Dock of the Bay

Volume VI Number 14
April 9-15, 1998


  • New Maestro Speaks: Annapolis Symphony to 'Fine-Tune'
  • Bernie's a Bay Hero
  • NBT Ads Take 7 Awards
  • Gov. Enriches Calvert Parks w/$400k Nest Egg
  • Way Downstream...

  • New Maestro Speaks: Annapolis Symphony to 'Fine-Tune'

    Leslie B. Dunner has the distinction of being chosen from 279 applicants and four auditioning conductors as music director and conductor of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. Now he will strive to bring new distinction to the orchestra.

    "I would love to see the orchestra really hone itself; really fine-tune itself so the artistic level is even higher," Dunner said in an interview with New Bay Times. "The artistic level shows great promise and I would like to continue to see it move in a positive direction."

    Dunner chose his words carefully knowing, as he does so well, that his relationship with musicians is an important ingredient in an orchestra's success. His rapport with those who chose him and with the orchestra when he directed concerts in February may have been the deciding factor in his selection, Dunner believes.

    "The rapport with everybody concerned was immediate. That is important," he said. "There are many people who were qualified, but the camaraderie and the chemistry for working together is very, very important."

    The selection of Dunner ends a two-year search to replace Gisele Ben-Dor, who resigned after leading the maturing symphony orchestra for seven years. She conducted her last Annapolis concert last April.

    Dunner, 42, has been with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for 10 years and is now its conductor. A busy man, he is also in his second season as music director for Canada's Symphony Nova Scotia. And he has served as assistant conductor to Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic since 1994. He's been music advisor for the Harlem Festival Orchestra, principal conductor of the Dance Theatre of Harlem and cover conductor for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has performed in venues as far away as Russia and South Africa.

    Speaking by telephone from his hotel in Nova Scotia, Dunner was about to engage himself in a round of late-night work to prepare for coming concerts.

    What's more, he was getting ready for a meeting to assist a theater group in Halifax.

    "I have one entire suitcase here that contains nothing but musical scores, quite literally nothing but papers," he said, sounding slightly overwhelmed.

    Dunner's appointment will only add another long-distance commute to his life on the road. Symphony conductors are often itinerants, coming to town a week at a time to direct each new performance.

    Still, Dunner said that he is "looking forward to Annapolis very, very much." He's always been fond of nearby Washington, he said, and he was drawn immediately to the architecture of Annapolis and what he termed its "small-town feeling." He was especially taken by the Annapolis waterfront, he noted, because as a native New Yorker he is accustomed to water.

    After so much time in Michigan and Canada, Dunner mentioned one more attraction to Annapolis that had nothing to do with the quality of the orchestra.

    "I know the weather there is milder than in the last few places I've been," he said.

    Dunner will return to Annapolis in time to sample its autumn not, as originally hoped, its spring weather. The chosen conductor had been intended to arrive in triumph to claim the orchestra and conduct the last concert series of the year this May. But the busy conductor had already booked those dates.

    Instead, according to symphony executive director Jane Schorsch, "he'll return September 5 and 6 to conduct a pair of free Labor Day concerts for the community at Quiet Waters Park. Then on September 11 and 12, he'll begin our 1998-99 subscription series."


    Bernie's a Bay Hero

    "Bernie's love and leadership for the Chesapeake has influenced thousands of people and activities," said former Gov. Harry Hughes. "He exemplifies the mission of the Chesapeake Bay Trust - promoting public awareness and involvement in the restoration and protection of Chesapeake Bay."

    No one needs ask who Bernie is; he's one of those unique people whose first name brings recognition with no prompting.

    Calvert Countian Bernie Fowler is the winner of the first Ellen Fraites Wagner Award of the Chesapeake Bay Trust, presented at the second annual Governor's Tributary Teams Conference. The bronze statue of a blue heron was presented to him by Hughes, who himself has played a prominent role in Chesapeake Bay restoration efforts.

    Bernie is best known for his annual Bernie Fowler (they don't need the last name here either) Wade In and Sneaker Index. In that ritual, on the first Sunday in June, he wades into the Patuxent off Broomes Island to determine how deep his sneakers will be visible. But there's more to his involvement than looking for his shoes amidst sediment - though his wading has caught public attention far beyond the Chesapeake.

    In many other ways - as a waterman, county commissioner, state senator and private citizen - Bernie has led efforts to restore the Bay. What other legislator past or present is more associated with the Bay clean-up?

    The award is named in honor of the Hughes Administration staffer who came up with the idea of the Chesapeake Bay Trust, established by the General Assembly in 1985. Nomination applications for the 1999 award will be available in September. Learn more - or apply for grants to non-profits working for the Bay - from Chesapeake Bay Trust: 410/974-2941.


    NBT Ads Take 7 Awards

    We know you read NBT's ads as avidly as you do Real Astrology or News of the Weird, so we thought you'd like to know that you ad readers have got your eyes on the prize - in more ways than one.

    First, you're reading your way through 32 pages of opportunity as you find out who in Chesapeake Country has what to sell. And of course, with newspaper advertising, the news you get is always current.

