Volume XI, Issue 40 ~ October 2-8, 2003

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Dock of the Bay

At City Dock, U.S. Boat Shows Replace Isabel as Main Attraction
The show will go on

“The show will go on,” says United States Boat Shows’ general manager Jim Barthold — despite Isabel’s mighty wind that charged tides upriver and sent swells flooding downtown Annapolis.

But cleaning up after Isabel in time for the October 9 opening of the world sailboat capital’s biggest show will just about wear out the city.

No sooner had Isabel blown our way than the city swung into high gear, first preparing, then cleaning up debris and pumping out unwanted water — through it all enduring the fatigue that everyone in this giant effort seems to be sharing.

Harbor master Rick Dahlgren’s worn-out crew has been working nonstop since the first warnings of Hurricane Isabel. Dahlgren’s first job was clearing the harbor of vessels.

“In previous years when there was a hurricane or large storm heading our way, it was hard to convince people to move their boats upriver or to take them out,” Dahlgren said. “With Isabel we had boaters calling us, and some were very panicked about the storm.”

Through it all, City Dock fared well. The Governor’s dock was badly hit but is being repaired. The electrical boxes on the docks needed to be dried out, but now electricity has been restored, and water is running again where it’s supposed to.

photos by Kimberly Goode
Repairs to the Governor’s dock in Annapolis proceed in preparation for the U.S. Sailboat and Powerboat Shows.

For Boat Show, all should go well, Dahlgren said. “Everyone is just tired.”

Tired or not, Dahlgren could still count his blessings.

“We’re lucky this storm didn’t happen during Boat Show,” he said.

Exhaustion swamped the mayor’s office, where perceptions had to be freshened, as well as clean-up overseen. “Everyone is working so hard, they are in overdrive. Some people have been having a hard time sleeping since this all started,” said city spokeswoman Jan Hardesty, as the mayor’s office fielded calls from as far away as Georgia about Boat Show week.

Pictures of Annapolis and the flood damage spread over the television and around the world. “The perception of Annapolis was not good,” Hardesty said. “We needed to let people know that we are up and running and that the Boat Shows will go on as scheduled.”

The Annapolis Waterfront Marriott, which overlooks the Boat Show, was made into an island by Isabel. Carpets and flooring had to be replaced and the dock rebuilt — all in time for the shows.

The hotel dock is being rebuilt on pilings that remained intact. “If they had been destroyed, then it would have been different,” said Schwartz, who also had blessings to count.

Pusser’s Landing Restaurant, now renamed The Hurricane Cafe, has moved upstairs to the outside patio. That bar and Pusser’s downstairs will be open and serving for Boat Show. They will have a fully functional bar set up outside as well as ample food to revive weary Boat Show goers.

“Boat Show is second nature to us,” said Marriott’s Michael Schwartz. “Hurricane or not, we will work until it’s done, and we are ready to go.”

As Isabel came and went, Boat Show manager Barthold wasn’t worried. “Having such advance warning about the hurricane allowed us to prepare and move our equipment to high ground. Each area was affected differently, but it appeared to be fixable in time. We are confident that everything will be built, fixed and repaired by the time Boat Show arrives.”

Tired but diligent, Annapolis is pulling itself together. After Boat Show, however, one and all are hoping for a rest.

“I see Boat Show as an end of one season and the beginning of another,” said Dahlgren. “After Boat Show, the town quiets down and we all hunker down for winter and get ready for spring — and it all starts over again.”

— Kimberly Goode

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Cleaning up Isabel’s Mess
Volunteers scrub and cheer North Beach

Eight days after North Beach’s waterfront took Isabel’s hard tropical punch, 65 volunteers pitched in to help clean out muck and debris from public areas, homes and shops.

Organizers expecting 20 to 40 people were nearly overwhelmed by the higher number as northern Calvert neighbors joined with townspeople under the supervision of public works director Brian McNeil.

“We threw this thing together pretty quickly, so it was hard to make an accurate prediction about how many people would show,” said volunteer coordinator Gary Pendleton. “Fortunately, we were able to put them to work and we got a lot done.”

