Annapolis Idol Contest Supports AACRC

Next weekend (March 7th), consider attending Annapolis Idol, a fundraising event for the Anne Arundel Conflict Resolution Center. It’s a fun Sunday evening, where the audience helps select this year’s Annapolis Idol, based on their vocal performance. I’ve been attending for the past two years and this year I’m one of the celebrity judges along with WRNR radio personality Michael Buckley and Chanssez from ADEK productions. For the past two years the event, which includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, free beer and wine, and dessert, has been held at Renditions Golf Club south of Annapolis, but this year they needed more space so they’ve moved the event north to Michael’s Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, where there is always plenty of room. (Notice how Michael’s has always been a favorite venue for political fund raisers?)
You can win two tickets by going to our WhatsUpMag.com website to enter the contest.
The Conflict Mediation Center provides free mediation services to anyone in Anne Arundel County who requests them. They have all kinds of education programs to teach children, teenagers and adults have to effectively communicate and avoid conflict. According to their mission, they endeavor to improve the quality of life for individuals in Anne Arundel County and to create a more peaceful and productive community by helping people communicate constructively to resolve conflict through education, facilitation and mediation. It is always fun to see what type of music the contestants will choose to perform and their versatility as musicians and individuals. The winner will receive a full day at the ADEK recording studios where they will produce a professional CD . To learn who the 10 finalists are in this year’s contest go to www.WhatsUpMag.com

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International Annapolis

I’ve been away from my blog post too long… it happens. Life happens and suddenly there just isn’t enough time in the day and when I do have time I need to take a break from the computer. (How to get rid of those tired red eyes?) But at any rate, I feel compelled to write about a few things on my mind. One is to plug What’s Up? magazines upcoming Annapolis Forum tomorrow night. Last month I listened to a fascinating presentation from the Syrian Ambassador to the U.S. and the discussion that followed was quite provocative. Tomorrow at the Loews Hotel, in the Windjammer Room, will be Photojournalist Ben Barber, editor of the United States Agency for International Development magazine Frontlines and Dr. Hayden Bellenoit, United States Naval Academy Assistant Professor of South Asian History, discussing the direction of two of the most vital allies in the war against terrorism—Afghanistan and Pakistan. Topics are likely to include who is ahead in the battle against Al Qaeda? Along with, what is going on in the border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan? To sign up go to www. WhatsUpMag.com
Totally unrelated to Annapolis Forum, but slightly related to international relations are the Winter Olympics which I have been sporadically viewing, mostly along with the nightly news. But I do have a weakness for figure skating, and particularly am enamoured by Ice Dancing. Ice Dancing has been a popular subject with bloggers lately because several have been writing about their distaste for some of the garish costumes while others do not think that Ice Dancing qualifies for a sport.
It certainly takes athletic prowess, skill, and yes grace to win an Olympic medal in Ice Dancing. It also requires a sense of rhythmn, focus, and timing to execute the moves to sychronize with your partner. I am captivated, even if some of the costumes are ugly. The power and beauty of movement, several of the couples were able to project to those of us in the audience viewing their moves on the television screen was inspirational. I felt uplifted, which is a positive thing so as far as I am concerned, long live Ice Dancing!

Annapolis Mayoral Debate Lively But Long

The most interesting part of the evening was when the candidates asked questions of each other.

