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Volume 15, Issue 9 ~ March 1 - March 7, 2007

Current Issue





Way Downstream

In the General Assembly, those Western Maryland outlanders have tricks up their sleeves when it comes to the Flush Tax Fund. They’re trying to exempt Marylanders who don’t live in counties that drain into Chesapeake Bay, which would diminish the fund and reduce clean-up monies that flow into Anne Arundel and Calvert counties…

Around Chesapeake Country, the Valentine’s Day Ice Storm pruned trees about as gracefully as a BGE out-of-state trimming crew. You can gather up the sticks, and the city or county will pick them up — if you can wrangle them down to sections no longer than four feet and into string-tied bundles no thicker than two feet and no heavier than 40 pounds.

But are you ready to get out your chain saw and ladder to do first aid on a severely damaged tree with large broken branches, split crotches or splintering trunks?

“Most arborists will take the time and effort to save a tree only if it will still be healthy, attractive and of value to the property owner after repairs,” says Peter Gerstenberger, director of safety, standards and compliance for the Tree Care Industry Association. “A tree care expert may recommend removal of a tree that has brittle wood and a branch structure that makes it vulnerable to additional damage from future storms.”

Read up on what to look for in choosing a service and find a short list of accredited evaluators and climbers at

In Virginia, many people like Coors beer, but some don’t like what else flows out of Coors Shenandoah Brewery. The brewery has applied for renewal of a permit that they hope will allow discharge of vastly more wastewater into the Shenandoah River, which wears the modifier “impaired” because of pollution problems, according to the Daily News Record. The brewery, which is expanding operations, could release as much as six million gallons daily of treated industrial wastewater under the renewed permit; it’s under one million now. But river-protectors want an entirely new permit and environmental studies for such an increase in volume…

Our Creature Feature comes from New York, where folks last week spotted something they haven’t seen in close to two centuries: a beaver. They not only saw it, they photographed the floppy-tailed fellow cavorting along the Bronx River, once ranked among the filthiest waterways in America.

But millions have been spent on clean-up in recent years, thanks in part to the efforts of New York congressman Jose Serrano. Now he’s being rewarded in a way that he surely didn’t anticipate: Happy New Yorkers have named the re-emergent furry rodent Jose.

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