March 29, 2010
On a bridge behind a strip mall on Liberty Road just west of Baltimore, a group of state biologists trekked out in the morning drizzle Monday to gauge the health of the Chesapeake Bay. From the bridge over the Gwynns Falls they lowered a device about 2 feet into the brown-green water to take the temperature and measure the dissolved oxygen. Then they lowered a bottle with a small crane to collect a water sample, checking for sediment, nutrients and solids. The effort, made in 54 sites each month across the state since 1986, shows the short-and long-term health of Maryland's streams, the Inner Harbor and, ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay. The results not only help guide those who regulate pollution, but help the biologists show how the way people live and work affects the water quality nearby and downstream.
February 25, 2010
As a Baltimore City resident and environmental law student at the University of Maryland School of Law, I was pleased to see the attention brought to the Baltimore City Council's current efforts to curb waste from discarded plastic bags ("Besieged by Bags," Feb. 22). However, I do not agree with the criticism of the council's efforts without recognition of their ongoing dedication to this critical issue. Given the deliberation of two separate ordinances which would reduce plastic bag pollution (the 25-cent fee and a flat ban)
January 10, 2010
Maryland lawmakers prefer the final year of a four-year term to be quiet and noncontroversial as they face an election year. The General Assembly session set to begin Wednesday is likely to prove nothing of the sort for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, legislators are expected to struggle to pass a budget. Despite a promise of no growth in general fund spending, the state is facing more than a $1 billion shortfall in the next fiscal year and, after two years of falling tax revenue, will be forced to cut programs that have been cut before.
December 1, 2009
Tim Wheeler's story "Heavy rains deter planting of cover crops" (Nov. 21) accurately states the effects of weather, grain markets, business costs and other logistics on a farmer's ability to plant cover crops. The O'Malley administration understands these challenges and has, year after year, listened to farmers, adapted the state's cover crop program to make it logistically and financially appealing, targeted resources for maximum results, approved all applications and committed record funding that has covered all payments promised to farmers.
November 24, 2009
Jurors in Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon's theft and embezzlement trial are heading into a fourth day of deliberations today but reported Monday that they were making "progress." A note delivered about 4:30 p.m. Monday from the jury forewoman asked Judge Dennis M. Sweeney to dismiss jurors for the day but also said, "We are making progress." "My suggestion is that we follow the jury's lead," Sweeney said, and instructed the nine women and three men to return at 9 a.m. today.
April 5, 2009
This wasn't supposed to be a big year for the environmentalist movement in Annapolis, and that may yet prove to be the case. Program Open Space funds are under assault from the state Senate, millions of cap-and-trade dollars from power plants are being diverted from alternative energy and efficiency programs, and some important environmental programs have had their budgets cut (as many state government functions have). But with just a week left in the legislative session, the greenies are in a surprisingly good position to pull off some significant wins.
September 7, 2008
In the beginning, the Maryland Christian Saints were woeful. They had no field, hardly any equipment and barely enough players. They won one game and lost 10, and most of the games were blowouts, in which the Saints were overrun by more powerful teams. What a difference four years makes. Last year, the Saints - a high school football team made up of home-schooled boys, most of them from Harford County - won six games and lost five, and won their league championship. On Aug. 30, they played their first game on their new home field, beating Elkton Christian Academy 29 to 26. The Saints now have enough players to form a junior varsity team, and last year they introduced their own squad of cheerleaders (21 home-schooled girls)