    But you've got your eyes on the prize in other ways, too. When the Maryland-Delaware-D.C. Press Association announced its "Best of 1997" Advertising Contest Winners this week, NBT took seven of the prizes. Ads were judged in 13 categories - organized by ad size and purpose - and five divisions - ranging from giant dailies like the Washington Post to small weeklies.

    New Bay Times, competing against 10 non-dailies with circulation between 10 and 20 thousand, took awards in six of the 10 categories we entered. With over 750 ads in all, "1997's was the biggest advertising competition we've had," said Brian Daly, speaking for the Press Association.

    Leading NBT's staff to three firsts, three seconds and one honorable mention were production manager Betsy Kehne and general manager J. Alex Knoll.

    Kehne's favorite was a NBT subscription campaign featuring her own cat, Prudence, who wonders what a cat's got to do to get a nip of news. "I hear they're looking for the next Morris," says orange mackerel tabby Prudence, "but they can't have me."

    NBT swept that category, House Promotion, taking second with Kehne's representation of columnist and master fisherman Bill Burton as a Neptune among fishes.

    Tucked in our seven awards was a dubious distinction. We took second place in the Press Association's first-ever Blooper's category, which spans all the divisions, for Alexander of Annapolis' February 6 ad showing, perhaps, a tiny bit too much of its undraped model.

    Gov. Enriches Calvert Parks w/$400k Nest Egg

    photo by Steven Armstrong

    Hopping along the 1998 campaign trail, Gov. Parris Glendening rolled a nice egg into Calvert County this week. At an outdoor lunch beneath the trees of Dunkirk District Park, the governor announced the state's decision to appropriate over $400,000 to two county parks.

    "While $401,000 might not seem like a big deal in a $16 billion dollar budget," he told an audience of students, teachers, park staff and political friends, "this a big deal for the families who use these parks and a big deal for their children."

    The money, he said, will be split almost equally between Dunkirk District Park and Hallowing Point Park. Located in the county's already well-developed north, the Dunkirk park will be fitted with new picnic shelters, trails, restrooms, parking lots and a skateboard ramp. In the county's still sleepy south, Hallowing Point Park will receive six new playing fields.

    Because the project involves properties that already exist, the governor says new land won't have to be bought, clear land won't be developed and the county's 74,000 residents will now have better places where they can "exercise, play and reflect."

    Joined by Louis Goldstein - the state comptroller and one of Calvert County's proudest native sons - the governor also used the occasion to espouse the virtues of his SmartGrowth initiative, a program he's established to protect the state's environment and its rural character from urban sprawl. He warned his constituents, young and old, that good old green Calvert County is the fastest growing county in the state and may lose its pastoral charm to the bulldozer.

    "One of the biggest issues facing southern Maryland right now is huge growth. The good news is we're getting a lot of jobs. The economy is booming. But the bad news is that means a lot of population growth and pressure on our open spaces and our parks and recreation. So, what we're trying to do is to make sure that we buy park land and easements but also try to develop existing parks that will keep infrastructure in the already designated growth areas ahead of the growth curve itself," said Glendening.

    After lunch, the governor took up a shovel to plant a flowering crabapple tree with students from Northern Middle School. The tree, he said, symbolizes the state's "commitment to preserve park land and open space for future generations."


    Way Downstream ...

    In the United Kingdom, the European Commission has a poultry power program that Maryland officials should go immediately inspect. The British city of Northampton is burning 120,000 tons of chicken manure annually to produce 75 million kilowatt hours of electricity

    In Virginia, new Natural Resources Secretary John Paul Woodley is winning friends along the Chesapeake after problems with his predecessor. Woodleywants tax incentives for erosion control and stream buffers. And he'll be spending $57 million to upgrade sewage treatment plants and to combat damaging runoff into the Bay

    Alaska is known for its scorn of rules, but the traffic jam of climbers on Mt. McKinley is prompting officials to rethink things. Nearly 1,200 climb Mt. McKinley yearly, about half at the same time in mid-May when conditions are right. One problem is what they leave behind: Last year, climbers deposited six tons of wastes of one sort or another

    In Mexico, the Norwegian Cruise Ship Line has agreed to pay a $35,000 fine plus whatever compensatory damages are assessed after its ship, Leeward, damaged the Great Maya Reef in December. The reef is the world's second-largest

    Our Creature Feature comes from Florida, where scientists are trying to solve the Mystery of the Unhatched Alligator Eggs. This is quite serious because last year, scientists found almost no baby alligators in Florida's Lake Apopka. Usually, about half of an alligator's eggs hatch. But one study this year showed just four percent hatching, which has sent researchers to scurrying to find out the problem.

    Alligator eggs are known to be sensitive to pesticides, and a spill in the 1980s all but wiped out a year's production. But scientists say no such spill has occurred this year, leading them to worry that the combined effect of years of pollution, pesticides and fertilizers is taking its toll.

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    VolumeVI Number 14
    April 9-15, 1998
    New Bay Times

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