Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist
Journalist @baltimoresun writer artist runner #amwriting Md Troopers Assoc #20 & Westminster Md Fire Dept Chaplain PIO #partylikeajournalist

Monday, August 22, 2016

LAX Creates ‘Celebrity Terminal’ Free of Paparazzi, Peons

LAX Creates ‘Celebrity Terminal’ Free of Paparazzi, Peons

Celebrity culture is already pretty sickening.

Mindless masses fawning after their every word and movement on-air and social media. Dedicated hours of gossip for these folks. Publicists who couldn’t shine the shoes of most PR pros. The upper-crust privileges, fashionable bootlicking, and senseless hypocrisy.

Watch how they make aluminum wheels for bicycles

Today’s verses come from Deuteronomy 31:8 and Isaiah 52:12

Today's verses come from Deuteronomy 31:8 and Isaiah 52:12

Deuteronomy 31:8- The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Isaiah 52:12 But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

For first responders, firefighters and EMS personnel, they are spot on. Mon. Aug. 22, 2016.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday, August 21, 2016. 8:45 am service at St. John Catholic Church, Westminster Md.

Sunday, August 21, 2016. 8:45 am service at St. John Catholic Church, Westminster Md. 

The new priest, Father Mark is awesome.

Father Mark's message this morning was to discuss the Olympics, the number of metals won by  the nations with the highest metal count - and the accomplishments of the athletes. Can you imagine what it would be like if we gave all the athletes a certificate of participation? 

As a member of the church, we cannot simply just show up and get a participation trophy. Keep your eyes on the prize, Jesus Christ. When did mediocre become good enough? We have to become the best version of ourselves.

We have to stop the participation trophy complex from running our lives. We run the race to win. We cannot win the race if we get a trophy for just showing up.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Westminster Eagle May 12, 2009: Crunching numbers, and historic perspective, in Westminster election

Westminster Eagle May 12, 2009: Crunching numbers, and historic perspective, in Westminster election

August 18, 2016 / KED

In recent memory, several folks have called to my attention an article I wrote after the 2009 Westminster elections.

From what I gather, there is already some interest in the Westminster municipal elections in May 2017?

After several inquiries, a friend referred to the article and sent me a link. Interestingly enough, in spite of all the changes in the last several years with the Baltimore Sun and Carroll County Times websites, the article is still on the web, for now at least. It may be found here:

Please click on the article and read it on the Baltimore Sun’s website here: Maybe if some of these older articles get enough clicks and reads, it will encourage the Carroll County Times and the Baltimore Sun to keep more of the older stories on the web.

Meanwhile, I have been through this exercise so often in the last 12-years that I began putting the well-read articles on Soundtrack, in the hopes that even if the newspapers drop the stories off the web; the stories will remain available…. Just saying

Crunching numbers, and historic perspective, in Westminster election

News Analysis

The Westminster city elections held on Monday marked 190 years of Westminster city government. The first elections in Westminster were the first Monday in April 1819.

In this past Monday’s election Kevin Utz, a Westminster Common Council member first elected in 2005, was chosen by the voters to serve a four-year term in the mayor’s office.

Utz, who previously served as the Westminster legislative body’s chair of the Public Safety Committee, is a retired Maryland state trooper and a former chief of the Westminster Fire Department.

He edged out councilwoman Suzanne Albert, great-granddaughter of former Westminster mayor David E. Walsh (May 20, 1912-May 15, 1916) by 32 votes; garnering 248 votes compared to Albert’s 216.

In 2005, when he ran for his first council seat, Utz got the nod from 505 voters.

Albert, the second woman in Westminster history to hold elected office, was first elected in 1995. Westminster voters returned her to a seat on the council every four years ever since. Albert followed Rebekah Orenstein, a council member from 1991 to 1995. 

The first woman known to have run for a seat on the Common Council was Mary Elizabeth Speicher, who gathered 275 votes in the 1967 election, which were only 28 votes short of winning one of the three council seats up for grabs that year.