The volunteer force included members of Boy Scout Troop 422, joined by Girl Scouts and members of Bayside Baptist Church. St. Anthony’s Catholic Church of North Beach served the volunteers a hot lunch, as they had been doing all week.

Getting dirty and sweaty along with everyone else was Mayor Mark Frazer and Town Council members Mike Bojokles, Barbara Gray, Randy Hummell, Denise Phelps and Gary Pendleton. Understandably absent was vice president Denise Lucero, whose own home suffered major damage.

The help began to arrive before the posted starting time of 9am, and for the next hour there was a steady stream of people, many of whom came with shovels, hammers and brooms. An early rain threatened to interfere, but skies quickly cleared and the day turned warm and breezy.

The volunteers cleared driftwood and lumber from the beach into dumpsters. Salvageable lumber that was in decent condition was stacked for re-use. Benches that had been ripped from the boardwalk, were removed for repair.

In addition to the dozens of waterfront homes damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Isabel, many shops, homes and a restaurant off the water were flooded. Some weary home residents got help cleaning out their yards and houses. Two volunteers with strong backs helped Seventh Street residents Blake Harper and Karen Tenney remove and replace a damaged washer and dryer. On Atlantic Avenue at Byron Epson’s house, which will likely be torn down, other volunteers were helping pack up valuables for storage. Others got help dealing with soaked mattresses and ruined furniture. At Nice & Fleazy Antiques, owner Dale Thomas was grateful for help moving soaked rugs and books outside to dry.

“They were a dream team, and simply made light-years of difference in the outlook of Nice & Fleazy,” said Thomas.

As soon as Isabel blew away, volunteers came forward offering food, supplies and physical labor. Bayside Baptist Church and Chesapeake Church delivered lunches for workers and victims of the disaster. The Wanner family of Owings purchased hundreds of dollars worth of tools and supplies for the Town. John Bowling and his daughter, also of Owings, delivered bottles of water and home-made cookies. Dozens of other families, institutions and individuals have also pitched in.

Two funds have been established to aid local victims of the disaster. A group of business leaders have organized The Beach Business Hurricane Relief Fund to assist small, uninsured businesses that suffered losses from the storm and power outage. Their fund-raising efforts will be focused on other businesses. North Beach attorney Lynda Striegel is leading that effort.

“Some of our business colleagues lost everything and might not be able to survive,” Striegel said. “The fund will help them get back on their feet and stay in business.”

The Beach Business Hurricane Relief Fund is administered by Calvert Bank (P.O. Box 480, Chesapeake Beach, MD 20732 • 410/286-5981).

To aid local families affected by Isabel, St. Anthony’s Catholic Church is accepting contributions of food and money (contact: Mike Bojokles: 301/855-2445).

The disaster was the worst to hit the town in its 100-year history. “We thank our friends and neighbors who generously volunteered their assistance in this time of need,” said Mayor Mark Frazer. “The damage was extensive but it could have been worse. We believe that the pilings and caps on which the boardwalk rests are in good shape. Work has begun to repair the damage. I’ve set a goal of May 1 to have it rebuilt and looking even better.”

— Bay Weekly staff

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The Week that Wasn’t
Hurricane Isabel knocked out concerts, exhibits and movies

When Hurricane Isabel stormed through Chesapeake Country September 19, she flooded many plans, possibly yours.

Locations at water level were hit hard.

The Annapolis Maritime Museum was left with damage to two buildings, both of which could be condemned. “We are still trying to assess the damage to the McNasby’s Oyster Company building and the Barge House. I found my desk drawer under a car parked 100 feet away from my office,” said acting museum director Jeff Holland.

The wreckage forced the cancellation of the exhibit Before There was GPS plus lectures and concerts. Canadian folk singer Eileen Quinn had been to perform on Sunday, September 21.

“The challenge is to find venues to reschedule events. This is an opportunity to start fresh and grab people’s attention to raise funds. We want to make the museum bigger and better,” added Holland. Annapolis Maritime Museum pledges to rebuild.

That’s only the beginning of the troubles.

Horizon Organic Farm and Education Center was to show the movie Signs in the middle of its eight-acre corn maze on Saturday, September 20. The storm destroyed the entire maze, thus canceling all movies and maze-related activities until 2004.

