3 Ways Virginia Reckless Driving Attorneys Challenge Traffic Radar

3 Tech Flaws Inherent to Traffic Radar Design: Exposed by a Virginia Reckless Driving Attorney

It is no secret that in most states, radar technology has long been used by police departments to issue tickets. Some states use cameras (such as Maryland), but regardless of how one is caught, the risks are greater in some states — such as the Commonwealth of Virginia — where 20 over the limit is a crime. Furthermore, there are relatively low speed limits in some portions of the most populated county in Virginia, Fairfax County.

Why care about radar technology flaws?

In the Northern Virginia, D.C., and Southern Maryland area, many people have government jobs, or are working for federal contractors. Security clearances are a big issue, including the maintenance of status as well as the ability to obtain one. A criminal record can cause issues in some cases.

The good news is that the primary way police officers in Virginia (state level, county, and city) determine a target vehicle’s speed is through the use of technology… and technology is not perfect.

Devices used to commonly measure speed in Virginia includes:

  • Stationary Radar
  • LIDAR (a radar laser device relying on pulses instead of Doppler)
  • Moving-Mode Radar (radar located in a police cruiser)

Radar devices suffer some of the same inherent flaws as their laser-based counterparts; in other ways, radar devices have flaws which are eliminated by the introduction of laser technology (and vice versa). The same is true for stationary radar vs. moving-mode radar. You can learn more from a local Fairfax reckless driving attorney who explains in great detail, the variations in ways to challenge accuracy depending on device. This article provides an overview of traffic radar, not laser radar.

Fairfax County is the largest (most populated) county in Virginia. Many, many reckless driving charges arise each week (for sake of comparison, it is often comparable to the number of possession of marijuana charges for that time period). It could be due to the Dulles Airport and surrounding roads, including the Fairfax County Parkway (route 267), and other trouble spots such as I-66, I-95, 295, 395, and 495.

3 Ways a Northern Virginia Reckless Driving Attorney Might Challenge a Radar Reading

Operator-error and tech flaws are often different and unrelated topics, but on occasion, an operator-error is induced by a technologically rooted flaw. And in that same light, a flaw may become exposed or made worse by operator-error. The following three are more related to the technological flaw issues: margin of error; harmonics; and, speed tolerance.

For purposes of the following 3 technological flaws of traffic radars: Margin of error means exactly what it sounds like, and needs no background introduction. “Harmonics” refers to stray echoes — or, return signal frequencies — when radar is used. “Speed tolerance” has to do with the rate at which a vehicle increases or decreases in speed.

Margin of Error

Some stationary radar devices (i.e., side of road speed trap) have a margin of error of about 1 mph.

Moving-mode radars are radar devices inside of a police-cruiser. These units may have a higher margin of error, because not only do they rely on signals from the target vehicle, but the cruiser speed, as well. (the cruiser speedometer is not perfect and has a margin of error of its own, thereby increasing the overall margin of error for a moving-mode device in relation to a stationary unit). The margin of error is about 2 mph, in many cases.

In a close case (for example, a 55 mph zone where it is alleged the defendant traveled at speeds of 75 or 76 mph) the margin of error may be an issue well worth defense counsel’s examination and attention.

Harmonics

Harmonics may be thought of as false signals as a result of amplified, stray echoes. Large objects — particularly those that are long, flat, and continuous — may lead to this effect. When this technological flaw is present, the speed reading on the radar device could be many times higher than the true speed of the vehicle.

Speed Tolerance and Change in Speed

Radar uses frequency measurements to determine reflections echoed from a wave bounced off of an object in motion. The time it takes is the:

Radar Integration Cycle

The ability of the radar to track and process speed accurately depends on its’ speed tolerance: if a vehicle changes speed at a rate greater than the traffic radar’s speed tolerance level, the result may not be accurate at all. For example, if a vehicle stops at a rate of 1 mph or more per radar integration cycle (often this is about a tenth of a second, but some older devices could be 2 seconds), then accuracy issues are likely present.

Comparing PACK-RAT and PODS Storage Containers

In the world of portable storage units, PACK-RAT and PODS are two of the largest companies in the United States. Both companies promise fantastic service and a safe place to store your goods but how do they compare to one another?

History PACK-RAT was founded in North Carolina in 2001 but has its headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland. The company claims to serve 240 million people and was named as one of 2010’s Top 15 fastest growing franchises by Franchise Times. The company initially used a giant waterproof container which was given the name PACK-RAT because it was said to have the ability to store anything.

PODS were founded in Clearwater, Florida in 1998 and this is where its headquarters remains. It serves every state in mainland America and has expanded to include Canada, Australia and the UK. It is estimated that PODS manages 2,500 pickups and deliveries a day in the United States alone. It has over 140,000 containers in service and is believed to have delivered more than 1 million units in its history to date.

Containers PACK-RAT offers customers a choice between a 12 foot and a 16 foot container. Their website provides a guide to help you find out how much you can place in either container and they also have a customer service representative to help you. Its containers have steel frames and aluminum skins with a built-in rack. The door on each unit swings open and can be locked.

