Dock of the Bay
Volume VI Number 26
July 2-8, 1998
Campaign Trail: Top Gun Sturgell Flies Into Political Combat
Mike Miller, top dog in the Maryland Senate says he plans to keep his eye on top-gunning Bobby Sturgell, Below, who would have Miller's Southern Maryland Senate seat.
As a fighter pilot, Bobby Sturgell is accustomed to the F/A-18 Hornet, a twin-engine attack jet with a 40-foot wingspan. The Hornet can fly 400mph upside down and hit 700mph right side up.
Sturgell, 38, a Republican from Owings in northern Calvert County, is attempting to enter politics in similarly speedy fashion by challenging the Maryland State Senate seat held by powerful incumbent Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr.
"For those who are disillusioned with politics and politicians, for those who are disappointed with Maryland's anti-family and anti-business policies and for those who believe we should be building schools, not stadiums, I encourage you to climb on board," Sturgell said in filing his candidacy this week.
The District 27 seat he is seeking includes southern Anne Arundel, northern Calvert and southern Prince George's County. Sturgell talked with allies about running for Congress, but in the end decided to challenge the seat held by Miller since 1974.
While Sturgell may be short on political experience, his resume is not lacking.
Sturgell, 38, grew up in Deale, where his family owns Happy Harbor, the landmark waterfront restaurant. He is a graduate of Southern High School, where he was salutatorian, and he went on to the Naval Academy, where he graduated in 1982. During his Navy career, he was on the staff of the Navy Fighter Weapons School, better known as Top Gun, where he trained Navy and Marine Corps fighter pilots.
He graduated from the University of Virginia law school in 1994. Now, he works as a flight operations supervisor for United Airlines and is a commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve assigned to the Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach.
Sturgell said that he would stress education, ethics and economics. In announcing his candidacy, he said he was disturbed by a shortage of classrooms in some of Maryland's school districts.
"I enjoy professional sports as much as the next person but we should be building schools, not stadiums," he said.
Sturgell's candidacy is, by most accounts, as uphill as the climb of one of those Hornets. With the economy perking along, incumbent politicians have fared well in elections this year, suggesting that voter anger that carried challengers into office earlier this decade has ebbed.
Nonetheless, Sturgell's backgrounds suggest that he has plenty of energy to accompany a winning smile and that rock-solid resume.
In assessing his would-be challenger, Miller sounded less like an adversary than a senator proud of a local boy made good. "He has great qualifications: good family, the Sturgells; very impressive education - Southern High School salutatorian and the Naval Academy. He's got a good background, a flyer. The guy is going to do well with certain voters," Miller said.
Miller, of Clinton, who began his legislative career in 1971, declared his own candidacy for re-election this week. He is seeking a seventh term in the Senate.
For Miller, Sturgell's candidacy means more than a re-election hurdle: It will take time away from his many political duties; among them re-electing Democratic senators, raising money for promising party-members statewide and helping to orchestrate the campaign of Diane Evans against Anne Arundel County Executive John Gary.
But Miller asserted that he won't take Sturgell lightly. "I'm confident that I'm going to win," he said. I'm not confident I'm going to win every precinct. I can't take him for granted. It's my election to lose."
Political First: Annapolis Mayor Ratifies 'Inner' Peace Treaty
In politics, peace is a temporary state in which your adversaries are holding fire and your friends are taking a break from planning to take your job.
But here was Annapolis Mayor Dean Johnson, marching last weekend with a local who's who of touchy-feely types, preparing to become the first politician to sign a document called the Inner Peace Treaty.
"We hope that others around the country and the world will be inspired to continue the ratification of the Inner Peace Treaty," said Alice Yeager, president of the Annapolis Healing Arts Alliance.
So what the heck is the Inner Peace Treaty?
It is a document whose signers vow to create awareness of the responsibility of each person to create peace within themselves. Among its words:
"With this treaty, I agree to reconnect with the highest aspects of my being. Toward greater harmony and peace from within, I acknowledge and release all unforgiveness I have created. I choose to be at peace with the process of my life as an unfolding journey toward greater love and joy."
Members of the Healing Arts Alliance, who organized the event, said they wanted to bring modern meaning to our forefathers' words from the Treaty of Paris. That 1783 treaty, which ended the War for Independence, talked of the need to "promote and secure both peace and harmony having ... laid the foundation of peace."
Johnson and the other inner peace celebrants marched from the Susan C. Campbell Park at the Annapolis City Dock up Main Street to the State House. During a closing ceremony at Lawyer's Mall, all were offered a sunflower seed in keeping with the theme of the event: "Peace begins within each of us as a seed thought."
For Johnson, a Republican in his first term, the challenge may be to maintain his newly vowed inner peace amid the slings and arrows of public office.
Cancer Crusade Gala Set for August 6
Nearly 1,000 people last year attended Calvert County's premier social event, the Cancer Crusade Gala, below.
They're doing it again.
Continuing a 17-year tradition, the date for 1998's Calvert County's Cancer Crusade Gala has been set. The gala, the brainchild of Rod 'N' Reel owner and Chesapeake Beach Mayor Gerald Donovan, celebrates life, turning a party into tens of thousands of dollars to help the American Cancer Society continue funding cancer research, education, advocacy and patient services.
"My father died of cancer," Donovan said. "Having people who work for this raises more money, and that's the only reason I do this to fight cancer."
Citizens, businesses and politicians work together to sell tickets, solicit corporate and private donations and to ensure that the Cancer Crusade Gala is a success.
