Friday, June 3, 2016

Washington County, MD Author Releases Early-Access for Identity Theft Book, Discounted Price

In his new book "Death by Identity Theft", Ken Buckler explores the many types of identity theft, its impact on victims, and how to reduce the risk for businesses and consumers.

Hagerstown, United States, June 03,2016 -- Identity Theft is quite honestly out of control. As a cyber security professional working as a Federal contractor for almost ten years, Ken has worked diligently to help protect others from this terrifying crime. In fact, he thought he had taken every precaution to protect myself and my family.

However, something he did not count on was that others would not take the same precautions. After receiving two data breach notifications from major retailers and a data breach notification from the Federal Government, he realized his identity was not as protected as he thought it was.

So he started researching, and what he found was terrifying. He knew identity theft was a serious problem in the United States, but he didn't realize just how serious.

What he has learned in the past ten years, including his past year of intense research into identity theft protection, will now be available in book form. Readers won't have to spend hours each day researching the best methods of protecting themselves, as Ken has already done that work for you.

The truth is, no-one can prevent identity theft. However, we can lower the risk, and reduce the consequences. Ken's new book, "Death by Identity Theft", aims to do just that.

Ken has setup an early access preview of his new book for only 99 cents (a $5.99 value). Those who purchase before July 1 using the coupon code "earlybird" will not only receive the full book when it's complete, but access to what Ken has written right now.

You can access the earlybird discount for his new book at https://leanpub.com/deathbyidentitytheft/c/earlybird

Sunday, March 27, 2016

School Board Member Files Peace Order Against Local Blogger

HAGERSTOWN, MD - According to sources, on March 26, 2016, Washington County Board of Education member Karen Harshman filed a peace order against local blogger Ryan Miner.

Multiple people overheard Harshman threaten to file a restraining order against Miner during the local candidate forum on March 26th.

Mr. Miner discussed with WashCo Chronicle's editor, confirmed that he believes the peace order filed on the 26th was filed by Harshman, and stated that he has made no threats against Mrs. Harshman, and does not feel the peace order has merit. Miner is aware that the order has been filed, but the order has not been served at the time of writing this article. Miner is currently consulting with his attorney, and could make no further statement. He did however, offer to forward to the editor any emails he has sent to Harshman.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

MD Governor candidate Shawn Quinn (LP), gears up for 2018 election (Authorized Reprint)

Contributor Note: This is a reprint of an existing article that was originally printed on the Liberty Chronicle Independent on March 17, 2016.  Reprint is authorized by the original contributor, David Malekar.

The following contribution is from Seattle-based independent journalist, David Malekar; who regularly publishes content to the WashCo Chronicle and other online publications.

Shawn Quinn (left) with Gary Johnson (right)
In 2014, Shawn Quinn took Maryland to a place previously unknown, in over 40 years.  Along with his Lt. Governor candidate, he was able to get the highest third party vote within the state, in 44 years.  The 2014 Governor candidate took a person-to-person approach with his campaign, to fight for the people.  His motto is, "It's About People." It truly has been the focus from day one.  Shawn had shown up for appointments and events all over the state.

Shawn was and still is currently the only candidate that is against the costly and life destroying "War on Drugs."  As Governor, Shawn is willing to help those with marijuana offenses, having them removed from their record; and allowing them to have the opportunity to succeed within the job market, again.  A protector and fighter for all amendments (freedom of speech, 2nd Amendment self defense, etc.), he will not compromise on your rights.  The plan is to cut the sales tax in half, down to 3% from the current 6% that is in place.  There is a focus on the removal of burdening and unnecessary regulations to help local businesses grow, and be created.  These are just a few changes and points, that his campaign focuses on.  (You can view previous interviews with Shawn Quinn here and here.)

