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Volume 15, Issue 30 ~ July 26 - August 1, 2007

Way Downstream

Climate change’s rising sea levels and temperatures could be catastrophic for Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem, says the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. A new report for the Foundation by Yale graduate students — released as the Farm Bill goes to debate in Congress — advises that Maryland should mount its first defense on farms.

Cover crops, riparian buffers, rotational grazing and no-till farming could remove and store some 4.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, the most-emitted greenhouse gas, over the next 15 years.

But the best defense of all is forests. Per acre per year, cover crops could sequester some 176 pounds of carbon, while forest buffers can capture 3,036 pounds per acre per year.

“Agriculture alone won’t solve this, but these farming practices can be implemented now. The only thing missing is funding,” says Foundation scientist Beth McGee.

See the full report online at and click on Save the Bay, Save the Planet …

In Maryland, a new report is just what a lot of us didn’t need to hear as we struggle with soaring electricity bills, higher gas prices and other summer financial hits: Thanks to loopholes, shelters and various other lawyer and accountant gimmicks, nearly half of the largest corporations doing business in Maryland paid no corporate income taxes for 2005.

The information was revealed in a report from the state Comptroller’s office requested by state Sen. Paul Pinsky, a Democrat from Prince George’s County. The state report concluded that of the 132 biggest companies, 64 — among them Wal-Mart, Wachovia and Home Depot — paid zero state taxes. Said Pinsky: “It’s appalling that Maryland is even discussing raising the sales tax when it hasn’t yet collected this ‘lost revenue’ from the corporate sector.” …

In Davidsonville, Robbie Delamarter, below, of Lothian was one of 10 shooters who paid $5 to launch a potato cannon — fueled by hairspray — at a soccer goal net 120 yards distant. Bill Rynone brought the cannon as entertainment before a community SkyWarn talk by Chris Strong from the National Weather Service. All the flying spuds missed the net — and the nearby Port-a-Potty — but raised $50 for the American Cancer Society …

Sailors in Hot Water: Last week four captains found out the second reason it’s not smart to drive your boat after dark with no lights: You can’t see Natural Resources Police, but they can see you. Unluckily for the rest of us, the dimwits range state wide, with arrests July 20-22 ranging from Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County to the Potomac River in both Charles and Washington counties. All four captains also failed sobriety tests …

Our Creature Feature comes from Howard County, where a Pennsylvania fellow named Leroy Myers learned this month that he’d better stay out of Maryland with his illegal goods.

At a festival at the Howard County Fair Grounds, Myers was charged by Maryland Natural Resources Police with trying to sell a black bear hide. Under Maryland law, you can’t sell or trade any game bird or mammal taken from the wild — even if it comes from out of state. That includes the tanned bear hide that Myers had for sale.

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