Dock of the Bay

Vol. 8, No. 20
May 18-24, 2000
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$105,000 for Calvert Boys & Girls Clubs
photos by Lori Sikorski
Kids from Appeal Elementary plus U.S. Congressman Steny Hoyer, State Sen. Mike Miller and Del. Tony O’Donnell, show off big money.

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

The scene in Calvert County’s Appeal Elementary auditorium would have tickled that philosopher of America’s 19th century. Enthusiasm was so strong your cheeks hurt from smiling.

Enthusiasm has gotten the Boys & Girls Clubs of America through 140 years of serving the young people of our communities. Now 50-some boys and girls squirmed with enthusiasm to get a look at the guests on hand to present the club a check for $105,000.

With that money, the club will build a new home to replace its cramped quarters in the elementary school. While the southern branch builds on land just west of the school donated by the Calvert County Board of Education, the North Beach branch will begin a new building planned for the Fourth Street Park.

The northern club now meets once a week at the town community center. With their own home, they, too, will have daily hours.

Man of the hour Congressman Steny Hoyer sat among the children, while other Democrats sat side by side with Republicans, both putting aside differences for the cause. Countians from the north and south put aside their competition for scarce school dollars to celebrate in harmony.

“Where Boys & Girls Club is concerned, we are one community with an interest to provide a positive place for our youth,” said Chris Giggy, head of the Calvert County organization. The club’s after-school program gives children from six to 18 a place to hang-out, do projects, play sports, work on their homework, learn chess or talk with mentors and volunteers about their day,” Giggy said.

The Boys & Girls Club of Calvert County began in the fall of ’99. Already they have enrolled 379 children. Thirty-seven adult members sit on the countywide board.

Many of the VIPs who spoke were there not only on behalf of the state but also as alumni of Boys & Girls Club.

Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller, president of the Maryland Senate, recalled his eight years in the Eastern Branch of the Boys & Girls Club in Washington, D.C. “Some of my best times were spent there,” Miller said smiling at the many youngsters wearing T-shirts that proclaimed ‘The Positive Place for Kids.’

Hoyer recounted memories at the Boys & Girls Club of Cocoa Beach, Florida. “I was 11 years old and would ride my bike three or four times a week to the club. When my family moved to Maryland, I joined the club in District Heights and played football for them,” the congressman said.

The children’s eyes widened, for suddenly the tall, distinguished VIP had become one of them.

“I was surprised that someone like Mr. Hoyer was like me once, and that he was in the same club I am in,” said nine-year-old Michael Owens. “Maybe I’ll grow up to be a congressman one day.”

The $105,000 check comes from the Bureau of Justice Assistance, written on the account of the U.S. Department of Justice. This year, Congress appropriated $50 million for the 2,700 Boys & Girls Clubs across the country.

“This money will help fund our new locations,” Giggy said. “Seventy-five thousand dollars will be spent in North Beach, $25,000 will stay down here in the southern end, and the remaining $5,000 will help with board development and training.”

A United Way Agency, the Boys & Girls Club of Calvert County employs two full- and five part-time staff. “We’re always looking for volunteers,” Giggy hinted.

After the check was signed, young and old mingled over cake and punch. Retired state Sen. Bernie Fowler chatted with several children. Del. Tony O’Donnell shared a chuckle with others, while Congressman Hoyer fielded questions.

Enthusiasm was plentiful as VIPs, past, present and future proved you can have your cake at Boy’s & Girls Club — and eat it too.

—Lori L. Sikorski

If You Don’t Want Winter Booms, Secure Blind Sites Now

You’re a waterfront property owner.

It’s dawn.

You’re meandering down by the water’s edge, beneath an orange-splattered winter sky, entranced by the river’s sweet murmur, when suddenly, boom, a shotgun shatters the splendid stillness of daybreak.

A duck hunter, perfectly within his rights, is shooting from a blind site nearby on the water.

You can wait to shout expletives in December, or you can head off the problem right now.

You’ve got until June 1 to license stationary blind sites yourself and keep the boom of hunter’s guns away from your property or your community’s shoreline this duck season.

When you hold the licenses to the blind sites, you get to dictate who, when and how the sites are used.

Licensing applications were mailed April 3 to 1,500 riparian shoreline owners, agents and tenants who licensed stationary blind sites last year.

But as of mid May, only 300 applications for licenses had been returned to Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Which means plenty of sites are left for blazing shotguns.

