February 23, 2024
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January 10, 2022 | Daily News Brief | Mask Up Anne Arundel. School Calendar Tweaks. Opera Cancellation.

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Masks are required now in indoor public places and outdoors when distance cannot be kept. School board tweaks calendars. MTA tries to explain why they can’t keep up with customer service. Annapolis Opera cancels performances at the last minute. Artist grants are available from the Arts Council. Egg nog is still available. Maritime Museum’s Winter Lecture Series starts this week. Steve Palmer has some great networking advice.

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Good morning, it is Monday, January 10th,  2022 and THIS is your Eye On Annapolis Daily News Brief.

Welcome to the working week. This weekend I popped up to the Annapolis Town Center and Reminiscent Luxe which is that candle-making pop-up shop and made one kick-ass candle–and learned that they have extended their lease for a bit…so go check it out. A different and fun way to spend an hour. And last night, I was treated to a belated birthday dinner at Lewneses, and well…you can’t o wrong there! Well, it IS Monday and there is a bunch of news, so let’s get into it..shall we?

Let me tell you the current outcome first and then how we got here. You need to wear masks in indoor public spaces and outdoors when 6 feet of separation cannot be maintained in Anne Arundel County until January 31st unless directed otherwise. Now, on Friday, the County Council held a nearly-day long meeting on the mask mandate and allowing the County Executive to declare a state of emergency. Since it was emergency legislation they need a supermajority of votes to pass…5 out of 7. After more than 100 people testified and more than 1100 written testimonies were entered into the record, the council failed to get the supermajority (it went along party lines–surprise surprise in an election year) and the mask mandate Pittman imposed by executive order expired. However, less than two hours later, Dr. Kalyanaraman issued a health order ordering the masks to be worn. He cited the authority granted to him under state law and that Governor Hogan had declared the State of Emergency. Of course, many people lost their minds and we understand that his authority will be challenged in court. But until such a time when a court reverses it– bring the mask and wear it when inside or when outside in crowded places.

You know, I thought this was all settled a year or so ago, but apparently not. The Anne Arundel County School Board has modified next year’s calendar to start school before Labor Day. For the 22-23 school year, classes will start the Monday before Labor Day and go through June 16th. They also added two full and two partial parent-teacher conference days to the calendar that ended up adding three more days. Next year there are a total of only three snow days built into the calendar. Not happy with tweaking only next year’s calendar, they also tweaked THIS year again too, adding a closure on May 3rd of this year. Now keep in mind, that right now, at the beginning of winter, we are already out of snow days. So additional snow days this winter (and I guess any severe weather at all) could have the current year running even later than the scheduled June 22nd last day. Can you say school in July anyone?

On Friday, the Maryland Transportation Authority, or MTA tried to explain why their customer service has gone to hell. They released an incredibly long explanation that basically says deal with it. This stems from the COVID suspension of tolls by Governor Hogan. The MTA is now sending out bills for all those tolls dating back to March of 2020 and it is catching people by surprise. It was a suspension of collection, not forgiveness. Anyhow, they are getting 3000+ calls a day from people going WTF? and they cannot keep up. They recommend paying up on their website DriveEZMD.com or paying by automated phone at 888-321-6824. They discourage trying to get a person on the phone. I had a friend that waited 90 minutes on hold and gave up. Looks like they took a lesson from Maryland Unemployment here.

Some really sad news, like the Military Bowl, the Annapolis Opera has canceled its performance of La Boheme due to COVID concerns. Now many of the resident companies at Maryland Hall work literally 11 months to put a production together that is only performed one weekend. And this is one of them. If you are a ticket holder, contact Maryland Hall at [email protected] and you can either exchange it for another Maryland Hall event or convert it to a tax-deductible donation to the opera–that’s my choice.

And speaking of arts. The Arts Council of Anne Arundel County has some grants up to $2,500 for independent artists in the county–full-time or part-time. Applications are available now and must be submitted by February 10th. There’s a crazy long URL for applications and info..we have it at EyeOnAnnapolis.net but it is easily understood. artscouncilofannearundelcountynew.submittable.com/submit again…. arts council of Anne Arundel county new dot submittable dot com slash submit

And a few things as we wrap up.. got word from Anthony Clarke of Galway Bay that the last few bottles of their egg nog will be gone soon. So if you are looking for a great winter drink… you can order online and pick it up at Galway, Pirates Cove, Killarney, or Brian Boru. Go to galwaybaymd.com Check out the business article we published on Saturday from Steve Palmer from TransWorld Business Advisors, all about business networking in Anne Arundel County in the new year! And finally, remember the first Winter Lecture Series at the Annapolis Maritime Museum and Park starts on Thursday! But if you join at First Mate… I think it is $100..they are all free!

And finally– I am recording a few local business spotlights this week–so PLEASE keep the suggestions coming. We want to make sure as many small businesses in Anne Arundel County are featured. There is absolutely no cost!  Email me the address at   [email protected]

OK, that’s it for the news, but first a quick thank you to our sponsors for today’s Daily News Brief– Solar Energy Services,  the Kristi Neidhardt Team of Northrop Realty, a Long and Foster Company,  and Rehab 2 Perform!

Alrighty,  it is Monday, and Ann Alsina from Covington Alsina is here with your Monday Money Report–man, haven’t heard from her in nearly a month–welcome back!. And as always, George Young from DCMDVA Weather is here with your locally forecast weather. All that coming up in just a bit!

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