Patux­ent River mon­i­tor’s sneaker test gets nod from NASA

The Enterprise - - News - John Whar­ton jwhar­ton@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @JohnEn­tNews

Over the last three decades, South­ern Mary­lan­ders in­creas­ingly have gauged the well-be­ing of the re­gion’s shared tidal wa­ter­way, the Patux­ent River, by how far a for­mer Calvert County leg­is­la­tor can wade in and still see his sneak­ers.

The trust in the vis­ual wa­ter-qual­ity in­spec­tions per­formed an­nu­ally by Bernie Fowler has spread far beyond the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay trib­u­tary, as the na­tional mag­a­zine Pop­u­lar Sci­ence re­ported last month that “Fowler’s Sneaker Depth” is en­dorsed by NASA, the U.S. space agency that uses satel­lites to do the job.

“I was very sur­prised and pleased to learn there was so much co­in­ci­dence be­tween the two tests,” Fowler, 93, said last week, not­ing the sub­stan­tial ev­i­dence of pol­lu­tion lev­els mea­sured by his an­nual wade-ins and the satel­lites’ pho­to­graphs.

“That gives me a lit­tle more en­ergy to push harder,” Fowler said.

The World War II vet­eran served as a Calvert County com­mis­sioner be­fore he was elected to the Mary­land Gen­eral Assem­bly as a state sen­a­tor un­til 1994, and he took part in pur­su­ing civil ac­tion to re­duce pol­lu­tion of the wa­ter­ways.

This year’s 30th an­niver­sary of Fowler’s river wade-in in­cluded a sci­en­tist tak­ing part, and Fowler said he tried to get the guest to take the podium and dis­cuss the on­go­ing re­search.

“The sci­ence [they] have is all Greek to me,” Fowler ac­knowl­edged, but it’s back­ing up the lay­man’s ap­proach that he’s been tak­ing. “It’s sup­port­ing the ev­i­dence that we have,” he said. “That’s more than sat­is­fy­ing to me.”

And looks can some­times be any­thing but de­ceiv­ing.

“It’s a pretty clear mes­sage,” he said, “that the river’s dirty, or it’s get­ting bet­ter.”

En­joy bar­be­cue in Av­enue

Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 221 is spon­sor­ing a pork and beef sand­wich sale from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Satur­day and Sun­day, July 29 and 30, at 21690 Colton Point Road in Av­enue. Pork loin, sliced roast beef, and bar­be­cue beef sand­wiches will be sold. Go on­line to http:// al­post221.webs.com/ apps/cal­en­dar/ for other post events, and call 301-884-4071 for more in­for­ma­tion.

First Fri­day will rock

Leonard­town’s Rockin’ First Fri­day from 5 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 4 will give at­ten­dees dressed as a rock star, or in the style of their fa­vorite mu­si­cal era, a chance to win two half-day kayak rentals do­nated by the Patux­ent Ad­ven­ture Cen­ter, by reg­is­ter­ing for the raf­fle at the Pet Valu tent on the square.

A spe­cial raf­fle will also be held for pets in cos­tume.

Look for a Gene Sim­mons “vir­tual twin” decked out in full KISS at­tire, out and about in the down­town area, and stop by Her­itage Choco­lates to take a free snap­shot at the South­ern Mary­land En­ter­tain­ment photo booth, com­pli­ments of the Leonard­town Busi­ness As­so­ci­a­tion.

Joe Par­sons and The Lucky Few will be on the square from 6 to 8 p.m. for an evening of live mu­sic and high-en­ergy rock. Bring a lawn chair or blan­ket, come early and stay late for the free con­cert, art gallery re­cep­tions, and First Fri­day spe­cials at stores and restau­rants through­out town.

Also, an au­di­ence-par­tic­i­pa­tion drum cir­cle will take place from 8 to 10 p.m. at the town wharf.

Look for more in­for­ma­tion on­line at Face­book, or at www.first­fri­daysleonard­town.com.

Buy lo­cal food, win a T-shirt

This week’s Buy Lo­cal Chal­lenge, en­cour­ag­ing every­one to eat some­thing from a lo­cal farm ev­ery day through this Sun­day, July 30, in­cludes an ex­tra in­cen­tive, specif­i­cally a chance to win a T-shirt.

