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Another year is coming to a close, and it’s a chance for the The Calvert Recorder news staff to recap what we’ve seen — or, in what follows, heard throughout 2013. We’ve quoted elected officials and other VIPs and, most often, the regular people whose stories appear week in and week out on our pages. Here’s what they had to say this year ...

January

“In my opinion, [the portion of the 2005 agreement in question] unambiguously does give Dominion the right to use the Cove Point Facility for the export of LNG.”

Calvert Circuit Judge James P. Salmon rules that Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas has the ability to expand into an export facility and does not violate a former agreement made between the company and the Sierra Club, Sierra Club Maryland Chapter and Maryland Conservation Counsel, after the Sierra Club filed a motion for a declaratory judgment.



“There is never going to be enough revenue to satisfy Annapolis.”

Del. Mark N. Fisher (R-Calvert) voices his disapproval of the gas tax during a Calvert County Chamber of Commerce legislative breakfast. The gas tax passed and went into effect in July.



“The hard pill to swallow is that I will guarantee you that we have over $10 million or more over the lifetime of that golf course that have come out of the taxpayers’ money to run that golf course. And it’s been the biggest blunder Calvert County’s ever done, unfortunately.”

Commissioner Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R) criticizes the county-owned Chesapeake Hills Golf Course budget after staff presented the board with an estimated $2.09 million master plan to run the golf course through fiscal 2019.



“Never did I think I’d ever be in a position to even answer some of these things. I can’t even fathom some of what’s happened in the past.”

Calvert County Public Schools Director of School Construction George Leah comments on his being asked to consider how secure school buildings are in the event of a shooting, following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012.



“It’s a sad day. Most of us are in shock. We all ... know we’re going to miss it.”

Dave “Spiggy” Spigler of Lusby regarding the retirement of the Hogettes. Spigler said his group, Spiggy and Friends, will continue fundraising work for area charities.



“People really valued her leadership, good advice and common sense. She was always very professional. She was very smart, very accomplished and very knowledgeable in the areas of law she practiced with us. ... She’s just going to be sorely missed. It’s going to leave a big hole.”

Attorney Mark Davis remembers Sheryl Jones Alu, a longtime Calvert County volunteer and past chairwoman of the ethics commission, after she died in a car accident.



“I must commend you for sticking with this project and being patient with us, and I pray that the rest of them coming up will not be as laborious as this one.”

Calvert County Planning Commissioner Malcolm Funn commends staff on the St. Leonard Town Center Master Plan, which the commission then approved and sent to the county commissioners for final approval, after five years and numerous meetings debating the plan’s content.



“We really saw this as a county asset. ... We’d really love to see some community organizations come out and use it.”

The Calverton School Head of School Spencer Taintor on the school acquiring the county’s first synthetic athletic field.



“He was really committed to the things that he loved, and he certainly loved providing outpatient imaging services to the community. He was always in the forefront to make sure the patients in Calvert County would receive the very best outpatient imaging care possible.”

President and CEO of Calvert Memorial Hospital Jim Xinis remembers Dr. Guillermo R. Zambrano, who died in a car accident in Prince Frederick.



“After not having money for two years for pensionable purposes, this should be a big deal.”

Calvert Education Association President Debbie Russ after the union signed a contract with the board of education, which included a step increase and 1 percent cost of living adjustment.

February

“I wanna ask you, and say to you, that this process, while we’re very, very grateful for it, started almost a year ago as far as the homeowners were concerned. And, it’s still going on.”

Lusby cliff-side homeowner Maria Siefert speaks before the Calvert County commissioners on the approval of a grant used to demolish and remove 10 houses deemed at imminent risk of falling into the Chesapeake Bay.



“I made the call [to police] Thursday night and that was probably the longest night of my life. ... Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine this.”

Martha Bliss, grandmother of Amanda Lynn Foster, 27, of Lusby, whose boyfriend, John Warren Gibson Jr., 25, of Lusby, was arrested, charged and, later this year, convicted of murdering Foster with a kitchen knife and dumping her body in a trash can in the woods.



