Are the police officers being paid the highest salary? [ABC2 Investigates]

The news is about the Overtime and how it’s payment is done.

Well, it’s was surprising for the ABC2 Investigators when they found how heavily the Baltimore Police Department is getting paid for their overtime (OT) working. If you consider the rough estimates, then all the salaries and money can mount upto $23 million for one year.

ABC2 Investigators made a note about this, and later it revealed how officers took thousands of dollars for a day’s overtime. This had to stop!

Police Officers Being Paid High Salary

Are the police officers being paid the highest salary?

Sundays are the main working days, that was a sarcasm.

If you find a group of men and women near the M & T Bank Stadium in their blue-colored uniform – they are from the overtime gang. Oh yes, you get to watch the Ravens weekly games but people are geared up mainly for the pay.

Other special events like the NFL Kick-Off concert which was organized at the Inner Harbour also had a similar thing. It’s true that events like these, which are grand does require a special security force. But many of the officers tend to do extra work on that particular day so that they could enjoy all the monetary benefits.

On further investigation, it revealed that the police officers took in about 5 times 5 million this year. This makes upto $25 which is the additional charges and benefits provided to the officers on doing the overtime.

Further, ABC2 Investigator adds – ‘we then started looking at the salary statements and details of the officers. It showed that the officers had taken over $30 millions more for their overtime sessions.’ This figure is much different than the department expenses that it started earlier.

On asking about the expenses of the department, they replied that their expenses are included in the budget only. This meant that the $25 million had their additional expenses covered for the year.

But the overtime expenses don’t count for more than 4 million in a year, so what about the additional figures? To this, we got the answer that the additional pays were for the covering up during special events and any other sports match – they get a hiked pay for such special overtimes.

An average police officer gets a normal salary of $43,000, but with the overtimes – the figure went like $60,000, $80,000 and in some cases it hit the $100,000 making them the highest paid employee in the state with an higher pay than the Mayor herself.

The numbers shown here are small comparing it to the real picture, and we could hope that the issues get resolved asap!

Judge orders Baltimore to Clarify the 300-feet Food Truck Rule [Inside Story]

Baltimore is a city situated in Maryland, that has a long history of being an important seaport. The city is currently in news for a guy named Joey Vanoni and his case that he won against a preset rule set in the city. What is that rule? We shall soon reveal it to you.

Baltimore Food Trucks

Judge orders Baltimore to Clarify the 300-feet Food Truck Rule

There is a law which states that no food trucks could be operated within 300 feet distance surrounding any hotel, especially if they are selling the same kind of food. Joey is the owner of the Pizza Di food truck, and he had been facing a lot of issues because of this 300 feet rule.

The area which he was working on is surrounded by 3-4 fast food outlets, and because of this, he had to keep on changing the locations.

Pizza di joey

On asking about the location of his food truck, Joey says, “No, I can’t sell the foods in this area because there is a pizza outlet which lies about 300 feet distance from this place. Also, I can’t set my business there as there is yet another pizza place! This is the rule, and I can’t do anything about this.”

This rule had its own effects on all the Baltimore food trucks which frustrated Joey Vanoni mainly. This actually led him to challenge the law and put up the case against the state law itself.

After hearing out the case, the judge passed the response that the law was vague and may get hard for an ordinary person to enforce it. The city has been given 60 days to clarify the law and explain what it is stating. 

This simply shows that the court has acknowledged the problem, and they wanted a clear justification for the law. That’s a partial win for all the food truck owners, including Joey Vanoni.

Vanoni adds that people of Baltimore want more options, they are in need of better choices. 

I couldn’t less agree on this point, and what Joey did showed the true quality of being a rebel, someone who stays away from the crowd and challenges the already-set rules. Congratulations to Joey!

Facts You Probably Didn’t Know about Baltimore – Blow Your Mind

Baltimore is a capital city of Maryland state in the United States of America. The city is located in the northeast direction, 60 kilometers away from Washington DC. It is named after Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore, the first Proprietor of the Province of Maryland (1632-1675).