Rounding out the field yesterday were former Westminster council president Ken Hornberger with 165 votes, just ahead of Dennis Frazier’s 156.

Hornberger, husband of the late former State Sen. Sharon Hornberger, served two terms previously as a Common Council member, 1983 to 1991,  several of those years as the council president.  In the 1983 election he won 194 votes and in 1987, 301. Hornberger did not stand for election in 1991.

Frazier is also no stranger to running for office. He ran unsuccessfully for council in 1993, with 305 votes, and in 1991 when he received 585 votes, for a fourth place finish in an election in which 1,224 voters turned out at the polls.

A total of 755 people voted in Monday’s election. The current population of Westminster is over 17,000 with over 7,000 registered voters. 

In only six Westminster elections in the last 45 years, since 1964, have more citizens cast votes. The highest voter turnout in that time was in 1991, with 1,224 votes cast; the lowest was in 1965 with saw only 126 voters show up at the polls. The population of Westminster in 1964 was approximately 6,500.

From 1964 to today, Westminster has held 25 elections. The average turnout is 616. The highest vote getter since 1964 was former mayor Ken Yowan, who hauled-in 887 votes in a particularly contested election in 1991.

Compare that to 100 years ago, in the contentious 1895 election, in which the hot button issue was whether to light the streets with electricity or gas.  Then, 589 citizens voted in that election, out of a population of approximately 3,000 citizens. 

That was 40 more voters than the 1890 election in which another difficult issue brought out the voters over the question as to whether or not the city ought to issue $25,000 in bonds to fix the city streets.

The main issue in this year’s election was securing adequate supplies of drinking water for the city’s almost 34,000 water users, inside and outside of the city limits.

After the results were announced Monday evening, mayor-elect Utz said the water issues will be the first matter that he will tackle after he is sworn into office at the biennial Common Council organizational meeting next Monday night.

Utz remarked, after pausing for a moment, that his election victory “hasn’t quite sunk in yet. We’ve got lots of work to do and I’m ready to get started.”

Utz was full of praise for his opponents. He said that he looks forward to working with councilwoman Albert, who retains her seat on the council.  “I fully intend to use every resource available… A great idea is a great idea wherever or from whomever it comes from… I want to thank and congratulate everyone who ran and I appreciate their willingness to serve.”

In the Common Council, two seats were open in the election, with the top two vote getters securing seats. Serving for the next four years on the Common Council will be council seat winners Damian Halstad and Tony Chiavacci. 

In a field of six candidates for a seat on the council; Halstad, a former council president, was top vote getter Monday with 512 votes compared to Chiavacci’s 478. Following in the distance were William Gill and Darcel Harris, tied with 130 votes, Eleanor DeMario, 105, and William Hughes with 58.

Halstad previously served on the Common Council from 1993 to 2005.  From 1999 to 2005 he served as the council president. In his first election, the then-31 year-old newcomer to Westminster politics garnered 597 votes. Since 1964, only 10 contenders for office have won more votes than Halstad out of over 140 candidates.

Halstad remarked after the council meeting Monday night that he was grateful to the citizens of Westminster for their vote of confidence.

Tony Chiavacci may be a young newcomer to Westminster politics, but he comes from a family used to the challenges of elected office.  He is the son of outgoing council president Roy Chiavacci. 

Although there are examples of the children of elected officials serving in office years later; more research is needed to determine if there has ever been a son of a former elected official to follow immediately in the parent’s footsteps.

It is also interesting to note that Tony Chiavacci lives in the home that was once occupied by another elected official, Russell Sellman, who owned the home from 1959 to 1973.  During those years Sellman served on the Common Council from 1961 to 1971 — seven of those years as the council president.

Tony Chiavacci said that he was “honored the citizens would come out and vote for Damian — and with such a mandate,” in a reference to his large victory margin over the next runner-up on the contest.  “I’m humbled and anxious to get started.”