“We’re pretty happy people finally have stuff in their pockets. The board is finally recognizing the hard work our members are putting in.”

Joseph Sella, chief negotiator for the Calvert Association of Educational Support Staff, after the union signed a contract with the board of education giving support staff employees their first raise in five years.



“He is doing it for clearly political reasons. He’s trying to get more Democrats elected.”

Calvert County Commissioner Evan Slaughenhoupt (R) on Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert, Prince George’s) introduction of a bill to modify the way commissioners can be elected in Calvert. The bill passed, and commissioner candidates must now file to run either at large or in a particular district, beginning with the 2014 election.



“From our perspective ... it is a memorial to all that served, not only in [the Vietnam] War, but actually in all wars.”

Ray “Bomber” Nieves, president of the Nam Knights of America Old Line chapter, after receiving approval from the Chesapeake Beach Town Council to construct a Vietnam War memorial at Veterans Memorial Park.

March

“It truly looks like the end of the tunnel is near. ... It seems like everyone got it all together at the same time.”

Cliff homeowner Sue Davis after years of watching her Lusby cliff property erode into the Chesapeake Bay when the home buyout finally went through for 10 cliff homes.



“Things are definitely changing. It’s a more mature crowd. ... We’re still working on the music level ... but we’ve had no major incidents where the public is to be concerned for their property or safety.”

Deputy Childress of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, who works as head of security for Captain Biggs restaurant and bar during the Calvert County Board of License Commissioners review of the liquor license.



“There is declining enrollment in the county, but in this particular spot there is growth.”

Calvert County Superintendant Jack Smith discussing the need for redistricting Beach Elementary School in Chesapeake Beach.



“I believe the fairest rate structure is pay for what you use. A wastewater treatment plant … is not a for-profit business. Therefore, there’s no motive … for providing subsidies. I don’t believe there should be a discounted rate [for utilities].”

Chesapeake Beach town council member Valerie Beaudin explains the reasoning behind her and town council members Eric Reinhardt and Jeff Krahling creating an online petition advocating to change the town’s utility rate structure from a tier-based structure to a universal, flat rate.



“While no bill is perfect, the proposed features in this bill increase the needed transparency for electing county commissioners … and helps citizens understand this election process.”

Concerned Black Women of Calvert County President Annette Funn expresses her support for a proposed bill at the Maryland General Assembly that would alter the election process of the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners.



“UniStar thanks the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for its consideration of the Petition for Review. We look forward to receipt of the revised guidance on foreign ownership, control and domination and hope to participate in that process. In the meantime, we will continue to support the NRC’s ongoing review of the Calvert Cliffs [Nuclear Power Plant Unit] 3 application.”

A written statement from UniStar Nuclear Energy LLC after the five-member U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission upheld a previous Atomic Safety and Licensing Board decision to deny UniStar’s application for a third reactor at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant.



“The feel of the county — that I’m sensing — is they’re waiting. We’re all waiting. We’re waiting for information. We’re waiting to see what’s happening.”

Calvert County Chamber of Commerce President Carolyn Hart describes county businesses and residents as the federal government sequester looms.



“Out of all the [special tax districts] that we’ve sat up here and looked at … over the last 10 years or so, this presentation is the most comprehensive and well-done one that I’ve seen. It seems like they really have, the [Chesapeake Ranch Estates] board, really has their act together with what they’re posing to do here.”

Calvert County Board of County Commissioner Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R) said of the Chesapeake Ranch Estates proposed fourth special tax district plan.



“It’s clear to the court that you chose purposefully to conduct your business as a drug dealer.”

Calvert County Circuit Court Judge Marjorie L. Claggett explained as she sentenced William Randolph Kyler Jr. to 65 years in prison after he was convicted of being a drug kingpin in connection with the distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine.



“This is a sad day for both the Willard and Nerem families, as well as our community. Our thoughts and prayers go out to these families.”

Calvert County Sheriff Mike Evans (R) said during a press conference following the apparent murder-suicide involving brothers-in-law Raymond William Willard and Carl Ray Nerem at a Hollowing Point Road in Prince Frederick.