PODS offer three different container sizes: 8x8x7, 8x8x12 and 8x8x16 (feet). The company also has an online storage guide to help you decide which container to choose. PODS containers also have steel frames and come with a polymer top designed to allow light to get in. Each container’s door is a special roll up/down model which can be locked.

Service While both companies claim to offer top notch service, it seems as if PODS has the edge in this battle. Although PACK-RAT can deliver their units the day after you order, it takes far longer for it to pick it up when compared to PODS, a company known for delivering the unit within 24 hours and picking it up 24 hours later if you are ready. According to various customer reviews, the customer service offered by PACK-RAT leaves a lot to be desired. In comparison, PODS are renowned for their flexibility and going the extra mile to accommodate their customers.

Cost In general, PODS appears to be more expensive but usually by less than 10%. For example, a family looking to move goods from their 3 bedroom house from one area of their state to another could expect to pay in the region of $430 with PODS while PACK-RAT would charge $390 (these are just estimates based on one customer’s experience). However, the general consensus is that you definitely get what you pay for with PODS.

Verdict Although PACK-RAT is a promising company, it is not quite at the level of PODS when it comes to experience and quality of customer service. While both self storage companies are worth looking at, PODS has the decided advantage.

How Is Healthcare for Children Handled After Divorce?

One very important, yet often overlooked, aspect of the outcome of a divorce is providing healthcare to children. Who’s responsible for the cost, and how is this determined? How do healthcare expenses get weighed among other expenses? Here, we’ll take a broad look at the issue of a child’s healthcare post-divorce.

The most general and common rule of thumb in this matter is that the parent who claims the child or children on their tax return as dependents, is the parent who is responsible for obtaining and paying for healthcare insurance. Keep in mind that the parent claiming the child as a dependent is not always the custodial parent, so that’s another issue to consider on its own.

Whether both parents have a full-time employer, and have health-insurance through that employer, also factors in. If only one parent has health insurance from his or her employer, it will in all likelihood be that parent who provides healthcare insurance to the child. If both parents have health insurance policies from their employers, then a primary and secondary policy can be dictated.

Beyond that, there are also additional and related costs to take into account outside of the actual insurance premiums. Consider the costs of co-pays, deductibles, medication, non-covered expenses, and all the rest that factors into a child’s actual health and wellbeing. These expenses may be hashed out as part of the divorce settlement itself.

Another factor to consider is that the cost of healthcare may in some instances be factored in to a Court’s alimony award. Additionally, healthcare expenses for a child will be factored into the Court’s determination of child support pursuant to the state’s specific guidelines. So whether one of the parents is obligated to pay healthcare expenses for the other, as well as the child, and whether those are classified as child support, alimony, or separate matters, are all factors to consider.

Finally, keep in mind that different states may have different requirements or legislation in place which specifically dictate or mandate how healthcare for children after divorce should be handled. Further, the entire healthcare realm in the United States is always ebbing and flowing, and there could be more changes on the horizon, too.

That’s why it’s always important to consult with an experienced and qualified professional in your local area before taking action. He or she will be able to advise you on potential courses of action and what the best decision will be, not only for the parents, but for the children themselves.

Celebrating Independently-Minded Women In America

Fighting For Women's Rights & Education

From early on, women bought for their rights – whether it was to own land, to give girls the opportunity for a good education, or for equal rights in the workplace. Here are some women who stand out in history:

Margaret Brent: In 1639, Brent became the first female landowner in Maryland. A close friend of Governor Leonard Calvert, he appointed her the executor of his estate. The Provincial Court appointed Brent as Lord Baltimore's attorney-in-fact in 1648 and, as part of her duties, she made sure soldiers were paid and fed and her actions helped to avoid mutiny in the colony. She was a significant finding settler of both Maryland and Virginia. She was also the first woman in North America to appear before a common law court.

Sarah Josepha Hale: The author of the nursery rhyme "Mary had a little lamb" was a fiercer supporter of education for girls. After her husband's death in 1822, Hale launched her writing and magazine editing career to support her five children. She was instrumental in changing minds to allow girls into professions like teaching, and later medicine.

"In this age of innovation regardless no experiment will have an influence more important on the character and happiness of our society than the granting to females the advantages of a systematic and thorough education." – Sarah Josepha Hale

Gloria Steinem: In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Steinem became nationally recognized as the spokeswoman for the feminist movement. She is a journalist and social and political activist and is currently speaking about the issues of equality through the world.

In 1920, American women got the right to vote – after 70 years of fighting for this right. Over the years, there were many women who helped fight for the right to vote. Here we highlight some of the most prominent:

Lucy Stone: In 1847, Stone became the first woman in Massachusetts to earn a college degree. She was a vocal advocate for women's rights and the abolition of slavery at a time when women were discouraged and even preverted to speak in public. Stone kept her maiden name after her marriage – something that was strictly frowned upon at the time. She founded the Woman's Journal, a weekly magazine about women's rights.

Lucretius Mott: Mott believed that the roles women played in society at the time were due to limited education, not inferiority. She supported equal political rights and economic opportunities.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton: Stanton helped form the first women's rights convention in 1848, with Lucretia Mott.

