UPDATE: Aftermath So Far

Several new articles:

UPDATE: MD Constitution Convention Question Gets Majority Vote, But Not So Fast

Fate of MD Constitutional Convention win unclear

Constitutional Convention unlikely, but up to MD General Assembly

“But Maryland’s constitution provides that a convention be called only when it has the support of a majority of all voters in the election, not just those who voted on the proposal, said Assistant Attorney General Daniel A. Friedman, counsel to the General Assembly.”

‘No vote’ was a ‘no’ vote on MD Constitutional Convention

Seems to me, all we ever get is double speak on this issue. For decades. What a shame.

County Exec Says 10 percent Firefighter Cuts

In the Washington Examiner, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett said Tuesday about one in 10 county firefighters would lose his or her job if voters reject a new ambulance fee as put on the November ballot as a referendum issue. (That referendum to be on the ballot was court ordered, by the way.)

87 of them at risk of losing their jobs since there are 20 vacancies. Ironically, there is an argument that residents may reconsider dialing 911 if they expect to be charged a fee.

Well, I hate to say it, but everyone had better take a look at this. While it didn’t happen here in Maryland, someone had better ask – will it?

At what cost is it to deny such services, let alone play upon people’s fears? And how much of a loss should citizens suffer due to an arbitrary decision?

Particularly in this time-frame of irresponsible overspending and careless governmental budgeting?

UPDATEx3: Arrested For Recording Police – In Public

Another Marylander Arrested for Recording the Police
According to state officials, only on-duty cops have a privacy right in public spaces.

Radley Balko | June 21, 2010


UPDATE:

Oh? Really? This week you say?

Radley Balko | July 05, 2010

UPDATEx2: AG: Recording police likely not illegal in Md.
July 30, 2010 16:10 EDT

UPDATEx3: Harford Judge says conversation not private,
tosses charges.

Right Turn Cameras??

From the latest email that I get from PhantomALERT:

A single red light camera in Riverside, California issued $1 million worth of right-hand turn on red tickets in just one month.

The automated ticketing machine installed in March at Tyler Street at the entrance to the 91 Freeway has become the most productive of the city’s cameras and now accounts for half of the citations issued by Riverside’s vendor, Redflex Traffic Systems of Australia. The camera helped boost the grand total of citations mailed since January 2007 to 82,448 tickets worth $32,532,203. As in most California cities, Riverside’s program began with tickets issued to drivers primarily at locations where the yellow light provided insufficient warning. A 2001 report by the California State Auditor found that 77 percent of tickets in major cities were issued for split-second violations. This means that motorists who harmlessly entered the intersection a fraction of a second after the light turned red were photographed and sent a ticket. In fact, the trigger is so quick in Riverside that city documents recorded four instances early this year in which the camera generated a citation when one traffic signal facing the driver displayed a red light while a secondary signal still displayed the yellow light. Tickets in these particular cases were canceled before being dropped in the mail. Over time, drivers learned the location of these cameras and traffic volume has decreased.

So the number of citations has likewise diminished. Redflex addresses this problem by regularly installing new cameras with an emphasis on those that focus on “rolling” right-turns on red. Thanks to this strategy, Riverside saw a 28 percent increase in gross revenue over all of 2007 in just the first eight months of 2009. The Tyler Street and 91 camera accounted for nearly all of the boost, generating $1 million worth of citations in April according to data obtained by highwayrobbery.net. The same camera is on track to issue $11 million annually. Despite the significant revenue figures, Riverside Police insist that the cameras have one purpose: to reduce traffic fatalities. “The red signal is red for a reason. Like the ‘Wrong Way’ and ‘Stop’ signs, the lights’ red color is intended to be a strong warning to motorists of the deadly hazard in disobeying these signs,” Riverside Police Traffic Bureau Lieutenant Ken Carpenter said in a statement. According to a 2001 review of 2001 National Highway Transportation Safety Administration report, however, a mere 0.038 percent of all crashes involved a motorist who made a right-hand turn at an intersection (view report). By the odds, such accidents are so rare that an individual could drive a billion miles before being involved in a collision that resulted from a motorist making a rolling stop on a right-hand turn.

Obstruction of Justice

With audio/video from Freedom Watch, Judge Napolitano interviews Radley Balko.

Concerns police beating of a University of Maryland student.

Watch the entire video.

SWAT Team Use In Maryland

Or, in the case of Mayor Cheye Calvos of Berwyn Heights it sounds like abuse when such a SWAT team invaded his home, cuffed his family and killed his dogs under faulty assumptions. And that isn’t the only episode in Maryland like this.

Read more …

Can This Happen Here?

Air Tran Flight 297. November 17.

You decide.