Every little breeze rustles bags in the trees


April 04, 2007|By LAURA VOZZELLA

From the glass-is-half-full school of urban ecology: bagsintrees.blogspot.com, a blog "dedicated to showcasing the beauty of the omnipresent plastic accessories that adorn the trees of Baltimore, MD."

You'll find no litterbug-bashing here, just photos of trashy trees and accolades that read like a visitors guide.

"Located outside of the Load of Fun Gallery, this tree boasts at least eight bags that are visible," one entry says. "It is nothing short of amazing. And how interesting that this tree is located near an art gallery! How ... how ... appropriate."

Another entry, from just the other day, shows more than a dozen bags perched in a tree outside Booker T. Washington Middle School.

The site even links to Google Maps, for anyone interested in visiting a featured tree.

While litterbugs get a pass, the site does have a villain: Bette Midler. When she isn't busy being fabulous, the star leads a nonprofit group aimed at improving New York City parks.

"[T]he Divine Diva Miss M is leading a gang of NYC bag nazis called the New York Restoration Project on a mission to take away the very things that we hold dear," the site says. "These people engage in nefarious activities, like taking bags out of trees ... What's more natural and beautiful than a bag that gets caught in the branch of a tree? The wind blew it there. And the wind is natural. How can Ms. Midler claim to be a naturalist when she is so blatantly anti-wind?"

Midler spokeswoman Roberta Greene - Greene? Ha! - did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The site was founded by another Grammy winner: Baltimore saxophonist Brian Sacawa, whose first solo CD, American Voices, comes out April 25. He performs that night at An die Musik LIVE, but please don't come out to lecture him about bag blight. Sacawa said he hears from people all the time who don't realize he's joking.

"I get some pretty angry e-mails from people. It's hysterical to me," he said. "I'm surprised. I was hoping people would catch on."

Putt-putt proponent

Maybe running the most populous jurisdiction in the Baltimore metro area is easier than it looks.

Jim Smith attended a ribbon cutting yesterday at a miniature golf course, and later in the day even took time to gush about it by phone.

"It's not your father's miniature golf - no clowns, no windmills," Smith said. "It really is a neat course. As a matter of fact, it's the Caves Valley of miniature golf in the county. It has contours. It has a waterfall and two lakes. It doesn't have any of the cheese. All the class."

And Smith doesn't even golf!

The Baltimore county exec squeezed the Perry Hall putt-putt excursion into a busy day of meetings about the county budget and pending state legislation.

Smith sees real value in a place like Par Tee Miniature Golf Course since owner Athan Demetrides renovated a decaying, 40-year-old attraction.

"It had fallen into disrepair, and they have brought it back in grand style," Smith said. "To me, it was a big deal."

Connect the dots

Former Gov. Marvin Mandel was involved in a minor car accident after appearing on Bob and Kendel Ehrlich's WBAL radio show Saturday. He was southbound on Interstate 97 near Dorsey Road in Anne Arundel County when his 1998 Cadillac crashed into the center jersey barrier about 11:30 a.m., state police said. No other vehicles were involved. Mandel, who was alone in the car and not injured, told police the car experienced some sort of mechanical problem. ... Every cash register at Target in Towson conked out at once Sunday morning, The Sun's Norine Schiller reports. She thought it was an April Fool's joke at first, but then concluded God was telling her she should have been in church on Palm Sunday. Registers were down for an hour to 90 minutes, store manager Dan Sabo said. The cause remains a mystery, but Sabo didn't rule out divine intervention. ... The lead story in the April 1 edition of Loyola's Greyhound: "The Class of 2007 is left without a commencement speaker after the sudden dropout of Anna Nicole Smith, due to what her publicist called a `scheduling conflict.'"

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