Nearly 26 million people visit Baltimore city every year. Many dedicated museums display the rich heritage of this beautiful city. People enjoy the nostalgia that resides in the ambiance of Baltimore.

M&T Bank Stadium

Fort McHenry, national aquarium, American visionary art museum, etc all show the significance that the city played in American history. However, there are many facts you might not know about this city.

The following is the list of facts about Baltimore that will blow your mind:

  • The birthplace of a national anthem:

– America’s national anthem, ‘The star spangled banner’ was invented in Baltimore city.

– Francis Scott Key wrote a poem while watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry in 1812. He was inspired by American flag waving in the air.

– Later, the national anthem was invented with help of his poem.

  • The first research university of the nation:

First research University of the NationAn American entrepreneur found the first university of the nation in 1876 in Baltimore. The university bears his name, Johns Hopkins.

– Johns Hopkins university ignited a revolution of education and research in all of USA.

  • The inner harbor:

– Baltimore’s inner harbor is a splendid location to view the past. The harbor is full of old ships and old buildings. These old but rigid pieces of architecture still teach lessons to young engineers.

– The harbor also has a large aquarium which houses 20000 specimens of almost 800 species. Roughly, more than 1.5 million people visit this attraction.

– USCGC Taney rests in the inner harbor of Baltimore city. She served in world war 2 during the attacks on pearl harbor and survived. She was afloat for more than 50 years. It has become a tourist attraction, open for people to experience the heat of battle. This city is Maryland’s largest city. Here is your Travel tips for Baltimore.

  • A number of famous personalities:Michael Phelps Baltimore

– A city’s true wealth is its people. Baltimore is no exception, with it being home to many famous faces.

– Michael Phelps became the most successful swimmer in the history of Olympic games as he achieved 28 medals (23 being gold) at the age of 32 years. He is an inspiration for many youth athletes around the globe.

– Well-known horror author, Edgar Allan Poe is a native of Baltimore city. He published his first book ‘Tamerlane’ when he was just 18.

– Babe Ruth: A gem in baseball field; Babe Ruth is also a native to Baltimore. He was a left-handed baller and batter. He was the record holder was most home runs in a career.

  • The racially neutral city:

– Baltimore was the first US city to have an African-American owned shipyard. Frederick Douglass and Isaac Myers bought the first shipbuilding yard to employ jobs to the youngster.

– Moreover, many free black people lived in the city without much trouble (after all, its pre-civil rights era America we are talking about).

– Overall, the city has been sympathetic towards who aim for peace and well-being of its residents.

The World’s Best Water Softener available in 2017 for Home

Searching out the Best Water Softener for Homes? If yes, then you have reached the right destination! We will provide a detailed review on our favorite softeners, covering all the specification details, features. Do not miss out on any product review listed here, because all of them are really worth it!

The World’s Best Water Softener available in 2017 for Home

Hard water can cause many serious issues to your skin along with damaging the plumbing units. If you are sure that you are getting hard water, then you should not waste much time thinking about it. Get one Water Softener installed, and Save all your repairing expenses!

#1 Fleck 5600SXT Digital Metered Water Softener

Among all the Water Softeners available in the market, our Top recommendation is Fleck 5600SXT Digital Metered. It is a Whole House unit which can be installed for the whole house faucets.

Fleck 5600SXT Digital Metered Water Softener

Quick Specs: 

  • It is a USA-built Water Softener which features a poly-glass made tank.
  • You will get a digital meter on the softener. Information regarding the water usage will be displayed on the LCD area.
  • Here the maximum grains that can be handled is 48000!
  • The resin bed is found to be the standard 8%, with 1.5 cubic feet high.
  • This Water Softener weighs around 110 pounds and is about 54 inches in height.
  • Most of the models come with the Black shade. Especially if you are ordering it online.
  • The flow rate is found to be 12 gallons per minute.
  • Warranty period is five years.

