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YOUR WORLD BENEATH THE SURFACE.

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     HOT HOUSE: The Friary on the Severn, 1604 Winchester Road, Annapolis, MD. 21409 Brick Georgian Revival mansion, circa 1922, owned by Steve and Maxine Phillips, of Phillips Seafood Company, with 23 acres of land overlooking the Severn River and 2,000 feet of waterfront. Extensively renovated, 26,000 sq. ft. home, with 7 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, 11 fireplaces, indoor spa with pool, gourmet kitchen, catering kitchen, and wine cellar. Also on property, an Asian tea house, a 60-foot outdoor infinity pool, 9-car garage, roof garden, staff quarters, tennis courts and guest house. Six boat slips on private dock with boat lift. $32 million   What: Gatsbyesque dream house, originally built for an American arms dealer, and exuberantly renovated by Steve and Maxine Phillips. In between, it served as a monastery for Capuchin monks.  The house is symmetrical and well proportioned, modeled after a James River plantation house. The Phillips paid $2,500,000 for… Read More

    The post Most Expensive House in Maryland: Phillips Seafood Mansion-On-Severn appeared first on Baltimore Fishbowl.


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    It was a bitter battle, but Gov. Martin O’Malley’s new, stricter handgun licensing bill passed the Senate more or less intact. The eight-hour-training course was reduced to four hours (so, umm, I guess they’ll walk away with half the knowledge?). The outright ban on handgun ownership for someone who “voluntarily spent 30 days in a mental health facility” was struck down. (Good thinking, in my opinion — the last thing we need is a disincentive for people to seek treatment for mental illness.) The assault weapon component was relaxed to match up with the expired federal ban. And the licensing fee was dropped from $100 to $25. The most big-brothery aspect — the mandatory fingerprinting — was upheld narrowly. The grab bag of smart and arbitrary gun proposals moves to the House of Delegates on Friday.  … Read More

    The post O’Malley’s Handgun Licensing Bill Passes Senate with Mostly Minor Changes appeared first on Baltimore Fishbowl.


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    The next time you hear Gov. Martin O’Malley boast that Maryland has the greatest public schools in the nation — and since he’s all but certain to run for president in 2016, you will no doubt hear it again and again — think twice. The Washington Post recently brought up the embarrassing fact that Maryland schools exempted an unprecedented number of students with learning disabilities from taking a national reading test — a strategy that earned Maryland a second-place finish among fourth graders, and a sixth-place finish among eighth graders. The Post figures that if Maryland hadn’t exempted their learning-disabled students, their ranking would have fallen to 11th place among fourth graders and 12th place among eighth graders. Maryland justifies the exemptions as the product of a discrepancy between state policies and the rules of the test. Since the national test does not allow accommodations — such as having test questions… Read More

    The post Maryland Schools Are Cooking the Books on Standardized Test Scores appeared first on Baltimore Fishbowl.


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    Hot House: ‘Peggy Stewart House’ 207 Hanover Street, Annapolis, MD 21401 National Historic Landmark brick (English bond) Georgian with slate roof, circa 1764. Three stories with 5 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, 4,756 sq. ft.. Panoramic views of Maryland State House, harbor and old town Annapolis. Gourmet kitchen with Sub-zero and granite, master suite w/separate shower and bath, sunroom overlooking .4 manicured acres, 250-year old boxwood gardens, 8-car garage, unfinished basement and attic, widow’s walk: $2,800,000 (was $3.2 million)   What: Serious historic mansion in pleasant urban environs. Although the Declaration of Independence’s least famous signer, Thomas Stone, lived here in the 1780’s, it’s called the Peggy Stewart house after the ill-fated cargo ship (and daughter) of an earlier owner, wealthy Annapolis merchant Anthony Stewart. In 1774, Stewart made the mistake of paying the hated British tax on the Peggy Stewart’s cargo of tea as it sat in the Annapolis harbor. Angry… Read More

    The post Price Drop on National Historic Landmark: Annapolis’ Peggy Stewart House appeared first on Baltimore Fishbowl.