“Where did the decision come from that there needed to be [a Metropolitan Planning Organization] in this area? It looks like to me, from this map, the [U.S. Census Bureau] really had to go out and bring in different areas … to come up with the number of populations to create this.”

Commissioner Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R) reacts to the federal designation combining Lexington Park and southern portions of Calvert County, including Chesapeake Ranch Estates and Solomons, as an urban area requiring a Metropolitan Planning Organization.

April

“We believe that having achieved these milestones of signed terminal service agreements, an [engineering, procurement and construction] contract and our [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] filing, we are well positioned to obtain permission from the U.S. Department of Energy to move forward with this vital infrastructure project.”

Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas chairman, president and CEO Thomas Farrell II said in a news release about the company’s proposed LNG export project moving forward.



“If someone is threatening your life, you have a right to defend yourself. Whether [the suspect] was inside of the house is irrelevant. The homeowner was in fear for his life; therefore, he was acting in self-defense.”

Lt. Steve Jones, commander of the Calvert Investigative Team, said of the police investigation of a shooting at a Harlequin Court home in Huntingtown that left one man dead and a woman in custody.



“Yeah, I’ve had a great career. I loved it. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”

Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Col. Tom Hejl of retiring after 40 years of law enforcement at both the state and county level.



“It’s about good government. It’s about openness. It’s about ease in terms of understanding who gets elected.”

Maryland Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller Jr. reacts to his proposed bill altering the method of electing the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners passing on the final day of the legislative session despite opposition from county delegates, commissioners and some county residents.



“Dave, your mom and I are very, very proud to be here with you today to see what a fine young man you’ve grown up to be and what a tremendous, professional police officer, sheriff’s officer you have become. We’re very proud of you.”

Lt. Col. Vincent duCelier, a retired Prince George’s County police officer, said to his son Calvert County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Dave McDowell during a promotion ceremony following the retirement of Tom Hejl as the assistant sheriff.



“It was an incredibly productive and incredibly efficient session. It was in so many ways the antithesis of last year, and I think, given that they decided to have such an ambitious agenda, they needed it to go smoothly.”

St. Mary’s College of Maryland political science professor Todd Eberly commented on the 431st legislative session of the Maryland General Assembly.

May

“Last year, I never got an ‘A’ in math. And this year, I actually got into honors pre-algebra [for next year’s classes].”

Lexie Hart, 11, talking about her Southern Middle School sixth-grade math teacher, Jon Cox, who was named Calvert’s Teacher of the Year.



“I’m looking forward to continuing to represent the citizens of Calvert and St. Mary’s counties vigorously. ... I will continue to be a soldier in the fields.”

Del. Anthony J. O’Donnell (R-Calvert, St. Mary’s) regarding Maryland House Republicans’ decision to elect a new minority leader. O’Donnell had served as minority leader since 2007.



“It wasn’t something we wanted to do. It breaks our heart. ... I don’t know if you ever move on from that. I don’t know if we’ll ever feel like it’s finished.”

Lusby homeowner Sue Davis reflects on her struggle to save her cliff-side home from falling into the Chesapeake Bay. Hers was the first house set for demolition after a federal grant allowed for the buyout of 10 homes identified as being in imminent danger.



“I am very disappointed in Calvert. The rural counties have to stick together on some principles.”

St. Mary’s County Commissioner Todd Morgan (R) on Calvert’s decision to move forward with designating parts of Calvert and St. Mary’s counties as a federal Metropolitan Planning Organization. Both boards of commissioners later reluctantly approved the designation.



“We have not as a community been given an opportunity to vote on what this is: a tax.”

Chesapeake Ranch Estates resident David Lysinger comments on the CRE Special Tax District during a hearing with the Calvert County commissioners. The commissioners hold the ultimate authority to approve an STD.



“Well, that’s wonderful news. ... I’m very happy and grateful. That’s absolutely wonderful.”

Commissioner Susan Shaw (R) reacts to news that Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) included $20 million for the design and engineering for replacement of the Gov. Thomas Johnson Memorial Bridge in the state’s transportation plan.