With a lot more time to prepare for the 2018 election, many actions by Shawn are being put into action.  One of the campaign actions, is to make this happen for events and exposure:

Proposed campaign design Bus wrap

The following is a message from Shawn himself regarding the bus wrap:
I would just like to put this out to everyone. We are working on a bus wrap with the Libertarian party on the sides. If you can find it in your hearts to help out we could sure use $10- $20 dollars from our Libertarian friends. We are trying to have it done so we can take it to the National Convention. We will also be using it for parades this summer and any events we can get to. It will show pride in our party and our State. You can mail a check to "Citizens for Quinn" at PO box 1154, Lusby, Maryland 20657 or go to www.citizen4quinn.org and hit donate button. Please write "bus wrap" on index line of check. If we all chip in a little we can get this done. Thank you for your consideration. Live free.
Shawn is very optimistic with the road to 2018's, as he should be.  The journey for liberty and the people of Maryland has only just begin.

You can reach Shawn through his website at: citizen4quinn.org and on social media

Facebook:
Shawn Quinn for Maryland Governor
Western Maryland for Shawn Quinn
Marylanders for Quinn

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Statement from Michelle Darnell on Washington State's Non-Judicial Foreclosure and Repeal of DTA

Washington State's 48th Legislative District candidate,
Michelle Darnell (in photo)
The following is a Press Release by Seattle based contributor, David Malekar; who regularly publishes content to the WashCo Chronicle. The statement release is by Michelle Darnell, candidate in Washington state's 48th Legislative District.  Running as a Libertarian, she hopes to bring "justice, prosperity, responsibility, tolerance, cooperation, and peace" to the respective area. You may view more information at the website michelleforthehouse.com/ and contact her campaign from there.

Michelle has issued the following statement regarding the end of non-judicial foreclosure in the state of Washington and connecting crisis of homelessness, and the repeal of the Deed of Trust Act.

Statement from the Washington State 48th Legislative District candidate, Michelle Darnell:


Decrease homelessness and End non-judicial foreclosure in our state!

Homelessness is an increasing problem in our state and county. In the last two years we have seen a 40% cumulative increase in homelessness in King County, yet we have over 5k foreclosures at the moment and 0ver 2000 empty bank owned homes in the county.

This is a problem that affects us all as we search our hearts and minds for solutions.  No one wants to see veterans, children and the elderly on our street. No one wants to see their neighbors disappear one by one. No one enjoys living with the uncertainly of the housing market as it is manipulated by the banks.  The “too big to fail” banks are pillaging our communities and it is time for that to STOP.

Families around this state are being evicted from their homes needlessly; they are migrating to urban areas to look for homes and jobs. This is driving up rents. When the existing tenants can’t afford the new rents or first, last and a deposit, they are either on the street or on a couch.

We can see the signs on every corner.  We have 50,000 homeless kids in our state, yet empty homes dot the state like bodies on a battle field. What is the response?  To build tent cities and provide mobile health services. Both are admirable attempt to band-aide a situation but do nothing to address the cause.  

The smart response is to identify the cause of the homeless crisis and work to eliminate one of the root causes. Foreclosure is a quick path to homelessness.  This is why I have worked nearly 8 years to fight the foreclosure epidemic. I saw this homelessness crisis coming as I toured empty homes several years ago and listen to the tragic stories day in and day out.

We have had over 640,000 families in this state evicted from their homes, about 80% of them, unnecessarily, because they should have been offered a modification.  That is what the bailed out banks were supposed to do in return for tax payer money. But instead, the banks used the program to lure people in to default and then they foreclosed upon them. They are still doing to.

We have a WA Foreclosure Fairness Act mediation program and spent $4 million last year to save 800 homes out of over 4000 referrals. That is a failure. Why is it failing? Because the banks just go through the motions and there is no way to stop them. 

We can see the There is a mountain of case law and evidence indicating the banks have been up to no good they are breaking laws with impunity. This is a root cause of homelessness in our communities. 



This is why I will work to end non-judicial foreclosure in our state by repealing the Deed of Trust Act.

Washington State is home to non-judicial foreclosure. This means that a home may be repossessed and sold at auction by a third party “judicial substitute” called a trustee.  This trustee is actually hired by the bank but is supposed to have a duty of good faith to the borrower and be unbiased like a judge.  That doesn’t even make sense does it?  Homeowners never get their day in court and it is easier to repossess a home than a car in this state! You don’t even have to prove owners ship of the loan or how much is owed!