"Self-development is a higher duty than self-sacrifice." – Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Women In Politics

Not so long ago, women were not allowed to participate in political affairs. Here are some women who helped change the gender gap in politics:

Jeannette Rankin: Selected in 1916, Rankin was the first woman in Congress. Prior to joining Congress, she was a professional lobbyist for the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), and her efforts helped women in Montana to gain the vote in 1914.

"I may be the first woman member of Congress, but I will not be the last." – Jeannette Rankin

Eleanor Roosevelt: The wife of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, she dramatically changed the role of the first lady through her active participation in American politics. During her husband's presidency, Roosevelt wrote a newspaper column, cave press conferences, and spoke about human rights, children's causes, and women's issues. After his death, she became the delegate to the United Nations and served from 1945 to 1953. She also served as the chair of the UN's Human Rights Commission.

"Women are like teabags. You do not know how strong they are until you put them in hot water." – Eleanor Roosevelt

Madeleine Albright: In 1993, Albright became the US Ambassador to the United Nations. In 1997, she was appointed as the first female US Secretary of State. In 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Albright holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University, as well as numerous honorary degrees.

Women In Sports, Adventure, And Entertainment

A woman can hold their own when it comes to adventure, entertainment, and sports. Here are some of the women who excelled:

Amelia Earhart: An aviation pioneer, author, and idol to many, Earhart was the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. She helped form The Ninety-Nines, an organization supporting female pilots. She was also an adviser to the aeronautical engineering faculty at Purdue University and a career counselor to female students. In 1937, she disappeared near Howland Island during an attempt to make a circumnavigation flight of the globe.

"The woman who can create her own job is the woman who will win fame and fortune." – Amelia Earhart

Florence Chadwick: Chadwick was 32 years old when she became the first woman to swim the English Channel both ways in 1951. She attempted the crossing ten times, of which she successfully completed four legs.

Katherine Hepburn: This leading lady was known for her fiercely independence and outspoken personality. Hepburn wore trousers before it was fashionable for women to do so and lived her life independently and out of the spotlight. During her career of more than 60 years, Hepburn won four Academy Awards for Best Actress. She died in 2003.

High-Achievers

Many women have great results every day, but here are some pioneers:

Bridget 'Biddy' Mason: Born a slave, Biddy had to fight for her freedom in an LA court in 1856. California, where she lived at the time, was a free state, but her 'owner', Smith, wanted to move them to Texas, where slaves were not free, to sell his slaves there. After winning in court and becoming free, she worked in Los Angeles as a nurse and midwife. She became one of the first African-Americans to purchase land in the city. A real-estate businesswoman, she accrued a reliably large fortune for the time – nearly $ 300,000 – which she generously shared with charities.

Ellen Swallow Richards: Richards was an industrial and environmental chemist, and the first to apply chemistry to the study of nutrition. She was the first woman admitted to any school of science and technology in America, and also the first woman to obtain a degree in chemistry. She graduated from MIT in 1872.

Winifred Edgerton Merril: Merrill was the first woman in the US to obtain a Ph.D. in Mathematics and the first to receive a degree from Columbia University. She achieved her Ph.D. with high honors in 1886. She was instrumental in the formation of the Barnard College in 1889, New York's first institution to award women a degree in liberal arts. She also founded the Oaksmere School for Girls in 1906.

Elizabeth Blackwell: In 1849, Blackwell became the first female physician in the US and the first woman listed on the UK Medical Register. Originally born in Britain, Blackwell had to fight to get permission to study and work in the medical field. She advocated for the education of women in medicine.

Sandra Day O'Connor: Appointed in 1981, O'Connor became the first woman justice on the US Supreme Court, a position she held for 24 years.

5 Surprising Statistics About Gray Divorce

“Gray divorce” is a phrase which represents older couples who embark upon divorce, and it’s become a term used more widely as it has become a more widely used option by such couples. More specifically, gray divorce refers to individuals over the age of 50, who are in their first marriage, or a very long-term marriage. Here are some facts, stats and numbers on gray divorce which may be surprising to learn.

25 percent: Of all people being divorced in the United States, 25 percent of them are over the age of 50. Clearly, gray divorce is on the rise. Exactly how much is it on the rise?

Gray Divorce Has Doubled: Since 1990, the divorce rate for couples who are both over the age of 50 has doubled. And 50 years old isn’t even the only demarcation point of interest either.

65 years old: 10 percent of all individuals being divorced in the United States are 65 years or older. For people who were surprised by the 25 percent rate at age 50, this is likely even a greater surprise. The divorce rate here has more than doubled since 1990.

Half: Half of all gray divorces are from first marriages. As acknowledged above, this is not a de facto “requirement” to be considered a gray divorce, as long-term marriages also apply, but half do fall into the first marriage department.

55 percent: This is the number of gray divorces which are from couples married for longer than 20 years. There’s no exact or hard limit on what constitutes a “long-term” marriage, but it is interesting to note what a high percentage qualify at two decades or longer. Of course, this statistic and the one above on first marriage are not mutually exclusive.

There are many reasons, or theories, on why this type of divorce is increasing, and doing so rapidly. Everything from life expectancies on the rise, to greater opportunities and independence for women, to new thinking on happiness and happy marriages may contribute, among a range of additional factors.

