Volume XI, Issue 52 ~ December 25-31, 2003

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2003: The Year in Review

Nuclear Fallout
Delegate Gets Zapped
Times must be bad, when even legislators feel the pain.

A month before he was sworn in for his third term in the Maryland House, Del. Anthony O’Donnell was downsized out of his full-time supervisory position at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant.

— Sandra Martin • Dock No. 2, Jan. 9

Bay Weekly Interview
Michael Busch, Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates
“It’s been a very substantive change. All of a sudden, you go from being appointed committee chair to replacing Speaker Cas Taylor, who has been a long-time mentor and friend. The reality is that now I’m in charge of 140 House members and the legislation that goes through it and the interaction with the state Senate and the governor.

One-third of the House is brand new, and you have new committees under your jurisdiction with quite a few people moved around and the daunting task of a $1.8 billion total deficit .

It’s a challenge. You try to take the experience that you have and some of the insight that you’ve received from your colleagues and take a direction for upcoming session and the four-year legislative term.”

—Sandra Martin • No. 3, Jan. 16

Symphony of Protest for Dunner Plays on Board
The chorus of voices raised in support of Annapolis Symphony Orchestra music director and conductor Leslie Dunner has not fallen on deaf ears.
As a result of a symphony of support for Dunner, the orchestra’s board of directors planned to revisit its decision to let the adventuresome maestro’s contract lapse in June.

Sources say the extraordinary meeting, scheduled for Jan. 15, will not consider recalling Dunner to the symphony. But it is clear that board members are considering how to deal with the controversy and perhaps win back public support.

—Sandra Martin • Dock No. 3, Jan. 16

The Governor in Effigy
Parris Glendening Hung in the Statehouse
Gov. Parris Glendening’s official portrait was unveiled during Glendening’s last week in office. As the retiring governor pulled the red cloth from the portrait, the assembled well-wishers and media murmured with approval.

“I wondered how the artist would portray Parris as a person,” said Anne Arundel County Executive Janet Owens. “It’s perfect.”

In effigy, Maryland’s 59th governor is portrayed in khaki pants, white polo shirt and gray sports jacket with hints of blue. An egret poses in a wetlands. Chesapeake Bay water and sky back a far-gazing man of power.

—Sonia Linebaugh • Dock No. 3, Jan. 16

DNR’s Dentist Draws Toothy Reaction
The likely new secretary of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources — the agency charged with protecting not only Chesapeake Bay but all of Maryland’s waterways, state parks and wildlife — is a dentist.

C. Ronald Franks, Gov. Bob Ehrlich’s choice to head DNR, is also a former one-term state delegate from 1990 to 1994, owner of a fly-fishing business just over the Bay Bridge in Grasonville and an organizer of an association that speaks for the sportsfishing industry. The 60-year-old Queen Anne’s County Republican was also a Democrat until the late 1980s.

But none of that is what Franks is best known for.

—Sandra Martin • Dock No. 4, Jan. 23

The Apotheosis of William Donald Schaefer
Nobody knows how good power feels better than William Donald Schaefer, who today is sworn in for his second term as Maryland comptroller. Here he comes, smiling, shaking hands, bear-hugging — “King Don,” in the phrase of Robert Childs, who with his wife Joan has come from West Baltimore today to share one more hour of glory with their old neighbor.

No one here disputes the kingship of William Donald Schaefer. For he has survived to see the bodies of his enemies float past.

—Sandra Martin • Dock No. 5, Jan. 30

For Black History Month
Chris Haley Gets to the ‘Roots’ of an Unsung Hero’s Life
When Chris Haley, nephew of famed Roots’ author Alex Haley, auditioned for a janitor’s part in a PBS special for Black History Month, he wound up with the lead.
Filmed in Nashville and Washington, D.C., the documentary Partners of the Heart is the story of Dr. Alfred Blalock, a Johns Hopkins surgeon, and his 34-year interracial partnership with Vivien Thomas, the young black janitor who became his trusted assistant. It’s also the story behind one of the first successful heart surgeries ever conducted.

—M.L. Faunce • Dock No. 7, Feb. 13

Vincent Leggett
Chesapeake Bay’s Newest Admiral Preserves the Stories of Blacks on the Bay
Vincent O. Leggett became an admiral this month, an Admiral of the Chesapeake. The cultural historian earned his rank “for bringing to light the achievements of the African American community in the maritime industry.” Leggett, who now sometimes hears himself called by his honorary title, says the rank validates his 20-year odyssey to bring light to the achievements of blacks on the Bay.

