April 8, 2013
Last December, an American milestone passed virtually unnoticed. Forty years earlier, Harrison Schmitt became the 12th and last person to walk on the moon. Mr. Schmitt and the 11 men who preceded him - beginning with Neil Armstrong in 1969 - had this in common: All were employees of the United States government. Some have argued that sending men to the moon may not have been the most prudent use of American resources or ingenuity. But the realization of President John F. Kennedy's dream of a U.S. moon walk before the end of the 1960s became a symbol of the scientific and imaginative leadership of this country and what Kennedy termed our "freedom doctrine" during the Cold War. Now, the United States has an opportunity, even an obligation, to mobilize its resources and knowhow to achieve a more practical, and pressing, end. Increasingly under siege by destructive and deadly weather events - wrought, many scientists believe, by man-made climate change - we need to make a national commitment to weather research, including the fields of geo-engineering, weather modification and storm mitigation.
May 5, 2013
There are millions of immigrants in our country who aspire to become citizens, but under our broken immigration laws, they have no way to earn citizenship. I personally know some of these hard-working immigrants, and I think it's hurting our country to keep them living in the shadows. That's why I'm calling on Congress to protect the path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States and vote in favor of reform this year. We need real solutions, and rounding up 11 million people or asking them to self-deport is not only inhumane but completely unrealistic.
March 31, 2013
In Annapolis, some conservative Republicans - having apparently not taken notice of the 2012 election and the conundrum facing their party over its hard-line immigration stance at the national level - are lambasting a proposal to expand and make permanent a two-tier driver's license system in Maryland. One even warned that Maryland could soon become a "Disneyland" for illegal immigrants. But it is opponents who are living in a Disney-like fantasy land if they can't see who the chief beneficiary would be of any system that seeks to ensure all Maryland drivers meet minimum standards of knowledge and competency and are eligible for insurance.
April 10, 2013
Make room for cider and mead. In Maryland, cider was last popular in Colonial times. Mead never has been. But a new generation of mead and cider makers, with their feet planted firmly in Maryland soil, are rethinking these age-old fermented beverages and introducing them to new audiences. The meads from Orchid Cellar Winery in Middletown and the small-batch cider wines from Millstone Cellars in Monkton are showing up on the shelves of boutique wine and liquor stores. Bartenders are crafting them into cocktails at restaurants like Woodberry Kitchen and Bluegrass . Andrzej Wilk Jr. of Orchid Cellar and Kyle Sherrer of Millstone are the new agers, inspired by and committed to the attitudes about methods and sourcing that have inspired a generation of farm-to-table chefs.
April 14, 2013
After protesting at a nearby coal plant in 2008 and becoming discouraged with his own dependence on unsustainable energy, Charles County Commissioner Ken Robinson decided to build a wind generator on his coastal property and get off the grid. He became the first individual in Southern Maryland to build one on his land. After Mr. Robinson made the rounds to neighbors, the community embraced his idea. "Only slightly taller than a flag pole," the 33-foot turbine produces 30 percent to 40 percent of Mr. Robinson's power.
May 10, 2013
The Social Security Administration has released the most popular baby names of 2012 and at the top of the list are Jacob and Sophia. Ten years ago it was (also) Jacob and Emily, 20 years ago it was Michael and Ashley, and 50 years ago it was Michael and Lisa. A century ago John and Mary topped the list. When my daughter was born, we brought the laptop to the hospital and entered our favorite names into the SSA website to make sure we weren't picking one that was over-the-top common.
March 12, 2012
The $245 million settlement that Baltimore's Constellation Energy Group agreed to pay is the largest of its kind to resolve allegations of market manipulation with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Details of the settlement emerged Monday, the same day Chicago-based Exelon Corp. closed on its $7.9 billion takeover of Constellation. The sale creating the largest non-utility energy provider in the United States ushers Baltimore's last Fortune 500 company out of town. The New York Stock Exchange will de-list Constellation shares Tuesday.
January 15, 2003
MASERU, Lesotho - Residents of this southern African kingdom already know what Americans will be wearing this summer. In the capital's industrial zone set in the foothills of the Maluti Mountains, Raytex Garments' 600 employees sit hunched over sewing machines stitching blue and yellow baseball shirts for the shelves of Gap stores in the United States. Nearby, J&S Fashions is producing a line of knit pants and tops for Wal-Mart and Kmart. And on the factory floor of Nien Hsing International, several thousand workers are cutting and sewing ribbons of denim fabric into a fresh supply of America's fashion staple - blue jeans.
October 14, 2005
In the course of a year, people in the United States have an estimated 1 billion colds.
February 20, 2006
Good morning --American speed skaters --Has Hans Brinker moved to the United States?