Washington’s non-judicial Deed of Trust system is unjust and unconstitutional, as homeowners face three additional barriers to due process:

(1) If a homeowner has cause to defend their property via a law suit, and the majority do, they MUST pay a bond equivalent to their mortgage payment each month to the court for the duration of the law suit.
(2)The homeowner is the plaintiff bringing the action so the burden of proof is on them.
(3) IF they lose, they must pay the banks attorney fees too, so filing a lawsuit is a very risky proposition.



When elected I will work to end non-judicial foreclosure in our state. I will stand up against the banking lobby and defend homeowners against the abuses they have been suffering for years. I will work to restore justice and liberty in our state.
I will introduce a bill to repeal the Deed of Trust act.

Please join me in this effort at michelleforthehouse.com.


Approved by the campaign to elect Michelle Darnell for State Rep 48th LD- Libertarian

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Hagerstown Water Contaminated with High Trihalomethanes Levels prior to 2015

Photo by Alex Anlicker
HAGERSTOWN, MD - With recent media attention to Flint, Michigan and Crystal City, Texas, local residents may be wondering if their own drinking water is safe.

The Safe Water Drinking Act requires public utilities to distribute on a yearly basis a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) listing the results for EPA regulated and unregulated contaminants.

According to the 2014 consumer confidence report, the City of Hagerstown found a level of 98 ppb Trihalomethanes, which exceeds the EPA requirements of 80 ppb. The report states:
Currently, the City of Hagerstown is operating under a consent agreement with the State of Maryland while it undergoes significant upgrades to the R.C. Willson Water Treatment Plant. Some people who drink water containing haloacetic acids or trihalomethanes in excess of the MCL over many years may experience problems with their liver, kidneys, or central nervous system, and may have an increased risk of getting cancer.
The City of Hagerstown provides water to Williamsport, Smithsburg, and Funkstown.

The 2015 CCR report was not available at the time of writing this article, nor was any data on how long the consent agreement has been in place. However, documents reaching as far back as 1980 show Hagerstown with a traditionally high concentration of trihalomethanes (THMs). The Herald-Mail wrote an article about the City's water in 2001, in which it was recommended that pregnant women only drink bottled water. Additionally, test data between 2004 and 2007 shows repeated high levels of THMs.

According to the World Health Organization, THMs are formed in drinking-water primarily as a result of chlorination of organic matter present naturally in raw water supplies. THMs include Chloroform, Bromoform, Dibromochloromethane, and Bromodichloromethane. Chloroform is a known carcinogen, while Bromodichloromethane is known to cause reproductive effects, including stillbirth.

Interestingly enough, the City of Hagerstown has posted a notice on its website that in August 2015, water treatment processes were to switch from chlorine to chloramines "in order to comply with new federal regulatory standards." The notice states that Kidney Dialysis Patients, Businesses using water for food or beverage manufacturing, commercial laundering operations, laboratory procedures, seafood handling or any other processes, or Fish, Pond, and Amphibian Owners, should take special precautions and steps for dealing with the chloramines in the water supply.

Residents interested in learning more should contact the Hagerstown Utilities Department.

Ken Buckler is the editor of the WashCo Chronicle.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Public Hearing Feb. 17 for Solar Farm Near Williamsport

Location of Solar Farm
(click to enlarge)
© OpenStreetMap contributors
Williamsport, MD - On February 17 a public hearing will be held to discuss the proposed solar generation facility near Williamsport off Bottom Road.

Pinesburg Solar, LLC, wishes to construct a 7 MW solar facility in two agricultural fields.

All documents related to the proposed facility, including a detailed proposed site map, can be found at the Maryland Public Service Commission case number 9395.

An overview of the proposed lease area for the facility is included below.