The writer, Kevin Dayhoff, is a history columnist for The Eagle newspapers. He served as mayor of the city of Westminster from 2001 to 2005, following the footsteps of his father-in-law, Dave S. Babylon Jr., who served on the Westminster Common Council from 1964 to 1987 – for many of those years as council president; as did his grandfather Frank Thomas Babylon for several years in the 1890s. 

The Hill: Aetna pulling back from ObamaCare in blow to health law

The Hill: Aetna pulling back from ObamaCare in blow to health law

In a blow to the healthcare law, Aetna — one of the largest health insurers in the country — announced Monday that it will significantly scale back its presence on the ObamaCare marketplaces next year.

The move comes as a range of insurers have complained of financial losses on the ObamaCare marketplaces.
The company said it will scale back from participating in 15 states this year to just four states in 2017.

“As a strong supporter of public exchanges as a means to meet the needs of the uninsured, we regret having to make this decision,” Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said in a statement, citing a loss of $200 million in the second quarter.

The Obama administration argued the move is not a sign that the ObamaCare marketplaces are in trouble.

“Aetna’s decision to alter its Marketplace participation does not change the fundamental fact that the Health Insurance Marketplace will continue to bring quality coverage to millions of Americans next year and every year after that,” said the administration’s ObamaCare marketplace CEO, Kevin Counihan.

The move comes on the heels of pullbacks from other major insurers, including UnitedHealthcare and Humana.

The insurers have raised concerns about the sustainability of the ObamaCare marketplaces. Read more:

Recent resolutions adopted at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans stir controversy

Recent resolutions adopted at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans stir controversy #ELCA #ELCACWA

Thursday, August 18, 2016 / KED

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recently held its Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans August 8-13, 2016 -

I have come to believe that the mainline traditional denominational churches hold periodic churchwide assemblies in order to pass resolutions to alienate any demographic it has not annoyed in the last several years.

The recent Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Churchwide Assembly in New Orleans - - does not appear to be an exception. It seems that several anti-Israel resolutions were adopted at the assembly that are getting quite a bit of attention.

I am SMH – and I repeat myself here. Perhaps the ELCA missed the memo: In the world of leadership, you accumulate enemies, don’t go out of your way to make any. In a world that yearns for leadership, never miss an opportunity to sit down and shut-up when it comes to politics.

Meanwhile, when I ask many folks that have left mainstream denominational churches, why they left; I hear several themes consistently.

One they got tired of hearing that they ought to contribute more money to the church. And two, they did not want to hear from pastors about politics when they went to church. Three: going to church and listening to a thought-provoking sermon is one thing but going to church week after week and being lectured to with a wagging finger quickly gets old.

Then again, maybe too much attention has been given to the anti-Israel resolutions. From my experience, a lot is accomplished at these assemblies and perhaps it is unfair to perseverate upon the resolutions aspect of the conference. On the other hand, the social-political resolutions really appear to be unnecessary exposures and unforced errors on the part of the church. Especially at time when membership is declining and budgets are getting tighter. Read “The Shrinking Church,” by Nicole Radziszewski, in the January 2013 edition of Lutheran Magazine - Why go out of our way to annoy potential church members?

Anyway, find the recent ELCA resolutions here on the Isaiah 58 – Working for Justice and Peace in all the Earth, website: [Language added by Memorials Committee to C2 on 8/9/16] The full report of the Memorials Committee can be found here:

Look, I get it that the Middle East is a mess. I read with great interest many of the newspapers from the Middle East and for a thought-provoking Israeli point of view I read Caroline Glick -

I guess my perspective is that there is plenty of blame to go around. But we have the U.S. State Department for stuff like this. What I need is a church...