We didn’t get any unit that matches the performance of the Fleck 5600SXT. Cost is high, which makes it less affordable among all the water softeners. All in all, it is a great product to go with!

The only drawback we found for this softener is that – unit is accessible to a limited audience (Price Matters). How could one miss on the excellent warranty it gives! [5 years on the control head and ten years for the tank]

#2 Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener

This is a unique unit among all the water softeners we have. This is a descaler, which helps with reducing all the limescale buildups formed due to the hard water. Minerals like the calcium, magnesium, manganese produces the residue which is left on the sink, faucets, etc.

Eddy Water Descaler Electronic Water Softener

To reduce the intensity of the mineral buildup, you can get this Eddy Descaler for your home.

Quick Specs:

  • Installation is simple. You can install this along with metal or plastic pipes.
  • Works the best as an alternative to a no-salt water softener.
  • TDS is maintained, this leaves all the necessary minerals back in the water.
  • Electro-magnetic waves are used for altering the limescale’s chemical property. The property of sticking on the surface is changed, and so there will be a reduction in the buildup.

This product has been a success, and helpful to homes as well as business places. Winning hearts for more than 15 years now. Worth a try!

#3 On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable RV Water Softener

We have the On the Go RV Water Softener in the third position. This is the largest among all other RV suitable softeners. It can handle around 16000 grains, and can perfectly fit on any standard RV machine.

On The Go OTG4-DBLSOFT-Portable RV Water Softener

Quick Specs:

  • It is the largest among all the RV softeners, still has got a compact shape.
  • There is one easy-to-carry handle on the top and comes with a wide opening on the top. This makes the salt addition work easy.
  • It requires only 30 minutes for the regeneration and performs this using just 2 boxes of common salt.

With the high flow rates, you won’t ever complain about any pressure drop in this. If you are looking for a compact and energy-saver solution, there here it is!

#4 Watts RV PRO-1000 Water Softener

We have got another RV support softener, and this one is Watts RV Pro-1000. It weighs only about 9 pounds, which makes it easy to carry for anyone. If you have got more than 1 RV at home, then you can benefit from this.

Watts RV PRO-1000 Water Softener

This softener is built to last more than a year, and the durability is another highlight. Most of the functions are done manually, so you need to have some basic water softener knowledge for getting started.

#5 Iron Pro 48K Combination Water Softener & Iron Filter

This is the combination system – with water softener and one iron filter. The digital meter/control head used with the Fleck 5600SXT is used on this Iron Pro 48K. The specialty resin deals with the removal of the iron compounds.

Iron Pro 48K Combination Water Softener & Iron Filter

It arrives with all the necessary support; resin, control head, resin tank, brine tank.

In the On-Demand regeneration, the system only regenerates as per the need of the user. This saves a significant amount of salt as well as lowers the water wastage.

Did you enjoy reading the World’s Best Water Softener for Home review? Share us your opinion about our best picks. Also, let us know if you found any other unit better than the ones discussed here. We at Get Down Cafe would love to hear from you!

PetSafe Simply Clean Litter Box System Reviews

Tired of cleaning the litter mess? Then you might be interested in the PetSafe Simply Clean Litter Box. It is a self-cleaning litter box, which means that a major portion of the task will now be automatically done!

But is it that effective and does all the job as claimed by it? Find out the answer below.

PetSafe Simply Clean Litter Box System Reviews

Cleaning the litter is the most tiring task considered by all the pet owners. You will come across Self-Cleaning litter boxes which are designed mainly for the cats. The self-cleaning itself means that you don’t have to do any scooping job, as the unit will do this work.

PetSafe Simply Clean Litter Box

There is one rotating spindle present on this construction which performs the rotation every one hour. Let’s find out more about this product, beginning with the specifications.


