Volume 12, Issue 42 ~ October 14-20, 2004
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Dock of the Bay

Yacht broker Pete Roth comes to the boat shows in Annapolis to scout out boats for potential clients.
People on Parade at U.S. Boat Shows

For the Players, All the Show’s a Stage

Etienne Giorgee crab-walks up the mainsail. A crowd gathers around the Belgian, watching as he effortlessly climbs toward the top. The water is 100 yards away, but that doesn’t seem to bother anybody.

Across Annapolis Harbor at Phillips Seafood, Brice Phillips pours drinks from a table crowded with rums and vodkas. Especially busy at Phillips’ makeshift bar is the Hurricane machine. The rum drink first made on Bourbon Street is a favorite of the many who come out for the annual boat show.

“When the bosses are gone,” says Phillips, whose family has owned the seafood house for a generation, “the vendors working the show are some of my best customers.”

He’s doing swift business, and if last year’s show is any sign of things to come, this year he’ll stay busy until both boat shows leave us in their wake. “We sold over 53 liters of Mount Gay rum,” he says, though the drink of choice in 2003 was the Bloody Mary.

All along the fence containing the U.S. boatshows, Phillips and the other restaurant and bars sell vast amounts of liquor.

Inside, the long piers are packed with boat buyers and onlookers out on the docks for a day of shopping and browsing.

Water laps against the hulls of the moored boats. The docks — long catwalks extending out into the harbor — rock with the weight of boat-dreamers waiting for their turn to climb aboard.

Back on dry land, throngs scour stalls where vendors hawk boating necessities from cookware to sunglasses to hangover remedies. Drinking and its after-effects are a popular theme for the boaters at this port. “This place is always sloppy by Saturday,” says Phillips.

But not everyone is here for the party; some are here to do business.

Pete Roth, a boat broker from West Palm Beach, Fla., talks on his cell phone to a potential buyer flying in tomorrow. Roth describes a 49-foot Jennau that appears to meet most of the specifications agreed to in advance.

Later tonight, Roth will photograph the boat and send the pictures from a laptop in his room. If the buyer likes what he sees, Roth will meet the boat’s seller in the morning and negotiate a deal.

By the time the buyer drives in from BWI, all he’ll have to do is sign papers.

“It’s not always that easy,” says the veteran broker. “Most of the time the buyer wants to negotiate even more of a deal than the one I already did.”

That deal often knocks down his commission. Roth doesn’t like that.

Middleman Roth claims to have more than 15 customers lined up and ready to buy during the two shows.

“It’s a living,” says Roth, and answers his cell phone.

Cell phones are popular at the boat show; more than lanyards or sunglasses, they are the chosen accessory of the thousands gathered here.

Everywhere you look, people have phones attached to their ears. Some talk in quiet sentences, while others shout to be heard. Some are conducting business, while others are making dates for the evening. Either way, someone is always talking.

The boat shows are good for business citywide. More than $25 million is fed into the local economy over the two weeks, according to city economic development figures.

Plenty of people’s boats are rising because of boatshow.

Lew Grim’s is one of them.

Grim is a guy who sells boats. In khakis and a white polo shirt emblazoned with the gold and red emblem of the Deltaville Yacht Center in Deltaville, Va., Grim greets customers as they cross the gangplank onto his floating showroom. “We’ll sell 70 or 80 boats over the two weekends,” he says.

“Some boats are discounted upward of $3,000,” he explains. “We do that to build excitement; make people feel like they’re getting a deal.”

Grim — who like most salesmen works on commission — lures customers with a friendly smile, a soft Virginia drawl and a glossy handout of his inventory. “If you want these people to buy something this big, you have to give them more than one reason. I try to sell them me,” he says.

Roth, for his part, works the crowd. He approaches potential customers as they admire the floating displays. After some polite conversation and a quick smile, he hands them a business card. “You pick out what you like and let me know,” he says. “I can save you tons of money.”

Then he disappears to find another customer.

Meanwhile, Etienne Giorgee swings back down to earth to a smattering of applause from the family that has watched him climb to the top of the tent. “It’s much more fun when you are out at sea,” he says to his audience.

As the mother and daughter walk off, they sneak a look back at the tall Belgian with the rugged good looks. He smiles. “Not everything is more fun at sea,” he says.

—Louis Llovio

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Judges Face The Jury

Anne Arundel Circuit Court Judges and Would-Be’s Make Their Cases

Some hundred Anne Arundel County citizens questioned last week the judges who could one unlucky day stare down at them from high on the bench.

This day, however, the jury of voters deliberat
Three challengers — Paul Harris, Paul Goetzke and Stephen Beatty (not pictured)— face three sitting judges — Rodney Warren, Michele Jaklitsch and David Bruce — for 15- year seats on the bench of Anne Arundel County’s Circuit Court.
ed while judges sweated, pleading their cases at the court convened by the American Association of University Women at Our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Severna Park.

Come November 2, 15-year sentences will be handed out to the winners.

Little is typical when it comes to electing judges in Anne Arundel County’s 10-judge Circuit Court. For three of the six candidates, this election is double jeopardy: They’re already judges, appointed by former Gov. Parris Glendening. Now, in the first general election since their appointments, the three sitting judges must court the voters to keep their seats.

