Dock of the Bay

Volume VI Number 51
December 23, 1998 - January 6, 1999


  • A Political Year for the Books
  • Forces of Good and Evil
  • Not All the Year's Victories Political
  • Nothing Upstages Mother Nature
  • Bay Ways Catch Our Anthropological Eye
  • Human, Animal Competitions Fascinate Us, Too
  • The Just-Plain-Peculiar
  • Farewells

  • A Political Year for the Books

    That's what 1998 has been in town and county, state and country. Back on Jan. 8, we told you about Diane Evans' - remember her? - flyer to unseat John Gary:

    "Against All Odds":

    Diane Evans' Political Gamble

    Baysiders can expect a dynamic - and divisive - political season now that Anne Arundel County Councilwoman Diane Evans has declared plans to challenge County Executive John Gary ...


    * On Feb. 5, we introduced you to another couple of challengers, one familiar and one - well who knew where Joe Rooney came from?

    "Sauerbrey's Song"

    Ellen Sauerbrey's potent message about limited government and lower taxes attracts many people to her quest to become governor of Maryland


    "Roadside Attraction: Joe's Rooneymobile"

    There it sits again, that Winnebago with the name "Rooney" across its backside. One day in Anne Arundel, the next in Calvert. Poor guy's broken down, maybe even homeless. The Winnebago is owned by Joe Rooney, of Tracey's Landing, a likely candidate for the Republican nomination to the General Assembly district held by Owings, who serves as majority whip in the House of Delegates.


    * By July, Senate President Mike Miller had been challenged, as well. We wrote about his challenger:

    "Topgun Sturgell Flies Into Political Combat":

    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 400 mph 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 for the Maryland State Senate seat held by powerful incumbent Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr.

    "I encourage you to climb on board," the flier said


    * In Anne Arundel's District 33, we talked with the four Democrats vying to inherit the seat of retiring environmentalist Marsha Perry. Hindsight would show that four was too many: splitting the vote, Gayle Powell, Sheila Schneider, Marcia Richard and Alvin Tilghman lost.

    * Around Halloween - after following candidates throughout Anne Arundel and Calvert counties - we finally came to "Trail's End":

    Catching up with veteran political animal Mary Krug at the opening of Marrick Center, a new office complex in Dunkirk, we asked what the home stretch is like for candidates.

    "They're all going crazy," said Krug


    * Of course after the election, everything looked different. Evans and Gary were out. Sauerbrey, Sturgell and Rooney never got in. In both winners and losers, we found good stories:

    "Mr. Mister's Bounce: A Parable of American Politics":

    In American's two-party system, as in baseball, at least half the players lose. But if you've played the game of politics well, your story shouldn't end there.

    Hagner Mister's didn't. A month ago, Mister lost his job. But now Hagner Mister is a man reborn - and all because he's a team player. Mister played the whole season on Gov. Parris Glendening's team. Now Mister is moving up to the big leagues, joining Glendening's team mid-December as deputy secretary of the Maryland Department of Agriculture


    * Of course, Anne Arundel's biggest surprise story starred not Diane Evans but Janet Owens. We joined over 600 citizens at Anne Arundel Community College for her inauguration, as we reported in

    "Meet the New Boss":

    In her brief speech, Owens spoke simply and eloquently of Anne Arundel History and spared the audience the sort of promises that tend to get broken. She elevated the issues that separated her and Gary - education and land-use - into principles that will guide her as county executive

    Forces of Good and Evil

    It's a satisfying contrast to ordinary life, which plays in shades of gray, when the choices are as sharply contrasted as black and white. Such was general manager and sometimes reporter J. Alex Knoll's Feb. 12 story:

    "In Annapolis, Unity KOs Klan":

    The Ku Klux Klan threw the first proverbial punch when they announced plans to hold a rally against Black History Month and to promote white "supremacy" at Annapolis' Lawyer's Mall. The community landed a one-two combination punch that sent the 40-some hooded figures scurrying back to Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia - and Maryland - just hours later

    * In November, intern Don Kehne reported on a very different kind of gathering: War Resisters League, meeting for its 75th anniversary at YMCA Camp Letts in Mayo:

    "They came here to talk peace. To listen. To be heard. To forge words into action.

    Mind you, 'they' are not Israeli or Palestinian. Rather, they are 225 peace activists Adopting the teachings of Mohandas Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, the League advocates non-violent action as well as education to realize a vision of world peace: a world free of violence, poverty, social injustice and military force.

    Drawn by the power of that improbable vision, they came to Bay Country. "

    Not All the Year's Victories Political

    Nineteen-ninety-eight also gave the determined Southern Arundel County citizen activists of SACReD a victory over development on the crowded Shady Side peninsula. We've covered this issue from the beginning, culminating Oct. 22:

    "Done Deal":

    Years of acrimony became a footnote this week when representatives of the state, Anne Arundel County and a Maryland developer met to seal the deal to turn 477 acres of Southern Maryland Bayfront into a park.

    Franklin Point is one of the largest undeveloped Bayfront tracts in the region. For over a decade, Washington parking magnate Dominic Antonelli fought to turn the pristine land into a subdivision.

    Nothing Upstages Mother Nature:
    On the Bay: Chesapeake Debris from Susquehanna Surges:

    First, watermen running oyster boats reported whole trees floating down the Bay. Then Bayfront property owners found remnants of the mess on their beaches. Old hands knew immediately what was up: The Connowingo Dam was being opened again.

    * The story gets even better when, as in M.L. Faunce's Feb. 12 story:"Will El Niño Foil Yoyo and the Swans?"

    Remember the trumpeter swans that made their maiden journey from Virginia to Maryland's Eastern Shore last December? Yoyo, Isabell and Sydney were hatched in an experimental program to restore these magnificent birds to the Eastern Shore.

