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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Free Homeownership and Foreclosure Prevention Clinic

Facing FORECLOSURE. Don't know what to do or where to turn.

Don't let them take your home from you!

Prince George's County is sponsoring a Free Homeownership and Foreclosure Prevention Clinic!

UPPER MARLBORO, MD - To help reduce the number of foreclosures in Prince George's County, the Housing Authority of Prince George's County (HAPGC) will hold a free Homeownership and Foreclosure Prevention Clinic Wednesday, March 5, 2008 beginning at 2:00 p.m.

The Foreclosure Clinic will consist of two sessions: 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. and 5p.m. - 8p.m. The event will give Prince George's County residents the opportunity to attend several educational sessions that will help them better understand mortgage options. Participants also can discuss mortgage issues personally with their own lender or other qualified independent loan counselors. Attendees should bring all relevant income and expense information such as a current household budget.

For more information about this event, foreclosure prevention or to learn what lenders will be at the forum, call 301-883-HOME or visit www.princegeorgescountyha.org.

WHO:
Prince George's County Department

WHAT:
Homeownership and Foreclosure Clinic

WHEN:
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Session I - 2 to 5 p.m.
Session II - 5 to 8 p.m.

WHERE:
Show Place Arena
4900 Pennsylvania Ave.
Upper Marlboro Maryland 20772

For more information:
Denise Roberts
Press Information Officer
Prince George's County
Office of the County Executive
301-952-5381, 240-417-8013-mobile

COUNTY EXECUTIVE SUPPORTS HOUSE BILL 32

COUNTY EXECUTIVE ANNOUNCES SUPPORT OF HOUSE BILL 32

UPPER MARLBORO, MD - Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson today announced his support for House Bill 32, the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (MAIF). If passed, the bill will allow Maryland residents who use MAIF to pay their premiums in monthly or quarterly installments instead of having to pay annual premiums.

"The current requirements are just plain wrong and they do not make any sense," Johnson said. "We are one of the wealthiest states in the country and this fund has excess funds and we can do this, so I am supporting House Bill 32."

The bill is being sponsored by Prince George's County Delegate Marvin Holmes and a corresponding Senate Bill, 603, is being sponsored by Baltimore City Senator Catherine Pugh. Holmes said he has introduced this bill three out of the six years he has been in the state legislature and it is time it finally gets passed.

"The time has come and this is the right thing to do," Holmes said. "MAIF customers should be able to pay their premiums in installments."

Founded in 1972, the requirement that all premiums be paid annually was put in place because of a need for capitalization for MAIF. Now that this is no longer necessary, Johnson and legislators say it is only fair that MAIF customers be allowed to pay in installments.

Currently, there are 23,650 county residents using MAIF. Approximately 95 percent of all MAIF customers finance their payments through premium finance companies and where they are forced to pay high interest rates.

Help Make Cancer A Legislative Priority!

Help Make Cancer A Legislative Priority!

As some of you know, a number of my friends and relatives in the area are battling cancer. It is my honest belief that more can and should be done to help fight this dreaded disease. Below is what some of our legislators are doing.
Ambassadors Fighting Back through Advocacy

American Cancer Society Ambassadors are heading to Annapolis tomorrow, February 27, 2008 for our Maryland Lobby Day to fight back through advocacy by urging our lawmakers to make cancer a legislative priority. The three main issues they will be advocating for are:
1. HB 1095 and SB 513 - that would increase funding for tobacco control programs to the CDC recommended level of $63.3 million. (Sponsors are Delegate Sandy Rosenberg and Senator Nathaniel McFadden)
2. HB 460 to establish a Maryland Cancer Treatment Program to provide Medicaid coverage for one year following a cancer diagnosis for Maryland residents at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level. (Sponsor is Delegate Shirley Nathan-Pulliam)
3. HB 503 that would require a minimum of 90 minutes of physical education for grades K-5. (Sponsors are Delegates Jay Walker and Jon Cardin)
Make sure to contact your state legislators and urge them to support these important cancer issues. To find your legislator go to www.mdelect.net/
Here's a copy of our recent Maryland Legislative Report. Stay tune for more information.

