March 5, 2012
Maryland farmers produce no crop more valuable than chickens. The state ranks eighth nationally, and the 1.4 billion pounds of broilers grown each year are valued at more than $600 million, or roughly 40 percent of all the state's crops added together. Yet the industry is in danger of harming itself - and others - with its continued opposition to a proposed ban on arsenic in chicken feed. How can poultry producers possibly oppose taking a known carcinogen out of the food chain?
February 20, 2012
At first, it seemed as if Rick Santorum was questioning President Barack Obama's religious faith. Now, it appears that what he meant was to question the faith of all Americans who believe clean water, air and land is in the public interest. For someone running for secular office, the former Pennsylvania senator has expressed a lot of thoughts about Catholicism, Christianity and religion in general, but even his supporters must have been surprised when he denounced President Obama as embracing a "phony theology" during a recent campaign appearance in Ohio.
January 9, 2012
I read with great interest the commentary by Tom Horton regarding Maryland's draft forest policy ("To save the bay, save the trees," Jan. 5). As an active master gardener and avid outdoor person, I am tuned in to the environment. It is well known our current Baltimore County administration has comfortable ties to the development corporations. Since May 2011, I have been dealing with the effects of sprawling development on the environment in Randallstown and a lack of interest from county government.
December 25, 2011
Johns Hopkins intensive care nurse Nelly E. Lopez spends so much of her workday monitoring patient distress alarms that she sometimes hears phantom beeps even when she is no longer on the job. Hopkins doctors say Lopez's "alarm fatigue" shows what is wrong with hospital intensive care units, which they describe as fragmented systems made up of dozens of machines that don't talk to one another. The constant alarms, invasive instruments and unwieldy number of machines create a stressful, and sometimes unsafe, environment for the medical staff as well as ICU patients, who are the ones in most critical condition.
December 1, 2011
A suspicious pattern of bidding on state grants for installing less-polluting septic systems — part of a wide-ranging critique of the Maryland Department of the Environment — has prompted legislative auditors to call for a criminal investigation. In a report released Thursday, auditors found a series of fiscal, management and regulatory problems at the agency, including potential violations of state law for hiring a retiring employee as a consultant. The audit also faulted the department's handling of a computer system upgrade and oversight of construction sites, hazardous-materials facilities and rental housing containing lead paint.
November 27, 2011
John David Kromkowski learned about compound interest as a youngster with the help of a passbook savings account at the bank. "Every time you went in, they would calculate the interest for you and put it in the book," the 49-year-old Baltimore County lawyer recalls. "It made me feel like, 'I'm making money here.'" Now, Kromkowski wants his son to learn about the miracle of compounding — earning interest on interest. The problem: Savings accounts pay so little interest now that compounding is negligible.
November 15, 2011
A burden on the working class. A jobs killer. A hidden tax on every purchase. That's' just some of the strong invective hurled at the concept of cap-and-trade programs by its politically conservative critics in recent years. But a funny thing has happened to those 10 states, including Maryland, that actually signed onto what's known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and started requiring power plant owners to purchase allowances for each ton of carbon dioxide they emit.
November 8, 2011
In Dan Rodricks ' otherwise intriguing discussion of the future of Sparrows Point ("Re-imagining Sparrows Point," Nov. 6) I found the total absence of any mention of environmental impact startling. I believe that we need to include environmental interests at the beginning so it is built into any development plan, not put on as a somewhat unwelcome afterthought. Natalie Dandekar
October 27, 2011
The recent editorial ("Understanding the environment," Oct. 25) supporting the amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that would require United States public schools to teach environmental literacy is right on target. Not to teach our children about "the forces that are changing our planet" would leave future generations clueless. It's very like bears, foxes, wolves and other animals not teaching their offspring to hunt for food, avoid prey or find safe shelter.
October 27, 2011
Bruce Holstein moved to Carroll County eight years ago looking for land to build a house so he could live closer to his grown daughter and her family. He settled on a historic road with no streetlights, flanked by maple and hickory trees, with corn and soybean farms in the distance. It's a small-town way of life that Holstein wants to preserve, and he sees no bigger threat than a statewide plan to direct development — a plan set to take effect as early as next month. Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley's effort to target growth near existing development — and to withhold funding from local governments that don't comply — has raised hackles in some corners of Maryland.