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Baltimore In Google Earth
March 18, 2010, 1:41 am
Filed under: News | Tags: ,

Baltimore In Google Earth

*If you’re at work, turn down your sound before you start this.*



Baltimore City Council Caves On Plastic Bag Ban

Baltimore City Council Caves On Plastic Bag Ban

Drain At Port Covington Shopping Center

Baltimore Sun reporter Timothy B. Wheeler revealed in an article today that Baltimore City Council has deserted the plastic bag fee/ban (two years in the works) in favor of a “Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance”.  Under the ordinance:

Participating merchants could still give out plastic carryout bags, but only if customers ask for them. The stores would have to collect the bags for recycling, offer reusable shopping bags for sale and post signs in their stores encouraging customers to use reusable bags. Violations would be subject to fines ranging from $100 to $1,000 for repeat infractions.

One might ask, how, in a recession, the city is going to be able to muster the manpower to enforce the ordinance -OR- how they will ensure the accuracy of the count of bags given out verses the bags saved?  Light enforcement is probably just what big retailers are counting on.

Apparently, the city council was under pressure from merchants and bag manufacturers to not pass the ban and has succumb to their influence.  According to Wheeler, “The lobbyist for the Maryland Retailers Association and a lawyer for Walmart were on hand today to witness the committee’s action”.

For the full article in the Baltimore Sun, CLICK HERE.



Green Beer -Not So Green
March 15, 2010, 7:53 pm
Filed under: News | Tags: , ,

Green Beer -Not So Green

Turns out, that the ingredients most commonly used on St. Patrick’s Day to make green beer are not very green at all.

Most green beer is created from synthetic food coloring containing FD&C Green No. 3.  Green No. 3 is a substance that is reported to have produced tumors in experimental animals, as well as mutations in both experimental animals and humans. It is banned by the European Union.

Alternatively, some bars use blue dye in light yellow beers to create the green effect.  In this case they generally use synthetic dye FD&C Blue No. 1 or FD&C Blue No. 2.  Blue No. 1 has been reported by the FDA to create incidents of toxicity, including death, when used in medical feeding solutions.  Blue No. 2 is the same artificial coloring used to dye most jeans and both No. 1 & 2 are argued to be linked to attention deficit disorder (ADD).

Sources:
FDA
Scientific American
Absolute Astronomy



Is Baltimore City Looking To Give Tax Breaks Or Sell Recycle Bins?

Is Baltimore City Looking To Give Tax Breaks Or Sell Recycle Bins?

This week Baltidome learned from ABC News of a possible bill to grant Baltimore City residents a tax break if they recycle.  Excited by the proposition, Baltidome checked out the bill in question, HOUSE BILL 1001, to get the details. Unfortunately, the findings were disappointing.  According to the bill, the tax break would begin on July 1, 2010 for the “Use of City Recycling Bins” and not exclusively for the activity of recycling.

Currently you may put your recyclable materials in paper bags, cardboard boxes, City recycle bins or any container clearly marked “recycle”.  On recycling collection days the resourcefulness of Baltimorians is evident as many used and equally effective containers sit in tandem with official city bins on sidewalks.  Requiring citizens who already have effective containers to buy a NEW plastic bin in order to receive the tax break would be counterproductive and short sighted.

House Bill 1001 is sponsered by Maryland delegates FRANK M. CONAWAY, JR., frank.conaway@house.state.md.us, and CURTIS STOVALL ANDERSON, curt.anderson@house.state.md.us.



Re: Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, I Hate To Say I Told You So, But…

Re: Calvert Cliffs, I Hate To Say I Told You So, But…

In an August 2009 post, Why Should Baltimore Care About A New Nuclear Reactor At Calvert Cliffs, Baltidome outlined reasons why Baltimorians should get involved with the Nuclear Renaissance debate and a third reactor at Calvert Cliffs.  One point of the post payed particular attention to national security.

The post points out that, although there is no (public) evidence to suggest that Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Plant is a specific target, recent security exercises gone bad illustrate how poorly equipped the facility may be to handle a security breach.

 

Fast forward to today where news broke about an al-Qaida sweep in Yemen that resulted in the roundup of 11 individuals; a roundup that included one suspected al-Qaida member whose records show he worked at six U.S. nuclear power plants, including Calvert Cliffs.

So, again the question is raised, should we be supporting a Nuclear Renaissance in the United States?

For a full article about the suspected al-Qaida member, CLICK HERE.



Port Covington Wal-Mart: A Case Study In Pictures

Port Covington Wal-Mart: A Case Study In Pictures

On Feb. 24, 2010, an article in The Daily Record announced that Wal-Mart was planning to join the 25th Street Station development project in Remington.  Senior manager Rhonda Washington stated that it was “so consistent with where Baltimore is headed as far as the green movement”.  Baltidome visited the existing Wal-Mart shopping center in Port Covington to see how the retailer was fitting into the Cleaner Greener Baltimore initiative.  The following pictures were taken in March 2010.

Former Sam's Club

In 2002, the Port Covington shopping center opened to a “robust welcome” with a Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club and a zoning plan to include Staples, Party City, Modell’s and Dress Barn.  The other stores never moved in and in 2007, Sam’s Club closed. Wal-Mart now sits alone at the end of the peninsula on the abandoned project site.

Related Articles:
Baltimore Sun, Wal-Mart comes to the city,  7/09/2001
Baltimore Business Journal, Center of controversy: Why Port Covington failed as a retail mecca, 3/9/2007

No Walmart In Remington Petition

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