With Earth Day, Bay Weekly Celebrates 12 Birthdays
For children, birthdays are a time for celebration. But as we mature, each passing year brings reflection on the past as well as planning for the future. This week, April 22 to be exact, Bay Weekly marks its 12th birthday. Even as we wonder where the time goes, we’re celebrating because each year testifies to the merit of the goals and ideals we set forth when starting a new newspaper.
Back in 1993, as we developed a marketing plan, we questioned the very nature of ‘news.’ Too often, we thought, the mainstream media — whether print or broadcast — chases what they call ‘hard news.’ To make hard news, something has to happen, something has to break, and like a phone call in the middle of the night, it’s seldom good news.
Good news, we felt, was a good start, but we needed another niche. We found that in our community of interest.
From commercial watermen to weekend sailors, we saw in Chesapeake Bay a common bond joining many people with disparate backgrounds. Everywhere we looked along Chesapeake Bay, we saw stories. The land, the water, the people, the creatures, the past and the future as well as the present were all alive with stories waiting to be told, stories pertinent to our lives, our spirit and our sense of place.
People in Chesapeake Country are place-proud, and rightly so. We live in a beautiful place and enjoy a high quality of life, the result of our proximity to Washington and Baltimore and Chesapeake Bay itself. Maintaining this quality of life while protecting the natural beauty and integrity of the land and water became our mission.
Twelve years later, we’ve seen a lot of change, some for the good and some for the bad.
Living in such a beautiful place comes with costs: rampant population growth, intense development, clogged roads and continued ecological degradation. On a recent trip to Southern Calvert County, we saw massive groundbreaking for a new shopping center in once-rural Lusby. In our state capital, you’ll see no less than a half-dozen more cranes dotting the horizon as Annapolis undergoes what may be its biggest growth spurt in the past 100 years. Meanwhile, city’s roads are an obstacle course from being torn up so often.
Yes, we’re troubled by some of the changes we see. But we’ve watched and you’ve read of real progress, too: the recovery of the striped bass fishery, the backyard nurturing of oyster reefs, the neighborhood efforts at reseeding underwater grass beds, the governor’s flush tax.
Just up the road from Lusby, in historic St. Leonard, the community has revived its town center, Leonard Square. In Annapolis, the future home of Severn Savings Bank — on West Street just before Gateway Circle — will be topped with a green roof. If you’re like us, you might wonder what a green roof is, so you’ll be happy to learn the answer in this week’s feature story.
As was the case a dozen years ago, there’s change a-brewin’, both for better and for worse. At Bay Weekly, we, too, are growing and changing, hopefully for the better, tweaking the paper’s layout here, adding to its content there.
After 12 years, the vision that inspired us is just as luminous today, and we intend to continue doing our part to shine that light well into the future.