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Dock of the Bay: November 8-14, 2019

What We’re Thinking in Chesapeake Country
Anne Arundel shifts from economy to crime and drugs
      Crime and drugs are the most important problem facing Anne Arundel County, according to an October survey of 655 countians by the Center for the Study of Local Issues at Anne Arundel Community College. Nearly a third, 31 percent, call those threats their biggest issues. 
      As recently as spring of 2012, the decline of the economy was a top concern. This year, only four percent rank the economy at the top of their worries.
    Quality of life concerns rank second, with 15 percent citing their top fears as growth and overpopulation. Education and transportation followed, both of top concern to eight percent. Tied at seven percent are taxes and such environmental concerns such as air and water pollution and saving the Bay.
     Looking toward the future, 61 percent oppose increasing tolls on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge during peak summer hours to avoid traffic jams, while 31 percent think it’s a good idea. On the federal EPA decision to ease restrictions on using coal for electricity decision, just about half, 49 percent oppose, with 36 in support.
Calvert County ranks overdevelopment top 
     In Calvert County, values are just about opposite.
     Overdevelopment, growth and sprawl rank highest among long-term concerns, polling 33 percent of 400 registered voters surveyed in October in a poll, conducted by OpinionWorks and released by Smart Growth Maryland, a program of Preservation Maryland. 
      The related issue of traffic congestion worried 51 percent as a major problem and 31 percent as minor. Sixteen percent (nondrivers?) had no trouble with traffic.
      Only eight percent of Calvert countians ranked crime and drugs as their top concern, with another eight percent worrying most about education and schools. Other rankings concerns jobs and the economy, six percent; high taxes and waste in government, five percent; and affordable housing, four percent. Only three percent ranked the environment and protection of the Bay and local waters as their most pressing concern.
      As a place to live, Calvert County and its rural feel suit its citizens just fine. Calvert is an “excellent” place to live said 49 percent; and another 43 percent call it a “good” place to live.
       Sixty-nine percent of voters say that Calvert County needs to remain a smaller community and protect its rural character.
–Krista Pfunder Boughey
Way Downstream …
Thar she blows!
        At the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel, a boat full of fishing folks on Sunday are lucky it didn’t bite.
      The it was a humpback whale, a massive creature of lore — and song — rarely spotted in the Bay.
      From the video at, this one appeared young, but humpbacks can grow to 50 to 60 feet long and weigh in at 40 tons.
      They’re seen in New England in the summer before heading down to the Caribbean for winter breeding.
      We have a theory: Big, humpbacks are friendly. They like to cavort with other creatures, particularly bottle-nosed dolphins, which have become common far up the Chesapeake. Our marine sources tell us this conversation was picked up on a VHF radio:
        “Hey big dude, wanna hang out with us this weekend?”
        “Sure thing, little fellas. Lead the way.”