“You’re not sure of your course along the way; you’re not sure where your dream will carry you,” he said.

—Martha Blume • Dock No. 8, Feb. 20

Bay Weekly Interview
Commissioner Wilson Parran: The Rise of an African American Son of Chesapeake Country
Wilson Parran stands out in Chesapeake Country. The son of sharecroppers, he is the only African American on the county governing boards of either Calvert or Anne Arundel counties. Nor does either county have an African American delegate or senator. Parran, of Huntingtown, is one of three newly elected members of the Calvert County Board of Commissioners — and the only member born and raised in Maryland’s fastest growing county.

—Sandra Martin and Dick Wilson • No. 7, Feb. 13

Bay Weekly Interview
Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele
Steele joined heavyweight ranks when he became the first African American to win statewide office in Maryland. He’d like to go all the way to the top.

—Sandra Martin and Sara Kajs • No. 9, Feb. 27

A Tale of Two Museums
Greg Stiverson Reviews His Legacy at London Town; Plans His Future at Historic Annapolis
Gregory Stiverson — who took the lead at Historic Annapolis this January after four years heading Historic London Town and Gardens — is a man whose life work is bringing the past, present and future together.

He’s long thought a downtown museum was central to that integration. Now at last, he’s planning a museum — in current coinage referred to a history center — in the 18th century warehouse at 99 Main Street on City Dock.

Meanwhile, bids are about to come in for the museum he helped plan at Historic London Town in Edgewater. “The museum project there,” he says, “is like the one we should have here in Annapolis. It’s such a bold plan.”

—Sonia Linebaugh • Dock No. 11, March 13

Back to Maryland’s Beginning
Chesapeake Country Author Wayne Karlin Imagines the ‘Wished-for Country’
For St. Mary’s County novelist, professor and Vietnam veteran Wayne Karlin, The Maryland colony is ‘a metaphor for America, where you find great potential, ideals and goodness — and also all the things that hold those potentials back.’ That’s the theme of his intensely dramatic new novel, The Wished-for Country, about the English colony at St. Mary’s City,

—Sara Ebenreck • No. 12, March 20

It’s Not Your Grandmother’s Library Anymore
Chesapeake Country Libraries Go Full Speed Ahead into the 21st Century
Nowadays, we expect information at our fingertips. We’re busy, and entertainment comes packaged in pleasing forms to entice us. With so many modes of ready information — from cable TV to newspapers and glossy magazines to high-speed Internet access to websites updated by the minute. What’s a library to do to keep up in these times?

Here, Martha Blume gets good answers from brand-new Anne Arundel County library system administrator Marion Francis and her longtime Calvert County counterpart, Pat Hofmann.

—Martha Blume • No. 13, March 27

The Zen of Boxing
It’s Tuesday, 8pm, fight time at the Teamster’s Hall on Erdman Avenue on Baltimore City’s eastside. There are nine bouts on tonight’s card, including the 165-pound division match between Thomas Stewart from Woodlawn and me.

Both of us are first-time fighters fighting out of the Baltimore Boxing Club in Fells Point. Stewart is fighting toward a career in the sport. I am fighting because I was offered a rare opportunity.

—Matthew Thomas Pugh • No. 14, April 3

John Denver Award-Winning Tom Wisner Sings the Chesapeake
“For a guy parading as a singer-songwriter in the Chesapeake boonies for the past 35 years, getting the John Denver award is like getting an Oscar from God.” So said Chesapeake folk artist Tom Wisner on receiving the 2002 World Folk Music Association award earlier this year.

“I learned something about myself on those two nights of performance,” he said, “something I wish I’d really known about myself years ago.

“I watched some of those people at the top of the mark in this business build energy on that stage. I do better in the woods; better standing in a stream with the kids around me, letting the time and place speak to me. Then the music of it comes out of me.”

— Kent Mountford • No. 15, April 10

Anne Arundel County Loses Its Greenways Man
Brian Woodward leaves the county 51 percent green
“Brian was the driving force behind the county’s adoption of a master greenways plan,” said Tom Donlin, Woodward’s boss at Recreation and Parks, of the framework Woodward formed for preserving natural areas by linking them to wildlife corridors. Donlin said his “department’s history had once been ball fields and tennis courts, and Woodward’s emphasis was the natural environment.”