That’s why David Bruce, Michele Jaklitsch and Rodney Warren are sweating.

“This type of election is not easy,” said Bruce. “We have a disadvantage throughout because we have full dockets, we have to try cases all day and then, at night, we have to go out and campaign.”

“It’s tough and exhausting,” added Jaklitsch. “But the benefit is that you get to come out, learn what people are thinking and what’s important to them.”

On the other hand, the three contenders — Stephen Beatty, Paul Goetzke and Paul Harris — can bypass the complicated gubernatorial appointment process and go directly to the bench — if they sway the voters.

If you’re like most voters, you don’t know who’s the judge until you have to plead your case. Which could be too late.

“I came to find out who they were and what they stood for,” said 24-year-old Michael Stanick of Arnold. “I want to see that they are the type of judges who will uphold the law.”

Stanick and the rest of this forum’s judges not only met the judges but learned that their decisions enter our homes and everyday lives.

Child abuse, domestic violence, crime, sentencing guidelines and child support are subjects these judges handle daily. Citizens wanted to know how they’re dealt with.

“Crime comes into our homes everyday,” said counsel to the mayor Goetzke, who blamed judicial leniency for the problem. “Criminals are a danger to you and your families. The place to rehabilitate them is prison, not on probation.”
Jaklitsch countered that three considerations must be made when handing down a sentence: Retribution, restitution and rehabilitation.

Her fellow panelists, judges and would-be judges, all agreed.

Much of the evening followed that script. The judges and the contenders stated opinions that were echoed by the other panelists.

All talked tough, but the three challengers talked in black and white terms, while the three judges explained the gray areas they face everyday.

Challenger Beatty promised that probationers and parents behind on child support would only get one strike before they went to jail. Warren, on the other hand, explained the intricacies of the criminal justice system and the guidelines judges must follow.

Judges run at large, with no party label, because the law that guides them belongs to neither Democrats nor Republicans.

As Bruce said, “If you want a political activist, or a social activist, or a party activist, don’t vote for me.”
But politics is part of the process.

As a president imprints his views on the Supreme Court, so is a governor’s philosophy preserved in the courts. With an elected Circuit Court judge’s term lasting 15 years — or until retirement at age 70 — three administrations could pass through Annapolis before these judges’ terms are up.

On who Anne Arundel’s judges will be, this jury is out until November 2, when we must hand down a verdict.

—Louis Llovio

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Ask the Plant Professor

Fall Providence

Q We have gathered several acorns and want to grow an oak tree. How do we do that?

A To grow oaks from acorns, collect the acorns in the fall. Do not store them. Plant as soon as possible in pots or a protected spot in the ground. The nuts require a cold period in order to germinate. Seedlings will emerge in the spring. Do not wait too long to transplant to a permanent location because oaks have a long tap root.

Q What is the best way to store potatoes to keep them for the longest time?

A The first step is to cure the newly dug potatoes for a week by spreading them out, off the ground, in a shaded, well-ventilated area (porch, shed, garage.) Then wrap your potatoes in a sheet of newspaper and lay them in a single layer in a box or tray to store. Potatoes will store for two to four months under good conditions: 40 degrees F, well ventilated and humid. A cool basement works all right, if you don’t have room in your refrigerator’s vegetable crisper. Sprouting is a problem above 40 degrees F.

Ask the Plant and Pest Professor is compiled from questions sent to the website of the Home and Garden Information Center, part of Maryland Cooperative Extension, an educational outreach of the University of Maryland. Ask a home gardening or pest control question and find other help: 800-342-2507 (Mon.-Fri. 8am-1pm) • www.hgic.umd.edu.

Way Downstream

In Virginia, the town of Manassas is so afraid of zebra mussels clogging water-intake pipes that the city council voted to ban boating on Lake Manassas. Council members worried that the invasive species might be transferred to the lake from Millbrook Quarry, near Haymarket, which is believed to be the only Virginia host thus far for this nasty invader ...

In Delaware, the EPA says it will cost a whopping $52 million to clean up vast contamination around the old Koppers Inc. wood-treatment factory near Newport. That’s nearly six times what the DuPont Co., which owns the property, estimated a few years ago what it would take to clean up all the dangerous chemicals in the ground ...

In Paris, Christian Dior designers are giving the anti-French hawks in America new prey. When leggy models made their way down the ramp for a recent fashion show, some were adorned in T-shirts emblazoned with peace slogans and outfits with letters reading Dior Not War and Dior For Peace …

Our Creature Feature comes from New York, where it was a brave ‘mew’ world at Madison Square Garden last weekend when a pair of cloned kitties were introduced at the Cat Fanciers’ Association annual show.

Yes, Tabouleh and Baba Ganoush are literally copy cats. Reuters reports that they stole the show as the frolicked about amid much weirder looking felines like Bombabys and the leopard-like Ocecats. The pair grew up in the lab of — we kid you not — Genetics Savings & Clone, a California company. Guess what’s next: The company says it expects to have a dog cloned by next spring — but probably not in time for the Westminster Kennel Club shindig.

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