Blog Archives

GreenLines: The Holidays by Bike Edition

via We Love DC

The folks over at DC Department of Environment are advertising a “spring special.” OK, so they seem a little confused about the seasons. But it’s still a good deal: For $50 you not only get a new tree, but the city will arrange to have it planted on your property. For details, click here.

The District Department of Transportation, meanwhile, is calling for suggestions on how to improve the city for pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers and mass transit users. There is a public meeting tonight from 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm at the Franklin D. Reeves Center at 2000 14th Street, NW. Or you could call Ledesma Smith-Mathis at (202) 671-2317.

The neighborhood blogs have been abuzz about the news that DC may soon be allowed to set up a medical marijuana program. So you may have already heard the news that congressional negotiators greenlighted a budget bill this week that would sweep away ban established by Congress in 1998. Well, this Washington Times story does its best to stamp out the buzz.

DC’s Green Building Act is up for a revision. The Washington Business Journal says it’s no big overhaul. Is that true? Does anyone know if there were be more than minor word changes? Please share with the group.

Miles Grant takes on Sarah Palin.

See the holiday lights by bike, says We Love DC. (I guess it’s one way to cut down on the emissions.)

In the many weeks since “stolen emails-gate” began, you (like me) may have wondered what had happened to the 99.9 percent of climate scientists said to agree global warming is real and really human-made. Here’s some news on the subject from the Associated Press.

Check out this “best of YouTube” videos from the Copenhagen climate conference, courtesy of The Guardian.

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DC Green: Streetcars, Cyclists + Rooftop Wind Turbines

Dcist has all the details on Public Enemy‘s concert to benefit the Sasha Bruce House for at risk youth in Southeast. Bring a winter coat to donate along with your admission price.

Dcist is also reporting world-class cyclists may do more than one lap around the District next year when the 2011 Giro d’Italia comes to town. I guess it pays to have a cyclist mayor.

The Prince of Petworth is chronicling the journey of the city’s new streetcars.

WAMU says the advertising industry is trying to block Virginia Congressman Jim Moran’s bill to combat obesity among kids.

Greater Greater Washington has a post on plans to improve the walkability of two neighborhoods on opposite ends of the city.

DCMetrocentric has a post on plans to revive the Howard Theater in Shaw.

Activists are about to throw down the gauntlet (again) with an E-cycling lawsuit. They want federal regulation of electronics recycling. Today, our old computers, TVs and cell phones often end up in China, India and impoverished countries where they are stripped by hand at great human and environmental toll.

Dreaming of your very own wind turbine behind your rowhouse or atop your condo building but not sure there’s enough wind around here to make the hefty investment worthwhile?  The TerraPass blog has as a story that could help you figure it out.

I leave you this morning with Treehugger‘s  Copenhagen crib sheet to understanding the issues, the factious politics, the science, and the stakes at next month’s international climate talks.

Today’s District Green: Hungry Cougars, Low-Gas Locomotives + the Power of Greenwashing

The Washington Post has a story on low emission trains that could seriously reduce pollution around train yards and the risk of cancer, heart and respiratory diseases among those living nearby.
Urban Places and Spaces seems only half-serious when suggesting we import cougars to take care of the region’s overpopulation of deer.
Are “green” energy companies joshing us? After hearing from so many wind power brokers at last weekend’s Energy Expo, his New York Times story is distressing. It asks: When electric utility customers pay extra for “green power certificates,” are they really getting green power?
Borderstan has a wrap up on last week’s “emergency” meeting at the 17th St. dog park.
WaPo also explores how electric car makers plan to address “range anxiety” by rolling out recharging stations.
Nanotechnology has enjoyed years of good press but it looks like a darker side is starting to emerge. E Magazine did an entire issue on human health concerns. Today, Environmental Health News publishes a report about new research showing that nanoparticles can kill and mutate fish embryos.
Tim DeChristopher, a 27-year-old University of Utah student who halted a Bush administration auction of oil and gas leases on federal land last year,  is in a tough legal position. Yesterday, a federal judge ruled that he cannot argue before a jury that he acted out of a necessity to protect the environment.
Greater Greater Washington has a roundup including a few bike and pedestrian news nuggets.
Susie Cambria urges everyone to tune into the DC Council hearings today and kindly provides a link to the webcast.
Finally, there’s a new development in the continuing saga of international climate talks: President Obama, in Beijing on an official visit, and Chinese President Hu Jintao both pledged Tuesday to work together to solve climate change, among other things. Should we dare to hope? Tune in tomorrow for the next installment of as the climate talks turn…

Coffee Time! Bikes, Pedestrians & Stinky Sewerage in Today’s Local News

First, the sad news that a bicyclist was fatally hit by a Bladensburg police car over the weekend. Here’s the WaPo story.

Speaking of bike safety, Borderstan offers a photo montage of street signs added along side the new 15th St. NW bike lane.

Meanwhile, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty has a little problem on his hands thanks to his bicycling passion. Surely some District residents are overjoyed that their mayor has a healthy passtime for blowing off steam and maintaining his personal “sustainablity,” unlikely some … ehr, previous office holders, but should DC taxpayers be saddled with the bill for Fenty’s police escort? It doesn’t look good for the mayor, coming as it does after pool-o-gate, in which city officials installed a heater in the city outdoor pool where Fenty happens to swim.

Urban Places and Spaces offers a more policy-centric take on the mayor-on-a-bike phenomenon.

Given the recent bike fatality, you may ask: is it safer to walk than peddle? WaPo reports today that the DC region has received only middling marks in pedestrian safety from the just released national “pedestrian safety index.”

Here’s a link to the index.

Speaking of where DC pedsters should fear to tread, the City Fix has this post on pedestrian peril at U Street & Florida Avenue. NW

Finally, Frozen Tropics has this sink bomb buried halfway down the page in a post about the ANC 5B meeting last week: “a broken sewer line in the National Arboretum. It turns out that this line broke 6 months ago, but there was no public notice, and it was leaking raw sewage directly into a tributary of the Anacostia River. WASA repaired the break, but another break occurred recently. Again, there was no public notice of this sewer line break.”

 

Morning Edition: Loads of Bike News & Sad Developments atop of Mt. Kilimanjaro

First up: local bike news today:

The New Columbia Heights blog has a post about the debate raging on the Columbia Heights listserve about bikes after a pedestrian was nearly mowed down by a cyclist, who reported shouted “get out of my way,” as opposed to breaking or getting out the pedestrian’s way. Here’s a link to the blog post and here is the listserve site.

Borderstan reports that a new bike lane on 15th St. NW is expected to open by the weekend. The site also has an interesting post on how the District’s unemployment rate varies by wards.

The Washington Business Journal has a sobering article on the growing shortage of affordable housing in the D.C.-area even though the real estate has yet to recover from its crash two years ago.

Mount Kilimanjaro has lost more than a quarter of its ice cap since 2000, the New York Times reports.

The Times also covers the continuing saga of the senate climate bill.

The New Republic says Warren Buffett‘s just announced plans to buy Burlington Northern Santa Fe signals he’s “betting big on coal.” Coal has started to look decidedly “last century” given the greenhouse gas implications and the serious doubts about whether “clean coal” technology will ever be commercially viable. TNR, however, sees Buffett’s move to buy a railroad that runs right through Western states with large coal reserves as a sign that the business guru does not expect coal’s hold to loosen anytime soon on the country’s economy and electric grid (more than half of the country’s electricity is coal-powered.)

Mother Jones is among the news outlets that has rifled through the White House visitors log and reports on the oil moguls who have been chumming around with Larry Summers and other Obama administration officials.