Protect Your Pipes this Winter
Baltimore weather can be bitterly cold, and the Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) reminds residents that residential water lines as well as the city's water main infrastructure may be impacted. Cold weather can harm water infrastructure especially during long periods of cold and repeated freeze/thaw cycles. Water service lines and water meters can freeze when the temperature remains below 25 degrees for extended periods of time. Sub-freezing temperatures can also impact water mains, causing the ground to buckle and shift, resulting in broken water lines.
When temperatures drop below freezing, let a thin stream of cold water run from a basement faucet. The stream should be a continuous flow, about the thickness of a pencil lead. This water can be caught in a bucket and used later.
DPW maintains outdoor water lines up to and including the meter. Water lines running from the meter to the house, and internal plumbing, are the responsibility of the property owner.
For water emergencies in Baltimore City, please call 311, or call 410-396-5352 in our Baltimore County service area.
Consider getting a service protection policy for your exterior water/sewer lines. Baltimore has partnered with HomeServe USA to provide these low-cost protection plans. Please visit BaltimoreServiceRepairs.com
During last winter’s “Big Freeze,” from Christmas to the end of January, DPW responded to 559 confirmed water main breaks. That is roughly half the number of all water main breaks in 2017. DPW is replacing 15 miles of water mains yearly to reduce breaks and increase reliability.
In addition to freezing and thawing conditions, pipe corrosion, soil conditions, a history of previous breaks, and age contribute to water main breaks. If you are out of water due to a main break, after service is restored allow water to run through a sink or tub faucet until clear.
To report a broken main, please call 311, or call 410-396-5352 in our Baltimore County service area.
James Mattis resigns as defense secretary
I have been privileged to serve as our country's 26th Secretary of Defense which has allowed me to serve alongside our men and women of the Department in defense of our citizens and our ideals.
I am proud of the progress that has been made over the past two years on some of the key goals articulated in our National Defense Strategy: putting the Department on a more sound budgetary footing, improving readiness and lethality in our forces, and reforming the Department's business practices for greater performance. Our troops continue to provide the capabilities needed to prevail in conflict and sustain strong U.S. global influence.
One core belief I have always held is that our strength as a nation is inextricably linked to the strength of our unique and comprehensive system of alliances and partnerships. While the US remains the indispensable nation in the free world, we cannot protect our interests or serve that role effectively without maintaining strong alliances and showing respect to those allies.
Like you, I have said from the beginning that the armed forces of the United States should not be the policeman of the world. Instead, we must use all tools of American power to provide for the common defense, including providing effective leadership to our alliances. NATO's 29 democracies demonstrated that strength in their commitment to fighting alongside us following the 9-11 attack on America. The Defeat-ISIS coalition of 74 nations is further proof.
Similarly, I believe we must be resolute and unambiguous in our approach to those countries whose strategic interests are increasingly in tension with ours. It is clear that China and Russia, for example, want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model - gaining veto authority over other nations' economic, diplomatic, and security decisions - to promote their own interests at the expense of their neighbors, America and our allies. That is why we must use all the tools of American power to provide for the common defense.
My views on treating allies with respect and also being clear-eyed about both malign actors and strategic competitors are strongly held and informed by over four decades of immersion in these issues. We must do everything possible to advance an international order that is most conducive to our security, prosperity and values, and we are strengthened in this effort by the solidarity of our alliances.
Because you have the right to have a Secretary of Defense whose views are better aligned with yours on these and other subjects, I believe it is right for me to step down from my position. The end date for my tenure is February 28, 2019, a date that should allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed as well as to make sure the Department's interests are properly articulated and protected at upcoming events to include Congressional posture hearings and the NATO Defense Ministerial meeting in February.
Further, that a full transition to a new Secretary of Defense occurs well in advance of the transition of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in September in order to ensure stability within the Department.
I pledge my full effort to a smooth transition that ensures the needs and interests of the 2.15 million Service Members and 732,079 DoD civilians receive undistracted attention of the Department at all times so that they can fulfill their critical, round-the-clock mission to protect the American people.
I very much appreciate this opportunity to serve the nation and our men and women in uniform.
Please come and Join Pastor Tushina Yameny of Sweet Prospect Baptist Church for a Prayer vigil for Jacqueline Smith was was murdered being a Good Samaritan in East Baltimore.
Date: Thursday, December 6, 2018
Time: 4:45 p.m.
Where : 900 Block of East Eager Street of Off Valley Street ( Sweet Prospect Baptist Church) .
From the Baltimore Sun Digital Edition
Stop under-investing in black city areas
By Leon F. Pinkett III
North Avenue is not only one of the longest east-west corridors in the city, but it stands as one of Baltimore’s most historically significant boulevards. From Hilton to Milton, North Avenue connects key anchor institutions like Coppin State and MICA. Along North Avenue lives the story of Baltimore’s arts and culture through the ages. It anchors us to our past with architecturally significant buildings like the Arch Social Club and the North Avenue Market, while buildings like the redeveloped Parkway and Centre theaters provide glimpses into its potential for a brighter future.