“Every penny we asked for we would have used wisely. So, while it’s not all good news, I do thank you for your support.”

Then-superintendent of Calvert County Public Schools Jack Smith addresses the county commissioners during the commissioners’ budget hearing. Smith said the budget’s allocation for the school system was not enough to cover the schools’ deficit.

June

“... Our budget process is about as transparent as a brick wall.”

Commissioner Evan Slaughenhoupt (R), in opposition of the county commissioners’ adopted FY14 budget.



“... I don’t know what universe you’re operating in, but it’s not the same one I’m operating in.”

Commissioner Susan Shaw (R), in response to Slaughenhoupt regarding the commissioners’ adopted FY14 budget.



“We’ve hit out goal. Oxygen and reproduction rates are up and disease and mortality rates are down.”

Len Zuza, president of Southern Maryland Oyster Cultivation Society (SMOCS), said about the end of further oyster restoration efforts in area waters.



“One of my favorite expressions is, ‘You don’t need to be sick to get better.’ Calvert County is not broken. It’s a very good school system. But you don’t have to be sick to get better,”

Calvert County former superintendent of schools, Jack Smith, upon his resignation from the school system.



“There are always favorable and unfavorable events when you have 16,400 students, 2,200 employees and 90,000 residents in the county... To connect any particular issue or set of issues at this moment, for my choice to pursue other interests, would be inaccurate.”

Jack Smith upon his resignation from Calvert County Public Schools as superintendent.



“It’s gonna be a long road. It’s gonna be a hard road” for those who have lost someone or will lose someone “before the final papers go through... but there is daylight at the end of the tunnel.”

Susan Ballenger, a community activist involved with Southern Memorial Gardens, said of the 30-acre cemetery’s pending sale.



“This was a situation of cops and robbers, except the principal was playing the cop and making the kid out to be the robber.”

Lawyer Robin Ficker, the family attorney of a then 5-year-old boy who was suspended for bringing a cap gun onto a school bus. The boy’s original 10-day suspension was expunged from his record by the request of former Calvert County Superintendent of Schools Jack Smith after appeals by the parents and their lawyer.

July

“Nobody really knows what my son has gone through. He had grown and learned so much [in kindergarten]. That was taken away from him that day, instead of making it a moment where he could have learned.”

Mother of a then 5-year-old boy who was suspended for bringing a cap gun onto a school bus. The boy’s original 10-day suspension was expunged from his record by the request of former Calvert County Superintendent of Schools Jack Smith after appeals by the parents and their lawyer.



“I am absolutely encouraging people to sign the petition and force the council to take another look at this issue.”

Chesapeake Beach Town Council Member Bob Carpenter in response to a citizen-organized petition to force the town to vote on a proposed tiered versus flat-rate water sewer rate structure. The council spent months battling over the rate structure, with council members Pat “Irish” Mahoney, Jeff Krahling, Valerie Beaudin and Eric Reinhardt pushing for a flat-rate structure, and Carpenter and Mayor Bruce Wahl urging the council to accept a tiered structure.



“A Calvert County homeowner was terrorized and a young man lost his life. That should open our eyes to the catastrophic effects that the prescription drug problem has had in our county.”

Calvert County State’s Attorney Laura Martin (R) after her office determined no charges would be filed against a homeowner who shot and killed a man who was attempting to break into his home and steal prescription drugs on Easter Sunday. The then 63-year-old homeowner was a retired Metropolitan Police Department lieutenant.



“I’ve been saying that everyone has their own superman or superwoman in them, and mine came out full force because I wasn’t going to go out like that. That wasn’t my fault, I didn’t ask for that, and I wasn’t going to let that take me down so easily ... All of a sudden, I said, ‘I don’t want to die.’ ... I didn’t like the drowning sensation; I didn’t like feeling helpless.”

Dunkirk resident Morgan Lake, a then 22-year-old woman who survived being forced off of the Bay Bridge by a tractor trailer. Lake’s vehicle plunged into the bay, but she was able to escape the sinking vehicle and swim to safety.