This PetSafe Litter box only makes use of clay or the clumping litter. There is a marked line present within the box, so you have to fill it up completely till this line for best results. You will need a good amount of litter for this. Otherwise, it will make the cleaning hard for you. There are not so many alternatives to Petsafe products but you can still consider luuup cat litter box reviews which will show you true path.

Coming to the cleaning task, there is one bowl in the form of a spindle which makes one rotation each 1 hour. All the cat litter is filtered out with this, and it moves onto a conveyor belt which travels to the waste bin kept on the other side. Place a plastic cover within the waste bin for easy litter disposal.

This self-cleaning litter box comes with a 1-year warranty. It is recommended to check if the box requires cleaning, and do it on a daily basis. Or at least once in a week’s time. The maximum weight capacity is 15 pounds or less.


  • One among the few innovative litter boxes which self-cleans each day.
  • The bowl makes a slow and noiseless rotation every one hour.
  • In this manner, you can keep the waste out of your sight all the time.
  • Fill the litter till the line marked on the box; it should not be less or more than required. Else the running motor may get jammed and won’t run properly as needed.
  • One routine clean up is suggested; for increasing the efficiency of this self-cleaning box.
  • Not recommended for cats weighing more than 15 pounds.
  • As the spindle rotates, the waste is carried on to a conveyor belt present here. It takes the waste into the bin provided on the other side. You can keep a cover as a liner for simplifying the cleaning.
  • Only clumping or the clay litter is allowed for this litter system.
  • Also, it eliminates the presence of any moving parts – a common bother for cats.
  • With this box, you won’t even get a glimpse of the cat litter. It is easily managed and removed from the waste box automatically.


  1. Self-Cleaning itself! With this litter box, you don’t have to look into the scooping work. So no scoop! No mess too.
  2. Less litter required. Comparing the old litter boxes with this, we can see a significant difference in the amount of litter used. PetSafe uses less litter compared to other standard litter systems.
  3. Strong built. You can use this product for multiple cat households. It can take a maximum weight upto 15 pounds.
  4. Affordable: This litter box is a bang-on deal considering the features and the performance level.


  1. Noisy? PetSafe Self-Cleaning box has received complaints regarding the noisy nature of it. There are motors running within, so it could be the probable reason behind this.

So, that’s all with the litter box review. We at Get Down Cafe had bought this for our friend’s kitten, and they are having a great time! The box was left as it is for five days straight, and they found that the box has brilliantly shifted the waste into the bin. It is undoubtedly a cool deal which you can make – try and test it out by yourself!

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine Review of 2017

If you are a Caffeine Lover, then you definitely would have thought of having an Espresso at your home comfort. You can’t disagree on this! Make your Dream come True with the Breville Barista Express. We have provided a genuine review about this machine, and hopefully it will help you in the needful way.

Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine Review

To begin with, Breville has got one inbuilt grinder. It will make the grinding task easy for you, and did you know that fresh ground beans are the best for Espressos?

Breville BES870XL Barista Express

There are many customization options available, so explore the machine every day.


  • The machine uses 15 Bar pressure and runs on the Italian Pump. The thermal power of the heating coil ranges around 1600W.
  • A smart machine which sets the water temperature accordingly for the best espresso shot.
  • It comes with a grinder, presser, and a port which delivers the required milk for the coffee.
  • You can set the grind size and the amount of the grind required for preparing your Espresso.
  • One no-slip foot is added to the construction which prevents any movement.
  • ‘Clean me’ Light indicates when to perform the cleaning process. There is a separate compartment which stores the Cleaning Kit.

Patience is the Key Factor 

The Breville Barista Express is not entirely automatic. It comes with auto and other manual settings on it. Thus it falls into the Semi-Automatic category of machines.

Coming to the types of Baristas, there are two kinds- one who does not care about the processing or the price and just wants to get the results as quick as possible. The other type is the one who is willing to put in some efforts and is ready to get their hands dirty in the making. If you are the latter guy, then this Barista Express is just made for you.

