Category Archives: 2014

Tracy Allison civil trial moved to September 16, 2014.

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The civil case filed by Tracy Allison against Prince George’s County public schools has been postponed from a September 9th, 2014 date to September 16th, 2014.

The trial will now begin Tuesday, September 16, 2014 and conclude by the week of September 23, 2014.

U.S. District Judge Honorable Peter J. Messitte issued the new trial schedule recently. (See attached Memorandum)

Ms. Tracy Allison who is African American woman, worked at Largo High school, alleges that she was racially harassed by Principal Angelique Simpson-Marcus of Largo High School, who is African American. On February 28, 2014, a federal jury, at the Greenbelt, MD federal courthouse, issued a verdict that means Prince George’s County Public Schools can be found liable under Title VI for race discrimination and retaliation. Specifically, the jury decided that Prince George’s County Public School received federal assistance, starting in 2009, which had the primary objective of providing employment. In 2009, PGCPS, which has an annual budget of approximately $1.7 billion, received $140 million in federal stimulus funds which it used to avert laying off hundreds of teachers and other school workers. >>> Read more

Tracy Allison legal team now consists of attorney Neil R Lebowitz, based in Downtown Columbia, Maryland.

Attorney Bryan Chapman who handled the first phase of the trial last year, is no longer in the case after mishandling several cases deliberately.

Superintendent William Hite Jr has since left the Prince George’s County school District.

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2014 Elections.

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The boss who decides how you are evaluated, the amount of planning time you have, and how much you are paid—as well as nearly every other condition of your profession—is probably not a seasoned veteran of public education.

Your boss, actually your bosses, are the local, county, and state politicians who win on Election Day—no education experience required— they get the job! So, like it or not, your job as a teacher, School Bus driver, Custodian, Administrator, payroll clerk, specialist etc.  is indeed very political because your bosses are politicians. They don’t have to have an education degree, pedagogical training, or any exposure to the complex inner workings of a school building, yet they set your pension, determine class size, fund your contract, mandate student testing, and appoint the people who decide your evaluations.

Education workers are special. Because our bosses are politicians, our struggle as Reform Sasscer Movement members isn’t only at the worksite, it’s at the voting booth this year. While some might see this as a curse, it’s really a blessing—we get to hire our bosses by choosing them on Election Day. This  year, we need to push for those leaders who are credible in order to create an accountable government which is responsive to the people.

Over the last few election cycles, Reform Sasscer Movement members have stepped up in big ways and pro-education candidates with Reform Sasscer Movement’s endorsement have won more than 80% of their campaigns.

With the 2014 primary elections on the horizon this June and general election in November, it’s time to work together to elect the bosses we need to help our schools, communities and students succeed. Send an email to reformpgcps@gmail.com to find out how you can help win the 2014 elections that matter most to public education in Maryland. This is the only way we are going to take back our schools and help with innovation in Maryland.

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To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain. ~ Louis L’Amour

Alces alces (Moose).

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Alces alces, also known as the moose, is one of the most interesting organisms in the world. Standing at approximately six feet tall at the shoulder, weighing up to 1,800 pounds, and being about ten feet long, moose are the largest member of the deer family.

The common name of Alces alces is moose. “Moose” comes from the Algonquian word “mus” or “moos”, which means “twig-eater” or eater of twigs.

In Latin, alces means “elk”. This can sometimes cause confusion when talking about Alces alces because European countries refer to it as “elk” and North Americans refer to it as “moose”. This situation is the exact reason scientific names are used. No matter where you are in the world or what language you speak, Alces alces will refer to this organism!

General Characteristics of Alces alces:

Alces alces has many characteristics that make it quite unique and easy to identify. First off, you can identify them by their huge antlers. The antlers can get up to as wide as five feet! However, only the male moose, also known as bulls, grow antlers.

Another characteristic of the moose is their dark brown fur coat, however only mature moose have dark brown coats. Young moose, called calves, have light brown fur. It darkens as they mature. The fur is actually hollow and allows for many features, such as keeping them warm during the winter and for buoyancy when in water.

One of the oddest characteristics of Alces alces is the presence of the dewlap, also called the bell. The dewlap is the flap of skin that hangs under a moose’s chin. The function of the dewlap is unknown, but there are theories for it. One theory is that the dewlap is used for communication during the rut, both by sight and smell. During the rut a bull will rub the cow with his chin, also called chinning, and the dewlap transfers this bull’s scent to the female. Another theory is that the size and shape of the dewlap may be an indicator of dominance to other bulls, just like the size of the antlers are.

Listed below are other factors including conservation status.

Factoid:

Moose are good swimmers and can move in the water at 6 miles per hour for as much as two hours at a time.

Conservation Status:

Stable.

Population:

Total population unknown.

Threats:

Moose once lived throughout most of the United States and Canada, but the species range has dwindled because of uncontrolled hunting for sport and food and because of land development. In the 19th century, ranchers shot them to reduce competition with livestock for food. Moose typically inhabit boreal and mixed deciduous forests of the Northern Hemisphere in temperate to subarctic climates.

Survival:

Moose live up to 20 years.

