June 25, 2009
National Aquarium in Baltimore, whose bond rating was downgraded by a major Wall Street firm this week, said Wednesday that the nonprofit has been taking steps to improve its financial condition during tough economic times. Moody's Investors Service cut the aquarium's rating from "A3" to "Baa1," which is still an investment-grade category but a move that makes it more expensive to borrow money. Moody's cited concerns about the aquarium's diminishing financial resources due to recent investment losses, using funds from the group's foundation arm to finance capital projects and pressure on attendance as well as exposure to debt with a variable rate.
April 9, 2009
Its stars may be as frolicsome and endearing as ever, but designers of the new dolphin show at the National Aquarium in Baltimore say the idea is to do more than simply show the aquatic charmers at play. "In the old show, Play, we tried to show play as a form of learning," says Nancy Hotchkiss, the aquarium's senior director for visitor experiences. "We wanted people to see that with the dolphins, and realize that for themselves." The new show, titled Our Ocean Planet, tries for something a little more serious, she says.
November 23, 2008
Woman stabbed to death at Baltimore County store 1 A 23-year-old woman was fatally stabbed yesterday afternoon in a liquor store in western Baltimore County near the city line, Baltimore County police said. The woman was in the Charing Cross Liquors store in the 5200 block of Baltimore National Pike around 4 p.m. when she was stabbed in the neck, Cpl. Ben Yohe said. The woman, whose name was not released, was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center where she was pronounced dead, Yohe said.
October 19, 2008
The "staycation" trend has been around since last summer and with the recent economic turmoil, it's probably here to stay. Even if the market rebounds quickly, there's still baggage fees, fewer flights and general travel weariness dragging down tourism. There are a couple of bright spots in the recent patch of dreary financial news. One is the rising strength of the dollar against some foreign currencies, which could help you save a few bucks on a hotel in London or Quebec. Another is falling gas prices that make the quick weekend getaway a bit more tempting.
September 25, 2008
What was that thing in the water? A dolphin? A shark? Gail Hill was calmly feeding the ducks off her pier in Essex's Norman Creek on Tuesday evening when she spotted what was unmistakably a large form moving just under the surface. Wait, make that two. It was only when one of the beasts popped its whiskered snout out of the water that Hill realized the visitors were manatees - a not-too-common animal in the Chesapeake Bay and its estuaries. Normally, they're sunning themselves in balmy Florida.
August 17, 2008
I was kneeling under 12 feet of water when the sensation began, the feeling of something soft and velvety on the back of my neck. A minute passed, then another, and it was still there, a feathery pressure. There were nine sharks, including two very playful zebra sharks, swimming near me, but I wasn't worried about the tickle coming from one of them. They all kept a respectable - if not respectful - distance, even if that was barely a foot away at times. After all, I had told dive master Yves Delpech I would not be intimidated by having the creatures on top of me, in a manner of speaking.