State Digest


April 12, 2007

O'Malley gets tour of a `green' school

GERMANTOWN -- Gov. Martin O'Malley was introduced to waterless urinals and wheat-board bookshelves yesterday at the state's first "green" public school.

The governor - fresh off a General Assembly session that produced modest environmental gains - promised after touring Great Seneca Creek Elementary School to continue to push for a proposal that would tax developers to clean the Chesapeake Bay. The Green Fund plan stalled in the Senate this year.

"I think there's a lot of momentum behind those bills and those ideas," O'Malley said, referring to the Green Fund and "green" buildings proposals, "and I'm sure that their passage will one day happen, and I think it will happen soon."

O'Malley spent three hours at the innovative Montgomery County school, getting a tour of the bathrooms, classrooms and utility areas. He learned the merits of a two-flusher toilet, which uses different amounts of water depending on the type of waste, and sat down with kindergartners to answer a series of multiple-choice questions about the environment.

One inquiry posed to the children: "Who is responsible for taking care of the environment?"

Seated on a multicolored rug, O'Malley, cross-legged in their midst, offered the students five choices: Mom, Dad, neighbor, teacher and him.

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett provided a sixth option. "Governor, governor, where's the governor?" Leggett said.

O'Malley lauded Great Seneca Creek as an example of a project that promotes innovative learning in a cutting-edge facility. The building, which is in its inaugural school year, cost $18.2 million. The state committed $6.3 million, according to a news release from the governor's office.

Jennifer Skalka


Bus fare to Orioles games is cut

The Maryland Transit Administration is cutting its fares for express bus service from its Park & Ride lots to Orioles games this season. The MTA has reduced the round-trip bus fares to Camden Yards from $12 to $10. Youth fares, for ages 6 to 16, will decrease from $6 to $5.

Express buses leave from three Baltimore County locations to takes passengers to Orioles games: Route 43 and Honeygo Boulevard in White Marsh; Metropolitan Boulevard and Rolling Road in Catonsville; and Eastern Boulevard and Virginia Avenue in Essex.

The MTA also offers return bus trips after games for passengers who take weekday MARC trains to games. The buses stop at Savage, Greenbelt and Washington's Union Station. The fare for the return trip, which leaves 20 minutes after games end, is $10.

The MTA also operates the 703 MARC bus on weekends, when the commuter trains do not run. Those buses run between Camden Yards and Greenbelt, where passengers can connect to the Metro system. Buses leave Greenbelt for Baltimore 90 minutes and 60 minutes before game time. The regular fare is $12 round-trip; the youth fare is $5.

Detailed information on schedules can be obtained at or by calling the MTA at 410-539-5000 on weekdays between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Michael Dresser

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