STORM WARNING

first_imgRaging Moderate by Will DurstYou don’t need a weatherman to see that the storm clouds gathering around Team Trump are serious. And since the only permanent member of Team Trump is The Donald himself, this squall is shooting straight down Pennsylvania Avenue, with that hard-candy shell of a hair-helmet above the chair behind the desk in the Oval Office square in its crosshairs.The tempest is dark and swirly with fierce offshore winds like one of those nor’easters that’s ravaged New England the last couple months. Several systems of individual flurries have begun to merge, taking on bulk and velocity, threatening to escalate into one of those upper echelon categories of blizzards.It’s the kind of storm with golf-ball sized hail that leaves dimples on car hoods and white-out conditions shutting down interstates. And American radar models forecast enough downpours to bury the president up to his ears. The European models indicate a larger depth.The barometer is dropping precipitously on several fronts. Bimbo Eruptions multiply like thunderheads on a midwestern summer afternoon including one suspiciously named Stormy. Raising the sticky question of whether paying to kill a salacious story constitutes illegal campaign contributions or just being really smart.The recent raid on the offices of Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, which seized records and perhaps recordings, has staffers quivering like a shaved poodle duct-taped to the foul pole of Wrigley Field during a night game in April. Nobody knows what sort of shenanigans Cohen was up to, but everyone suspects he is a consigliere with secrets. Fredo’s consigliere.Former FBI Director James Comey’s new book calls The Great Pretender not just a liar, but an orange unethical dangerous mob boss liar with baby hands. The president, in response, tweeted that the professional Boy Scout from the Justice Department is a “leaker and a liar” and a “slimeball.” Not an epithet normally heard coming from the highest office in the land.That’s right, the guy who paid a porn star $130,000 to keep quiet about an affair he had just months after his third wife gave birth called someone else a “slimeball.”,Which is like a hooker calling the queen a whore. Or Martin Shkreli complaining he’s being gouged at the prison commissary. Shouting that the other guy has dust on his lapels from the middle of a pig-sty.And although his sentence was commuted by George W Bush, Scooter Libby was never pardoned for his convictions of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to the FBI. So perhaps Trump remedied that situation as a signal to his associates that he doesn’t think these crimes are very important. Wink-wink, nudge-nudge. “Don’t worry boys. I got your back, your front and your sides.”His own party is pulling out the bullet-proof umbrellas. Fearing a blue wave the size of a nuclear- powered tsunami, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan didn’t just ditch the ship but the pier and the entire harbor itself.And slowly riding in on the horizon… Mueller is coming. Mueller is coming! And it can’t be too comforting that special prosecutor Robert Mueller bears a slight resemblance to the Night King from Game of Thrones. Right about now Donald Trump might be best served by looking for a fire-breathing dragon.Maybe that’s what John Bolton is for.FOOTNOTE: The City-County Observer posted this article without bias. opinion, or editing.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

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White Water

first_imgWhen I was a kid we spent a week every summer near Ocean City Maryland. Many summers, our maternal grandfather would be part of our vacation. I remember holding his hand at the edge of the ocean—giggling and screaming as the salty waves crashed at our feet.Topsail Beach, NC“White Water,” we would yell in unison trying to hop over each crashing wave. “White Water!” If we missed the white foam, we felt victorious until the next wave rolled in.A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to go rafting on the New River near Fayetteville, West Virginia. My husband’s friend is an experienced paddler and had invited us to join him on the water for a day of fun.As we drove west we watched a strong summer storm engulf the mountains and valleys in grey, yellow streaks of color and fast moving clouds.http://rivermen.com/site/gauley-river-rafting-wv/By the time we got to the river’s edge, the clouds had cleared leaving clean blue sky, rocks, and water. The first set of rapids is called Pinball falls. As the water and our boat approached larger rocks, and our rubber raft began to twist and pull under our legs, I realized the White Water in the New River  is very different from that in the Atlantic. This White Water had power the small waves of the Atlantic did not.“White Water,” I thought to myself, helmet on, paddle in hand, trying to stay in our boat as water flew across my body.My parents live on the Gulf of Mexico. Their homes are surrounded by  light blue water and white beaches. When I visit, I am reminded how calming the gentle roll of the Gulf is – most often, no White Water, just white sand.BP announced this week that 75% of the oil had been collected and removed from the Gulf. Today, we were told by the FDA it is safe to eat Gulf seafood.White Water has new meaning, once again.I am at my desk today—no water in sight. But I can think of past trips to the ocean, swims in the bay, and days on the river . I am grateful for the many opportunities to giggle and screech and leap with delight, in White Water.What does white water mean to you?  last_img read more

