Are you going to eat that? – Tuesday, March 24th

There are some snowflakes in the area this morning, but nothing that will stick. Temperatures will creep into the low 40s and the sun may show up late in the day. It’ll be warmer, with rain, tomorrow.

Last night, Baltimore’s city council voted down a bill that would grade restaurants on their cleanliness and require the results to be posted publicly. The bill passed a recent preliminary vote, but 3 council members (Jim Kraft, 1st; Eric Costello, 11th; Pete Welch, 9th) withdrew their support. Supporters of the bill argue that the grading system, beyond the city’s current health inspection system, will provide transparency to city diners and encourage restaurants to go beyond the bare minimum of cleanliness. Similar grading systems exist in many cities. Opponents worried the regulation would be costly and complicated to implement, and that restaurants with mediocre grades could not get re-inspected fast enough.

A 33-year-old man was shot to death overnight in the Woodbrook neighborhood of West Baltimore. Two other men were shot in West Baltimore last night in Sandtown-Winchester.

Whoever rebranded the state’s stormwater management fees as the “rain tax” won. In a recent survey, half of those polled believed that the “rain tax” literally meant they were going to be taxed each time it rained (spoiler alert: no). Meanwhile,  the Maryland Senate just voted unanimously to kill the mandatory stormwater fees intended to help mitigate the effects of runoff on the Chesapeake Bay. There will probably be more of a fight in the House of Delegates in coming days over the “rain tax.”

Water for Chocolate, an Upper Fells restaurant, was damaged in a fire on Friday. The fire began in chef Sean Guy’s apartment above the restaurant. Guy lost his dog in the fire, and has been displaced by the damage. The community stepped in – a fundraiser has already collected $7500 for Guy.