Blog Archives

Greenlines – EPA Dithers on BPA, Big Oil’s Deniers Club + More Shame over Sidewalks

I’ve seen tons of stories and received a slew of activist emails about the need to ban BPA, or bisphenol A. The material used in baby bottles and many other products was considered safe for years but a growing body of scientific research suggests toxins in the plastic seeps into whatever is stored inside, meaning we may be consuming it with every sip. The EPA was poised to take a side on the issue, but NPR reports that the agency now plans to delay action pending the results of even more studies.

Mother Jones on Big Oil continues funding climate deniers abroad and how the corporate largess undermines international climate action.

The EPA is reversing a long-standing decision with plans to require pesticide manufacturers to disclose to the public the inert ingredients in their
products. Federal regulators are also shifting course on the policy toward pharmaceutical residues in the nation’s drinking water.

Farmers use more herbicides on GMO crops, according to a new report.

Hey, did you see that the shoveled sidewalk story made the TV news last night and outrage has not yet waned! There are posts in Borderstan, Urban Places & Spaces, and the DCist.

Congress Heights on the Rise takes on the pros and cons of gentrification.

DC Mud reports that Zip Car has won the right to park in alleys, a victory that will help the car sharing service expand its presence in parking-strapped neighborhoods.

Qualia, the Petworth coffee joint, is staying open late tonight to help last-minute shoppers stay alert. Oops,I’m confusing my blog posts. This one’s better for my new Washington City Paper Series “Confessions of a Wi-Fi loafer.” Check it out on the WCP’s City Desk blog!


Today’s Greenlines – Shoveling, Snowmen + Subprime Mortgages

Pix from Park View

The Prince of Petworth has a post on “Sidewalks of Shame,” where nobody has bothered to shovel. When I lived in Boston, the city would fine property owners who failed to clear the snow away from the fronts of their properties. It was a hassle for the owners but made the city much more walkable this time of year. Why doesn’t the District have a similar ordinance?

It turns out, the Prince and I aren’t the only one peeved about impassible sidewalks. The Hill is Home‘s Claudia Holwill rants on the subject today too. And, those ever-unflappable folks at We Love DC have also found something with which they are not so enamored: Here’s a post with photos of a snow bank blocking a crosswalk in Arlington. Sometimes tough love is the only option.

The Prince also has a nice collection of reader-submitted snowmen shots.

The Washington Business Journal says fewer Washingtonians will be driving long distance to see the relatives this year. High gas prices are the culprit, according to this story that sources the AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

Here’s more confirmation that man’s BFF is a carbon hound.

Living near busy roads may affect brain health and could contribute to cognitive decline as women age, according to a new study by German scientists.

The Guardian has the most “bizarre wildlife stories of 2009

The Guardian pix

The UN has agreed to revamp the “beaurocratic and unwieldy” climate talks process in the wake of last week’s much maligned negotiations in Copenhagen, which critics have now dubbed: “Flogenhagen.”

USA Today has a story on environmentally friendly ways to get rid of snow and ice.

The Park View blog also has a nice collection of snowmen pix. Hey, what’s not to like? Snowmen are a low-carbon way of decorating for the holidays!

Finaly, please check out my story today in the Huffington Post. The tale is one one man’s subprime mortgage – not exactly an environmental issue but it does fall in the broader sustainablity catagory. And, hopefully, it’s a good and informative read. There’s also a video documentary and another story by David Heath on the topic that ran yesterday.

Cherry Blossom Festival Dates Set

We Love DC pix

In what seems like wrong timing, what with all the snow on the ground, We Love DC reports that the Cherry Blossom Festival will begin on Mar. 27 this year.

Greenlines – Post-Blizzard Edition!


Pix by Artgeek, Wikipedia Creative Commons Attribution

The city has this nifty new web tool that let’s you check out which streets around D.C. have been plowed. It’s pretty cool to find out that Georgia Avenue NW is passible, for instance, but doesn’t do me much good since my little side street hasn’t seen a plow or even a bucket of salt from city crews. And, if passed years are any indication, we’ll be waiting for a thaw before we’ll be able to get our cars out of the snow bank.

Some people, in fact, are getting a little snippy about the city’s plowing priorities. On the Petworth listserv, one resident took note that the pavement in front of Mayor Adrian Fenty‘s house was looking good – some much plowing action has taken place there that the asphalt is not just visible but nearly dry, she reports. To which, another resident suggests checking out the streets where other city pols live to see if they are pulling down similar clout with DC snowplow crews.

Meanwhile, on the same neighborhood listserv, Roshani Kothari posted links eco-friendly methods of getting rid of the ice and snow. I guess it’s a bit late for all us shut-ins. But I just thought I’d pass them on for next time!

http://www.grist. org/article/ De-salt-of- the-Earth/
http://www.gardensa article.asp? ai=725

http://www.ecos. com/icemelt. html

http://www.thedaily living-green/ blogs/green- products- services/ driveway- ice-environment- 55013001 com/Scotwood- Industries- 50B-CLEAN- Clean-Melter/ dp/B001J5QO82/ ref=sr_1_ 23?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1261181797&sr=1-23 com/Keep- Green-KIG40- Snow-Melter/ dp/B001E5CUAS/ ref=sr_1_ 1?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1261181797&sr=1-1 com/Howard- Johnsons- 40Lb-Melter- 9586/dp/B000KL0Y IC/ref=sr_ 1_1?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1261182111&sr=1-1

Greenlines: Public Schools May Get Better Lunches + Goethermal Power – But Not Both

Miles Grant reports that the Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment board has endorsed a plan for installing geothermal power at the new Wakefield High School.

