Chesapeake Bay's Independent Newspaper ~ Since 1993
1629 Forest Drive, Annapolis, MD 21403 ~ 410-626-9888

Volume xviii, Issue 6 ~ February 11 - February 17, 2010

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You Can’t Please All of the People

Snow falls equally on us all. Otherwise, there’s no justice

My very little Audi scooted between walls of snow as smoothly as if we’d been headed for a picnic. New tires crunched the snowpack left by husband Bill Lambrecht’s Saturday shoveling. Our community’s privately contracted plow went to work at the same time. In the bright sun of Sunday morning, our way was clear — out of Fairhaven Cliffs, onto Fairhaven Road and onto Route 2.

Route 423 was a little crunchy but easily passable. Route 2 was a masterpiece: clear surface (even the mid-strip by Monday morning), full lanes, neat turnoffs.

By our estimation, both community plowman Donnie Eversfield and state highway crews had done a great job. “Wow!” we said. “It pays to live near where the plows live. I bet the drivers are all our neighbors”

Of course we live at the top of the hill. Down below, reports were different. The neighbor at the very bottom of our long, steep hill lamented a snowbank plowed in front of her drive. A neighbor on the perpendicular road was shoveling out an uphill path for his Toyota Prius. Trouble.

You can’t please all of the people all of the time, especially when their way is blocked by a lowest common denominator of two feet of snow. Snow falls equally on us all. But there’s no justice in snow removal. It’s the luck of the draw.

We’d have not been so lucky had we lived a few feet south on the southern half of Fairhaven Road. The state plows turn around in front of our house. The rural south stretch of Fairhaven Road belongs to Anne Arundel County, which had plenty more than two rural miles stranded between two numbered state routes to plow with 250 to 275 snow movers.

It’s the same story with power outages.

We were lucky this time, though our community is notorious for power failures. Perhaps, another neighbor suggested, BGE’s infernal tree chopping saved us from huddling under blankets eating potato chips and not flushing the toilet.

Above Annapolis, in Ferry Point, a Severn River community with its own history of power failures, Steve Carr’s octogenarian mother was another lucky duck. Her power never failed. A mile away, Providence was dark and cold much of the weekend, where Bay Weekly general manager Alex Knoll and sales manager Lisa Knoll huddled in front of the fireplace roasting hotdogs with their two children.

Oddities abounded: Route 4 and 2/4 in Calvert County was “like the promised land.” Route 2 was smooth as a baby’s bottom through its least populated stretch, up to Route 214 at Edgewater, and getting worse all the way north to Pasadena.

“Yes, but the snow has put crime in a deep freeze,” I told calendar editor Diana Beechener by way of consolation. Her section of Route 2, Ritchie Highway, was a washboard, roads in her Pasadena neighborhood were dog tracks through snow and her wrist was aching from shoveling. Now, all the events she’d painstakingly reported were canceling — for a second week.

“Determined criminals will still find a way,” she retorted, making her point with the sad tale of Bishop John Ricard, who left Baltimore in 1997 to become bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee. He deserved Florida. He’d paid his snow dues. A regional bishop responsible for city parishes in Baltimore, Ricard was shoveling a church parking lot when he was interrupted by a teen carrying a shotgun.

“It wasn’t Omar,” said Beechener, a fan of The Wire. “But the bishop got a shock all the same.”

Sandra Olivetti Martin

editor and publisher;


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from the Editor