August

“We’re very pleased with what [State’s Attorney and prosecutor] Laura Martin has been able to do for the family and for the case. We’re very relieved, of course, that we’re not going to have to go to trial, and we think for once [John Gibson]’s done something ... halfway decent. ...We’re sorry that we’re all having to go through all of this. It’s been extremely devastating for the whole family.”

Martha Bliss, grandmother of murder victim Amanda Lynn Foster, after Calvert County Circuit Court Judge Marjorie Clagett accepted John Gibson’s Alford plea in the case. Gibson was accused of stabbing Foster then dumping her body in St. Mary’s County. Gibson is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 13.



“I really want the schools to be showcased this year because the teachers work really hard and their interest is all about helping the students and seeing them progress.”

Interim superintendent Nancy Highsmith, commenting on the challenges facing teachers with new Common Core curriculum standards.



“I think it’s really important that common sense is being used. I think that can increase school security ... If the principal is suspecting the student of something serious enough to warrant a suspension, they should notify the parents within 15 minutes by phone.”

Board of Education member Joe Chenelly, commenting on the need for the school system to revamp suspension and parental notification policies following instances where parents reported they were not notified in a timely manner when their child had been suspended.



“All of this is for nothing if we do not come together to where we can do something positive for our country and our community.”

Bernard Young, who was one of many Southern Marylanders who made the trip to Washington, D.C., in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington, where he delivered his immortal “I Have a Dream” speech.



“It’s sad that I won’t be able to serve the community the way I had always dreamed ... I feel especially bad there’s this one girl [who] just loves our store and cannot wait to get here. When she does really well, for whatever reason, she gets to come in here and get some kind of a gift. She just explodes every time she gets to come in here. That’s what I will miss the most — just those types of experiences — and the personal connections I’ve made with teachers.”

Laurie Uherek, owner of Educate and Celebrate, who had to shut her doors after plans were announced to revamp the Calvert Village Shopping Center. Uherek was among several store owners who either shuttered doors or were relocated to other areas in the county.

September

“I know it’s my fish, and I want the thing back.”

Tom Booth of Huntingtown, after controversy arose over whether 12-year-old Colton Lambert’s state record-breaking bass was caught at Booth’s pond or a different location, as the Lamberts argued. Booth ultimately chose not to enter litigation over the issue.



“It took me a long time to make the decision. I tell people that I’ve never done anything where hard work and integrity didn’t pay off, so that made me think that politics was not the place for me. I realized that I encourage more women to be in politics, so I felt I needed to step up to the plate and do what it takes to get the seat back.”

Former delegate Sue Kullen of Port Republic on her announcement to run again to represent Calvert in the 2014 election.



“[The board] wants the school system to make sure that parental notice will happen as quickly as possible, and we’re always working on that. We need to balance a thorough investigation with immediate notice.”

Calvert County Board of Education member Dawn Balinski comments on proposed revisions to the school system’s weapons policy, after the board received complaints that parents were not immediately notified of a student’s suspension, and after a May incident involving a weapons policy violation garnered national attention.



“I think the action was wrong and overbearing. I also think it was absolutely ridiculous it took 26 hours to contact the parent and my son was already being punished.”

Carin Read of Lusby reacts to school officials’ decision to discipline her sixth-grade son for forming his hand into the shape of a gun and pointing it at another student, and contacting her to inform her of the decision a day later. Her son’s record was later cleared.



“It’s really sad that they’re making this a political football. Ultimately, who gets hurt is everyone in town.”

Business owner Wesley Donovan, who sponsored a petition to bring the Chesapeake Beach water and sewer rates to referendum after the town council voted to pass a flat rate utility structure.



“We’ve been waiting a long time for this building. ... It’s how we as a college can work with the community to improve Southern Maryland. We are just so excited about this day.”

College of Southern Maryland President Brad Gottfried during a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new, environmentally-friendly building at the Prince Frederick campus.



“And anybody that thinks it’s gonna get easier ... you’re being foolish. It isn’t gonna get easier. It’s gonna get tougher.”