If anything, looking at the latest trends, facts, and information helps to shed light on the subject. For someone who may find themselves in a similar situation, it may also help them to normalize the subject for themselves, or reinforce their beliefs, knowing that others are going through the same things. Of course, anyone considering a divorce should consult with a qualified attorney in your local area who will be able to provide you with more information on the best course of action for someone in your particular circumstances.

If I Do not Make It Back, Tell My Mom I Love Her

I doubt many of you have heard of Antietam Creek. I had not either until visiting the Washington DC area this weekend. Antietam Creek is a tributary of the Potomac River located inn south central Pennsylvania and western Maryland and the site of the most deadly single day battle during the Civil War. Over 23,000 young men died that day. 23,000.

The property is huge and spectacular in beauty. The day I was there, it was raining steadily and the newly arrived spring time greenery in the surrounding forest was a sight to behold. That is what makes visiting Civil War battlefields so very poignant. The fact that these pastoral scenes were the sight of so much bloodshed is heartbreaking.

On one particular site, called the Bloody Lane, 5600 men lost their lives. Some of these 'men' were 13 and 14 years old. While meditating in this now peaceful scene, I was acutely aware of these boys. "If I do not make it, tell my mom I love her." This comment was written in a small bible found at the scene.

When it comes right down to it … the most precious gift of all is our love for one another. Love is what we all want to leave to our closest family. Love is what transcends all other wishes. Love is YOUR destiny and your legacy. I wonder if you are loved enough. I wonder if you know how lovable you are. I wonder if you believe there is more love for you right now.

Visiting the many bloody battlefields of the Civil War has changed me. I always was passionate about love and creating experiences so that people can find their own True Love. But now, the mission is magnified. Love IS all around us at all times and yours if you are with your soul mate or not. If you are lonely and aching to be connected to someone who will love you like no other, do not wait another minute. Take the steps to change your SELF so that you are irresistible to the Love you are seeking.

Secrets of the Chesapeake Bay Revealed

The Upper Chesapeake Bay has been receiving a lot of notoriety over the last few years due to the improved catch rates and overall weight increases reported in the tournaments. While the true river rats have known of this bass fishing hotbed for some time now, the recent success is attracting clubs from all over Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and even as far away as New York. Most of this pressure has converged on the Elk River, and the Tyding's Park area in Havre de Grace, Md., Since these areas provide more than adequate launching and parking facilities that are necessary to hold the tournaments. Many of the smaller club tournaments also start from the Northeast and Elk River areas. With this influx of angling pressure, many of the traditional hot spots have become increasingly crowded during the weekends, and have forced anglers to make longer and longer runs in search of untapped bass waters. Many of these anglers have now discovered that the 20-30 minute drive through sometimes rough and unsafe water, to the Sassafras River, has been well worth the effort.

Ramp and Launching Locations

The following locations and patterns, have not only produced tournament winning limits, but have produced over 100 bass in the 5-6 pound range, over the last 5 years, from this river. These are true "Trophy" bass for a Northeastern River system.

The Elk River, via Elk Neck State Park, is probably the most popular, due to it's more than adequate parking facilities, and close proximity to the Sassafras. This is only a 10-15 minute drive from the Sassafras.

Tyding's Park and Marina, located in Havre De Grace, Md., Is the farthest, and most difficult drive to access the Sassafras River. We launch from this area only when we have located good numbers of bass on the Susquehanna Flats or in the nearby coves or docks of the Northeast. The drive from here can be dangerous in the early morning fog and heavy boat wakes in the Spring and Summer. At 55 mph, it takes about 25 minutes to reach the first starting point on the Sassafras. The best area to launch in the Sassafras is in Duffy Creek, located right behind the Granary Restaurant, on Sassafras Street, in the town of Galena. This is a private marina, with average parking facilities, and a good ramp. It is a pay per use facility, and charges a daily fee of $ 5.00.

The second area to launch is the public boat ramp on Sassafras Street, right before the restaurant. This is a small boat only ramp, but it is adequate for launching most bass bass at the proper tide. In low tide situations, this can be a tricky ramp, so great care should be taken during these times, as it is extremely shallow, and has ruined many boat prop and hull. The next spot you can launch is a "permit only" ramp located in Turner's Creek. This area has the most parking, and offers a middle of the river launch site.

When and Where To Go – Turner's Creek

Although the Sassafras offers excellent fishing all times of the year except the winter, the Early Spring is the best time to start. Spring on the Sassafras is similar to any other body of water, in the respect that the bass's life revolves around the spawning process, and the location of spawning areas. The Sassafras normally hold bass in almost every area of ​​the river, but at this time of year, it suddenly shrinks to a few, and eventually, two major creeks.

In the early pre-spawn, largemouth can be found in the emerging grasses and the wood cover, in locations such as Hall's Creek, Freeman, McGill, Turner, DuPont, and Lloyd's. As the spawn gets even closer, they make their way to Turner's and Lloyd's almost exclusively.