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Governor Wolf Signs Legislation to Regulate Recovery Homes

first_img Bill Signing,  Press Release,  Public Health,  Substance Use Disorder Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today signed Senate Bill 446 to give the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) regulatory authority to license or certify recovery homes that receive public funds or referrals from state, county, or federal agencies.“It is a priority of my administration to do all it can to fight the heroin and opioid epidemic,” Governor Wolf said. “Recovering from the disease of addiction is not an easy task and it’s our job to ensure that recovery homes, where residents should feel safe and protected, are adhering to the highest standards so residents have peace of mind to focus on getting well.”This bill was one in a package of legislation that Governor Wolf pushed for passage of earlier this year. This legislation also tracks much of the work done by the Wolf Administration’s Recovery Home Task Force, which released recommendations in July 2016 for certifying recovery homes. The task force was made up of members from law enforcement, treatment providers, recovery houses, county and state drug and alcohol agencies, and advocacy and recovery-support groups. The task force’s work helped inform this legislative action and is providing a roadmap as DDAP works to draft regulations.This bill will allow DDAP to regulate and license recovery homes, which are residences specifically for people in recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction.  Only certified recovery homes are to receive state or federal funding of any kind, and state or county courts must give consideration to certified recovery homes when housing recommendations are made for individuals under their supervision. DDAP will create and distribute regulations in cooperation with stakeholders to ensure a safe and healthy environment for residents, and to protect them from exploitation.“Recovery homes can be a supportive, drug-and-alcohol-free environment for Pennsylvanians in recovery, but without proper oversight, they can also become unsafe,” said DDAP Acting Secretary Jennifer Smith. “I applaud the General Assembly for recognizing the need for oversight to ensure that we hold recovery homes that receive public funds or referrals from state, county, or federal agencies to the same standard as other treatment facilities. This law will protect some of our most vulnerable constituents at critical time in their recovery journey.”Senator Tom McGarrigle was the bill’s prime sponsor.  Representatives Frank Farry and Tina Davis were among the many advocates for the legislation.“The addiction crisis is affecting our families in Delaware and Chester counties and in every corner of Pennsylvania; access to effective treatment is vital in turning the tide,” said McGarrigle.  “People entering the recovery process have taken the crucial first step to a better, productive and healthy life.  Approval of SB446 sends the message that we will not let that journey be cut short due to the lack of a safe and secure environment for recovery.”“Ensuring we have a strong and reliable system in place to assist recovering individuals with their journey back into society is a crucial part of addressing Pennsylvania’s opioid epidemic,” Farry said. “With Governor Wolf’s signature, we can begin working to establish specific policies and procedures for safe recovery housing and surrounding communities.”“Thank you to my colleagues in the legislature and to Governor Wolf for seeing what a critical issue having safe, secure, and clean recovery housing is for the commonwealth, both for those dealing with the disease of addiction and for the communities where these houses are located,” Davis said.Before Senate Bill 446, recovery homes were only subject to the local ordinances of the municipality or township in which they are located.For more information on treatment options in Pennsylvania, county-based resources, and the Wolf Administration’s efforts to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic, visit www.pa.gov/opioid or www.ddap.pa.gov. Governor Wolf Signs Legislation to Regulate Recovery Homes December 19, 2017center_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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