    Improbably, the birds were trained to follow an ultra-light plane to wintering grounds in Dorchester County. In this year's mild winter, will the swans get the signal to take off and return on their own to Virginia in late February or early March?

    * What ever became of those trumpeters? Nathaniel Martin Knoll caught up with them On April 16:

    The two trumpeter swans began their historic 103-mile migration last Thursday; by now they should have arrived in Virginia. "I'm sure our 'ultra swans' will make it back without any help from us," said Dr. William Sladen

    * Better still when those forces cooperate, as in editor Sandra Martin's Feb. 26 story:"Herons Keep a February Date":

    On just about Valentine's Day every year, about 5,000 pairs of these gawky birds come flapping back to Maryland from parts south to raise their families. A couple thousand pairs head for the giant heron housing project, or rookery, at Nanjemoy, near the Potomac River. They were settled in by Feb. 18 this year


    * In "Destination Mars," N. Knoll tracked another species of travelers embarking on an airborne encounter:

    If you hope to one day travel to Mars, you'd better be prepared for long days floating through the galaxy. If patience is not one of your stronger virtues, a short drive can have you into space in minutes. Set to launch from The Arthur Storer Planetarium in Prince Frederick, some 90 stargazers awaited a Friday night voyage into the heavens. With necks craned and their eyes fixed to a 30-foot space sphere all systems were go for blast off to destination Mars.

    Bay Ways Catch Our Anthropological Eye

    Harley Davidson enthusiasts at the "Black & Blue Ball," where "Motorcyclists Beat Back MD":

    The only guests to leave the second annual Black and Blue Ball bruised and beaten last Friday night were those outbid in the charity auction

    * Reporter Steve Armstrong captured a craving that might have slipped past unawares. On March 26, he reported "Coffee Beans for Caffeine Fiends":

    If you're planning to participate in the flourishing Annapolis coffee house scene, you must be careful. Unless of course, you're a coffee fiend, a person who craves the caffeine O.D. For you, a weak brew is a nuisance. For you, shivery hands and the wide awake feeling of too much coffee are pleasant sensations. For you, chocolate-covered coffee beans are appearing with increasing frequency on the shelves and counters of the city's cafes

    * Another brand of energy caught the attention of Darcey Dodd, who enrolled in classes in the new fad to write about how "Women Get Their Kicks, Boxing"

    Kickboxing is hip. Homemakers, professionals and movie stars are hopping off treadmills and stairmasters and jumping out of aerobics classes to try a new kick.

    In kickboxing classes at gyms, churches and martial arts studios, women of all ages are fighting back by pumping up confidence while learning to defend themselves. Burning up to 1,200 calories a session, the kickboxing workout is as good for fitness as for self-defense.

    The snap, round and side kicks work hard on the hips, thighs and calves. Jab, hook, upper-cut, right or left cross and overhand punches tone the upper body ....

    Human, Animal Competitions Fascinate Us, Too

    On April 2, Editor Sandra Martin observed "At Roedown Races."

    It was the kind of day dreams come true. Owners and stables, riders and bettors, chefs and picnickers all had some dreams come true in the nine races spread over four hours and green lawns on a sunny day

    * In November M.L. Faunce profiled Maryland's leading thoroughbred trainer, King Leatherbury. The Shady Side native is one of only three trainers in the history of racing to top 5,000 wins: he boasts 5,750 wins. His wide-ranging talk about his sport ranged to "the fun of the game":

    "The Sport of King (Leatherbury)"

    "In racing, you get a run for your money," said he. "What appeals to the gambler is that you're involved in the outcome. You can handicap a race anyway you see it - by bloodlines or previous record, by the jockey or trainer, and you have a personal interest in the outcome"

    The Just-Plain-Peculiar

    Somebody call the Hardy Boys. Missing is a 200-pound recycling bin, as reported in Mark Burns' story: "The Curious Case of the Missing Recycler"

    The five-foot tall, four-foot wide and six-foot long fiberglass six-hole, two-sided glass, plastic and metal recycling bin was last spotted, says Steve Kullen of the Calvert County Bureau of Solid Waste, "in the back of a pickup truck heading north through North Beach"


    We've had to say goodbye to a few in 1998. Since the death of Annapolis' Inkspot Artie Dix on April 25, we've had less music in our lives:

    Chesapeake Country is heart-rent, but "the Lord is happy," says Dix's some-time band leader LeRoy Battle, "because he's found the most beautiful baritone-bass"


    * We paid a last visit with wrote reporter Nat Knoll to the old converted Galesville jail, where for 29 years, Harvey Tucker has shaved and shorn."With Barber Tucker's Retirement, Era Ends"

    One of Southern Anne Arundel's few black barbers, Tucker has shaved and trimmed a large base of loyal customers. "People come from the Eastern Shore, Calvert, Pasadena, Severna Park. Just about all over"


    * "Public Citizen Gene Miller" left us too in '98. Member of the board of the Annapolis Symphony and past "mayor" of Fairhaven, Gene was a born fixer. He knew how to get things done, and he was the one people turned to for help with entangled bureaucratic problems. If those problems had an environmental angle, all the better. His services to the environment were both large and small.

    * With all of Maryland, we had mourned the passing of legendary Comptroller Louis Goldstein on July 3.

    Even in the grave, Louie couldn't give up his beloved game of politics, we reported in October:"Giving from the Grave: Goldstein Fund Blesses Maryland Democrats"

    His assistance lives on in the form of nearly $140,000 dispersed to Democratic organizations across Maryland.


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    Volume VI Number 51
    December 23, 1998 - January 6, 1999
    New Bay Times

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