery phases of a disaster. During non-disaster periods, emergency management professionals should explore how they can use social media outlets like Twitter, blogs, Flickr, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube to deliver information.

To see how other emergency management organizations are using social media, join the Social Media Emergency Management Community of Practice or check out the National Preparedness Community’s discussion on Social Media in Emergency Management and Preparedness Efforts.

When using social media, you should:

Try to post daily to show you are active;

Make the information fun and engaging;

Provide a link, when applicable, to additional information and resources;

Link videos to your content; and

Provide relevant content that meets the needs of your community.

You can learn more with the FEMA Independent Study course Social Media in Emergency Management. This course provides a collection of promising practices for emergency management organizations to build their social media capabilities to further achieve their goals.

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Marijuana helping sick people feel better

3-14-2014 The other side of the coin is that most of the time recreational marijuana use mainly makes people (men and women under the age of 25) do stupid things. That is not what this is about. This news is about helping really sick people to feel better and to help them aleviate their pain with the use of controlled marijuana quality. Some western states are making it safer for patients to use the pot for medicinal reasons by changing their laws regulating the sales and potencies of marijuana.

Attroney General Eric Holder says 'herion is a public health crisis’

"It's clear that opiate addiction is an urgent -- and growing -- public health crisis. And that's why Justice Department officials, including the (Drug Enforcement Administration), and other key federal, state, and local leaders, are fighting back aggressively," Holder said, adding that heroin overdoses increased by 45 percent between 2006 and 2010.

Mental stability safety issues for releaseing dangerous people back into communities

by Diane Knaus

3-9-2014 During an attempt by a mentally distraught pregnant women to drown her children by driving her van into the water, bystanders at a beach hearing the children's cries ran into the rough surf to get them out of the van. The bystanders succeeded in saving all four children. The woman walked out of the water on her own.

American women stand up and run for political office if you are tired of being run down by old white republican men

Marylands state of the economy

National Suicide Hotline Information

911-When you dial, you are calling the crisis center in the Lifeline network closest to your location. After you call, you will hear a message saying you have reached the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. You will hear hold music while your call is being routed. You will be helped by a skilled, trained crisis worker who will listen to your problems and will tell you about mental health services in your area. Your call is confidential and free.Please call us it is okay to call. You really do matter, let us help you through the problem.1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Emily's list announces launch of madam president: “Women we’re watching,” Online project to highlight women political leaders

Symptoms of PTSD

7-9-2013 According to RAINN, After a traumatic event, it is typical to have feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear, making it difficult to adjust or cope for some time afterwards. Survivors of sexual violence may experience severe feelings of anxiety, stress, or fear, known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).Although it is a natural thing to experience stress after a traumatic event, if the stress lasts more than a month there is help available to get you through.

As classified by the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of PTSD can be grouped into three main categoriesii:


This is a repeated reliving of the event, and interferes with daily activity. This category includes flashbacks, frightening thoughts, recurrent memories or dreams, and physical reactions to situations that remind you of the event.


These symptoms stem from the desire of a person to change their routine to escape similar situations to the trauma. Victims might avoid places, events, or objects that remind them of the experience. Emotions related to avoidance are numbness, guilt, and depression. Some have a decreased ability to feel certain emotions, like happiness. They also might be unable to remember major parts of the trauma, and feel that their future offers less possibilities than other people have.


Hyper-arousal symptoms are all physiological. They include difficulty concentrating or falling asleep; being easily startled; feeling tense, and ‘on edge’; and angry outbursts. These can sum up to make it difficult for victims of PTSD to complete normal daily tasks.

Military Women Raped by Fellow Service Members

5-17-2013 Accordng to a new report from the Pentagon, shows that sexual assaults in the military increased by more than 30% last year.2 Worse? Less than 5% of military sexual assaults are ever prosecuted.

These women put their lives on the line for our country. The least we can do is make sure they get the justice that they deserve. So women here in the U.S. are treated just as badly as women in other countries as far as rape goes.

And now we have a big opportunity to make justice happen: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand just introduced legislation today that would help make sure military rapes are prosecuted and justice is served.

Can you sign the petition asking Congress to get to work on legislation that would ensure accountability and justice to end the epidemic of rape in the US Military? From Sen. Gillibrand to Representative Jackie Speier, there is no shortage of good proposals on how to fix the problem--just a lack of political will to make it happen. We can change that if we speak out.

According to the Pentagon report, an estimated 26,000 service members were sexually assaulted in 2012 and only 3,374 of the assaults were reported.5 And it’s no wonder this problem persists: Last week, the man in charge of stopping sexual assault in the Air Force was arrested for sexual battery.6 This week, a Fort Hood sexual assault prevention officer has been accused of assaulting three women and forcing one into prostitution.7 One retired army officer attributed the problem to “female service members making sex-related allegations which proved unfounded,” and the Air Force Chief of Staff blamed “hookup mentality” for the prevalence of rape.8

The truth is that the military has proven that they can't deal with this problem on their own--so Congress needs to act.

Champions in Congress have been working on this problem for years, and right now there are multiple bills aimed at preventing and responding to military sexual assault. In April, Rep. Speier introduced the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention (STOP) Act and just today Sen. Gillibrand introduced the Military Justice Improvement (MJI) Act.9 Other legislation addressing military sexual assault has been introduced by Senators and Representatives from both sides of the aisle.10

These bills would fundamentally change the way the military handles rape cases and would be an enormous improvement over the current system. They would increase accountability and transparency by giving prosecutors and judges, not commanders, power over sexual assault cases.11

If members of Congress are serious about protecting the service women who risk their lives to defend us, they need to take action right away. But if they don’t hear from all of us that we are outraged and we want them to stop this problem, the media attention could pass, and this important issue could get bogged down in Washington politics again. Can you sign this petition right away?

Sign the petition.

Thanks for speaking out.

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