January 29, 2011

EDITOR’S NOTE: We are debuting a new feature on Cecil Times, called “Cecil Chatter,” 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 ceciltimes@gmail.com and give us some “chatter.” We’ll compile a links page, off the homepage, under “Cecil Chatter.”

SAG it to us, Steve

Predictions for this Sunday’s Screen Actors Guild awards from the Upper Shore’s own SAG member, Steve Mumford of Chestertown, who gets to cast a vote:

“The King’s Speech’ will do well. Best male and female actors. I voted with my eyes closed; this is just a hands down vote,” Steve messaged us on his Facebook page. For the television awards, he picks “30 Rock” for best comedy, Tina Fey (“30 Rock”) for actress, and John Hamm (“Madmen”) 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 Anne’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 O’Malley.

* * *
Got Snow? Tell Andy Harris

The recent spate of unpredictable snow storms that hit Cecil County raised some questions about why the forecasters either can’t get it right for our county or don’t even include Cecil County on weather maps. Turns out it’s all the government’s fault.

Frank Roylance, the Baltimore Sun’s science reporter and weather blogger, fielded a question from a local resident, who asked, “Why is Cecil County MD always left off the MD weather map? Are we in our own little world?…”

Roylance explained that the National Weather Service carves up its weather forecasts and maps into four regions and Cecil County’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 “often stop at the county line.” His solution to the problem? “Write your congressman.”

So Rep. Andy Harris(R-1st) has a new issue for his agenda. (We always knew that Cecil County was “in our own little world” but now we have confirmation of it.)

(Scroll down in the weather blog for the discussion here:

* * *

And the award for biggest gasbag in Annapolis goes to….

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 “An old-timer holds forth on Annapolis.” (See it here:

“Sometimes in Annapolis, the provocateurs—the people who are willing to say the most outlandish things, even if they are incapable of passing gas through their legislative chamber—get lots of ink. I tried to avoid them if I could,” 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.

* * *
Polls, Politics and Parlez-Vous

Governor O’Malley’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 O’Malley won re-election by a commanding margin, his ratings were 48 percent approve, 44 percent disapprove and 8 percent no opinion.

That’s fueled some speculation among pundits about a possible presidential run for O’Malley in 2016. His gubernatorial term ends in 2014 and he cannot run again for governor. After you’ve presided over Annapolis, what’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 O’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 O’Malley weathers the budget storms in Annapolis for the next four years and how other potential rivals—like newly elected New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo—handle their own state’s fiscal turbulence and write their script for a future campaign.

It’s all early conjecture at this point, but if O’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:

* * *

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 Responses to CECIL CHATTER: SAG, SNOW and SIGNS for 2016

  1. John Ulrich on January 29, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    My vote for biggest gas bags in Annapolis are Pipken and Smigiel. They never saw a TV camera they didn’t want to bloviate in front of, nor an issue they wouldn’t twist for their own self promotion– constituents be damned.

  2. Bob Amato on February 1, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    John, I didn’t know you were a Bill O’Reilly fan! “Bloviate” is one of his favorite words. Even DEMS agree that O’Malley is the biggest windbag in Annapolis. When he goes to Ireland the Blarney Stone kisses him!

    • admin on February 3, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      Bob, is there a difference between a “gasbag” and a “windbag?” Perhaps not literally, but figuratively/politically?

      • Bob Amato on February 3, 2011 at 6:22 pm

        While “windbag” trumps “gasbag”, my friend from across the aisle, John Ulrich, has used the precise term: bloviator. I voted for Gov. O’Malley since, under his “One Maryland” theme, he represents all of Maryland.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Fine Maryland Wines
Proudly made in Cecil County