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March 2, 2021 | Daily News Brief | Carlester Passes Away. Mids in the Hotel. More Vaccines on the Way. Back to School Tip!

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Today…We have learned that Carlester Smith,the Walking Man, passed away last night at the age of 66 and Annapolis lost a great soul. Nearly 100 Midshipmen are in a local hotel recovering from COVID to keep them separate. Nearly 50,000 doses of the single-shot J&J vaccine are on the way to Maryland. Homestead Gardens has gone into overdrive to prepare for spring. And a back to school tip thanks to my friend Sean!

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Good morning, it is Tuesday, March 2nd,  2021 and THIS is your Eye On Annapolis Daily News Brief.

Man, this one hits to the heart of us all I think.  Last night we learned that Carlester “Buckwheat” “Walking Man” Smith passed away. While we have not seen him on the streets of Annapolis lately, for decades he was a fixture all over town walking and waving his trash bags and picking up trash. Most of the local businesses were always glad to pay him to keep their parking lots tidy. You don’t need to go very far to see how much the town loved Carlester. There is mural that was painted this summer to honor him on the side of Pinkey’s Liquor Store. David Hartcorn took an iconic photo of the man and that photo was used for a one of a kind piece of art by Jimi Haha and Jeff Huntington in a collaboration.  For the past several years, his health was failing and the community got a fundraiser together last spring to help his family care for him. I really hope the City decides to do something to honor this man who represented the true soul of Annapolis.  To Carlester….to Happy… to Buckwheat.. to the Bagman…to The Walking Man…or to whatever other nicknames you may have had–thank you from a grateful town and rest in peace!

Last night, the Naval Academy moved nearly 100 midshipmen who are recovering from COVID to Hilton Garden Inn to separate them from the rest of the Brigade. They are being housed 2 per room and are not allowed out except for escorted wellness. This is the latest step as the Academy tries to get a handle on a bunch of COVID cases on the yard. For the next nine days, they are on restriction of movement which essentially means in the dorm, virtual classes, meals delivered, and COVID protocols.  All sports are suspended with the exception of Mens and Womens Varsity Basketball. The men are able to move forward with playoffs as they have been in a bubble; but the women cannot continue to the playoffs because of a positive test prior to being isolated. And as a reminder, the yard–or the campus is closed to visitors.

While that COVID news is bad news, how about some good news on the COVID front? On the heels of the approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, Governor Larry Hogan announced that Maryland will be getting nearly 50,000 of those doses this week and all of them will be deployed this week. Remember, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single shot that does not require that crazy refrigeration. This means that the crunch to get vaccinated will start to abate…but there are still many people to go, so patience is truly a virtue here. If you are looking for places that have a vaccine, I have found that Twitter is a good place to search, there are a bunch of people tweeting about places that have appointments available.

Homestead Gardens is not waiting until the official start of spring to kick things off. You want to check out for a listing of all the classes and events they have going on this month–many free and most online. Of course they are ready for spring with bulbs lillies, shrubs, and more at both locations and I understand they will be bringing back the chicks around March 22nd! We have all that on Eye On Annapolis or you can go to as well.

And finally, as your kids start to head back to school, here’s something you probably did not think about. A friend texted me yesterday saying “Crap, my kid has no clothes for school. She has spent the last year in shorts, leggings or sweatpants and she has grown six inches taller.” Something I never would have considered—so now you know and thanks to Sean for that tip!

Just a reminder, when you hear a podcast you enjoyed–this one, maybe the Annapolis Podcast, The Duckpin, The Loud Women’s Club, or The Conduit Street Podcast.. throw us and then a bone by sharing it with friends. It’s usually pretty easy with a press or two and it really helps spread the word!

But, as always, thank you  for listening and if you are somewhere where you can leave a rating or a review, please do. And that really helps as well!

A quick thank you to the sponsors for this Daily News Brief– Solar Energy Services up in Millersville and the Kristi Neidhardt Team of Northrop Realty, a Long and Foster Company.

And like every other day, George Young from DCMDVA Weather is here with your locally forecast weather report. All that gets underway in just one minute after we hear from Rick Peters from Solar Energy Services!

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