The County Commissioners were understandably hot under the collar this week after discovering a stoplight was being erected on Route 113 in front of the new tech school in Newark. The commissioners apparently were unaware of the State Highway Administration’s plans and were particularly annoyed because a couple of the commissioners, especially President Virgil Shockley, have been championing a light further south on the highway at the Route 12 interchange. Those requests have repeatedly been shot down by the state and called unnecessary. It’s nearly impossible to argue against the merits of placing a new light at a school. Erring on the side of caution and safety is always wise when kids are involved, but the issue shines the light once again on the communication problems between the government bodies. The Board of Education reportedly brought the need for the light in the rural area to the state’s attention some time ago. A school board official said this week the county had a representative in attendance during a discussion of the potential traffic light, but the commissioners said this week neither they nor top ranking staffers were aware of it. Whatever the case, the light has been erected and will be functioning whenever school is in session, according to officials. It will reportedly blink yellow during off-school hours. It’s interesting that all this is happening a month after a well-publicized spat between the school board and commissioners and follows a meeting between Shockley and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jon Andes.
Let’s leave the politics alone for now, but keep the focus on Route 113. This new traffic light could be the first of many along the roadway. It may take years for it to happen, but there’s no question the north-south artery will have numerous traffic signals in the near future. Once the massive dualization project is completed, I envision it resembling the Route 50 of today. With developments proposed near or along the roadway, particularly around Snow Hill with the Summerfield project, additional traffic lights will have to be considered as the rural nature of the road evolves. As was the case as Route 50 urbanized (see the Wal-Mart light), each traffic light added will annoy and frustrate, but rest assured they are coming.
The Maryland Commission on Climate Change is currently reviewing a complicated report comprised by 19 scientists that projects what Maryland’s weather will be like if no action is taken to address current changes in climate. Issues of concern include rising sea levels, global warming and increased emissions. In an article in The Sun on Sunday, Donald Boesch, president of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science and editor of the report, recapped the findings: “The good news is we’ll have winters like Charleston, South Carolina. The bad news is we’ll have summers like Phoenix but with humidity.” I, for one, would take our relatively mild winters, in general, over that kind of oppressive heat in the peak season around here. The report will now be forwarded on to the governor’s office and there’s no indication anything will come of it.
If I had my way, a local angler would win big money in the White Marlin Open each year. I like the idea of keeping some of the prize money in the region. However, that’s not typically the case and history confirms it’s rare for a local to lay claim to the event’s top prize or even walk away with any significant coin. This year could be the exception and I am rooting for local resident Tommy Hinkle’s 81-pound white marlin to hold on to first place today. Hinkle, who popped the big question to his then girlfriend at the Harbour Island weigh station a couple years back, recently relocated to the area with his family and will begin his first year teaching at Stephen Decatur High School when the school bells ring next month. Previously, he had lived in the Baltimore area and spent summers in the area. It’s been a long time since a local had a nice payday in the Open and I hope the crew of the Fish Whistle has something to toast tonight.