My family and I attended and volunteered at the Churchwide Assembly in Pittsburg three-years ago. It was a fascinating experience. Go here for quite a number of articles and pictures from that assembly:

At the recent Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Churchwide Assembly (CWA) in New Orleans the (ELCA) has approved two resolutions, according to multiple media reports, including this one “Lutherans Back Anti-Israel Resolutions,” by Chelsen Vicari, @ChelsenVicari, written August 15, 2016 on the website, “The Institute on Religion & Democracy’s Blog, Juicy Ecumenism.”. Find it here: Please read more of the blog here: There appears to be many thoughtful, well-written and thought-provoking articles.

Articles such as “John Wesley: Enduring Persecution” by Joseph Rossell: “Contemporary Christians committed to saving souls and promoting justice can take much courage from John Wesley’s story, as chronicled by Jake Hanson in Crossing the Divide…” and “America’s Lost Girls?” by Chelsen Vicari: “America’s girls are growing up fast. It’s the cost that’s the problem.”

Again, I am not familiar with the site. I will also look forward to see what Lutheran Magazine says about the resolutions. I will also look on the ELCA website:

I am not familiar with this writer, Ms. Vicari. This website was one of several that I found when I was trying to find more information on the resolutions adopted at the recent CWA. Much of the reaction I have read - and much of the reaction I have heard locally has not been favorable – bordering upon hysterical.

I was really looking for some information on the some of the traditional mainstream legacy media or newspaper sites and I was unsuccessful. I first heard about it on a segment on NPR. Yea – well. Big surprise there. I guess if the Lutherans had adopted pro-Israel resolutions, NPR would have missed it.

Ms. Vicari explains: The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has approved two resolutions advanced by anti-Israel activists including a push to end all U.S. aid to the Jewish state until the “military occupation of Palestinian land” ceases, according to CBN News. The resolution was adopted in an overwhelming 751 to 162 vote during the Mainline Protestant denomination’s triennial Churchwide Assembly held in New Orleans August 8-13.

“The two resolutions were recommended by Isaiah 58, a group of Lutheran anti-Israel boycott activists. ‘In our Affirmation of Baptism, one of the five promises we make as Lutherans is to ‘work for justice and peace throughout the earth,’’ commented Jan Miller, a Rocky Mountain Synod member and Isaiah 58 leader in a press release. “By adopting this investment screen, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is taking an important step to ensure that we are not profiting from, or complicit in, injustice in the Holy Land and elsewhere.”

One site, among many, that took exception to the resolutions, is a site called “Exposing the ELCA,” by Dan Skogen, a “former ELCA seminary student and former ELCA member who is fed up with the ELCA's consistent mockery of God's Word.”

This appears to be a rather angry site. Much of the anger that caught my eye were anti-LGBT matters, of which I simply do not care with the exception that I sure wish the church would simply stay out of these matters….

Skogen wrote “ANTI-SEMITISM REIGNS IN THE ELCA: TWO ELCA VOTES URGE AN END TO U.S. AID TO ISRAEL AND FOR A DIVESTMENT PLAN AIMED AT ISRAEL” on August 14, 2016, “The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has long been an enemy of the Jewish State. (see here) Earlier this week, at the ELCA’s Churchwide Assembly, the ELCA voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the United States government to end all aid to Israel until a list of ELCA demands are met. (Note that they did NOT call for the stoppage of U.S. aid to “Palestine” which takes foreign aid money {see here}, intended for humanitarian causes, and uses them for weapons, military terror tunnels, etc., in their quest to kill Jewish men, women and children.)” Read more here: It is not light reading.

Oh, one comment caught my eye: by Didaskalos on August 17, 2016: “Dan has 12 categories (links) of ELCA heresies/apostasies on his home page, the last of which is "Other Critical Issues." If he were to link and list each of the ever-expanding list of ELCA heresies/apostasies separately, he'd have one of the longest home pages on the Internet.

“Cost-cutting suggestion for the ELCA corporate heads at its Higgins Road HQ: Copy all the Democrat Party platform planks and Planned Parenthood talking points, and paste them onto your home page as your adopted tenets of belief. As you keep having to lay off personnel because of continuing member and dollar losses, simply copying and pasting the world's latest godless fads onto your website will require fewer staff members.”

