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Volume XVII, Issue 6 - February 5 - February 11, 2009
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Letters to the Editor

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How I Spent the Inauguration

Dear Bay Weekly:

Happy Inaugural! Those were the exuberant exchanges echoing around me following the swearing-in of our 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama. This spontaneous sentiment on Upper West Terrace of the Capitol — where I was assigned as an inaugural escort — caught me by surprise. I had never heard those two words linked like this, though I’ve attended and participated in past presidential inaugurals. 

A fifth generation Washingtonian and child of the 1950s, I witnessed protests against school desegregation on East Capitol Street, where we lived. Colleagues in the early 1960s would go home to the South and participate in lunch counter sit-ins.

But in the days leading up to this January 20, the mood on the streets of this city and the Mall, the museums and the Metro, transcended times past. The excitement was palpable, the buzz harmonious, the joy infectious. People seemed a little larger than themselves, their steps light, as if walking slightly above the ground. 

On Inauguration Day, I met Wesley A. Brown, the first African American to graduate from the Naval Academy. Retired Lt. Commander Brown, 82, graduated in 1949; the new Field House at the Naval Academy was recently named for him. “Fabulous,” is how Commander Brown described our new president and this day.

I responded with the only words I could think of: Happy Inauguration, Commander.

–M.L. Faunce, Churchton

Beware Water Department Impersonators

Dear Bay Weekly:

The Anne Arundel County Police Department would like to make citizens aware of a possible scheme.

The scheme is being orchestrated by at least two subjects, and one claims to be working for the water department. The suspect uses the ruse to enter a victim’s residence to inspect the water pressure. The subject then uses a hand-held radio to communicate with a second subject after the suspect and the victim are both in the basement area of the residence. It is believed the purpose of this communication is to let the second subject know it is safe to enter the residence. Once in, the second subject may go through the residence looking for cash, jewelry and other items.

The Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works has no reason to enter a residence. All testing can be accomplished from outside. An employee would only need to enter a residence if contacted by a resident requesting that service. All Department of Public Works employees wear county uniforms and drive trucks marked with county emblems.

Contact the Department of Public Works at 410-222-8400 to verify the identity of anyone claiming to work for that agency.

–Anne Arundel County Police Department: 410-222-8610

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