The Bay continued to be on the receiving end of high river flows in July. The flows have been higher than normal for 13 out of the last 15 months, according to data from the U.S. Geological Survey. The pollution carried into the Bay during that span has led to worse than normal water
The governor’s office has fenced off funding for MD’s new Prescription Drug Board; Kirwan defends work of state education commission; Sun investigates how racing commission members are financially invested in the sport they oversee; state AGs, phone companies vow to fight robocalls; Baltimore objects to SNAP benefit changes; record lottery, casino revenue; BSO musicians won’t return to stage without contract; Chestertown chief tapped for new Natural Resources police chief; black liquor renewable energy reforms discussed; feds release funds for opioid fight in MD; students move into mold remediated dorms; fire put out near State House; GBMC seeks approval for renovations; Frederick County sheriff’s ICE agreement under scrutiny
From Len Lazarick
When I saw the schedule for the Columbia Sister City trip to China, I realized I had visited most of the places on the trip, and didn’t need to go again. I started searching for an alternative. I teach East Asian history at Howard Community College and have done a master’s degree in Chinese history. I found a very nice tour from China Senior Tours. Cost is cost of the tour for single occupancy is $3599, including hotels, meals, private car, guide, domestic flight and entrance fees.
While greening of the Bay’s lands is good, we know that far better would be green and wet; and that’s where we need to reconsider and actively restore the beaver. No creature on Earth, save for modern humans, has more capacity to transform a landscape; and in designing a landscape that produces excellent water quality, the beaver has no equal.
There was Hysteria for Comptroller Peter Franchot in Columbia Thursday evening. Or was it Franchot for Hysteria, a craft brewery in an industrial park? The free beer and pizza for over 100 guests were part of Franchot’s continuing taproom tour across Maryland in his not-yet-official campaign for governor.
The full impact of last year’s high flows on the Chesapeake’s underwater grasses, one of the Bay’s most critical habitats, remains murky as scientists try to assess the full impact of last year’s record rainfall. The good news, according to the results of the 2018 aerial survey, is that underwater grass acreage increased overall from 2017 in areas where the survey was completed. But the full story is far from clear. Most of that survey was finished before unrelenting rains began in late July.
A new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report, shows that rising seas are inducing a particular type of increased flooding around the country. The phenomenon, known as high-tide or “sunny day” flooding because of the absence of rainfall as a trigger, struck a median of five days last year at nearly 100 coastal locations, tying the record set in 2015.
The annual Tawes Crab and Clam Bake in Crisfield on the Lower Shore of the Chesapeake is always hot, but Wednesday it wasn’t just the crabs that were steamed and the clams that were baked. The main topic of the day was how hot it was. Cell phones were registering that it felt over 100 degrees. Gov. Larry Hogan, who posed for hundreds of photos as he worked the crowds for three hours, said it was the hottest he could recall. Here is a gallery of photos from the day.
The downpours that soaked 2018 have spilled into this year, with three of the first five months reporting higher-than-normal freshwater flows into the Chesapeake. That will likely mean worse-than-normal oxygen conditions in the Bay. Scientists are predicting the fourth largest summertime dead zone in the last two decades. Still, the often record-setting rains that commenced a year ago have not been a total washout for the estuary.
Low wages continue to plague recruitment and retention, which caregiver organizations in Maryland have called a “crisis.” They say starting wages must exceed the minimum wage by a wider margin than currently exists to recruit and retain a workforce.
The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Funding Formula Workgroup, has now been created to make recommendations for the distribution of funds by local school districts and between state and local governments. This workgroup will also make recommendations for specific funding formulas. I am greatly troubled by the make-up of the workgroup, which has only two members to represent interests of the county governments that pay the local costs of schools.