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Today…County Executive Pittman is expected to sign an EO today easing up on restrictions. Governor Hogan announced some more Federal help and some mass vaccination sites. Both are a bit peeved with the way things are working–or not. But the teachers are REALLY peeved according to a 4 page letter sent to the Governor. The Naval Academy ALumni Association & Foundation has put historic Ogle Hall up for sale along with the two other buildings on the property; the prietag is $4 million and includes parking. Make sure you get a ticket to Athletes for the Arts tonight at Maryland Hall–it will be awesome as is everything at Maryland Hall. And ICYMI, be sure to listen to our bonus pod with Lindsey Baker from Maryland Humanities–it was a good one!
NOTE: For hearing impaired subscribers, a full transcript is available below.
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Good morning, it’s Wednesday, January 27th 2021 and THIS is your Eye On Annapolis Daily News Brief.
All the experts have been saying that the COVID virus is going to get worse before it gets better. I’ll leave that to them. But as a somewhat keen observer of the machinations of politically managing this pandemic–let me say that management seems like it is gonna get a whole lot worse before it gets better.
Good news for Anne Arundel County businesses… on Friday, County Executive Pittman plans to allow all open businesses to slide up to 50% capacity. Closed businesses like Rams Head On Stage and the Bowtie Cinemas can open at 25%. Some sports may be allowed as well–we’ll know more about noon. But in yesterday’s media call, he did lament that the County was not getting the number of vaccines as expected and he seemed resigned that there was not much to do about it. He also decried the confusion on the vaccine rollout phases with Anne Arundel being behind the state.
But, at 2pm yesterday, Governor Hogan took to YouTube with a press conference to announce six mass vaccination sites including Six Flags, M&T Bank Stadium and the Baltimore Convention Center. He announced $219 million more from FEMA for vaccination efforts and said next week, those with immunocompromises will be bumped up and can get vaccinated at a hospital.
According to Hogan, any Marylander can get vaccinated at any location in Maryland as long as they are in the group being vaccinated. So, technically, that 65 year old Anne Arundel resident can go to Baltimore or another County and if the vaccine is available get it. But without a central appointment or assignment program, there is no way for the home location to know that someone was vaccinated out of the area. It is getting more and more confusing each day and that frustration was plainly evident with the Governor’s and the County Executive. See what I mean about it getting worse?
But their frustration paled in comparison to Cheryl Bost the the President of the Maryland State Education Association. Just before Governor Hogan took the podium, they released a scathing letter the association wrote to the Governor and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen Salmon . In the 4 page, single spaced letter with references and footnotes and sources, Bost argues that Hogan and Salmon refused to meet to discuss a safe opening, highlighted that Maryland is one of the worst states in the country for vaccine distribution, and she accused the Governor of scrubbing the metrics initially used to determine a safe reopening for new ones. In the letter she says you did not just move the goalposts–you deny they ever existed. Ouch! And finally she took him to task for the vague threat he made to withhold pay from teachers that did not return to the classroom or revoke their teaching certificates. Ah yes, politics at it’s finest!
OK, moving along. If you have a spare $4 million laying around, have I got a property for you! The US Naval Academy Alumni Association and Foundation is selling their home of 77 years in historic downtown Annapolis just steps from the Academy! Historic Ogle Hall otherwise known as Alumni House is for sale along with the two other buildings on the 3/4 acre property. If the prestige or the history is not enough for you..it comes with off street parking for 11 cars–so that nearly makes it all worthwhile! But rest assured, the USNAAA and F is not being evicted–they are building a new home actually ON the Yard that will be done in the summer of 2022.
We are starting to run a little long today, so let’s make this one fast. Go to MarylandHall.org an buy a ticket to Athletes for the Arts tonight. It is only $40 and includes a year’s membership to Maryland Hall. It is streamed to you tonight at 7pm and features the artistic outlets of some famous pro athletes. Nnenna Freelon will be there for some amazing live jazz singing and it is all hosted by Julie Donaldson, former broadcaster and now the SVP of the Washington Football Team. Learn all about it at MarylandHall.org and get that ticket. That’s where I am gonna be tonight!
And finally, if you missed it yesterday, check out that bonus pod with Lindsey Baker who is the Executive Director of Maryland Humanities! I really had no idea what they did, but after our conversation, I am a fan. They produce and support so much of what makes life great in Maryland. Take 35 minutes and have a listen in case you didn’t already!
OK that wraps up the news for us today. As always, thank you for listening and if you are somewhere where you can leave a rating or a review, please do. And make sure you let your friends, family and colleagues know about us.
Hang tight, we have George Young from DCMDVA Weather standing by with your locally forecast weather report. All that gets underway in just one minute after we hear from Rick Peters from Solar Energy Services who has changed things up a bit for us!