|Safeway Campaigns to Win Friends, Shopping Complex
After 10 years of planning blocked by the county and grassroots opposition, the Lanham-based supermarket Goliath has brought its case to the peoples court in the Southern Anne Arundel community where it hopes to locate its latest complex of stores.
The company is sending out thousands of flyers, convening meetings of backers, operating a new Internet site, dealemarketplace.com, and soon may advertise. Thats not Safeways usual way of doing business.
We dont hold town meetings, said Tom Castleberry, Safeway vice president for real estate, in a meeting last week in Bay Weeklys offices. Safeway requested the meeting, part of its outreach campaign.
Safeway has been secretive, as are most big corporations, in planning the Deale commercial center. But the company apparently concluded that this was a battle they could lose. In two months, the Board of Appeals will take up Safeways petition to reverse the countys refusal to grant a floodplain waiver. No matter how the board rules, the matter likely will end up in court.
Now Safeway is framing the debate as a matter of fairness; a local support group may call itself Concerned Citizens for Fairness to Safeway.
Anne Arundel County and Safeway have had years of dealings on the proposed 55,000 square-foot supermarket and shopping complex at the intersections of Route 258 and 256. Everybody knew the land was wet: an area of heavy stormwater retention they called it. So, as Castleberry recalls the negotiations, the county told Safeway to dry it out.
What the county wanted us to do was capture flooding from other sources, including homes across Swamp Circle Road, Castleberry said.
Safeway submitted a plan to dig two shallow ponds between the store and Swamp Circle road to retain stormwater, keeping the commercial portion dry and drying some of the downstream areas. Were going to leave the area better than we found it, Castleberry said.
Lawyer Kathryn Dahl, who is representing Safeway, said: The county was bending over backwards readjusting requirements. We didnt have any opposition until our request for a flood plain waiver hit Richard Wilcoxs desk.
In January, Wilcox, the interim director of the countys department of Planning and Code Enforcement, said no to Safeways variance request.
Political pressure against Safeway sprouted from the Alliance for Rural Business and the environmental advocacy group SACReD, Southern Arundel Citizens for Responsible Development. Dahl, of the firm Linowes and Blocher, is familiar with Southern Anne Arundel Countys tricky waters having represented Washington developers in their ill-fated effort to build a subdivision on sensitive land on the Shady Side peninsula. SACReD now is pushing state and governments that purchased the land to allow its restoration to pristine condition.
Safeway, meanwhile, is fighting back against the latest grassroots campaign. A vocal opposition, a minority, is making themselves heard, and we thought it time to be heard ourselves, said Castleberry.
In March, Safeway mailed thousands of surveys sampling citizen opinion. The bulk of those returned 918 for, 58 against, out of 10,000 mailed were positive, the company says. The new efforts, are aimed at getting the message, the true facts, out to people and garnering support, in Castleberrys words.
In April, Safeway met with several dozen allies in Rosehaven and convened another meeting last week in Deale of about 15 of the most committed. Claire Mallicote, one of key supporters, said afterward she believes that the Safeway complex is critical for Southern Anne Arundels future.
I see our tax base and our job opportunities going to Dunkirk, Upper Marlboro and Edgewater, said
Mallicote, who operates Mali Office Supplies in Deale. The silent majority is speaking up now.
Amanda Spake, president of SACReD, said that the companys new campaign glosses over the fact that the complex of a half-dozen stores or more stores is much more than a mere grocery. She asserted that what the company has in mind would be the countys biggest strip mall south of Edgewater.
This project is way out of proportion to anything that the community and the environment will support, she said.
Meanwhile, Safeway sounds worried. Theyre coming at us from two directions, said Castleberry. Going to court is a lengthy process, and while thats going on, youre being downzoned.
Downzoning, or setting smaller size and use limits on some commercially zoned land in the area, is under consideration in independent deliberations of the Deale-Shady Side Small Area Planning Committee appointed by County Executive Janet Owens.
At Bay Weekly, Safeways team acknowledged that their Deale Marketplace may never rise. But, remarked Dahl, its not if but when something is built on that site and whatever else wont do floodplain control.
Tasty Southern Maryland
An oversized ironman swayed in the wind atop a giant inflated playground. A bigtop held 30-some Chesapeake Country chefs, passing out their specialties. Trio Satin Doll jazzed up the afternoon with sounds of sweet music.
Thousands visited Rosehaven last Sunday for all of this and a little Taste of Southern Maryland.
As usual, Herrington on the Bay hosted the food and music festival. Chefs from restaurants in Chesapeake Beach, Clinton, Edgewater, Mayo, North Beach, Solomons and Upper Marlboro arrived early to prepare for feeding the multitudes.
With nearly 2,000 people feeding, lines stretched inside, outside and around Herringtons new Paradise Ballroom, a big white tent. Waiting was tempered by the eventual reward: an enticing sample of Bay food. By days end, no rib was left uneaten, no cookie unbit.
By popular vote, the twin beaches came out on top. Chesapeake Beachs Rod n Reel won first place with stuffed shrimp while Thursdays Bar and Grill in North Beach, featuring crab dip, claimed the runner-up spot.
Judges honored four more: Asbury Solomons, Southern Maryland favorite; Olde South Catering, best display; Mister Cs Chicken & BBQ, most unique; and Old Stein Inn, best overall.
The Taste raised $4,000 to be shared by the Anne Arundel Community Colleges Culinary Arts Department and The Maryland Hospitality Education Fund.
