Radio caller `Bobby' targets Miller, but drawl gives him...


March 13, 2001|By From staff reports

Radio caller `Bobby' targets Miller, but drawl gives him away

"Bobby from Edgewater" was on the line, but the subtle yet distinctive drawl sounded like that of Dennis Callahan, former mayor of Annapolis and now the county's Recreation and Parks director.

"Bobby" had called the "1430 Connection," WNAV radio's regular Friday morning show with County Executive Janet S. Owens. After putting in a plug for football lights that the county recently installed in Edgewater Park, "Bobby" took aim at state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller.

He questioned why Miller, who represents a sliver of southern Anne Arundel, wrote a bill changing storm-water rules to block a proposed Safeway supermarket in Deale. The county says the bill could block commercial developments around the county.

"How can this guy Mike Miller force legislation down the throat of 99 percent of the rest of the county?" "Bobby" said. "It seems very unfair to me."

Host Matt Diehl - and more than a few listeners - thought it was Callahan. But Owens was unaware, a spokesman said, and wondered aloud afterward, "Would Dennis do something like this?"

Yes, he would. Yesterday, Callahan admitted his ruse. He said he wanted to "make sure there was balance," noting that Safeway opponents frequently call.

Why not identify himself? "Didn't even think about it, to tell you the truth," he said.

Owens said Callahan called her late yesterday to apologize. "I could just strangle him," she said. "It was totally uncalled for."

Miller thinks Callahan owes WNAV listeners an apology. "I would hope it was simply a temporary lapse in judgment," he said.

Effects of sewage spill to be minimal, county says

County officials said yesterday that a 10,000-gallon sewage spill near Kimberly Woods Village townhouse community in Arnold should not have a direct impact on residents.

Some of the sewage entered a tributary of Forked Creek before the spill was detected by the Department of Public Works on Saturday afternoon. Public works crews cleaned up the obvious debris and spread lime to disinfect the area, county spokesman John A. Morris said.

Morris said investigators believe vandals threw a basketball down a manhole off College Parkway in Arnold, clogging the 10-inch sewage line that runs along the ravine behind the complex. Officials say the blockage caused the spill.

As a precaution, residents were advised to avoid walking through the ravine for several days.

They should also wash their hands thoroughly if they come into contact with water in Forked Creek, Morris said.

Panel approves proposal on well-water treatment

The House Appropriations Committee has approved a proposal that would set aside state funds to partially pay for systems to treat radium in well water.

The committee voted Friday to support language for the 2002 state budget that would create loans or grants for households on a sliding scale to pay for radium filtration systems. The language is scheduled to go to the House floor tomorrow.

Del. John R. Leopold, a 31st District Republican, proposed the language and said the program would aid in the purchase of water treatment systems, which can cost from $500 to $1,500.

"I'm pleased that the full committee has agreed that there is a serious concern regarding the public health caused by the incidents of radium-contaminated well water," he said. Households with tested well water that show radium levels higher than the Environmental Protection Agency standard of 15 picocuries per liter would be eligible for the program.

In 1997 and 1998, high levels of radium, a naturally occurring carcinogen associated with bone tumors, were found in wells in Crownsville, Millersville, Pasadena, Severn and Severna Park. However, health officials have said the levels do not create an emergency situation.

First Night Annapolis issues call for performers

First Night Annapolis, the New Year's Eve celebration of the arts, has issued its "Call to Performers" for this year's event. Proposals are sought for all types of performers, including dancers, singers, musicians, actors, orchestras, comedians, storytellers, street theater performers, poets and sculptors.

The annual celebration is presented by First Night Annapolis Inc., a nonprofit organization that is funded by grants, sponsorships, contributions and the sale of admission buttons. Last year's event featured more than 200 acts and drew more than 20,000 revelers.

This New Year's Eve, First Night is aiming for 250 indoor performances in more than 40 venues, showcasing regional and national talent.

Selection of performers is competitive and begins with artists making proposals. Decisions are made based on artistic merit, feasibility, venue availability and uniqueness of the act. Priority is given to early proposals.

All First Night artists are paid. For applications or information, call 410-268-8553 or toll free from Baltimore, 410-974-9332. Applications are also available online at www.firstnightannapolis.

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