Turner's Creek offers a huge amount of diverse cover for bass. There is a narrow entrance to this creek where the main river channel runs right along a wood laden bank with a steep drop-off. Pre-spawn bass lay along this drop at depths from 2-18 feet, all of which is loaded with laydowns and emerging vegetation. Directly next to the entrance is a small bay loaded with lily pads and several varieties of emerging grasses, on a slow tapering bank, that historically levels off into the main river channel. This area at the entrance to Turner's Creek, is one of the 2 major staging areas for largemouth in the Sassafras. The Western shoreline of this creek is totally covered with what are emerging lily pad root systems, that are mixed in with several varieties of vegetation, including Milfoil and Hydrilla. Many bass choose these root systems to spawn. The Eastern shoreline offers a hard sand and rock bottom, along with vegetation, that mixes in with a number of large boat docks. The bass use the docks, and standing and declining tribulations to hold on, and eventually make their beds on, to escape the current and predators which are prevalent in the river.

Lure Selections and Strategy

When targeting pre-spawn bass at the entrance of the creek, spinner baits are our weapon of choice. Terminator spinnerbaits in the 3/8 and ounce sizes, with tandem blades are top producers in these areas. "Spotsticker" Custom spinnerbaits, along with "Tru-Tungsten's" series, and B & D lures, Evilution V spinner bait also take their fair share of bass in this area in the spring. Color is not that important this time of year in the stained to muddy water, but we have had the best success with baits that imitate the shad, in white / chartreuse, and in "Golden Shiner" patterns. If the water is truly "muddy", then we will use a darker skirt many times.

When we are looking for that one particular big bite, to upgrade our limit, the baits we use are "Senko's" and "Bearpaws Handpoured Baits". These are similar to Senko's in size and appearance, but have a different manufacturing process which bakes in scents, and are a little tougher, so they last longer when the bass are aggressive. These baits also produce all sizes of bass better when a cold front moves through, and causes the action to slow down. When a severe cold front blows through over a few days, it will cause the bass to drop down to deeper water in the 10 foot range, and hold on the tops of trees. When this happens, we target them with mid range crank baits, using a stop and go retrieve, with great success. Once the bass moves to the backs of the creek to spawn, "Senko's", "Bearpaws", "IKA" tubes, "Sizmic" flu-go's, lizards, and Terminator jigs, flipped into the docks, grass, and pads, produce a good limit in short order.

On the weekends in the spring, this area can be crowded with many other anglers, and small to midsize crank baits, such as "Mann's" Mid-Minus, and a "Lucky Craft" series, can be a great tool in addition to the spinner baits and plastics. Do not hesitate to throw a buzz bait around the same cover, once the water temperature warms to 55 degrees or above. This can produce some real hawgs at this time of the year. We like to use a custom type clacker buzz bait made for us by "Charon" Custom Lures. We also have great success with the "Terminator" Ball-Buster.The old standby, the black and blue Terminator jig, with pork or plastic for a trailer, placed in and around pilings, ladders on docks, and floating piers, will always produce good sized bass. Most anglers use the jig when fishing docks, but switch to other baits many times in the laydowns. This can be a mistake, as many times in the spring, we heard several bass in the 5 and 6 pound class, flipping the wood in Turner's Creek with this jig. Turner's Creek is a hot spot at all times of the year, but it is especially productive in the spring. An experienced angler can expect 10-15 bass on a good day from this creek alone. Although at times, other creeks can produce more bass, this creek gives up he better quality bass on a consistent basis. Our largest bass from this creek was 6.4 pounds, but we have heard of 7 pound bass being caught on occasion.

Lloyd's Creek

This is the most productive spring spot on the Sassafras River, and in our opinion, on the entire Upper Chesapeake Bay. While largemouth bass spawn in several creeks along the river, the major of them choose Lloyd's Creek. While there is a very strong current at the entrance to Lloyd's Creek, the rest of it has very little movement.

The shoreline, for the most part, is very shallow in Lloyd's, but offers some mid depths to 6 feet just off shore. The entire creek is loaded with cover. This includes laydowns, logjams, and a variety of grasses, and an old barge. The barge, grasses, and seawalls in Lloyd's are the most productive areas. The bass love to hold on these pieces of cover, and when combined with the hard sand bottom and rocks, it makes for an ideal habitat for a tidal spawning ground.

Alongside the ideal cover, bottom composition, and sun exposure, Lloyd's offers something else that makes it an ideal spawning ground for tidal bass. It has a clear and defined channel leading into the creek, and into all points along the shoreline. This provides a virtual "Freeway" for the bass to follow. This makes the job of targeting these bass under changing water conditions and seasons fairly simple. I believe that this is the reason that not only huge numbers of bass in the Sassafras come here, but I believe they come from other nearby rivers as well, and possibly even from farther away.

In the early spring, bass will begin to stack up at the entrance to Lloyd's Creek in amazing numbers. The water is fast here, and goes from 16 feet in the main channel, to as below as 1 foot on the shore. This steep drop-off runs from about 300 yards from the entrance in the fast moving water, to about 50 yards into the creek, and stops at a large dock. The whole shore on this side is loaded with old trees, brush, and rocks. On the opposite side a huge peninsula comes across forming a perfect sand point 20 yards from the steep shore. That 20 yard space Is the entrance to Lloyd's Creek. This is why the current rips through this area at an unbelievable pace. Even a trolling motor of 24 volts, can barely hold position on its highest setting in this area. The bass congregate all around this sand point and the adjoining areas.

