Several dozen senior citizens, local lawyers and Calvert County politicos gathered on the deck at Stoney's in Broomes Island on Monday night to eat shrimp, sip beer and hear gubernatorial hopeful Martin O'Malley make his case for the job.

The Baltimore mayor quoted Mark Twain from memory and made sure to thank two local Democratic luminaries -- state Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), to whom O'Malley jokingly referred as "Your Excellency," and former state senator and environmentalist C. Bernard Fowler.

But it was something more subtle that seemed to impress the crowd the most.

"It's beautiful to be here in 'Colvert' County," O'Malley said, pronouncing Calvert like a local old-timer would.

"He even knows how to pronounce it," murmured one tickled supporter in the audience.

"I almost flipped when he used that terminology," Miller said after O'Malley's prepared remarks. "He's obviously been briefed."

Miller and Fowler suggested that O'Malley must have picked up on the proper pronunciation from the late Louis L. Goldstein, the longtime Democratic state comptroller who hailed from Calvert -- er, Colvert.

When asked where he had learned his pronunciation, O'Malley looked surprised by the question.

"I've always pronounced it that way," he said.

Museum Awards

The National Park Service awarded five Chesapeake Bay Gateways matching grants totaling nearly $265,000 this week to help Southern Maryland museums develop interpretive and educational programs.

The grants were presented Monday during a ceremony at the Calvert Marine Museum attended by Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) and Jonathan Doherty, director of the Gateways network.

* The Calvert Marine Museum Society received $9,500 for the first phase of a major renovation planned for its children's Discovery Room at the Calvert Marine Museum in Solomons. A new hands-on touch tank will be developed with sections for freshwater, brackish and saltwater environments. The tank's filtering system will be exposed to public view, revealing how the museum goes about imitating nature and creating habitats that feel like home to the animals on display.

* Historic St. Mary's City is a key partner in a major Gateways project designed to help the public explore the Chesapeake of the early 17th century. Under an $111,987, grant, Pennsylvania State University, Historic St. Mary's City, the Smithsonian Institution and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum will team up to develop a Web-based attraction focused on the 400th anniversary of Capt. John Smith's voyages through the Chesapeake region. Employing the latest technology, the project will give computer users in schools, homes and libraries around the country -- and the world -- a chance to see vibrant and realistic images of the Chesapeake environment that so impressed Smith on his 1607-09 journeys and then compare them with images of the bay environment today.

* St. Mary's County received $100,000 to enhance the Piney Point Lighthouse Museum and Park. The park is home to the oldest lighthouse on the Potomac River and a collection of historic Chesapeake vessels. A new master plan will guide the development of future exhibits and interpretive programs at Piney Point. In addition, new exhibit materials will be developed for the park's Potomac River Maritime Exhibit Building.

* The Friends of the St. Clement's Island and Piney Point Lighthouse Museums received $20,000 to create interpretive panels at St. Clement's Island. The site of the first Maryland landing by European colonists, this island in the Potomac River is a popular destination for recreational boaters and is accessible by tour boats departing from the museum on the river's Maryland shore.

* Shady Side Rural Heritage Society received $23,110 to enhance access and interpretation of the Captain Salem Avery House waterfront. Long closed off to the public, the waterfront on the West River at this historic home in Shady Side, outside Annapolis, will now become accessible to visitors, giving them a richer experience of the life of the Chesapeake waterman who once lived here.

"These grants help Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network sites enhance the public's ability to learn and enjoy the bay's stories, explore its treasures, and ultimately become involved in helping conserve and restore the Bay and its rivers," Doherty said.

This year, the National Park Service is awarding $1.59 million in Chesapeake Bay Gateways grants, matched by an equal amount in partner contributions.

A total of 28 grants are being awarded for projects at designated Gateways around the Chesapeake watershed.

"Southern Maryland is blessed with breathtaking natural beauty," Hoyer said after Monday's gathering. "The grants that we are announcing today will be used to improve access and enhance the visitor's experience at five of these sites in the 5th Congressional District."

Parks Manager Named

David M. Guyther has been named St. Mary's County parks division manager, the Board of County Commissioners and the Department of Recreation, Parks and Community Services announced.

Guyther, who had served as acting parks manager since June, has worked in the parks division for more than 17 years.

As parks manager, he is responsible for overseeing the maintenance and operations of the county park system, waterfront public landings and various recreational facilities.

A native of Leonardtown, Guyther graduated from Ryken High School and attended the Supervisor's Training Program through the National Recreation and Parks Association's Maintenance Management School.


St. Mary's School Superintendent Michael J. Martirano announced two administrative appointments approved by the Board of Education.

Sylvia Rivers was named assistant principal at Leonardtown High School. Her responsibilities will be administration and evaluation of the school's instructional programs.

She most recently served as the supervisor of instruction for English, foreign languages and the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program in St. Mary's public schools.

Darrell Barricklow was named supervisor of design and construction in the division of supporting services. He will be responsible for providing professional planning, development, and technical and architectural/engineering services in the construction of new and renovated school buildings and facilities.

Barricklow, who has more than 25 years of experience in architecture and construction, previously served as the staff architect for the school system.