Do you want our legislators to make cancer a priority? If so, then please join us in the fight against cancer by participating on an Ambassador Constituent Team (ACT!) for your district. We can not do this alone and need your help! Ambassadors are called upon regularly to contact their legislators to urge them to support important cancer issues. For questions or to join an ACT! Team, please contact me at sherry.mccammon@cancer.org
Remember.Celebrate.Fight Back
Can you picture a cure? Please help us with advocacy activities at an upcoming Relay For Life. If interested, please contact me at sherry.mccammon@cancer.org For more information about advocacy at Relay, please visit www.acscan.org/relay. To find a Relay close to you visit www.relayforlife.org/
Thank you for fighting back through advocacy!
Your American Cancer Society Maryland Government Relations Team
Sherry McCammon, Grassroots Manager sherry.mccammon@cancer.org
Bonita Pennino, Government Relations Director bonita.pennino@cancer.org

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Emergency Clean-Energy Mobilization in Annapolis

Governor Martin O'Malley is asking you to join him for an emergency clean-energy mobilization in Annapolis on Wednesday, March 5th. Really! The governor himself is asking you to stand side-by-side with him and publicly declare your support for the Global Warming Solutions Act. It's the moment we've been waiting for in the Maryland climate movement. O'Malley wants to send the strongest possible message to legislators to pass this critically important bill as lawmakers prepare to adjourn in just a few more weeks. Come hear him speak in person and be part of history.

Register at www.chesapeakeclimate.org/March5

Last week Governor O'Malley came out in "strong, strong support" of the Global Warming Solutions Act, a groundbreaking bill that would commit Maryland to 25% reductions in global warming pollution by 2020 and 90% by 2050. This bill would make Maryland a national leader in the effort to combat global warming while also creating thousands of new jobs for Marylanders in the emerging "green collar" jobs sector.

On January 17th, 400 Marylanders joined together in Annapolis to ask the governor to be a leader on this issue. He got our message and wants to join this incredible movement you started! Now we have the chance to stand next to O'Malley and call on the General Assembly to commit Maryland to tackling global warming. If you're a student, this is also an opportunity to meet with your legislators as part of "Student Lobby Day."

WHAT: Marylanders stand with O'Malley to urge the General Assembly to pass the Global Warming Solutions Act. Hear the governor and other special guests speak in a fun and timely rally. It's going to be great!
WHERE: Lawyer's Mall outside the Annapolis State House, MD. MAP
WHEN: Wednesday, March 5th @ 10:00am
REGISTER: www.chesapeakeclimate.org/March5
STUDENTS: Register for student lobby day here: www.chesapeakeclimate.org/studentlobby

See you in Annapolis,

To get more involved in the Global Warming Solutions campaign, join us for a grassroots conference call tomorrow, Tuesday 2/26 at 7pm. Learn more>>

Saturday, February 16, 2008

WHO'S Getting a Rebate from the FEDS?

February 16, 2008

Let's get those 2007 tax returns filed! Your rebate might depend on it (and other things of course).

Stimulus Package Includes Help for the Housing Market
Just in time for Valentine's Day, President Bush signed legislation to jump start the struggling U.S. economy by putting tax rebate checks ranging from $300 - $1,200 in the pockets of millions of Americans and providing incentives for businesses.

The $168 billion economic stimulus package also included provisions to help the troubled housing market, a top National League of Cities legislative priority. The package raises temporarily the limit on Federal Housing Administration - insured loans from $362,790 to $729,750, as well as the limit on loans that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can purchase from $417,000 to $792,750. Changes in these limits are intended to ease the credit crunch in the market for "jumbo" mortgages, which are often necessary in high-cost housing markets. The crunch, a fallout from the subprime mortgage collapse, has made it difficult, if not impossible for homebuyers in those markets to get new mortgages or refinance existing ones.

As far as who will receive a rebate check, most people who earned at least $3,000 in qualifying income during 2007, including through Social Security or veterans' disability benefits will receive a rebate of up to $600 for individuals and $1,200 for couples, with an additional $300 for each child. Single individuals making more than $75,000 and couples with income more than $150,000 will get smaller checks, up to the top limits of $87,000 for childless individuals or $174,000 for couples. To get any rebate, a 2007 tax return with a valid Social Security number must be filed. (Carolyn Coleman, coleman@nlc.org, 202.626.3023)

PROJECT LIFELINE

February 16, 2008

Federal Agencies Announce New Foreclosure Help
On February 12, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and HUD Secretary Alfonso Jackson announced that the HOPE NOW alliance, which is comprised of the nation's six largest mortgage lenders, would join together in a new effort to reduce the number of home foreclosure across the nation. The new effort is called Project Lifeline.