The best baits for this area are Rat-L-Traps in blue / chrome, in 3/8 and ounce sizes, Terminator and Spotsticker spinner baits in ounce, with Tandem, and / or willow leaf blades, and small crank baits. About 10 yards from the tip of the point, the current swirls to form a large eddy. Many times 15-20 bass in the 1 to to 3 pound range can be cooked on successful casts to this eddy. The other tactic is to cast your bait right up on the sand point, and then pull it into the fast moving water, and the bass just slam the bait as it enters, many times on every other cast for an hour or more. On the opposite shore, the bass bunch up on the wood, as it is the only thing blocking the current. At slack tides these bass will slam the same reaction baits as on the point, however, when the current is swift here; the best thing to do is flip heavier jigs and plastics into the wood. The reason we like the "Terminator" jigs for this and other types of cover, is the eye is recessed into the head, preventing the jig from becoming snagged at least 75% less than other jigs. With the nasty cover in this area it is a necessity.

When this area starts to become pressured by other anglers, we have switched to an "IKA" tube, with a 3/8 ounce Tungsten weight, with great success. We flip these baits to the up current side of cover and let the tide wash the bait past the object. Most strikes come as soon as the bait washes past where the bass are holding. Watching your line is a must her, as the current makes most strikes difficult, if not impossible to detect. The only plus side to this is that because if the amount of energy these bass have to expend to fight the current, they almost never miss the bait once they commit. Heavy line with high abrasion qualities is a must here.

The next spot is the dock where the river channel stops and makes a sharp right turn toward the back of the creek. The best areas of the dock are the first 3 pilings from the rocks out. Jigs, tubes, and weighted plastics take numerous bass in the 2-5 pound range from here.

These three spots form the ultimate staging area. More bass will move into this spot almost as fast as you can catch them at times. These bass are also extremely aggressive. The best tip for this area is to get there early in the year. You will not only avoid the crowds, but encounter some of the larger pre-spawn females.

When the Spring is in full swing, the bass will follow the creek channel to the barges, pilings, and laydowns in the back of the creek. This is when large numbers of 1-3 pound males make their way to the staging areas. There is a 2-3 week period when these bass will attack almost anything that hit's the water. This is when it is wise to hit the entrance for a quick 10 pound limit, and then move back to the sunken barge for the larger females. Weightless Senko's, Bearpaws, and IKA tubes with a pegged weight, produce heavyweight females when pitched to the grassy edges of the barge. A quickly retrieved spinner bait is needed at times to pick the males off the edges of the barge before going after the larger females with plastics. Laydowns will also produce as well as sections of the sand bar now. Slow down and cover the whole area to be rewarded with a huge sack of bass.

When the spawns has run its course, just follow the same creek channel back out to the same areas where the fish staged in pre-spawn. Similar to early in the year, the larger fish will be the first back out also. This is plastics time! The fish are fairly sluggish now, so a little more finesse is required. They want an easy meal, and soft plastics like these fit the bill!

As the smaller bass make their way out to the mouth of Lloyd's, you will see bas hitting the spinner baits and crank baits again. While the following migration routes to success can be simple, there are a few tricks that can help you upgrade your limit. In the middle of the spawn, anglers will crowd around the to spots we have mentioned. Some of these anglers will be targeting the shallow fish spawning, and others will be pounding the pre or post spawn bass at the current washed mouth of Lloyd's Creek. At this time, we use our depth finder to locate and follow the creek channel from the staging area back towards the spawning area, looking for bends, humps, and even weedlines that run on the edge of the channel. Sometimes we mark fish on the locator, but the structure is all we are really looking for.

We drop the trolling motor and begin dragging a Carolina rig with a 3 inch "Senko" or another type of "Yamamoto" plastic bait or Sweet Beaver.

The second trick we use at the very end of the spawn here. We turn on the electronics and find the first major piece of structure large enough to hold bass and baitfish that have left the creek. The key word is close. We stay within a m mile to a mile of the major spawning area when looking for these spots. The key spots will have grass and offer deep water escape routes nearby.

The Northeast, Bohemia, and Elk Rivers

The Northeast River offers one of the best flipping bites on the bay, as well as being a 20 minute ride from the Sassafras. One of the better springtime spots in this area is Furnace Bay. Many large bass are taken on buzzbaits from Furnace Bay in the early part of the year. The Bohemia offers average fishing for bass, but is a quick shot to both the Elk and the Sassafras, and is a good middle of the road launch point. For the angler that has a smaller boat, who can not stand the longer, more difficult ride to the Sassafras from the Havre De Grace ramp, this is a good place to start.

The docks located in the Northeast and Elk are prime targets for the bass, as they are devoid of most of the structure that the Sassafras offers. The bass hit plastics and black and blue Terminator jigs here well, on both the outgoing and incoming tides. Placement is critical here. The jigs must not only be put into the smallest of holes and openings, but must be presented multiple times before a strike occurs. Practice your flipping and pitching techniques before attempting these waters.