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    When satire is really good, you can’t even tell it’s satire. Or at least that’s the best explanation I can come up with for why Annapolis Police Chief Michael Pristoop testified against Maryland marijuana decriminalization bills, claiming that 37 people died of marijuana overdoses on the first day it was legal in Colorado. The problem, which should be glaringly obvious to pretty much everyone? That’s a fake number from an article by the DailyCurrant, a satirical news site that competes with the Onion. The whole point of the DailyCurrant’s satire was that people don’t die from smoking too much pot. You’d hope a police chief would understand that. While Pristoop stood by his hoax statistic on the Senate floor, even after being questioned by State Senator Jamie Raskin, he later backed down. “After conducting additional research, it appears that was not accurate at all,” Pristoop told the Capital Gazette. “I… Read More

    The post Embarrassing: MD Police Chief Quotes Joke Marijuana Study on Senate Floor appeared first on Baltimore Fishbowl.


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    There are many places in the United States that can ostensibly claim to have the best barbecue. Do you like it saucy? Go to North Carolina. More of a brisket guy? Texas is your place. But I seriously doubt that when I say “great barbecue town,” Annapolis would be on the tip of your tongue. It certainly wasn’t one of America’s ten best cities for barbecue, as listed by the Huffington Post. Or Food & Wine. Or U.S. News. But according to a new survey by Open Table, the best barbecue restaurant in the country is just down the road: Annapolis Smokehouse. Now, before your freak out, note that “best barbecue” spots number two and three are in (gasp!) California, and that no barbecue joint in all of Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, North Carolina, or Georgia made the top 30. Clearly, this ranking is unreliable when it comes to pinpointing the… Read More

    The post The Best Barbecue Restaurant in the Country is in… Annapolis?! appeared first on Baltimore Fishbowl.


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    A historic preservation group bestowed “National Treasure” status on Annapolis today, but they didn’t have Nicolas Cage or tourism dollars in mind. Instead, they’re aiming to keep the jewel from disappearing underwater. They’ve got the Naval Academy and good crabs and all, but the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s official reaason for making Annapolis a National Treasure is all about preventing flooding. The Trust’s official statement of purpose is to “Protect historic Annapolis from increasing climate threats by incorporating historic resources into local hazard mitigation planning.” The rising Chesapeake Bay has resulted in more flooding in Annapolis in recent years, and waters are expected to keep coming up.  A recent report predicted parts of Annapolis would spend 10 percent of the year underwater within the next 30 years. “In the Chesapeake Bay, the combined effects of sinking land and rising seas have resulted in a rate of sea level rise that is twice the… Read More

    The post Annapolis Hailed as National Treasure, Braces for Future Flooding appeared first on Baltimore Fishbowl.


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    ‘Tis the season for serious shopping  – and there’s no place more filled with the holiday spirit than the streets of downtown Annapolis during Midnight Madness. This year’s annual Midnight Madness extravaganza – two  nights filled with shopping and celebration – will take place on Thursday, December 4th and Thursday December 11th. Both nights, the shops in historic Annapolis will stay open until midnight and downtown will sparkle with festive music, entertainment and activities. With performances from local choruses and bands, a majestic tree and gorgeous decorations sponsored by Sheehy Lexus of Annapolis, the mood downtown would put a holiday smile on even the Grinch’s face. Santa will be on hand for visits and there will be seasonal photo ops galore, plus complimentary gift wrapping and a raffle for the WRNR-sponsored “Rockin’ Stocking,” which includes more than 45 gift cards worth at least $50 each (a total of over $2,500… Read More

    The post Celebrate the Holidays With a Girls (Over)Night Out at Midnight Madness in Annapolis appeared first on Baltimore Fishbowl.


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    How’s this for a nearly averted tragedy: On New Year’s Eve, Annapolis police responded to calls reporting a man wearing a ski mask and toting a rifle and a handgun. Annapolis officers ordered the guy to drop his weapons and lie on the ground. “That ski mask comes off and I see this baby face,” one of the officers told the Baltimore Sun. The “gunman” in question turned out to be a 13-year-old boy playing with his Christmas gifts, a couple of Airsoft guns. It was an eerie echo of a very similar situation in Cleveland, when police shot and killed Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old who was also playing with a toy gun. In the Annapolis case, no shots were fired and no one was killed. Baltimore Sun reporter Susan Reimer reports on some of the differences between the situations in Cleveland and Annapolis. The Maryland officers were more experienced,… Read More

    The post Maryland Cops Avoid Shooting Kid with Toy Gun appeared first on Baltimore Fishbowl.


