Baltidome Blog | Baltimore Green News

Whither Cleaner Greener Indeed

Whither Cleaner Greener Indeed

When Mayor Rawlings-Blake took office a few months ago, many were looking for clues for which direction the new mayor would take the city.  We wondered which policies of the prior administration would be followed through with and what would be changed.  In a February post on the B’More Green Baltimore Sun Blog (Whither “cleaner, greener” Baltimore?), reporter Tim Wheeler questioned whether the new administration would continue the campaign for a Cleaner, Greener and more sustainable Baltimore, or not.

From the article:
Rawlings-Blake already has signaled that she’s got different watchwords for the city under her mayoralty – “better, safer, stronger.” And she’s indicated she plans to focus on public safety, education and economic development.

Now, some of Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s interests (or perhaps disinterests) are becoming clear.  Rawlings-Blake spoke out against the plastic bag fee that then failed in city council hearings earlier this month and her proposed budget cuts to parks and recreation, city tree planting and trash pickup, make it obvious that her priorities are not geared toward a Cleaner, Greener Baltimore.

In a post by Tim Wheeler at B’More Green today, Wheeler writes, “City budget cuts may mean dirtier streams, harbor“.

From the article:
In today’s Baltimore Sun, City Hall reporter Julie Scharper quotes Public Works Director David E. Scott saying that under the pared-down preliminary budget recently presented by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, his department would stop maintaining nets and booms across local streams that keep trash out of the harbor. The department also would have to cut back on the frequency with which it cleans out storm drains, sweeps streets and picks up bulk trash, he said.

As many know by now, the mayor has also proposed cuts to police and the fire department.  The curious thing about her proposal, is that she only offers two choices: cutting police, fire deparment and Baltimore’s sustainability programs OR increase taxes.  There are many other areas of the city where the mayor could apply a more broad and perhaps, less threatening tightening of the belt, but apparently they will be immune under her reign.

Washington Post Selects Baltimore For Eco-Trippers
March 30, 2010, 12:56 am
Filed under: News | Tags: , ,

Washington Post Selects Baltimore For Eco-Trippers

Inner Harbor Native Garden

The Washington Post recently released an article highlighting Baltimore as a destination for those who are looking for eco-attractions.

The Washington Post cites Baltimore as one of the top 10 most sustainable cities in America and states, “eco-trippers will be charmed to learn that Maryland’s largest city is a close friend of Earth”.  The article points out the world’s first waterwheel-powered trash interceptor at the Inner Harbor, Cylburn Arboretum, Ecofest, bike lane construction and other Baltimore City green features.

For the full article from the Washington Post, CLICK HERE.

Green Energy Business Opportunity Conference In Baltimore

From Capitol Wire PR:

The Green Energy Business Opportunity Conference [GEBOC] will convene on May 12 and 13 at the Baltimore Convention Center in the region’s historic center of commerce, Baltimore, Maryland’s Inner Harbor.

The GEBOC initiative is attracting a broad spectrum of national and regional organizations to help organize experts and industry leaders to share insight, business prospects and financing leads.  Major energy and construction industry representatives; small, veteran, women and minority business owners; and capitalists, bankers and investors will gather at the forum led by the President’s Round Table.

From the conference site:
The whole country is on the verge of major changes in energy supply and demand. Maryland and North Carolina have emerged as cutting edge pioneers on the East Coast. This conference will give small businesses an opportunity to understand the energy environment, plan business growth and find financing. It’s time to catch the green energy wave.” said Stanley Tucker, President of the President’s Round Table.

To register or for an updated agenda, panel topics and list of speakers, go to

State of Downtown: Mega Structures, Big Boxes Will Not Go On Forever

State of Downtown: Mega Structures, Big Boxes Will Not Go On Forever

Urban development author and keynote speaker for the annual State of Downtown report, James Howard Kunstler, delivered an address to Baltimore business people Tuesday stressing modesty.  According to an article in the Daily Record, Kunstler stated to the crowd that “Skyscrapers are over — they’re only possible with cheap energy,” and “Think the big box stores will go on forever? Forget about it”.  Kunstler explained that the high cost of fuel, energy and materials will be a factor in running and maintaining mega-structures, but Baltimore is one of the “lucky” cities poised to adapt to the urban future.

From the Daily Record:

“Keep it modest,” he said. “We’re not going to be building mega structures anymore.”

It’s for those reasons Kunstler said Baltimore is a “poster child” for future American cities, saying that it already has many of his required elements, including early 20th-century buildings waiting to be renovated.

“You’re lucky you have so much fabric left from the … pre-auto age,” he said.

He predicted a population explosion for Baltimore if the city continues to work within its existing infrastructure and grows organically. Meanwhile, “overbuilt” cities like New York could struggle with no means of keeping up their modern skyscrapers.

For the full article in the Daily Record, CLICK HERE.

Take The Tap Water Challenge at Druid Hill Park
March 22, 2010, 4:59 pm
Filed under: Events | Tags: ,

Take The Tap Water Challenge at Druid Hill Park, 3/23

WHAT: Getting States Off the Bottle
Blindfolded taste test pitting local tap water against the bottled water brands using Maryland taxdollars.

Bottled water corporations are convincing communities and individuals that the only place to get clean, safe water is from a bottle. But the fact is, bottled water has social and environmental impacts: It’s bad for taxpayers, it’s bad for our public water systems, and it’s bad for the environment. We do not need to spend taxpayer dollars for our state to buy bottled water, a for a product that we don’t even need.

WHEN: Tuesday, March 23, 2010
11:00 AM

WHERE: Druid Lake Reservoir
Swann Dr. and Stand Dr. — next to the William Wallace statue.
Baltimore, Maryland 21211

WHO: -Adam Macon, Maryland Organizer, Corporate Accountability International
-Mary Roby, Executive Director, Herring Run Watershed Association
-Mary Allwine, Co-Chair, Maryland Green Party
* & more…

To learn more about the Think Outsie The Bottle campaign, CLICK HERE.

Maryland Senate Cuts Bay Cleanup Fund In 1/2 Just In Time For Earth Day

Maryland Senate Cuts Bay Cleanup Fund In 1/2 Just In Time For Earth Day

Chesapeake Bay Bridge Daily Commute

According to Associated Press writer, Brian Witte, the Maryland Senate Budget and Taxation Committee voted on Thursday to cut a fund to help cleanup the Chesapeake Bay in half, “from $20 million to $10 million”.

For a link to the article and a list of more Maryland budget cuts, CLICK HERE.

Earth Day, April 22nd 2010, is one month from today.  Help spread the news about Baltimore’s greenest month of the year by submitting your April green events to for posting on the Baltidome Insider Events page.  New events are added daily.  With or without the state’s help, many individuals and organizations are working hard to create a greener Baltimore and Baltidome is committed to help spread the word.