A sense of security on Annapolis' council

BETWEEN THE LINES

Alderman: Sometimes, a person's day job and evening job intersect.

August 15, 2005

Moonlighting, anyone?

Annapolis Alderman George O. Kelley Sr. showed up at the last city council meeting in his security guard uniform, cutting quite a large figure.

Kelley, a recently converted Republican who is challenging Democratic Mayor Ellen O. Moyer in this fall's mayoral election, is an ex-police officer who owns and operates a security firm with his son.

Business must be too brisk to change clothes for a part-time City Hall night gig.

-- Jamie Stiehm

City's version of bloody Scotland?

When Baltimore City Council members Helen L. Holton and Kenneth N. Harris Sr. decided to fully support the publicly financed convention center hotel proposed by Mayor Martin O'Malley, Councilman Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr. said he felt like Mel Gibson in the movie Braveheart.

Say what?

Bear with us.

In the movie, the 13th-century Scottish rebel, William Wallace, leads a rebellion against English rulers. But Wallace is betrayed by his own people and winds up being disemboweled on a rack in an English castle. His last word, which he famously screamed, was "Freedom!"

OK, back to Mitchell. Harris, like Mitchell, had been an opponent of the $305 million hotel. Holton had offered only tentative support.

So, when he learned from a reporter of their shifts to full support, Mitchell said he felt as though he had been splayed on a rack outside City Hall, screaming: "No publicly financed hotel!"

-- Doug Donovan

Fluid Movement doused by storm

A recent performance of Postcards from the Deep End: The Flurry Family Vacation, a water ballet by the Baltimore art group Fluid Movement, ended earlier than expected because of a common holiday problem: inclement weather.

The show chronicled the Flurry family's memories of escapes past, present and imaginary. On Aug. 5, however, a group of synchronized swimmers gamely portrayed Niagara Falls in the outdoor pool in South Baltimore's Riverside Park under threatening storm clouds.

The audience grew noticeably nervous when the still-swimming team pulled out the props -- large black umbrellas -- as the first bolts of lightning flashed behind them.

However, the swimmers finished their number before the first drops started to fall. The group then announced a rain delay (and later cancellation) before injury or electrocution could occur.

-- Liz F. Kay

Circular reasoning in Essex

At last week's rousing community meeting in Essex over a proposed traffic roundabout, a handful of state elected officials huddled for a quick conference -- while more than 100 vocal residents and local merchants poured into the auditorium of Chesapeake High School, and they clearly were not in favor of the idea.

Sen. Norman R. Stone Jr. and Dels. Joseph J. "Sonny" Minnick, Michael H. Weir Jr. and John S. Arnick tossed around ideas, such as who would address the citizens and what position they should take on the proposed $2 million roundabout at Route 702 and Hyde Park Road.

After some back and forth, the dean of the group, Stone, told his fellow lawmakers, "Listen, we have to get this issue settled, or we could find ourselves going round and round on it for months."

"So to speak, senator," said a bystander. "So to speak."

-- Joe Nawrozki

Driving home a point

The Carroll County commissioners opted to join a free prescription-card discount program last week that will help the area's uninsured and underinsured. The vote was unanimous, but Commissioner Dean L. Minnich thought the concept sounded too good to be true and expressed a bit of skepticism.

"It's so wonderful that I am wondering what is missing," Minnich said. "Will we be saying that we are the proud owners of an Edsel at some point?"

Steven D. Powell, the commissioners' chief of staff, replied, "That car would be really worth something now."

-- Mary Gail Hare

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