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    For once, Annapolis is a little more colorful than Baltimore. A bull famously broke loose in Baltimore last year. Currently, a peahen is on the loose in the Maryland capital. According to the Capital Gazette, the unnamed peafowl escaped from Hidden View Farm about a month ago. This week, the bird finally surfaced on the streets of Annapolis. Despite the rare sightings, Hidden View Farm owner Richard Bradshaw says the peahen continues to evade capture. You’d think it would be obvious given all the feathers, but it’s a female and peahens don’t spread their plume like males. And, making matters worse, Bradshaw said people keeping feeding her. Usually found wandering the grounds of the farm, Bradshaw said the streets are no place for a peahen. UPDATE:  The post was corrected to reflect the female term for peafowl, a peahen.… Read More

    The post A Peahen is Loose on the Streets of Annapolis appeared first on Baltimore Fishbowl.


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    Baltimore City schools are looking at a drop in state funding after an internal investigation uncovered “irregularities” in attendance records. As the Washington Post reports, when city schools CEO Gregory Thornton visited schools he did not find classrooms overcrowded with students as he expected. The enrollment numbers didn’t square with what he saw. In fact, “it got to the point of having to have conversations about data integrity, ” Thornton said, “because we can’t build this organization on false numbers.” So he launched an investigation, which turned up 230 students on the rolls that shouldn’t have been. But clearing the “ghost students” from the record means less education money from the state. According to the Washington Post, the enrollment drop plus a new system for allocating funds would dock Baltimore’s funding by $25 million under Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposed budget.    … Read More

    The post Hundreds of “Ghost Students” Kept on Rolls at Baltimore Schools appeared first on Baltimore Fishbowl.


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    A coalition of black Maryland legislators seeks to overhaul the state’s medical cannabis commission by giving it more regulatory power and a stronger focus on diversity. This week, the leader of that coalition wants the public’s help. Last year, several hopeful marijuana firms sued the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, alleging its members didn’t pick a diverse enough array of firms for […]

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    As legislators prepare to meet in Annapolis today for hearings on two fracking-related measures, a new poll shows one in four Maryland voters are still unsure about a proposed fracking ban. According to the most recent Goucher Poll released yesterday morning, 40 percent of Maryland voters oppose passing a permanent ban on hydraulic fracturing, while 36 percent support doing so. […]

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    For Rodette Jones and her neighbors in Curtis Bay, a simple trip to the grocery store isn’t so simple. For anyone without a car, the errand can require hopping on two buses to the nearest supermarket two miles away, shopping and then hauling the groceries back home on the bus. “I just want the people here to know that […]

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    One-hundred and sixty years ago, infamous Marylander and then-Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney issued a ruling that Dred Scott, a Missouri slave who escaped his owners, was not a citizen. The decision furthered the detestable tradition of slavery for several more years before Abraham Lincoln abolished it. Yesterday, Scott’s and Taney’s descendants stood together in […]

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    Vida Taco Bar of Annapolis is coming to Baltimore this year. Beatty Development Group announced that the popular restaurant is scheduled to open in December at 1405 Point, a 17-story, 289-unit luxury apartment building under construction on Harbor Point’s Central Plaza, just south of the Exelon Building. Known for its “farm-to-taco” menu, featuring local, sustainable […]

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    About a dozen faith leaders and environmentalists were arrested on Thursday morning in Annapolis at a demonstration against allowing fracking in Maryland. Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the State House today to push Senate leadership to bring a a proposal to permanently ban natural gas drilling in Maryland to a full vote. The House of Delegates […]

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    Maryland legislators won’t be interrupting their summers to discuss medical marijuana in Annapolis. That decision was made two weeks ago, actually. A newly released letter dated July 19 (shared by WBAL) from Maryland Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Michael Busch to Baltimore City Del. Cheryl Glenn indicates leaders would rather wait until the […]

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    Maryland’s Republican governor has switched sides in the debate over whether to remove a statue of Roger B. Taney from the State House in Annapolis. Hogan said in a statement today that taking down the statue of the Confederate-era Supreme Court chief justice “is the right thing to do.” “As I said at my inauguration, […]

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    With Baltimore’s Confederate memorials now gone, the political fight against Maryland’s commemorations of those who supported or advanced the Lost Cause has shifted to Annapolis. Yesterday, the Maryland State House Trust voted to remove a statue of Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney from the lawn of the building in Maryland’s capital. The Capital Gazette […]

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