There is a cross-post on DC Food For All and The Slow Cook l has an update on the DC Council’s Healthy Schools bill that would improve the food served in the city’s public schools.

Here’s a good reason to move into the city: The Washington Post reports that the controversial new Inter-county connector will be the region’s most expensive highway, costing more than six bucks each way.

Much excitement is brewing about DC’s new streetcars though the cars won’t be operational for a while – maybe not until 2012. Still here’s a post by DC MUD and another from WTOP.

Barry Farm (Re)Mixed recommends the documentary FOOD, Inc. I agree with the Urban Architect; the movie is worth a view. Here’s a review I posted to the Washington City Paper site after the premier at the E Street Cinema last spring.

From here, it’s hard to tell just how badly things are going at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen. Get a load of these two conflicting headlines, one from the New York Times, the other from The Guardian:

Obama Presses China for Accountability on Climate

Barack Obama’s speech disappoints and fuels frustration at Copenhagen

On that note, I wish you well this pre-holiday Friday. Bundle up, there’s a storm coming!

Trivia Question of the Day

image from DC Metrocentric

DC Metrocentric has a 1872 map of The Mall. This apparently was long after city planners had the area landfilled since the mall, much of Chinatown and beyond were once creeks and swampland.
Anybody know what year the city undertook the massive landfill operation that created downtown as we know it today?

WASA Cancels Boil Water Order

The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority says it’s now safe to drink the water. WASA called off the boil water advisory for the Shepherd Park neighborhood today, after testing showed the tap water is now safe to drink. Residents were warned that they should boil their water as a precaution against contamination on Monday, after a drop in water pressure caused taps to run dry in some parts of the city.

For WASA’s complete press release, click here.

Boil Water Alert for Upper Northwest DC

The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority is issuing a precautionary boil water/bottled water advisory for neighborhoods that experienced a temporary loss of water earlier today after a drop of water pressure in the vicinity of 16th Street, Military Road, Piney Branch and Eastern Avenue, NW. Here’s the full advisory.

Today’s Greenlines: DC’s 1st Swine Flu Fatality, Biking News, Commuter Taxes + Fetal Chemical Exposure

DC has its first Swine Flu fatality and drug-Resistant Swine Flu Now in Virginia & Maryland, DCist reports.

Prince of Petworth poses the Friday question of the day: Do You Support a Commuter Tax for DC?

Richard Layman’s blog has new bicyling and transportation statistics and some thoughts on park planning.

The Washington Post has a story today on how some Virginians are taking the smoking ban hard.

Our exposure to toxic chemicals begins in the womb, according to a new study covered by Yale’s e360.

Today’s Greenlines: Recycle a Coat, Save a Theater, Bag a Freebee + Cycling Movies

The venerable Takoma Theatre on 4th Street NW, near the same-named Metro station, may soon be dust. The Takoma Theatre Conservancy is raising alarms about the Jan. 22 Mayor’s Agent hearing on demolishing the place.

The District Department of the Environment is teaming up with area CVS/pharmacy outlets to distribute free reusable shopping bags ahead of the Jan. 1 deadline, when DC retailers begin charging customers 5 cents for every disposable bag. Click here for more information about where to pick up your freebee.

Andaman Islands, Creative Commons Attribution License

For those  feeling that – despite the obvious environmental boons – the bag ban is a big pain in the backside, consider this: even the tiny Indian Ocean territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are launching a plastic bag ban starting next week.

DC Streets Capitol Hill has a nice little roundup of news stories on road and transit projects stuffed into Congress’s pending jobs bill.

Recycle + Help a Needy Neighbor – There are a couple of coat drives this weekend that offer a worthy way to make space in your closets:

The organization Fathers Rock is collecting gently worn or new coats this Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM at the Metropolitan Police, Fourth District Station, 6001 Georgia Ave., NW. The coats will be given to families living in area shelters.

This offer is a little more specious, since donating a coat gets you a 20 percent discount off of new purchases – hardly incentive to reduce your carbon footprint. But ’tis the jolly shopping season …  so, here’s the skinny: To get your discount, bring a coat to donate to Urban Chic‘s Georgetown outlet. The coast will go to the Women’s Housing Coalition. Urban Chic, 1626 Wisconsin Ave. NW, b/t Reservoir Rd. & Q St. 
Thru Dec. 8. Thurs.-Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun., noon-5 p.m.

In a tribute to city fauna, Congress Height‘s The Advoc8te shot a deer … on video.

Lynn at Organic Mania is campaigning to send Diane McEachern, author of Big Green Purse, to the Copenhagen climate talks. Click here to learn more about the OM candidate.

City Fix DC alerted me to this news: This weekend, the Bicycle Film Festival comes to DC.