Coming and Going

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Baggage Fee Increase

Starting Aug. 5, Delta is doubling its fee for second checked bags on domestic flights, to $50 from $25. (The first checked bag is still free -- for now.) The airline is also increasing fees on oversize and overweight bags.


The Dirty Dozen

Last week, the Natural Resources Defense Council released Testing the Waters 2008, its annual report on beach water quality, and once more the findings are disturbing.

"In 2007, the number of closing and advisory dates at ocean, bay and Great Lakes beaches reached 22,571 days nationwide, their second-highest level since NRDC began tracking these events 18 years ago," the report began.

The worst year, if you're wondering, was 2006. But don't assume that conditions at America's beaches are improving. For one thing, 2006 was a wetter year than 2007, and rainy conditions always lead to more bacterial contamination. And though closing/advisory days were down 16 percent on the Delmarva Peninsula in 2007, that was after they had i ncreased 43 percent the previous year.

The NRDC study draws special attention to the beaches that were found to be contaminated with bacteria more than 25 percent of the time in 2007, bacteria that was likely the result of human or animal waste coming into contact with the water. A staggering 131 beaches in 23 states fall into this category:

· Colchester beach (Anne Arundel County)

· Carpenters Point Beach (Cecil County, Md.)

· Fairview Beach (King George County, Va.)

· Buttonwood Beach (Cecil)

· Duck Neck Campground (Queen Anne's County, Md.)

· Kinnaird's Point (Kent County, Md.)

· Sandy Hill Camp (Cecil)

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