There was no greenways plan when Woodward came to Anne Arundel. Today’s master plan calls for a network of about 71,700 acres. Currently 36,900 acres, about 51 percent of that plan, has been laid.

—M.L. Faunce • Dock No. 16, April 17

Local Sailing Legend Falls Ill
Annapolis sailor, ESPN commentator Gary Jobson stricken with lymphoma
On Thursday, April 24 word spread like wildfire through the local sailing community. Everyone was shocked at the news. Our local sailing hero and ambassador Gary Jobson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. To combat the disease, Jobson is undergoing chemotherapy.

— James Clemenko • Dock No. 18, May 1

Jobson battles lymphoma
In mid-July, at the end of his fourth of six cycles of chemotherapy, Jobson told Bay Weekly that some days are better than others. He’s back to work part time, but his energy is limited. He rested on a couch as we spoke.

“The prognosis is good,” Jobson said of his type of lymphoma and his chances for full recovery. “And the long-term is encouraging.”

—James Clemenko • Dock No. 29, July 17

Mothers, Heroes, First Ladies
From Harriet Tubman (1820-1913, Dorcheser County) to Shorb to (1907-’90, Baltimore) Romper Room’s Miss Nancy Goldman Claster (1915-’77, Baltimore County) to Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes (1976, Montgomery County) Women of Achievement in Maryland History spans four centuries of Maryland women, pioneers who marked paths that many women now follow.

Among the 356 women you’ll meet is Frances Hughes Glendening, who inspired the project and made discovering such stories official business during her seven years as Maryland’s first lady.

— Sandra Martin • No. 19, May 8

Joe Stewart Just Keeps on Swimming
200+ miles in a ‘cold washing machine’
Update: Just how far would you go to help the Bay? Recycle some cans and bottles? Bring your cigarette butts back ashore after a day’s boating?

How about swimming the mouth of the Potomac — all six nautical miles of it? (That’s more than seven miles to you and me).

That’s what J. Alex Knoll wrote back on June 6, 1993, when Joe Stewart was organizing his first solo swim to “help draw attention to the plight of rivers and certainly money for grassroots groups.” In the decade since that swim across the mouth of Potomac, the 56-year-old Anne Arundelian alone has swum across 15 Bay waters — including the Bay itself plus the Chester, Choptank, Gunpowder, Patapsco, Patuxent, Potomac, Tred Avon, Sassafras, and South rivers. Alone or in company, he has crawled over 180 miles of water — not counting training — collecting some $150,000 for HIV and environmental groups.

— Stephanie Chizik • Dock No. 21, May 22

Bay Weekly Interview
Congressman Steny Hoyer on fatherhood first — politics second
“You know the song, “The Cat’s in the Cradle”? I tear up when I hear that. The advice I would give to young parents is to take time to be with your children. To get like me — a lawyer, a doctor or a politician — when you’re young, your 20s and 30s, you’re thinking of yourself: your career and your future and your success and the competition.

“I think what “The Cat’s in the Cradle” is all about is that you only have so much time. Your kids have a lot of time, and you ought to spend as much time as you can with them.

“I didn’t do that. I’m much more sensitive now, now that I’ve realized the preciousness of time.

“I find that older parents who have children in their mid-30s or 40s have a much greater appreciation of time. It’s not infinite, what we have.

—Sandra Martin • No. 24, June 12

Art Comes Out in the Open
See that group of painters out there by the City Dock? They are trying to get the light just right, using color and, in their own particular way, telling a story about a moment in time.

Hobbyists, students, artists aspiring and famous, they are part of a larger 19th century tradition known as plein air or painting directly from observation in the plain air. In Chesapeake Country, that style is already in its fourth generation, having mutated from the French Impressionists through such American artists as Henry Hensche to such local artists as John Ebersberger, Cedric and Joanette Egeli and Jean Brinton Jaecks to a new generation of young impressionists.

— Karolyn Stuver • No. 25, June 19

The Admiral’s Last Stand
Navy’s NBA star towers over competition for second title and final game
The US Naval Academy in Annapolis has been the home of one president, 18 members of Congress, four governors, three chairs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, 33 Rhodes scholars, 50 astronauts, one Nobel Prize winner and thousands of successful men and women we’ve never heard of.

Oh yes: and one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the game.

David Robinson, a 1987 graduate in mathematics who’s known as The Admiral from his days in Annapolis, finished his career June 15 with his second world championship.