Control Panel options in Brief

There is one Pressure Gauge located at the center of the Barista Express. We will keep it as the reference, and explain the other panel options. The power button is located on the left side, along with the Grind Amount setting. Here you can choose from Fine to a Coarse Grind setting.

Besides to the ‘Grind Amount,’ comes the Filter Size option. It includes Single and Double Filter basket choice. This helps in letting the Grinder know, about how much Coffee Grind is actually necessary for the particular coffee making.

To the right of the pressure gauge, there are three buttons included. One is for the Program, while the other two buttons indicate the number of coffee servings – single or double cup serving. Clean Me light indicator is lit up when it’s the right time for cleaning. Along with this, there is one Hot Water Steam indicator too.

Burr Grinder 

The grinder is made of stainless steel and is a bit conical in shape. Just make sure that you use freshly ground beans for the bringing out the Best Espresso. Grind the beans till the complete flavor is extracted with increased surface area.

Auto Purge Function

Barista Express includes the Auto Purge feature, and it does the job of adjusting the water temperature required for your Espresso preparation. You can refer to Espresso Machine Reviews for all other information.

The Performance

To get the best results, you need to have the understanding of the science behind the process as well as master the art of making! Both the art and knowledge together will give the desired output.

Always remember to set the right Grind size as it immensely affects the taste and the overall texture.

If you are a beginner at brewing, then you can go with the Dual Wall filters. They are designed for the beginners to provide them the right practice. While the Single Wall filters are more challenging and are for the pro baristas out there.

Pre-Brew function along with a shower head ensures that water reaches all the coffee puck areas.

The Good

  • Burr Grinders used with this Barista Express gives you the best-extracted flavor from the bean.
  • You can set the proper grind size according to the coffee type which is being prepared.
  • There is a ‘Clean Me’ indicator lets you know when is the time of cleaning.
  • Auto Purge function makes automatic adjustments to the water temperature. Depending on the type of the coffee drink being prepared.

The Bad 

  • The machine reportedly makes a sound, after some usage time.
  • A few users have mentioned that the product works well till it’s working. Includes certain durability issues.

Some Important Tips to Remember

If you wish to serve or have the best flavored Espresso shot, make use of freshly ground coffee beans. You may think that we are joking around, but we aren’t actually.

To get the maximum milk foam on your Espresso, make use of coffee which has been grounded only a 1 minute ago. You can test it out for yourself and check. Though, it remains a proven discovery.

The tamping process is crucial, so learn how to Tamp like a Pro. As it is essential for getting the best out of your Breville Barista Express.

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Official Ping Pong Table Size & Dimensions | All About Ping Pong

Knowing the right Ping Pong Table Size & Dimensions is necessary while you are on the search for one. Here we will provide a detailed analysis about this sport, with all the dimension details.

Ping Pong game is better known by the name Table Tennis. It is one of the favorite games which is played indoor as well as outdoor. This game involves two or four players, hitting a ball and passing it from one end to another using a bat. The game is played on a hardwood table, which is divided by a net post.

On hitting the ball, it should bounce at least once on the other side of the net. When a player misses out the ball, the opposite team scores one point.

Official Ping Pong Table Size & Dimensions

We all were gathered at my friend John’s house and passing our time with a Ping-Pong match. I have got this weird urge of asking out questions and asked about the table dimension. I was planning to buy one, and it is always better to have some prior knowledge about the space requirements.

Official Ping Pong Table Size & Dimensions

John didn’t remember it, and no one present was aware of it. Everyone was just guessing. Finally, I had to find it out on my own, which led to this idea of sharing my research with you all.

Size and Dimension 

The dimensions have been set by the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) long back.

As I asked my query to my dear friends, everyone started the guessing game. Some said it is 10 feet by 5 feet, and most of them didn’t know it.


