Now, one asteroid later, in a Washington Post article, Congressmen Holt, of New Jersey, and Edwards, of Maryland, discuss the importance of funding programs that track asteroids. They conclude: "We should make the investments necessary to track near-Earth objects and prepare for disasters of all kinds."
U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, of Texas, announced his committee would hold a hearing to examine ways to better identify and address asteroids that pose a potential threat to Earth.
Now is perhaps the opportune time to remind our leaders in Washington that the National Radio Observatory is an integral component in our Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), a network of telescopes that, among other duties, is tasked with "Tracking Near-Earth Asteroids" - such as Asteroid 2012 DA14.
While discussing investments in new research and inventions intended to track asteroids, it may be wise to also consider not defunding a valuable system already in place, the NRAO.
W.Va. tax insanity drives resident away
I am a retired Florida state employee. Eight years ago I bought a home and land in Rosedale, Gilmer County. Three years ago I moved my primary residence there from Florida. I pay my taxes in full and in a timely fashion, including income tax. So imagine my upset when, three weeks after paying the 2012 income tax on my retirement, I received a letter advising me that I owe $73 in penalty because I paid all at once!
Since my tax liability was over $600, I was somehow supposed to have the state of Florida deduct for West Virginia, except that won't be done. So when I called the Tax Department, I reached a very polite but unhelpful young lady who laughed a lot about my problem. So the upshot is that I paid a penalty for paying in full.
This is insanity! West Virginia just lost me as a resident. I will continue to pay my property taxes and other fees, but I have moved back to Florida, where there is no income tax.