The term “partnership” seems to be so ubiquitous lately, that it’s a bit stale. But five Charm City neighborhoods may soon love the new and well-capitalized Deep Blue partnership when their entire neighborhood is planted with native trees, pocket parks, and urban forests. Add a few rain gardens, and the Deep Blue team, including residents, will design, fund, and install an entire neighborhood’s worth of green infrastructure. The goal is greener neighborhoods that better manage stormwater runoff, and also create prettier and healthier cityscapes. Deep Blue is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between Baltimore City’s Department of Public Works (DPW), and the non-profits Blue Water Baltimore and the Neighborhood Design Center.
Author’s note: As I mentioned in another column, I’m working on a novel that contains a character loosely based on my mother, partly just as an excuse to have her in my head. In the process, I ended up rereading this old essay. The illness described here was not the one that finally got her — she was around another 13 years.
“When My Mother Became The Freaking Buddha” is adapted from my 2005 collection, Above Us Only Sky.
One day in May of 1995, I got a call from my mother. “I was just picking up the phone to call you,” I assured her, knowing she was anxious to hear the latest on a book deal I was hoping to get. I was supposed to call the minute I knew anything, but I hadn’t. Well, only two days had gone by since I’d heard the news, which wasn’t too good, and anyway, one has to balance the pleasantness of one’s mother’s interest in the minutiae of one’s life with its faintly annoying aspect.
Making up for my tardiness, I launched into the tale, and it wasn’t until she broke in and said, “Well, I have to go soon and —”
“I’m almost done,” I said.
“Yes, but I have some bad news.”
“Well… It looks like I have a little cancer,” she said, and then, in the five minutes remaining until her boyfriend Ceddie picked her up to go eat Chinese, and interrupted by my shrieks of what and how and when, she told me that she’d been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, she had known for over a month, she was starting a course of chemotherapy and radiation on Friday, and she had a fifty percent chance of cure. Then Ceddie was there, and she had to run. “Oh, Mommy,” I said helplessly. Read More →
Hot House: 7321 Brightside Road, Woodbrook, Maryland 21212
Brick Georgian style house, circa 1922, with asphalt shingle roof and two-story, cedar-sided addition. Recent (2010) renovation. Six bedrooms, 5 full and 1 half bath over three stories and 6,459 sq. ft. Formal living and dining rooms, gourmet kitchen, adjacent family room with fireplace, cherry-paneled study with fireplace, large master suite. Two story guest cottage, 53’ bluestone patio, garage, sweeping lawns, gardens, 2.5 acres: $3,195,000 Read More →
I am in awe of anything — even a hurricane that might come up the Chesapeake — that necessitates using the words “forecast cone” and the name Joaquin. I have a huge crush on Johnny Cash as played by Joaquin Phoenix in Walk The Line.
It makes sense that as our planet’s glaciers quickly melt due to global warming, Maryland’s coastal communities will be hit hard. But how will climate change impact Baltimore?
The answer to that mack-daddy question is summed up in Maryland’s climate change report: Global Warming and the Free State. Maryland’s own climate expert and a key author of the report, Dr. Donald Boesch, highlighted a few interesting Baltimore-specific changes we can expect. Dr. Boesch is the President of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. In short, climate change will affect you and everyone you care about as Maryland’s weather, temperatures, rain events, coastlines, birds, waterways, and trees will all change.
Dr. Boesch points out, “The latest climate news is that we now have first-time analysis from the international science community that the world can stabilize global warming for a livable planet.” Maryland has been a leader in this effort with the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act of 2009. Now we just need to put the pedal to the metal.
Read More →
Hot House: 3711 Clipper Road, Baltimore, 21211
Stone mill house, attached, circa 1846, with front porch, well and completely renovated. About 2,230 sq. ft. over three stories, with 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 fireplaces, hardwood floors. Kitchen with soapstone counters and sink, stainless steel appliances. Master bedroom with large walk-in closet and dressing room. Unfinished basement. House is wired and cable ready. Professional landscaping, pond, fenced back yard, parking pad for 3 cars: $385,000 (ask about Homestead Tax Credit). Read More →
Weed Control: Meet Hannah Byron, Executive Director of the Maryland Cannabis (Don’t Call It Marijuana) Commission
In 2013, the Maryland General Assembly passed Senate Bill 881 legalizing marijuana for medicinal use, and Maryland joined 22 other states across the country, scrambling to coordinate the myriad aspects of dispensing marijuana to eligible patients. It’s an enormous undertaking, like launching a giant startup. Nobody wants to get it wrong, but the logistics are complicated and the clock is ticking toward an expected date in mid to late 2016. Patients, doctors, growers, sellers, and bankers in Maryland are all waiting impatiently for answers to questions about how it’s going to affect them. Read More →
Have you heard of these e-cloths? Maybe you read our story With E-Cloth, Just Add Water for Household Cleaning? E-Cloths are microfiber cloths that clean all the surfaces of your home without chemicals. Though skeptical at first about cleaning with water only, these cloths work. We have six e-cloths to give away!
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