Length – 9 feet (2.74 m)

Width – 5 feet (1.525 m)

Height – 2 feet and 6 inches (0.76 m)

The Ping Pong table should be 9 feet in length, and 5 feet wide[source]. It should be at the height of 2 feet and 6 inches from the ground. It could be built using any material, just make sure it has a minimum bounce of 23cm when the ball is dropped from a height of 30cm.

Space required for a Ping Pong match

The dimension of the location could be small, while you are playing a Ping Pong match. You must know that reading outdoor ping pong table reviews are always better in case you are buying a new one. This doesn’t mean that you should play in that kind of place. You should opt for such a place, which provides the right amount of area with all the necessary equipment nearby.

Now the space required is determined by the type of matches you are planning to play.

  • For International Events, Olympic Games or World Championship – 14 m x 7 m
  • Tournaments on a National Level – 12 m x 6 m
  • Local League or Local Tournament – 9 m x 5 m
  • Practice play or Coaching – 8.5 m x 4 m

Look out for the type of the match you are going to play, and then according consider the spaces.

Other Recreational Tables 

There are other tables which do not fall into the category of the standard tables. For example, tables which are 9 feet by 5 feet fall in the category of tournament-type. You will come across other ping pong tables which are 7 x 3.5 in feet. These tables fall in the category of Recreational Get Down Cafe.

Cuban Black Beans Recipe


  • 1 pound dried black beans — sorted & rinsed
  • 2 1/2 quarts water
  • 2 large green bell pepper — chopped & divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion — chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic — minced
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons to 4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • hot cooked white or yellow rice

Garnish: chopped onion


  1. Sort and wash beans and place in a Dutch oven.
  2. Add water and half of bell pepper and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 1 1/2 hours or just until beans are tender.
  4. (If desired, beans can be presoaked overnight before this process.)
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
  6. Add remaining bell pepper, onion, and next 4 ingredients.
  7. Cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until tender.
  8. Add onion mixture, sugar, and salt to beans, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.
  9. Uncover and cook for 15 minutes or to desired thickness.
  10. Stir in wine and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  11. Remove and discard bay leaf.
  12. Serve over rice. Garnish with chopped onion, if desired.

Serves 6

Curried Corn and Pepper Chowder

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 teaspoons curry powder, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups fresh corn or one 16-ounce bag frozen corn, thawed (about 3 cups)
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, or to taste
3 cups plain soymilk, divided
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bell peppers; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the shallots during the last minute; stir until tender but not browned. Add the curry powder and salt; stir for 1 minute.

Stir in the corn, vegetable stock, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium; cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.

Transfer 2 cups of the corn mixture to a blender or food processor. Add 1 cup of the soymilk. Process until the mixture is nearly smooth. Pour the puréed mixture into the saucepan; stir in the remaining soymilk. Stir gently over medium heat until the mixture is heated through, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese.

Calories 326 (47% from fat); Fat 17g (sat 3.9g, mono 5g, poly 7g); Protein 14.9g; Carbohydrate 35.7g; Fiber 6g; Cholesterol 16mg; Iron 1.4mg; Sodium 594mg; Calcium 60mg 

Baked Cheese Grits

This recipe is adapted from Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods. It uses soy grits, which are similar to corn grits, but made from toasted soybeans that have been ground into coarse pieces.

1-3/4 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup Bob’s Red Mill soy grits
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 ounces processed American cheese (such as Velveeta), cubed
3 eggs, well beaten
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup minced celery
1/4 cup minced onion

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish.

Bring broth to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in grits, cover and reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutes or until done, stirring occasionally.

Combine grits with remaining ingredients and pour into prepared dish and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

Calories 258 (35% from fat); Fat 10g (sat. 4.6g mono 3.5g. poly 0.9g); Protein 26g: Carbohydrate 17g; Fiber 0.8g; Cholesterol 178mg; Iron 4mg; Sodium 801 mg; Calcium 251mg