Another thought-provoking comment came from “Dave from Minnesota,” “I clicked on your link to their Twitter feed, then scrolled down and read a large number of them. Not a lot of traditional Biblical based pronouncements. But a lot of liberal political ones:

“Anti coal and oil statements (I'm sure those ELCA churches with declining enrollment in the upper Midwest would love to see their heating bills doubled or tripled) For open borders Anti-Israel Pro-Black Lives Matter Mandated anti-racism training for church leaders and staff…”

A more balanced approach appears in the publication, “The New York Jewish Week.” In an article “Lutherans’ Moves Against Israel Seen As ‘Balanced’” on August 16, 2016, by Steve Lipman -

“The largest Lutheran denomination in the United States last week approved a pair of resolutions that, like those adopted in recent years by other prominent Protestant groups, is critical of Israel.

But, said observers of interfaith relations, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, at its triennial assembly in New Orleans, did not adopt more strident resolutions proposed by several local church councils around the country. One of the adopted resolutions favored an “investment screen” that would guide church members’ investments in U.S. corporations that do business in Israel, rather than a direct call for divestment from these firms.

And the language of the adopted resolutions, which urge the U.S. president to “recognize the State of Palestine” and encourage church members to “increase positive investment in Palestine,” offers a more balanced approach to Middle East issues than some other churches’ resolutions, the observers said.

The Lutheran resolutions, coming two months after the Presbyterian Church (USA) adopted a report that representatives of the Jewish community characterized as more balanced than that denomination’s past resolutions, and three months after a committee of the United Methodists rejected four divestment resolutions, may represent a small move in some Protestant circles away from automatic support for the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement and towards positions that hold both Israelis and Palestinians responsible for progress in the Middle East peace process.


1898 New York City Fire apparatus and equipment ads


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

WaPo: the ObamaCare component of President Obama’s legislative legacy

WaPo: the ObamaCare component of President Obama’s legislative legacy

August 16, 2016 / Kevin Dayhoff

When I was younger I loved writing about such things as the practice of medicine in Carroll County history and presidential history. Nowadays, not so much. But this is a rather fascinating academic assessment of one aspect of President Obama’s legislative legacy: “Obama’s legislative legacy comes down to this question: What if?” by Mike DeBonis:

“President Obama’s landmark health-care law came with a steep political cost, leaving a host of questions about his legislative legacy: Could health-care reform have been done in a different way? Could Democrats have kept control of Congress for another two years or more? Was Obamacare worth it?”

Anyway, I would rather have a root canal than talk with even good friends about the presidential election.

I recently read a piece on Facebook by a pastor that I have always looked-up to, who chastised another pastor for wading into the political waters because he advocated voting for a particular candidate.

Then this pastor proceeded to say disparaging things about one party and write glowingly about the other party. He essentially committed the same offense, only it was okay that he did it because he advocated voting for the opposite party than the pastor he had just chastised for advocating a political position... 

When I ask many folks that have left mainstream denominational churches, why they left; I hear several themes consistently. One they got tired of hearing that they ought to contribute more money to the church. And two, they did not want to hear from pastors about politics when they went to church.

As for President Obama’s legislative legacy - I know that if I ever went back into political office, I would sidestep some of the issues I took-on head-on years ago when I was an elected official. The price was simply far too high. I will forever shake my head over some of the legislative initiatives of past presidents. You would think that at that level of accomplishment, one would learn to avoid the perils and pitfalls of political third-rails.

