Dock of the Bay
Vol. 9, No.29
July 19-25, 2001
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Look What Sailed into Quiet Waters

Light Hunter is brand new. She’s about 75 feet long with a 20-foot beam. She has an unusual unstayed mast - placed well aft and also about 75 feet high - of fresh sweetgum tapering to a plethora of tiny green sails. She has about seven feet of freeboard, and she leaks air and light in copious volumes - but not a drop of water from below.

She has been sighted crowded with smiling people of all description riding the gentle green swell of Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis oh so gently toward the eastern horizon.

Light Hunter was built mostly from 10 tons of slabwood donated by a Crownsville sawmill, Garman Brothers, with a crew of 24 mostly local amateur shipwrights headed by Naval Academy-born artist Al Zaruba, now based in Baltimore.

“Essentially, the ship is about cross pollination, universal truth and community sharing,” Zaruba explained at Light Hunter’s commissioning at the opening of the park’s fourth biennial outdoor sculpture exhibit July 15.

The kids required no explanation. Some of the kids were in the 70s. Lots of smiles all around. The only observed emission that might have a lasting environmental impact was a glow emanating from most of the departing passengers.

Light Hunter may be in port for a spell and may well carry many return passengers.

- Christopher Jensen

Annie Loves Art

Recognition, especially locally, really meant a lot to me,” says Eileen Carson, a 2000 winner of an Anne Arundel Annie, the County Cultural Arts Foundation’s new annual award. “It is quite an honor to receive an Annie.”

Founder, artistic director and predominant choreographer of Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, Carson and her 22-year-old professional touring company thrill audiences all over the world, even appearing as guest artists in the renowned London hit Riverdance.

Footworks brings a traditional style of dance to youngsters through artist-in-residencies in various high schools and at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.

The company is in the midst of a collaboration with Tim O’Brien and The Crossing, a project with the renowned songwriter and musician that combines Irish and American music, to be performed August 18 at Maryland Hall. Carson says she feels blessed to travel and collaborate with other musicians and dancers. It is “a dream come true,” she says, “to be able to bring something of this caliber back to our own community.”

It is projects like this and a devotion to expanding performing arts through education that set Carson and her Footworks dancers apart and made her deserving of an Annie Award.

This year it could be you holding the Annie.

Six artists who’ve made significant contributions will win Annies this year. One will be a writer, another a performer, a third a painter, photographer or sculptor. Two more will be patrons and teachers of the arts. And one artist will win the best Annie of all, the Cal Ripken of Annies, for lifetime achievement.

But there will only be winners if you nominate your favorites. And quickly. Nominations close August 7.

Think big. The Cultural Arts Foundation is seeking artists of Carson’s status: with regional or national recognition in their field. What’s more, they’ve got to live in Anne Arundel County.

Get nomination forms from the Anne Arundel Cultural Arts Foundation: 410/222-7949 [email protected]. Find the Foundation on the web at

Then show up for Anne Arundel’s Annies at 7pm on Wednesday, September 19 in Key Auditorium at St. John’s College. At the same celebration, 30-some nonprofit cultural arts organizations will take home grants to continue their work of nurturing tomorrow’s Annie winners.

- Amanda Lofton

Eating Red: Guys’ Garden Guide to Healthy Plumbing

Good thing those tomatoes are finally ripe.

Glad watermelon tastes so sweet.

In its new campaign against prostate cancer, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine advises to eat plenty of bright red foods. Why?

“They contain lycopene, which is a powerful antioxidant. And when men have diets with tomatoes and other lycopene-rich foods, their risk of prostate cancer decreases,” Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Washington-based doctors’ group, explained in an interview.
Marylanders have a reason to pay attention. Maryland leads the nation in incidence of prostate cancer and ranks high in the prostate cancer death rate. African American men endure the greatest risk, and often the problem is rooted in their diet.

The importance of diet is the message in a campaign begun last month by the Physicians Committee, an organization that advocates vegetarian eating and avoiding dairy products in its prescription for preventive medicine.

In television ads that aired in Washington, D.C., and other prostate-cancer hot spots, the committee cited a recent Harvard University study that found a 35 percent lower rate of prostate cancer among men who avoid fatty foods and eat vegetables, whole grains and foods that are high in fiber and cancer-fighting substances.

