In Annapolis Mayoral Hopefuls Head to the Bell
photo courtesy of Steve Carr
Ellen Moyer, center, celebrates with Taney Hamill of the Annapolis Recreation Advisory Board and Mayor Dean Johnson after a planting along Poplar Trail.
In the late rounds of Annapolis mayoral contest, Democratic candidate and alderwoman Ellen Moyer, 65, may need all the ambidexterity, footwork, balance and endurance shes learned in her years of political training as first lady to former husband and mayor Pip Moyer and as alderwoman for 14 years.
Punches are coming hard and fast from her brash, younger opponent, alderman Herbert McMillan, 43. As well as blocking his punches and parrying with a few jabs of her own Moyer has to score her own points with the voters wholl decide the contest November 6.
To tip the decision in her favor, shes calling on her record, announcing new initiatives and keeping up an appearance schedule that rivals that of the peripatetic mayor she hopes to succeed, Dean Johnson.
Moyers base is the environment.
Environment from my perspective includes the world we live in, zoning, protecting our waterfront from high buildings, bringing cultural things like Maryland Hall into our community, she told Bay Weekly. Ive taken a broad quality-of-life focus, because the natural environment is where we develop our sense of place, which is the thing that establishes us as strong neighborhoods, communities, country.
Specifically, said Steve Carr, supporter and past president of the Severn River Association, shes had a hand in county and city environmental legislation from hanging flower baskets and saving street trees in Annapolis to managing storm water management to fighting development to preserving Eastports historic residential and maritime look.
Moyer is best known as the creator of Greenscape. From her own Earth Day neighborhood clean-up a decade ago, Greenscape has spread throughout Annapolis public spaces, dirtying thousands of hands in planting hundreds of gardens, building trails and cleaning up tons of trash from land and waterways. When McMillan attacked Greenscape as a photo-op for politicians, last week, he unleashed a green tornado.
This type of comment just doesn't play in Annapolis, said Greenscape chair Sandi Patty.
Moyers endorsements reflect her record: The Sierra Clubs Anne Arundel County chapter; former senator and environmental champion Gerald Winegrad; Annapolis Environmental Commission chair Claudia Donnegan; many members of the Severn River Association and Conservancy, including Association past president Jim Martin and Conservancy chair Jay Baldwin.
In the campaign, shes kept that focus. At the Sustainable Communities Summit the last weekend in October, she shared ideas for making public buildings more energy efficient. Shes also pledged that in the four years of her term, she would add easements for an additional 50 acres to Annapolis 117 acres permanently conserved by the Annapolis Conservancy Board, which she founded in 1989.
Moyer has also expanded her campaign focus to include efficient administration and, in the aftermath of September 11, defense against terrorism.
In her corner, shes received an endorsement from the Fraternal Order of Police and County Sheriff George Johnson. On her side are five mayors: Al Hopkins, Dick Hillman, Dennis Callahan, Pip Moyer and John Chambers, the only black mayor of Annapolis.
Countering McMillan has kept Moyer busy, but it hasnt, she says, distracted her. Shes moving fast, joining with Marylands First land, Frances Hughes Glendening, to raise money for Red Cross. Shes rubbed elbows with her nearest constituents at an Eastport Business Association mixer and, a week before Election Day, she debated McMillan a final time.
But she will not, her campaign promises, send out a cartoon that depicts Herb McMillan as a goblin.
Republican candidate and alderman Herb McMillans confidence is high. Entering its final days, his campaign has, he said, great momentum.
My opponent is in a position where she doesnt want to debate me. She wants to hide from her record, McMillan said in an interview, referring to Democratic candidate Ellen Moyers absence from Community Associations of Annapolis Candidates Night October 25. Moyer said she had a previous commitment to an American Red Cross fundraiser.
McMillans campaign started rolling with an upset win over incumbent Mayor Dean Johnson in the September 11 primary. The momentum he speaks of has been building with his steady hammering at what he calls inconsistencies between Moyers campaign promises and her past actions.
