What if the dead zone that plagues the Chesapeake Bay could be eliminated now, not years down the road — and at a fraction of the billions being spent annually on restoring the troubled estuary? Fanciful as it sounds, Dan Sheer figures it’s technically doable. Whether it’s the right thing to do is another question. Bay scientists are wary of potential pitfalls, but some still think it’s worth taking a closer look.
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
With wrecking ball swinging and clouds of dust flying, Columbia’s first high-rise office building, the 52-year-old American Cities Building, is being demolished to make way for the next phase of the town’s urban core.
Extremely small bits of plastic are everywhere, and the Chesapeake Bay is no exception. The so-called microplastics, often 5 millimeters or less in size, can be scooped from the surface waters of the Patapsco River and combed from the Bay’s underwater grass beds. The Chesapeake Bay Program, a state-federal partnership that leads the Bay restoration effort, has identified microplastics as a contaminant of mounting concern. But, for all the headlines and anxiety microplastics have generated, a looming question remains unanswered: What harm are they causing in the Bay?
Customers whose power is off at the end of October aren’t protected by state regulations that restrict — but don’t eliminate — disconnections from Nov. 1 through March. To be reconnected during the winter or after it, customers who owe utilities money must make arrangements to pay up. But that’s a financial hurdle for many.
Temperatures in the poorly insulated kitchen of Baltimore resident Maraizu Onyenaka varied more than 20 degrees this winter, according to sensors installed in her home by Capital News Service reporters. Keeping the cold out of old Baltimore rowhouses is tough — and expensive, even for homeowners with good jobs.
With Father’s Day on Sunday, Towson University Professor Rick Vatz returns to his persistent theme about the negative impact of fatherlessness.
Baltimore resident Delores Buchanan limits going outside when it’s cold. Neuropathy causes her feet to tense up and sting, and cold worsens the pain by reducing blood flow to the hands and feet. It is one of many conditions exacerbated by extreme temperatures.
Every winter, health officials warn of outdoor dangers for the homeless, who can freeze to death from hypothermia and snow shovelers who suffer heart attacks. Yet many more people are at risk indoors if their power has been shut off or they can’t afford to raise the thermostat. Research shows that for those with chronic disease a cold interior may be a dangerous environment.
Climate change will drive increases in global temperatures and summer heat waves. But that doesn’t mean cold snaps in cities like Baltimore will disappear. And, perhaps paradoxically, climate change could mean an increase in extremely cold weather in the Northeast during the winter. That’s because of how climate change will affect the polar vortex, a phenomenon that pushes Arctic air into the United States.
As Maryland officials prepare to take a critical step toward deciding how people will cross the Chesapeake Bay for decades to come, they face growing criticism that the effort is bypassing options that don’t involve building a new multibillion-dollar bridge.