A resounding success. Over the years, the Cancer Crusade Gala has grown to be the American Cancer Society's biggest per-capita benefactor. It's also one of Calvert County's premier social event, providing live music, dancing, an open bar and an incredible array of food, including roast beef, roast pig, fresh seafood, Bar-B-Q, Maryland stuffed ham, desserts and much more.
This year's Gala is scheduled for Thursday, August 6, from 7:30 to 10:00pm. Advance tickets cost $50 a person; tickets at the door cost $75.
Good food of many types flows at the Cancer Crusade Gala, below.
The Cancer Crusade Gala is spearheaded by co-chairmen Marvin E. Oursler and C. Rick Bailey Jr., partners at Marrick Properties. Originally from Prince George's County, they have shaped today's Calvert County as they develop housing and subdivisions such as Trott's Pond and Marley Run to accommodate a booming population.
"Cancer, I'm sure, has touched just about everybody," Bailey said. "The Cancer Crusade Gala provides a chance to give back to all those loved ones who this disease has taken."
Also volunteering time and expertise are gala co-chairs Mary O'Dell and Linda Hipsley and committee members Herman Cochrane, Cathy Gray, Faye Hammett, Barbara Michael, Ruth Reid, Melissa Rottman, Tom Younger, Sandra Younger, Krista Taylor and Donna Rae Thomas.
"It's not only the committee, it's the workers, who are all volunteers, that make this a success," Donovan said. From the Rod 'N' Reel's charter fishing fleet "all of our boat captains and our mates volunteer their time. All of the people we do business with help us."
Since its inception in 1982, the Cancer Crusade Gala has grown from raising a $5,000 to its first year to a peak of $105,000 in 1994. Last year's gala raised $95,000.
Raising money through ticket sales and, especially, corporate and private donations, the Cancer Crusade Gala repeatedly wins awards from the American Cancer Society for raising the most money per capita of any county in the country.
Of course, all donations - be they direct contributions to the Cancer Crusade Gala or tickets purchased for the event - are tax deductible.
"Growth is not a dirty word. For this thing to grow is important," Donovan said. "Our goal this year should be to beat last year."
Nationwide Clean Boating Launches Locally
We've told you before that clean boating begins at home. Today we say so with a whole new meaning.
Right here at the southern tip of Anne Arundel County in Rose Haven, Herrington Harbour South Marina is the clean-boating capital of the world.
At least for a day.
That day is July 11, when a year-long campaign to clean up the nation's boating habits launches at Herrington South. Gov. Parris Glendening, national politicians and a host of environmental advocates will kick off the first-of-its-kind drive to promote clean waterways through greater environmental stewardship by boat owners.
"The campaign is really directed at public at large," said Robert Krebs of the Washington, D.C. public relations firm promoting the campaign.
"There are 17 million boats in American, and 70 million people, a third of our population, get on a boat for work or pleasure. But boaters have not always been environmentally friendly. They've damaged habitat, eroded shore lines, spilled oil and sewage, and when that many people do anything, it has an impact. That's why we're putting forth this year-long campaign," Krebs explained.
On tap from noon to 3pm are:
The National Clean Boating Campaign is sponsored by the Marine Environmental Education Foundation, a project of more than 300 marine trade and conservation organizations around the country and in U.S. territories, in collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
It's all happening at Herrington Harbour because, under the leadership of Steuart Chaney, the resort and marine has pioneered peaceful coexistence with the environment.
Now he'd like to see those relations extended.
"Other governors have proclaimed this Clean Boating Week. I hope the Glendening Administration uses this unusal industry-government partnership to promote the work we're doing in Maryland, like the Clean Marinas Initiative and the Herring Bay Watershed Initiative being announced today," said Chaney.
Added Anna Chaney, local organizer of the event:"It will be all under a very large tent and geared toward families with hands-on activities so kids can get something out of it, too. We're planning for a thousand people, so everybody's invited."
Way Downstream ...
In Virginia, Boy Scouts on the Appalachian Trail might have been shocked last week to encounter participants on Nude Hiking Day. Celebrants, apparently unworried about mosquitoes, sun or their own modesty, donned only backpacks and boots ...
The Florida Keys have had it with jet skis. After hearing complaints about threats to people and wildlife, the Monroe County Commission last week banned personal watercraft within 1,200 feet of the shore from Key Largo to Key West. Craft traveling from the shore to the perimeter will be restricted to a speed of 5mph ...
At Miami's Fairchild Tropical Garden, the odor from a rare blooming Titan orum was so sickening that a security guard had to wear a gas mask, Associated Press reported. The smell was described as a mixture of rotting flesh, burnt sugar and ammonia ...
In Austin, Tex., a federal judge turned down efforts to block the chemical cleaning of a popular swimming hole, Barton Springs. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, who fashions himself a poet, wrote: "The city is doing its best with full federal support, so no temporary injunction shall issue from this court" ...
Our Creature Feature comes from Italy, where the kind souls of Bologna have demonstrated a soft spot in their heart for fish. And not the eating kind.
Starting next month, goldfish will be protected by a new law from their humdrum existence of, well, living life in a fishbowl. Instead of keeping clear, unadorned glass bowls, the new city statute requires goldfish owners to add a structure of some sort to afford their fish protection.
Bologna environmental counselor Silvia Zamboni told why: "If you don't provide it with somewhere to hide, this animal is condemned to swimming in circles for the rest of its life."
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Volume VI Number 26
July 2-8, 1998
New Bay Times
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