— Louis Llovio • Dock No. 25, June 19

Marion Warren Turns 83
Governor — and new book — proclaim him a state treasure
Marion Warren, the man who taught us to see the life of Chesapeake Country and the sparkle of its waters, celebrated his 83rd birthday at Government House.

“Thank you for showing the beauty of our state,” said Gov. Robert Ehrlich, who, with his wife Kendel, threw the party in Warren’s honor.

Warren said nothing; cancer has stolen his voice. But his smile radiated as he accepted the congratulations of 50 well-wishers honoring Warren and preparing for the arrival of his seventh book.

WaterViews, it’s called, and it blends the talents of three long-time friends in reflections on Chesapeake Bay. To Warren’s landmark photos, Bay Weekly columnist Steve Carr adds 25 essays of nostalgia and warning. Cartoons by Eric Smith of The Capital contribute a cutting edge.

—Sandra Martin • Dock No. 25, June 19

Still Swingin’ After All These Years
At 80, American music pioneer Bill Marquess recounts his life with the fiddle
The year was 1934. The Great Depression was in full swing. The words rock ‘n’ roll and bluegrass had not yet been applied to music. It would be 20 years before Elvis Presley would make his first hit record. In Southern Maryland, 11-year-old Bill Marquess listened to the radio. He heard Roy Acuff and the Smoky Mountain Boys playing the Grand Ol’ Opry, broadcast on WSM all the way from Nashville, Tennessee. He heard the music and he felt the music in him. From North Beach across America and back, Marquess has been fiddling ever since.

“I think I did okay,” he says. “I wanted to play that western swing music, and I got in with some guys who showed me and I was able to do it. You had to be right. But if you could handle it, it was a good job.”

— Gary Pendleton • No. 31, July 31

Air Force One Took Flight in Shady Side
White House correspondent Ken Walsh brings his new book back home
Pennsylvania Avenue is a tributary running down from its source in Washington, D.C. Like any tributary, the might avenue shifts its weight downriver

Which is how journalism heavy-hitter Ken Walsh turned up in Shady Side, riding the jet stream of Air Force One.

How as well many of the company who crowded into the Captain Salem Avery House Museum to hear his stories of the flying White House had stories of their own to add. Walsh, chief White House correspondent for U.S. News and World Report, is flying high this summer on the success of his new book.

Air Force One: a History of the Presidents and Their Planes, is flying high, as well, holding steady in the heady atmosphere of Amazon.com’s top 100 list for much of the summer.

— Sandra Martin • Dock No. 36, Sept. 4

Searching out Women’s Achievements at the Calvert County Fair
When it comes to history, Grace Mary Brady is a mighty force
The lure and lore of local history exert a mighty pull on Grace Mary Brady. At the Calvert County Fair this week, she’s hoping to pull you, too, into the fair’s first exhibit dedicated to women’s achievements.

—Sonia Linebaugh • No. 39, Sept. 25

Inside the Governor’s Propaganda Machine
Ehrlich and Steele’s image is made for television
No, Gov. Robert Ehrlich and Lt. Gov. Michael Steele — complemented by First Lady Kendel Ehrlich — haven’t signed on to replace Kirk, Mark and Lopez as Chesapeake Country’s most popular on-the-air trio. But they’re on the air nearly as often, and that’s just how the governor’s handlers want it.

“We’ve got a definite bias to electronic,” Paul Schurick, the governor’s communications director, told the Annapolis/Anne Arundel chapter of the Public Relations Society of America over lunch last week. “I think of it as playing the hand we’ve been dealt. The governor and lieutenant governor are thoughtful, attractive and articulate. They’re made for television and radio.”

—Sandra Martin • Dock No. 44, Oct. 30

Who Are the Piscataway?
Not our indians, Maryland says
After 360 often contentious and sometimes bloody years living among Marylanders, native Piscataways will remember 2003 as a way mark in their trail of tears.
For the last quarter-century, Marylanders who know themselves as Piscataway Indians have sought state recognition for their tribe. They’ve jumped hurdle after hurdle to document their lineage with Maryland tribal peoples — and in specific Maryland places — before 1790. In 2003, having presented all the evidence historians and genealogists could muster, the tribe waited for an official decision from Gov. Robert Ehrlich.

On September 24, Ehrlich announced that “The petition for recognition as a Maryland Indian tribe does not meet statutory requirements.”

—Sara Ebenreck • No. 47, Nov. 20

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Last updated December 24, 2003 @ 11:47pm. Merry Christmas!!