Commissioner Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R) addresses economic challenges for businesses in the county at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast.



“We know absolutely, 100 percent that there is an unmet need. It’s just, OK, how do you target it? And, once you do, how do you resolve it, is what the problem is.”

Calvert County Transportation Services Supervisor Sandy Wobbleton discusses public transportation concerns during a League of Women Voters town hall meeting.



“I think the fervor of the parents wanting the school to be there saved it. They reached out to other people, got our name out in the public and just wanted us to succeed.”

Jean Moyer, parent and former employee of Our Lady Star of the Sea School in Solomons reflects on the school’s 80th anniversary and its near closing in 2012.



“Despite all the problems in the housing market over the last several years, still the leading cause of bankruptcy in this country is because of debt incurred from health problems. People don’t have insurance, they get sick, they get into a car crash, appendix ruptures, and they end up going bankrupt. They lose their car, they lose their house, anything they were saving for their kids’ education. So having people now be able to afford insurance not only makes a difference in their day-to-day lives, but may make a big difference for their family’s security down the road.”

Calvert County Health Officer Dr. Laurence Polsky discusses impacts of the Affordable Care Act with the county commissioners.



“This whole thing has been a fiasco. ... I think you might be better to come up with a whole new Board of Elections, because I am disgusted with what has taken place and how it was done, and I would like to [resign] as well.”

Chesapeake Beach Board of Elections Chairman Malcolm Funn addresses the town council after weeks of challenges made as to whether there were enough valid petition signatures to send the town’s utility rates to a referendum vote. Funn and election board member Ron Draper both announced their resignations at the council meeting.

October

“Our hardworking federal workforce ... should not have to face furloughs. Like so many other Americans, they have mortgages to meet, college tuitions to pay, and families to support. That’s why I have joined my colleagues in sponsoring this bipartisan proposal to meet our basic moral obligation to our public servants and ensure all federal employees receive retroactive pay.”

U.S. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) makes a statement regarding the government shutdown that resulted after Congress could not come to a federal funding agreement.



“More than anything, I feel disappointed. I’ve always been so proud to be a federal employee, especially for [the Department of Homeland Security] ... but I have never felt so let down by anything or any person in my life. I really feel like the government failed me.”

Jennifer Malenab of Chesapeake Beach reflects on her struggles during the federal government shutdown.



“When I was a kid, if I got in trouble, I got put in a corner. I wish I could put all the politicians in the corner.”

U.S. Census Bureau employee and North Beach resident Brian Greenwell shares his feelings regarding Congress and the shutdown.



“I am actually happy to say, you can get $1.2 billion out of your head. It’s not going to be needed. It’s not going to be necessary, in our opinion.”

Daniel Nees, senior research associate at the University of Maryland Environmental Finance Center, shares the center’s research on the federally-mandated Watershed Implementation Plan with the Calvert County commissioners. The commissioners sought help from the center in finding strategies to lower the cost of funding the county’s WIP.



“I don’t have enough words in my vocabulary to tell you what it means to us. ... I’m really thankful for what you’ve done. This is one of the greatest memories of my life.”

Longtime Solomons resident and civic leader Alton Kersey, on the Solomons Civic Association’s dedication of the Watermen’s Memorial Garden in his name.



“If this policy change is not working and the public starts contacting us, we’re gonna look at it again; we’re gonna review it until we get it right.”

Calvert County Board of Education Vice President Kelly McConkey comments on newly approved changes to the school system’s look-alike weapons policy.



“Our utmost concern is for the safety of all children, not only the victim, but also the person that is being accused of something. We want to be sure we have the story correct, we want to be sure we have all the facts. When we don’t have that, then it doesn’t look like we’re giving due diligence to our students.”

Interim Superintendent of Calvert County Public Schools Nancy V. Highsmith, on the schools’ weapons policy revisions.



“We’re gonna design it and operate and minimize the environmental issues. We are working very, very, very hard and doing lots of studies and modification to the existing design.”

Michael Gardner, Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas manager of LNG operation, stresses Dominion’s commitment to minimizing any environmental impacts of its proposed exportation project, during an informational meeting hosted by the League of Women Voters.



