view counter

Day by Day, Week by Week

Eventually, we get big things done

I love the fell swoop. If I paint a room, I want it finished before bedtime. If I find a shrub in the wrong place, I grab the shovel. Got a story idea? I want it now. Done in a day — a week here at Bay ­Weekly — is the hallmark of journalism.
    I wish that more things dried as quickly as paint. Or flowed as fast as words.
    I can say that now, but I’ve put decades into achieving fluency. Humble that we are, journalists substitute fluency for greatness in Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule. That, he says, “is the magic number of greatness.”
    Translate that standard to restoring a great Chesapeake, and we’d better count on making way by many small steps.
    In our pages this week, we give you a look at how a couple of those are and aren’t working.
    In this week’s Creature Feature, we learn from writer Kathy Knotts that 77 miles of open stream is a good small step in restoring the Bay. For fish seeking to spawn, those miles open a bit more of the way from the ocean back to their natal fresh river headwaters, where they must start a new generation. In the bigger picture, it is restoring habitat, and that’s one way we stride toward a healthier Bay.
    In another step, Maryland is on track to meet next year’s deadline for reducing nitrogen pollution in the Bay. On this restoration standard alone, the goal is so big — a 10 million pound cut by 2025 — that it must be measured a step at a time, in the same way Weight Watchers measures its dieters’ weight loss.
    On one local waterway, however, our steps are too small. The Severn River is falling behind, Tom Guay reports below, in Your Say.
    Step by step, we must keep at it. This week, the Maryland Senate voted to lengthen our stride toward a healthier Bay and planet. We’re already committed to cutting back greenhouse gas emissions to 25 percent below 2006 standards by 2020. Now we’re being challenged to do even better, cutting back 40 percent by 2030. If the House of Delegates follows the lead of the Senate, Maryland will rank as the third most serious state in the nation on reducing carbon pollution, behind only California and New York.
    Big things achieved step by small step fill this week’s pages, making interesting stories (if I say so myself).
    When you see a play, you live in its make-believe world for maybe two and a half hours — though of course you may think about it forever after. This week we look beyond the short of a play — the experience in the theater, summarized by reviewer Jim Reiter — to the long of it. Writer Bob Melamud, a playgoer for pleasure, is an engineer by trade and disposition and thus loves to look at the how-to of things. In this issue, he describes the long hours designers and carpenters devote to transporting you to the imagined place wherein the actors dramatize the imagined story, reimagined by the director. I hope the two stories work together to deepen your insight.
    You’ll see that same kind of devotion in another feature celebrating Black History Month. Writer Jerri Ann Hopkins recounts how Galesville local historians are saving the legacy of former slave Henry Wilson: a substantial residence and a field of dreams for the Galesville Hot Sox of the Chesapeake Independent League, part of the great edifice of Negro baseball in the days of segregation.
    Read all about it in Bay Weekly, locally made for you every week.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; [email protected]