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Annapolis Notes

February 05, 2007|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Family first, governor second

There are certain times when the state Senate exits its own chamber at the State House, troops across the hall and joins the House of Delegates in its chamber, which is more spacious. (It has to be, with 141 delegates compared to 47 senators.)

On Wednesday, it happened for Gov. Martin O'Malley's State of the State address.

The senators were settled in for a few minutes before a town crier announced the arrival of Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown. As everyone in the chamber stood, Sen Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, slipped away from his seat - and didn't come back.

Mooney later explained that he had to attend to a problem at the house where he, his wife and their children stay during the session: The heat had gone out.

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What Mooney missed of O'Malley's speech in person he read later. "I caught some of it," he said.




Open wide, say 'Ahh-napolis'

Jan. 31 was Dental Day in Annapolis, as the Maryland State Dental Association converged there to meet with state legislators.

Washington County dentist David Williams of Smithsburg was spotted in the Lowe House Office Building, part of the pack.

Perhaps the dentists were looking for a law with some teeth in it?

Did lawmakers give them the brushoff?

OK, enough of that.




Gun ban at parade

During a recent presentation on gangs, Hagerstown Police Department Detective Todd Dunkle told a Maryland House committee about a close encounter he had with a toy gun.

At Hagerstown's annual Alsatia Mummers Parade, he said, a boy about 6 years old pulled a toy gun out of his waistband, pointed it and shot it a few times.

Dunkle's radar went off right away. The gun looked real; it didn't have an orange tip that is supposed to distinguish toy guns from actual guns.

Dunkle said the city banned the vendors who were selling the guns lacking orange from shopping carts.




Carpal diem

Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington, seized the day and had open carpal tunnel release surgery about two weeks ago to correct pain in his arm.

"Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve, which runs from the forearm into the hand, becomes pressed or squeezed at the wrist," according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke's Web site.

Early symptoms are frequent burning, tingling or itching numbness in the palm and fingers that can progress to constant tingling and sharp, piercing pain in the wrist and arm.

The recuperation schedule prescribed to McKee matches what the Mayo Clinic recommends at its Web site: For the first two weeks after surgery, don't lift anything weighing more than about a pound. "A cup of coffee is OK; a gallon of milk is not."




Not your average bill, part I

From here on, this space will share examples of bills that some might not think to file.

This week's topic is history.

Sen. Brian E. Frosh, D-Montgomery, wants every May 27 to be Rachel Carson Day in Maryland. The "Silent Spring" author "through careful science and lyric prose ... laid the foundation for the modern environmental movement in America," his bill says. The 100th anniversary of Carson's birth will be May 27 of this year.

Other historical tributes are afoot.

The Senate already has approved a bill by Sen. Jennie M. Forehand, D-Montgomery, to turn June 20 into Maryland Charter Day. The same bill cross-filed by Del. Virginia P. Clagett, D-Anne Arundel, has been assigned to a House committee.

A bill to expand Black History Month from just February to January and February has been filed in the House and the Senate.

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