Dock of the Bay
Vol. 9, No. 9
March 1-7, 2001
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You’re Reading a Prize-Winning Newspaper

Bay Weekly took home five prizes for exceptional writing, illustration and graphics in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Press Association's 2000 Editorial Awards Competition. We claimed the prizes at the annual meeting of the three-state federation of newspapers, which range from giants like The Baltimore Sun, named newspaper of the year in its class, to against-the-odds start-ups like ourselves and D.C.'s three-year-old indepenent The Common Denominator. Ninety-seven papers submitted about 2,500 entries.

This year's competition was judged by writers, editors and photographers in the Virginia Press Association.

· Bill Lambrecht, co-founder and editorial advisor, took a first in editorial writing for his May 18 editorial, "Wal-Mart Dumbs Down Smart Growth."

"Hard-hitting; writer doesn't mince words and supports argument with a rapid-fire series of examples from across the country. Concluding sentence also packs a punch," the judges noted.

· Amy Mulligan, for her sports feature story "Pick-Up Is the Name of the Game," chronicling her experience of seeking to play her game, basketball, after her dreams of college play went unrealized. Mulligan, 20, of Annapolis, was a summer intern at the paper.

"You took me there. I sweated with you. I saw the jumper go through the net. This is what feature writing is supposed to be," said the judges on Mulligan's story.

A sophomore journalism student at the University of Maryland, Mulligan is the paper's second intern to bag a Press Association award. Bay Weekly's 1999 intern Kristin Hagert, of Annapolis, a senior journalism student at Loyola University in Baltimore, won second place last year in the same category for the first-person "Lacrosse Dreams."

Sports feature writing is clearly a category where Bay Weekly excels. In 1998, editor and co-founder Sandra Martin won a first for "Ride 'Em Cowgirl: How I Learned to Take 300 Horses for a Ride on Chesapeake Bay."

Earning second place awards were three other writers and designers:

Editor-publisher Sandra Martin, for the headline "Olds Lang Syne" on Bill Burton's December 21 column noting that General Motors is phasing out its oldest automobile brand, the Oldsmobile, after 103 years on the market. "As soon as I wrote it, I knew I had a winner," said a jubilant Martin.

Betsy Kehne, for "The Old 12-Footer," a watercolor illustration of Captain Mike Lane Sr.'s June 8 reminiscence. Kehne has worked with Bay Weekly since 1994 as a writer, artist, designer and production manager. (see right)

J. Alex Knoll, with Kehne, for their informational graphic "North Beach's First Century," a timeline accompanying editor Martin's April 27 feature interview with North Beach Mayor Mark Frazer, analyzing the old beach town's transformation. Knoll, general manager and a co-founder, designs each week's paper.

"All these awards reinforce my belief that, each week, we're putting out the best paper we can possibly manage," said Knoll. "I'm tickled that summer interns have taken writing prizes two years running. That tells me we're not only producing a good, readable paper but also training a new generation of great writers. Writers who work with us can expect to compete and win at any level they choose."

With a circulation of 17,000, Bay Weekly competes in Division E, non-dailies circulating between 10,001 and 20,000 papers. About three dozen papers make up that division. Bay Weekly ranked fifth among 20 prize-winning Division E papers. First was Baltimore Jewish Times, with five firsts and three seconds.

"These seconds are okay," said Kehne, "but for 2001, I'm working for first place."

Firsts jumpstart a paper in its category's Newspaper of the Year competition. In each of the six size divisions, the paper with the highest point total is named Newspaper of the Year. Firsts get two points and seconds one. From largest to smallest, the six papers of 2000 were The Baltimore Sun; The Capital, of Annapolis; Carroll County Times of Westminster - all dailies. And among weeklies, Howard County Times, of Columbia; Baltimore Jewish Times; and The Legal Times, of Washington, D.C.

Which gives Bay Weekly a nice high mark to aim for.

On Clay Street, Mardi Gras Began with a Parade

photo by Matthew Thomas Pugh
Zastro Simms leads the Clay Street Mardi Gras parade.

Standing on the corner of Clay and Pleasant streets in Annapolis last chilly Saturday, you could hear the faint melodic noodling of the marching band warming its pipes for the start of the first annual Clay Street Mardi Gras parade and celebration. Spectators of all ages, decorated in fantastic colors and beads galore, tooting blue and yellow plastic horns, crowded the narrow street to join in the whoop-de-do.

A collaboration by We Care and Friends and the Greater Clay Street Improvement Association, the Mardi Gras celebration was cooked up to serve a taste of New Orleans to the residents of the historically rich Clay Street community.

"What we're doing is giving people who may never get to go there, the opportunity to see what goes on in New Orleans during Mardi Gras," said We Care's Leslie Ireland. And in traditional Mardi Gras fashion, the benefit kicked off with a parade.

The parade gathered at the bottom of Clay Street at Adams Park School. A flat bed truck loaded with bead throwers, youth dancers, clowns, a Harley Davidson motorcylce and super-trike plus a merry marching band lined up behind parade leader Zastro Simms.

With one wave of Simms' umbrella, the band broke into "When the Saints Go Marching In" and the caravan marched in time behind Simms. In his red tuxedo and top-hat, Simms led the pageant and spectators all the way up Clay Street, made a left onto West Washington Street and stopped at the Stanton Center.

There 100 Mardi Gras-goers of all ages partied for five hours. The purple-, green- and yellow-festooned Center greeted them with splendors that are quintessentially New Orleans: hot food and cool music.

photo by Matthew Thomas Pugh
Marching bands, motorcycles and choppers paraded up Clay Street, bringing a little of the Big Easy to Annapolis.

