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Volume 15, Issue 25 ~ June 21 - June 27, 2007

Way Downstream

Is comptroller Peter Franchot the new no-slots poster-boy?

In Annapolis, Gov. Martin O’Malley and Comptroller Peter Franchot may be allies when it comes to blocking unwise development along Chesapeake Bay. But there’s a rupture in this relationship that is surfacing — on the subject of legalized gambling. While O’Malley looks like he’ll be a backer of slots when the issue returns like a bad penny, Franchot is trumpeting his support of the Stop Slots Coalition in letters to supporters. “For five years this issue has paralyzed our state and kept us from making progress on important issues such as health care, environmental protection and the structural deficit,” he wrote. Sounds to us like he’s made up his mind …

In the Mid-Bay region, watermen tell Bay Weekly some very good news: “The crabs are comin’ on …” They’re reported in deep water, heading for your pot …

In Virginia, a fellow named Jason Thomas avoided facing violations of the Chesapeake Bay Protection Act when he agreed to remove 600 feet of driveway and a shed from his waterfront property in York County, the Daily Press in Hampton Roads reports. The episode suggests that our neighbors to the south are toughening Bay protections …

Marine Police Blotter: It started near sunset one evening last week when the water cops got word of a disabled jet ski near Bloody Point. Six and a half hours later, at three in the morning, they pulled Paul Mahoney, 47, of Clarksville, and Nancy Anthony, 50, of Montgomery Village, from the Bay after hearing whistles and shouts. Police said they transported the pair back to their vehicle at Sandy Point State Park where “they refused medical treatment but stated they were very tired” …

Our Creature Feature comes from New York, where a big-money shark tournament last weekend drew something organizers didn’t appreciate: protests. Enter the Cruel Shark Tournament Now read a banner flying overhead as dozens of people viewed the catch from a tournament on Long Island that pays $400,000 in prize money.

Organizers protested that the tournament is part of Long Island’s heritage and commerce. But the Humane Society, which shut down a similar tournament in Florida earlier this year, argues that the population of sharks in the Atlantic has plummeted. The group says it will target upcoming tournaments, including in Maryland. In a similar vein, Maryland Department of Natural Resources no longer awards citations for sharks killed and brought to port.

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