For some additional context on the legacy of ObamaCare, read a recent article in The Hill on "Aetna pulling back from ObamaCare in blow to health law - In a blow to the health care law, Aetna -- one of the largest health insurers in the country -- announced Monday that it will significantly scale back its presence on the ObamaCare marketplaces next year..." Find it here:

Well, I am not a fan of Aetna – so I am not sure if this is a good thing or not…

Moreover, it is still far too early to determine the historic legacy of President Obama. Just like, for example, President John F. Kennedy and Harry Truman; from an historian’s point of view, some aspects of these administrations have stood the test of time well. Some not so much. I mean what in the world was President Truman thinking when he tried to nationalize the steel making industry? My partisan friends will not be amused to learn that presidential historians have come to consider President Bill Clinton as a conservative president and President Nixon a liberal president. Go figure.

Nevertheless, in addition to the recent article on the ObamaCare marketplaces, a number of business periodicals have carried recent articles that explain that once again, this year, the rise in the cost of healthcare is greater that wage increases.

For those of us who felt strongly that health insurance companies had abrogated its social contract with the greater community and that healthcare reform was an absolute necessity; many feel that we have taken two steps forward and three steps back. Take for example, pre-existing conditions. The position of the insurance industry to deny coverage to individuals because of pre-existing conditions, was nuts.

In the last several years I have worked closely with the healthcare delivery system on behalf of several family members and loved ones and my reaction is a mixed-bag.

Several steps into the local hospital and one enters a wormhole in which you quickly find that you are no longer in Carroll County. An esteemed local community leader who commented with the implicit understanding that he would remain anonymous, has recently reassessed his past glowing perception of the hospital and explained that today, “it is a very angry place. Avoid it.”

I have witnessed a number of folks retain attorneys before beginning negotiations with issues with respect to old-age care. In an era when many doubt that government can anything well, Medicare continues to be efficient and effective – but extraordinarily nuanced and complex. Regular folks going to the hospital do not stand a chance and they learn quickly that the social worker health care advocates are not on your side.

Anyway, give “Obama’s legislative legacy comes down to this question: What if?” by Mike DeBonis a read. At a time when so much partisan drivel is passed-off as journalism, Mr. DeBonis has presented non-partisan history junkies with a good read. Just saying. 

Friday, August 12, 2016

Training never stops at the Westminster Vol. Fire Dept.

Training never stops at the Westminster Vol. Fire Dept. Almost 20 firefighters gathered for a class and discussion of tactics with house fire scenarios. #trainingneverstops Aug. 12, 2016

Enjoying the 50th anniversary events at the Carroll County Farm Museum.

Enjoying the 50th anniversary events at the Carroll County Farm Museum. Especially the oxen Jim and Jack and the handler Diana. Aug. 12, 2016

Grow up with Postum - February 1, 1947

Grow up with Postum - February 1, 1947

February 1, 1947

Grow up with Postum. Three easy ways to better living. Avoid tomorrow’s caffeine habit – give him Postum with milk today.

I remember Postum well. But the idea of using Postum as a child, in an attempt to stave-off a coffee addiction later in life, did not work very well for me.


Mechanic: Resurrection Official Trailer #1 (2016) - Jason Statham, Jessi...


Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Official Trailer #1 (2016) - Tom Cruise, Cob...


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story "Behind The Scenes" (HD)

Published on Aug 11, 2016
Check out this stunning behind the scenes look at the making of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.

For more information, trailers, and showtimes on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story visit:


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer (Official)

Published on Aug 11, 2016 Watch the official trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, in which a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story arrives in theaters December 16, 2016. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

U.S. Department of Justice investigation of the Baltimore City Police Department

U.S. Department of Justice investigation of the Baltimore City Police Department

August 9, 2016 - Document: U.S. Department of Justice investigation of the Baltimore City Police Department: “The full report of the Justice Department's investigation into Baltimore police, which found the department routinely violated the constitutional rights of residents.” Courtesy of the Baltimore Sun

Related – see also: DOJ report starts years of costly reform efforts in Baltimore

Law Order Police, Public Safety Law Order, Baltimore, Baltimore Police, MD Baltimore city crime, Crime, US Dept of Justice, Police,