As part of this effort, the six lenders, Bank of America, Citigroup, Countrywide, Chase, Washington Mutual, and Wells Fargo, will reach out to "seriously delinquent homeowners" whose mortgages they hold and who face the greatest risk of losing their homes. Foreclosure proceedings against homeowners who respond to the outreach will be "paused" for 30 days, during which time the homeowner and loan servicer will attempt to come up with a loan modification that allows the homeowner to keep their home. Although the lenders have committed to outreach, struggling homeowners do not have to wait for a call from the mortgage servicer. Homeowners can call their servicer directly and ask about Project Lifeline or call the national foreclosure helpline operated by the HOPE NOW alliance at 1-888-955-HOPE.

Treasury Secretary Paulson said he expects the number of lending institutions participating in Project Lifeline to grow in the future. (Michael Wallace, wallace@nlc.org, 202.626.3025)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Free Shredding and Electronics Recycling

Prince George's County Sponsors:

Free Shredding and Electronics Recycling Event


LARGO, MD - The Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources (DER) will be hosting a FREE Shredding and Electronics Recycling Event on Sunday, March 2, 2008 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the T. Howard Duckett Recreation Center located at 16501 Supplee Lane in Laurel.

"This event will provide County citizens and residents with an opportunity to shred their sensitive documents and recycle their old, unwanted electronics equipment," said DER Director Charles W. Wilson.

County citizens and residents are encouraged to bring their unwanted televisions, computers, monitors, printers, scanners, cell phones, CD players, surge protectors, fax machines, radios, stereos, telephones, computer mice, VCRs and keyboards to the event for recycling. In addition, residents can bring up to 5 tall kitchen bags or 5archive boxes filled with documents to be shredded at the event.

For more information on the Shredding and Electronics Recycling Event or other recycling initiatives, call DER's Recycling Section at (301) 883-5045.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

NEWS YOU CAN USE

February 10, 2008

The Maryland Mayors Association Fall Conference concluded on Friday after the Leader-to-Leader Forum. A lot of business was conducted during the two-day conference and our State legislators made themselves available to us. One of the highlights of the Conference was the swearing in of Senator David Harrington. The Senate Chamber was packed. Senator Harrington was accompanied by his wife and son, and the Governor and Lt. Governor were in attendance. The Conference was attended by mayors from all over the State of Maryland. In total, more than 75 mayors were in attendance with 15 of them from Prince George’s County. Prince George’s County has 27 municipalities.

The following is some information that you can use and share with your constituents.

A Closed Primary Election for Prince George's County Voters

UPPER MARLBORO, MD - Prince George's County residents who wish to vote in the February 12, 2008 Presidential Primary Election are reminded that Maryland is a closed primary state, which means that voters registered as Democrats may vote only for Democratic candidates, and voters registered as Republicans may vote only for Republican candidates.

The two other recognized political parties in Maryland (Libertarians and Greens) choose their candidates by other methods so they do not appear on the primary ballots. In Prince George's County, MD there are no non-partisan races. Therefore, third party and unaffiliated registrants ARE NOT eligible to vote in the 2008 Presidential Primary Election.

OBTAINING ELECTION RESULTS FOR THE FEBRUARY 12, 2008 PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY ELECTION
UPPER MARLBORO, MD - The unofficial results of the Tuesday, February 12, 2008 Presidential Primary Election will be posted on the Prince George's County Government's home page at www.co.pg.md.us . The Prince George's County Board of Elections estimates that the unofficial election results will be posted at approximately 8:30 p.m. and will be updated every half hour thereafter. Also, the public and the media can view results at the Prince George's County Board of Elections located at 16201 Trade Zone Avenue, Upper Marlboro, MD.