Unlicensed sites will be opened to hunters later in the season.

To get your application now, call 410/260-8540. Return it by June 1 to Duck Blinds, Department of Natural Resource’s Wildlife and Heritage Division, 580 Taylor Ave., Annapolis, MD 21401.

—Matthew Thomas Pugh

The Place to Be: Annapolis Farmers’ Market

photo by Bill Lambrecht
Jeanne Grimes, new owner of Two Hollies organic farm in Shady Side, brings her own grown flowers and asparagus to the Annapolis Farmers’ Market.

The place to be on a Saturday morning is the Annapolis Farmers’ Market. There, in the long spread of a pair of open-sided barns fragrant with the honey smell of white alyssum, Anne Arundel County farmers lay out a banquet of all the season has to offer.

This time of year, Nature is serving up her early bounty: lettuces and asparagus fresh-harvested only hours earlier. Tender lettuces remind you what it means to be in our salad days. Take home heads for your bowl — as County Executive Janet Owens was doing when we bumped into her — or fast-growing plants for your garden.

Toss your salad with your choice of many herbal vinegars brought to market along with home-made jellies and jams.

Just jumped-up asparagus bought here and cooked the same day will ruin your taste for any other. Fortunately, it’s as common as weeds this time of year, so you can eat your fill before saying good-bye to the real thing for another year.

The veggies you buy at the supermarket travel an average of 1,500 miles, Maryland Department of Agriculture farm market planter Tony Evans reminds us. You’ll be the third or fourth owner of the veggies you buy there.

Even in May, you can find tomatoes, squash, peppers and all of summer’s bounty at your farmers’ market. Except for such hot-house-grown rarities as farmer Gordon Wirth’s cukes — you can’t have those goodies and eat them too. Take home your choice of county-started veggies to flourish in your garden. Herbs, on the other hand, can go in the garden and in the salad bowl — so long as you don’t snip too much. You’ll find thriving herb plants here in early abundance.

Of flowers, you can have all you want, both in the pot and on the stem. Peonies and early roses, both newly burst forth, appeared last Saturday — just in time to make many mothers’ day.

Of course you won’t be the only shopper loading up on spring bounty.

“I brought 150 three-to-four-foot iris stems, armloads of peonies, asparagus and tons of herb plants. I couldn’t even unload them from my truck before they were snapped up,” said farmer Jeanne Grimes, the new owner of Two Hollies organic farm in Shady Side.

Early birds will find the market, at the intersection of Riva Road and Truman Parkway, open at 7am. By noontime closing, pickings are slim. The Severna Park Market runs the same hours. Markets in Crofton (Sat. 8-11am) and Piney Orchard (Wed 2-6pm) open in June.

Next year, if early plans flourish, the county’s fifth market will open in Deale. A meeting with Evans last week drew organic, veggie, herb and flower farmers, plus a fiber and yarn producer. They hope to draw a waterman, too.


African American Family Community Day Makes Fun of History

If history indeed repeats itself, all on hand for the Fifth Annual African American Family Community Day on Saturday, May 20 are in for a great time.

Held along the Patuxent River at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in Calvert County, this event joins families of all races, religions and backgrounds. This year’s theme is Celebrating a Patchwork of Cultures.

“Don’t let the name fool you,” says Ruth Reid of the NAACP of Calvert County, which sponsors the event. “This is a day for all families to come together and have some fun. Everyone is welcome.”

This year’s special attraction digs deep into our past to uncover Sukeek’s Cabin, a public archaeology site.

“Sukeek was a slave who was brought here in the early 1800s,” says Kirsti Uunila, who helps the county preserve its history. “Her descendants, the Gross family, have helped us with stories and family dates and history.”

Open to the public until July 9, this exhibit rich with African American History is one of the first hands-on sites at Jefferson Patterson. “We’re hoping to be able to dig at the site and use that with the family information to get a better idea of what life was like for African Americans, enslaved and free, many years ago,” says Uunila.

Gross family members will be on hand at the celebration — and you can be, too, if 15 or older or accompanied by an adult.

You can travel not so far back in history to see another African American exhibit, African American Educators in Southern Maryland. Former teachers have donated local memorabilia along with photos and journals. Included, too, are textbooks that were handed down, out-dated, from white schools, before federal integration of public schools in the 1960s.

The exhibit will tour the area over the next couple of years, but you can be one of the first to view it during the Family Days.

