Trying to get some extra juice to the Annapolis Neck Peninsula has sparks flying in Maryland's capital.
First, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. generated controversy by trying to expand an electric substation on Tyler Avenue. The $3 million project was snagged by neighborhood concern over the electromagnetic fields produced by power lines, which have been linked to an increased risk of cancer in some studies.
Then the utility suggested installing a second 34,500-volt line between the Cedar Park and Tyler Avenue substations. Opponents quashedthat, too.
With a sigh of relief, Alderman Wayne C. Turner, R-Ward 6, announced this week a compromise to avoid brownouts on AnnapolisNeck until the city and utility resolve a legal battle. The utility plans to install a 13,800-volt line and two backup cables.
But stringing up more electric lines upset Murray Hill residents.
BG&E officials met with the Murray Hill civic association Tuesday night to calm fears. The cable route has been changed to run from the Cedar Park substation down West Street to Monticello Avenue, Brooke Avenue anddown Amos Garrett Boulevard to Spa Creek. The original proposal called for stringing the lines in more residential sections.
"They came up with a scheme to reroute the lines that will have a minimal impact," said Alderman John R. Hammond, the Ward 1 Republican who lives in and represents Murray Hill.
PARKING? DON'T BET ON IT
Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins made a wager that has some residents of downtown Annapolis crying foul.
When he became an honorary midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy last year, the mayor made "a friendly wager" with several upperclassmen that Navy would win a football game with the Air Force.
"Unfortunately," he said, "our home team did not emerge victorious that Saturday, and I made good on my wager by providing five midshipmen with parking permits."
The mayor was called on to explain how a midshipman had a residential parking permit after police tried to ticket a car with a California license plate that was in the same spot for more than 48 hours. Police checked the files and couldn't find any record of that permit number, or four others.
Hopkins issued a public apology, saying he meant no harm and that he placed the bet "in the spirit of the moment."
But residents and business leaders who have been working to ease the city's downtown parking crunch were a bit annoyed. Although some shrugged it off, others complained that they often have to circle their homes five times to find a parkingspot.