February 24, 2013
There were two odd things about Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's presentation Wednesday at the Walters Art Museum to introduce "Change to Grow," her ambitious plan to put Baltimore's budget on a sustainable path, cut taxes and increase investments in infrastructure. First: the trivial. As her PowerPoint ended, music swelled in the background, specifically the opening guitar riffs to U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name," which includes the lines, "City's aflood/And our love turns to rust/We're beaten and blown by the wind/Trampled in dust.
February 5, 2013
Last week, top Maryland Democrats announced their intention to make it more difficult to put statewide policy referenda on the ballot. The move is a clear response to Republicans' success last year in putting to referendum policy questions in the hope of achieving victories the GOP couldn't win in the legislature. The Republicans' ballot plans backfired, most notably the surprising approval by voters of same-sex marriage. But the Democrats, who dominate state politics thanks to large legislative majorities, took notice of the potential threat to their legislative monopoly.
December 26, 2012
Most of us have probably seen or heard the ubiquitous ads promoting domestic natural gas drilling. While they don't tend to use the word "fracking," their message about hydraulic fracturing of shale is clear enough - little kids playing happily on green patches of grass and the promise of bountiful clean energy, jobs and all-around happiness all rolled into one. Two things can be inferred from the ads. First, that those in the oil and gas industry...
September 24, 2012
The letter from Steve Everley, a member of a research organization supported by the Independent Petroleum Institute of America ("Fracking gets an unfair rap," Sept. 21), is a bit misleading when it says that the moratorium on fracking "is just another way to obscure the fact that hydraulic fracturing has been examined, studied, assessed, and closely scrutinized for decades. " While it's true that hydraulic fracturing has been used and studied for decades, high-volume slick-water fracturing has been used only in about the past dozen years, and only in 2011 did the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency begin to respond to concerns that fracking was causing problems when they received many complaints from Pennsylvanians who were badly impacted by it. On Feb. 28, 2011, Ian Urbana, an investigative reporter for the New York Times, wrote that he found never-reported studies by the EPA and a confidential study by the drilling industry that all concluded that radioactivity in drilling waste cannot be fully diluted in rivers and other waterways.
July 20, 2012
Its incredible that with all of the articles on HIV and AIDS, the fact that the FDA has finally approved of a 15-minute over-the-counter test for HIV has barely been mentioned ("Rapid at-home HIV test gains federal approval," July 4). You talk about unprotected sex, you talk about abstinence, you talk about condoms, etc., but here we have a method to "privately and immediately " determine whether your partner is HIV positive. One would think this would be a strong deterrent for unprotected sex, but it seems like it's a taboo subject.
July 10, 2012
Congressman Elijah Cummings did two things recently that merit his defeat in November. He continues to be the lead defender of Attorney GeneralEric Holder'sdeliberate arming of Mexican drug cartels, which has led to the murder of hundreds of Mexicans and one U.S. Border Patrol agent - Brian Terry. This action alone merits his defeat. Second, he led the effort in committee to gut Congressman Ron Paul's bill to audit the Federal Reserve. The actions of the Fed in recent years have served to protect big Wall Street banks while impoverishing his constituents by drastically eroding the value of the dollars in our pockets.