The Susquehanna river by the railroad bridge above Havre De Grace is a hot spot for both largemouth and smallmouth bass, and Garrett Island, in the rocks also produces at times. This area is effected by the amount of water that is let out of the dam up river, as it can be extremely muddy when they release a lot of water after heavy spring rains, and it can almost stop the smallmouth bite at times.

When this occurs, seeking out the clear water offered by Swan Creek further south of the Havre De Grace ramp is a good area to start. The grassbeds and shallow wood can hold huge numbers of pre-spawn and spawning bass that can hit spinnerbaits, Senko's, tubes, and small crankbaits, such as a Strike Pro USA Oscar, and a Rapala DT6 in the slightly deeper edges. We just use a heavier line to reduce the depth of this bait in these areas.

Spring fishing on these rivers, and the Sassafras in particular, offers some unbelievable action at times. These rivers are suited to every style of fishing. If you're a flipper, it is there. Spinnerbaits and crankbaits will smoke them! There's grass, docks, wood, current, eddies, ledges, barges, and points. And all of them hold bass! We have experienced 80 fish days in the Sassafras in the spring, and 30-40 fish days on some of the others.

Whether you are a tournament angler, or just a person who loves to catch bass, then these are the rivers for you!

The Healing Synergy of Talk and Touch

  • Touch allows you to get to the heart of the matter.
  • Talk allows you to understand its meaning.
  • Combining empathic talk with gentle, healing touch is transformational.

The Rubenfeld Synergy Method (RSM) was developed in the 1970’s by its founder, Ilana Rubenfeld. She began her career as a conductor and gradually began having intense pain in her back and shoulders. This led her on a journey toward personal exploration and self-healing. At that time, she received Alexander Technique sessions which were focused on helping her to re-align her posture and movement. But as she received this gentle touch, her emotions would bubble to the surface and the Alexander Teacher was not trained in how to help her. So she traveled across town in New York City to spend time with a Gestalt Therapist. But in the therapy sessions her emotions were not as easily stirred up. That is what prompted her to begin combining that gentle touch with talk in an effort to integrate the two systems in her body. The result was more than the two separate entities, thus the term “synergy.”

Rubenfeld Synergists are men and women who arrived at the same realization or “aha” moment in their careers and their lives. They saw Ilana Rubenfeld or another “Synergist” perform the “magic” that occurs during a session. They saw, with their own eyes, the transformation of the client’s experience when receiving this type of listening touch and intentional dialogue. That “aha” moment has brought bodyworkers (massage therapists, chiropractors, Reiki practitioners, nurses, and other practitioners who use touch in their work), psychotherapists (psychologist, social workers, marriage and family therapists, mental health counselors and even psychiatrists who have only used talk when working with clients), housewives, businessmen, attorneys, medical professionals, artists, musicians and others into the healing experience of becoming a certified Rubenfeld Synergist.

Where can you find a qualified practitioner of this unusual and powerful work? Here are the locations of currently certified synergists and the locations just keep expanding and this work reaches out to hungry clients and curious therapists.

Certified Synergists In the U.S.

  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • California
  • Arizona
  • Montana
  • Wyoming
  • Colorado
  • New Mexico
  • Minnesota
  • Tennessee
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Washington DC
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York
  • Maryland
  • Delaware
  • New Jersey
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts
  • Vermont

Certified Synergists in Canada

  • British Columbia
  • Alberta
  • Ontario, CA

Certified Synergists in Europe

  • Wales
  • England
  • Ireland
  • Scotland

Trainees in Taiwan

If you are seeking a way to heal your body and your emotional upsets without medication, RSM is a pathway to explore. If you want to help your clients heal from both physical and emotional pain, you can begin to learn this powerful method in just 7 months. Check out the Rubenfeld Synergy Web Site to find a practitioner in your location and check out the Rubenfeld Training Institute Web Site to learn about the upcoming trainings.

The Snallygaster – A Creature of Cryptozoology

In the Blue Ridge Mountains in Maryland, a mysterious creature lurkes and scares the local people. It is called the Snallygaster. Deriving its name from the German words "schnelle geist" or referers to a fast or quick ghost or spirit.

The early descriptions of the Snallygaster are varied, but it never had the common features of a half-bird with a ghoul-like face. Some describe the nightmarish monster as half-reptile and half-bird. It was reported to have a metallic beak with very sharp teeth. Some even say that it had tentacles.

In the early years of the nineteenth century, there had been increasing reports of sightings of the Snallygaster. Many claimed that it lurked its barns and stop their chickens. Some say that it even damaged their properties and also attempted to attack them. To ward of the beast, the locals kept seven-pointed stars painted on their rooftops, windows, and barns. The said symbol allegedly scares the Snallygaster away.

In 1909, the first newspaper accounts of the Snallygaster were seen on prints of the Valley Register. According to the news, many of the local people have seen a beast with intense wings. It had a long pointed beak with claws that resembled steel hooks.

The first person, who claimed that he had seen the Snallygaster, was James Harding. He pointed out that it only had one eye in the middle of its forehead and it made shrill and screeching noises as it flapped its wings over their barn. He claimed that its features looked like that of a vampire and a tiger.