Next year, promises Herrington on the Bay caterings Anna Chaney, therell be more space, more food and fewer eaters.
Breathe A Sigh of Tree-Leaf: Theyre Planted
photo by Darcey Dodd
Volunteers of all ages hit the dirt planting trees at Kinder Park Farm.
Twenty troopers, shovels in hand, arrived at Kinder Farm Parks gates in Millersville last Saturday with one goal in mind: Tree-planting.
They came. They dug. They planted 75 Maryland native trees along the parks hiker/biker trail, a tree-needy spot.
We did it. The tree-planting was great, said American Forests Global Re-Leaf director Karen Fedor
Added first-time tree-planter Mary Catherine Ball of Bay Weekly, Seeing the volunteers made it all come together. It was exciting to know that youve raised money for a good cause and actually took part in it.
Over in Arnold, at about the same time, 500 trees were being planted on the grounds of Anne Arundel Community College.
Girl Scouts Jenn Martin and Jenn Medell, 14, earned their Silver Award by starting a nursery with Bay Weekly-raised money.
The college, Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service, Girl and Boy Scouts and Brownie troops also had a hand in this project.
Over time, volunteers will look after the trees and eventually plant them all over Anne Arundel.
While those trees are growing, the $8,000 raised by Bay Weekly friends, in cooperation with American Forests, at last years tree-sponsored birthday bash is still spreading around Bay Country.
This week, The Academy of Natural Sciences Estuarine Research Center is calling on tree-lovers to help plant 100 more at their site on the grounds of Jefferson Patterson Park Museum in Calvert County.
Bay Country will breathe easier still if you accept our oft-repeated invitation to this years birthday celebration for Sun. May 7, noon-5pm at Surfside 7 on the South River.
Harry D. Capt. Doyle Kendall
photo courtesy of Suzy Smithson
Home is the sailor home from the sea.
Requiem, Robert Louis Stevenson
And home not from the sea, but from land is Harry D. Capt. Doyle Kendall, 84, whose remains were scattered in the Chesapeake May 1 with four boatloads of fellow charterboat skippers, family and friends in attendance. The location, Brownies Hill, was among his favorite fishn holes, a place he often trolled for blues and stripers.
And might I add, the old-time skipper would appreciate another line from Stevensons Requiem: Here he lies where he longed to be. Doyle loved the Chesapeake, its fishes and even its fishermen as I found when we met at his home port in Deale many years ago. Rockfish were his favorite, though he appreciated big blues, and as Capt. Roy Leverone of the Uncle Roy out of Chesapeake Beach says, he was a pretty good bottom fisherman.
For many years, Churchton was his home, but he passed away of chronic leukemia April 27 at Anne Arundel Medical Center, after for nearly a year hanging his cap at the Country Home nursing facility in Harwood.
He was among the old-time charter skippers who go back to the days of Capt. Jim Shupe. You might say he was outspoken, for you knew where he stood. A stroke slowed him down several years ago, but he still managed to fish now n then, skippers said.
Almost daily, he and other fishermen held court at the restaurant of Happy Harbor. Some say he was there every morning of his life, a fixture and if he didnt show up, he was phoned to be sure all was okay, said Barbara Sturgell of that eatery. His colleagues said he taught many a newcomer to charterboatn and fishn the ropes, and he did much of the work in building his boat, the Bonnie Bett.
He was an accomplished carpenter, was a carpenters mate second class in the Navy during World War II and he didnt warm up to this outdoor writer when we first met so many years back until he learned I was also in the Navy at that time. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Bravery for saving the life of a shipmate who fell overboard. But it has been years since our paths crossed.
When not involved in fishing, he was into duck carving, and for a time he was a painter. About 20 people were in each of the boats the Patrick, Miss Grace, Miss Carol and Jill Carrie that took the ashes of Capt. Doyle out on the Bay. Home is the sailor, home to the sea.
In New Jersey, filmmaker Michael Moore, known for his Roger & Me about General Motors, is asking people in the 11th Congressional District to cast write-in votes for
a ficus tree. Said Moore: Candidates make promises and go to Washington and do nothing. We believe a potted plant could do no worse
In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Ridge, a Republican, is pushing an agenda that may sound familiar to Marylanders. Its called Growing Smarter, and although this proposal lacks the teeth of Maryland Gov. Parris Glendenings Smart Growth, Ridge is taking steps to prevent state government from abetting unwise development
Denver city officials believe they have found a weapon that works in their long war against pigeons: the hallucinogenic chemical Avitrol. A reporter for the Denver Post tracked down 60s acid queen Grace Slick, the Jefferson Airplane belter, to see if she had a reaction. She did: I have considerable experience on the subject of mind-altering drugs, and I can tell you that Avitrol is not your run-of-the-mill hallucinogen
Talk about a bad trip!
In Alaska, where fear of another oil spill is widespread, cruise ship operators emasculated legislation that would require them to provide a plan to clean up 15 percent of their oil-carrying capacity within 48 hours of a spill, the bills Republican sponsor said. A watered-down measure passed instead
Our Creature Feature comes from San Francisco, where the Conservatory of Flowers has been troubled by unseemly invaders cockroaches. So the flower repository devised a plan that raised some eyebrows: Why not bring in a pack of lizards to tackle the roaches?
Those bold flower-lovers did so, unleashing 20 geckos, short, wide-bodied little critters that love the crack-smush of bugs in their mouth. It may or may not be working, the Associated Press reports. Theres not a cockroach in sight; you can hear them shivering in the corner, I think, said conservatory spokeswoman Nancy Fox.