Volume XI, Issue 52 ~ December 25-31, 2003

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Outs, hits, runs and occasional homers: Here’s how we called the shots in 2003.

Ehrlich to Enviros: Away from the Table, Kiddies ~ March 6: No. 10
It’s startling how, less than two months into his administration, Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s relationship with the conservation crowd in Maryland has deteriorated. There may be less hope for a constructive relationship now that Ehrlich’s spokesman, Paul Schurick, has labeled Maryland’s environmental movers as “bomb-throwers.” This is on top of Lt. Gov. Michael Steele referring to them as “whiners.”

The Malling of Chesapeake Country ~ April 17: No. 16
How many more malls do we need?

Parole faded and Annapolis Mall rose and spread through multiple enlargements into Westfield Shopping Town.

Meanwhile, Westfield spun off mini-malls until an entire quadrant of the Annapolis-Parole corridor became one massive shopping town with lots of little village-like names, including Festival at Riva and Annapolis Harbour Center.

Now, along with the redevelopment of Parole and the commercial mushrooming in Edgewater, construction has begun at still another massive retail complex at the intersection of routes 2 and 214. We’re troubled that what we’re seeing south of Annapolis is a good imitation of the non-stop shopping strip stretching up Route 2 from Arnold to the Beltway.

A Decade of Delivering Promises and Papers ~ April 24: No. 17
Whew! We made some big promises 10 years ago when just about all we had to offer were promises — sprinkled with hope, vision and a dash of imagination.
It’s been like running a marathon, but we’re happy we jumped in, and we’re especially pleased that we’ve been able to keep our main promise — getting Bay Weekly in your hands without fail, in ice storms, snow and rain.

Our greatest joy is that you’ve been there to pick up our papers, that you’ve trusted us with your advertising dollars and — whether you agreed with us or not — you’ve looked to us as a guide for living sustainably in this wonderful place and challenging time.

Mother’s Day Song: Feed Your Children Well ~ May 8: No. 18
From albatrosses to homo sapiens to whales, so many species’ survival depends on mothers’ nurturing. In most species, mother’s worry is getting enough to eat. For 1.2 billion of Earth’s six billion humans, hunger still prowls. But for another 1.2 billion, the biggest problem is not want but abundance. Your supermarket stocks 30,000 or 40,000 items. Most of those choices originate not in farm fields but in the laboratories of corporate scientists whose motto is ‘bigger, cheaper, faster, better.’

Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Chesapeake Country Resolution ~ May 15: No. 19
(We’ve taken matters into our own hands after getting inspired on Sunday evening at Calvert County Marine Museum by Bob Dylan, who wrote the song “Rainy Day Women # 12 and 35.”)

Whereas, the Weather Gods Up There have seen fit to torment us non-stop in 2003ad …

Be it therefore resolved that the Weather Gods Up There must immediately cease and desist your cruel behavior; that you must limit rains to Tuesday-Thursday between the hours of 11pm and 4am; and that you must bottle up those tornadoes and big-whoof storms. (Have you considered an anger management course?)

Gutting Smart Growth a Dumb Idea ~ July 3: No. 27
In parts of America, Maryland is known for three things: the Orioles; the Atlantic blue crab and the Smart Growth initiatives that blazed trails in fighting unwise development. Make that four if you count those gritty crime shows set in Baltimore: Homicide, The Corner and The Wire.

Hard times are here.

The Orioles are a wretched team. Crabs are scarce. We’ve got murders aplenty but no more on home-grown television. And now Gov. Robert Ehrlich is giving every indication of wanting to torpedo Smart Growth.

In Gambling, Maryland’s Wheel of Fortune
Keeps Turning ~ Aug. 7: No. 32
Imagine seeing these signs as you drive through Chesapeake Country: Tacos and Casino; Car Wash Casino; Get Gas, Play Slots.

You probably think we’re making this up. We’re not. These are among the dozens of signs we noticed vacationing out West, in South Dakota and Montana, where gambling is so wide open that slots emporiums line most any thoroughfare.

Throughout the Midwest and parts of the South, you’ll find glittering riverboats with full-blown casinos featuring blackjack and poker. Same goes on tribal lands, where casinos have become the cultural centers of many reservations.

In Maryland, too, the stars are lined up in such a way that gambling will be coming here soon.

So we had all better start paying attention, including deciding where our own tolerances lie.

For Alien Oysters, the Caution Light is Blinking ~ Aug. 21: No. 34
Go slow! the National Academy of Sciences said last week.

That was the conclusion of a year-long evaluation of whether to make Chesapeake Bay beds with Asian oysters.

You hear about studies of this and studies of that, and lots of them reach different conclusions. This study is the one to believe.

New troubles cut from that pattern aren’t out of the realm of possibility, the nation’s top scientists concluded.

Hurry-up is the mood of the day, so this cautionary study has arrived just in time.

Resurrecting Old News on bayweekly.com ~ Oct. 30: No. 44
Time is captured on newspaper pages only long enough for you to look at it in retrospect as you continue your own rush into the future. Then you wrap your crabs in our pages, and there goes the week that was.

Until along came the World Wide Web to give time a new dimension. Bay Weekly added a web edition in 1998. Every week since, present time has stretched longer each week for on-line readers. Ever since, it’s been as easy to pull from archives any past issue from Vol. VI, No. 1, onward as it’s been to read the week’s real-time paper. Now, we’re bringing older issues back from the dead.

Home-Grown Shopping for the Holidays ~ Dec. 11: No. 50
If you’re planning on buying Maryland-made products this holiday season, you have your work cut out for you.

From home construction to fine dining to health and beauty and even to holistic healing, Maryland offers just about every service you could want. But when you look for products — Christmas gifts to hand with pride to friends and family around — you might conclude that Maryland has entered a post-manufacturing era.



© COPYRIGHT 2003 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.
Last updated December 24, 2003 @ 11:47pm. Merry Christmas!!