Three hundred people gathered last night to hear the three candidates for mayor of Annapolis present their views on why they should be elected in November. For two hours they sat and listened to Josh Cohen, David Cordle, and Chris Fox answer questions posed to them by moderator Chris Nelson, President of St. John’s College. The most interesting part of the evening was when the candidates asked questions of each other.
David Cordle, an Alderman since 2001 wanted to know why voters should believe Josh Cohen would stick to being Mayor of Annapolis when he has a track record of dropping out of one commitment to take on another. He cited Cohen’s dropping out of St. John’s College, running for County Council while still an alderperson, and now running for mayor while sitting on County Council.
Cohen answered with a joke about how easy it is to be accepted into St. John’s if you write a good essay and how difficult it is to drop out. Then he went on to explain that he felt compelled to run for mayor because he grew up in Annapolis and knows he can do a better job of running the city than anyone else.
Cohen wanted to know why Fox had chosen to run for the office of mayor when his platform was so similiar to Cordle’s. Fox responded he had begun his campaign in 2007, long before anyone else had announced their candidacy and that although he was fiscally conservative like Cordle and supported the city manager form of goverment, he was a social liberal and an independent.
Fox asked Cordle if he would be running for mayor if the mayor’s salary was the same as that of an alderperson. Cordle responded “no” and explained he has four children to support , two of which are in college and two more coming up who will be going to college, and that although his wife works, they would need the mayor’s salary.
Cordle asked Fox how he would have the time to devote to being mayor when he owns and runs a business (The Sly Fox pub and restaurant). Fox explained to Cordle that he has very good managers he can rely on and that arranged his schedule so he only works one day a week for six hours.
All candidates agreed that the City has too big a budget with too many overstaffed departments and too many consultants. They talked about how they were going to revitalize the downtown area by hiring marketing professionals who would focus on attracting new businesses into the downtown area, provide more parking opportunities by having all city employees park in lots located outside the city dock region, and set up a better transportation system of buses or trolleys that would be more reponsive to visitor’s needs.
A major difference is their stand on the City Manager form of government. Cordle and Fox would immediately put in an interim City Manager while they conducted a nationwide search for an individual with eight years govenment experience. Cohen believes the mayor should take responsibility for management of the city and be directly responsible to the voters. He would hire a city administrator. also with a strong record of city managerial experience.
(If the City Manager form of governement is adopted , as proposed in the legislation introduced to the council by Cordle, the mayor’s approval would be necessary to either hire or fire the City Manager along with the majority vote of alderpersons. )
In their closing statements Fox told the audience he would bring new blood to CIty Hall, Cohen focused on his expertise in buildling consensus and he knowledge of public land use,budget management, and transportation.
Cordle reminded voters of his record of service to his country in the military and his commitment to Annapolis as an alderperson and board member of the Boys and Girls Club. If you’d like to see and listen to this particular debate in its entirety it was videotaped courtesy of Whats Up? ANnapolis and it is going to be aired on Comcast, maybe Tuesday evening at 10:00 p.m. I will post more details as they become available.

Three Way Annapolis Mayor Race Full of Surprises

Attend the Mayoral Debate on October 22nd and learn where the candidates stand on important Annapolis issues.

I’m seeing plenty of signs, as I walk around Annapolis. Signs for David Cordle, Chris Fox, and Josh Cohen. The majority of downtown is Fox territory. In my neighborhood of Murray Hill, the signage is mixed.
It has been pointed out to me that some of the downtown merchants posting signs are not city residents and will not have the opportunity to vote in the upcoming election. Too bad. The outcome will directly affect their livlihood.
In my position as editor at What’s Up? I’m hearing a lot of folks telling me they are tired of politics as usual and they feel it is time for a change. Does that mean they are going to vote for Cordle, a Republican? Or are they considering the independent, Chris Fox? Other longtime Democrats are confident that voters want an experienced politician and that with the majority of Democrats registered two to one in the City of Annapolis, Josh Cohen will be the victor.
I think there are many voters who have not definitely made their choice of who to vote for and that I would urge everyone who is registered to vote in the City of Annapolis to go to a debate and hear what the candidates have to say about the issues. What are their plans on how to manage The Market House? How do they plan to revitalize the economic health of the downtown area so that people are coming into the city to shop and businesses are thriving and expanding rather than shutting down? How are they going to see that the crimes rates go down rather than up?
Next week on October 22nd, What’s Up? Annapolis will be partnering with the Ward One Residents Association to sponsor a debate at 7:00 at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts auditorium. The moderator will be Chris Nelson, president of St. John’s College and the questions will be screened by Howard Ernst a professor at the U.S. Naval Academy and Dan Nataf, professor at Anne Arundel Community College. If you have a question you’d like to pose to the candidates, you can send it to me through this blog prior to October 2lst and I will see that it gets to the panel for consideration.
I hope to see you there!