McMillan has also received a stream of endorsements. Two Democratic mayoral primary candidates, Sylvanus Jones and Maureen Lamb, crossed the party line to endorse McMillan, as did Democratic alderwoman Louise Hammond. Also in McMillans camp is a new group, calling itself Democrats and Independents for McMillan. Its 24 charter members are officers of community associations in Annapolis.
In his own party, McMillan has the endorsement of influential Congressman Wayne Gilchrest. But he doesnt have the endorsement of Mayor Dean Johnson, the Republican he defeated in the primary.
The Annapolis Professional Firefighters Association, breaking a tradition of not making endorsements, has sided with McMillan.
An airline pilot and union member, McMillan has promised police and firefighters a retirement in line with [what they get in] other jurisdictions.
For his relentless hammering against first Johnson and now Moyer, McMillan has been styled a mud-slinger. He continued on the offensive this week with a bulk-mailed pre-election campaign flyer devoted to what he calls his opponents hollow rhetoric. Moyers name, likeness or titles are mentioned eight times; McMillans only three times, and one of those is the return address. A Halloween-themed cartoon by illustrator Jim Hunt adds to the pounding.
McMillan disagrees with the story:
My campaign has been comparative not negative, he told Bay Weekly. Its not negative to look at your opponents record. Its not negative to measure a candidates campaign promises against their record. Actions speak longer than words.
In this final week before the election, McMillan plans to continue hammering on Moyer. In addition, in town meetings and pounding on doors, he says he will continue spreading his message of fiscal responsibility and responsiveness to communities.
He promises a final campaign mailing highlighting what he would do as mayor: We want to focus on the capital budget and capital projects, he said. We need to finish inner West Street and plan for outer West Street. We will build a new recreation center. We will ensure that the federal, state and county governments give us a fair share of support for the services the city provides. We will focus on more neighborhood policing.
At Jug Bay, New Name, Double the Space
photo by Martha Blume
Anne Arundel County Executive Janet Owens and Gov. Parris Glendening joined Evan Swarth and supporters of Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary to dedicate the addition of 600 acres to the park.
Among a crowd of corduroy- and flannel-clad friends of Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, Gov. Parris Glendening, Anne Arundel County Executive Janet Owens, Jug Bay Director Chris Swarth and Friends of Jug Bay President Doug Kuzmiak pulled on a string to raise a blue curtain. The lifted curtain revealed a large sign reading The Parris Glendening Jug Bay Nature Preserve.
Many more names could be there with the governors, for creating a wetlands sanctuary at Jug Bay near where Anne Arundel and Prince Georges counties meet at Route 4 and the Patuxent River has taken many hands over a quarter century. Glendening got the credit because, by a stroke of the pen this August, he doubled the size of the Sanctuary.
I look at the beauty of everything here, then I think to myself about what was proposed a trailer park and a gravel mine. This place would have been lost forever, Glendening said. This is an extraordinary thing to me because it does represent future generations.
The addition of over 600 new acres to Jug Bay was a first step in the governors Greenprint program as well as a milestone for the Patuxent River watershed and Anne Arundel County. Under Greenprint, many more green corridors that connect habitats for key species of animals will be protected from development.
Unless we get very aggressive, our children will not have this opportunity, the governor said. All across the state and country, the pressure to bulldoze is great. Every hour, 48 acres of prime farmland is lost in this country.
Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, land preservation is even more vital, Glendening said. One of the first areas to suffer most during an economic slowdown is the environment. Im glad were leading the way, but we have to work even harder. We need to continue the momentum.
Octobers Founders and Futures Celebration recognized many people, mostly volunteers, who made Jug Bay happen and kept it going through the years. One of those is Ken Riggleman, whose farm on the Patuxent River has been in his family for some 60 years. He and his family supported the acquisition of the new Jug Bay acreage as well as efforts of local citizens, lead by the South County Small Area Planning Committee and the South County Exchange, to teach landowners how they can protect land without losing their investment.
photos by Martha Blume
Del. Virginia Clagett, top, and former state senator Bernie Fowler, below in tie, chuckle and chat with Jug Bay supporters.