While there is great opportunity for a renaissance along North Avenue, it is also a corridor that faces significant challenges. A third of the housing units on North Avenue — 35 percent — are vacant, compared to the citywide average of 17 percent. And the disparities don’t end there: Unemployment is higher, and the average education level is lower compared to the city as a whole.
Based upon those factors alone, it makes sense then that the Maryland Transit Administration and Baltimore City Department of Transportation chose North Avenue when applying for the federal Transit Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. Despite the corridor being the second-busiest bus route in the city, business largely fails to thrive along most sections of it. Head east or west out of the central Baltimore community of Station North and you’re left wondering if you are still on the same street.
The $27.3 million North Avenue Rising project is by definition meant to spur economic recovery. But after two years of meetings, both public and private, I am forced to conclude that, as designed, there is little in this project to elevate North Avenue above its current state of decline.
How can one expect to address over 100 years of disinvestment along a 5-mile stretch of road with $27 million? For comparison, the five blocks of Charles Street in front of Johns Hopkins University from 29th street to University Parkway received $25 million of investment from the city and state. Let that sink in: $27 million for five miles compared to $25 million for five blocks. In a city that has seemingly awoken to the fact that it has an equity problem, I dare you to find me a more egregious example of inequitable investment.
Couldn’t find one? Well let me help you: The city invested nearly $50 million in a 1-mile stretch of Central Avenue — even creating Tax Increment Financing to pay for the bridge to Harbor Point. Now, before you go revoking my economic development credentials, no one is debating the significant value that Harbor Point adds to Baltimore. But even a novice in community development would have to wonder what value North Avenue could hold if the city put an additional $50 million into a road that tens of thousands more people use per day.
This story of unequal investment in the city is as old as Baltimore itself. We continue to repeat the mistakes of the past and wonder why all indicators of prosperity are on the decline. What does it say to our residents when a five-mile street with major health and economic disparities — which coincidentally connects the black butterfly wings on the racial map of Baltimore (Baltimoreans, you know what I’m talking about) — receives crumbs, while the head, thorax and abdomen along Charles Street, also known as the city map’s “white L,” continues to get the whole loaf?
We have to stop seeing economic development in this city as an either/or proposition. Investments like Harbor Point see better returns when neighborhoods like the ones along North Avenue thrive. We must be honest about the impacts of continuing to under-invest in our historically black neighborhoods and acknowledge how these critical infrastructure and transportation investments can and should catalyze residual investments. We must be bold in our vision when we invest in transit and community development so as not to continue to place us further behind other cities.
Until we as a city value the North Avenues like we value the Charles Streets, Baltimore will never realize the great promise that this city still holds, despite all of its challenges.
Maya Angelou was quoted as saying, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
Baltimore, it’s time to do better.
Leon F. Pinkett III (Leon.Pinkett@baltimorecity.gov) represents Baltimore’s 7th District on the City Council.
Click here to see Baltimore Sun Video of Councilman Pinkett talking about" When will we value Baltimore's North Avenues like we do its Charles Streets? "
From the Afro
Leveraging Pastors’ Support for Hogan to Settle HBCU Case
By Special Report -
October 11, 2018
Submitted to the AFRO by Dr. Marvin ‘Doc’ Cheatham, Sr.
The recent declaration of support given by several Maryland Black pastors for the reelection of Larry Hogan as Governor has generated mixed reactions in the Black community. Persons already favorably inclined toward Hogan are surprised, but consider endorsement by the ministers to be reassuring.
For good reasons, however, skeptics wonder aloud what the Governor has done for the Black community during his first four-year term to deserve such a grand gesture from our spiritual leadership. Seared in their memory are the images of tanks and humvees of the Maryland National Guard the Governor stationed in West Baltimore during the Freddie Gray unrest, asserting that he had to take charge of the City because the elected leadership was not capable of doing so. They bemoan his refusal to allocate much-needed funds to Baltimore City schools, funds that had already been appropriated for such use by the General Assembly. They cringe at the impact upon city residents after Hogan killed the Red Line project so necessary to connect east and west economically and socially. But most significantly, they also speak of the continuing headlines detailing the Governor’s defiance, recalcitrance and resistance to a federal court order requiring the State of Maryland to remedy its unconstitutional and discriminatory system of higher education and invest in the development of new, high-demand and unique programs at each of the four Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with the associated facilities, faculty and funds for operations.
Undoubtedly, the merits of the ministers’ endorsement will be the subject of considerable question and debate for many years. But the actions of Governor Hogan before the election could inform the debate and provide a window into decisions he might make if reelected to office. Will the Governor drop his fight against and resistance to the HBCUs and display a willingness to comply with and fully implement the Remedial Order of the United States District Court for Maryland or will he continue to oppose and delay in the hopes of having the Court’s decision and Order overturned by a higher court? Will the Governor elect to keep the National Guard on alert for the next unrest in Baltimore or instead build Coppin University as the educational, economic and cultural center for transforming the Sandtown-Winchester area into a community, which makes future unrest far less likely?
