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Monday, January 26, 2015

Is biking on the roads safe?

     The recent death of a biker in Baltimore has brought the issue of bike safety on our streets to a new level of awareness.  The danger of biking on heavily traveled streets is something that discourages many of us from even considering taking our bikes on local trips.  We are fortunate to have bike paths in Columbia that does give us some alternative routes to use but often we are forced onto local streets that are heavily traveled.

 I have blogged on this before on the situation on Dobbin Lane and other heavily traveled roads like Little Patuxent Parkway.  Biking to the Mall? Not something to be done easily.  Retrofitting our roads to be more friendly to bikers and pedestrians should be the goal for Howard County in the 21st century.  But to do this you have to build the goal into any road or building development. The hiring of a bike and pedestrian coordinator in the County is a good first step in this direction.  The example of how this can be done is in Holland.

   Below is a before and after picture of a busy street in Holland.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Everything you thought about addiction maybe wrong

    Every once in a while I come across an article that makes me think about something differently and today I wanted to pass it on for your morning read.  It will make you think.  Thanks to a couple of Facebook friends I became aware of this article on the Huffington Post about what maybe the main cause of addiction.  It brings up some interesting information about why some people become addicted and others exposed to the same drugs don't.  The article challenges the notion that addiction is primarily a physiological issue and discusses how social connections maybe a better explanation.  Well worth a read.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Health care for all session

From the Horizon Foundation:

"Maryland is pioneering a new hospital care model that is focusing our hospitals more on prevention and strengthening their relationships with other health providers in their communities. This is producing better outcomes for patients, keeping people healthier, and making it easier for consumers to navigate the health care system.

A forum on Thursday will be hosted by Health Care For All to discuss these changes, innovative collaborations between health care institutions and faith communities, and how to implement these new models locally. This is truly unique in the nation, and Marylanders should know about the new opportunities available.

We hope that you will attend and encourage those in your networks to come and learn about how they can take advantage of these exciting changes. Here are the event details:
day Jan. 22nd
The Meeting House at Oakland Mills Interfaith Center
5885 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, MD 21045

All are welcome! If you or anyone in your network would like to attend this meeting, please RSVP to Stephanie Klapper at or 410-235-9000. "

#hocomd #hocoblogs #hocoevents

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

$1.85 gas? The good and bad of the lower gas prices

    The Exxon gas station in Virginia caught me by surprise on a recent visit.  $1.85 gas price was something I had not seen in a long, long time.  Filling up for under $25 instead of $50 helps with splurging on a nice lunch. I am not sure where the price drop will go but we might as well enjoy it while it lasts.
     So where is the bad news with the gas prices?  The lower prices for gas make people buy more gas guzzling trucks and larger vehicles that make our efforts to reduce air pollutants a harder sell these days.  Amazingly shortsighted car buyers think that these prices will last long term.   Seems that  Saudi Arabia is trying to drive the rest of the world out of the oil business by undercutting the price.  Once they have accomplished that they will raise the prices.  Gaining back their market share of the world's oil is the game they are playing.
      This might be a good time to buy a hybrid as they are less in demand and maybe cheaper.