It should go without saying that reporters need to check information in press releases.
I ended up helping out with coverage of Sine Die, the last day of the General Assembly.
I didn’t plan to cover Sine Die, but there was a last-minute push to roll back a bill (the “rain tax” or stormwater fee) that had passed the year before. So I covered that push — which failed — and wrote a story wrapping up that and other environmental issues.
This year’s Sine Die was amazingly calm compared to last year, when lawmakers adjourned without passing a proper budget. The day was filled with impromptu press conferences and partisan maneuvering.
This year, I managed to tag along with a group of staffers and lobbyists on a tour of the State House dome! Needless to say, that was pretty awesome.
A few days after Sine Die, I appeared on WYPR radio on “Midday on the Bay” with Dan Rodricks and Rona Kobell. We talked about the environmental bills that were considered during the 90-day session.
You can listen to the recording here. (Warning, it’s a full hour.)
I recently left The Capital newspaper after almost exactly 10 years there, and nearly three years before that at a sister paper, the Maryland Gazette.
Here’s the last bylined story I wrote for the paper, about a grant that was awarded to help rebuild Annapolis City Dock. And the last story of mine to actually appear in print (it held for several days) was about prisoners growing American chestnut trees.
In cleaning out my desk at The Capital, I found some interesting things.
I found a file folder full of thank you cards and also some nasty-grams. (“Take those carbon credits and shove them up your a—, you liberal scum” is a favorite.)
For some reason, I have a big pile of press passes and badges. I have no idea what many of them are for, but the ones issued by the White House (for covering Naval Academy graduation) are pretty cool. I’ll keep those.
Here’s perhaps the most poignant thing I found. I found the first issue of the Our Bay section that was started while I was at The Capital. Here it is, side-by-side with the final Our Bay section from earlier this month.