The study also suggested that heavy consumption of dairy products raises the risk of prostate cancer by stimulating hormonal changes in men’s bodies.

"The prostate is extremely sensitive to hormonal change,” said Barnard, a psychiatrist and researcher at Georgetown University, adding that 16 studies have raised the link between dairy products and prostate problems.

Barnard believes that pressure from interest groups is why people hear little from government about that connection. “Federal policies are buffeted by economic interests,” he said. “Just as politicians are lobbied, diet panels are lobbied heavily by the cattlemen’s association, the sugar industry and the dairy industry.”

Barnard’s organization intends to run public service announcements soon that feature actor Ed Asner. the campaign’s answer to milk-drinking Cal Ripken, testifying to the importance of diet in preventing prostate cancer.

Ed might even be eating watermelon.

- Bay Weekly

Scraping Bottom at Deale

Trying to fit over 1,000 boats into a two-creek harbor may get easier next year, if the U.S. Senate follows the House in agreeing to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into Deale.

Housing eight commercial marinas, including giant Herrington Harbour North and handfuls of smaller marine enterprises, the Deale harbor plays a significant role in Maryland’s marine market. But narrow, landlocked waterways like this one, which rises from Rockhold Creek and Tracey’s Creek, become clogged with silt and other debris. Trying to navigate in clogged waters has mired many a boat in the increasingly (and unexpectedly) shallow shallows.

“It’s embarrassing to get stuck with everybody watching. Many boaters stay away rather than try it,” said Steuart Chaney, owner of Herrington Harbour North, whose 700 slips account for a majority of Deale’s marine residents. News of a bad channel is some of the quickest news to spread among boaters; on a busy weekend, over 1,000 onlookers might witness a struggling craft working its way out of the mud.

The boating industry is the key to the local economy in Deale. When boaters shy away from marinas, said Chaney, “the face of all businesses can change for the worse very quickly.”

Rockhold Creek, the mainstem of this physically small but economically important marine center, is a federally designated channel, regularly looked after and maintained by federal funding. This year, the feds are again coming through with the cash to keep the area clear for the sailboats, powerboats and chartered fishing crafts that make their habitat here. But this time government wants to make it the last time.

The Army Corps of Engineers, with local business people and government representatives, is seeking a permanent solution to the shoaling channel. In decades past, it has been scraped out every five years or so. It’s been seven years since the last dredging, and the creek bottom is rising steadily. A new jetty is the proposed solution, but first, there remains one more dredging job, to be done between October 2001 and March 2002 with a federal contribution of $500,000.

Congressman Steny Hoyer supported the House bill to fund the dredging. In full, the bill proposes a $52 million budget for several waterway projects. Funds will go to the Chesapeake Bay Oyster Recovery Project, the Tolchester Channel Project and the Poplar Island Project, in which an eroding island is being rebuilt with dredge spoils from the Baltimore Harbor. Hoyer called Anne Arundel County’s waterways “especially important to the economic health of the entire state.”

- Rachel Presa

Update: Chesapeake Bay Blues Fest Raises $100k

Chesapeake Country opened its heart and wallet in mid-May’s Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival at Sandy Point State Park [“Bad to the Bone for a Good Cause”: Vol. IX, No. 20: May 17-23].
The four-year-old Chesapeake fest is rising to rank among premiere blues festivals. This year’s headliners included some of the best jazz musicians in the world: Johnny Lang, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, Keb Mo and the legendary Bo Diddley, to name a few. All musicians not only put on spectacular performances but also joined together to autograph a guitar, raffled off to raise the total to more than $100,000.

Faithful fans payed little attention to the bucketsful of rain that poured from the heavens, soaking their clothes and the ground beneath their feet. Saturday’s crowd set a festival record with nearly 10,000 concertgoers. Overall, just under 18,000 walked through the gates at the two-day charity event. Crafters and vendors reported record sales, and festival merchandise sold out before the weekend was over.

Everyone was having a good time. It was a great concert,” said this writer’s 30-year-old son, Bill Darago of Prince Frederick.

“Johnny Lang was awesome,” said Darago. “I’ve followed his career since he first hit the scene long-haired and barefoot four years ago fresh from Fargo, North Dakota.”