Chef Bob Harrison of P.E. Pruitt's Waterside Restaurant in Rock Hall treated partygoers to a few spicy New Orleans standards. There were gobs of gumbo, jambalaya, red beans and rice, fried-oyster po' boys and catfish sandwiches. Like so many in attendance, your humble author, helpless to Cajun and Creole powers, guiltlessly overindulged.

There was opportunity to dance off some of the food, as a handful of local bands lent their souls to the affair. James Mabry and his band opened the show with a barrage of blues and guitar whaling. Laying down their mixture of funk, R&B and coed harmonies, Imagery played with authority on the party floor. The always fun Mama Jama came out and threw a bushel of calypso and Caribbean into the soirée stew.

The kiddies in the company had a blast, entertained by the happy hi-jinks of LoLo the clown and her balloon sculptures.

Through all the revelry and good vibrations, parade man Simms laid back with a full belly and an ear-to-ear smile. "So many people have heard about what goes on in New Orleans during Mardi Gras but have never seen it," said Simms. "They had to know, so we brought it to Annapolis."

Even by Annapolis' standards the alcohol-free event did seem a bit pricey. Tickets cost $5 for kids, $15 and $20 for adults, with a plate of jambalaya costing $7. Nevertheless, the money went to a good cause.

"It's hard for us to get public grants," said We Care's Ireland, "so all of the proceeds and donations we take in will go to the celebration sponsors."

We Care and Friends is a non-profit organization that aims to help life's less fortunate, while the Greater Clay Street Improvement Association dedicates its time to improving the lives of Clay Street residents.

-Matthew Thomas Pugh

Oh, The Places You'll Go! - When You Read

Today is your day, You're off to great places, You're off and away! You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.

Travel to the four corners of the world. Explore the universe. Gaze upon the pyramids of Egypt, the great wall of China and the majestic Alps. Pick peaches in Georgia, drive through a 300-year old redwood forest in California, see the statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

How can I do all this, you ask?

Pick a book, any book. The world awaits, and reading can take you anywhere.

Oh, the Places You'll Go. You'll be on your way up! You'll be seeing great sights! You'll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.

This week, reading will take over 30 million people into schools to celebrate Read Across America 2001 for what would have been Dr. Seuss' 97th birthday, March 2.

Why Dr. Seuss' birthday?

As Dr. Seuss, Theodore Giesel's contributions to children's literature were phenomenal. To his credit, 44 books earning him a Pulitzer Prize and three Academy Awards. Add to that charming four generations of youngsters - and parents - to read.

"Children want the same things we want," he once said. "To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted."

His book Oh, the Places You'll Go! this year's theme, serves up a wealth of wisdom on setting goals and meeting challenges, gently reminding readers of the endless possibilities life has to offer. That's right on target for Read Across America, with the philosophy that to get to the places you want to go in life, you need to know how to read.

Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Bay Country embraces the celebration of reading with special events and programs in classrooms, libraries and malls with the governor, senators, local politicians, community leaders, authors, book lovers and the Maryland State Teachers Association lending a hand. Planned events include Green Eggs and Ham breakfasts at elementary schools throughout Anne Arundel and Calvert counties and reading marathons hosted by personalities from the Harlem Globetrotters and Washington Mystics in nearby malls. In most every school, book writers and lovers are choosing books to read. For example, Deale Elementary has invited local author Tom Abercrombie, writer and former presidential press secretary Marlin Fitzwater and Channel 4 WRC news anchor Wendy Rieger to share the printed word. Bay Weekly's Alex Knoll reads at Tracy's and Patuxent Elementary Schools.

And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

"Read Across America is an opportunity for adults to share the joy of reading with children," says Maryland teacher president, Pat Foerster. "We are very pleased with the way the entire state has embraced the program with such enthusiasm and genuine concern for helping our children appreciate the value of reading."

Read Across America, sponsored by the National Education Association, began in 1998, gaining momentum from the likes of former president Bill Clinton, actor James Earl Jones and Oriole Cal Ripken Jr. This year's national chair, Morgan Freeman, lends his name to promote the theme that explores the magic and adventure of seeking one's dream.

So be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea, you're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So get on your way.

So it's off to Paris, Rome, Moscow and Holland. The Great Barrier Reef and Tibet. We can share a world of places - and possibilities - by taking time to read to a child.

If all that reading makes you hungry for Green Eggs and Ham, you'll find them served for breakfast 9am to noon on Saturday, March 24 at Southern Community Center in Lusby: 410/586-1101.

-Connie Darago

Way Downstream ...

In Virginia, the Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to dredge 60,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment from the worst Chesapeake Bay toxic "hot spot": Scuffletown Creek, a tributary of the Elizabeth River ...

In Maryland federal court, a judge has ordered U.S. Caviar & Caviar, Ltd., of Rockville, to pay $10.4 million in fines for smuggling caviar harvested from protected sturgeon. It was the largest settlement ever imposed in a wildlife trafficking case. Besides selling black market caviar, the company bilked customers by selling fish eggs from American paddlefish and shovelnose sturgeon as rare Russian caviar ...

In Germany, the new Daimler-Chrysler sport utility vehicle was labeled a "gas-guzzling dinosaur" by Worldwatch Institute. You need a three-step ladder to climb inside the Unimog, which stands nearly 10 feet tall and weighs 6.5 tons. Energy crisis or not, they'll be sold in the U.S. later this year ...

Our Creature Feature comes from Brazil, where fishermen are rescuing the famous Rio de Janeiro carnival, which opens this weekend. The trendy beaches of Ipanema were beginning to smell horrible as tens of thousands of ocean fish perished from extreme heat and oxygen depletion.

It has happened before, but Brazilian authorities have a plan that is making the carnival's fat King Momo happy: They have called in fishermen from far and wide, and as soon as the afflicted snooks and porgies surface, the fishermen scoop them into their boats.

Copyright 2001
Bay Weekly