Politicians have allied with lovers of the land to create Jug Bay. Del. Virginia Clagett, for example, helped create the Sanctuary in 1975, working as a county councilwoman to preserve the land from development. This years grand addition was supported by both Clagett and county executive Owens.
Our hearts have never wavered in terms of this pristine area and our willingness to protect it, Owens said. Were all a part of a continuous line of people deeply committed to this land advocates, supporters, lobbyists, fighters and friends.
From such efforts have come the Patuxent River Greenway Pilot Project, an ambitious program to protect and connect many parcels of land, all within about a mile of the river, already preserved in one or another land conservation program.
Maryland is taking the lead in identifying green infrastructure, said Brian Woodward, of the County Natural and Cultural Resources Division. Its very cutting-edge from a scientific and ecological point of view, to use a mapping system to identify important tracts for habitat and migration.
With its new land, Sanctuary director Chris Swarth says Jug Bay intends to do very little immediately. We need to get familiar with the land and make our own discoveries, he said. Thats what preservation means: Slowing down human time in favor of natures time.
Hike to explore the new Jug Bay acreage from 10amnoon on Sat., Nov. 17. Questions? www.jugbay.org.
Bringing Home the Mums
Sean and Shonna Gardner used their 22-foot Privateer used to transport 32 mums home to Mechanicsville.
As fall chills the waters of Chesapeake Bay, mums color the fields where tobacco used to grow. If youve got a boat and you love mums, you can combine two traditions, as did Sean and Shonna Gardner of Mechanicsville.
Ive got no truck right now, said Sean Gardner. And Id seen these mums on the way home from the hospital last week. They are the biggest ones around and the cheapest, only $2. Afraid the mum field along Route 231 in Hallowing Point would be picked over before the end of the weekend, Seans daughter Shonna came up with an idea: They could use their trailered boat to carry 32 very large mums to their garden.
Big plants can weigh 15 to 20 pounds, so you need a big carrier. But digging them from the field is easy due to the regions sandy soil. Most mum farmers provide beer cases or paper bags to place the plants in for transport.
Buying freshly dug mums increases the chance your plants will be able to survive the winter months to bloom again next fall. But their survival depends on you, too.
First, decide on the color your like and find a place to plant that drains easily said Tony Evans, of the Maryland Department of Agriculture, of how you can increase the vitality of Southern Marylands favorite flower. Next, he says, figure out the number of plants for the space available and dig your holes first, making a nice deep hole. Evans recommends planting right away and packing the mum down into the soil so there are no air pockets.
Kathy and Jeff Kozero of Huntingtown love decorative mums so much they planted four dozen, packing the dirt tight, in the beds surrounding their home. Buying their mums from Eddie and Lisa Wilsons Farm on Route 261 in Huntingtown, the Kozeros didnt have to worry about their desire exceeding the cargo space of their vehicle.
We deliver, said Lisa Wilson.
In Virginia, a fellow named Arnold Evans may think twice before he illegally takes rockfish and baits migratory ducks for hunting. He was sentenced to a month in jail, five months home confinement and fined $10,000 in Accomack County last week
In Louisiana, crabbers are toasting regulators in Maryland for restrictions on crabbing and a shortened season that ended Halloween. Louisiana has no restrictions whatsoever and doesnt even keep track of its harvests. Theyre filling up 18-wheelers and sending them all to Maryland, industry spokesman Mike Comardelle told the Associated Press
In Britain, Yingying the panda is drawing rave reviews as a stellar performer in the Chinese Acrobats Arts Festival. He dunks a basketball and even drives a small car. But the World Wildlife Fund is not amused. The WWF believes that the right place for pandas is in the wild, a spokesman told the Times of London
Our Creature Feature comes from Chicago, home of the scientist who uncovered the skeleton of a prehistoric crocodile as big as a bus. The crocodile, discovered in Africa by paleontologist Paul Sereno of the University of Chicago, was 40 feet long, weighed nearly nine tons and had a jaw full of razor-sharp teeth that opened six feet top to bottom.
Super Croc, Sereno says, would explode from rivers and clamp those jaws on huge passing creatures. Its a safe bet to say it was eating dinosaurs and anything else that came close to the water, Sereno told the Chicago Tribune