George Thorogood was having such a great time they had to cut him off: “Thorogood rocked the stage for over an hour and a half. He was still crankin’ it out when they closed down his microphone,” Darago said.

Don Hooker created Chesapeake Bay Events in 1997 to promote his love of blues guitar music. All proceeds from Hooker’s events are donated to charity.

“I knew right away I wanted the festival to be a charity event,” said Hooker, beaming with pride at the recent ceremony at Surfside 7 where he presented awards, certificates and checks.

Tom Schniedwin of Special Olympics Maryland, one of this year’s recipients thanked Hooker: “Out of hundreds of fundraising events we work with each year, the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival is the biggest and raises serious money, which directly results in a lot of very happy children and athletes.”

Larry Griffin, musician and director of We Care and Friends, also a recipient, offered his own thanks. “The Festival not only brings a good group of people together, but provides the majority of our annual funding,” said Griffin.

Others reaping benefits this year were The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Mid-Atlantic, Inc., and the Johns Hopkins Craniofacial Center.

As the ceremony ended, caterer Rhonda Falcon carried her large award with both hands.

I’m really thrilled to get this,” said Falcon, who’s catered events for over 20 years as Saucy Salamander. “I earned this one. I had to provide food for 800 people for about 17 straight hours.”

The 800 people Falcon fed were the massive volunteer army Hooker had assembled to ensure the event’s success.

“Working alongside this massive volunteer army,” said Hooker, “and watching whole families of blues lovers coming back to Sandy Point year after year to enjoy great music and to participate in the good work of helping people in need is what keeps this festival vibrant and alive.”

- Connie Darago

Update: Trumpeter Swans Wouldn’t Fly Away

Apparently life on the Chesapeake Bay has been a bit too good for the UltraSwan3 trumpeter swans, coaxed into migrating to the Chesapeake shores from New York State by an ultralight plane last winter [“Getting to Know the New Birds on the Bay”: Vol. IX, No. 9: March 1-7].

Swan handlers from the Trumpeter Swan Migration Project hoped the wild swans, hatched in Cordova, Alaska, would migrate back to their training grounds in New York State when spring came. But the swans showed no signs of leaving, and team leader and pilot Brooke Pennypacker made two attempts to lead them north with his ultralight. Still, the swans refused to budge.

Eventually they were caught and trucked back to New York.

Project biologists will continue to monitor the birds, hoping they will tire of trucks and follow the traditional migratory routes that their ancestors used before trumpeters were hunted out of existence on East Coast flyways.

Can we teach nature what to do? Time will tell. Similar efforts with Canada geese have been successful; efforts are also underway to train sandhill cranes.

- Martha Blume

Way Downstream ...

In Virginia, officials are asking a lot of people: They want their toilets. But it’s for a great cause: oysters. The initiative by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, the city of Hampton and Waste Management Inc. seeks 33 truckloads of crushed porcelain to expand an oyster reef in Back River. That translates to about 10,000 old sinks, tubs and toilets …

In Delaware, Perdue AgriRecycle Corp. last week sent out its first trainload of chicken manure pellets, a much-anticipated alternative to farmers’ polluting the Chesapeake Bay watershed by dumping wastes over and over on the same land. The company hopes Midwestern farmers will prosper by using the pellets as fertilizer for corn and soybeans …

In Maldives, a strip of 1,200 breathtakingly beautiful coral islands below India, people are taking seriously the threat from global warming because it means the islands may soon be submerged. The country, which sits less than three feet above sea level, is deploying its minimal clout to fight for global controls on the gaseous pollutants that are warming the earth and melting polar ice caps …

Our Creature Feature comes from Canada, where opposition is mounting to a proposal to open an aquarium in which visitors swim with dolphins. International animal rights groups contend that the plan by the Granby Zoo, which is located about 60 miles south of Montreal, amounts to “torture” of dolphins, Reuters reported this week.

“It is extremely cruel to keep very intelligent animals that can swim dozens of kilometers a day, dive to depths of 500 feet, live in society and communicate among themselves, in pools of a few hundred feet in length and a few feet in depth for our own pleasure,” said Jacques Godin, a Canadian actor who has joined the protests.

Copyright 2001
Bay Weekly