Site Plan from MDPSC 9395 Pinesburg Solar Appendix B ESD Concept Plan (Click to Enlarge)
The hearing will be held at 6 PM at Williamsport Town Hall, 2 N. Conococheague Street,Williamsport, Maryland. Members of the public who wish to comment on the matter are welcome to attend the proceeding before Public Utility Law Judge Robert H. McGowan. Members of the public unable to attend the hearing may submit written comments by Thursday, March 3, 2016 to:

David J. Collins, Executive Secretary
Maryland Public Service Commission
William Donald Schaefer Tower
6 St. Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21202

Please be sure to include the related case number with all comments. In addition to the mailed comments, the public is encouraged to use the Commission’s e-file system at www.psc.state.md.us/efile/ to provide an electronic copy of their comments.

Ken Buckler is the editor of the WashCo Chronicle. Press release provided by Washington County Government.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Voluntaryist - An Interview with the Comic to challenge your thinking

Meet Voluntaryist, the protagonist of the series
The following is a guest post/interview conducted by David Malekar, who regularly contributes content to the WashCo Chronicle. The interviewee, Jamie Sherman, the creator of Voluntaryist.  This comic series focuses on the battle for liberty and self governance/independence. You can contact the self proclaimed "Number 1 Libertarian comic universe in print" at his webpage.


DM:  Let's pull no punches; what originally sparked the idea to create this comic?

JS:  I have always been a fan of comics and general geekdom. I have collected Godzilla figures and movies since I was 5, dressed up in superhero outfits for comic book movie premiers, and have always watched the latest animated cartoons. During the Ron Paul campaign of 2012, I was excited to promote liberty and wanted to see how I could combine my interests in fantasy with my love for liberty. I began writing a movie script, but found it would be too expensive to make a decent production. I decided that I could reasonably make a comic book come to life with the advent of crowd-source fundraising, so I turned my movie thoughts into comic form and ran with an online campaign.

DM:  Pulling off such a project requires serious dedication.  Is this a project you work on during your free time, or full time?
JS:  I work on the Voluntaryist comic during my free time. It’s been a long journey that has taken countless hours. I don’t think I could have been successful if I didn’t spend entire weekends at a time reaching out to people to garner support. 
 

DM:  What has been your biggest challenge thus far with the project?
JS:  The hardest part was finding the initial fan base. The Voluntaryist Comic is premised on a philosophy that only a small fraction of the world is privy to. On top of that, those who would be initially interested would also have to enjoy comics as a medium. It took a while to build interest and support but, at this stage, the ideas of liberty have spread so far and wide that it has become easier to break into the mainstream. The acceptance of libertarian Voluntaryism as an ethical philosophy has probably grown 10-fold since I’ve started the comic, which is incredible on its own. 


Voluntaryist during a breakout moment

DM:  You've covered a lot of controversial subjects thus far (such as the NSA surveillance), what are other subjects we can expect from the series?
JS:  Readers should expect a no-holds-barred approach to all of the hottest issues with government threats: spying, police brutality, martial law, war, taxation, eminent domain, prohibition, regulation, and so on. The next issue will continue with the NSA topic and introduce Julian Assange with Wikileaks.

  
DM:  You plan on covering a vast amount of subjects.  Which one stands out to you the most and why?

JS: 
The one that stands out the most to me is the one that no one else will cover: the nature of government. I think a graphic depiction on how government function is carried out in real-world practice is needed. Too many just accept the process of how government is run through generalized mantras like “social contract,” “uniform justice,” and “public good.” I plan to give readers the exact nature of what the state is: poor service provided at the barrel of a gun.

 
Voluntaria vs the Zombies, issue
DM:  Can we expect a possible short animated film in the future?
JS:  That is my dream goal. I want to first get the origins story into a graphic novel format so it can also be used as storyboarding. If I could get the right kind of sponsorship or advertising deal though, I would be happy to make the first ever Voluntaryist 2D animated feature as soon as I possibly can.
DM:  Where can interested readers go to purchase digital and paper print copies?
JS:  We sell the comics through Indyplanet. I recommend using the sidebar at our Website, www.volcomic.com to go to the direct purchase links.

DM:  For fans who wish to provide additional support beyond just purchasing copies of Voluntaryist; do you have any other links you would like to provide;  Donations or otherwise?