Post­ing pho­tos of a “buy lo­cal” shop­ping spree on­line at Face­book or In­sta­gram, and in­clud­ing the hash­tag #buy lo­cal chal­lenge, is all it takes to be in the run­ning for one of 10 “Buy Lo­cal” shirts that will be awarded through a ran­dom draw­ing. In ad­di­tion, 10 ran­domly-se­lected par­tic­i­pants tak­ing a Buy Lo­cal Chal­lenge pledge and short sur­vey that can be found on­line at www. buy­lo­calchal­lenge.com/ sur­vey.html also will re­ceive a shirt.

Mary­land farm prod­ucts touted by the pro- gram in­clude pro­duce, dairy, seafood, meats and fruit, along with lo­cally pro­duced bev­er­ages such as wines, beers and dis­tilled spir­its.

For more, go on­line to www.buy­lo­calchal­lenge. com, the pro­gram’s Face­book page, or mda. mary­land.gov.

Eat break­fast at the fire­house

An all-you-can-eat break­fast will be served from 8 to 11 a.m. on Sun­day, Aug. 13, at the 2nd Dis­trict Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment and Res­cue Squad build­ing, at 45245 Dray­den Road in Val­ley Lee. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 301-994-9999.

Start get­ting items to­gether now for a yard sale to be held from 7 a.m. to noon on Satur­day, Aug. 26, at the fire­house. To re­serve a space, call 240-299-5261.

Be fire safe dur­ing power out­ages

When se­vere storms cause dis­rup­tion in home elec­tri­cal ser­vice, State Fire Mar­shal Brian S. Geraci urges ci­ti­zens us­ing al­ter­na­tive light and elec­tri­cal sources dur­ing the power out­ages to fol­low some ba­sic safety tips to avoid in­jury or death.

Choose flash­lights in­stead of burn­ing can­dles, and keep plenty of fresh bat­ter­ies on hand. If the look of can­dles is pre­ferred, con­sider us­ing flame­less bat­tery-op­er­ated can­dles that of­fer the flick­er­ing light with­out the po­ten­tial fire haz­ard.

If real can­dles are used, make sure they are placed on a sta­ble piece of fur­ni­ture in sturdy hold­ers that will not tip over. Can­dles should fit in the hold­ers se­curely, and the hold­ers should be made of ma­te­rial that will not burn. Keep can­dles away from any­thing com­bustible, such as cloth­ing, books, pa­pers, cur­tains, dec­o­ra­tions or any­thing else that can burn. Do not place can­dles where they can be knocked over by chil­dren or pets. Al­ways ex­tin­guish all can­dles when leav­ing the room or be­fore go­ing to sleep. Never use can­dles, matches or lighters if med­i­cal oxy­gen ther­apy is used in the home.

Charged so­lar land­scape light­ing also can be brought in­doors for tem­po­rary light­ing as a safe and ef­fec­tive al­ter­na­tive to can­dles.

En­sure that burn­ers on elec­tric stoves are in the off po­si­tion dur­ing a power out­age, and re­move any items from the stove­top to pre­vent unat­tended heat­ing when the power is turned back on. Fuel-burn­ing ap­pli­ances can pro­duce the deadly, taste­less and odor­less gas known as car­bon monox­ide. In­stall and main­tain CO alarms in­side the home to pro­vide an early warn­ing of car­bon monox­ide.

When depend­ing on por­ta­ble gen­er­a­tors for elec­tric­ity dur­ing power out­ages, use ex­treme cau­tion when re­fu­el­ing the equip­ment. Fuel splashed on a hot muf­fler could ig­nite, caus­ing se­vere burns and se­ri­ous in­juries. Never at­tempt to re­fuel a gen­er­a­tor while it is run­ning, and al­ways al­low the unit to cool down be­fore adding more fuel. Op­er­ate gen­er­a­tors out­side of the home and out­side of garages. Car­bon monox­ide gas pro­duced by op­er­at­ing gen­er­a­tors is poi­sonous, and can quickly cause se­vere in­jury or death. En­sure place­ment of the gen­er­a­tor does not al­low car­bon monox­ide to en­ter the home through win­dows or doors.

As al­ways, make sure the home is equipped with work­ing smoke alarms and car­bon monox­ide de­tec­tors. The early-no­ti­fi­ca­tion de­vices are some of the most ef­fec­tive fire and life safety tools for pre­vent­ing in­jury or death from fire and car­bon monox­ide poi­son­ing.

PHOTO BY CHESSA REID

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) mea­sures for­mer state sen­a­tor Bernie Fowler af­ter con­clud­ing June’s an­nual wade-in to the Patux­ent River at Jef­fer­son Pat­ter­son Park and Mu­seum. Fowler got up to 41.5 inches of wa­ter be­fore his shoes dis­ap­peared, 10.5 inches bet­ter than last year.

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