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What powder?

An onlooker from out of state — who out of embarrassment didn’t want his name used — asked a seemingly innocuous question at the aforementioned feast: “What’s that powder they’re putting on the crabs?”

That “powder,” as all Marylanders know, was Old Bay seasoning.

Volunteers at the festival had large foil pans filled with the seasoning, for the 300 bushels of Maryland blue crabs they were steaming.

Old Bay, of course, is a universal seasoning in the Free State, good on everything from meat to eggs and french fries to pizza.

Though maybe not on ice cream.

Wilson a winner

Democrat Justin Wilson won a close election to fill a vacant seat on the Alexandria City Council on Tuesday.

In complete, unofficial returns, Mr. Wilson captured 4,737 votes, or 52 percent, to 4,390, or 48 percent, for Republican Bill Cleveland in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Andrew Macdonald.

Only 11.5 percent of the city’s voters went to the polls, the lowest turnout since a similar special election in April 1996.

New spokesman

Matt Jablow, who served as the Baltimore Police Department’s director of public affairs for nearly four years, was fired and replaced by a top aide at City Hall.

Sterling Clifford, a key adviser to Mayor Sheila Dixon, told the Baltimore Sun that he was replacing Mr. Jablow.

Neither Mr. Clifford nor Mrs. Dixon would discuss the circumstances surrounding Mr. Jablow’s ouster, just days after Leonard D. Hamm resigned as police commissioner last week and was replaced by his top deputy, Frederick H. Bealefeld III. Police officials declined to comment.

Mr. Jablow would not discuss the circumstances of his firing.

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