Hundreds of new Maryland laws take effect Tuesday, Oct. 1

Hundreds of Maryland laws go into effect Tuesday, spanning subjects from increasing the age to buy cigarettes and vapes to taxing online sales and banning bump stocks for firearms. Here is a short summary of more than 70 of the new laws, including a link to their full legislative history and slug lines that make the list easy to scan.

Scientists witness dolphin give birth in the Potomac River

A team of researchers studying dolphins in the Potomac River got unexpected fruit from their labors last month when they witnessed a dolphin being born near the river’s confluence with the Chesapeake Bay. Bottlenose dolphins are among the most studied species in the world, but a wild birth has only been documented in scientific literature on one other occasion: in 2013 off the coast of Georgia. 

Slight uptick in state revenues, but caution urged

The Maryland Board of Revenue Estimates voted unanimously Thursday to increase the state’s projected revenues for the current fiscal year by just under $130 million, but cautioned that the uptick “is not indicative of long-term economic growth.”

Opinion: We need to move more people over the Bay bridges, not more cars

Rather than a new vehicle-oriented Chesapeake Bay Bridge crossing, the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy strongly supports the research and immediate implementation of aggressive travel demand management (TDM) strategies to more easily cross the current Chesapeake Bay Bridge spans. Why not make the absolute best of what we currently have using technology and smart infrastructure-based planning, prior to embarking on a project that is literally years and billions of dollars away from happening? We need relief from congestion now. 

Code Red Part 3: No trees, no shade, no relief as temperatures rise

In a city marked by startling inequity, leaf cover is just one more thing that has been historically distributed in unequal measure. Baltimore’s poorest areas tend to have less tree canopy than wealthier areas, a pattern that is especially pronounced on the concrete-dense east side, in neighborhoods like Broadway East.

Code Red Part 2: Health risks rise with temperature

Heat waves are especially perilous because consecutive days with the heat index at 103 degrees or above greatly increase risks for older people, children, pregnant women and anyone with heat-affected chronic disease.