Moose are the largest members of the deer family, about the size of a horse. They have thick coats of long, dark-brown hair, humped shoulders, and long thin legs. Their huge muzzles, big ears, and broad flat antlers, as well as their large size, set them apart from other members of the deer family. Both males and females also have a flap of skin called a bell that hangs beneath the throat. The bell is used for communication through the scents released from it. Their antlers, grown only by the bulls, can reach 4 to 5 feet from end to end. The record length is 6 feet 9 inches. Moose use their antlers to thrash brush, fight for mates, and root plants from the pond floor. The antlers are shed around November or December, after mating season has ended.

Males weigh 900 to 1,400 pounds and females 700 to 1,100 pounds. One or two calves are born every spring, and newborns weigh 24 to 35 pounds.

Cool weather seems to suit moose well. They inhabit spruce forests, swamps, and aspen and willow thickets throughout most of Canada, Maine, Minnesota, Alaska, and the Rocky Mountains in Utah and Colorado. They migrate seasonally up and down mountain slopes. They also enjoy wallowing in mud and water, especially when insects bother them during warm weather.

In summer, when moose hang around ponds and marshes, they eat willows and aquatic vegetation like water lily leaves. In the winter they eat mostly woody plants like twigs, buds, and the bark of willow, balsam, aspen, dogwood, birch, cherry, and maple trees.

Moose are generally shy animals and usually move away from humans. However, cows with calves may charge if they feel threatened, and bulls can be dangerous during the breeding season. The most common moose predators are wolvesbears, and humans. Unlike most other deer species, moose are solitary animals and do not form herds.

National Parks:

In North America, Moose are found in North Cascades National Park, WA; Rocky Mountain National Park, CO; Voyageurs National Park, MN; Kenai Fjords National Park, AK; Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, AK; Katmai National Park and Preserve, AK; Noatak National Preserve, AK; Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, AK; Denali National Park and Preserve, AK; Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, AK; Isle Royale National Park, MI; Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve, AK; Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, AK; Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve, AK; Acadia National Park, ME; and the northern part of Appalachian National Scenic Trail, ME.

Moose have been reintroduced to some of their former habitats. Currently, most moose are found in CanadaAlaskaScandinavia and Russia as shown on the map below.

Go to Classification to see where the moose fits into the grand scheme of things!

Go to Mooseworld.com for even more information on Alces alces!

Go to National Geographic for more information also!

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Moose distribution map worldwide.

Maryland Attorney General Debate In Annapolis.

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The Young Democrats of Maryland announced that Delegate Aisha Braveboy, Delegate Jon Cardin and Senator Brian Frosh, have all recently agreed to join them for a debate on the future of equality and justice in Maryland.

The Attorney General Debate will take place on March 22nd 2014 at 1pm during the Young Democrat of Maryland‘s annual statewide convention in Annapolis, MD at the Bates Legacy Center.  Members and Maryland residents will be able to ask their questions in person or submit it via twitter.  Senator Brian Frosh is endorsed by Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker and The Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) which is the state’s largest teachers union. MSEA decided to back Senator Frosh who represents residents of Montgomery County in Annapolis.  AFSCME Council 3, another large public sector union, has also endorsed Frosh as well. So far, Washington Post poll shows that Delegate Jon Cardin is riding the wave with a comfortable lead over his opponents.

One issue of concern in Maryland which needs to be explored and fixed is the issue of Union corruption with the pipeline of money to the politicians. Something must give way to decency in the future of the county and the state of Maryland especially within the schools.

Something is just NOT alright in Maryland with organized labor. The smell is getting bigger by the day but where are the damage control experts? Who is making these unions accountable? Are employees going to close their eyes shut as they get duped?

At the beginning, we were among the staunchest defenders and believers in the union right to negotiate fairly, so we fought off the propaganda from other activists around the country in the blogs. We did so because, like any human beings, we did not want to appear we made a wrong choice to vote for anti-labor. However, given the experiences we have been through. It’s high time to create an accountability mechanism for the unions including AFSCME International pictured below and let the chips fall where they may.

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Democratic Party Candidates for Maryland Attorney General Office 2014

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Delegate Aisha Braveboy

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Delegate Jon Cardin

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Senator Brian Frosh

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Role of the Unions in Maryland and ensuing corruption in the work place must be addressed throughout the state.

Read more >> Union accountability is needed now. >>>Why unions are problematic in PGCPS District. 

Union henchman threatens Beloved Maryland Senator.

Criticism of Teacher Unions 

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Big Unions vs. poor workers and the inequality of life. 

Topic A: Bringing change to Prince George’s.

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The following points were paused incessantly to the County residents in 2010 by Washington post and they continue to be relevant today.  As pointed out in our blog post yesterday, many leaders in the county appear not to have learned from the Jack Johnson saga and the problems continue in some areas to the detriment of the county citizens.

In a Washington piece published on Friday, December 10, 2010; Several leaders including TIMOTHY F. MALONEY , CHEYE CALVO, PETER SHAPIRO, SENATOR PAUL G. PINSKY and GERRON S. LEVI gave a candid assessment at the time and the following is what they had to say. Read carefully and reflect on where we are now and what has changed if at all.