“The corn maze, which was seven feet high in places, was flattened. It was an extensive and laborious project that took between 60 and 90 days to grow and groom but only one storm to bring down,” said Cindy Edson, marketing manager for Horizon. “The movie series in the maze is done for the season, but is definitely in line for next year,” she added.

photo by James Clemenko
McNasby’s Seafood and Oyster Company, part of the greater Annapolis Maritime Museum, was flooded after Isabel’s record storm surge.
Farther south, the Calvert Marine Museum’s 29,000-square-foot complex did not suffer heavy damage from Hurricane Isabel. Exhibits will continue, and you can still visit the resident otters and the children’s discovery center.

However, not all of the Calvert Marine Museum’s property escaped. One of its two lighthouses, Cove Point, suffered flooding and will close for the season early. Lore Oyster House also flooded and closed early.

Even concert and theater halls that did not suffer heavy damage were forced to postpone and cancel events.

The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra was to kick off its 2003-2004 concert season on Friday and Saturday, September 19 and 20 with an all-concerto performance featuring works from Brahms, Mozart and Beethoven. That performance, which was to be at the Maryland Hall for Creative Arts, was blown away by Isabel.

The artists and guest conductor were scheduled more than one year in advance and, according to the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, are unable to reschedule. The next concert for their season series is November 21 and 22.

Pasadena Theatre Company’s production of An Evening with The Honeymooners, scheduled to run September 26 through October 11, is suspended indefinitely.

“Due to a tight production schedule and resulting scheduling problems with our performance space due to the effects of Hurricane Isabel, we are forced to postpone all performances of An Evening with The Honeymooners,” said company spokesman Dave Duvall.

photo courtesy of Calvert Marine Museum
Hurrican Isabel flooded both the keeper’s house and the Cove Point Lighthouse.

Ticket-holders for the show should contact the box office for a refund or an exchange of tickets for an upcoming production.

Canceled, too, was this year’s Deale Bluegrass Festival and Car Show, slated for Saturday, September 20, at Herrington Harbour North Marina. The festival was rescheduled for Saturday, September 27, but that date was canceled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency because of severe damage to the marina.

Bay Appreciation Days, arranged by the Maryland Watermen’s Association and scheduled for the weekend of September 27 and 28 was postponed until November 1 and 2. “Most of our vendors are watermen,” said the Association’s administrator Betty Duty. “And they needed more time to recover from the hurricane, and we couldn’t find a good date until November.”

Some locations with natural settings were able to recover quickly and reschedule events.

Annmarie Garden’s ArtsFest 2003, which was slated for Saturday, September 20 and 21, went on a week later as a minifest.

Anne Arundel Community College’s outdoor showing of the Disney movie Finding Nemo for Friday, September 19, was moved to Saturday, September 27.

Read 8 Days a Week for activities on tap for this week.

— James Clemenko

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Way Downstream…

In Chesapeake Bay, underwater grasses rebounded — thanks to past years’ drought, the Chesapeake Bay Program announced last week. Between 2000 and 2002, submerged vegetation increased by 30 percent to more than 20,000 acres, the non-partisan, government collaborative said. Let’s hope those grasses survived stormy ’03…

In Florida, Cypress Gardens, that venerable tourist trap known for water skiers and bathing beauties, will not be turned into a subdivision and strip malls after all. The Trust for Public Land announced last week that it would pay $22 million to buy and save Cypress Gardens, which closed after tourism plummeted…

In Norway, hundreds of homes are getting power in a unique way: from the moon. A new undersea power station is being driven by the rise and fall of tides, caused by the gravitational pull of the moon. Norwegians said that never before had tides been used to produce electricity…

ur Creature Feature comes from Finland, where the fur literally flew last week. Around 7,000 mink were released from cages from a mink farm near the town of Kokkola, triggering a dragnet by the community to round up the valuable rodents.

An animal rights group was suspected in the operation, which involved opening dozens of individual cages. A spokesman for the fur industry said that besides wiping out the mink-grower, the attack would jeopardize wildlife in the area as the furry escapees prowl for dinner.

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© COPYRIGHT 2003 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.
Last updated October 2, 2003 @ 2:37am