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February 2011

An excellent cast struggles to elevate a spy thriller that thinks it’s smarter than it is

Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson: The Next Three Days) is having a bad day. After realizing that he’s left his briefcase, containing vital information for a bio-medical conference he’s speaking in, at the Berlin Airport, he leaves his wife (January Jones: Mad Men) at their hotel to retrieve the case. One cab crash and concussion later, Martin wakes from a four-day coma and returns to his wife and the conference.
Dear Bay Weekly:     I enjoy reading the paper each week, but want to point out that the accuracy of the movie times has been horrible lately. Last Monday we went to Black Swan at Annapolis Harbour Center, only to find the time was 20 minutes off. This Saturday we drove from North Beach to the Annapolis Mall to watch a listed movie, The Mechanic, only to be told it wasn’t even playing there.

Stories of black history come alive in Maryland State Archives

The story of 14-year-old William Ross of Annapolis reads like an adventure straight out of a Robert Louis Stevenson novel. Late one winter night, William flees a life of hardship to hop a passing ship and begin a new life in the West Indies.     Great stuff, until you read closer: William is a slave fleeing not for adventure but for his life.

Writers paddle like hell

Be a swan. Glide serenely over the water. Paddle like hell underneath. Other swans will know the truth.     I first read those words in a poem by Ann Hale many years ago, and the image still makes me smile. As it did this morning when a pair of swans came in Cordorde-like to land a little less gracefully, big feet forward, to paddle away on little Fairhaven Lake.

We’d get two sticks under Maryland’s Clean the Streams and Beautify the Bay Act

This is how you’d look if all you had to wear were the plastic bags you toted home all year long.     You’d look like a plastic imitation of New Orleans’ legendary Mardi Gras Indian tribes. But you’d be warm.

Great power poles — not bills — will shrink

After a year of public flogging, Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative has agreed to replace behemoth power poles with smaller, less intrusive poles along Calvert County’s winding Bowie Shop Road and Route 2/4 in Huntingtown.     Smaller is relative.
Teresa Chambers of Dunkirk is back at work as chief of the U.S. Park Police. Her swearing in January 31 by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar not only returns her to the job she loves but also clears her name and vindicates her claim of wrongful dismissal. Chambers lost her job seven years ago after telling the Washington Post that funding cuts to her department could endanger public safety and national monuments.

Reward up to $22,500

Illegal gill nets continue to be hooked by Maryland Natural Resources Police, with two more on February 11 bringing the month total to eight thousand yards of illegal net and 25,000 pounds of illegally caught rockfish. The latest two 900-yard strings of illegal gill nets were anchored in Eastern Bay. Both were in the vicinity of Bloody Point Light, one about a mile south and other about two and a half miles northeast.

One reader’s quest to gander a gaggle sent us to the experts

On a recent trip down to my pier, I found a gaggle of interlopers monopolizing the planks and moorings. Geese. Loud, messy and surprisingly aggressive long-necked Canadas were using my pier like a roadside rest area.     I was happy they’d be on their way north in a few weeks.

Oyster babies abound

Chesapeake Bay oysters were amorous last summer, and the seed they sent forth willy-nilly into the water has set into abundant spat.     Natural Resources researches examining the intimate lives of 53 key oyster bars last fall found spat — or oyster babies — about five times higher than the 25-year median. Instead of 16, spat count per bushel was nearly 80, the overall highest since 1997.