Baltidome Blog | Baltimore Green News

Otis Rolley Is Speaking Out! -For Mayor, That Is

Otis Rolley Is Speaking Out!
-For Mayor, That Is

Photo Courtesy of Otis Rolley on Facebook

Back in May, Baltidome put out a plea for challengers to current Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and now a glimmer of hope may be on the horizon for the green-minded of Baltimore.

Rawlings-Blake has shown no love to environmentally conscious Baltimorians as she quickly wiped out the widely popular Cleaner Greener Baltimore campaign within weeks of taking office and has seemingly been on a sustainability rub-out ever since.

In a just a few short months Rawlings-Blake has replaced sustainability efforts years in the making (the plastic bag ban, HAZMAT collection days, Main Streets programs) with Indy racing, full support for a potential downtown Walmart Shopping complex (whose plan appears not to comply with current sustainability laws), a beverage tax, cuts to Parks and Senior Centers and more.

Imagine Baltidome’s delight to hear of challenger Otis Rolley, who reportedly “drew loud applause and cheers from the audience” at last week’s TEDxMidAtlantic event “for a shout-out to Baltimore as he opened his presentation on a fresh approach to urban renewal” (BmoreMedia article).  “If you’re really serious about rebuilding neighborhoods, you have to invest in structures that value people,” Rolley asserted.

Baltidome will be looking forward to hearing and reporting more about 2011 Mayoral Candidate Otis Rolley.


Learn Sausage-Making With Baltimore Food Makers
November 10, 2010, 4:17 pm
Filed under: Events, Local Food | Tags: , ,

Learn Sausage-Making With Baltimore Food Makers

Topic:  Sausage-Making At Home
When:  Nov. 13, 2010 from noon – 3 p.m.
Where:  address will be emailed to those who RSVP
Who:  Baltimore Food Makers and their family and friends (all ages welcome)
Cost:  Free!

This Saturday, Baltimore Food Makers, a group celebrating home-grown, home-preserved, and home-made food in Baltimore, will be giving a sausage making demonstration, with vegetarian options.  It is FREE to anyone who joins Baltimore Food Makers.

From Baltimore Food Makers:

Within Baltimore Food Makers, you will find people passionate about good food, people who want to know where their food comes from and who play a part in getting it from seed (or animal) to the table, people who are carrying on the important skills of growing and processing food for themselves and their families. We trade, barter, and share our equipment, skills, and knowledge.

To learn more and RSVP, CLICK HERE.


Kolya Abramsky Discussion On A Post-Petrol World
November 3, 2010, 6:00 pm
Filed under: Events | Tags: , ,

Kolya Abramsky Discussion On A Post-Petrol World

Kolya Abramsky presents Sparking a Worldwide Energy Revolution
Monday, November 8, 2010, 7pm
At Red Emmas,

As the world’s energy system faces a period of unprecedented change, a global struggle over who controls the sector–and for what purposes–is intensifying. The question of “green capitalism” is now unavoidable, for capitalist planners and anti-capitalist struggles alike. From all sides we hear that it’s time to save the planet in order to save the economy, but in reality what lies before us is the next round of global class struggle with energy at the center, as the key means of production and subsistence. There are no easy answers in this battle for control of the world’s energy system–all we can be sure of is the fact that the fight has already begun.

Join Red Emma’s as we welcome energy activist and scholar Kolya Abramsky for a discussion of his new edited collection, Sparking a Worldwide Energy Revolution,

Is The Baltimore City Council Going To Vote On Illegal Walmart Shopping Complex Plans?

Is The Baltimore City Council Going To Vote On An Illegal PUD?

Anderson Automotive, site of the the proposed Baltimore Walmart development

On November 8th the Baltimore City Council is expected to vote to amend the Planned Unit Development (PUD) for the Walmart-anchored 25th Street Station development proposed for the Remington neighborhood of Baltimore.  There have been many concerns raised by residents about the impending development over the past several months, and while some concerns have been addressed, many have not.

One of the outstanding issues of the 25th Street Station development is the proposed project’s status as it relates to current state Stormwater Management Law.  Concern was raised at the August 5th Planning Commission hearing that the project appears not to comply with the Stormwater Management Act enacted by the state of Maryland in 2007.

So, why wouldn’t the proposed development comply with current law?  To explain, one must understand that there is a considerable amount of green space currently on the property of the proposed development, a rarity in Baltimore City.  Under the plan for the 25th Street Station, this open land will be covered and “replaced” with a green roof and small islands of greenery about the development. While a green roof can indeed be an effective sustainability feature of a building, it simply can not be compared as apples to apples when replacing permeable open land.

The developers have yet to justify how the 25th Street Station would not be creating more stormwater runoff than exists on the already developed property, a requirement of the 2007 Stormwater Management Act.  Stormwater runoff is generated when rain and snowmelt flows on solid surfaces, collects debris, chemicals, sediment and pollutants and transports them directly, unfiltered, to the nearest waterways.  The result can be harmful to the environment and the new Stormwater Law aims to stop this byproduct thoughtless development.

No justification has had to be made by the developers for their seeming disregard of the law, however.  The Baltimore City Planning Department o.k’d the project under the presumption that it had been “grandfathered” into the old Maryland Stormwater Management requirements. After the hearing, when residents requested the waiver that is needed for a project to be grandfathered, the Baltimore City Department of Public Works responded by stating that the project does not have an approved waiver and a waiver had not been requested.

The fact that a waiver is being discussed at all is a disgrace given that Jon Laria, the attorney who represents the development team, was recently appointed Chair of the Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission.  It should also be mentioned that Jon Laria is the leading contributor to the O’Malley campaign.

If the 25th Street Station development is granted a waiver then it will not be “LEED certifiable” as required by Baltimore Green Building Standards.  According to LEED requirements, construction “must comply with applicable federal, state, and local building-related environmental laws and regulations in place where the project is located.”

So, will the Baltimore City Council vote on a PUD that does not comply with current law?  – We’ll see.