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January 2013

They’re not old, they’re classics

Beecham House is a nursing home with a twist. Billed as a community for retired musicians, Beecham is a haven for symphony and opera stars awaiting their final curtain call. Instead of bingo, they perform arias and celebrate the birth of Verdi with an annual gala performance that brings them back to the stage.

Opposites not only attract, they also repel, making for a timeless comedy

Neil Simon’s 1963 romantic comedy Barefoot in the Park was a box office smash on stage and screen, not merely because it starred dreamy Robert Redford but because it’s packed with hilarious moments. What’s not to get about newlyweds learning the hard lessons of why opposites not only attract but also repel? The story, as old as matrimony, roused braying guffaws of recognition from Compass Rose Studio Theater’s mature audience on opening night.

I may be crazy, but I know what I’m wearing

With several inches of snow on the ground and more steadily falling, I watched from the sidelines of the 2010 Polar Plunge. Who, I wondered, would be crazy enough to run into the Chesapeake Bay in the middle of winter?     For the 2013 Plunge, I’ve answered that question. I am.     On Saturday, January 26, I will join 12,000-plus plungers for a quick dip in the Bay at Sandy Point State Park to raise money for Special Olympics Maryland.     Are we all crazy?

While Americans bask in the afterglow of a diverted dive off the fiscal cliff, the restaurant business faces its toughest quarter of the year from January through March. It’s always a challenge to lure diners out in the cold winter months. Adding to the disincentives are smaller paychecks thanks the elimination of the two percent payroll tax, post-holiday malaise and three months with only one food-centered holiday (Valentine’s Day, the second-most popular restaurant holiday behind Mothers Day).
The South County Democratic Club responded to President Barack Obama’s call for a National Day of Service on January 19 by organizing a food drive for the South County Assistance Network, SCAN.     We were honored to have our District 5 Congressman, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, join us to deliver food items.

For Michelina Scotto, raising $10,000 is easy. It’s the 24 hours of cold water that has her worried

For Michelina Scotto of Stevensville, the easy part is raising the $10,000 qualification fee for joining the Super Plunge Team of the 17th Annual MSP Polar Bear Plunge benefitting Special Olympics Maryland.     So what if fundraising — including a Fire and Ice Party January 19 — cost the restaurateur, co-owner of Luna Blu in Annapolis and Rustico in Stevensville, more than she expects to raise? Raising money is what Scotto knows.     Cold is what she fears.

Public meetings begin Feb. 5

Maryland Department of Natural Resources needs you. Every five years, the department creates its Land Preservation and Recreation plan to guide public purchase of land for stewardship and recreation. The next one is due at the end of this year.     “These are public resources,” says John F. Wilson, DNR’s associate director for stewardship. So he wants us to describe what’s needed and to nominate places to meet the public need.

February 2 is too important a day to sleep through

February 2 is halfway through winter, so what better time to gather with friends and neighbors to eat good food, drink heartily and look ahead to the coming spring?     The Pennsylvania Dutch descendants of German immigrants did just that. Among the first celebrants of Groundhog Day, they partied hardy in Punxsutawney, Penn., as far back as 1887.

Looking back by the hundreds that lead to Bay Weekly’s big K

In the culture of Polar Bear Plungers — about whom we write this week — our 1,000th issue puts us in the league of Super Plungers like Michelina Scotto, who return to the Bay’s chilling waters (about 41 degrees this time of year) every hour on the hour 24 times.

Use the off-season to get your gear ready for the fish

If you’re like me, you tried to fish all the way to the end of the season. So your tackle was never put up properly.     Now that there’s little angling left, outside of possibly a little pickerel action, it’s time to care for your tackle. The chore is necessary if you expect to hit the ground running in the spring.