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Monsanto Protection Act

B' Spokes: This is a bit off topic but since our Senator Barbara Mikulski is involved I thought I would at least give a link to a summary of issues. I should note my main issue with GMO is just label it and let the market place decide. And if there is no market advantage (a benefit to the general population) why are we giving so many protections to Monsanto?

More info: <a href="http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/mpa.asp">http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/mpa.asp</a>;
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There Is No Poop Fairy

[B' Spokes: I'm posting this because by my causal observations too many dog walkers treat our trails as having a poop fairy.]
From Sustainable Storm Water


First:  Please know that we love our pets.  This post is about human behavior, not pets!

Have you heard of the Poop Fairy?  The first thing you should know about her is that she doesn’t exist.  Many municipalities use the myth of the Poop Fairy in campaigns to remind residents that there is no magical way to make dog poop “go away”.

Just like with littering, some people may not realize the impact their behavior has on waterways, and some may simply not care.  Some may even think it’s good to leave it to fertilize the grass.

Besides the immediate issues, like the fact that it looks bad, smells gross, and that unfortunate (and subsequently irate) people step in it, there are plenty of other reasons cities are campaigning to decrease the doo doo:

  • Nutrients – Pet waste adds to nutrient pollution, which in turn increases algal blooms which block light for aquatic life and deplete the water of oxygen when it decays.
  • Bacteria – E. coli, giardia, and salmonella.
  • Parasites – Roundworms, hookworms, and cryptosporidium.
  • It lasts – Dog poop doesn’t break down quickly because of the foods we feed them.  It sticks around and builds up in parks, or washes down storm drains during rain events.
  • It is concentrated – Any open space that has access to pets can become ground zero for these pollutants, especially in urban areas that have limited open space areas.  With highly concentrated use, stormwater runoff from these areas is a toxic soup.

In short, research is showing that this is a significant part of urban pollution.  The chart below shows the estimated amount of waste being left on the ground by dog owners in the city of Baltimore alone:

Screen Shot 2013-02-27 at 11.42.07 AM

Stormwater in Baltimore washes dog waste (that’s thousands of tons per year) into storm drains, then streams like Herring Run or Jones Falls, and then Baltimore Harbor and the Chesapeake Bay.

737441_491444140897447_1544026708_oThe best methods for dealing with dog waste are to seal it in a bag and dispose of it in the regular trash, which bothers some because it might never break down in a landfill, or you could flush it so it will be treated along with other sewage.  Cat waste, however, should not be flushed because a parasite common to felines, Toxoplasma Gondii, is not killed by regular sewage treatment methods.

Check out these sites for more info:

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“Holy moly, there's so many people who need this food."

As an urban farmer, Arthur Gray Morgan was shocked by how much food was tossed away at the end of a farmer’s market. 

Morgan thought, “Holy moly, there's so many people who need this food."

So he founded Gather Baltimore.

Now Morgan and a group of volunteers are bringing healthy food access to neighborhoods throughout Baltimore. They harvest, pick up donations from local stores and collect unsold produce from the farmer’s market and deliver it to local communities - for free.  

Gather also partners with local organizations who historically had to pay for the food that helped them meet their missions.  Organizations like Moveable Feast, St Vincent De Paul's Beans and Bread, the Franciscan Center, the Oliver community, and various churches who provide meals to the people who need it most.

The need for this service is immense, so Morgan recently purchased a refrigerated food truck to scale up the program and increase their delivery schedule. 

He needs our help to pay off the loan and keep the truck on the road and making deliveries.

Recently, Gather delivered 4000 pounds of potatoes to Moveable Feast.  Then, 4 tons of fresh vegetables days later. Imagine how many people benefited from this food.  It wouldn't have happened without the truck or Gather Baltimore.

How can you help?

Gather Baltimore delivers the food where it's needed the most.  They get this food for free but need a reliable way to deliver to local communities and organizations. 

Your gift will enable them to continue making these critical deliveries, paying for the fuel, maintenance and insurance needed to keep the truck on the road.

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How Not to Fix Climate Change

By JOE NOCERA, New York Times

Can you see how backward this logic is? As Adam Brandt, an energy expert at Stanford University, pointed out to me recently, so long as the demand is there, energy producers are going to search for new supplies of fossil fuel — many of them using unconventional means like tar sands extraction. “With growing global demand, the economic pressure to develop unconventional resources is enormous and not going away,” he said. “Can environmental groups expect to win a series of fights for decades to come, when the economic forces are aligned very strongly against them in each round?” The answer is obvious: no. The emphasis should be on demand, not supply. If the U.S. stopped consuming so much of the world’s oil, the economic need for the tar sands would evaporate.

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/opinion/nocera-how-not-to-fix-climate-change.html?smid=fb-share&amp;_r=0#h[Cysscs,1">http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/opinion/nocera-how-not-to-fix-climate-change.html?smid=fb-share&amp;_r=0#h[Cysscs,1</a>;]
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Tree and Human Health May be Linked

Via Bioscience Technology

&quot;In an analysis of 18 years of data from 1,296 counties in 15 states, researchers found that Americans living in areas infested by the emerald ash borer, a beetle that kills ash trees, suffered from an additional 15,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 6,000 more deaths from lower respiratory disease when compared to uninfected areas. When emerald ash borer comes into a community, city streets lined with ash trees become treeless.&quot;

<a href="http://www.biosciencetechnology.com/news/2013/01/tree-and-human-health-may-be-linked">http://www.biosciencetechnology.com/news/2013/01/tree-and-human-health-may-be-linked</a>;
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Zero Litter this weekend in Druid Hill Park


Remember to Join Zero Litter this weekend in Druid Hill Park, Sat. from 1-3pm. Event details are here: http://www.facebook.com/events/105288072983548/

If you can’t make it out to the clean up please consider helping by making a donation here: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/8OTf7

Continue Reading

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Support Maryland's Bottle Bill

Support Maryland's Bottle Bill
Beverage containers make up nearly 25% of the trash in Baltimore's streams, rivers, and Harbor. 

And even though Baltimore City spends more than $10 million dollars each year cleaning up trash, bottles and cans continue to make our waterways dangerous for children and wildlife.

Now, the Maryland legislature is considering a new  bill that will make a real and positive difference in reducing Baltimore's trash problem.

They need to know you support them!

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