Cumberland Times-News

August 8, 2010

We’ll get a break this winter

Jan Alderton, Managing Editor
Cumberland Times-News

— 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 www.comp.state.md.us/shopmd/default.asp....

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.

md.us/meetings/ 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 jpalderton@times-news.com.