Baltidome Blog | Baltimore Green News


Bike Rentals Available In Hampden
March 23, 2011, 7:00 am
Filed under: Biking In Baltimore | Tags: , ,

Bike Rentals Available In Hampden

Twenty 20 Cycling, a Baltimore bike shop in Hampden, now offers a line of bicycle rentals including the Vienna 4 Bicycle (above) and others.

According to Twenty 20 Cycling

The Vienna 4 is the ultimate city bike. Featuring Aluminum Construction, 700c wheels and an 8 Speed Internally Geared Hub. The Vienna is simple for everyone to use. Light enough for a workout and comfortable enough for a great day of riding around Charm City.

Each bike is equipped with one water bottle cage and is fully tuned and inspected before and after each ride so you can ride with confidence.

Rentals are available 7 days per week. Multi-day and week long rentals are also available.  A bike rental for a full day is $35.

For more information, CLICK HERE.



Baltimore To Host 2012 National Main Streets Conference

Despite City Hall Blows, Baltimore Main Streets Continue To Gain Recognition

Yesterday, Edward Gunts, of the Baltimore Sun, reported that Baltimore has been selected as the host of the yearly four day long National Main Streets Conference for 2012.

Baltimore's Main Street Logo

Recent years have been difficult for Baltimore Mains Streets.  In late 2009 the Baltimore Development Corporation created a special “focus zone” in the city that would give significant tax breaks to a big-box development proposed for the area.  At the same time, the BDC was contemplating a reduction in the Baltimore’s Main Street program.  In March 2010, the BDC announced cuts to the Main Street program for the budget of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, which included eliminating nearly half of the 10 Baltimore Main Streets initiatives.

Later, in November 2010, Baltimore City Council voted unanimously to approve the development plans of the 25th Street Station downtown big-box shopping center, despite push back from independent retailers and residents.  The irony, or course, is the Baltimore Main Street’s logo (at left), which the city reportedly spent not an insignificant amount to have created.

Apparently, the National Trust For Historic Preservation, a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to saving historic places and revitalizing America’s communities, saw something more valuable in Baltimore’s Main Streets and have selected Baltimore to host the National Main Streets Conference in 2012.

From the conference site:

Past conference host communities have gained needed or continued support from state and/or local governments and funders by sharing their successes with a national audience of their peers through coverage by national media, including CNN, Good Morning America, and Parade Magazine, which have covered past conferences, and through the Great American Main Street Awards®, which are presented at the conference.

The conference will take place in Baltimore April 1-4, 2012 at the Hilton Baltimore Convention Center Hotel.  It is open to the public.  According to the National Trust For Historic Preservation, “When historic buildings and neighborhoods are torn down or allowed to deteriorate, a part of our past disappears forever.”



Constellation Says Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Plant Safe, But Evidence Shows, No It Is Not

Constellation Says Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Plant Safe, But Evidence Shows…
No It Is Not

In interviews over the past few days, Constellation Energy spokespersons have been working to convince the public that their U.S. nuclear power plants are safe from disaster.  The truth is, while there appears to be no imminent danger, there are far too many factors that can go wrong at any nuclear plant, at any time, that put us all at risk.

In recent years, government officials and nuclear power investors have been contemplating a third reactor at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Maryland.  Until the disaster in Japan, nuclear energy was being propagandized as a “green” energy alternative and nationally there has been talk of a “Nuclear Renaissance”.  However, not everyone has been saying yes to nuclear expansion.  In addition to environmental groups around the world over, Baltidome has been posting concerns over a Nuclear Renaissance for years (See posts on “Nuclear Energy”).

From previous Baltidome Posts:

(2009) Currently Calvert Cliffs has more than 900 tons of nuclear waste stored at the site with no place to go (In the United States, spent nuclear fuel is not reprocessed as it is in other countries, such as Japan).  [1]

(2009) During security exercises in Spring 2009, “bullets escaped the firing range… striking buildings and a vehicle near the reactors, according to the NRC, Constellation and the sheriff’s office.”  In other words, somebody accidentally shot toward the reactors during an annual security drills. [2]

(2010) On March 12, 2010 an al-Qaida sweep in Yemen resulted in the roundup of 11 individuals.  One of the individuals, was a suspected al-Qaida member whose records show he worked at six U.S. nuclear power plants, including Calvert Cliffs. [3]

While the disaster in Japan is likely to quell the nuclear renaissance here in the US, it is important that we do not have short memories.  If people were not listening to the nuclear naysayers before, perhaps this tragedy will be an eye opener.

What is the worse that could happen from damage to solar panels and wind turbines?