Anyone who does business in the metropolitan area can identify difficult aspects of the governing culture that are unique to Prince George’s County. These can and must be fixed. Here are 10 ways how:

l End the pervasive involvement of elected officials in land use, which has dominated county politics. Follow the example of most major jurisdictions, in which these decisions are made by professional planners and independent planning boards, reserving only master plans and significant land-use issues to elected officials.

l Eliminate the loophole that allows County Council members to vote on land-use cases involving political contributors.

l Adopt Rushern L. Baker III’s proposal for an independent inspector general.

l Ban county credit cards for local elected officials.

l Adopt the state’s strict restrictions on meals and gifts.

l Require stricter lobbyist disclosures patterned after state law.

l Ban lobbyists from having contingent interests in land-use cases. Strengthen the County Ethics Commission’s capacity to enforce these requirements.

l Minority business requirements should not be imposed on specific projects to help specific people. Minority business enterprise laws should be uniform, addressing historic inequities. The focus must be on “what” – not “who.”

l Prohibit elected officials from using the prestige of their office to recommend vendors, partners or community donations. The state already bans this. >>> Read more Washington Post

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Democracy must be built through open societies that share information. When there is information, there is  enlightenment. When there is debate, there are solutions. When there is no sharing of power, no rule of law, no accountability, there is abuse, corruption, subjugation and indignation. ~ Atifete  Jahjaga

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Politics in Prince George’s County.

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As we prepare for 2014 election cycle, the incumbents on the Prince George’s County will be facing a lot of competition in the June 24 primary election, but some countywide officeholders might be unopposed in both the primary and the general elections, according to the list of candidates who filed to run by Tuesday night’s deadline February 25th, 2014.

The Prince George’s County Board of Elections and the Maryland State Board of Elections in Annapolis kept their offices open until 9 p.m. Tuesday to allow candidates to file. See the full list for Maryland (delegates and senators) Here and the list for Prince George’s County Here.  Find out who’s competing to represent you. There are some elected officials who we must kick to the curb and there are some who we must keep as elected leaders because of their Sterling Performance in Annapolis.

We plan to interview and scrutinize the new candidates and some of the incumbents for your analysis. We must determine the suitability because corruption, nepotism and professional misconduct continues to be a way of life in Prince George’s County – Maryland. We plan to make some recommendations before June 2014 and November 2014 elections cycle. Remember that, We must elect leaders who care more about the environment and the future of the county and the country. Leaders who are not connected to Malfeasance. We can do it if we change the focus and reward leaders with fire in the belly. Keep checking our blogs to help steer the county forward.

Although unaffiliated, Independent, Green and Libertarian voters and voters from other parties other than Democratic or Republican will not be able to cast ballots in the Democratic or Republican primary races, they will be able to vote in the nonpartisan school board race, Election officials said. (see previous post)

“Everyone has something to vote on in the primary,” Election officials said.

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Rules needed for Religious Groups…

…to stem moral decay within.

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The level of immorality in the leadership of the church and the Mosque today appears alarming. It is not yet clear whether the rise in reported and verified cases of men of the cloth caught with their pants down, or otherwise engaged in various acts of sin, represent an increase in incidences, or a society that is more open and less willing to sweep such matters under the carpet.

Pastors , Muslim clerics and any other religious leaders, because of the high level of trust accorded to them by the nature of their calling — or choice of profession — are generally held in high esteem by their public, and as such hold a position of trust. This is increasingly so especially in Prince George’s County and around the world where religious institutions are demanding their own charter schools with government funding.

Morality is a very personal thing, and so efforts to control it through legal means are more or less futile. Pastors and Imams are also human and subject to the same temptations their flock face on a daily basis. But that alone is not reason enough to excuse their behaviour since they hold positions of great trust, and are in effect the “moral police” of the church and the Mosques for those who are Muslims.

For far too long the church and the Mosques took a very lenient view of the sexual and financial misdemeanours of their clergy and Muslim clerics, and it appears they have gotten away with it.

But perhaps a bigger problem for the church in general and the Mosque is the fact that anyone can start a ministry and set themselves up as a pastor or Imam. The law does not stop anyone who has not gone through proper theological training and screening from setting up a church or a Mosque in the United States or elsewhere around the world.

Because of this, many men and women with murky backgrounds have discovered an easy way to riches and fame through the Bible or the Koran. Drunk with the level of trust desperate Americans and other citizens of the world have placed in them — believing that they hold the key that would lift them out of extreme poverty — some have gone further to indulge in their sexual fantasies involving various persons.

It may be time for the church and the Muslim scholars to sit down and agree on the minimum requirements for one to start and operate a ministry, church or Mosque etc.

This may sound extreme, but unless there are clear standards for registration of churches and Mosques, and some level of oversight in many parts of the world including Prince George’s County, the door remains open for all manner of charlatans to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and prophet Muhammad, while leading souls astray behind the scenes. We are witnessing this problem here in Maryland and around the globe. Religious institutions are important in peoples’ lives whether we are Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus etc. As human beings, we should not let them be destroyed in our watch for the sake of the future generations.

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