These are questions we must ask the Governor before the election and the ministerial group is now duty-bound to demand answers, commitments and action. Even if the ministerial group’s endorsement is considered premature, it is not too late for accountability. In fact, the group has some of the best leaders to make this happen. For example, one of them is among the strongest advocates for Maryland HBCUs and the coalition of students, alumni, faculty and friends that sued the State on behalf of Bowie, Coppin, Morgan and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. He has been on the frontline of rallies in Annapolis, active in letter writing campaigns and engaged in courtroom visitations. Another member of the group has a long family history with HBCUs and is currently serving on the governing board of one of the HBCUs. No doubt there are others with similar HBI affiliations. They too must raise their voices in an effort to influence the Governor to do the right thing.
There is a good possibility that the pastors have already raised the Historically Black College issue with Governor Hogan. If, however, it has not been meaningfully discussed, only three weeks are left to do so.
Settlement of this issue alone would not only create a new reality for many Baltimoreans, it would move the Maryland approach to issues of race, poverty and equal opportunity leap years ahead.
Dr. Marvin L. ‘Doc’ Cheatham Sr. is convenor of the MD HBCUs Matter Coalition.
NANCY BY SNAC is a terrific black owned business owned by Kevin Brown located at 131 West North Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201. It's open Monday through Friday 8 am to 3 pm.
September 26, 2018
Baltimore Liquor Stores Linked More to Violent Crime Than Bars and Restaurants
Baltimore’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods have greater access to the types of outlets associated with the most violent outcomes.
A new study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) found that alcohol outlets in Baltimore that sell alcohol for off-premise consumption (such as liquor stores and beer and wine stores) have a stronger association with incidences of violent crimes, including homicides, aggravated assaults, sexual assaults, and robbery, than alcohol outlets in Baltimore where alcohol is bought and consumed on-site, such as bars and restaurants.
The researchers also found that low-income neighborhoods have higher access the type of outlets associated with the most harm: liquor stores and beer and wine stores.
In general, every 10 percent increase in alcohol outlet access is associated with a 4.2 percent increase in violent crime in the surrounding area. But a 10 percent increase in access to liquor stores and beer and wine stores had a 37 percent greater association with violent crime than on-premise outlets. In other words, access to liquor stores has a 37 percent greater association with violent crime than access to on-premise outlets.
Greater access to off-premise outlets and taverns was associated with increased levels of homicide, aggravated assault and robbery. Greater access to on-premise outlets was associated only with sexual assaults.
The report was published Sept. 26 in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.
“While previous research found a clear association between alcohol outlet density and violent crime, there was debate about whether on- or off-premise outlets are more closely linked to violent crime,” says Daniel Webster, ScD, MPH, Bloomberg Professor of American Health in the Bloomberg School’s Department of Health Policy and Management. “We used advanced methods to measure access to alcohol outlets more precisely and found that outlets that allow for off-site drinking, such as liquor stores and taverns, had a greater association with violent crimes than outlets that permit only on-site drinking, such as bars and restaurants.”
The research was led by Pamela Trangenstein, PhD, while she was a predoctoral fellow at CAMY.
For the study, the researchers examined the association between access to 1,204 alcohol outlets in Baltimore and exposure to violent crimes from 2012 to 2016 after accounting for neighborhood factors including drug arrests, income and poverty. The report looked at associations between three types of alcohol outlets: 1) On-premise outlets like bars and restaurants that only sell alcohol for on-site consumption, 2) Off-premise outlets like liquor stores that only sell alcohol for off-site consumption, and 3) Taverns that sell alcohol for both on- and off-site consumption.
The study authors suggest that some outlets have a stronger association with assaults or homicides. This difference has to do with how effectively they can manage their customers. Liquor stores and beer and wine stores tend to have more hurdles for effective management, like solitary working conditions, plexiglass barriers between staff and patrons, and brief interactions at the point of purchase. On the other hand, bars and restaurants often have several types of staff who more closely interact with patrons while they are drinking, monitor IDs, and even prevent potential offenders from entering the premises in the first place. People who purchase alcohol for off-premise consumption may then drink in public settings near the outlets where place managers are completely absent.
“A comprehensive approach to reducing violent crime in Baltimore must include policies that restrict or regulate alcohol outlets, particularly those that sell alcohol for off-site consumption,” says Webster. “Reducing the number of off-site alcohol outlets in Baltimore has the potential to lead to fewer homicides and aggravated assaults.”
“Outlet Type, Access to Alcohol, and Violent Crime” was written by Pamela Trangenstein, PhD, MPH, Frank Curriero, PhD, Daniel Webster, ScD, MPH, Jacky Jennings, PhD, MPH, Carl Latkin, PhD, Raimee Eck, PhD, MPH, MPA and David Jernigan, PhD.
This research was supported by Award Numbers T32AA007240, Graduate Research Training in Alcohol Problems: Alcohol-related Disparities, and P50AA005595, Epidemiology of Alcohol Problems: Alcohol-Related Disparities from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official view of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism or the National Institutes of Health.
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Media contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Alicia Samuels at 914-720-4635 or email@example.com and Barbara Benham at 410-614-6029 or firstname.lastname@example.org.