Sources:
1. – Safeenergymd.org
2. – Washington Post
3. – Huffington Post



Use Your Ingenuity And Creativity For Good And A Chance To Win $10,000
March 14, 2011, 8:55 am
Filed under: News | Tags: , ,

Use Your Ingenuity And Creativity For Good – The Urbanite Project

Returning this year is the Urbanite Project, a scheme set forth last year by the folks at Urbanite to encourage individuals to team up and develop creative ideas to make Baltimore a better place.  This year, Urbanite is taking it up a notch -a BIG notch, and offering a chance to win $10,000 and the opportunity for contestants to bring their ideas to fruition.

The theme of this year’s Urbanite Project circles around Baltimore City’s Red Line, the proposed East-West light rail.

From Urbanite:

We’re inviting self-organized teams to compete for $10,000 in prize money (provided by the MTA) and the chance to implement their solution to a pressing city issue: the quality-of-life issues brought about by the construction of the Red Line.

The proposed Red Line is a 14.5-mile, light rail transit line that will run west-east from Woodlawn through downtown Baltimore, Fells Point, and Canton to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Campus. It will link up with the existing light rail, Metro subway, and MARC train lines, creating a comprehensive transportation system that runs both above-ground, mostly on medians along existing roads, and in underground tunnels.

Baltimore, whose neighborhoods were once connected by a network of streetcars, is now served by one light rail line and one subway line, which do not serve many of the city’s neighborhoods in East and West Baltimore. The Red Line has the potential to not only alleviate traffic and provide all the usual public transit benefits, but also to create connections between communities that are traditionally separate.

Aside from these potential benefits, one major drawback of the Red Line is that construction could dramatically disrupt life in the communities through which it is to pass. Construction is expected to begin in the next five years and could last up to five years after that. Sections of this town are going to be torn up, with traffic stopped or slowed and pedestrian access limited.

While many look at the construction period and see nothing but hassle and inconvenience, this kind of disruption also brings opportunities. We think we can take advantage of this period to create a unique, vibrant, productive urban space. Call it creative urban design, installation art, whatever: We have an opportunity to turn this construction period into an economic benefit, help open up conduits of travel and communication along the route, and potentially leave a lasting positive impact on the city.

The deadline for entries is June 3rd. For more information, CLICK HERE.



Sowebo Meeting Offers Free Pie To Entice Residents To “Bloom Your Block” And Streetscaping Discussion

Sowebo Meeting Offers Free Pie To Entice Residents To “Bloom Your Block” And Streetscaping Discussion

Community organizers of the Union Square/Hollins Market Historic District in South West Baltimore are using pie as a lure this Sunday, March 13th at 7pm to entice residents to a discussion about keeping their neighborhood clean and the upcoming Bloom Your Block competition in their neighborhood.

The kick-off for the Bloom Your Block contest will begin the following Sunday with a plant swap and collection of donated plants and soil.  Judging for the competition will commence in June where photos will be taken of the neighborhood plantings to see who has the greenest block.

Union Square Streetscape Meeting
Sunday, March 13, 2011 at 7pm
1338 W. Lombard Street
MAP IT

To get connected with Union Square residents click on the following links for their Facebook and Twitter pages.

For more information, please contact Sal at 302-270-5503 or email at salvatoreseeley@aol.com



More Than 50 Cyclists And Dozens Others Show Up For Nathan’s Ride

More Than 50 Cyclists And Dozens More Supporters Show Up For Nathan’s Ride

Over 50 cyclists and dozens more supporters showed up for the “Support Ride for Nathan” on Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 at The Broadview apartments in Baltimore, the location of the accident where Nathan was injured in February.  Among the riders were Nathan’s brother, sister and father, who purchased bicycles just days before the ride.

Others at the meetup included friends of Nathan, representatives from Baltimore area cycling groups, Councilwoman Mary Pat Clark, Baltimore Bike Planner Nate Evans and many more concerned citizens.

Penny Troutner, a member of Biking in B’More, the group who organized the event, spoke to the crowd regarding her inspiration for the ride, but her words were muffled by the thumping of a news chopper overhead that was filming the scene.  Nathan’s father, Mitchell Krasnopoler, followed Penny and updated the attendees on Nathan’s condition, which is still critical weeks after the accident. He also offered his thanks to supporters.
(A link to Mitchell Krasnopoler’s speech can be found here.)

Nathan's Father Addresses Cyclists

The riders departed from the Broadview Apartments on University Parkway shortly after 6 pm, rode through Baltimore City and to Johns Hopkins Hospital where Nathan is currently hospitalized.

Nathan Krasnopoler collided with a car making a right hand turn on Saturday, February 26th, 2011.  He was riding his bike in a marked bike lane on West University Parkway when he was struck by a vehicle.  Nathan became trapped under the car during the accident and was without oxygen for a substantial period of time.  He remains in a coma at Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Nathan is a second-year Johns Hopkins University student.  His father is updating his condition @facebook.