Meeting Notice

Prince George's Chamber of Commerce
Small & Minority Business Committee

Special Guest, Mike Turner, SLMBE Outreach Coordinator, WSSC, Will discuss:

Doing Business with WSSC

Thursday, February 14, 2008, 8:30 a.m.,
Prince George's Sports & Learning Complex
Town Hall Room
8001 Sheriff Road
Landover, MD 20785

Please RSVP by February 11, 2008

Mount Rainier City government offices will be closed in observance of Presidents' Day. As always, our public safety services will be operational. HAPPY Presidents' Day!

Prince George's County Government Holiday Schedule for Presidents' Day
LARGO, MD - Prince George's County government offices, with the exception of public safety agencies or emergency situations requiring immediate attention, will be closed on Monday, February 18, 2008, in observance of Presidents' Day.

The Department of Environmental Resources (DER) announces that the Brown Station Road Sanitary Landfill and all waste management services and facilities, including recycling and trash collection, will operate on a regular schedule on Monday, February 18, 2008. For more information, please call DER's Waste Management Division at (301) 952-7630.

The Bus, a public transit service operated by the Prince George's County Department of Public Works and Transportation, will run all routes on a normal schedule, except Routes 51 and 51 Extended on Monday, February 18, 2008. These routes provide service to county government offices including the Equestrian Center, Upper Marlboro Courthouse, County Administration Building and the Chrysler Building. In addition, the county's Para-transit services program, Call-A-Bus, will not run on February 18. Normal operations of TheBus and Para-transit services will resume on Tuesday, February 19, 2008.

AMENDED TOW LEGISLATION HELPS CITIZENS, RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES IN PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY

UPPER MARLBORO, MD - Prince George's County Public Safety Director Vernon Herron announced today that the Office of Homeland Security Public Safety Communications and the Prince George's County Police Department hosted a special work session to introduce amended towing and impound legislation regulations under CB-35-2007. This legislation amended previous towing regulations to reduce the time a tow company has to provide notice of a vehicle tow from private property.

"With this legislation, 9-1-1 personnel will know immediately whether callers are victims of a crime or if their vehicles were subject to impound and towed," Herron said. "We worked very hard with County Council members and with the towing industry to make sure this is an effective and enforceable law that will ensure the safety of the citizens, residents and towing professionals."

The work session advised the Association of Towing & Recovery Professionals of Maryland and representatives from three local towing companies of new procedures on how tow companies must first contact the Police Department prior to the attachment and tow of any vehicle. This notification must be made to the Police Department's Teletype Section by phone or via computer.

Staff experts from the county's Office of Information Technology and Communications (OITC) provided an on-site demonstration of a new web-based software application that will help tow-professionals capture and forward specific information required by the legislation and other information as determined by the Chief of Police. Representatives from the tow companies received instruction on the use of the program and were able to submit their access registration information during the meeting.

County experts from the Police Department, OITC and Public Safety Communications were available to answer process and procedure questions. Feedback from the towing industry representatives was positive.

"We feel this software is a step in the right direction for the citizens and motoring public in Prince George's County. The towing industry is excited to work with the county and this should help lead to a more professional response by the towing industry."

For more information on the legislation and its implementation, contact the Police Department's Technical Services Division at (301) 985-3617 or via email at IVTS@CO.PG.MD.US.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Maryland Mayors Association Fall Conference

The Maryland Mayors Association (MMA) fall conference kicks off today, Thursday, February 7, 2008. As First Vice President of MMA, yours truly has been asked to preside over the conference since the President Mayor Sam Pierce will be unable to attend the conference because of illness.

Conference Agenda:
Breakfast and Orientation of new mayors
Lunch with the Mayors
MMA's Business Meeting will kick off around noon
Legislative Briefing -- MML
Leader to Leader Forum
Forum with Speaaker of the House Michael Busch and Senate President Mike Miller
Forum with Senator Ulyssess Currie, Delegate Norman Conway and Comptroller Peter Franchot
Swearing in Ceremony for David Harrington as Senator for the 47th Legislative District
Networking with other Mayors
Reception at the Governor's House

It's a busy and ambitious conference, but will provide mayors with an opportunity to bring issues to our elected officials in Annapolis, explore ways to address local issues, and share ideas with other municipalities.