JS: 
Anyone who wishes to make a non-tax-deductible gift via bitcoin can do so at our Website here: http://volcomic.com/support-via-bitcoin/ or can message me for how to get involved through sponsorship/advertisement at out Website www.volcomic.com. Otherwise, the main way we offer support is through our comic fundraising campaigns at indiegogo.com 


DM:  Overall, what do you hope that readers will take away from your series?
JS: I want Voluntaryist to reach out to a diverse audience on multiple levels. For those who never heard of the philosophy, I want this to be an opportunity to engage the ideas in an entertaining way. For those refining their beliefs, I want the comic to be an avenue for critical thought and discourse as a means to synthesize common critiques and misconceptions. For those who already buy into the philosophy, I want the comic to be a fun relief from reality that can be used to share Voluntarism with others who may otherwise be turned off to academic arguments and dry white papers. 

Voluntaryist covers many sensitive subjects of today


DM:  People such as Ron Paul, have been a major influence to the younger generation regarding the subjects of liberty and government, in the recent years.  The appeal of your comic follows the ideas of the moment, as you previously stated.  In closing, what final thoughts would you like to leave with readers?

JS:  My call to action for everyone is to start sharing the virtues of liberty with the world by first providing value to others. Help others solve problems by providing how-tos, reviews, and instructionals, and then seed the message of liberty in. We will grow true peace and prosperity when philosophy and culture combine. 

All photos provided by Jamie Sherman of the Voluntaryist





Friday, January 29, 2016

If Washington County was a Charter Government, Spong Replacement through Special Election

Washington County, MD - As reported by The Herald Mail, County Commissioner Spong resigned today after mounting controversy and even Governor Hogan requesting Spong's nomination be rejected. So what happens now?

Since Washington County is a County Commissioner form of government, the Republican Central Committee will interview and select a new County Commissioner. They will of course consider resident input, but ultimately the nomination is decided by the Central Committee.

But what if Washington County was a Charter government?

Since 1915, counties in Maryland have had the option to switch to a charter type government, in which the Executive branch is separated from the Legislative branch. County Commissioners are replaced with County Executive and council, and counties have additional legislative authority that would not require the county to go to Annapolis. This type of government is becoming very popular in Maryland, with Frederick County recently switching over to a charter government instead of County Commissioners.

One complaint of a significant portion of Washington County residents is that not enough resident input was considered during the nomination process of Spong, and that the central committee process was not transparent enough.

I am not here to take a stand and say if I felt the nomination process was sufficient. To be honest, I'm still undecided. However, I do understand if residents are concerned about the process producing a commissioner who ultimately had to resign due to controversy.

In 2014, an amendment was added to the Maryland constitution which allows charter government counties to hold special elections to replace county executives. They could already replace county council through special elections. A special election would have removed much of the controversy surrounding the nomination process.

How can Washington County become a Charter Government?

Washington County government investigated the process in 2006, and a report is available on the county website. A summary of the paths available to a charter government is below, from the 2006 report.
Click to Enlarge
Now I'm certainly not saying that a charter government would have avoided all of the controversy surrounding Spong, and I'm not saying definitively that Washington County must switch to a charter government to avoid future controversy. Far from it, even elected officials are subject to controversy, just ask Robert McKee.

However, I do feel it's worth considering for Washington County residents to take a look at the pros and cons of a charter government, and open a dialogue about the possibilities. Take a look at the 2006 report linked above, and start talking!

Ken Buckler is the editor of the WashCo Chronicle

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

WC Parents Launches "Vote Washington County" Group

WC Parents, the Facebook page for Washington County parents, has launched an initiative to keep parents informed informed of factual election and candidate information.
Vote Washington County is brought to you by WC Parents. Here you will find election and candidate information, links to articles, forums and news. Elections can be confusing and information is often missed due to our full and busy lives. We have several moderators who are here to help you and keep you updated on all the local news, especially focusing on our school board candidates.
Your moderators are: Dottie Gruhler, Michael Frevert, Stacey Green, Jen Paugh and Jennifer White.
We invite you to share factual information, events and news that would help assist your fellow community members and parents!
 Anyone interested in joining can request approval at the Facebook Group.


WashCo Chronicle is not responsible for content at external links.