Volume XI, Issue 17 ~ April 24 - 30, 2003

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A Decade of Delivering Promises and Papers

Whew! We made some big promises 10 years ago when just about all we had to offer were promises — sprinkled with hope, vision and a dash of imagination. We’ve since learned what many of you already knew: Whether your business is a newspaper, restaurant or store, you show up for work every day to deliver your product and make good on your promise — feel like it or not.

Had we realized the marathon-endurance required, we might have left newspapering to those few corporations that govern what you read, hear and see in the news media.

On second thought, we’re happy we jumped in, and we’re especially pleased that we’ve been able to keep our main promise: getting this paper — originally New Bay Times then New Bay Times~Weekly and with the new millennium tweaked to Bay Weekly — in your hands without fail, in ice storms (we still tell stories about the ice of February ’94), snow (the blizzards of 2000 and 2003) and rain (every other Thursday, our delivery day, or so it seems.)

Our greatest joy is that you’ve been there to pick up our papers, that you’ve trusted us with your advertising dollars and — whether you agreed with us or not — you’ve looked to us as a guide for living sustainably in this wonderful place and this challenging time. Thank you for accepting us as a member of your community and letting us share with you the pleasure and problems of Chesapeake Country.

We’ve been through some trying times together: up-and-down economic times and too many deaths in your families and ours. Despite fine minds and well-funded restoration efforts, the Bay doesn’t seem to have gotten much healthier. Each year’s Chesapeake Bay Foundation report card on Bay health makes you wonder where all the work and money is going. Oysters are at an all-time low and crabs are threatened. Despite Maryland’s Smart Growth law, development of fragile lands and our remaining green spaces continues. Budget shortfalls and pockets of hostility in Annapolis are sober reminders of what lies ahead.

But let’s note the good news, too: rockfish recovery in our Bay has been a model for the world; underwater grasses are returning in some areas, often planted by volunteers; Bay water clarity, as measured each year by the Fowler sneaker index, is up.

Through it all, we’ve had loads of fun. We may not have saved the Bay, but we’ve spent a vast amount of time on, in and around it. We’ve been doing what we suggested to you: paddling, cruising and sailing. By land and sea, we’ve encircled Chesapeake Bay to discover wonders at the end of every road.

Oh! the things we’ve seen! Who would have imagined, for example, that White Sands Road in Calvert County led to the incomparable Vera Freeman and her Polynesian paradise on the Patuxent? Or, near Annapolis, that the Naval towers at Greensboro Point would ever fall?

Who would have guessed that Democrats would lose the governor’s mansion last year for the first time in a generation? From county boards to the State house, we’ve enjoyed covering Maryland’s wacky political scene the way others love watching baseball or basketball.

Without such research, how could we bring you 101 Ways to Have Fun, Bay Weekly’s Indispensable Guide to Summer on the Bay, our annual summer guide? And it takes a lot of party-going to bring you our holiday guide Local Bounty, featuring every fetical and festivity from Thanksgiving to New Year’s to Epiphany.

Somebody has to do it — and we’re glad it’s us.

On Easter Sunday a long-time reader asked us how we kept coming up with ideas. We watched editor Sandra Martin scratch her head and reply, “The reason we are able to do it is that we live in a beautiful, bountiful place where we’re surrounded by creative people to help and inspire us.”

Ten years later, promises aside, we’re sure of one thing: We’ve got the best job we could imagine — bringing you Bay Weekly, weekly.



© COPYRIGHT 2003 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.
Last updated April 24, 2003 @ 2:57am