“I don’t think that I have enough information to know the full extent of this project. ... We need to get answers before it’s a done deal.”

Patuxent Riverkeeper CEO Fred Tutman shares his concerns about Dominion’s proposed exportation project during a meeting held by various environmental groups at the Southern Community Center.



“It’s kind of like walking into a ransacked house.”

Southern Memorial Association Inc. co-owner John Yeatman on his visit to the foreclosed Southern Memorial Gardens cemetery in Dunkirk. After the cemetery and its plot owners suffered years of hardship, the private corporation bought and re-opened the business.



“We are happy that there is an indictment in this case. It was an emotional case for law enforcement. This was an emotional case for the community.”

Capt. Steve Jones of the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office comments after Melissa Schrae Bowen, 33, of Prince Frederick was charged in the deaths of two infants found on two separate occasions.

November

“There’s no point in lobbying this board of commissioners with regard to decisions that are going to be made by [the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission]. We don’t have any influence with FERC. They’re the experts, and they’re gonna do what they’re gonna do. ... So, for anybody to somehow think that we can march up to FERC in Washington, [D.C.,] and have some influence with them is kind of silly.”

Commissioner Susan Shaw (R) addresses public concerns as to why the commissioners were not more vocal in regard to the proposed Dominion Cove Point Liquefied Natural Gas export facility.



“Shame! Shame! Shame!”

A hearing room full of county residents against the proposed Dominion Cove Point LNG export facility react after the county commissioners voted to exempt LNG facilities from the county zoning ordinance and International Building Code requirements.



“Maryland really has been, the last 10 years, on a path of transitioning off of climate-changing fossil fuels and on to clean, renewable energy. But in the past six months, a radical detour has been proposed for our state. It’s a very different energy vision that would seriously knock us off our current path.”

Chesapeake Climate Action Network Executive Director Mike Tidwell rallies a meeting room against the proposed LNG facility. CCAN held multiple meetings as part of its “Maryland Crossroads 2013 Tour: Clean Energy, Not Cove Point!”



“I mean, how can you take a 4,000-home community that barely has paved roads in many instances, has no business center and, in fact, has no businesses, and designate it as an urban area?”

Del. Anthony J. O’Donnell (R-Calvert, St. Mary’s) expresses concern over the federal government’s request to designate the Chesapeake Ranch Estates and other portions of Calvert County, along with portions of St. Mary’s County, as a Metropolitan Planning Organization.



“There’s never been a project of this size and this complex in our history.”

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative public affairs manager Tom Dennison regarding the co-op’s $110 million reliability project to carry a 230-kilovolt system through Calvert to St. Mary’s, digging tunnels 50 feet below the Patuxent River.



“There is more we have to do to get the correct information out there. I think there is still a lot of misinformation — that is one of our goals as a system. There are a lot of misconceptions, and we need to be sure we clear those misconceptions. It was a good start last night.”

Nancy V. Highsmith, interim superintendent of Calvert County Public Schools, regarding a Common Core State Standards forum held in Calvert to educate the community about the new educational standards.

December

“I do understand why the board would want to move it forward. I just have a real problem with the federal government extorting a vote out of local government, and by them holding back money, basically what they’re doing is extorting a vote.”

Commissioner Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R) shares his views on the county’s option to either approve its Metropolitan Planning Organization status or potentially lose federal funding for the Gov. Thomas Johnson Memorial Bridge replacement. Both the Calvert and St. Mary’s commissioners approved the measure with reluctance.



“We’re having unprecedented eruptions. Everyone’s freaking out about it.”

Andy Brown, Calvert County senior naturalist at Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Nature Center, regarding the first recorded sightings of a snowy owl in the county.



“I’m glad that a little over 700 people voted in the referendum. It really shows how much people care about the issue. ... People didn’t want to have their rates doubled or tripled all in one shot.”

Wesley Donovan, sponsor of a petition to bring Chesapeake Beach’s flat rate utility structure to referendum, after the town voted in a special election to reject the flat water and sewer rates.