Hunts for the Snallygaster were popular since and even the Smithsonian Institute developed an interest on the beast. The institute offered a reward for anyone who catches the beast.

Panic and anxiety continued to grip the local people of Maryland until the Snallygaster was reported to be dead in 1932. A shadowy picture was released among the pertinent publications in Maryland. According to the story, revenue agents George Dansforth and Charles Cushwa saw the dead beast in the vat of moonshine whiskey.

Based on the story, it was assumed that the creature was attracted by the aroma of the moonshine. However, as the Snallygaster flew over it, it suffocated in the fumes. Occasionally, it dropped and drowned in the vat of whiskey mash. Unfortunately, the agents blew up the still and destroyed the carcass before the remains of the monster can be examined.

Taking a Look Forward

Occidentally, the government gets something right. However, to what is is yet to be seen. With that being said, on December 22, 2014, it was reported that President Obama signed the ABLE Act into law. ABLE is an acronym for Achieving a Better Life Experience and the law will allow families who provide care for any family member who was declared disabled before the age of twenty-six to capture tax preferred growth for the care and comfort of their loved one. The act in part mirrors the 529 college savings account with a few additional perks. Whereas the 529 account can only be used for the financial requirements of college, the new ABLE account will cover a host of other care and comfort activities.

Similar to the 529 accounts, interest earnings on the ABLE accounts will be tax-free, and where I come from, tax-free is a good concept. However, unlike the 529 accounts, which can only be used for education related expenses, the funds accumulated in the ABLE accounts can be used to pay for education, health care, transportation, housing and other expenses associated with the beneficiary's disabilities. Of course these allowances will be further determined by the Treasury Department sometime this year. However, this gives the average family caring for a disabled child or adult an alternative to the special needs trust. There is one more caveat that will limit the application of the ABLE Act. The family member with the disability (the beneficiary) must have been deemed disabled prior to his or her twenty-sixth birthday. Therefore, the accounts will be limited in their scope to help those who might become disabled due to continuing military engagements around the world.

Another concern I have about these accounts is that the federal government has left the regulations up to the states. Each state has six months to write the regulations governing the accounts. Although there is some level of consistency between states, one has to wonder if there will be complications if the services are provided by out of state organizations. Some might be concerned how having an ABLE account would affect federal and state benefits. However, ABLE accounts will allow families to save larger amounts of money without affecting their eligibility for SSI, Medicaid and other public benefits.

The amount of money that can be contributed to an ABLE account is the same as the federal gift tax exclusion, which is currently $ 14,000 annually. Many states have set their 529 account restrictions for education related expenses at $ 300,000. It appears that the first $ 100,000 deposited into an ABLE account would not affect the $ 2,000 restrictions relating to impact to eligibility for SSI, Medicaid and other public benefits. This is a good start, but each state will set limitations and regulations so we will not know the full extent of the law until the state by state regulations are established.

As one can imagine, no accounts can be established before the regulations have been written. Since the ABLE Act is going to amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Service Code of 1986, caregivers can assume that the process for establishing the accounts will reflect each state's current 529 accounts. For example, the State of Maryland (the state where I live) has two types of 529 accounts. The Maryland Prepaid College Trust and the Maryland College Investment Plan. The former is backed by a Maryland Legislative Guarantee and the latter managed and underwritten by T Rowe Price. Based on this, the state of Maryland is likely to establish the ABLE Accounts in the same fashion.

As a caregiver life coach who provides financial stability coaching, I would suggest that choosing an account option that is managed and underwritten by a financial company is the preferred choice. Without you trust the state legislature, choosing the account that is backed with a legislative guarantee introduces a higher level of risk. To learn more about where your state ranks in fiscal discipline, Google "red-state-black-state PDF" and follow the link. Without your state is operating at 8, I would always lean towards the managed and underwritten by type account.

Finally, I want to discuss the advantages of the ABLE account over the special needs trust. On the up side of the ABLE accounts, there is the uncomplicated tax effect. Irrevocable trusts are still subject to taxation as my wife and I found out in 2012. Although the tax nightmare created by our son's irrevocable special needs trust is an aging struggle, the ABLE Act accounts will mitigate the stress of taxation by being a pre-tax , tax-free growth account. In this way, the ABLE Act account will remain the Roth IRA since the assets are used for the care and comfort of the beneficiary.

It has yet to be seen if those currently holding a special needs trust will be allowed to transfer the assets from the trust into an ABLE account. I will be writing our state legislation to encourage this particular action. In the meantime, I would encourage every caregiver to follow the progress of this promising legislation through their specific State House. Hopefully, these accounts will be available by the third quarter of this year.

There is one last concern for the caregiver that I would like to address. Once the account is established with a financial company, the caregiver will have the opportunity to influence the direction of the investments. This is an important component of the account. If you have worked hard to set aside money for the care and comfort of a loved one, that money should be working for the same purpose. As with every type of account I manage for my family, I will be analyzing the best mix for the greatest gain while looking to reduce the risk of achieving that gain. Therefore, I hope to produce a series of articles on each state's plans, but I will need your input. Once the accounts are established, I will be seeking to collect the details and publish an analysis of each state's managed and underwritten plan.