Cumberland Times-News

Jan Alderton - Opinion

August 8, 2010

We’ll get a break this winter

— Amidst one of the hottest summers on record comes a forecast for how much snow we might expect this coming winter.

Joe Bastardi, AccuWeather chief long-range meteorologist, believes there will be no “Snowmaggedon” in 2010-2011 — at least not for the East Coast.

He believes the major metropolitan areas of the mid-Atlantic that were pummeled with snow last year will get a break this winter. But Chicago, Milwaukee and Minneapolis could be in for the heaviest snows of the season. The South and southern Plains may escape the worst of the winter weather with warmer and drier conditions compared to last year.

Still, all may not be quiet in the East. Bastardi is predicting that late November and December could get winter off to a fast start, followed by a major thaw for much of the country in January....

Besides cold weather and snow, winter always brings the risk of influenza. The vaccine for this winter is a three-in-one concoction that will include protection against the H1N1 strain, also known as the Swine Flu.

For the first time, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending everyone six months and older get a season flu vaccination....

Shop Maryland, the state’s tax-free week, begins today and runs through Aug. 14. Qualifying apparel and footwear $100 or less are exempt from the state’s 6 percent sales tax.

What qualifies? It is a mixed-bag list. Ear bands and ear muffs are exempt, earrings are not. Fishing vests are exempt, fishing boots and fishing waders are not. Hats are exempt, hard hats are not.

A complete list of what is taxable and what is not can be found on the Maryland comptroller’s website at

New unemployment figures for Maryland show that while the state rate fell from 7.3 percent to 7.1 percent in June, the rate for the Cumberland metropolitan area increased from 8.4 percent to 9.1 percent and the Hagerstown region moved from 9.4 percent to 9.6 percent....

The Maryland Board of Public Works — comprised of the governor, state treasurer and comptroller — is now providing a life webcastign of its meetings. Go  to http://www.bpw.state. for a look.

The board is a powerhouse, routinely approving or rejecting capital projects, land purchases, contracts for office space and leases and deciding whether to borrow money....

Highway Loss Data Institute each year tells us which vehicles are most likely to be stolen by thieves. The list is based on the volume of theft claims for individual vehicles.

Topping this year’s list of the cars thieves love to steal is the Cadillac Escalade, followed by the Chevrolet Silverado, Dodge Charger, Chevrolet Avalanche and Infinity G47 coupe.

Among vehicles least likely to be stolen are the Volvo S80, Saturn VUE, Nissan Murano, Honda Pilot and Subaru Impreza....

The comic strip Arlo & Janis that appears in the Times-News on weekdays celebrated its 25th anniversary on July 29.

Newspaper Enterprise Association, which distributes the strip to more than 600 newspapers, describes the feature as an offbeat comedy that centers  on a married couple who are learning that “one day at a time” is much more than a strategy for coping: t is a philosophy for happiness.”

Seen on the internet — Actual classified ads:

• “Free ducks. You catch.”

• “Hummels — largest selection ever. If it’s in stock, we have it!”

• “Buy your new bedroom suite from us, and we will stand behind it for six months.”

• “Tattoos done while you wait.”

• “Wanted to buy: fishing net, must have no holes.”

• Wanted: man to take care of cow that does not smoke or drink.”

Jan Alderton is managing editor of the Cumberland Times-News. His email address is


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Jan Alderton - Opinion
  • Internet sales tax coming?

    Look for Maryland legislators to zero-in on how to tax Internet sales when the General Assembly convenes next year.

    June 25, 2011

  • Frederick may lose postal jobs

    At one time, it appeared that U.S. Postal Service jobs in Cumberland would be moved to Frederick. But the agency couldn’t justify the move, so now it is considering moving Frederick’s operations to Baltimore.

    May 14, 2011

  • JAN-ALDERTON-1.jpg Their days are numbered

    Incandescent light bulbs and mercury thermometers — long staples of everyday life — are nearing extinction in the United States.

    February 27, 2011 1 Photo

  • JAN-ALDERTON-1.jpg Why not ask those who know?

    Instead of considering another survey about the condition of its streets, the city of Cumberland should turn to its own employees for input.

    January 23, 2011 1 Photo

  • JAN-ALDERTON-1.jpg Let’s test your memory

    How is your recollection of major local news events of the past year?

    December 19, 2010 1 Photo

  • Talking turkey (and more)

    While researching Cumberland Evening Times files for some information on local historical sites, I ran across several items that gave a glimpse of local Thanksgiving observances 90 or so years ago.

    November 21, 2010

  • JAN-ALDERTON-1.jpg eEdition generates interest

    Although it been less than two weeks since it was launched, the Cumberland Times-News eEdition is generating a lot of interest.

    October 26, 2010 1 Photo

  • JAN-ALDERTON-1.jpg Meetings: Still only partial sunshine

    On March 15, 1973, The Cumberland News — which was the morning newspaper published by the Times-News — carried the following column written by me about the need for more open government in Maryland.

    September 26, 2010 1 Photo

  • JAN-ALDERTON-1.jpg We’ll get a break this winter

    Amidst one of the hottest summers on record comes a forecast for how much snow we might expect this coming winter.

    August 8, 2010 1 Photo

  • JAN-ALDERTON-1.jpg Guess who’s 60? Beetle!

    A Deep Creek Lake house recently sold for $3.5 million — a record for the Western Maryland resort spot.

    July 5, 2010 1 Photo