CECIL CHATTER: SAG, SNOW and SIGNS for 2016
EDITORâ€™S NOTE: We are debuting a new feature on Cecil Times, called â€śCecil Chatter,â€ť that will be a roundup of tidbits from here and there and observations on things of interest, or amusement, for the Upper Eastern Shore. Got a tip on something quirky, juicy, just plain funny or exasperating? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and give us some â€śchatter.â€ť Weâ€™ll compile a links page, off the homepage, under â€śCecil Chatter.â€ť
SAG it to us, Steve
Predictions for this Sundayâ€™s Screen Actors Guild awards from the Upper Shoreâ€™s own SAG member, Steve Mumford of Chestertown, who gets to cast a vote:
â€śThe Kingâ€™s Speechâ€™ will do well. Best male and female actors. I voted with my eyes closed; this is just a hands down vote,â€ť Steve messaged us on his Facebook page. For the television awards, he picks â€ś30 Rockâ€ť for best comedy, Tina Fey (â€ś30 Rockâ€ť) for actress, and John Hamm (â€śMadmenâ€ť) for actor.
Mumford is a professional dancer/historical tour guide/swimming instructor and former Democratic candidate for the State Senate in District 36, which covers part of Cecil County as well as Kent and Queen Anneâ€™s counties and a sliver of Caroline County. Since losing in the November election, he has been busy with local and regional civic events and attended the inauguration of Governor Oâ€™Malley.
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Got Snow? Tell Andy Harris
The recent spate of unpredictable snow storms that hit Cecil County raised some questions about why the forecasters either canâ€™t get it right for our county or donâ€™t even include Cecil County on weather maps. Turns out itâ€™s all the governmentâ€™s fault.
Frank Roylance, the Baltimore Sunâ€™s science reporter and weather blogger, fielded a question from a local resident, who asked, â€śWhy is Cecil County MD always left off the MD weather map? Are we in our own little world?…â€ť
Roylance explained that the National Weather Service carves up its weather forecasts and maps into four regions and Cecil Countyâ€™s forecast comes from Mount Holly, N.J. while central Maryland is covered by forecasters in Sterling, Va. He noted that the Sterling-issued maps of the state â€śoften stop at the county line.â€ť His solution to the problem? â€śWrite your congressman.â€ť
So Rep. Andy Harris(R-1st) has a new issue for his agenda. (We always knew that Cecil County was â€śin our own little worldâ€ť but now we have confirmation of it.)
(Scroll down in the weather blog for the discussion here:
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And the award for biggest gasbag in Annapolis goes toâ€¦.
A veteran reporter and commentator covering Annapolis and the General Assembly, Josh Kurtz, had some sage advice to young reporters new to covering the legislature, in a column entitled â€śAn old-timer holds forth on Annapolis.â€ť (See it here:
â€śSometimes in Annapolis, the provocateursâ€”the people who are willing to say the most outlandish things, even if they are incapable of passing gas through their legislative chamberâ€”get lots of ink. I tried to avoid them if I could,â€ť he wrote.
Words to live by, Josh. Cecil Times is accepting nominations from our readers for biggest gasbag or gasbags representing the Upper Shore in Annapolis.
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Polls, Politics and Parlez-Vous
Governor Oâ€™Malleyâ€™s current job approval rating is at a record high, according to a recent Gonzalez poll: 58 percent of Marylanders surveyed approved of his job performance while 30 percent disapproved. And 13 percent, who must live on another planet, had no opinion. Last October, just before Oâ€™Malley won re-election by a commanding margin, his ratings were 48 percent approve, 44 percent disapprove and 8 percent no opinion.
Thatâ€™s fueled some speculation among pundits about a possible presidential run for Oâ€™Malley in 2016. His gubernatorial term ends in 2014 and he cannot run again for governor. After youâ€™ve presided over Annapolis, whatâ€™s next?
There is history on his side: think Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, both former Democratic governors of small southern states. (Yes, Maryland is technically a southern state.)
Having plodded through the snows of New Hampshire in past presidential primary campaigns, we think Oâ€™Malley has the kind of image and approach that would play well among Democratic voters convening in the diners of Claremont, at coffee klatches on the seacoast and in the college town of Hanover. Record a few radio commercials in French and the northern part of the state will listen.
Much depends on how Oâ€™Malley weathers the budget storms in Annapolis for the next four years and how other potential rivalsâ€”like newly elected New York Gov. Andrew Cuomoâ€”handle their own stateâ€™s fiscal turbulence and write their script for a future campaign.
Itâ€™s all early conjecture at this point, but if Oâ€™Malley starts throwing French phrases into his conversations and adds heavy down jackets and dairy boots to his wardrobe, you might be seeing some signs of the political future.
(See the Gonzalez poll here:
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