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November 9, 2021
Neighbors: Here are a few items you may find of community interest and possibly of some personal use.
Storm (or whatever-that-was) Report
Call last week’s storm what you will—nor’easter, bomb cyclone, or just a really big wind—severe weather phenomena are happening more often that they used to, so please consider what can be at stake.
As you may have noted, we didn’t lose power for more than a few seconds or minutes thanks to some previous neighborhood preps. However, less obvious during the 4.2-foot surge was the flooding that may have affected only a few of us living in really low-lying areas, for only a few hours, but could have been much worse, as some of us remember during Isabel’s 2003 surge of 7.2 feet.
Our highest elevation along Cohassett is about 11 feet above sea level, yet most of AOTB is at or below 5 to 9 feet. So, when winds blow from the south and east, and the tide is high, the bay can get blown up over many of our peninsula’s properties, and possibly endanger our health.
Alla the stuff in bay water, especially when massive coastal flooding adds even more chemical and biological pollutants, can seep into our well-water tables. With many older AOTB homes having wells as shallow as 25 feet, as opposed to newer wells that can go down 300 feet to the Magothy aquifer, it pays to be knowledgeable as well as careful.
Moments after I contacted our neighborhood landscaper on Friday afternoon to prepare for post-storm beach clean-up, our VP, Derrick Cogburn, sent me some pix of a few properties on our southern end that were literally under water. Besides attempting to contact those neighbors, it also triggered a note from me to our county and state reps about possible pollution of some low-lying wells. Within minutes, our County Council person, Lisa Rodvien, who knew both who and how to contact our Director of Environmental Health, Don Curtian, got his take.
Because I still don’t know whose wells might have been affected, I’m passing Don’s advice on to all of you: “…attached (are) disinfecting instructions if a well has been impacted by flood waters. Once the top of the well is submerged there could be flood waters impacting the well. If that occurs these are the instructions to follow." Just click here to see those instructions for yourself.

You are what you eat, but you are also what you drink.
SantaFest 2021: Let’s Do it Again!
Although COVID-19 may be on the run, it’s certainly not down for the count, not as long as only about 67% of our over-18 population has had at least one jab, and over 20% of our US population overall—young folks between 5 and 18 years—have only just begun vaccination.

So rather than risk any of our youthful citizens’ health, we’re planning a do-over of the 2020 AOTB toy collection effort, but with a welcome twist. Parents can help their kids better understand the true meaning of this holiday spirit—giving to others—and they can claim a direct link with the jolly old gift-giver by capitalizing on superior intel.
We’re still gonna ask every AOTB resident to help make this season a bit more joyous for our County’s less-advantaged youngsters who have, in many instances, borne a disproportionate share of the physical, economic, and psychological hardships of all COVID-era kids. We’re still asking everyone to bundle into their cars, SUVs, and minivans, or balance on their bikes, or even take a walk past, and bring as many unwrapped toys, games, books, puzzles, pieces of sports gear, or whatever you’d have wanted to see under your tree, as you can possibly afford, down to our Santa Station along Cohasset.
You can then drop them off as you pass by the tables set up by our not-so-sleek elves and wave to our Frankly Amazing Santa between the hours of 3 and 6 pm Sunday evening, December 12, 2021.

Then after dark, Chief Grinch John Mutich has arranged for the traditional bell-and-siren-equipped Santa Sleigh to scream through our neighborhood on its way south to pick up the haul and transport the goodies back north to where they’ll do the most good. So, if you want to spin a really good holiday yarn after you bring the kids back home, ask them to keep sorta quiet around 6pm and listen for the Sounds of Santa’s Sleigh. Minimally, you may get a bit of your own Peace-on-Earth out of it.
That’s the current plan, but we’ll keep you all informed when/if stuff changes. Oh, Elfin volunteers would still be very much appreciated so we can move the benches, keep the traffic moving, the pressies properly piled, and any nearby Grinches in, if not at, bay. Pls contact me at with offers of Elfin support; speaking Elvish not required.
Community Communications
Besides AOTB’s sporadic, locally sourced email communiqués, we encourage every AOTB resident to sign up for other, very handy info sources from our County Executive as well as our outstanding District 30A state reps. Here’s an example of the latest two you might use to decide if you’d like to get them regularly.
  • Check out County Exec. Steuart Pittman’s communication here.
  • And see State Delegate Shaneka Henson’s most recent examples of excellence in communications here.
Diversity is Our Strength
Finally, one truism about AOTB is that we are a very diverse bunch of folks, representing many different ethnic, social, and cultural backgrounds, all in search of a beautiful and peaceful place to live and let live.
Almost everyone is familiar with Black History Month in February, and many more are fast becoming aware of Woman’s History Month in March, Asian Pacific Islander/Jewish History Month in May, Diversity Month (and of course Juneteenth) in June, Hispanic/Latin American Heritage Month in September, and LGBTQ History/Disability Employment Awareness Month in October. But how many of us knew November has been nationally designated as Native American Heritage Month?
So unless you pass by the pier at 1375 Walnut every now and then to check out the banners (we just got our spiffy new Navajo Nation Tribal flag) you may have to consult other sources such as this.
—David J. Delia, president POA-AOTB