News of interest to Calvert, Charles and St. Mary's counties that appeared in the daily Post, July 10 to 16
Monday | 11
Emergency Radio Concern
In the late 1990s, police and fire agencies started to notice interference on their radio channels from commercial users such as Nextel. In response, the Federal Communications Commission decided last year to authorize a nationwide swap in which public safety frequencies would move to the lower end of the 800-megahertz band and commercial users would move to the higher end. This three-year, $4.86 billion project officially began June 27 and will be paid for by Nextel. The project involves moving thousands of police and fire radio systems to new frequencies, and Tony Rose, Charles County's emergency communication chief, worries that in the short term it will cripple the ability of emergency responders to talk across borders. Although he praised the long-term switchover, Rose said, "The question is how many first responders are placed at risk because interoperability is down?"
Tuesday | 12
No Senate Run for Van Hollen
Rep. Chris Van Hollen ended months of speculation by announcing that he will not be a candidate next year for the U.S. Senate seat that will come open with the retirement of Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.). Van Hollen, a Montgomery County Democrat elected to Congress in 2002, had spent the past four months raising funds and traveling the state to gauge support for a possible candidacy.
Wednesday | 13
Wilson Bridge Jam Expected
Transportation officials predicted that the biggest traffic jams of the 11-year Woodrow Wilson Bridge construction project would occur this weekend. Lane closures and detours were to be in force as work crews realigned a section of the Capital Beltway.
Friday | 15
Metro to Create Riders Panel
Metro board members decided to create the Riders Advisory Council, a panel made up of rail, bus and paratransit customers from across the region to address concerns that the public transit agency is unresponsive to the public. The council would have six members each from Maryland, Virginia and the District.