As well as history, the day will be filled with music, food, children’s activities, families and friends, all in a beautiful, tranquil spot.

Included in the fun will be a visit from national recording artists The Orioles. “We are so excited to have them come and perform for us,” Reid says. “Their hits ‘It’s Too Soon to Know’ and ‘You Saw Me Crying at the Chapel’ have put them into the R&B Hall of Fame.”

“Everyone’s taste buds will be tickled,” says Reid. “We’ll have grills going, pots simmering and, of course, refreshing items to keep everyone cool.”

Family Day continues from 11am to 5pm at Jefferson Patterson Park, on Mackall Road in Calvert County: 410/586-8501.

—Lori Sikorski

For Calvert Literacy, Spelling BEEs Attack

Bee winners spellcheck.calm: Vic Conellier, Linda Fadeley, Malane Silver and Joe Rooney.

What are the hardest words to misspell?

Ferociously and acrocyanosis.

For those are the words that stung the first and final teams in Calvert Literacy Council’s Third Annual

BEE for Literacy.
To sting, be stung and look smugly on, 150 spelling bees and would-bes swarmed the American Legion Hall in Chesapeake Beach last week. A dozen four-adult teams spelled for the good cause of teaching adults to read.

New to the Bee were teams fielded by this year’s honorary chairman, Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, and Del. George Owings III. Miller’s Senate Spellers lasted until the 10th round, when they were stung by monadnock, a hill standing well above its surrounding plain.

Owings’ team, George’s Guessers, stumbled a round earlier on kibitzer.

In that knock-out ninth round, two other teams fell. The Friends of Calvert Library’s Library Literaté, succumbed to chonolith. Bay Weekly’s second team, the News Mongers, was ko’ed by viridescent, greenly iridescent.

Rounds one through three were elementary.

But the fourth toughened up sound-alikes and tricky consonants.

In the fifth, ferociously brought down the Calvert County Commission for Women’s She Bees.

A variable round six took down two more teams. Keep It Simple Computer Training’s Kan I Spel? tumbled with hypochondria. Then the first of Bay Weekly’s two teams, the News Hounds, were ko’ed by selenologist, after the Greek moon goddess Selene.

In successive rounds, tongue twisters alternated with tricksters like lieu and dais. Calvert County Public Library Cybrarians went down on lieu. Dais took out Calvert Bank’s Bees Make Money, Honey!

All four remaining teams used their single $15 pass to make it through tortuous round 10.

In the 12th, with three teams remaining, plain old words like repudiate and maintenance reappeared. Mom and the Amazing Bees fell in that round, leaving the floor to last year’s champs, Gradient Construction’s Ground Bees, and Joe and Beth Rooney’s returning Spellcheck.calm. Those two traded misses before a shotgun sudden-death round opened the way to clear victory.

Going first, Spellcheck spelled all four words — purloiner, carnivore, illiteracy, perfunctorily — from an envelope chosen by their rivals.

Next, the Ground Bees scored on scintillation only to have acrocyanosis turn their fingers and toes blue.

“We won by the luck of the draw,” said Rooney, magnanimously and partially.

This year’s bee brought in $11,500, which the Council, a United Way organization, and its volunteers will transform into hundreds of new readers.

“We serve 300 to 350 adults yearly,” reports Calvert County Literacy Council’s Debra Adair.

—Darcey Dodd

Way Downstream …

In Massachusetts, a Japanese-owned biotech company that harvests horseshoe crabs for medicines is suing the Interior Department over a federal ban on taking horseshoes along the Cape Cod seashore. The government has been warning of rapid depletion of the prehistoric, pith-helmetlike creatures throughout the Atlantic region …

In Kentucky, people living near the town of Lawrenceburg may not have objected to the pollution flowing into the Kentucky River last week. A fire at a warehouse full of Wild Turkey sent a vast amount of 101-proof bourbon flowing into the water. It’s rumored that Gonzo journalist and Wild Turkey aficionado Hunter S. Thompson, a Kentucky native, sped home from Colorado for a dip …

Our Creature Feature comes from Alaska, where someone is about to profit from a variation of our brainstorm to sponsor toxic trips for tourists. For a fee, visitors to the town of Dillingham will be able to take a shuttle to the dump to watch bears eat trash.

“Viewing bears in a pristine environment isn’t affordable to everyone. Here, they’re paying $20,” tour operator Karen Roberts told the Bristol Bay Times.

Copyright 2000
Bay Weekly