Search Google

The Best of the Bay ~ Every Week Since 1993
Current Issue \\ This Week's Features \\ Calendar \\ Music Calendar \\ Classifieds
Movie Times \\ Movie Reviews \\ Play Reviews \\ Archives \\ Advertising \\ Contact Us

Volume 16, Issue 7 - February 14 - February 20, 2008

Way Downstream

In Annapolis, Del. Todd Schuler (D-Baltimore County) is upping the ante after the Annapolis City Council rejected a city-wide ban on plastic checkout bags. His bill — backed by 10 sponsors — would banish the polyethylene totes from all Maryland grocery stores. We’d be joining South Africa, Australia, China, Ireland and Taiwan, plus San Francisco and San Jose, California, in passing laws restricting plastic giveaways. Plastic bags, says Schuler, are non-biodegradable, unsightly and unnecessary — as well as harmful to wildlife. Co-sponsor Del. Sue Hecht introduced a second bill to form a task force to study the plastic bag problem …

But look to overhauling the state’s Critical Area Law for this year’s big legislative environmental ruckus. One proposal would expand the no-disturbance shoreline buffer from 100 to 300 feet. Another would reduce the power of localities to grant critical areas’ exemptions to developers and homeowners …

In Calvert County, beachcombing yielded an unexpected relic. On February 3, a World War I naval mine was found on the Drum Point shoreline. Identified from its markings as a 1917 ordinance from the U.S. Navy Yard in Norfolk, the mine was hollow, so it posed no explosive threat to the residents of Drum Point or their neighbors — the Cove Point Natural Gas Facility and Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, both just a few miles north …

Also in Calvert, Theresa C. Chambers was fired as a U.S. Park Police chief after airing her fear that manpower and funding shortages left the nation’s monuments and parks under-protected and vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Now she is back in uniform — this time as the new police chief of Riverdale Park. The Prince Georges County town of some 7,000 residents covers about two square miles.

In an ironic turn of events, her successor, Dwight E. Pettiford, is facing harsh criticism for failing to protect what is now his beat. A report by the Interior Department’s Inspector General’s Office concluded the Park Police under Pettiford are understaffed, insufficiently trained and poorly equipped …

Charm City prepares for its close up after MovieMaker Magazine announced its list of top 10 cities for moviemakers. The winter 2008 issue ranks Baltimore ninth on the magazine’s annual list. Known for gritty programming such as The Wire, Homicide: Life on the Streets and Live Free or Die Hard, Baltimore has for years frustrated its film commission’s efforts to attract cameras from Hollywood to Sundance. “Baltimore has spent a long time establishing itself as a place of artistic vision,” says MovieMaker. To read more from the magazine or scout other filming locations in America, visit

Our Creature Feature comes from Malaysia where, even though it’s the Year of the Rat, it’s also the year of government bounties on rats. A rodent problem in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur has prompted a new program that pays the equivalent of 62 cents for every rat deposited, dead or alive, at a drop-off point.

Malaysia, which has a large Chinese population, is one of the Asian countries that last week began celebrating the Year of the Rat, one of the 12 creatures in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac. A Chinese adage has it that this is the year to make fortunes. That may be the case in Malaysia for industrious rat-hunters.

“There’s no incentive like money,” Yew Teong Look, a Malaysian legislator, told New Straits Times.

Current Issue \\ Archives \\ Subscriptions \\ Clasified Advertising \\ Display Advertising
Behind Bay Weekly \\ Contact Us \\ Submit Letters to Editor \\ Submit Your Events

© COPYRIGHT 2008 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.