Save water, shower with pet, pupils told Is Parris turning


June 10, 1994|By DAN RODRICKS

Students at Marley Middle School, Anne Arundel County, recently received a list of "Service Learning Suggested Activities," aimed at making them good citizens, and environmentally-sensitive citizens at that. I, for one, am glad to see this kind of information being disseminated in our public schools. The list the students received had 42 eco-do's, such as: "Plant trees, flowers and shrubs. . . . Use dolphin-safe tuna. . . . Encourage parents to check a candidate's record on environmental legislation. . . . Buy phosphate-free laundry detergent." A number of suggestions were aimed at conserving water: "Place bottle on a brick in toilet tank to reduce water use. . . . Turn water off while brushing your teeth. . . . Take short showers. . . . Shower with your pet." And instead of shampoo, use flea dip.

A Stadium reversal?

Abe Pollin has been moaning that he wants a new arena for his hockey and basketball teams in Prince Georges County, and Parris Glendening, the county executive and candidate for governor, thinks the state should help pay for one. Some questions: What's wrong with the old place that a little Sakrete can't fix? Hasn't the business of public financing sports facilities for the wealthy owners of franchises gone far enough? (Is there a politician out there, besides Ellen Sauerbrey, willing to draw a line in the sand on this issue?) Have the Caps and the Bullets really contributed that much to the local economy? And, if Abe doesn't want to put up the money to fix the Cap Centre -- it's USAir Arena now, I know -- and he can strike a deal with the District of Columbia for a new place, well, then maybe he ought to go. Sports facilities belong in cities; they are good for cities. That's one reason Jack Kent Cooke should keep his football team -- unnamed here because it's a detestable name -- in Washington.

As for Glendening, his declaration that "there would have to be some significant state participation" in a new facility for Pollin rings in my ears. Sounds like Glendening is making a sharp turn. This is the same fellow who said he opposes Cooke's plan for a football stadium in Laurel, to wit: "Until really important policy issues on environment, transportation and cost benefit analysis are answered, I don't think we should support the stadium at all." If he opposes a privately-financed football stadium in Laurel, how can he support a new, publicly-financed arena in some other Maryland suburb? And Glendening is the same fellow who favors revitalizing older suburban areas -- such as Landover -- as part of a broad plan to control growth throughout Maryland. So, one more question: Is Parris turning?

Thank you, Obrycki's

I see where Obrycki's is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a crab house in Maryland, which gives me an opportunity to thank the folks who run that establishment for getting me out of a jam one night a couple of springs ago. We had visitors passing through for a one-night stand. They were from France -- not the Coneheads, the Donnards -- and they wanted to see Baltimore and eat "les poissons avec les mains," or "fish with hands." (The actual French word is "crabe.") Our visitors had heard about the famous Chesapeake blue crabs all the way over in Brittany, and they wanted me to take them to a crab house. I called one of our better known seafood restaurants -- the kind of "touristy" place where down-home Baltimoreans reluctantly take out-of-towners, but only on short notice -- and asked if they had steamed crabs. The person who answered the phone said yes. So we went there. We waited 20 minutes for a table. We waited still longer for service. I asked the waitress to bring us a dozen steamed crabs. She said they didn't have any. No crabs? This was like going to a creperie in Brittany and being told they didn't have crepes, or like going into a 7-Eleven and being told they didn't have Slurpees! So I did my best huffy-and-indignant act -- how could I resist? -- then asked my party to join me in walking out. (And know what? They actually followed me.) We went to Obrycki's. Sure, they had steamed crabs. I don't know where Rose and Richard Cernak got them -- the Gulf of Mexico? the mighty Patapsco? -- but it didn't matter. A good time was had by all. (And neither of our visitors from France asked for a knife and fork.)

JOINT benefit

It's only a one-mile walk and for good reason: That's about as far as folks who have had total hip and knee replacements can go, at least comfortably. It's the effort that counts, not the distance. For the first time in the United States, a one-mile walkathon is being staged to raise money for orthopedic research and to "celebrate increased mobility and quality of life" for people who have had successful replacement surgery. (My mother, the former Rose Popolo, got a new hip many years ago and, while she still hasn't take up squash, she can at least get around without cringing in pain.) The JOINT Parade starts

Sunday at 11 a.m. at Pier 6, the Inner Harbor. Such walks have been held for the last five years in Great Britain and Canada; this is a first in the U.S., and 80 cities are participating, according to the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation. Those with new knees and hips -- as well as those with their originals -- are invited to walk. Raise $10 for the effort and you get a smart-looking T-shirt.

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